February 21 – Hopping Mad 5K

FroggerWhy is this night different from all other nights? OK, so this isn’t a Seder question, but a question of amounts. Specifically, I’m writing about the amounts of hops that these little craft breweries mindlessly dump into their beers. It’s downright criminal and potentially not all that good for you.

Let me explain.

This evening I was supposed to attend an IT professionals networking meeting at the Dead Armadillo Brewery. I went. I was there at the appointed time, but no host. No big deal I thought. I’ll just sample a brew or two and see what’s up because I’ve never tasted Dead Armadillo’s products before. I asked the person behind the taps for something that’s not “overly hopped.” She responded that this brewery is very “hop forward” and I might have a difficult time finding something that matches my taste. “Hop forward”? Really?

HopsYou see, the problem with putting so many hops into a beer is that this hop madness makes them all taste the same because these neophyte “brewmasters” haven’t a clue as to how to throttle the amounts of hops, when to add them, or how not to add them to create a crisp, balanced beer.

Anyway, overhopping beer seems to be a trend these days that absolutely makes me ill. It’s great if you like for every beer to taste like grapefruit juice but if you prefer a beer with actual taste, other than the taste of hops, then you’re out of luck because they’re so “hop forward.”

I came home without a single sip of their “hop forward” concoctions and walked my 5K. It was the perfect balance of temperature, humidity, and a slight breeze that danced on my athletic palate like a tasty beverage from the unhoppy days of yesteryear.

So, I’ve decided that starting March 1, that I’m no longer going to post once a day for our 5K walks. I’ll post weekly, with a summary of each day’s events. I’ll post each Sunday morning.

I’ll post the occasional single post to highlight some special event, race, or occurrence that requires special attention. That is unless you want to see daily updates. In other words, if you want daily updates, then I’ll keep doing them.

Thanks for reading and remember to keep stretching.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

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January 31 – Giant Ginger 5K Day

Ginger BeerToday’s 5K was a special one. I walked my 5K with my giant ginger son Walker, which in spite of how it sounds, isn’t redundant at all. He was home and I asked him to spend 45 minutes with me while I walked. He’d already worked out today. Melissa had already gotten her last January 5K in the book, so it was my turn and I didn’t necessarily want to face it alone. OK, so that’s not really the reason why I asked him to go with me. I wanted to spend a few minutes just talking to him about life, the universe, and everything.

He and I walked what is now my semi-regular trail. It’s kind of a decreasing circle. The first two miles is a long stretch around the neighborhood, with the last “leg” being just over one-half mile ending near the house. He was impressed that I had it timed so well that we finished no more than 50 yards from the front door.

I needed some time with him. You see, he turns 21 next week and this was my last chance to speak to him in a father to son, parent to child sort of way. Yes, I realize the wrongness of what I just wrote, but at 21, he’s a fully-grown adult. He will have transitioned from minor to adulthood. I also know that chronological age has little to do with mental age, but it’s more of a rite of passage than anything else.

I plan to have a couple of beers with him and talk future stuff. I told him that, “I’d buy.” I told him that the happiest day of my life would be the day that one of my kids bought me beers somewhere. We laughed at the humor in that statement. He quipped with, “I thought the happiest day might be when I drive up in a pink Corvette and toss you the keys.” I said, “Yes, that would be a close second to the beer thing.” Another laugh followed.

Our 5K stretched into an hour because our pace varied with the topic at hand. We pondered his future. I offered my help. I doubt he’ll need it or take it, but I offered nonetheless.

I think he might be a little proud of me for taking on my 5K a Day Challenge. I get no medal at the end of it. I get no applause for it. Heck, I might not lose weight by doing it. But it’s as I described to him, a challenge. I formulated the challenge, I accepted the challenge, and I committed to the challenge. As you know from reading, I don’t necessarily feel ‘it’ every day. Some days I don’t really want to do it at all. I told him that too. “I made a committment and I’m sticking to it,” I told him. That’s the difference between success and failure. Making a committment and sticking to it and seeing it through is success. I hope he understood. I’m not famous for subtlety.

It’s easy to quit something. You’re off the hook and aside from any feelings of guilt that might plague you, you’re done. You never have to face the challenge again. No more stretching. No more soreness. No more shin splints. And no more looking forward to that looming 3.1 miles that faces you every day.

How many times, as a parent, did you say, “If you don’t stop that, I’ll turn this car around and just go home.”? You see? It’s easier to quit and go home when things get difficult. No one ever says, “If you don’t stop that, I’m going to keep driving until we fall off the edge of the earth.” That would be going too far, both literally and figuratively. No one does that. We teach our kids with those kinds of statements that quitting is easier. I’ve always tried to tell ours that quitting is not an option. Only time will tell if I’ve gotten through. If I complete an entire year of 5K walks, then maybe I’ll have a better leg to stand on, both figuratively and literally.

#5KaDay  #5KaDayChallenge

January 18 – Misty Mountain Hop

The thought of going to the gym today, for some reason, was just more than I could bare.

Mist Covered Mountains of HomeWhen I left work today, the weather had suddenly turned a bit nasty on me. It looked a little rainy and misty, but I decided that unless it was actual rain, that I was going to walk outside. The thought of going to the gym today, for some reason, was just more than I could bare.

I drove up to the house and saw Melissa finishing her 5K. She was so excited to get her 5K in the bag that she couldn’t wait for me. No, not really. She needed to finish earlier because she wanted to cook dinner and be ready to pick up our daughter from school. She finished breathless as I dashed inside to change. I was on my way before I saw her again.

My 5K was a bit different today. I walked my old 4 mile route that includes hills. The hills made my calves hurt. My shin splints have subsided–thank goodness. But my calves–oh my goodness, they were tight and hurting a bit because of the hills. One small hill in particular is difficult because it’s very steep and then there’s yet another uphill climb right after it. Melissa used to refer to those two as tortuous (paraphrasing).

I jogged a bit and kept my times reasonable. I finished in just over 42 minutes today, which works for me.

A few days ago, I told you about some socks that I bought Melissa and wrote that they were $5.00 socks. Well, I looked at the actual retail price, when we were picking up our Four Seasons Race medal–I had a moment of “Oh, yeah, I remember the sticker shock of $12.00 socks now.”

HokasYes, $12.00 for a single pair of socks. Of course, Melissa swears by them. They are Injinji socks that have individual toe spaces in them. Are they worth $12.00? I can’t tell you for sure, because I buy the cheap socks from Sam’s Club for myself. I also buy myself the inexpensive ($39.99) Asics running shoes from Academy, while she buys $100.00 Hokas from where ever she buys them.

She’s had almost every brand. Her sister recommended Saucony running shoes a couple of years ago, but she didn’t really like them.

I feel like shoe design has kind of gone off the deep end–kind of like beer overhopping. These shoes that have all this science wrapped up in them really don’t perform any better than my $40 kicks from Academy. Academy has the pricey ones too, but I don’t buy them. If a handful of hops makes a beer tasty, let’s dump in a whole bucketful and see what they think. They’ll love it, because we’ll tell them it’s good. The shoes are better because they’re expensive. Uh, no.

Sure good shoes are important, but do you really have to buy $100+ shoes every three months to stay at your peak performance? I don’t think so. Good socks are important, but $12.00 socks might be pushing it a bit.

Easy on the HopsIt’s kind of like buying a $9.00 beer. You have to finish it, because it cost you $9.00, but was it really $9.00 good? Nah, probably not. I’m not sure why beer is so pricey at brewpubs and bars, since the cost is roughly five to ten cents a pint to make, including all the damn hops they add.

So, I digress.

Buy good shoes and good socks. Do you have to spend more than $100 on shoes? No. Do you have to spend $10 or more on socks? No.

What shoe and sock brands do you wear when you walk or run? Let us know.

#5KaDay2017