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

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

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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 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

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 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 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