15 minute read

Everyone I’ve ever known, or who has known me — actually, no one at all — asks me how I’ve been doing.

Even still, despite no one asking me what I’ve been up, I feel it’s my prerogative to share. The reasoning here runs off the brilliant quote I had literally come up with on the spot, in an earlier post.

It’s better to write anything rather than nothing at all.

Going off the (perhaps misguided) notion that putting pen to paper — or in this case, fingers to my brand new Mac’s built-in Magic Keyboard — is better than staring at a blank piece of paper and having successfully wasted an inordinate amount of time (and the valuable time of everyone else in the room who witnessed said blank-paper-staring-contest) by doing nothing productive or really useful, here I go then, without further ado.

Totally unrehearsed, just the way I like it. Totally spontaneous. Extemporaneous. Wow, what a cool word. Anyway, I’m not listening to any music for focus while writing this like I normally do, so this may seem a bit choppy and rough around the edges. I’d suggest to buckle in for a bumpy ride.

Ahem. Anyway… quite a lot of stuff has been going on. Not really sure if it’s interesting stuff per se. Last weekend, I went for a run with a group. Well, sort of. I drove by but I couldn’t get parking anywhere close by, so I was out of luck and couldn’t join the group. Took me close to an hour to even find parking, by then the group had dispersed already. Time waits for no one, as they say. So in the end, I had to run alone. I basically walked/ran for a looonnggg time.

This screenshot of the Fitness/Activity app on my iPhone and Apple Watch should be mighty informative, to say the least:

Weekend Walk/Run

I started off in the early morning. Ran and walked for roughly two and a half hours if we’re being honest. I honestly didn’t run the whole time, I just walked it out when I got too tired. I think I tried for 7:30 mile pace which is pretty respectable jogging pace, but in reality I might have done much worse. I wasn’t really keeping track. Anyway, I took a break of about an hour. Went to grab coffee and a breakfast sandwich. After that hour was up, looks like I resumed the walk-run thing I had going on.

This time I ran for a little bit longer, roughly three or so hours. I dunno my mindset in the second half of that walk-run. The first half, it made sense, since that’s the same distance I would’ve covered in the group anyway. A little under 10 miles if we’re being honest. But the need to just alternate between walk-run aimlessly without any goal, not even marathon training, seems rather surprising to me. Off-putting if we’re being honest. Like I literally have no clue what I was up to.

Another odd thing that I remember was the weather that day. It was like 40 degrees in the early morning, then warmed up to 45 and then to 50’s by the mid morning and around noon time. On the second half of that curious walk-run, for some reason I’d been inspired to run shirtless. Maybe it was just that I didn’t want to drench my t-shirt in sweat while I was running around aimlessly. Or maybe it was that I saw some other dudes running around shirtless and showing off their “macho” six-pack, and that struck a nerve in me ‘cause I can’t really compare to that (as of now). In either case, I quickly found myself running around in shorts and shoes, shirtless with my hirsute, slightly rotund chest bared to the wind and weather and the elements, with nary a care for anything in the world, not even my own well being. I say this because at more than one point where I stopped running, I had to walk, and even then it felt like my legs were dying already, and couldn’t sustain a continuous jogging effort.

I did leg stretches periodically, which was annoying, but got me through those points where my legs were so sore, muscles screaming out, I literally could not even walk, and my legs flat out refused to even jog for any distance, and the only thing in the world that could cure that – a homemade panacea of sorts — was following through with repetitive and muscle-group-targeted leg stretches. The leg stretches honestly helped me get through that brutal, completely impromptu and pointless walk-run effort. Otherwise, I think I literally wouldn’t have been able to even walk (much less limp) back to the parking lot. I call it pointless because if I was running, it was running without any set goal in mind. No goal of distance, nor one of caloric burn, or target heart rate. Absolutely no idea at all — even to this day — what that pointless walk-run was about.

If it seemed to work, it worked in a terrible, depressing way. By that, I mean my legs got consecutively more sore. More and more sore, until it was so bad I had to walk it out, because the next phase would be me limping back, or asking someone for a ride back. I tell you, my legs are not meant for this kind of strain. I don’t know even how marathon runners do it. It’s like they have legs of steel or something. I am a bit envious having purposefully trashed my legs essentially on that day, perhaps trying to follow in their footsteps, in a half-hearted and rather pointless attempt. Suffice it to say, I technically did “go the mile”. By that, I mean that it looks like I cleared almost 23 miles. Which is about a 5K walk (who am I kidding, it has to be a walk and not a run at that point) less than the full 26.2 miles as necessitated by a marathon. Also, the fitness app tells me that I completed and traversed a little over 35,000 steps, almost 40K steps in one day, which is a little crazy. That’s a lot of steps! Flights climbed were only 27, because I was mostly walking and running on flat ground. Anyway, the eyes might boggle and bulge out the sockets when we see the total calories burned that day. Over 4K, holy cow. Specifically, 4,194 calories burned on that day on the weekend. What the heck? That’s a crazy number… that’s like, decommission me like I’m a defective toy and ship me out to North Korea, kind of crazy. I think that’s probably the most calories I’ve burned in a day, if not among the top 3 days in my life where I burned the most energy.

So to recap here, almost 40K steps, 22.7 miles, close to 4,200 calories burned, running (and walking) around shirtless outside in 40-ish Fahrenheit weather for the better part of that, and obstinately for whatever reason seeking to completely destroy my God-given legs which have never done anything wrong to me or anyone else. What the heck, why am I choosing to pick on my legs anyway? Why am I being so cruel? Over 6 hours of just perambulating-slash-jogging around, with nary a care in the world, and no thought for the damage I’m causing my poor old legs, which are holding me up, and which care about me so much? Why am I throwing a burlap sack over their head, drenching them in alcohol and ice-cold water, and beating them up while they’re sequestered in the back seat of the car, anyway? Seems like they’ve already had a rough day, they don’t need bad attitude and to come this close to death and risk giving out due to total muscle annihilation. Calm down, bro. What are you even thinking at that point?

I know, I know. That was bad form to begin with, and a bad idea from the get-go. The thing of it is, I had no idea what I was doing at the time, and I reasoned it as just an innocuous walk-run. After all, I wasn’t jogging the entire time, I was also walking it out in between. I also did leg stretches while I was alternating between walk-run. I feel like I didn’t stop to consider the consequences. Like why am I even doing that, and too so quick on the heels of a mile run benchmark? That’s totally not a good idea. In fact, that’s one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had.

Turns out, that part was indeed true. So I drove back home after that since I was dead tired, and immediately my legs started being progressively sore. Like much, much more sore, and really quickly which was totally scary to me. I remember even when I parked elsewhere and I was walking back home — because this was like a two minute walk at the time — like holy crap, how it felt like it was a miracle my legs were even holding me up at that point. Then walking up those flight of stairs. Jesus. So rough. I’m surprised I even made it to bed. Once there, I just lay there, like a wooden log. Unmoving. Not sure what else happened that day, I must have climbed up and down stairs quite a bit. For food and water and other stuff. But most of the day, I just lay there, unmoving. Resting my sore leg muscles, which seemed like someone had taken a jackhammer to it. Or a pitchfork, and poked and needled it everywhere at once. My legs were totally on fire. Burn and hurt everywhere. It felt like there were worms and beetles and spiders wriggling merrily around – laying eggs and whatnot – inside the core of my legs, in particular my calf muscles, and they were aching and overeager to get out. Like the full force of a battering ram in the heyday of a beseigement, the purpose reversed, as the stated goal is to break out. It was a very strange and thought-subsuming sensation. By that I mean I was forced to invest unduly attention to it, and it was hard for example to focus and concentrate and even get any light reading done, because it was like some immature teenage kid was throwing a loud, obnoxious house party with nonstop DJ and music blaring out, in some very large and very real corner of my mind; and it was that kinda loud, obnoxious party where the whole neighborhood was there, and the football team, and the swim team, and the marching drum band, and so on. I really wanted to tell that kid to shut the hell up and keep it down or I’d call the cops, after all, there are people trying to sleep here. Anyway, I rested in bed most of the day. Bedridden, I think you’d call that.

Next day was something similar. It hurt a lot even to go down a flight of stairs. For some reason, going down stairs pained much more than going up the same stairs. I think descending stairs works a different group of leg muscles. Going up is mostly pretty painless, because you’re just lifting your foot and moving your leg up slightly. It’s not as hard. But going down is the harder one in general, I feel. That’s because it works a lot of leg muscles that have to orchestrate that motion, is my feeling in any case. For example, the calf muscles would be stretched and exercised by such an action. So I dunno, for whatever reason, descending a stairs was painful, almost downright untenable for me. It was certainly unreasonable. Had to position my legs awkwardly and move slower than I normally would, when faced with stairs. Much slower. It was not a good experience overall. The worst part of it was even when lying face up in bed, resting my legs the whole day as I ought to be doing, the pain in my thighs, calves, and honestly all over my legs was like borderline unbearable. It was really almost like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Like liquid fire in the veins of my legs. It was literally like someone had done open-leg surgery on me, without giving me anesthetic, and they were still digging around in there, poking here and there while I was dazed with the excruciating pain that comes from forgoing anesthesia completely. Actually, that’s a bit of a bold-faced exaggeration. Maybe it wasn’t so excruciatingly painful. But it felt like my legs were constantly on fire. Dull throb, like a headache, only on my legs. Felt it was a miracle my legs were still attached to my foolish, ungrateful body. That I was still in one piece. Felt also like my legs wanted to secede from the larger body. Like a body part, wanting to secede from the United Body of Me. Tell me that doesn’t right any bells. History, anyone? Anyway, that’s what my legs felt like. It also felt like my body was betraying me. And during that time, I honestly feared that I would never be able to use my legs or at least run like I used to, ever again. It was a sobering, utterly terrifying thought.

Anyway, not that I mean to go on about it for so long. It took basically three whole days of absolute, do-nothing-but-lie-in-bed recovery. Maybe a little more than three days, if we’re being honest. On the third day, I booked a class at gym, and almost chickened out going because I still wasn’t sure if I was ready. The deep running fear that ran under my skin and got into my nerves, was that I’d never be able to run, at least run with the same intensity that I was able to run at before. I still have this fear within me, but it’s lessened to some degree. Anyway, so I went to gym, and I was nervous about even stepping foot on the treadmill, but somehow I managed it. I went at considerably a much slower pace than I would normally roll with. If for example my base pace was a 10, then I started off with a little over 6.5. Then I increasingly bumped it up once I was sure that my (still sore) legs could take it. 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5. Purely hypothetical still, but let’s say I cap it at 8.5. That is, I don’t run a hair over it, for any reason whatsoever. This is necessary because I don’t want to destroy my legs all over again. I’ve already done that once, inadvertently due to foolishness and ineptitude. Could I really look myself in the mirror if I managed it again? Likely not. Actually, I still was not able to face myself for what I put my legs through that past weekend even despite that. Over 20 miles, what was I thinking? I’m not a marathon runner. I’ve never run a marathon in my life. Also, I don’t know if I even have strong enough leg muscles for something like a half-marathon. Forget a marathon. How the heck do people even manage to run a marathon, without destroying their legs completely in the process? Seems an impossible task. Like a catch-22, if you ask me. Anyway, I didn’t run too fast on the gym. When the task was to run at an all-out intensity, I was exceedingly nervous at that stage, but thankfully I scraped by with a 12 MPH pace. Which is again at a much more relaxed and manageable pace than my actual all-out intensity. But for some reason, that pace was still challenging in and of itself. I ran without stopping at the pace I’d set, and was barely out of breath even after a little under 20 minutes. This tells me that my legs were the limiting factor in the workout. My lungs were fine, my heart was hale and healthy, and my endurance seemed intact, but the real problem appeared to be that my legs weren’t feeling it. Couldn’t blame them, they were still mighty sore and still in (late) recovery stages. As a result, I couldn’t push myself as hard as I wanted to or as I normally would have, in that workout. I still got an elevated heart rate response and burned the energy that I needed to, but I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could or as much as I knew I was capable of, which was a depressing, sobering thought by itself.

Anyway, I’ll cut it short here as it’s getting kind of late, and I’ll update this tomorrow. Basically, I want to talk about a few things when I can:

  • How I’ve recently signed up for Medium and Dev.to and want to post technical articles on there going forward.
  • My struggles and eternal woes in getting my target content published in one place — let’s say my blog for example sake — and having that get automatically reflected on the other platforms, say Medium and Dev.to. I create a new tech article on my site, it should create that same article on both the other platforms. If I update it, the same change should be applied across the others. I need some time to hunker heads down and really think about and consider this issue. I’ve looked at existing solutions out there currently, and they all fall short in some way or another. Simply put, I need to roll my own, because the other solutions out there are authored by what seem like incompetent folks, and don’t appear to do what I need it to do (outdated, see note below).

    Also, I’m an automation guy, so this irks me more than it normally would to someone else. Why do I have to manually post the same content to three separate places? It seems rather painful to do, and extremely annoying and a huge waste of time in practice. So like I said, I’ll need to set aside some time to figure this out.

    Update (Feb. 4th): Apparently, the folks developing the publishing solutions are actually not incompetent. Medium actually does not expose an API to update existing posts. How unfortunate, and shortsighted of them.

    I’ll have to skip over that and come up with a semi-automated or “manual-guided” approach for Medium. For now, I can instead focus on a solution with Dev.to. This is in the works.

  • Lastly, I’ve been going for a recertification for one of the AWS exams, and I had the voucher expire, and that was a mess. I’ll have to study hard heads down and book and take that exam while I still have the opportunity to do so.

Anyway, peace out. As I said, I’ll update this post tomorrow. Till then, stay safe everyone!