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Run then Rationalize

As soon as I started my run today, my legs were not happy with me.  I had been up and had coffee but nothing to eat.  Well, if I would have eaten something, I would have wanted to wait a little while for it to digest, and then it might have been to warm and I’d have had plenty of time to talk myself out of it.  I told myself I did not have to run as long as I ran yesterday.  After all, last weekend I ran 67 minutes Saturday and only 45 Sunday.  I had upped my time by the recommended ten percent to 74 minutes yesterday.  It might be a good idea to ran the same today, but I do not always follow the idea course in my running.

I wasn’t going to run any hills, either.  I had made up my mind to that, although I confess I was not as comfortable with that decision. There are a lot of hills on the Boilermaker (that is the 15K road race in Utica, NY, I am signed up to run on July 9, for anybody just tuning in).  I don’t have to run hills EVERY day, I argued.  A little voice in my head said, “Oh, just start running, you’ll talk yourself into it as you go.” As soon as I started running, my legs informed me that we were NOT going to run any hills and we certainly were not going to run for an hour and fourteen minutes.

Cutting right to the chase, I’ll tell you:  I did not run any hills but I did run for an hour and fourteen minutes.  I crossed State Street and ran on a bunch of streets I don’t usually run on, so it was a very interesting run.  I’ll have to walk it sometime with my Tablet and take pictures to share.  I probably won’t be doing that today, though.  It’s not that my legs would object (they LOVE to walk), but it is supposed to be close to 90 degrees and sunny today.  I’m kind of a vampire.  I admire a sunny day, but it doesn’t pay me to get too close.

As I was running, I was narrating in my head.  It seemed pretty interesting at the time, but now I’m not so sure.  Then again, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday.   I think this brief description of my run will suffice.  Now you have time to read other blogs.  Isn’t that generous of me?  Yes, yes, I know, that is only a rationalization, but rationalization is not always a bad thing.  To prove this I will end with a quote from the movie The Big Chill:

Jeff Goldblum character:  Don’t knock rationalization, where would we be without it?  I don’t know anybody who can get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations; they’re more important than sex.

Tom Berenger character: Nothing’s more important than sex.

Jeff Goldblum character:  Oh yeah?  Ever go a week without a rationalization?

If I do not have the lines exactly right, sorry.  I don’t have a rationalization for that, but I hope you will forgive me.

 

A Month and Two Days till the Boilmaker

I did not run for the last two days, so I knew I must run today.  The Boilermaker 15K is a month and two days away and I do not feel ready.  I feel old and creaky.  So I went on a long, challenging run and now I feel — you guessed it — even older and more creaky.  I suppose one will have that when one is, in fact, old and creaky.  However, I planned earlier to make a Running Commentary post, so here it is.

The Mohawk Valley weather gifted us with a beautiful, sunny day today.   It is a day which calls us to spend time outdoors (I say is, because the sun is beckoning me onto the deck as I type this)  (in fact, what am I thinking, being in here?  My laptop has batteries!  I’m going to finish this post outside) (That took a few minutes.  Now where was I?).  I got home and got right into running clothes and out the door as soon as possible.

I knew it would be a good idea to run a hill or two, but all the hills are on the other side of German Street.  Would traffic allow me to cross the street?  I ran toward German and hoped.  Wow, lots of cars.  And my body was NOT in the mood to run.  Oh, my legs were tired, it was not easy to breathe, my back was sore, I was incapable of moving very fast.  However, I WAS capable of moving.  Maybe no hills today.  After all, if I couldn’t cross the street… but maybe now… no, cars kept coming.  Well, if I couldn’t cross the street, I couldn’t feel guilty for not running hills, could I?  Oh, here was an opportunity.  Damn.  Uh, I mean, good!

But which hill to run?  That sun was certainly warm.  I decided to run into Brookfield Park and down the path in the woods, which comes out on the back road up to Herkimer College (HCCC, to long-time locals).  The road goes up as soon as you go into the park.  Oh, that was painful.  It’s not even that long or steep of a hill.  Good God, I only took two days off!  What the hell, body?  It seemed to take a long time to get into the park, but soon I came to the bridge over the brook, which leads to the picnic area beyond which is the path through the woods.  I decided to go beyond it, to the end of the road, then back to it.

The stream babbled towards me, over rocks, moving rapidly and splashing busily.  The recent rains were no doubt having their effect, but it did not look in any danger of flooding.  At the end of the road is a fenced off area.  I could see a path at the edge of the fence, where apparently pedestrians bypass the fence and walk into the woods.  I,  however, did not do so. I had had the damnedest time getting this far; all I could think was that if I could go no further, I did not want to be too far from civilization.

Soon I was headed into the woods, along the path, which also took a long time.  I was not going to go the rest of the way up to the college. I would keep running.  Then I would stop.  Ooh, stopping sounded good.  But I kept going.  Finally I got back onto the road and headed down.  Then I had another idea.  There were a couple of dead end roads that went uphill.  I could run up those and still get some hills in.  I turned right onto the first one.

And realized that it was not exactly a dead end. It led up to the college by the dormitories, a way I have dubbed the kick-butt way.  Well, I did not have to run up the college the kick-butt way, just because I accidentally went on that road.  I could turn around.  I WOULD turn around.

I did not turn around.  Instead, I got my butt kicked.  It is a good idea to get your butt kicked a month and two days before the Boilermaker 15K, I think.  When I ran down the hill from the college, I stopped at the spring and got a drink.  As I ran onto my street, I passed two ladies and a baby on a front porch.  The baby was crying piteously.

“That’s exactly how I feel right now,” I said.  One of the ladies laughed.

I tell you, it was a lousy run, but I ran and I’m glad I did.  Tomorrow I am scheduled to donate blood at a blood drive at my work, so I will probably not run or walk.  And the Boilermaker 15K will be a month and one day away.  Yikes!

 

Not a Wrist to Forehead Run

I will probably be doing a lot more Running Commentary posts for the next month and a half (or so), as I continue to prepare for the Utica Boilermaker 15K.  I thought I was in excellent shape for it already, having run just over an hour yesterday.  My feeling is if you can run one hours, you can run two; just don’t stop.  And I have run the Boilermaker in under two hours each time I have run in.  Then again (second guessing myself is apparently my favorite indoor sport), I took a three hour nap yesterday afternoon.  Maybe I’m not in such great shape (although I still maintain that round and puffy is a shape).

Today I have a few things I would like to get done, and I will not have time for a three-hour nap, so I thought I would run less than one hour.  This is not my normal M.O.  Usually I make long runs on both weekend days, when I don’t have to work.  However, this is a three day weekend.  I can go for a long run on Memorial Day.  I will wear an army t-shirt and run in honor of fallen soldiers.  So today could be a shorter, easier run with no hills.

I made this plan while I was still in bed, knowing it would be a good idea to get up but really wanting to sleep some more.  I finally talked myself into rising and immediately started drinking water from the bottle I habitually keep next to the bed. I got right into running clothes and was out the door before I had decided which direction to run in.  I turned the opposite way from what I usually take, toward State Street instead of German.  I had only gotten a block when somebody called a greeting.  It was the owner of Chico and Bear, two neighborhood dog buddies of mine.

She was dressed for church and taking the pups for a business meeting.  I stopped my watch and went over to pet the pups and chat with the person. I told her I had thought of going to church yesterday but woke up from my nap twenty minutes after mass started.  When we finished our chat, I reset my watch to zero and started again.  This time I ran down Church Street toward Main.  I still had no idea where I would go but knew I could figure it out as I went.  The sun was in my eyes, so I turned up Prospect and headed toward German.

On German, I turned left, so the sun was behind me.  I decided to run up the hill by Valley Health.  Yes, I had thought “no hills” but one hill was not so bad, especially compared to what I ran yesterday and what I hope to run tomorrow.  As I got to Valley Health, I mixed things up a little by going around the building the opposite way I usually do.  It’s the little things that add interest to my runs.  Running in front of the building as I was, I realized I was on an upslope.  I had never noticed it being a downslope when I ran on it in the opposite direction.  And isn’t that a metaphor for life, I thought.  We don’t always notice when things are a little easier, but, boy, let them get the least bit harder and wham!

I did not mind the upslope, nor yet the steeper hill.  Soon enough I was running down the side I usually run up.  The view is much better the other way, but I appreciated seeing something a little bit different.  I ran down to the Jr/Sr High School, eventually going over the little footbridge.

I ended up running for 37 minutes, and I felt pretty damn good about it.  I got tired by the end but concentrated on my breathing.  I know how getting a VCD (vocal chord dysfunction) attack can rack me up later in the day.  I felt truly awesome on my cool-down walk.  I feel pretty pleased with myself that I have made my blog post already too.  It looks as if I am not going to have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I hope everybody else’s weekend is going as well.