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Just Like PT!

It really was not just like PT, but I thought that might make a catchy headline. PT, in case you did not know, stands for Physical Training in the army. That is where I learned to run, among other things.

In honor of Memorial Day, I put on my ARMY t-shirt to run in. This did not make it like PT, actually, because I also had on some comfy spandex shorts, not the doofy PT shorts they issue you. It was also not like PT because in army PT, you do not DARE untuck your t-shirt from your doofy shorts. I remember once running at army PT another soldier said, “I WANT to untuck my shirt!” To do her one better I said, “I want to take mine off and wave it over my head!” Then I added, “Under strobe lights, to a pulsing disco beat!” for good measure. I was actually shouting this after her, because she ran faster than me. I used to have fun during army PT.

I actually did not want to run this morning. I had two long, hilly runs the last two days. I usually take Mondays off. But I also usually work a 10-hour day Mondays. Today I do not work. I was up shortly after 6 a.m. (a very late sleep-in for me). It was plain silly not to run.

To make things more tempting, I promised myself no major hills. Then I thought I would try to cross State Route 5, which runs down the middle of Herkimer, and run in an area I rarely run in. I figured earlyish in the morning on a Monday holiday, I could cross without too much trouble.

I further decided to run to the canal path, which you can get on where State Route 5 crosses Route 5S, where Herkimer meets Mohawk. I was not sure how long it would take me to get there or how long down the path I could run, but it fulfilled my quest for Someplace Different and a running/walking/biking path might be fun.

Crossing State Route 5 was no problem. There is a button that will give you a WALK signal, but I managed to sprint without waiting for it. Ooh, now I was in different territory. Not unfamiliar, because I have run there before or even been there numerous times in a car. Past some businesses. A computer repair place, a bike repair place. I really ought to get my bike back on the road. Pedaling a bicycle is much easier on the joints than running. I noticed they also offered snowshoe sales and rentals. Snowshoeing sounded good to me. Any sport that you can do slowly sounds good to me when I am running (which, of course, I also do slowly).

It did not take me too long to get on the path, but now I started to fret. How far down the patch should I go? I knew there was a bridge over the canal that brings you to Washington Street. It would be good to run that far then go home by way of Washington, but how long a run would that make? I kept looking at my watch. The bridge was nowhere in sight. I’m sure it is further away when one is running than when one is driving.

A small group of ladies was walking toward me. I said good morning, but they ignored me. They were having a conversation. Still, a little wave would have been nice. I was exerting a lot more energy than they were, so I felt a little virtuous about that. But they were being easier on their joints and being sociable with each other, so they could feel virtuous about that, if they so chose.

I would run out 20 minutes then turn around. Or maybe 25. After all, I was up to a 50 minute run in my training regimen. Was it a good idea to run out a full half of what I wanted for my total? Did I want to run out and back? I would run to that curve in the path up ahead and see if I could see the bridge. Well, maybe a little further.

Of course, if I got to the bridge, I would have to go out on the road to cross it. The path goes underneath the bridge. There was the bridge! Was there a way to get easily from the path to the bridge? I didn’t think so, so I got out on the highway. Not a wide shoulder, but a shoulder. I thought I could hear a HUGE truck coming toward me. It turned out to be a garbage truck, not a negligible size by any standard. He nicely hugged the center line and even crossed over it a little as he approached me. God bless him.

Almost to the bridge. I could see that I would have had to crash through some grass and climb over the rail to get from there to here. Well, I will do that next time. Highways are scary. A small but existent shoulder on the bridge. There was a narrow lip by the railing, but I did not get on that. For one thing, the railing would have been at the bottom of my hip. I could just see me tumbling over and falling down, down, down to the water below.

Then I was on Washington Street. It wasn’t going to take me any time at all to get home. Would I even fulfill my 50 minutes? Of course it took longer to get home than I expected, but I still had to go around the block then past the house and backtrack. It was a pretty good run.

When I got to the computer, I went on a Facebook page of Veterans of Rome, NY and posted that I had run in my ARMY t-shirt in tribute to soldiers past and present. A couple of people liked it.

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