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Let’s Hear It For Perseverance!

I woke up this morning saying, “I don’t want to run.  I’m not going to run.”  I am happy to report that I ran anyways. Now I shall attempt a Saturday Running Commentary post.

One good reason to run was that it was not raining.  Yesterday I thought I was getting out between showers, but it did not work out for me, either when I ran or later when I walked to the post office and Historical Society. Also, today was not windy and cold, altogether a much better day.

Unfortunately,  to begin with, it was not a better run.  My legs felt tired, my whole body felt tired.  I figured I would feel better as I went on, so I,  you know, went on.  I felt I should run a hill so decided to go out Main Street.  There are two chances to turn right and go back down the hill before you have to run all the way out Highland Boulevard (I may have that street name wrong; I haven’t run it yet this year).  I took the second right last time I ran it and thought to do the same today.

As I started up the hill, I did not feel happy.  I almost took the first turn but persevered to the second.  For one reason, my plan was to run for 36 minutes, my last longest time, then up it by the recommended ten percent on Sunday.  I made a long diagonal on the turn.  That was a little steeper but less time running uphill. Ugh.  Am I getting any better at running,  I wondered.

I reminded myself that sometimes my runs did not start to feel good before I had been at it for at least 20 minutes.  I looked at my watch.  Damn.

Fortunately, perseverance sometimes pays off.  My first reward was to pause VERY briefly and smell some peonies.  I had a few chances to do that.  Toward the end of the run, I got to pet a nice dog. And as I neared the 20 minute mark, I did start to feel better.

By the end of the run, I felt perfectly happy about going for 36 minutes.  It was no problem at all to keep going!  I could rock this!  I decided that long runs are the Way to Go (yes, yes, 36 minutes is a short jog for some of you; let me enjoy my little triumph in peace).

I felt glorious walking my cool-down.  Yes “glorious” was the exact word that repeated itself in my head.  I love running.  I hope it doesn’t rain too hard for me to run again tomorrow.

 

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Fourth Time the Charm?

I am hoping some of the readers of Monday’s post are curious to know if I once again found that running four days in a row is the Way to Go. I’m afraid I’m still on the fence, but I ran and thought I’d make a Running Commentary post.

The weather reports said it was cooler out today, you’ll need a jacket.  I didn’t go that far, but I did put a sweatshirt on my deck to wear on my cool-down walk if needed, and I made sure to wear a headband to cover my ears.

Right away it did not feel terrific. My legs were not happy and my knees hurt.  What the hell, body? I thought.  However, as long as I had gotten that far, I would continue.   I could make it a short run.  You can do those things when you run a few days in a row.

Kids were walking to school.  Maybe I’ll try leaving earlier next time.  We don’t usually  get in each other’s way, but I feel a little self-conscious,  especially when I am headed in the same direction as them and it takes me forever to catch up. I saw a young woman cross German Street, which was what I wanted to do, since I had it in my head to run up the hill by Valley Health.

My good time to cross made me practically run into her.  She looked amused (I probably do look comical) and wished me a good morning.  As I ran on, I heard behind me a car stop and offer the woman a ride.  From her grateful “Yes, please,” I hypothesized that she was headed up the hill to Herkimer College. I may be running that hill myself later this week.

For today,  however, I contented myself with the smaller hill.  It was enough of an effort at the time.  I continued on into the residential area, avoiding the hills and working my way back in the direction I came from.

As I went, it became not a bad run.  I don’t think I got a dose of endorphins,  but I did feel some of the antidepressant effects of exercise.  My legs settled into things, even my knees,  and my breathing felt OK.

I ended up running for 25 minutes.  As I started my cool-down walk,  I said good morning to a neighbor sitting on her front stoop.

“Good morning,” she answered.  “Do you feel good after your run?”

“I sure do,” I said.  “And the best part is the walk around the block after.”

I did feel good.  I wonder how running five days in a row would feel.  Maybe I’ll see how many days I can go.  As always,  I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

A Run to Start my Day

How about a Saturday Running Commentary to start the day?  Well, technically it does not start my day, because I had to run, then I showered and did a couple more chores… but you know what I mean (didn’t call you Shirley that time).

Full disclosure:  I had meant to be running in Liverpool this morning, from my sister Diane’s house.  But I did not have my act together to get packed and make the drive last night.  Did I mention that in last night’s post?  I’m too lazy to go back and check.  Uh, I mean I am too pressed for time.  Yeah, let’s go with the second one.

In a rare move for me, I got dressed and out running before coffee and a chance to change my mind.  I put on shorts and short sleeves before even checking the temperature.  It was 51 F, so that was OK (45 is my arbitrary and sometimes ignored cut-off for long sleeves and leggings).  It was foggy out, or “froggy” as my husband, Steven likes to call it.  He likes frogs.  I wished I was up to running up the hill to Herkimer College (formerly known as HCCC), to get a really good view of it.  Then again, the view from up there is prettier without the fog, and I am NOT up to running that hill (at least, I might make it up out of sheer stubbornness, but I sure wouldn’t feel good afterwards).  Anyways, I could see plenty of fog just looking down the street.

I turned right onto German Street.  The air felt cool on my ears and hands, but I felt secure in my wardrobe choices.  I crossed Main Street, since there was not much traffic that early, and decided to turn down the path over what used to be a hydraulic canal.  I want to walk down it with my great-nephew Sheppie sometime, because somebody painted places with certain steps:  march, jump, crab-crawl.  We used to call it crab-walk in my younger days.  It was my favorite, but I am not sure I would encourage anybody to do it on blacktop.  We used to do it in the grass.

My previous longest run was 27 minutes last Sunday (in this latest bout of getting back into running).  My runs during the week were shorter, after working all day.  Since I am not currently building up for a specific race, I decided not to worry if this was a short run.  For one reason, I was getting thirsty.  That is one advantage of pausing for coffee: I also drink water.  I just kept encouraging myself to keep going, bearing in mind that a nice bottle of water awaited me at my house.

The run ended up lasting 28 minutes. Woohoo!  I never got any of those endorphins, which quite frankly I could have used.  However, as usual, I felt good that I ran.  And now I feel good that I made a blog post.  On with the weekend!

 

I’m Pleased with my Mid-Week Run

At least I have a good reason to be tired tonight:  I went running.  Although, considering the pace (slow) and distance (short) I managed, perhaps I don’t have a good reason but merely a lame excuse.  What a situation when it is NOT Lame Post Friday!  Never mind.  My plan was to do a Running Commentary post in lieu of the threatened Wuss-out Wednesday.  Let’s see how I do.

I was actually pretty impressed with myself that I automatically went upstairs to put on running clothes and gather laundry (I love to multi-task like that on mid-week runs).  I had had the vague plan to run, of course, since I had not run Monday or Tuesday (rain was my excuse those days).  I knew it would be a pity not to run, since I had run both Saturday and Sunday last.  I really want to get my running mojo back (and my writing mojo, and my house cleaning mojo, and any other number of mojos I have lost, but let us not digress) (and I truly thought “mojo” was a word, but my computer does not).  Where was I?  Ah yes, putting laundry in and getting out to run.

It was the first day this week that felt like May.  At work, we have all been griping about the blankety-blank cold (only we don’t say “blankety-blank”) (in our defense, we work in a factory).  Where was I?  Ah yes, in shorts and short sleeves in the sunshine.  I forgot to put on a headband.  I knew I would not need it to keep my ears warm but thought I might need it to absorb forehead sweat.  Oh well, I would just make the best of it.  I hate to turn around and start a run again.

Right away the run felt terrible.  I’ve had a bit of a sore muscle in one thigh since Sunday, which is to be expected when one has not gone running for a while.  I encouraged myself to persevere.  Just go for 20 minutes, I thought.  Then I thought, my weekend runs had only been 24 minutes.  Maybe 15 minutes would be OK.  No, no, not 15, I argued.  Well, maybe 15, I wheedled.  Just keep going.

So I just kept going.  I admired some tulips and other flowers.  I especially like the wild violets, purple or white.  I even enjoy dandelions, although I am allergic to them.  Personally, I prefer a lawn that is not manicured to purely grass and nothing else.  I like a more natural look.  One nice thing about running around the village (Herkimer, NY, where I live) is that you get to see a wide variety of yards.

I had to really push myself to get the full 20 minutes, but I did it.  Full disclosure:  I also had to push myself to get this blog post written, and I left out a lot of the narration in my head, with which I entertained myself while I ran.  Oh well, there’s no saying my gentle readers would find it as entertaining as I did. However, it kept me going, so I feel pleased with myself.  And I did not entirely wuss out on my blog post.  So I say, Yay, me.  And if anybody wants to shake their head (or their finger or their booty, of course) and say something like, “It takes so little to please some people,” feel free.

 

I’m Running Again!

Saturday Running Commentary is back!  I am running again!  I know, I know, some people never stop, even if they are in a play.  Well, I can’t live up to every standard, even the ones I set for myself.  As it happens, I was not going to start running again today; I was going to content myself with a walk.  However, after a cup of coffee and some solitaire (with an actual deck of cards, OF COURSE), I thought I would give it a try.

It was 46 degrees out, above the temperature I usually go with shorts and short sleeves, but having not been running for at least a couple of weeks (I did not torture myself by figuring out the exact amount), I went with leggings and long sleeves.  I put on a wide headband to cover my ears.  I figured my ears were likely to get cold.

Right away things did not feel so good.  I was prepared for that and hunkered down for a slow, easy run.  Which way should I go?  I saw a woman walking across the road from me on German Street so turned in the opposite direction.  I did not need to see a walker outpacing me.  About a block ahead of me was a man walking two dogs.  I wanted to pet those dogs!  I doubted I would catch up with them.  Then, too, I did not recognize the dogs as any I had petted previously.  You can’t pet just any dog.  I always ask permission first.

As it happened, they crossed Caroline Street before I caught up with them, and I turned down Caroline.  That was OK.  The way my body felt, it I stopped to pet a dog, there was no guarantee I would start up again. But I persevered.  Eventually my legs stopped complaining.  My breathing was not too bad at any point.  That meant I was setting the right pace, I think.  Or maybe it was too slow of a pace, but I prefer not to second guess myself about these things.  Yesterday I got quite out of breath walking up the stairs at work carrying my bag with my lunch, notebook, etc.  I think it is a good idea I started running again.

It occurred to me that one reason the run was not completely horrible was that I have been successful at taking off a few pounds.  Not as many pounds as I want to take off, of course, but I have been doing better lately than I have in previous months.  Let’s hear it for salad! Let’s do a little better in laying off the treats!

I ended up running 24 minutes and walking 11 for my cool-down.  I really like my cool-down walk.  For one reason, it feels AWESOME to walk after running, and I drink water, which tastes SO good.  Additionally, I feel it enhances my progress toward my weight-loss goals.  I figure after running, my metabolism is all kicked up, so that walk burns more calories than it otherwise would.  If you are an expert at these things (or think you are, because you read a Facebook meme), and feel this is not the case, kindly do not disillusion me.

So I have made a blog post Saturday morning.  If I make another one before the end of the day, I will be back to one blog post behind.  Hey, that could happen.  After a good run, I feel I can do a lot of things!

 

Finally a Mid-Week Run!

How about a Running Commentary post instead of me whining about how tired I am and I can’t think of anything to write anyway?  If it doesn’t work out, we can always call it a Wuss-out Wednesday.  I’m flexible like that.

I surprised myself by going on the run.  I had spent the day trying to psyche myself into it, mostly to have something to make a blog post about. Naturally I was tired at the end of the day, and confirmed in my decision NOT to run the Boilermaker 15K.  So it didn’t MATTER if I didn’t run, did it?  Well, I suppose it never matters to anybody except me.  At any rate, when I went upstairs to take a shower, I realized I did NOT feel like taking a shower.  For some reason, running felt like less trouble, so I sought out a couple sports bras and got ready to go.

It was sunny with clouds out, cool air, especially when a breeze blew.  Still, it didn’t feel too bad in leggings and long sleeves.  I could rock this.  I was glad I had gotten myself out the door.

And then I was sorry, because my body did NOT feel like running.  Well, what a surprise, after a full day at work.  I have not been running after work in a while.  I need to get back into doing it on a regular basis.  I reminded myself that I only require myself to do 20 minutes on these mid-week runs.  Then I remembered that on my weekend runs, the run only started to feel really good after 20 minutes.  What’s a slacker to do?  Just keep going, I thought.  However far you go, you go.

As I ran, I noticed that other yards were not covered with crappy brown, flat, old leaves, like mine is.  It snowed before I finished raking, although I did make attempts last fall.  Had these folks been more ambitious last fall or this spring?  We did have a lovely weekend, during which I was too busy with a murder mystery and rehearsal to rake.  I admired a few Easter decorations and wondered in a vague sort of way when I might have time and ambition to do something.  Not in time for Easter, probably.  Still, I could put some fake flowers in the box on my front porch (it gets too much sun for the real thing).  I passed one house who had a nice display of those.

I only passed one dog, which I asked to pet.  The guy walking her told me the dog was scared of people, which she demonstrated when I put my hand out for her to sniff. She did give me a quick lick, so I contented myself with that and ran on.

A couple was sitting on their front porch, something I am looking forward to doing.

“I’m going inside to take a nap!” the man told me.  “You’re making me tired!”

“As soon as I get home, I’m taking a nap,” I assured him.  In fact, I have not napped yet, but I foresee an early bedtime.

I ended up running 22 minutes.  I can’t say things felt a whole lot better as I ran, but I persevered.  The cool-down walk felt wonderful as usual.  The chocolate milk recovery beverage was even better.  Yes, that is one reason I run: the promise of chocolate milk afterwards.

As usual with Running Commentaries, this has been my longest blog post in a while.  Has it entertained?  I hope so.  Tomorrow will be another hasty pre-rehearsal post so no promises.  But I hope you are having a lovely mid-week.

PS.  I did take a shower.  I knew some of you were concerned when I said earlier that I didn’t feel like it.

 

Walk to Wuss, it’s Wednesday

I had such high hopes for today.  I was going to walk to the post office, to mail something.  I was going to take my Tablet and take pictures along the way.  Alas, the sun defeated me.  I couldn’t see the screen for the glare.  I tried to get one shot.  I haven’t even checked yet if it turned out.

It does not look as striking in photo as it did in person.

Why, look, here it is.  I got my Tablet and found it.  It took me a minute, being me.  This was just a little way down my street.  A block or so later I saw a tree with some buds on it and thought, Score!  Well, I still couldn’t see the screen but was pretty sure it was in Selfie mode, and I couldn’t get it out. Just now I confirmed it WAS in Selfie mode, so at least I did not take a stupid picture of myself.  Anyways, I said to hell with it and took my walk.  I will have to do the walk and picture thing on a more gloomy day, which is my preferred kind of weather in any case.

In the meantime, blog posts must be made (because they are not there) (see what I did there?).  In the spirit of Wuss-out Wednesday, which I am indeed having, I will take this opportunity to announce that I have decided I will NOT be running the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY this July.  I just don’t have time to run as much as I need to with all these rehearsals.  Perhaps I would have time if I trained really hard after the play, but I can’t take that pressure.  I like to start early and build up slow.  This way, I can run purely for my own exercise and entertainment, which is what I like.  I’ll think about Boilermaker 2020 next year.

I somehow feel that I should have more than one picture.  Hmmm….

A toast to Wuss-out Wednesday?

This is a rehearsal shot from A Trivial Murder, the murder mystery we presented this past Saturday to benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society.  I think they are actually toasting a dead guy, but let’s pretend they are toasting me.  Now I think my Wuss-out Wednesday is veering into Non-Sequitur Thursday territory, which is ironic, since I am actually posting this on Wednesday (by my own clock if not my WordPress timestamp).  I’d better quit while I’m ahead.