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But Was It A Triumphant Run?

We interrupt All Much Ado All The Time for a running commentary.  If I can write one.

Our production of Much Ado About Nothing faced an interruption of its own when we postponed “Much Ado at the Zoo” from today till next Monday, Aug. 8.  So it is an unexpected night off for me and my fellow cast-members.  Ah, a chance to study my lines, press my costume, do a load of laundry, spend time with my husband.  And run.

I did not run on Sunday, because when I got up it was pouring rain.  I don’t usually run in the rain (although I got rained on plenty later on at rehearsal, as I may have mentioned in yesterday’s post).  I can possibly run before Tuesday’s rehearsal but probably not Wednesday’s.  In short, it would be a good idea to run today.  I spent the day thinking about it, hoping my body would just automatically do it instead of letting my mind talk me out of it.

But, oh, was I tired by the end of the day!  I had my Monday backache, my feet hurt as always, and I was inclined as usual to be a big fat baby about it.  Nevertheless, once I had taken Spunky for his afternoon business meeting, I got on my running clothes.  As I struggled into my sports bras, I felt I was getting a more strenuous workout than the run was going to be.  Don’t bleat “TMI!” at me!  Ladies, I appeal to you, is it not a dreadful experience, wrestling a small spandex harness over a sweaty body?  I was out of breath when I finally triumphed.

My run was less of a triumph.  As I started down the sidewalk, I could tell my body was not going to surprise me with athletic prowess.  Oh, well, I guess it never surprises me with what you might call prowess.  Still, sometimes I feel like I’m rocking it.  Today I felt more like a hunk of rock.  And I could hear the ice cream truck. That damn ice cream truck!  It plays the same tune over and over again, mocking me and sometimes stalking me.  Yeah, I’ll just stop running and eat some FATTENING ice cream! But I don’t have any money in my running clothes. AUGH!

I saw the truck coming down German Street.  I cleverly ran toward it so we would be headed in opposite directions.  Ah ha ha, I triumph!  The truck turned down my street.  I could still hear it perfectly.  It would probably turn at the corner and drive parallel to me.  Like I said, stalking me.  I reflected that at least it would make something silly to add to the blog post.

As I continued to run down German Street, my legs did not feel any better about the exercise.  I kept going anyways.  I even had a couple of very short sprints across the street when cars waved me by.  Still, a sprint is a sprint, right?  I waved thank you to all the cars that stopped for me.  Soon I realized I did not hear the ice cream truck.  I savored the silence.  I was surprised when it lasted for the rest of my run.  True, the run was short, but that ice cream truck can be persistent.

I can’t say I was happy I ran, but I will admit to feeling a certain grim satisfaction.  I recited my lines from the play while I was in the shower.  As I type this post, I am waiting for my husband to get home so I can spend a little time with him.  I don’t know that I will do any of the other chores I mentioned earlier.  But at least I made my blog post.


Last Summer Walk?

Here’s a random observation for Lame Post Friday: “Lullaby and Good Night” does not seem to me an appropriate song for the ice cream truck (don’t know the real name of that song, sorry). But how was that for a lead sentence? I’m sitting in my living room, my little Acer in my lap, hoping to come up with something, and the silly ice cream truck is driving by.

I’m not up for any half-baked philosophy (the other component of Lame Post Friday), but I did take a nice walk with my schnoodle, Tabby, during which I made a few more observations which I will share. Summer seems to be making a farewell appearance in the Mohawk Valley. It is sunny and warm and supposed to be even better all weekend. I wore shorts, sunglasses (prescription), and my crazy old lady hat.

Tabby pulled me down East German Street for a couple of blocks. I thought it might be nice to go down Prospect, but she pulled me across the street to where the Pugnacious Pug was sitting in front of a house with his peeps. I call him the Pugnacious Pug because it seems he is always barking up a storm at something. Today he was barking at some people getting into a truck, then he turned around and barked at us. Tabby pretty much ignored him, finding several interesting places to sniff in the grass. At last I convinced her to go on.

We saw kids riding their bicycles and people sitting on front porches. We said hello to anybody who looked up. I noted some mums and other flowers still in bloom. My favorite sight was Halloween decorations. I saw one porch with a black and orange garland, small skeletons and one giant furry spider. Steven and I better get going on our decorations.

The walk was not long, but we enjoyed it. When we got home I took the laundry down off the clothesline. Astute readers may remember I wrote my Wednesday post while in the laundromat. Yes, those clothes having been hanging on my line for two days. Let’s hear it for no rain!

So I’ve walked my dog, taken down laundry, and typed in my blog post. Once I hit publish, I’m starting my weekend. Hope your Friday is fun.

Monday Run

I missed my Sunday run so thought it would be a good idea to run on Monday. It wasn’t raining when I got home from work, so I got on my gear and off I went.

My run time is up to 44 minutes. I did not increase it by the recommended 10 percent this week, thinking to give myself a break while the play is going on (Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre; I may have mentioned that before). When I set out Monday I was undecided: 20 minutes, 30 minutes or the full 44? I would see how it went.

I was able to cross German Street right away. I headed in the direction of Main Street, because I saw a pedestrian headed in the opposite direction. Yes, I often decide my route based on these arbitrary considerations. Well, who wants to follow a pedestrian? Suppose it took me three blocks to pass her? How would that make me feel?

I thought I’d go up the hill out Main Street. It’s steep enough to be challenging, and you have a choice: you can either keep going on up or turn off in one of two places. Oh, it was not fun going uphill, but I thought about how I like to be tough and run up hills. “Run,” of course, is the generous term I use to describe my middle-aged shuffle. But you knew that.

As I continued my run, it became clear that I was not going to reach the “I can rock this” stage, much less the “I LOVE running” stage. I reflected that I had not had a perseverance run in a while. It would be good for me.

I ran down a rather lengthy dead end street. At least, there was no sign saying “Dead End” or even “No Outlet,” but I was pretty sure I had run up it before and it was. Still, a different street, a quiet street. I ran down it. I could turn around and run back. I know how.

Then I heard the ice cream truck behind me. Was that thing stalking me? Damn! No ice cream. No ice cream. I picked up the pace a little, but the music only got louder. Well, I can’t outrun a truck, not even an ice cream truck. I didn’t have any cash to buy any ice cream anyways. There was no point in asking for credit.

At last I reached the end of the road and turned around. And discovered that the ice cream truck was not on that road after all. Had it caught the brain waves of my frustration and turned around, or had it never been on the street to begin with? Sound does travel. No matter. The truck was gone now. I could continue my run.

On and on I ran till I found myself in the business district. For those that are still in business. I ran by Pete’s Tavern. Ooh, a beer would taste good. Hydration. But I was a little informally dressed, even for Pete’s. And, of course, the lack of cash.

I passed a couple of young ladies with extremely cute toddlers in strollers.

“Oh, would you please give me a ride in that stroller thingy?” I asked.

“Sure, no problem!” one of them said with a smile.

Past the post office and through Myers Park. It looked as if I might make it for 40 or more minutes if I didn’t run straight home. I passed two ladies and two young boys in front of a house. The boys had a scooter and a Big Wheel.

“Could I borrow that scooter?” I asked. “I need wheels!” I would have had to crunch way over and squat down, but it would have been worth it. The ladies laughed. I know, the same joke twice. I make that joke all the time. What do you want from me, I was running.

As I ran toward my street, the words echoed in my head, “I can totally run the Boilermaker!” Oh, you can push past fatigue. I forget that sometimes.

I ran for the full 44 minutes by virtue of running from end to end of my block before doubling back to my house. I felt pretty good about myself and pretty tired. Not a bad combination for a Monday night when you don’t have rehearsal.

Post Show Run

Subtitle: Mohawk Valley Girl Learns to Like the Young Kids’ Music.

Last night was opening night of Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre (I may have mentioned that once or twice). I didn’t get to bed till almost midnight. Still, it was Saturday and I was determined to run.

I ate a banana with peanut butter shortly before my run, because I was quite hungry. Normally if I eat I like to wait at least an hour, but I seemed to remember reading somewhere that a small nutritious snack was a good thing before a run. No time to look up how long before a run the snack was supposed to be, so I just waited a short time and hoped for the best.

The temperature warm, but a nice breeze was blowing. Traffic was not severe. Things looked good. I decided to run up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. I’ll just mention that the only day I had run since Sunday was Thursday, when we did not have rehearsal. I ran a half hour, at varying distances from the ice cream truck, usually close enough to hear the music. When I wasn’t close enough the music played in my head. I was actually close enough to buy ice cream when I walked my cool down with Tabby, but providentially did not have any cash.

I was out at pre-ice cream truck time Saturday. I crossed German Street with no problem and headed up the hill. I looked as usual at the pretty little stream running downhill (as of course streams do). I thought that it really wasn’t a stream to run by. It looked like I ought to be sitting by it, maybe soaking my feet in the nice cold running water. My feet hurt all the time lately. Must make my way to the Sneaker Store in New Hartford for some new running shoes.

When I got up to the college I could hear music. What was that all about? As I continued up the road by the reservoir, the music got louder. Where was it coming from? Somebody in the dormitory partying hearty really early? Somebody’s car stereo out of control? I saw several cars in the gym parking lot. I saw a young man walking along. Was it his I-pod thingy? Do I-pods get that loud? I don’t know from I-pods, but I’m sure they don’t. It sounded more like a stereo system.

As I got closer to the athletic fields I could tell the music was coming from there. I’m not really a fan of a lot of the popular music these days. At least, I almost never listen to it, so I’m not familiar. I certainly don’t like the hip hop stuff, which I find tuneless. I think a lot of the more tuneful stuff is overproduced. The voices seem doctored and the instrumentals smoothed out, if you know what I mean. I guess it’s the ultimate expression of Phil Specter’s Wall of Sound. I’m not knowledgeable enough to express myself properly, so I don’t know if anybody knows what I mean. In any case, I sometimes think the 21st century is too in love with technology.

Of course, one of my favorite sayings is “To each his how, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.” I felt sure that whoever was playing a sport up ahead was liking the music. I had to admit, it had a forward moving beat that was conducive to athletic effort. I found myself pounding along in the “I can rock this” stage of my run that I so enjoy.

I ran closer to the field and saw people playing lacrosse. The banks on the side of the field obstructed my view, so I kept running. I ran into the little veterans’ park. I must go there with a notebook and write down the different organizations that contributed to it. It is just a little area, a mere few steps around as I ran in and out. I wondered if somebody would say, “That is not a place to run in, have a little respect!” Well, I do have respect. And since I learned to run, and to love running, in the army, I think it is entirely appropriate to run through a veterans’ park.

A sign informed me that a lacrosse tournament was in progress. If I didn’t have show to rest up for, I might go watch some. I learned on the Sports Box that HCCC is quite the powerhouse in their conference. I must catch some games. The Sports Box, in case you didn’t know, is a show on WVHC, 91.5fm, the college radio station. I’m not into sports, but I love listening to those guys.

I continued around the sports building. The music was growing on me. Good running tunes! This is why people run with those ear phones! The only thing I would have liked better would have been if they played that tune my sister likes that starts, “Every day I’m shuffling.” It took me a long time to get out of earshot of the music, because it was really quite loud. By then I was headed downhill and life was sweet.

It was a great run. Toward the end I even lengthened my stride and went for that loping run I see the young kids doing. I didn’t do too bad. I think I may have finally reached the “I love running!” stage of my training. Boilermaker, here I come!