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 22 – The Big Payoff 5K

Keep walking and stretching.

LoooozerOn a positive note for all this news-related negativity is that there’s a big Powerball payoff that might be shared by two people. One of them, unfortunately, is not me. My 5K was a good one. The weather was pleasant and I walked my 3.1 miles without issue. No dog bites. No dog chases and thank goodness for that because I don’t think that I could catch them with my wounded calf. No car dodging. No issues at all. I listened to Pandora radio on my way around the neighborhood.

The Cure. My Pandora station was The Cure, in case you were wondering what I listed to.

My calf is much better. I did a few calf stretches and flexes before I left to loosen it up a bit. It only stiffened a little in the first mile and then relaxed.

Keep walking and stretching.

#5KaDay2017 #5KaDayChallenge

Melissa posts her 5K info and pictures on Instagram: redhatrunner

You can follow my Twitter feed: @kenhess

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 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 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