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After 15Ks I Get Beer

Soon this blog may become All Boilermaker All The Time.  It is one month away as I write this (in a spiral-bound notebook while on break at work, just to give you a mental image if desired).

Sunday, July 12, I will run 15K with 13,999 other runners.  Then we’ll drink beer.  At least, beer will be available.  That’s not important right now.  What is important is that I ran three days in a row this week.

The last time I ran three days in a row, I declared that three times was the charm, because it was a great run.  I suppose that is the difference between running three days in a row on a three-day weekend and running three days in a row while working 8 or 9 hour days in heat.

Don’t worry; I’m not gearing up to whine and cry about my lousy run, nor even about my job or the heat.  I like my job, I can live with the heat, and it wasn’t all that lousy of a run, once I got into it.  Getting into it, however, was a little lousy.

My only plan when I started out was to run up the Herkimer College the back way and to run longer than I ran on Wednesday.  Wednesday was a purposely short run, because I had dinner plans with my spouse (ooh, I could have written a blog post about that.  Maybe tomorrow).  Additionally, I don’t know if, when and for how long I’ll be able to run today (Friday) and Saturday, so a long run would be a good idea.  However, I am not one to push myself mercilessly.  That is one way to get injured and have to stop running entirely.

A breeze was blowing when I left work, but it was sunny and warm.  I put on sunscreen and hoped I would not sweat it into my eyes as I sometimes do.  It was a little after four when I set out.  I had some difficulty crossing German Street but not enough to let me off the hook, so I was soon headed uphill.

And my body was not the least bit pleased with me. Oh, it SUCKED!  I had to ask myself, “Is this really going to make the Boilermaker suck less or am I just learning how to keep going when it sucks?”  I don’t suppose it matters;  either way will get me to the beer at the end of the race.

Soon I realized that my legs were not complaining at all.  It was my breathing that was the problem.  Pant, pant.   I don’t smoke!  I don’t have asthma!  Could my weight gain be to blame?  I concentrated on taking deep, slow breaths. Gasping for air will only make things worse.

It pretty much sucked the whole time I ran uphill, which was a while, because I continued up across the campus. Once I was on level ground, my breathing evened out.  Then my back started to hurt.  No way!  Well, I know weight can be a factor for that, so I could only regret all the ice cream.  I concentrated on running smoothly with as little bouncing as possible.  That helped.

I kept running for 52 minutes.  I thought that meant I was playing with a full deck, but perhaps I was being silly (what, me silly? Say it ain’t so!).  After the run I was exhausted.  And a little worried.  Fifty-two minutes is less than half of how long it took me to run the Boilermaker three years ago (good God, was it three years ago?  I was only in my 40s for heavens’ sake!).

However, this morning I didn’t feel too bad.  At odd times during the day I noticed my legs felt pretty spry.  Almost as if they were developing — dare I say it? — muscles.  So maybe running the Boilermaker won’t suck too bad.  And like I said, either way I get beer.


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