Eight of us, including a new member (Nicole), met on the steps by the Grenadier Restaurant at 8AM to discuss the distance. Those of us who had completed the KW Walking Half Marathon last week all agreed that 8 kilometres would be enough. Others planned to do 10 kilometres or more. We circled High Park and headed for the Lakeshore, hoping to meet the 5 people who had started at 7AM and were walking 21 kilometres, training for various full and half marathons. But our timing was off, and they had already headed east.
Before long we were tying our jackets around our waists as the day warmed up. Fall colours are just starting to brighten the landscape and fall flowers, including goldenrod, are everywhere. Diane and I spotted a beautiful flock of geese, flying low over the lake and reflected in the uncharacteristically still water. It was a beautiful sight!
I found myself struggling with sore hips, hamstrings and glutes as we completed even the short distance. I’ve been walking long distances a lot recently and realized that I may not have been stretching those muscles sufficiently because many of the stretches involve getting down onto the ground and at this time of the year, it’s cold and damp. I used the trusty internet to look for a few simple stretches for those muscles that could be done, standing.
Here they are, and I’ll ask the group to hold me accountable for doing them
1. .Standing hamstring stretch: Place your right foot on a step; flex your foot (toes toward you) and bend forward from your hip, keeping your back and right leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds; switch sides.
2 Glute stretch: Step your right foot forward into a lunge. Lower your hips as much as you can. Hold for 30 seconds; switch sides.
3 Lower back and hip stretch: Find a wall (or tree). Stand a few feet away from the wall with your feet together. Bend forward with a straight back and arms and put your hands on the wall. Rock back slightly on your heels and hold for 30 seconds.