RSS Feed

Category Archives: Boilermaker

Thank You, RunSignUp!

By late June this blog may become All Boilermaker All The Time. In the meantime I will do posts about the Boilermaker as they occur to me. Today I would like to talk about the registration process and give a shout-out to, who made it all very pleasant.

I will say right up front that I greatly prefer doing things in person. I realize this is impossible for some people and wildly impractical for a field of 14,000 runners which is expected to fill up quickly. I know I am in the minority and hopelessly 20th century, but let us not dwell on my shortcomings.

The first time I registered for the Boilermaker I drove to the Runner’s Hall of Fame in Utica, NY, filled out a form and wrote them a check. This was in my pre-blog days or I might have written a blog post about it. For one reason, it involved some fancy Utica driving, although I daresay it would not have posed an issue for Uticans. I don’t remember the second time I registered (give me a break, I’m old), but the third time I wrote a blog post about it. I felt I had been put through the wringer.

When I declared my intention of running it again, after a two year hiatus, I faced the registration process with trepidation (remember, I scare easy). For one reason, the field filled up in a matter of hours last year. Would I get closed out? I know, this is another reason to be happy about online registration. Imagine 14,000 people converging on the Runner’s Hall of Fame at once. The parking! The waiting in line! The crush at the door, cutting in line, and fist-fight for the last slot! Far better to fight the crowds in cyberspace.

My plan was to go to my parents’ house. Their desktop is more reliable than mine. I could register, print out my confirmation and breathe easy. Why, oh why, did I feel so nervous?

“I’ll be able to register or I won’t,” I said. “Either way will be OK, so why am I so nervous?”

I may have mentioned my numerous reservations about running the Boilermaker at all. I had finally made the decision that I would run it. Unless I got closed out when trying to register. In other words, I would leave it up to fate. Should this not have engendered in my a Zen-like calmness? Not so much.

I logged onto the Boilermaker website on my home computer that morning. I signed up for a username and password. One step complete.

The worst part was waiting for the crack of noon when open registration officially began (it was a tiered system and I didn’t qualify for any of the other tiers). I logged on at three minutes to twelve. I know it was three of, because there was a time clock on the website counting down. The suspense was killing me!

I clicked on “Sign Up” as soon as the clock flashed “0:00.” Nothing happened. The cyber version of crush at the door, I suppose. Had any of those bastards cut the line? At least I hadn’t encountered any elbows or got my toes stepped on. I clicked again. Nothing. Would I be closed out? How long should I sit there clicking “Sign Up”? At last I was rewarded with the sign up screen.

And it was SO EASY! Not too much to read, not to much to fill out. Before I knew it, I was typing in my bank card number and printing out my confirmation. This was GREAT! I was going to run the Boilermaker! I was elated. All my doubts vanished. I WANTED to run the 15K! I was HAPPY I had not gotten closed out! Yay!

I saw that it was I had registered through. I found out they had a Facebook page, which I immediately Liked. I further learned they have a WordPress blog. Who doesn’t love a WordPress blog! I hit Follow on that. And I made up my mind to write a blog post about how pleasant the process was. So here it is.

Boilermaker Ambitions

OK, I’m just going to put it out there: I might run the Boilermaker this year.

I say “might” because I still have to register. Registration filled up in something like 50 hours last year. You have to register online, and my computer is notoriously unreliable.

This year’s Boilermaker ambitions started when a friend expressed an interest in running it. To encourage him, I said I would run it with him if he wanted me to.

I think my friend could benefit greatly from running the Boilermaker. Training has well-documented physical and mental health benefits. Setting a goal and working toward it is a life skill that anyone might like to enhance. The satisfaction of crossing the finish line would be a nice boost. For my friend.

Who, me?

Do you think I need all those benefits? Setting a goal, training, making a commitment? Getting back into shape, organizing my life so I have time to get back into shape, planning ahead so I am in the right shape at the right time? Are you suggesting I could benefit from these things?

Yuh think?

Maybe I am just jumping on my friend’s bandwagon so I will have an excuse to experience another Boilermaker adventure myself. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Oh well, sorting through motivations and the right reasons for doing things sounds like some half-baked philosophy better suited to Lame Post Friday.

So now I am looking at the weather forecast and the calendar and figuring out my training schedule. The first year I ran the Boilermaker, I started training in March and I did OK. I think I was in worse shape that year than I am now, so bonus. Of course I’m older by — eek! — five years. I’m in the over-50 age group now. Only a few months over 50, but still.

My main worries right now are registration and getting to the starting line on the day of the race. The last time I registered, it was quite the hideous experience (I wrote a blog post about it). Getting to the starting line should be less of a problem.

I can just see that annoying hypothetical reader shaking his head at me. “Maybe you should worry about actually RUNNING before you worry about that other stuff.” Oh, fooey on you, I’ll worry about whatever comes to mind at the time. In the meantime, stay tuned for the return of Running Commentary.

NOTE: Regular readers may recall that in a recent post I alluded to this post but said I could NOT publish it because I had not actually started running. If you deduced by the post’s appearance that I did indeed run, you are correct.

Me and 13,999 Other Runners

This was supposed to be my “real” post about the Boilermaker. You know, where I documented in well thought out, well written fashion my running of the famous 15K. Yesterday’s wrist to forehead post was giving myself a break because I was so tired.

Well, I don’t know that I can do much better. I’m looking back on the race and my memories are not coherent. I see it in flashes, like one of those choppy movie trailers that drive me crazy. The lone fellow with the trombone. The sign that said, “Catch Those Kenyans.” The nice folks that yelled, “Go, Supergirl!” (I wore a large yellow t-shirt with a Superman S.) All the high fives.

At the start of the race I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. Of course I went in expecting a crowd scene. I made up today’s headline weeks ago. It’s a combination of intimidation and exhilaration. And it’s much easier not to think too much about ALL the runners, but to exchange remarks with the runners right near you. This being Middle-aged Musings Monday, I could go on to philosophize about how we wouldn’t have problems with prejudice if we could deal with each other as individuals, not falsely homogenized groups. Perhaps another Monday.

Instead I’ll share an anecdote about the porta-potties. Of course I had to pee before the race. Anybody who knows me knew that. And if you’re going to point and laugh, you have a lot of other people to point and laugh at as well. Advance publicity bragged on how many porta-potties they would have. Not being entirely naive, I knew I would be waiting in line and hoped to get to the starting place early enough to allow plenty of in-line time.

As it turned out, I only had about a half hour. I got into a line and hoped for the best. Slowly, slowly we moved. Of course I fell into conversation with the lady behind me. The line stretched across the patch of grass the potties were on, across a road, and onto the opposite patch of grass.

“We’re at the first curb!” I announced, elated. It took a long time to get to the second curb, but we finally made it. We were still four people away from the holy grail when they announced that the runners should be in the starting bins by now. I knew how many people were in my bin, the last bin, so I stubbornly stayed in line. The lady behind me said she’d wait and fled. Two or three girls behind her decided to check out the bushes behind the porta-potties. I waited.

And waited. As did many others. We all encouraged each other to hurry. When a door opened, everybody behind the next user yelled, “Go! Go!” One potty had a lock that didn’t show red when it was closed, which caused some consternation in the crowd, because we were all thinking it was unused and wasting precious seconds.

I started to laugh. I explained to the others waiting, “We’re about to run this major 15K race, and all I’m concerned about is this 10 foot sprint to the porta potty. Let’s go! Will I be fast enough! Don’t make us wait!”

I was as fast as I could be. In fact, I was still pulling up my spandex as I came out, but I don’t think I flashed anybody.

It was on to the race. Of course, it was still a ridiculous length of time before I got to the starting line, by which time I was finally able to start running, slowly. The field opened up little by little as we covered the first mile. Thank God for wide streets! And it was like an accordion: now plenty of room, now a little thick. Everybody was good-natured about it, though. I apologized each time I thought I had cut somebody off or bumped somebody.

“You’re all right,” I was assured. I had occasion to offer the same assurance to others.

I began the race saying it would be my last Boilermaker. By the third or fourth mile I was saying, “This is awesome! I’m going to run EVERY Boilermaker!” We’ll see if I actually do. At any rate, it gives me something to blog about.

What Do You WANT From Me?

Said in a dramatic tone of voice, with a wrist to my forehead.

I ran the Boilermaker this morning. Perhaps I use the term “run” rather generously; however, I did not walk and I did not stop. I’m a little tired.

I intend to write a lengthier post later. In the meantime, I’ll share a few highlights of some silliness I amused myself and (I hope) others with during the race.

Towards the end of the race, when most of us were looking a little dicey, I heard bagpipes playing up ahead.

“Wait a minute!” I said. “Don’t they play bagpipes at FUNERALS?”

It got a laugh. In fact, I love bagpipes and these were very well played. I find the mournful tone especially poignant at funerals, but I do like them other times as well.

Somebody was a little worried they’d run out of beer.

“That’s all right,” I said. “There’s beer at my house. You can ALL come over!”

“I love you!” I actually don’t know if the guy was saying it to me in response to the offer of beer, but I like to think he was.

I yelled, “Promises, promises!” to anyone who told me or showed me a sign that read it was all downhill from here. For anybody thinking of running the Boilermaker in the future: just remember, when they tell you it is all downhill from here, they are usually lying. Or perhaps merely withholding the truth out of misplaced kindness.

I saw a sign that said we were halfway there and got all happy. Then I saw the sign below it saying “Almost!”

“You got my hopes up!” I accused. That got a laugh.

At one point, I turned to the friend I was running with and said, “I would probably be less out of breath if I shut the hell up for a while.” I did not, however, test that theory.

I see by my word count I am up to 300 words. Not a great blog post, but I believe adequate for the purpose. In my defense, I still haven’t gotten my beer. You know, the beer they promise you the whole way you’re running. I knew I probably wouldn’t. It’s funny how it still motivated me. It was, in fact, the idea of finally getting my beer that induced me to write this silly blog post. I’ll let you know tomorrow if I actually get it.

One Last Post Before the Boilermaker

Getting ready for the Boilermaker seems to have a deleterious effect on my writing.

OK, when was the last time you used the word “deleterious” in a sentence. I can’t remember ever having done so. In fact, before I post this I’d better look it up in the dictionary to make sure I’ve used it correctly.

Yesterday my sister and two of my nieces accompanied me to the Boilermaker Expo at Mohawk Valley Community College to pick up my number. Actually picking up the number was the easiest part. No lines, no waiting, very organized. I amused the lady that got me my bib by declaring that I had been given my lucky number: 12139. What are the odds? (Of me saying something silly like that? Pretty good.)

Then I got into two wrong lines and spent a long time in the right like to get my free stuff. We had gotten to the Expo shortly after it opened, but we did not beat the crowds. When I finally got home I drank some Gator Ade over ice in my new Boilermaker glass.

This morning I went for a short, easy run. And I’ve been drinking water, thinking, “I’ve got to write my blog post,” ever since. Finally I got myself some Gator Ade over ice in my new Boilermaker glass (which I had washed; so I guess I haven’t done nothing all morning. I did the dishes). Sometimes it helps. This time, not so much.

Some readers may be looking forward to me running this race and having done with. Then I might stop with the All Boilermaker All The Time and get back to varied Mohawk Valley Adventures. I submit, though, that the Boilermaker is an excellent thing for Mohawk Valley Girl to plug. It is a majorly local, home grown thing. I was even reading in the paper this morning that most of the sponsors are local businesses. What could be better? I’d like to list them all. For one thing, it would add considerably to my word count. However, there are a lot and I don’t want to leave anybody out.

So this is another dull post, for which I am sorry. I looked up “deleterious” in the dictionary, and it seems I did use it correctly. I make no promises for tomorrow. After all, I’m going to run 15Ks. Maybe by Monday or Tuesday I’ll be back to normal. Stay tuned.

Lame Before the Boilermaker

I’ve been off all week, so you wouldn’t think I would feel the need for a lame post Friday. I don’t know why you wouldn’t think that. How long have you known me? Then again, why do I flatter myself that anybody thinks about me at all?

Be that as it may, I’m sitting at my keyboard typing whatever comes to mind for today’s post. Later today I must head to Utica, NY, to Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) for the fabulous Boilermaker Expo, to pick up my runner’s packet for the Boilermaker 15K road race, which I am to run the day after tomorrow. Yikes! (That “Yikes” was for the Boilermaker, not the preceding potential run-on sentence, although I don’t think it is. If you do, diagram it and get back to me.)

I ran thirty minutes this morning and intend to run twenty minutes tomorrow. I took a short walk with my schnoodle, Tabby, and plan to take another this evening. I shall also take some walks tomorrow. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I don’t know if my preparations and training have been sufficient, but we shall find out.

I must ask (stay tuned for some half-baked philosophy): sufficient for what? To improve my time from two years ago? But I have said many times, running the Boilermaker is not about the time but about the experience. To enjoy it more at the time? Perhaps, but I really do expect to enjoy it considerably at the time no matter what. Even if I feel completely ate up (as we used to say in the army), I shall be upheld by my determination to finish. And encouraged by the spectators and other runners, no doubt. To not feel completely awful afterwards? That is a worthy goal. Then again, there’s rest and Gator Ade. And my sister’s pool. I should be OK.

This morning’s OD (a publication which is also doing a version of All Boilermaker All The Time) had an article about how the middle of the pack is the place to be. I thought, “Great, that’s me.” As I read, however, I had to admit, that is not me. The middle of the pack clocked in at one hour, twenty-eight minutes (and some seconds). My last time was one hour, forty-six minutes (and some seconds). That’s a double digit difference (some of you are now saying, “I can do the math, Cindy). I am clearly in the latter half of the pack. Well, for an out of shape, middle aged woman such as myself, I don’t think that is a bad place to be (I guess that’s more half-baked philosophy).

To round out my Friday Lame Post, I will include a couple of random observations I made during this week’s runs.

On the sidewalk ahead of me I saw what looked like a red and white striped stick. Or was it red and white spray painted on the sidewalk? As I got closer, the stripes widened and resolved themselves into a chalk drawing of an American flag. I just love all the sidewalk chalk I see when I’m walking and running. For one thing, I love color. And it’s something different to look at if I’m running the same sidewalks over and over.

I saw a bay window with some insulation scrunchily piled on the sill. What was that all about? Aren’t you supposed to put decorative things in a bay window? That’s as bad as the porches (screened-in and regular) I see with all kinds of junk piled on them. I understand catch-alls as well as the next pack rat, but I believe in enjoying one’s porch.

I see I am up to 600 words, which is a respectable post for me. Tomorrow I will probably talk about the Expo and after that, more things Boilermaker. I believe the Boilermaker counts as a major Mohawk Valley adventure.

Boilermaker Butterflies

Subtitle: 15Ks Is The Least Of My Worries.

I am using today’s Friday Lame Post to vent my nerves regarding the upcoming Boilermaker road race, to be run (in my case, shuffled) Sunday, July 8 in Utica, NY (I realized I keep mentioning the Boilermaker but never said when or where it was. I do know these things).

As my subtitle says, the actual act of moving my feet for 15 kilometers, even in sweltering heat, does not particularly worry me. Oh, I realize I will probably get a crappy time. I will probably look ridiculous when I do it. It may very well suck. However, I know from experience that I can keep going through almost any amount of suck for just about as long as I decide to. I have shuffled along with the mantra repeating in my head, “Just don’t stop,” many times. It’s not my favorite way to run, but I can do it, and the rewards afterward are undeniable.

I quite frankly do not expect to spend a large portion of the Boilermaker in that stage. The support is great, and the route is interesting. As I said, that is not what worries me.

What worries me is 13,999 other runners. Where are we all going to run? Any given street is only so wide. How mushed will we be in the starter bin? Will we have to run in lock-step or be trampled? What if some people are bad-tempered? Will I become a victim of Runner’s Rage?

These things, I suppose, will sort themselves out, at least by the third mile or so. I’m also a bit concerned by where to go before that. The first year I ran, I had no idea where to park. Somebody had told me how to get to the starting line with the Culver Avenue exit closed, but I looked in vain for big signs that said, “Runners park here!” I did, of course, find a place to park eventually. I’m thinking it was the wrong place, because no other cars were parked there when I returned to my truck, but I did not get a ticket, so that was all right.

After the run, things can get even more complicated. I never did get my lunch that first year. I got it the second year, because I had a run buddy who knew where to go. I seem to remember finding the shuttles back to the starting place without too much difficulty.

I really don’t know what I’m so worried about. All these problems, if they even arise, are not insoluble. Now I’m a little afraid to publish this. I can just hear some readers saying, “Oh, quit your bellyaching! Nobody asked you to run the Boilermaker! Just shut up and run!”

Well, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. Or, rather, my blog and I’ll complain if I want to. For heavens’ sake, what miracles of erudition do you want from me on Lame Post Friday? And on July 8, I will run, but I will not shut up. Would you expect less?

Short, Sweaty Shuffle

Subtitle: I Wish I WAS Lame! (You know, just a little reference to Lame Post Friday, and a lament about my lack of running prowess)

Fine time I’m going to have in the Boilermaker. I just went three days without running at all. In my defense, two of those days were, in the words of Cole Porter, Too Damn Hot (that was a Cole Porter tune, wasn’t it? I’ll ask Steven; he’ll know). Friday (today) promised to be cooler. As I sat at work all day sweating, I knew it was not the miracle for which I had been hoping. I also knew that it would be a very good idea if I ran anyways.

Stepping outside after work, I encountered a lovely breeze which gave me hope. The sunshine was still bright and brutal, though. My thermometer was reading 79 degrees, so I decided to postpone my run till 5 o’clock. Perhaps the temperature would have dropped at least a little. As it turned out, I forgot to check the temperature before I set out, so I’ll never know the exact number of degrees.

I’ll never know the exact amount of sweat that dripped off my body, either, but it certainly seemed considerable. As I ran down German Street, I could see that the opposite sidewalk had a lot more shade. But it’s hard to cross German in 5 o’clock traffic. I don’t like to do it unless I have a compelling reason, like I’m going to run one of the hills over there. I was not about to run a hill. I had previously made up my mind to run a short length of time and no hills. I thought I would try being good to myself.

It didn’t feel very good as I went on. I was running very slowly. I mean even slower and more shuffley than my usual pace. At first I felt that I could at least keep going if I kept the slow pace. Well, what’s wrong with a slow pace, I asked myself. You can’t run very fast for the first few miles of the Boilermaker anyways, because of all the runners. And, you know, somebody has to be in last place.

I always remember a story I heard about a guy who finished the Boilermaker dead last. A cop car was keeping pace with him, because it was past time for the roads to be open. The cop kept asking the runner did he want a ride. The runner told the cop to shut up and go eat another donut. I don’t know if that is a true story. If I am in last place in the Boilermaker, I will try to to get snarky with any police officers.

So I pretty much decided where to run based on which direction or side of the street had the most shade (except, as I said, for crossing German). And I must say, there was very little shade to be had. I kept myself going by telling myself, “This may be what the Boilermaker is like.” I had pretty good luck with temperatures the two Boilermakers I ran, but I’ve heard it’s been run in 90 degrees on occasion.

The most notable thing I saw on my run was a beautiful classic Mustang convertible getting a jump from a pick-up truck. What a great day for a ride in a convertible, and I adore classic Mustangs. The most enviable thing I saw was people relaxing on shady porches.

In short, it was one of those runs that afterwards I felt good that I ran more than feeling it was a good run. Tomorrow I should be able to run a six in the morning, a clearly superior time for a run. As for my subtitle about wishing I was lame… well, then I wouldn’t have to worry about the Boilermaker. But I don’t really wish it. I am a little sorry I used up my Lame Post yesterday, though. Because this is kind of a lame post about kind of a lame run. Oh well, as I intend to run again tomorrow, so too I intend to post. I’ll strive to do better. Happy Friday.

Middle-aged Run

I let myself off the hook most Mondays with Middle-aged Musings Monday. Kind of a beginning of the week version of Lame Post Friday. Only I spent my breaks at work (when I usually write my day’s post) staring into space, writing a letter to a friend and calling my husband on my cell. But it’s no worries if I didn’t write: I planned to run after work. That’s my usual back up: run, then write about my run.

Only it wasn’t a very good run (I know, since when has that ever stopped me?). As the Boilermaker looms ever closer, I think I would feel a little more comfortable if my runs were becoming consistently easier and more fun. And why, may I ask, aren’t they? I first learned to love running in the army and the reason was simple. All you have to do is run. And you just magically get better at it! Let me tell you, push ups are not like that. The Arabic language is not like that. Running is.

Only today it was not.

I started out with such confidence, too. The temperature had not gotten up to 90, as the meteorologists had threatened. Uh, I mean predicted. I thought, perhaps I ought to take advantage of the cooler temps and do a real workout with lots of hills or something. At least run for 45 minutes or an hour.

Ten steps out of my house, I realized the weather was not the running heaven for which I had hoped. It was humid! Muggy! I was mugged by the atmosphere! Seriously, right away I could tell that breathing would not be fun for the next however long I ran. As I got to German Street I saw that a tree was coming down right where I would have liked to run if I had been going to run up the hill to Herkimer County Community College. Good! I didn’t want to run there anyways! I would run the relatively level streets on my side of German and be happy about it.

As I ran, I confess I was not so happy. I did enjoy the comfort of my new headband, though. Saturday I bought a new headband at the Sneaker Store in New Hartford. It is a new, high tech kind of material that wicks the sweat away from your body. It is thin, so it doesn’t push my glasses askew. And it is surprisingly absorbent for its thinness. Of course, it was not the miracle I had been hoping for. My face still sweated. That was when I remembered: sweat doesn’t just drip down from the top of my head. There are sweat glands all over my head! Silly me. But I do like my new headband.

I managed to run for a half hour. I thought that was respectable, and quite frankly my legs were telling me a longer run was Just Not Possible. I usually tell them to shut up and keep running. In fact, I told them that today, too, because they wanted me to stop a good eight minutes from home. But I knew I could only keep them going for so long.

Several other people were out running. I thought we all must be training for the Boilermaker. I also thought they all looked as if they were running much better than I was. I wondered how many of them had started training in February, as I did. I felt a little virtuous about the February thing and tried not to think too hard about the not running so good thing.

I did have a middle-aged musing while I ran. It was: maybe I’m too damn middle-aged to run any more! Well, I know darn well that’s not true. After the first Boilermaker I ran, I had a very nice conversation with a guy who had run many Boilermakers, and he was in his 70s. His 70s! 70 year old men run better than me! Oh wait, that wasn’t where I was going with that. On second thought, though, that is a good point. It’s OK if I run like garbage. I’ll do much better when I’m 70!

Too Hot to Trot

It’s All Boilermaker All The Time!

Not really. I mean, I’ve always done a lot of running posts, especially when I am short on Mohawk Valley adventures in a given week. However, I am thinking about the Boilermaker lately in a fairly obsessive fashion. It’s getting closer! Yikes!

So I’m up to running an hour as of Sunday. Then I took Monday and Tuesday off. In my defense, Monday my shoulder was still paining me quite considerably (I think I wrote a post about running Sunday with a terrible muscle spasm) and Tuesday it rained. So you see.

I ran on Wednesday. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t far. I had to meet Steven at 5:30 when he got off work, so we could go to Hummel’s and buy a flag for Flag Day (our flag was ripped; a veteran such as myself cannot fly a torn flag on Flag Day). I thought a half hour run would at least keep me in the game. I had an idea to run by a friend’s house and check her house number, so I could send her a post card.

It quickly became apparent that it was the wrong direction to run in. There was no shade. The sun beat on me mercilessly. I persevered, as I have been known to do. I had no reward, though, because I couldn’t see the house number as I ran by the house. I didn’t want to stop and run in place and stare. Somebody might call a cop.

Later, as I was walking with Tabby to meet Steven, we passed a lady running in the other direction.

“Hot day for it,” I remarked.

“It’s not too bad,” she answered as she loped by like an gazelle. So I felt like I’m the only plodder in Herkimer who is bothered by the late afternoon sun.

Today (Thursday), I thought I would be smarter and wait a bit before I ran. The sun could set a little, and the temperature could cool off. I got some work done around the house that way, which is good, because I knew I might be good for nothing after the run, even if it did cool off.

So I guess I should have waited longer than 45 minutes. Like maybe till October. At least I thought I would sensibly run up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. There would be lots of shade. None of this running through residential areas searching for friendly trees.

There was not as much shade as I was hoping for. I don’t know much about plate tectonics, but I think that hill has gotten steeper. I plodded up it, telling myself that every step was one step easier on the Boilermaker. At one point, I thought the up slope was similar to the section of the Boilermaker right before you run through the country club. Of course I could be remembering wrong, but I thought, if I can just keep doing this, maybe the Boilermaker won’t suck too much.

Oh, it took a long time to get to the top, but at last I made it. To continue on up onto campus was to run in the sun. No shade seemed available until I had run all the way up to and around the athletic complex and down the other side. Well, I wanted to go for a long run. I told myself it did not matter how slowly I ran, I just had to keep going.

A car coming in the other direction beeped at me. I gave a vague wave, since I thought it might be a friendly beep. I looked and saw a girl in the passenger seat smiling at me and the driver giving me a thumb’s up. Very nice. I was encouraged.

As I rounded the athletic fields, I realized there was no shade, but a breeze blew over me and made me happy. I saw a motorcycle in the path I was on. Who in the world parked their bike there and where were they? Then I saw three people on one of the softball diamonds, practicing batting, I think. I wanted to holler at them that I was going to borrow their motorcycle, but they were too far away.

The fence by some tennis courts cast as shadow. If only it were a solid fence instead of chain link. This wasn’t going to do me any good! Now, now, I told myself. Maybe it will help a little. It did not. In fact, the sun reflected off the hard surface of the tennis courts and made me even hotter.

As I continued, I found some shade. Not a lot, but I savored what I found. Then I was on the hill back to town. A steep down slope is not my favorite. Too jouncy. But I did what I could with it. A stop at the spring for a refreshing drink. Aaah!

Coming round a corner on my way home, I almost ran into a young man running in the other direction. We saw each other in plenty of time. He even said, “Excuse me.” Nice young man, and running quite a bit faster than I was.

The phrase “All Boilermaker All The Time” came into my head as I walked my cool down with Tabby. The Boilermaker certainly motivated me to run today, at least to run as far as I did. Now that I’m drinking Gator Ade and typing this into the computer, I don’t feel too bad. I didn’t feel it during the run, but maybe I can rock this after all.