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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.

 

First Post-Boilermaker Run

Did anybody think I would just stop running after the Boilermaker 15K?  I have crashed and burned after running it in the past (I even wrote it on my calendar a couple of times:  Monday, Crash; Tuesday, Burn).  But I wanted to keep it up this time.  I had actually meant to start running again Tuesday or Wednesday, but, well, you know how it goes sometimes (and if you don’t, what planet do you live on?  I’d like to visit).  So Friday was GOING to be the day.

When I woke up around 4 a.m., I felt SO ready to run.  I was going to sleep a little more (hey, I’m still on vacation), then I was going to get right to it.  I might not need any coffee first.  I drank a little water (I always keep a bottle by the bed) and relaxed.

An hour an a half later, when Steven said he was getting up, I not only did not feel like running, I did not feel like getting out of bed.  It being my last real day of vacation (I don’t count the weekend, since I normally have weekends off) (YES, lucky me, don’t hate), I stayed under the covers for another 15 minutes or so.  This worked out, since due to a slight malfunction, coffee wasn’t ready till I got up anyways.  Additionally, it was raining.  I was off the hook!  I don’t have to run in the rain!

Of course, I knew I COULD run in the rain.  I’ve done it before.  Also, the rain would probably stop.  I had some coffee and awaited events. After a cup and a half,  I did not see drops in the puddles, and I felt a little more ready.  After all, this was the first run after a 15K and four days off.  I decided I did not have to run more than 20 minutes.

Off I went dodging puddles and patches of mud still left from the recent flooding.  I ran down German Street and pondered where to go.  No hills, I promised myself.   Perhaps a Dead End Run.  That is where I cross German and run up and down all the dead end streets as I work my way back.  Being me, I changed my mind about that three or four times, but ended up doing it.

I did not run all the dead end streets.  That would have been a much longer run than anticipated. As it was I ended up running 33 minutes.  Again, being me, I debated about that, too.  Should I run past my house to the end of the street and back?  Continue around the block?  Make it 40 minutes?  35 minutes?  I decided 33 was a fine number, so I ran a little way past the house.

I’m thinking this is not much of a Running Commentary, since I have not offered a lot of observations and, well, comments.  However, it is Lame Post Friday and my last real day of vacation.  I’m going to call it a post.  Happy Friday, everyone.

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.

 

A Lean, Mean Something or Other

Did anybody think I was so busy with theatrical murder that I was forgetting my Boilermaker ambitions?  Say it ain’t so!  Last week was not the best I’ve had (this is using a Sunday through Saturday week as opposed to a Monday through Sunday week, as some see it) (ooh, that could be a whole other blog post, where the week starts and ends, help me remember that, will you?).  However (are you still with me after those long parenthetical comments?), one can improve.  So I had a good run today, and now I’m going to write a Running Commentary post about it.

I waited to run till almost 11:30, because it was cold this morning.  It was not too cold to run, but I also wanted to hang out with my husband, go to the grocery store, maybe do the dishes…  Of course this would give me plenty of opportunity to talk myself out of running at all, but I managed to avoid that disaster.  As a matter of fact, it was easier to get myself to run than it was to do the dishes, and there weren’t that many dishes.  I was just not in the mood to do the dishes.

Once the dishes were done, though, and I took another Facebook break (that is what I do on Sundays: get a little bit done, look at Facebook, repeat), I got dressed and went.  It was 46 degrees, one degree above my cut-off for shorts and short sleeves, so I thought, Score!  I still put on a wide headband to cover my ears.  I placed my sweatshirt and water bottle in a handy spot for my cool-down walk and took off.

The first thing I did was to re-think my cut-off temperature for shorts and short sleeves.  That wind was cold!  But there was nothing to do but keep running and hope for a hot flash.  It was a sunny day with some clouds (I don’t want to say “partly cloudy” because it really did seem more sun than cloud).  When the sun came out fully and the wind died down, I felt some warmth.  The sidewalks were almost completely bare, so I appreciated that.

I wished my running time were long enough to run up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly HCCC) (pronounced H-triple-C).  I wanted to feel bad-ass, and it was such a bright day the view would have been awesome.  I tried to mentally calculate when I would be running long enough to make it up and back, but I couldn’t do the math.  I went up the hill by Valley Health instead.  That turned out to be challenging enough for me.  I was out of breath by the time I reached the top and turned left. As I noted the sidewalk still rising at a lesser angle, my in-head narration was interrupted by my realization that I did not know the name of the street I was on.  There was a street sign.  Exchange Avenue.  As I continued to run, I pondered what could be the difference between a street and an avenue and how they decide which gets named what.

My goal for the run was 31 minutes, that is, 10 percent longer than I ran last weekend.  My body vacillated between “I can rock this” and “Can we stop now?” I kept going for my full 31 minutes.  As I walked my cool-down, my legs felt wonderful, as if they would soon be capable of carrying me for miles. I told myself I was going to be in great shape for the Boilermaker 15K.  And if I continue to eat sensibly, running will help me attain my weight-loss goals.  I will be a mean, lean, not very fast running machine!

 

Spooky Space on Scattered Saturday

So I registered for the Boilermaker 15K.  And then I went running.  Not immediately, but soon enough.

OK, I think it is fate that I use the above sentence.  You see, earlier I typed it in, then erased it, then decided I would make my post later so exited out of WordPress.  The computer asked me did I really want to leave, as what I did might not be saved.  I looked at the blank space and hit “Leave.”  Now, returning to WordPress and wondering what I will say, I see an untitled draft saved from earlier.  It is the sentence I erased!

Could it be returning to haunt me?

The question is not an idle one.  I have been in I guess what you could call a spooky space lately.  I shared pictures of Nosferatu a couple of days ago, yesterday I wore a spider earring and Halloween socks, I am currently sipping Malbec out of my Trick Or Treat wine glass (purchased at Pumpkin Junction in Sauquoit, NY) (and, yes, I did flash on Bela Lugosi as Dracula saying, “I never drink… wine”).  OK, so now I have my headline.

There really wasn’t much to my Scattered Saturday this week.  I worked. While working, I dithered some more about whether or not to run the Boilermaker 15K (the 5K isn’t even on my radar, by the way).  I decided to run it.  Then came home and changed my mind.  Several times. And you see by my lead what my ultimate decision was.  Yes, yes, I could still opt out, transfer my registration or get a deferment (because, you know, shit happens), but I feel fairly confident that I will follow through on this.

I had meant to write a Saturday Running Commentary about my run, but such a post was not forthcoming from my brain.  It is not a well-trained brain.

I have not done much else today.  I am currently cooking supper for my dearest husband, Steven.  Perhaps a cooking post tomorrow, instead of Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  Or maybe Sunday Running Commentary?  A little uncertainty will add interest to my weekend.  Happy Saturday, everyone.

 

Got One Thing Done!

It’s another Scattered Saturday post, as I reach the end of the day and must publish SOMETHING before my husband gets home from work and we begin an enjoyable evening together. Once again I had myriad plans to do this that and the other thing, and blog topics ranging from the marvelous to the perfectly acceptable… and here I am, kind of wishing I had made another pot of coffee instead of just heating up the 3/4 cup that was still in the pot.

Where was I? Ah yes, nowhere in particular. When we last left our heroine (that’s me), she was on her way to what promised to be a very fun evening of friends and theatre (OK, enough with the third person, it’s awkward). It was a fun evening, which ended way later than my normal bed time. As a result, I woke with a headache and got a slow start to my morning.

I managed to write a few post cards and finish two letters. Tabby, my dear schnoodle, and I walked to the post office. Oh, what a nice walk. Still chilly out, but we survived. Then I headed into Rome, getting a later start than I had envisioned.

My destination was my parents’ house, where I intended to attempt to register for the Boilermaker on their computer (a more reliable machine than my desktop). The original plan had been to have a couple of Mohawk Valley adventures along the way, but registering was the only one I had. Yet what a satisfying experience it was!

The Boilermaker, for the initiated, is Utica, NY’s 15K road race. Oh, it is an experience and then some. This will be the fourth time I have run it. Come to think of it, I need to write a whole blog post just about me registering.

In the meantime, Steven is home and I must get on with my Saturday night. I hope you’re all having an enjoyable weekend.

DARE to be Different

I always compare the Herkimer, NY DARE 5K favorably to the Utica Boilermaker. It is, perhaps, an unfair comparison. Herkimer is a village, Utica is a city. The Boilermaker is an international event, the DARE 5K is a local fundraiser. Of course I love the Boilermaker. Just look at how many posts I’ve written about it — even last year when I didn’t run it.

But there is no denying the Boilermaker puts on the pressure, and not only because it is three times as long. To pick up my packet I had to drive to Utica two days before the event, threading my way through an intense amount of traffic on my way to a HUGE running expo. At least by driving I would be sure to have my driver’s license with me, because you must show ID and ONLY pick up your own packet (actually, I think this year there was some provision to have somebody else pick up your packet for you, but that didn’t concern me).

Showing up for race day itself is something of an ordeal. I was dropped off, so I had no parking worries. Others were not so fortunate (neither was I, two years ago). 14,000 runners is certainly a lot. We were herded through a field around to the end of the starting line (instead of easily walking there by the most direct route), where the enormous number of porta-potties was yet not enough. And the crowd at the end of the race. Yikes! I just managed to find my way to where I was meeting my ride.

Of course the Utica Boilermaker is a wonderful thing in which to participate. There is even a kind of a fascination in being part of a crowd that large. But crowds are not and will never be one of my favorite things.

Compare all this to the Herkimer DARE 5K, whose starting line is conveniently located about three blocks from my house. I realize they did not do this as a personal favor to me, but I certainly enjoy it.

My schnoodle, Tabby, and I walked down to pick up my number and goody bag the morning of the race, leaving early enough to be one of the lucky first 200 who received a t-shirt. I knew it would be all right for Tabby to walk into the social hall of Christ Episcopal Church, because she has been there before. Last year I picked up my nephew’s stuff, too. It was most convenient.

I brought Tabby back home, because this year I did not have a cheering section to take charge of her while I ran. I walked back down shortly before 8:30, when the Junior Fun Run began. I wandered around, taking in the scene.

Lots of runners were stretching, chatting, drinking water. They all looked more athletic than me. Well, now how could that be, I reasoned with myself. I ran the Boilermaker, for heavens’ sake! Of course, I have slacked off on my training since then. And, let’s be honest, I did not exactly run the Boilermaker. It was more of a middle-aged shuffle.

I don’t know why I have to freak myself out this way before these runs. I know perfectly well that I am going to run slower than most yet faster than a few, and that I will handily run the distance without walking yet give myself a VCD attack by sprinting it out at the end. These things are not unpredictable. Just run your run, I tell myself.

That is also what other runners tell me. I got into a nice conversation with two young ladies before the race. I told them I was going to mention them in my blog, but I don’t imagine they will actively seek it out, which is just as well, because I’m not being nearly as descriptive as I had imagined I would be.

A lady from the Herkimer Telegram was looking for somebody to say something she could use in the paper. I told her we were there because it was fun.

It was fun. And, dare I say, relaxing. The run was on familiar streets, and afterwards I walked myself home with a minimum of fuss. What’s not to like?