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I Go Running

I went running today, and I was kind of proud of myself, because I have been having a hard time getting back into weekday runs. It was not a great run, weekday runs rarely are, but it was a good run. I thought in lieu of my usual Tired Tuesday Post, I would attempt a Running Commentary.

I walked to work yesterday and today. I try to do that most of the time, so that the days I don’t run, at least I get some exercise. Monday was cold, but today felt like spring. Actually, today the walk home kind of annoyed me, because the jacket that felt good in the a.m. was way to warm for the p.m. I may have to start shivering in the a.m.

I wore shorts and short sleeves, which I found pretty awesome. I ran on a few sidewalks, where they were mostly bare and dry. I did not run very fast. I did not run very far, although I went longer than the 20 minutes I require of myself on these Just-To-Keep-My-Feet-In Runs.

I passed a few pedestrians. I asked a man pulling a wagon and a woman pushing a stroller for a ride. They laughed but turned me down. I complimented a lady on her cute little dog. I would love to get another dog, but I don’t think I will be able to.

I just noticed I began every paragraph in this post with “I.” How egotistical of me. Then again, this is a personal blog. I could go back and edit, but Tired Tuesday is starting to kick in. I will try to keep my ego in check for Wuss-Out Wednesday. As always, I hope you’ll tune in.

Rocked the Run, Not the Post

I know from reading my Facebook “On This Day” that I can rock down to 10 degrees. At least, I read that I once posted, “Turns out I can rock down to 10 degrees.” I would not post such a thing if I had not in fact rocked 10 degrees on a recent run. I thought about that as I shuffled through yet another cold run.

You must not judge me for shuffling. In the best of conditions my middle-aged shuffle is the best pace for my middle-aged chest, even with the best of sports bras (do NOT say “TMI!”). When there is ice on the road, the shuffle is an important safety precaution.

Today was one of those runs where, when I started out, I thought it was too cold, a 20 minute run would suffice. But I ran for 34 minutes. Additionally, I do not require myself to run hills on bad roads (I recently wiped out walking up an icy sidewalk). However, I ran up two minor hills. Best of all, I ran by four signs that said “Do Not Enter” and entered.

Only there was snow.

This is an earlier picture of one of my “Do Not Enter” signs. I like to feel like a rebel. I know, I know, they mean cars not middle-aged shufflers. Let me enjoy my small triumphs.

The run started to feel pretty OK as I went. Of course I long for bare roads and warmer temperatures, but one must make do. I’m afraid I must make do with a kind of a dull blog post as well. It was not that exciting of a run. I felt pleased with myself as I ran uphill, as it became increasingly clear that I was going to run for a decent length of time, and as I came across another “Do Not Enter” sign to thwart.

But I cannot recall any specific thoughts or moments to make this a true Running Commentary Post. Still, it is a post, and one I am not typing in at 5 or 6 o’clock Monday morning, I’ll call that a win. Happy Sunday, everyone.

Some Spring in my Step

It was a glorious day that felt like spring. Of course, I spent most it inside, wondering if the sun was living up to its promise, as it so rarely does this time of year. However, when the work day ended and I stepped outside, I was elated. It was warm! It felt good! I was totally going to go running!

Many days when I have worked all day, I talk myself right out of it, and Wednesday seemed for a moment to be going that way. I’m tired! I spent all day running around! The snowbanks are still too high; sidewalks are way too messy! Oh hell, no. Those arguments were not going to work.

I did heed the argument about the sidewalks and ran in the road. I wore my road guard vest, because safety first. Additionally, I can put tissues or a handkerchief in the zipper pocket. My sinuses are ever a problem. Of course I wore leggings and long sleeves, but I opted for a knitted headband instead of a hat, and I did not wear gloves. I was so happy to step outside and not feel freezingly cold. This was going to be great!

And it was, kind of. I have not been running after a day’s work in a while. It certainly feels different from a run on a weekend morning. My legs were soon complaining. I ignored them. I also seemed to be running very slowly. I declined to worry about it.

The real problem was all the snow. The snowbanks encroached on the road, and the puddles from their melting made it even worse. I did not encounter much ice, though, so that was good. I tried to stay on less busy streets, but I still encountered some traffic. I made sure to give the thank-you wave to everybody who slowed down and/or moved over.

I had been thinking that this was the sort of day when, back in my misspent youth, I might have been out on a porch with friends and beer. Of course it was not really warm enough for such activities, but we never let that stop us. I saw several people out running or walking. Then, closer to home, I saw a few people on a porch, their kids playing in the snow, and a fellow I know standing in the driveway with what looked like a beer in is hand. Awesome!

“It’s a great day for a porch party!” I yelled.

“It’s a great day for a run!” the guy on the porch said.

“It sure is!”

And it sure was, snow and puddles notwithstanding. I felt so happy I had run, even it was not too far and not too fast. As I type this, winter has naturally returned to the Mohawk Valley. However, I cling to the promise of yesterday. Spring is coming! Come on, Spring!

Winter Walk with Pictures

Much earlier today, I took a walk. My intention was to get a few exterior shots of Colonial Bed and Breakfast for an article I hope to submit to Mohawk Valley Living magazine. I continued to walk and take pictures, because I thought, Hey! Pedestrian Post! Additionally, I have not been running, and I need the exercise.

One of several shots.

After snapping away, I continued along German Street to Main. On Main Street, I took a couple of pictures of buildings that always catch my eye.

It was for sale, but I guess not now.

Steven always wanted to buy it and make it into a classic movie house.

I don’t know what is in this one currently.

I continued down Main to my beloved Herkimer Historic Four Corners. I thought perhaps I already had plenty of pictures of the area, yet I took a few more.

I turned down Church Street to Prospect and got a shot of the synagogue, Temple Beth Joseph.

From across the street.

Heading down to Park Avenue, I photographed our post office, which I love, and the church across the street.

It was really too cold for a walk, and I was tired of taking my gloves off to take pictures. As I turned towards Meyers Park, I thought I would just go straight home. Then I saw General Herkimer wearing his winter scarf and could not resist taking just one more picture.

A nice winter shot.

I guess you can’t see him really well, but I do love the trees against the grey sky.

I was pleased with myself for taking the walk. I want to get back into running more often, though. I have not gone since last Sunday. Yikes! But it is the start of another week. Another chance to improve! I will be sure to make a blog post about it if I do.

Cold Sunday Run

I did go running this morning, and oh was it ever cold! I thought I would make a Sunday Running Commentary Post to make it worth my while.

I have not been running during the week lately, which is very bad of me. I walked to and from work three days this past week, but that is only eleven or twelve minutes each way (yes, I look at my watch and check). Well, one does what one can. I strive always for improvement. Hence, running both weekend days and beginning the week with hope.

My thermostat said the outdoor temperature was 17, which is practically 20, so I hoped for the best. At least I found both mittens. They are really good mittens, which I accidentally stole from my sister Diane some years ago.

As it turned out, my hands were my only warm parts. And they got cold when I took off the mittens to blow my nose, which I obvious had to do a lot. Why oh why, did I have to be running into the wind? Why oh why did the wind have to change direction every time I did?

I had told myself I only had to run for 15 minutes. I ran for 20 on Saturday. There is no harm in doing short runs when I have not been running much. I have plenty of time to build up for this year’s Boilermaker 15K.

The cold was really my only problem. My legs, my back, my breathing all felt fine. I was quite discouraged by the weather, because I could not enjoy the run very much. At least the roads were mostly bare.

I kept it up for 18 minutes, which I felt was pretty good. I see this blog post is approaching 300 words, which also ought to feel pretty good. Unfortunately I fear they have been dull words, but I can’t seem to help that. Maybe the cold froze my brain. On the other hand, I can always count this as a Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I hope to see you all again on Monday.

Short Run, Sunday Post

I have not gone running for two weeks. At my age, that is far too long. This morning, despite the cold, I ran. So how about a Running Commentary Post in lieu of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday? It won’t be a very long post, because it was not a very long run. What do you want from an overweight, middle-aged lady?

I had not planned on running. The roads are still covered with snow and ice, which is what deterred me all last week (it was my own laziness the week before). And it was frigid cold. Double digits, but barely. It was 11 degrees according to my thermostat, which often reads warmer than the actual outdoor temperature. I figured after two weeks it would be like starting all over anyways, so why not wait a few more days?

As the morning wore on, however, I damn well felt like it. I was, I realized, sick of not running. So I got into running clothes and went. In addition to leggings, long sleeves, a hat and gloves, I put a scarf around my neck and wore a zip-up sweatshirt.

Of course the scarf was not the miracle I was hoping for. My neck was warm, but I could not get it to properly cover my cheeks. Yes, it was face-hurting cold. Never mind, I told myself. Just go for 15 minutes. 15 minutes. Nobody could ask for more in this cold. Oh, well, I guess somebody could.

I started out running in the road but switched to the sidewalk on German Street, which usually has more traffic. The sidewalks were snow-covered rather than icy. This was excellent, I told myself. Look how much effort it takes to run in the snow. I would burn all kind of calories!

It did not take long for that to get old, and I switched back to the road when I turned down a side street. I went back and forth between sidewalk and road, snowy and bare, as the opportunity offered. Other than my face and my hands, I didn’t feel too bad. It was worse for my hands when I would take off my gloves to pull a tissue out of my pocket and blow my nose. Sometimes, I pulled my fingers into the palms of the gloves and made fists. That’s an old army trick to get warm.

I ended up running 16 minutes, 17 seconds, 1.22 miles, according to my Garmin. I tracked my cool down walk with the Garmin, too: 9 minutes, 46 seconds, .46 miles. I walked through more effort-inducing snow on the cool down. It felt pretty good, and my recovery beverage of chocolate mild tasted really good.

For the rest of tne day, I proceeded to eat like the huge honking hogger I am, thus negating the calorie-burning benefits of the run, but let us not dwell on such negativity. I ran. I wrote a blog post. It is a good Sunday.

Sunday Stroll with Snow

I did not go running this weekend, because I feared the roads would be slippery. However, I took walks both days. Today I took a few pictures for blogging purposes.

It looks a little mysterious to me now.

Years ago, when I did not have a car and walked everywhere, I hated the snow, because it seemed to take so much longer to get anywhere. Now that I walk for exercise and entertainment, I embrace the extra effort. I walked to Main Street, thinking to take pictures of an area I sometimes run.

Yes, I run right by the sign that says “Road closed.” They don’t mean middle-aged pedestrian ladies, do they?

Not the best shot.

The reason the road is closed is that part of it collapsed, I believe as a result of the flooding in 2013. That is how quickly they get to fixing things around here.

See? Others have been there.

I saw footprints, both human and canine, and knew I was not the only one. I tried to get a couple shots of the damage, but the snow hid most of it.

I have to admire the persistence of vegetation.
You can just see a crack.

I took a picture of where the road keeps going up, but I went another way today.

It really is a good run.

I kept walking and soon came to a street I like to take, because it says “Do not enter.” I like to feel like a rebel.

I do not always follow directions.

It was a very enjoyable walk, trouncing through the snow and pretending to be a rebel. I have not been running enough lately, but at least I got some exercise. Additionally, I think this makes an OK blog post. Or do I flatter myself?

Cold Run! Warm Post?

I have not done a Saturday Running Commentary Post in a while, although I usually do run on Saturday. I thought I would attempt one today.

I have been watching the weather with some measure of attention (regular readers know I rarely pay much attention to anything) so knew it was likely to be cold. Accordingly, I put on long sleeves and leggings. I found an extra warm hat and mittens in the closet (which I recently cleaned, so that wasn’t too hard). I found my one pair of actual mittens, which I accidentally stole from my sister Diane some years ago, because I figured mere gloves would not be sufficient. I debated wearing a sweatshirt for the run and something warmer for the cool-down walk, but decided my road-guard vest would add another layer. I clicked “Outdoor Run” on my Garmin and waited for it to stop saying, “Wait” (I have not completely figured out this Garmin thing yet).

Off I went and immediately noticed I had forgotten my mittens. I hate stopping a run so pulled my sleeves down over my hands and drove one. It was not long before I regretted leaving the sweatshirt and not putting on a scarf to cover my face. It is a sad truth that the Mohawk Valley is one of those places where at certain times during the year, the air makes your face hurt. Never mind, Cindy, just keep running.

And run I did. Not very far, not very fast, but I was out there trying! I seriously considered running up the hill to Herkimer College. First I turned up Maple Grove (oh dear, is that what that street is called? I don’t know how to Google that) and turned onto Pine (I’m purely guessing here), where there was a short but fairly steep section. This was going pretty well, although my body was not warming up at all.

By the time I had turned a corner and was headed towards Lou Ambers Drive, still debating about the hill to the college or some smaller hills in the residential area I call “the suburbs” in my head. Steven had told me there was little wind, but he was mistaken. Damn it was cold! How long was I going to run, anyways? I did not have to do a super long run in this cold, did I? Then it occurred to me: it is windier at the tops of hills. I turned down Lou Amber Drive and headed back to the village proper.

Oh, this was much better. My body felt… not warm, but not as freezing cold. That continued on and off for the rest of the run, as the wind picked up and died down according to its own caprice. Lately I have been running just to keep in the game, not to build up or meet lofty goals. There is plenty of time for that after I register for the Boilermaker 15K. What, did I say I was never going to run the Boilermaker again? Quite possibly I did. Was it a lie? When I do it, it is called fiction.

I see I am over 500 words. That is the beauty of Running Commentary Posts. Before I know it, I have gone a long way. I wish the runs themselves were like that, but you can’t have everything. Now I must get ready for the rest of my Saturday. My friend Kim messaged me wondering if we were to continue our, as she puts it, reign of terror in the Mohawk Valley. I’m up for that. First a little house cleaning? Let’s not go crazy over here! Happy Saturday, everyone.

Monday Mosey in the December Dark

Yesterday wasn’t too bad of an evening weather-wise, so I thought I would take a walk. I brought my phone in case of any photo ops.  I have mentioned how I hesitate to take pictures of people’s houses without their permission. One Facebook friend told me I could take a picture of her house, but, alas, her lights were not on when I went by.   Still, I found a few things to snap.  I discovered after I got home that my pictures had not turned out very well.  Under the heading Waste Not, Want Not, I decided to use a few anyways.

A lot of houses are beautifully decorated, so I was enjoying my walk quite a bit.  However, I adhered to my rule of not photographing other people’s houses without permission.  Then something in a tree caught my eye.  It was a ghost!  Not, I imagine, the Ghost of Christmas Past, but I suppose you never know.

It IS still Halloween!

I decided to walk by my beloved Herkimer Historic Four Corners.  As I approached, I noticed a village decoration on a street lamp.  First I wanted a shot of a lighted tree in Herkimer County Historic Society’s Suiter House and Herkimer Reformed Church.

It looks a little like the Haunted Four Corners in these pictures.

I must get a closer view of this.  For one reason, there is a graveyard.

Oh Christmas Tree!

I crossed the street to get a shot of the County Courthouse.  As I look at all the reflections in these pictures, all I can think of is the “orbs” in other pictures that people say are ghosts.  I’m pretty sure these actually are reflections, but considering the ghost in the first picture and in the spirit of the season, I am willing to keep an open mind.

This building is also supposed to be haunted.

I wasn’t sure that would be a good picture, so I tried to take one from the middle of the road.  Naturally I picked a moment when there were no cars.

You can almost see the colors. Kind of sort of.

I had to hurry back across the street as another car came along.  I took a picture of the jail from the same side of the street.

Does the ghost of Roxalana Druse haunt here? I have never encountered her.

I tried to get another  shot of the church before continuing down Church Street.

I turned down Prospect Street to make my walk a little longer, since I had not been running since Saturday.  I saw some nice lights in front of Bruce Ward Realty.  I was sure a business would not mind being shown in my blog.

These lights are way more colorful in real life.

My real goal was Meyers Park, where I had previously noticed the gazebo (or is it a band stand?) was lit.

You can see the colors in this, but, alas, not as well as in person.

 

Another shot.

I do not often think to take a walk after dark, but this time of year it is a delightful thing to do.  That was one of my favorite things about having a dog:  the last walk of the day during December.  Now that I am once again gainfully employed, I might see about adopting another furry friend.

 

I Walk, I Blog, I Interview

Winter returned to the Mohawk Valley, as regular readers may have noticed. I did not go for a run this morning, because I heard streets would probably be slippery. Additionally, I had a job interview. I walked to the job interview and multi-tasked to the extent of taking a few pictures for a blog post.

Isn’t he cute?

Full disclosure:. I did not intend to take any pictures till the snowman caught my eye. How could I resist?  I had left my house with plenty of time, so I paused to take a long shot down German Street.

You can’t see the snow on the trees as well as I’d like.

I confess to enjoying the winter wonderland.  I further confess to the fact that I was walking because I did not want to brush off and scrape my car.  I guess I am up to admiring but not actually dealing with.  So sue me.

Ooh, this one came out better than I thought.

I was early enough that I decided to walk around the block.  I had run down this street recently, and I soon encountered a vine I had almost run into.  Naturally I took a picture,  as you see above.

Black-eyed Susans!

I thought I was done taking pictures, but these remains of Black-eyed Susans tempted me.  I’ll have to get a shot of my own flower patch.

I was still early for my interview, which seemed to go very well.  Of course that doesn’t mean I got the job, but at least it was a pleasant experience.  So I continue to count my blessings,  and I’ll keep you posted.