February 23, 24, and 25 – Three Days of Neglected 5K Posts

The past three days of 5Ks have all looked pretty much the same.

Advertisements

NeglectedI know I haven’t posted in three days but sometimes there’s just not enough difference between days to post for a single day. That’s one reason why I’m moving toward posting once a week. The other is that I don’t want to clog your feeds with my daily posts. I think you get the idea by now that I’m walking a 5K per day. You should join in. Remember that you can start at any time; it doesn’t have to be January 1.

The past three days of 5Ks have all looked pretty much the same. The only minor exception would be the 24th. Yow, it was windy and cold. I debated going to the gym vs. walking the neighborhood but I chose the neighborhood.

Melissa, wisely, has chosen to stick to the mall with few exceptions. No cars to dodge, no dogs to be afraid of, no broken beer and whiskey bottles to wade through on the sidewalks, and no weirdos to avoid.

The 24th was so windy and so cold that my face was numb by the time I got home. I was also out of breath. There was one windy stretch when I walked to the West that almost stopped me in my tracks. I was thankful for that one to end. I guess I’m thankful when they all end. I guess 3.1 miles isn’t enough to induce those euphoric endorphins because I’m always glad to have it over with.

So, from February 26th onward, I’ll be posting once a week. Keep stretching and let us know how you’re doing.

Ken’s Twitter and Instagram: @kenhess

Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner

February 20 – The Reconciliation 5K

Unicorns are coolOur 5K today was less brisk than yesterday’s but still a decent pace for the recovery that I need. It’s a perfect 63 degrees with an average amount of humidity and a slight wind, which makes for a very pleasant walk. The walk went well and we saw a beautiful, multi-colored sunset as a bonus.

We walked what we now call my “boring trail.” Yeah, it’s really not that boring. It’s the flattest overall trail that I could map out in our neighborhood that is exactly 3.1 miles and finishes up close to our house. Seriously, I put a lot of thought into these things.

So this 5K chronicle is short because I’m tired due to a lack of sleep last night, a desire to stay in bed this morning, and gloomy weather that makes me want to cover up and snore.

But this was the reconciliation 5K because we took it easy so that my calf can heal. Keeping stretching to reach your fitness goals. See you tomorrow.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

February 17 – 5K Friday Night Recovery Solo

I think light, regular, continued exercise is preferable to sitting around lamenting your injuries.

Injury and RecoveryDue to circumstances beyond our control, Melissa and I had to walk separately today. She went to the mall and I hit the neighborhood after dark and in the cold sprinkles of rain. There was a rainbow in the sky but no rain until I started my walk. It sprinkled but from where I haven’t a clue. There were no clouds above us but yet it rained, though only a light sprinkle that lasted for 15 to 20 minutes.

I was a little worried that walking alone tonight after my injury the other day might make me do something unwise, like jog, walk too fast, or favor the other leg. It didn’t. I had a good pace–somewhere in the 16 minutes per mile range and very little stiffness and slight soreness.

I stretched my left calf every time I thought about it all day long, which I think helped alleviate any residual pain and soreness. I think the remedy to minor injuries is to take it easy but also to keep the injured part in motion and try to maintain a full range of motion in the process. I know that there are different schools of thought on what to do for injuries.

Rice Rice, BabySome say that you should use RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) but others, who agree with me, think that you should use some rest, heat, compression, light stretching, light range of motion exercises, and slight elevation. I don’t necessarily believe all the rhetoric pushed by sports physicians or paraprofessionals of that ilk. I also don’t believe that injuries should be prolonged into weeks or months. My reasoning comes from the fact that the day after a person has open heart surgery, they’re required to get up and walk around.

Sure, I believe that you should take it a little easy on yourself after an injury, but these long recoveries are just nonsense. All those long recoveries set the athlete back to a point long before the injury occurred. I think light, regular, continued exercise is preferable to sitting around lamenting your injuries.

Keep stretching and keep walking.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Twitter: @kenhess

Instagram: redhatrunner

February 15 – Ken and the Terrible, Horrible, No K, Very Bad Day

Today’s advice is to realize when an injury benches you, you need to be benched.

No K is Not OKSorry folks, I didn’t do my 5K today because of yesterday’s injury. Melissa walked her 5K at the mall, but I was ordered to RICE my calf. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are RICE. Actually, I disobeyed slightly. I used rest, heat, compression, and elevation. I guess this proves that no matter what, that you have to protect yourself and your health first. I limped around all day long with my stiff, sore calf and was exhausted from it by the time I came home.

I was about to change clothes and to take a very slow walk around the neighborhood when Melissa interceded and said, “No, you can’t. You have to stay down for today or you might have to stay out for a week or for a month and miss the half marathon on April 1.” I relented.

I apologize for not being able to stick with my daily 5K. Melissa has and so she carries the torch, while I nurse my calf. I’m trying, as I sit here typing, to give it a few stretches. I didn’t realize that it also hurts on the front of my leg as well as my calf.

Specifically, for those of you who are inclined to know. My pain is in the Gastrocnemius Medial Head and in my Tibialis Anterior. And the pain is pronounced when I stretch my calf and not when I flex it, hence the limp when I walk. Honestly, it feels more like the aftermath of a severe cramp, rather than the pain of a tear or of a pull. At times, when I was younger, I had cramps so bad that they stayed sore for days after an attack. “Attack” is the only way that I can describe the hard “grab” of the cramp, the intense pain, and the prolonged stiffness and pain that followed.

If Melissa hadn’t stopped me, I would have completed my daily 5K. I’m not sure at what cost I would have completed it, but it would not have been a missed workout. But this story might also be very different.

Benched!Today’s advice is to realize when an injury benches you, you need to be benched. Don’t fight it. Don’t be angry. And don’t be disappointed in yourself. Injuries happen. Look at the number of athletes who have surgery scars. Take care of yourself. Stretch, take the time to warm up, and take the time to cool down. Admittedly, I must have rushed my stretching last night or I must have run too soon. Looking back, I think I knew at the time that I hadn’t prepared myself adequately and I’m paying for it now.

So, kudos to Melissa who made it another day.

#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 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

January 26 – Wake Up and Smell the Sushi

When it hurts bad enough that you want to slow down, then you should slow down. Pause and pick it back up. Don’t ever overdo it.

Bernie has nothing to do with this post.Walking and jogging around the neighborhood, as I told you yesterday, has its share of odors. Tonight’s nasal treats were a bit different than most. On one side of the neighborhood, I breathed in the delicate aromas of barbecue, pizza, an upscale Italian restaurant, Sushi, and steak. Yes, quite a menagerie, isn’t it? However, on the other side of the neighborhood, three blocks away, the watery stench of scorched household goods filled the air, from a house fire this morning. It was very tragic. The elderly lady who lived in the house has just lost her husband and now this. I tried to focus on her recuperation and well-being more than I focused on the burned house smell. Her two major losses in a week certainly outweigh my discomfort with the windblown stink of her burned-out home.

My performance wasn’t quite stellar tonight. I wasn’t 100 percent for some reason. I blame the effects of a 3D experience that I had earlier that left me mildly traumatized. It’s OK though, I’ll survive.

Ah, Sushi.My total time was a respectable 41:34 minutes at an average 13:22 pace. Not bad. I’ll take it.

So enough about me because Melissa had an interesting day at the gym for her 5K. She went to the upper level of the gym to the treadmills (Satan’s Hate Machines). She told me that she had this great pace going. 4.3 miles per hour walking and faster when jogging. She was kicking backside and taking names. She got so excited about her accomplishment at 1.56 miles into her 5K that she wanted to check her pace by pressing the button to display it. The design of this particular model isn’t exactly ergonomic, so when she meant to tap the button for displaying her awesome pace, she instead hit the Reset button, which cleared her information. Luckily she remembered the last reading of her distance, so she could pick up and finish.

The same sort of thing happened to me on that same set of treadmills. After my workout, I wanted to check my stats and cleared them instead. Frustrating. And I’m a computer guy, so hitting the wrong button isn’t something I normally do.

It was a good workout day for both of us. Remember to breathe deeply when you workout. Don’t get overtired or exhausted. When it hurts bad enough that you want to slow down, then you should slow down. Pause and pick it back up. Don’t ever overdo it. Avoid injury and overexertion by being smart about your workouts. Tell us how you’re doing.

Follow our shenanigans: Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner   Ken’s Twitter: @kenhess

#5KaDay2017