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

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

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 19 – The Brisk Walk of Vengeance

Our walk was brisk. Fortunately, the goal was to walk 3.1 miles with our Finish Line being Sam’s Southern Eatery.

Don't make me angryHell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned or so wrote William Congreve*. I do have to agree. Today was proof. I noticed that Melissa started our walk out at a very quick pace. I found it hard to keep up at first and I felt my legs starting to tense up in preparation for an impending bout with my familiar nemesis: shin splints. I wondered but I remained silent.

She revealed later that she’d read my previous discussion of our “leisurely” walks and reckoned that she’d brisken up the pace to show me that she indeed was taking it easy on me in my injured state.

Today there was no mercy. No, “Honey how are you feeling?” And definitely no, “Do you need for us to slow down a bit?”

Yeah, there was none of that. I panted, I gasped, I grimaced, and I kept my mouth shut, except to complain about the humidity or the wind. She informed me later that our walk today was ‘brisk’ and I agreed that is the proper adjective to describe it.

Our walk was brisk. Fortunately, the goal was to walk 3.1 miles with our Finish Line being Sam’s Southern Eatery. It was a perfect 5K to Sam’s.

We both enjoyed chicken, fish, fries, coleslaw, hush puppies, and a little less brisk walk home. By the time we left Sam’s, I’d stiffened up a little but at least the weather was more tolerable on the way.

So, my oath is to never again call one of our lower paced walks leisurely. I’ve learned my lesson and have altered my behavior according to plan.

I don’t think today’s walk re-injured my calf but it certainly wasn’t pleasant by any stretch (pun?) of the imagination. I came home and took a nap while watching Clouds of Sils Maria.

Keep stretching until you reach your fitness goals and try not to understate your pace; it can be detrimental to your health.

*Some think that Shakespeare wrote that. He did not.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Ken’s Twitter: @kenhess

Melissa’s Instagram: redhatrunner

February 18 – Saturday’s Lazy 5K

We made it. A leisurely neighborhood walk with no rush and no time limitations.

Resting 5KMelissa and I waited until late afternoon to walk our 5K today. There was a bit of debate and confusion, on my part, as to when we might depart on our 3.1-mile excursion. I wasn’t clear on when it might happen. It doesn’t really matter when we do it, as long we do it but for some reason, I need to know so that I can better plan my day around it. There was much cooking, cleaning, straightening, washing, and a bit of shopping that had to happen first.

Finally, we got to it after 4 PM. The air is weird today. The temperature was 64-degrees but it felt much warmer. Somehow the humidity, temperature, and whatever else plays a part in creating the weather made it kind of hard to get a good breath today. There was much panting and a bit of gasping along the route.

We made it. A leisurely neighborhood walk with no rush and no time limitations. The walk was only interrupted twice by phone calls and no real events to report. No dogs chased us. No cars tried to run us over. And no whackos brandishing guns took aim at us. You know, a normal day in many parts of the country, but noteworthy here. I have to preface it like that because on many days there are helicopters circling overhead searching for perpetrators–sorry, suspected perpetrators, a few random acts of violence, robberies, burglaries, and more. Just yesterday on my way home from work, there was a rapist, sorry, a rape suspect who was shot and killed by police about a mile-and-a-half from my house, so you know, I do have to qualify my statement of what normal is.

Anyway, thank goodness for today’s relative normality but not the relative humidity.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

@kenhess

redhatrunner

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 16 – I’m Baaaack! Heeeere’s Kenny!

I will take it easy for a few days until the stiffness and soreness are completely gone.

WHATeverAgainst Melissa’s wishes, I walked my 5K today–with her at my side. She insisted on walking with me to “monitor my leg health.” Seriously, I have the text she sent me with those exact words in it. She did, in fact, monitor my leg health throughout our walk, which was a brisk 20 minutes per mile.

My calf was just a little stiff today and only slightly sore, so I’m back and I’m glad. I hate being benched. I really think I could have walked my 5K yesterday but you know who didn’t want me to. So to save myself the grief of an “I told you so”, I remained still for a day. Well, an evening.

I think part of the issue is that at the end of the year, Melissa wants to be able to say, “Hey, some of us (referring only to herself, of course) walked 365 5Ks, while some of us (referring to one whose name cannot be spoken) didn’t.” Yeah, she’s like that.

So I made it without any pain. No pulls, no tugs, no tears, and no stopping–so I feel pretty darn good about my progress. I will take it easy for a few days until the stiffness and soreness are completely gone. I don’t want to tempt Fate nor do I want to provide a certain person with any fodder for verbal abuse.

I hope everyone, including Melissa, knows that I’m kidding. She has my best interests and health at heart. After all, as she told me yesterday, “I’ve already paid for the Aquarium Half Marathon, so you’d better be able to do it with me.” Words that frankly sounded like Charlie Brown’s teachers talking. Wah wah, wah-wah, waaaah. You know.

We had a successful walk together and I’m better now, so thank you for all your well wishes. Keep those cards, letters, and positive thoughts flowing in my direction. Please remember to stretch.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

@kenhess: Twitter

redhatrunner: Instagram

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 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