February 13 – The Bagel Shop Bang-up and the Glorious Gym Walk

It was a dark and stormy night.Do some of my 5K post titles remind you of Love American Style show titles? Maybe I shouldn’t ask that. I came home and got ready for my 5K but when I walked outside, it was raining. I uttered an expletive or three and decided to go to the !@#$% gym to do my 5K. Oh, the humanity.

Just before I got to the gym, there was a huge accident in front of the bagel shop where I turn. A firetruck, an ambulance, and a lot of bystanders were looking at the wrecked truck. Bewildered by the truck’s odd positioning, I stopped, got out and took some pictures because no one would believe me if I just told the story.

Stopping by the Bagel Shop on a Rainy EveningA fireman told me that apparently the driver hydroplaned off the road and ended up on the embankment and on top of a Volkswagen Beetle’s hood. How fast was this person going to do that? Ah, Tulsa drivers. They are entertaining, to say the least. And you don’t really want me to say the most about them. It would fill volumes. In fact, I could write a daily blog post about my experiences to and from work or where ever else I go in the course of a day. I’ll only say this. I cuss Tulsa and its drivers from the moment I get in the car until I get to my destination. I try not to but it’s impossible to refrain.

Sorry, this is about the 5K isn’t it? I had to go to the gym, which was packed tonight. I didn’t get started until almost 6:30 PM but I was determined to do it. My Withings watch showed that I had approximately 2,000 steps, so I thought I’d just walk until I hit 10,000. It’s more than a 5K but who cares. It’s my life. I can do what I want.

I stretched. I walked. I jogged. And I ran. Yes, ran at an almost full speed gait around the track. Impressive much, if I do say so myself. I reached 10,000 steps, did a few post walk/jog/run stretches, and then I ventured back onto the treacherous city streets, now fully awash with rain. I made it home safe and sound. I feel like I’ve cheated death again. To heck with surviving a 5K–that’s easy. If I can make it all the way across Tulsa without wanting to commit a road rage crime, it’s a pretty good day.

Melissa walked her 5K at the mall with her mall cronies. That’s OK. I prefer for her to walk at the mall. It’s a fairly safe environment–safe from traffic at least and protected from the weather.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Ken’s Twitter: @kenhess

Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner

February 12 – The Long and Windy Road

It’s perfectly fine to stop during your workout, pause your tracking app, and do some needed stretching.

Lake VictoriaWe couldn’t avoid it any longer. Melissa and I had to walk six miles today to pick up on our training for the Aquarium half marathon on April 1. We chose to do our training walk today because it was going to be cooler. I don’t think we anticipated the wind speed. At times the walk was pretty tough. Part of our six miles included the 3.1 (5K) mile walk around LaFortune Park. The park includes numerous hills, the last of which was painfully windy and right in our faces. The wind was chilly and strong, which made it difficult to maintain a decent pace. A few big gusts took us by surprise and left us gasping for breath.

Seriously, I think too much air right in your face is why people tell you that you shouldn’t blow into a dog’s face. Funny thing is that as soon as a dog gets into a car, he sticks his head out the window and faces the wind. It makes no sense to me but they’re dogs. The point is that I don’t like a strong wind in my face.

How much wind is that doggie in?By the time we returned home, I had reached 12,567 steps from that experience and another six miles added to my walk repertoire. Yesterday, I earned my Lake Victoria Badge from my Withings app. Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake and if you walked around it, you would travel 870 miles, like I have since November 2015 (I think). My Withings app is linked to my Withings Activite watch that I’ve written about before.

A bit of good stretching before and once during a restroom break did wonders for keeping any pain at bay. That’s today’s tidbit of advice. It’s perfectly fine to stop during your workout, pause your tracking app, and do some needed stretching. You now have permission to stop and do it. Stopping won’t hurt your time and it will help avoid injury and fatigue. Don’t be embarrassed. People who workout know what you’re doing and why.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

February 11 – A 5K and my Yogi Bear-approved Day

Stay hydrated even if you have to carry a water bottle with you.

  • 212 degrees Fahrenheit – Water boils.
  • 32 degrees Fahrenheit – Water freezes.
  • 84 degrees Fahrenheit – Tulsa’ Temperature Today.
  • 99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees – Cool song by Suzanne Vega.
  • Fahrenheit 451 – Good book by Ray Bradbury.

A pic-a-nicI call that Tempertrivia. It was a very warm day in Tulsa. A little breezy, but after all, it is Oklahoma where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. We sure have some clean plains here in Oklahoma. The first thing I did this morning was to go to HairFX and get a haircut. Thanks, Betsy.

Next, Melissa and I got ready and walked three glorious miles in the neighborhood. And while we weren’t driving, we were still affected by the ever-present Tulsa road construction. 61st and Sheridan is a mess. Seriously, when will it end? There has been road construction within a mile of our house for the past four years. I’m really tired of it.

We navigated our way around the construction, easier than most Tulsa drivers I must say, and completed our non-record breaking 5K before 11 AM. I then had to come home and fix weekend breakfast, which consists of eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee.

If you thought we were done walking for the day, you’d be wrong. We went to Sam’s to gather items for our picnic. Sam’s is not as entertaining as Wal-Mart but pretty close at times. Hey, we have to take advantage of the good weather while it’s here you know. We bought some wine (Lindeman’s Bin 55 Shiraz/Cabernet), gathered our other items, and went to the park for our picnic and to read. Melissa read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, while I read through the latest copy of Writer’s Digest. I think we fell asleep for a few minutes.

There were lots of people at the park today. Families, couples, kids, squirrels, birds, and insects were all a-buzz with joy. I fed grapes to a woodpecker, which is my favorite bird just after the Cuckoo.

A good day. A good walk. Melissa and both stretched adequately and report no pain. The thing that we did not do is to hydrate appropriately. I found myself panting by the time we got back home and really needing something to drink. I didn’t realize how warm it was going to be on that walk. Stay hydrated even if you have to carry a water bottle with you.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Ken’s Twitter: @kenhess

Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner

February 10 – The Triple Celestial Events 5K

Take a few extra minutes and stretch more, stretch farther, and get those muscles ready for a more strenuous workout the right way.

Snow MoonI didn’t see the eclipse because I was in the middle of my daily 5K. Melissa asked me if I saw the awesome moon near the horizon because it was so big. I hadn’t. In fact, I didn’t see the moon until we left for dinner and it was still impressive. I explained to her about the moon illusion and requested that she view it in the manner that the moon illusion ceases to be. That’s called the ‘angle of regard’ hypothesis. I’ve never viewed it that way, but I trust that it’s accuracy has been tested.

It was warm this evening–in the 70s so I did my 5K in shorts and a T-shirt again. Yes, I looked good. What a silly question that just ran through your mind. Seriously. I finished in just over 40 minutes with a pace in the 13-minute range. I don’t remember it exactly and my phone is in another room and I’m too tired to go fetch it, so you’ll just have to trust me.

I resumed my standard counter-clockwise course that’s just over one mile long on each pass. I figure that I’ll stick with what works for me. But I have noticed one interesting thing about myself–I need more stretch time. I’ve been giving it about five minutes total. Until recently it’s been enough to prevent soreness, aches, and shin splints. I think I need more stretching because I’m running/jogging more that I did before. More running equals more stretching. I get it. From now on, it’s five minutes per leg.

After all, I have to prevent injuries if I’m going to keep up this 5K a day thing. I can complete a 5K if I’m sleepy, tired, sick (within reason), bored, angry, and generally unmotivated but if I hurt myself too severely, I might not be physically able to complete the walk.

Take a few extra minutes and stretch more, stretch farther, and get those muscles ready for a more strenuous workout the right way.

Let me know if you see the comet tonight.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

February 9 – The Evening After 21

Today, I decided to walk in the opposite direction to change things up a bit.

Stay the Course. NOT!So, we’re all tired from yesterday’s and yesterday evening’s activities. Just after writing this entry, I’m hitting the sack. Indigestion kept me awake last night, so I got almost no sleep. Today was a bit of a difficult stretch (pun not intended) for me and I was glad to come home, change, and knock out that 5K. Melissa put her’s to rest this morning at the mall. I’m going to give her a ‘Fanny Pack’ for Valentine’s Day so that she can fit in better with her fellow mall walkers. Shh.
I forgot to mention that while we were out, Walker and I saw one of his Elementary School Teachers: Ms. Comfort. She couldn’t believe that he was 21. It was great seeing her. Honestly, Salk Elementary had the finest group of teachers that I’ve ever known.  And I’m not kidding. They were the best. It’s almost as if we individually chose each one for our kids. We and our children were very blessed to have them.

The 5K was good. Today, I decided to walk in the opposite direction to change things up a bit. A few days ago I thought, “I need to go the opposite way to balance out the curves, bumps, and angles.” I don’t want to favor one side of my body over the other, so I went the other way around.

This might have been an error on my part because I got shin splints again because now the right to left angles have been left to right angles, and now the upward inclines are now downward, and I think you get the picture. I started to sound like Willy Wonka with that explanation when he described all the different directions that the Wonkavator could go.

Happy Valentine's Day Dear!So, I’m dealing with a bit of calf and shin muscle pain. Yes, I stretched but there was enough difference in the paths I took to make it hurt a bit. To relieve the pain, I jog. It helps. I’m finding that I can jog for longer bits now. Initially, I could only jog for maybe 100 paces, but now I can jog the length of an entire block–downhill of course, but still jog.

I think the trick to lessening the possibility of pain is to change up my route more often. I originally changed it daily because I hate repetition. I don’t know if that’s a flaw or a feature, but it is a fact. Sometimes I’ll change my path just before or even during a walk. I used to do the same thing when I mowed our yard. I mowed it different every single time. I’m beginning to think it’s a flaw. I’m not going to dwell on it, but I will note it for future research. Yeah, I’ll get right on that. In the future.

My advice for today is that you should vary your workouts. Change the time of day, change your pace, change your direction, change enough from day to day so that your body doesn’t have time to become accustomed to a routine. Anyone in the physical fitness business will tell you that your body adapts quickly to routines, which actually lowers the effectiveness of your exercise. How about that for some trivia? So, now I’m thinking that the changing my course thing is a positive move rather than a bad thing. Thank you stream of consciousness. I appreciate you.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

If you can’t join us, follow us on:

Twitter: @kenhess

Instagram: redhatrunner

February 8 – Coming of Age

All I need is a flat course and 45 minutes.

Done!!!When they’re little, they’re cute and sweet and lovable. When they’re teenagers, they stink, they’re moody, and they’re not pleasant to be around. When they’re adults, they’re almost tolerable. Kids. Yesterday was Walker’s 21st birthday. I left work a little early to pick up my daughter from school and then to spend a little time with him–just the two of us. Well, just the two of us and like a hundred other people at McNellie’s South. Yes, I bought him his first legal beer. We talked. We laughed. We shared. We went home.

I had to do my 5K between coming home and going to dinner with the family. All I need is a flat course and 45 minutes. I did it hurriedly. I showered, redressed, and went to Osaka Japanese Steakhouse for a wonderful dinner experience. We had an incredibly talented chef at our table. He was skilled and funny. I wish I knew his name so that we could have him by request next time. Walker tried Saki, against my advice, and he claims that he likes it. Sure he does. Saki, to me, tastes like someone made a weak alcohol extract of copier paper, strained it into a flask, slightly warmed it, and then served it in tiny cups. Not the tastiest beverage. I had delicious Diet Coke for my dinner accompaniment.

As for Melissa, she walked at the mall. No details from her, so I assume everything was OK. Mine was equally uneventful, except for the cold wind. If you recall, I wore a T-shirt and shorts for my February 7th 5K. Yeah. Gotta love it. Or not.

So, today’s advice is that you shouldn’t be rushed when you walk your 5K. Depending on weather conditions, the walk itself can be unpleasant enough without the added boost of being ‘under the gun’ to get done and then to do something else. It raises your blood pressure, produces anxiety, and tenses your muscles which leads to cramping.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

February 7 – Those Warm San Francisco Nights

Many times, if you injure yourself, you can sit down and rest for a few minutes, and then get up and continue.

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hairOK, so I’m (unfortunately) not in San Francisco. I’m in Oklahoma, which is almost as good. Ha! If you believe that, I have some beachfront property in Wyoming I’d like to sell you. I actually like Wyoming, so maybe that metaphor doesn’t work. If you ever get a chance, go to Glendo Lake in the Summer. I call it The Wyoming Riviera. Beautiful, peaceful, and the best thing ever. I digress. I can tell that I’m getting wanderlustful again.

Today’s 5K was a quick one. I wore shorts and a T-shirt. Yes, that’s right, Jim Inhofe, I wore shorts and a T-shirt on February 7, 2017. It was a warm and peaceful night…. Although I like warm weather, but you shouldn’t really have it in February. Our unseasonably warm temperatures are NOT due in any part to climate change. Climate change is a farce perpetuated by the ‘liberal’ media. Yeah, want to hear more about that beachfront property?

I ran/jogged quite a bit of my 5K this evening. I was quite happy that my total time was under 40 minutes.

I had someone ask me the other day, “What happens if you get injured on a 5K–what do you do?”

Well, the answer is, “It depends on how serious the injury is.”

OuchIf I’m incapacitated, then I don’t know if I can answer that. If I’m still mobile, I will pick the shortest path home and see if I can limp my way there. As a last resort, I’d call Melissa or Walker and have one of them pick me up, possibly literally, from my current location.

Many times, if you injure yourself, you can sit down and rest for a few minutes, and then get up and continue. Depending on the severity of your injury, there are other alternatives like calling for help. This is a good reason to have an Uber or a Lyft account on your phone.

Please pay attention to where you are, to the landscape, and to your surroundings at all times. Safety first.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Ken’s Twitter: @kenhess

Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner

February 6 – Family Angst and the Missing 5K Post

Yes, Melissa and I both completed our daily 5K as promised.

Post OverdueFebruary 7 – Writing for February 6. OK, so I know this post is a day late. Yes, Melissa and I both completed our daily 5K as promised. I waited and started mine at 7:30 yesterday evening. I got home at the usual time and was going to walk again with Walker who wanted to walk and talk on the daily 5K. However, Melissa had new, fresh ideas about that walk. She and Walker spent the better part of the evening in the Living Room, mostly sans me, in order to discuss Life, the Universe, and Everything. The concepts, not the book of the same name by Douglas Adams.

I ate dinner and hung out for as long as I could before tiring of the angst-infused discussions and bailed on my solo 5K. Who cares? I’ve done many of them on my own and will probably do more that way.

It was dark. Very dark. It was so dark that I thought that some of my Trump-voting, well-armed neighborhoodniks might take a shot at me for walking. And, yes, I am actually concerned about it. I stay on the sidewalks or in the street to avoid dogs, people, and cars as much as possible. I did have sort of a near miss near our neighborhood pool as a car turned in as I was trying to cross the street. A pretty standard walk. At least once on every walk, either I have to wait for someone to finish doing something interesting, a word which here means unwise, or I have to dodge some awesome driver who either doesn’t see me or who doesn’t care that I’m there.

My 5K wasn’t impressive. I walked every inch of the way. I think I walked pretty fast and came in at just under 15:30 minutes per mile.

Again, I want to stress that you need to be very aware of your surroundings and pay close attention to traffic and everything that’s going on around you. It’s for this reason that I don’t have earbuds and music blaring during my walks. Yes, it’s a little more boring, but I’m also still alive and kicking out the 5Ks.

Melissa and Walker walked together starting at close to or after 9 PM. I assume the walk was mostly uneventful.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

February 5 – The BOGO 5K

Walking a split 5K means that you’ll have to pause your workout while you eat, so don’t forget to do that.

Just Like I Like It.Melissa and I took a morning walk to Village Inn again for breakfast where we had the Chicken Fried Steak Skillet BOGO special. It’s two eggs any style, chunky potatoes, and two buttermilk pancakes. Yum. It’s definitely worth walking 1.65 miles to have it. Of course, the walk home is a bit more difficult. We didn’t finish our breakfasts because it’s more than we bargained for when we ordered.

It was a nice, slow pace walk–especially on the return trip. We made it and were glad that we did.

If you’re going to walk, eat, and then walk again, remember to allow yourself a little time after you eat to let your food ‘settle’. I don’t think it’s a good idea to hop up and continue a multi-mile walk on a full stomach. I don’t know that for sure, but it seems counterintuitive to do so. Rest a few minutes, drink two glasses of water, visit, and let that breakfast have time to digest. You don’t want cramps or side stitches or any other ailments resulting from trying to be athletic on a full tummy.

Walking a split 5K means that you’ll have to pause your workout while you eat, so don’t forget to do that. Please watch those intersections. It seems that every time we cross a street, we have a near miss or a “Wow” moment that makes me think that we need camera surveillance or a cop on every corner in this town.

I noticed that a pair of Melissa’s shoes are looking a little worn and I brought her attention to it. They aren’t all that old, but the soles are getting rubbed flat. I have written about how fast she walks before and her shoes are ‘living’ proof of it. She doesn’t clap her feet down like I do sometimes nor does she jog with that sliding jog step. I don’t know if that’s the proper description or not, but when some people jog, they land their feet in a scraping movement, which I believe is hard on their shoes and possibly not great form. My point is that, if your shoes are worn, you should think about replacing them and using the old ones for ‘everyday.’

As for stretching, Melissa likes Yoga. She watches some Australian lady on a Roku channel for it. She says that it stretches her muscles and relaxes her for a better workout. If I liked Yoga, I’d probably agree. My problem is that I just can’t do the moves. Even as a teenager, I couldn’t touch my toes and I’m certainly not going to attempt it now.

Drink a lot of water and, if you like, take some with you on your walk. It gets lighter as you walk, so it won’t be much of a burden to you.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Ken’s Twitter: @kenhess

Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner

February 4 – Dissension in the Ranks

5K completed in spite of dissension in the ranks.

DissensionToday’s 5K almost didn’t happen at all I’m sorry to report. Our dear, sweet Melissa, aka RedHatRunner (Instagram) didn’t want to do the daily 5K today. Part of the problem was that it was windy and cold for most of the day, so we kept putting it off until later. Finally, at the end of the day, I made the command decision that we, as a couple, had made the commitment to the daily 5K and that we should do it. We did.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth all along our 3.1-mile path. You’d think that a particular person had been tortured and forced into some sort of indentured servitude rather than a simple 3.1-mile stroll around the neighborhood. Yes, it was dark. Yes, it was cold. But I won’t, under the circumstances, protest too much. We had a good dinner and were feeling a bit lazy. I held up our bargain. I was the rock. I was the torch carrier. I was the keeper of the 5K.

We walked the 5K. No records were broken. Well, no broken records except the one that kept telling me how I’d wronged all of humanity with my desire to complete the daily 5K to which we’d both committed.

5K completed in spite of dissension in the ranks. It’s no stretch (pun) to say that one of us has to stay motivated. Recall that I once walked in the near freezing cold rain to complete a multi-mile trek in our neighborhood. I feel vindicated with my dedication to the cause.

This is a good lesson that no matter how bad you feel and no matter what obstacles place themselves in your path; you must fulfill your commitment. Never say never. Give yourself a high-five to commemorate your victory over complacency.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

I think Melissa posted a very special picture today on Instagram (redhatrunner) from this experience.