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Tag Archives: Utica Boilermaker 15K

Remember That Mini-Maker?

I never wrote about running the Mini-Maker at Copper City Brewing in Rome.  This was a 15K organized by the Roman Runners as an opportunity to run our Virtual Boilermaker.   I have started this post several times but cannot seem to do the event justice.  Under the heading A Bad Blog Post Is Better Than No Post At All, I will share the pictures I took that day and hope that will give an idea of what a wonderful event it was.

Volunteers Kelly and Kevin at the registration table.

The event took place Sunday, Sept. 13.  I was among the first to arrive.  I had said I would volunteer, since I had already run my official 15K, but when the day came, I definitely wanted to run.  I thought I should accept the invitation to start early, since I could not guarantee how fast I would go.  Kevin helped me out by getting me my own personal bicyclist to make sure I did not get lost.

My bicycle guy Scott was awesome. I’m sure he was a big reason I went as fast as I did.

When I started running, I soon realized I was running faster than I had on any of my training runs.  What the hell, me?  I did peter out the last few miles as my back started to hurt and my breathing got a little ragged.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the run.  It went through some scenic areas along the canal and through Griffiss Air Force Base (I guess it’s not an air force base any more; it’s been a while since I lived in Rome).

Carrie and Steve Klepadlo of Broasters.

Before the race I enjoyed a cup of cold brew courtesy Broasters Coffee Company.  It is single origin and yummy.  They currently operate a wholesale business not open to the public.  However, they do events and farmers’ markets.  I wonder if it was extra caffeine boost that helped me run so fast.  I’ll have to get some more of that coffee!

Christina at the bar.

After the race, everybody had a great time, drinking beer, Bloody Marys and more.  I drank some Fallin’ For Pumpkin Ale, which I enjoyed very much.  I also enjoyed a free hot dog.

I liked the scene behind the bar, too.

 

Our most gracious host.

I had been to Copper City Brewing before.  I hope to go again soon.  Roman Runners are holding a 5K this Saturday.  Do you think I should go?

 

Without Hoopla or Help

So I did a thing last Sunday.  I ran 9.31 miles.  Yes, it was my Virtual Boilermaker 15K, and I pretty much backed into it.

I ran for one hour one minute on Saturday.  I had a bad headache, which running seemed to help.  Unfortunately, I started to get nauseous.  Now, I have the idea that I can run pretty much as long as I make up my mind to.  Not so on Saturday.  Quite abruptly, I felt, “No.”  I don’t know if it was from my mind or my body, but I stopped running.  I walked home, wanting nothing more than to stay perfectly still, which I was eventually able to do.

Still, I think an hour is a pretty good run, and I had included a few hills, so I was not entirely dissatisfied with myself.  Sunday I thought I would try for seven miles, however long that took me.  Then I would be in good shape for the Mini-Maker at Copper City Brewing in Rome on Sept. 13.

For a hill, I went out Main Street.  Part of the road is closed to traffic, but they don’t say anything about overweight, middle-aged runners, so I feel free.  It is steep and long-ish, and if I go all the way out Highland, I can come down Steuben Hill.  Sometimes I go up Steuben and down Highland, but I prefer to go up where it is steeper and down the more gradual slope.  Just my preference.

The run was going pretty well.  My first mile was almost 15 minutes, which I was not pleased about, but I told myself not to worry, just keep going.

It was sometime after the second mile that I began to toy with the idea of going for the 15K.  I had a bottle of water in my hand.  I could re-fill it at the spring.  That was almost as good as having water stations. I had not planned my entire route, but I could just keep going till Map My Run told me nine miles.  Then I could keep going till it was 9.3.  I should be able to look at my phone (strapped to my upper arm) enough to ascertain that.  I just couldn’t finish on a sprint, as I like to do.

The phrase occurred to me, “without hoopla or help.”  That’s it, I thought.  Without hoopla or help, I will run my 15K.  It kind of went against the grain, because one of my mottoes of life is “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  In this case, however, I decided to do something by myself, for myself, to prove I could do it.  I was running through some fairly level streets in Herkimer, NY while I thought this.  I tried to keep up my pace yet told myself that it did not matter how long it took me, as long as I went the distance.  Then I started thinking about hills.  I had gone up a big hill.  I did not need to do any more.  Did I?

The fact is, Herkimer is not that large, especially if I did not want to cross Route 5, which I did not.  Additionally, I wanted to be at least an hour into my run before I finished my bottle of water and stopped by the spring.  All things considered, I decided my best bet would be to go up the kick-buttest hill in the residential area behind Valley Health.  I suppose I could have gone up the hill to Herkimer College, but I felt more comfortable in the other area.

It was not too awful getting up that long hill, and I was slowly racking up the miles.  I was just over an hour when I refilled my water.  Now where to run?  I thought of a route that would bring me by my beloved Historic Four Corners.  I’ll do that!  Then I added in a few more turns and streets, because I needed to run longer.  Soon I was wishing I had fully charged my phone, because it started making a noise which I was afraid meant low battery.  Please, phone, please, last for me!   At last I was at nine miles!  I was headed down Prospect Street, almost at Bellinger Avenue (not to be confused with Bellinger Street).  I could enter where it said Do Not Enter!  My favorite!

As I headed up my own street, I twisted my arm enough to see my phone.  Map My Run, don’t fail me now!  It did not.  I stopped running when it said 9.31 miles.  Yay!  I was right across from a neighbor sitting on his front stoop, one I often greet as I run by.

“I just ran my Virtual Boilermaker 15K!” I told him.

“Good for you,” he said.

And I just finished my blog post about it.  Phew!  I guess I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

 

Toward The Boilermaker

It ought to be time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All the Time.  I don’t know that I will do that, but I thought I would attempt a Running Commentary Post today.  I did not run on Sunday, because I had a blister on the bottom of one foot.  What was that all about?  I have good sneakers, and I wore running socks!  I did not run Monday, because, well, Monday.  The bottom of my foot still felt a little sore, but I did not dare take another day off.

I have been trying to get my butt kicked a little more on weekday runs, so I headed towards the residential area behind Valley Health.  Regular readers may remember that there is a particularly long hill I fear and love.  As I ran, I considered going up the hill to Herkimer College instead but eventually settled on my original plan (full disclosure: not without cravenly considering a few easier routes).

Once again I attempted to pick up the pace.  I hope to run under a 14-minute mile, and I feel quite frustrated that it is even a question.  When I was in the army, a 10-minute mile was a leisurely pace!  It was faster than I wanted to run, which in fact was the pace I sought in the army.  Full disclosure:  sometimes At All is faster than the pace I want to run.

I made it up the hill with huffing and puffing but actually very little problem.  I maintained a pace of less than 13 1/2  minutes per mile.  My run was just over three miles (I kept going for a 42 minute total), so there is no guarantee I can maintain that pace.  But you never know.

I have not shared some of the amusing little incidents of my run, so perhaps I will make this a two-parter.  Then I am one post closer to All Boilermaker All The Time!

 

Slacker to Snapped, At Least It’s A Post

This is not going to be much of a Saturday Post, but I hope to do better than last week, when I missed Saturday entirely.  I am pretty much ignoring a DVR’d episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as I type this (one letter at a tome with the stylus, of course).  No loss on my part? I wonder.

There.  I stopped that and put on a Snapped On Demand. “They were a power couple…”   I just can’t get enough murder and mayhem.

But about my Saturday, I have not done much.  I went for a run.  I was enjoying shorter runs since they cancelled the Utica Boilermaker this year.  However, yesterday I quite abruptly and unexpectedly decided to participate in the virtual race.

My original response to the cancellation of the race was, to heck with it, I’ll just run it next year.  I thought, “I can’t run 15K without all the hoopla cheering me on!”  Then I thought, this will be a challenge.  Let’s do this!

It may have been a good idea to do a Saturday Running Commentary Post and cover all this information.  However, I feel largely disinclined toward any such effort.  It is that sort of a Saturday.

So here is my post, and it raises a question often considered in this blog:  Is a lame post better than no post at all?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

Post Race Post

I was going to title this “To Dress or to Blog?”  but I did not want to invite unkind comments about how nobody wants to see me naked.  Also, it would not be clear that this is yet another post about the Boilermaker.  Which I just ran.  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (That was a triumphant laugh, by the way.)

So this is not going to be a great post.  I ran. It was not easy for an overweight woman of my age who, as it turns out, perhaps did not train enough.  However, I finished without resorting to walking.  Full disclosure:  towards the end, my run could not catch up with some of the walkers.  I will write more about the run later.  For now my purpose is merely to publish something, so I can get on with celebrating my triumph as soon as Steven gets home from work.

For anyone just tuning in, the Utica Boilermaker is the best 15K race in the nation, possibly in the world.  It seems as if the entire City of Utica as well as the surrounding area turns out to run, volunteer or cheer folks on.  Runners come from all over the world, including elite runners from places like Kenya as well as those who run for fun and fitness from places like Syracuse and Rochester.  I believe folks come from farther afield, but I did not encounter any of those today.

My challenge now is to find a cute outfit to put on such that Steven will realize that the best way to celebrate is to take me out somewhere nice.  Or I could just sit here in my bathrobe, which I put on after a delicious shower, and he will probably make me a grilled cheese sammich.  I do like grilled cheese.  It is good to have options.  Tune in tomorrow, on Mental Meanderings Monday, which I will either tell you what I wore or describe in greater detail my triumphant Boilermaker run.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Scattered Saturday Before the Boilermaker

I confess, I didn’t have a whole lot of scatter, because I mostly hydrated and rested before tomorrow’s 15K run (it’s really a road race, but since I will be far back in the pack and more interested in making silly jokes than getting a fast time, I can’t say I’ll be racing).  For those of you just tuning in, it is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, a pretty damn exciting event in the Mohawk Valley.

My plan was to go for at least one walk, so I was disappointed to hear thunder followed by torrential rain this morning.  Then it stopped.  Cool.  I wrote some post cards and walked to the post office, taking the long way back.  It has continued to thunder, rain, then stop for most of the day.  I may go for an evening walk during one of the stops but no promises.  I got a little more exercise walking from the second floor down to the basement and back doing laundry.  It is so pleasant to have most of my clothes clean so that I have a choice of what to wear (of course the perfect thing to wear in an given situation is usually the one thing that is still dirty, but you’ll have that).

In addition to doing laundry, I read an Agatha Christie book (I adore Agatha Christie), worked on my lines for The Tempest, futzed around on Facebook, and wrote a very little on my novel.

I left the house one other time so far, to get my hair cut at the Hot Spot Salon and Spa in Herkimer.  My stylist, Claire, nicely got me in, even though I did not call till yesterday afternoon.  She is way cool.  She did my hair the same as last time, very short.  She said it seems my hair likes to be short.  I thought that was a good way of putting it.  I like it short, because it is easy that way.  As another hairdresser once observed about me, I am the sort of person who cannot be bothered spending too much time on my hair (for another reason, however much time I take, I never seem to get the good results others do).  I would post a selfie of me and my new hair, but I’ve taken off my earrings, and I don’t like to appear in public without earrings.

Back home, I started dinner early, because we intend to go to bed early.  I had put eggplant in the crock pot this morning (ought I to have mentioned that earlier?  Oh well).  Now I made pesto, grated parmesan cheese, sauteed asparagus, and cooked angel hair pasta (my favorite).  My pesto is perhaps not real pesto (I don’t use a recipe), but I call it pesto, because it is fun to say “pesto pasta” (try it).  I put garlic, fresh basil, grated parmesan (I grated enough to put some in the pesto as well as some over the pasta), and oil in the blender and blend.  It turned out pretty good.

And that brings us to the present moment.  My stomach still continues knotty from Boilermaker nerves.  These will continue, no doubt, until the race actually starts.  More specifically, when I cross the starting line and am on my way.  Then it’s run for the beer!  Go me!  Happy Saturday, everyone!

 

I’m Not Hydrated Yet!

I have have Lame Post Friday in the middle of vacation, can’t I?  Of course I can; it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.  Wait a minute, that’s something else.

I have spent all day having Boilermaker Butterflies (I think I once wrote a blog post of that title).  I mean serious, stomach-churning nervousness.  I don’t know why.  All my problems will resolve themselves at the proper time.  I will run the race.  There is no reason to think I will not have fun.  Yet here I sit, trying to drink more water and worrying.

I went for one final run today (is it bad that I have begun the last three paragraphs with “I”?  Just something else to worry about), 30 easy minutes.  It didn’t feel too bad.  I found the shirt I wanted to run in, a large yellow tee with a Superman logo which Steven purchased for 50 cents at a church thrift store some years ago.  It is a little wrinkly, and I am considering ironing it.  I rather like the thought of running the Boilermaker in a freshly pressed t-shirt.

This morning I had several errands to run: an afghan to drop off, a trip to the post office, a visit to the library to print out my Boilermaker registration confirmation.  By 11:30 I was headed to Utica to Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) to pick up my race number and goody bag.  What a crowd scene!  However, people were nice and numerous volunteers kept things running smoothly.

For dinner I had a London broil in the crock pot.  Some time ago, a nice young man at The Sneaker Store told me I should have a steak dinner on Friday and pasta on Saturday.  I substituted roast beef in the crock pot then as I did now.  I plan to use fresh basil from my container garden to make pesto for tomorrow’s pasta.  Yum!

What I am mostly worried about now is that this is a truly lame blog post.  Can I possibly expect tomorrow’s to be any better as the 15K race looms ever closer?  I should probably have an in-depth conversation with myself about whether the race is worth all this anguish I put myself through, with perhaps a side discussion about why I put myself through such completely useless worry.  Don’t worry, any minute now I will move on to the point where I start to laugh at myself.  Happy Friday, everyone!

 

Last Long Run Before Sunday

It may be time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time.  I went for my last long run before the big race.  The big race, for anybody just tuning in, is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, the premier 15K race in the country (I say it with confidence, although I confess I have not researched 15K races), which takes place this Sunday, July 9, 2017.  There is also a 5K on Sunday, a 3-mile walk on Saturday, an Expo Friday and Saturday, and many other events and attractions.  I know I’m not mentioning everything; after all, this blog is mostly about ME (I say it with no apology for my egotism) (although I confess to having a good laugh at myself).

Where was I?  Ah yes, about to do a Running Commentary post about my last long run till Sunday (hey, is that a good title for the post, or is it too obvious?).

It was excellent running weather: not too hot, not too humid, sunny and pretty.  As I ran, I felt the sun was perhaps brighter and hotter than my own personal ideal, but running in the shade was fine.  I decided to run in the residential area behind Valley Health, what I refer to as “the suburbs.”  This took me up the hill by Valley Health as a kind of a warm-up hill, and I knew I would find a long, challenging hill as I went.

As I ran toward Valley Health, along German Street which gradually slopes upward, I realized I did not want to run any hills.  My body felt like it could keep going perfecly well on level ground but would be utterly defeated by gravity if I tried to push it.  Well, naturally on my Last Long Run Before The Boilermaker, I was inclined to push it.  I remembered of what I thought on a recent run: running hills does not become easier for me; I merely learn to keep going longer while it sucks.  I wondered if that was strictly true. Most probably it sucks less as I go.  Today I tried a new tack:  I told myself that going up hills was a psychological trick;  I just had to stop NOTICING how much it sucked.  This is an extension of a trick I heard about in the army:  just look at your feet and shuffle up that hill.

I took a wrong turn and ran down a perfectly level street that turned at a right angle then ended in a cul-de-sac.  Then I found the correct corner, when down a small hill then up, up, up.  I passed a lady walking down and said good morning.

“Boilermaker!” I added, fists in the air.  “Three days and a wake-up!”

“There you go!” she encouraged.  “Good luck!”

A short while later, I saw a fellow runner, headed down the hill.

“Boilermaker!” I called to her.  “We got this!”   She laughed.

I passed a few other walkers, including a very nice couple who let me pet their dog.  Yes, I stopped running long enough to pet the dog.  I like to pet a dog.

I ran for an hour and one minute, which is how long I ran yesterday.  In training for previous Boilermakers, I have been up to an hour and a half.  However, I feel an hour is good.  I tell myself, if you can run for an hour, you can run for two; just don’t stop.  I plan shorter runs tomorrow and Friday, and a couple of long walks on Saturday.  And in between, I hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Boilermaker, here I come!

 

One Week! Seriously?

It is one week before the Boilermaker 15K.  I hope all the flooding in Utica does not t put a — wait for it — damper on the proceedings (you must see that I had to make that pun).   I felt that I had to go for a good, long, challenging run this morning, especially since yesterday’s run was cut short.  Accordingly, I got dressed for it as soon as I got out of bed about 6 a.m.  I drank water as I got ready, stretched out a little (which I often neglect to do), and set out.

I expected a lot of mud so had put on an older pair of running shoes.   It was mostly in the gutters but parts of the sidewalk were covered and in places the whole road was awash.  I was running with a bottle of water in my hand but tried not to sip too fast and get nauseous.  It was not as warm and muggy as it was on Friday, but neither was the air fresh and clear.  I was grateful for the occasional breeze.

I headed for my go-to hill, the one up to Herkimer College (or HCCC as I used to call it) (pronounced “H-triple-C,” although real natives say  it “H-trip”).  I figured there would be less mud as I ran up.  There was plenty near the bottom of the hill.  I was surprised to run into more as I went up.  The road wasn’t coated, but there were a couple of places where a swath of stones and gravel angled across, even close to the top.  I maneuvered around these without too much problem.  Lack of traffic helped.

As I ran across the campus, I felt quite solitary.  I thought I would at least see Campus Security making the rounds, but no.  I did not run into any problems, though, so that was good.  As I was running up the steepest part of the hill, I reflected sadly that it was not becoming easier to run hills; merely, I was practicing my ability to keep going even when it sucks.  When the upslope became a more reasonable angle, it stopped sucking, so I felt better about things.  I ran all the way up, around the athletic fields, and down Reservoir Road.  I would have liked to run on the Nature Trail but feared it would be too muddy after yesterday’s rains.

The back road down was not as bad as I had feared.  That road is being worked on so parts are not as well-paved as one would like.  There is one area where there are plants growing up through the gravel.  I kind of admire the plants’ perseverance.  Life, as they say, will find a way.  One little plant is even growing out of a crack in the pavement.  I can almost hear it saying, “Hey, guys, look at me!  I’m over here!”  I angled around the plant as well as some stones and mud.  I changed my mind a few times about which way to run, based on which choice was less muddy, but I got pretty dirty anyways.

I was in the latter portion of my run when I stopped by the spring to re-fill my water bottle.   The stones and board surrounding the spring had moved somewhat but I managed to get close enough with little problem.  Then I headed home, debating on if my run would be exactly an hour or a little longer.  Longer won.  Then I stopped to chat with a couple of neighbors on my cool-down walk, so I was gone long enough to make Steven wonder a little.  He had expected me to run for exactly an hour, and he had forgotten about my cool-down walk.

I felt pretty damn good about myself and more confident about running the Boilermaker 15K in a week.  I still feel I haven’t run enough, but there isn’t anything I can do about that now.  I guess now is the time to begin feeling nervous about where I’m going to park and how early I ought to get there and will I be able to find my way through the crowd after the race to get my beer.  Oh, swell, now this is turning into Wrist to Forehead Sunday!

 

Happy Friday Run

How about a Running Commentary post instead of my usual Lame Post Friday?  For one reason, I ran.  For another reason, the Utica Boilermaker 15K is one week and two days away; it is just about time for this blog to become All Boilermaker All The Time.

It was dreadfully warm at work today.  When I left the building at lunch time to pick up a prescription (at The Medicine Shoppe in Ilion, a great place to do business with), it was even more oppressive outdoors.  Yikes.  But I had only run Sunday and Wednesday this week (don’t judge me).  It would be a really good idea to run.  Rumor had it there would be a terrific storm right about the time I was scheduled to leave work.  Of course I don’t believe everything I hear.  Anyways, if there was thunder and lightning, I could run in place on the mini-tramp while watching my DVD of Nosferatu (regular readers may remember how I am obsessed with that silent vampire movie from 1922).

When I left work, it was raining a nice, gentle rain, which had cooled things off nicely.

“This is great,” I said to the co-worker I walked out with.  “I can totally run in this!”  My plan was made.

First I had a couple of stops to make.  As I got to them, the rain began to pour down in a most torrential fashion.  I was drenched before I entered the first stop.  Of course, due to my odd personality quirk, I laugh at such weather, so it was really no problem getting drenched.  I bet the cashier at the second store that it would stop raining by the time I got home.  And, what do you know, it did. I happily put on my running clothes and got going.

The first thing I noticed was that the lovely coolness I had enjoyed as I left work was gone.  The sun was hot and the humidity was back.  Never mind that, I told myself.  Just run.

I took off down German Street, turning right, because I had turned left on Wednesday’s run.  I headed toward the HARC building, because I wanted to check out the new playground behind it.  They had their grand opening recently, but I have not been there since it was a work in progress.  It seemed to take a long time to get to the end of German Street.  I persevered, dodging around the puddles and trying to ignore the humidity.  I concentrated on running smoothly and taking deep, full breaths.

The playground looks pretty good.  I entered through the archway and started around the blacktop path that surrounds it.  There are a few exercise stations.  Cool!  I’ll have to come back and try them. I’ve been meaning to incorporate different exercises into my workout.

I was able to continue a slow, steady pace without too much discomfort.  I did not reach the “I Can Rock This” stage, but neither was my body crying out for me to for the love of God stop running.  I made it for a full half hour.  Perhaps a longer run, with a few hills, would have been a good idea, especially given the proximity of the Boilermaker.  However, I plan to run again first thing in the morning.   I’ll see how bad-ass of a run I can do then.

After my run, a shower felt great, and a glass of chocolate milk tasted delicious.  Now I have finished my blog post, so that is another chore done.  I think it is time to commence celebrating my weekend.  Maybe I’ll watch Nosferatu.  Happy Friday, everyone.