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A Run Worthy of a Post

Rather than my usual Tired Tuesday post,  I thought I would attempt a Running Commentary.   For one reason, I ran up the hill to Herkimer College, an accomplishment which deserves a blog post, I think.

As usual these days, I woke up NOT wanting to run at all.  I always have all kinds of good reasons: I ran yesterday, I should recruit my energies for something else, I don’t NEED to run the Falling Leaves 14K in September… etc., etc.  I usually change my mind after a cup of coffee.  Let’s hear it for caffeine!   Also in favor of running was the weather: it was not raining,  which it is supposed to do soon and for the next several days.

I set off with high hopes.  I have been thinking that longer runs were in order, and a run up a challenging hill would be an excellent idea.  Additionally,  I could post to Facebook that I had run up to HCCC, and my Facebook friends would feel impressed.  Accordingly,  I crossed to the far sidewalk on German Street and turned left.

A young man was walking a block, maybe a block and a half ahead of me.  I wondered how long it would take me to catch up to him.  It seemed to take a while.  It was actually about three blocks.  Is that a lot?  I suppose some of you could have done it in one. I am all admiration, I assure you.  The young man heard me huffing and puffing behind him as I approached.

“Good morning,” I said.  He returned the greeting as he moved over to give me room.  “You know how long it took me to catch up with you?” I added as I ran past him. “That’s how slow I run!”

” Have a good day,”  he said, turning up the next street.

“You too!” I called, running on.

The run had felt pretty good up till then.  The temperature was nice, my body was not complaining.  Then I started up the hill.  It wasn’t long before I started to feel like I Could… Not… Make… It…  I knew this was not the case.  I knew I could and would make it.  But I only knew this intellectually and logically.   I sure wasn’t feeling it!

I reminded myself of the first time I had run the hill.  I had thought I would run up till I had been running for 15 minutes (starting from when I left my house), then I would turn around and go down.  I had the idea that eventually I would make it all the way up.  Well, by the time I got to 15 minutes,  I was too close to the top to quit. So there, keep going,  I told myself

At one point I tried the trick of looking back at how far I had come.  This works best if you do it after you are halfway up, which I knew I was.  Yes, I had come far, but looking back down gave me a little vertigo.  Yikes!  At last I was all the way up and ready to go back down.

As I ran toward the back road down, I realized I had run by a Do Not Enter sign, where there was one of those triangles at a wide T intersection.   I ran back and ran by it, entering where it said not to.  It added a little more distance to my run and solidified my rebel cred.  Yes, yes, I know, by the rule Left Side Facing Traffic I should have been running there. It amuses me to enter where the sign says not to and pretend I’m a rebel.  I have to get my laughs where I can.

After running down the hill, I backtracked to Lou Ambers Drive and got a quick drink at the spring.  Then I continued on home for a 42 minute run.  I did not immediately go on my cool-down walk but opened the garage and hauled out the non-power mower.  I spent a good 20 minutes huffing and puffing behind that, once again taking advantage of the time before the rain.

Eventually I got to my cool-down walk.  Phew!  I felt that I had gotten a work out.  I think I’ll be up for the Falling Leaves run in September!



And My Feet Are Wet, Too

I dare to make Running Commentary posts two days in a row (I bet you thought I was going to say “two days running”), because today’s run was different. And not in a good way.

The weather report called for falling temperatures as the day wore on. Therefore, I thought an early run would be a good idea. Then too there is the get-it-out-of-the-way-before-I-talk-myself-out-of-it aspect of an early run. My thermostat said the temperature was 36. A perfectly respectable temperature to run in.

I put on a pair of leggings and searched out one of my long-sleeved ARMY t-shirts. It was grey and gloomy out, and these shirts have a reflective emblem on the back. Safety first. I decided to go without hooded sweatshirt and mittens but wore my toque. Tabby sulked on the couch, but I knew all would be forgiven later when I took her with me on my cool-down walk.

I quickly made the discover that four degrees above freezing is really not that many. One effect that became immediately apparent was melt-then-freeze-again. Those sidewalks were icy. I figured my middle-aged shuffle would help me here, and the sidewalks couldn’t all be icy. Could they? They could not. For one thing, stretches that had never been shoveled were still covered with snow. God bless the snow!

Yesterday’s run had gone so well, I turned left down German Street with the intention of running up the hill by Valley Health. Of course my real goal is to run the hill up to Herkimer County Community College again, but one must start somewhere, especially after a long layoff.

It was not much fun searching for non-icy patches to run on. I reflected that it’s always something: during the summer months I seek out patches of shade. Ah summer, it won’t be here any time soon, but it will get here.

Going up the hill on icy sidewalks, I discovered, was even less fun. Progress was slow, but I didn’t slip and fall all the way back to the bottom, so that was all right. How could I have forgotten that the upslope continues around the corner?

Then I thought about the hill back down and got a little worried. That could be even more dangerous than the way up. Luckily, that sidewalk is bordered by grass. God bless grass! I liked the sound of the frozen blades crunching. It was the sound of me not falling on my ass.

I almost took a header running into the Herkimer High School parking lot so got back on some grass for as long as it lasted. By the time I got over the little footbridge, I had decided to just head back home by the nearest route. This wasn’t fun. Don’t shake your finger at me and tell me work-outs are not supposed to be fun! They are too! I go to work forty hours a week if I want to not have fun! (actually, my job is kind of fun, but I don’t blog about work)

Oh, it seemed a long way home. My legs were tense, my body was tense. I ran on snow when I could find it, which was more effortful, but I didn’t feel the least bit pleased with myself for making the effort. I was tired. Would I ever make it home? I told myself I could stop and walk if I wanted to, but that would have taken longer.

I ran for longer than I had expected to when I decided to go straight home, probably because of the stiffness and snow. When I reached the end of my driveway I had gone just over 24 minutes. I like to stop on a full minute, so I thought I would run up and down the driveway for 50 or so seconds. Then I hit a patch of ice, went into a lunge, and stopped running. 24 minutes was good enough for me.

Tabby was indeed happy to walk my cool-down with me. I felt ill-used. I usually enjoy running. Then again, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I guess there is nothing for it but to persevere till Monday.

Curvy Me

I believe I’ve mentioned in passing that I work out at Curves in Herkimer, NY. I thought it was time I wrote a post about it.

My friends Kelly and Phyllis had been going to Curves for some time. I had noticed they both looked pretty terrific (actually they looked pretty terrific to start with, but you know what I mean). When Phyllis started telling me how many inches she had lost, my interest was caught.

I’ve lost weight through running and the South Beach Diet, but my figure is still not where I’d like it to be (I know, looks aren’t everything, yeah, yeah, yeah). Also, I felt I needed to work other muscles that those used in running. Doing push-ups and sit-ups on my own was not cutting it, especially since I was not exactly maintaining consistency with that program.

So now I go to Curves Monday, Wednesday and Friday after work. It’s an intense workout that lasts about a half hour and seems to utilize every possible muscle (although my knowledge of anatomy is imperfect).

You badge in with a little card that looks like those membership cards all the stores give you these days. Then as you go around the circuit, you put the card in each machine so it can track your progress. There is a little light that shows green for good and orange for not so good. Oh, I hate to see that orange! In between each machine is a pallet that you jog or march or dance on till the lady interrupts the music to tell you to change stations.

Oh yes, the music. They play quite a mixture of music, all of it set to the same beat. I make myself obnoxious by singing along to the songs I know. At least, I don’t know if anybody finds it really obnoxious. I think some folks are amused. Hey, anything to keep myself motivated.

The best thing about Curves is the people that go there. Everybody is supportive and encouraging. We yell remarks or jokes across the room and definitely let others know when they are looking good.

Curves also offers coaching, diet tips and more. Phyllis, Kelly and I may check out the Zumba class one day (that will surely rate a post). I purchased some excellent Curves socks to wear when I work out, and I will probably get a new sports bra or two as well. Perhaps a pedometer, to see how many steps I get in at work every day.

Curves in Herkimer is located at 300 Prospect St., phone 315-866-3100. They are open Monday through Thursday 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit their website at or you can like their Facebook page. See you on the circuit!