STRAIGHT UP –  

Nov. 19, 2021 – To celebrate 32 years of sobriety, I ran a 5k (3.1 miles) in West Burlington at a benefit for Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice called “Miles and Memories.” Considering how close to death I was a couple of times, I consider the Hospice race apropos. I like to do something of this nature every year on my sobriety birthday as a celebration of a healthy body and mind. Last year we did a half-marathon (13.1 miles) right here at the Empty Nest Farm. The year before it was a 5k at a pumpkin farm in North Liberty. And the year before that, it was my first Miles and Memories 5k.

I find that training for a physically strenuous event such as this is challenging and good for my body. Leading up to the 5k, I was having some major issues–namely shooting pains in my right ankle. I’m 73 and wasn’t sure I was going to be able to run the Miles and Memories 5k. So I purposely registered early as motivation to get in running shape. I tried several combinations of shoes (including high-top hiking boots), ankle supports, and different speeds and inclines on the treadmill. Finally, I hit upon the right combo of wearing a copper laced ankle support in a good pair of running shoes with orthotics. Voila, I ran the event with nary an ankle pain. Only after it was over, when I was headed for the porta-potty, did my ankle let me know it was still boss. Interesting how that works.

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