Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Running Away From Prostate Cancer-My Personal Story

If you check out my profile, you'll see that I'm a cancer survivor. In a series of articles, I have been writing about my experiences with prostate cancer. You can view these articles by checking out E-zine, an online publisher. Let me know what you think. I'm only on Part 4, but I figure it's going to take about 10 to 15 parts to complete it. I mix in a number of running things into the articles because running is one of my most important coping mechanisms.
By the way, the title is not meant to imply that I or anyone else should not face their problems by running away. What I mean is when you run a race, if you "run away" from your competition, you win. I've been trying to keep ahead of the competition, "cancer" since 2007.

I forgot to mention the specific website address in my original post. Thanks, Becki. The address is

Snowy Trail Run

I set out yesterday a little later than usual for a 7 mile rail trail run along Hop River. It was about 11:00 am and lightly snowing. This is one of my favorite courses because it's an out and back one with a gradual uphill in the beginning to the 3.5 mile mark. On the way back, you can pick up the pace and finish fast. 

Because of the weather, there weren't too many people on the trail. Several runners passed me as I was doing some pre-run stretching.  I set out and passed about 4 couples walking the trail all bundled up. With my insulated running pants, knit hat, light gloves and three shirts, I was perfectly dressed for the conditions.  I saw one mountain biker guy going down the hill.  He looked colder than me. I'm sure the snow and wind had something to do with that.

I reached the turn around point in 29:29. I was happy with that pace given the conditions. The snow began to come down slightly harder as I headed back to my car.  At least the wind was at my back now. At the 4.5 mile point, I heard someone approaching from behind me. I thought it was another mountain biker at first. As I turned to greet the person, I realized it was a runner and he was hauling ass. We exchanged hellos and chatted for several seconds as he continued at a fast pace. I tried to keep him in sight, but it wasn't easy. There are a number of straight sections on the trail and some turns too. At around the 6.0 mile mark, he was out of sight. By trying to keep him in view, I pushed myself harder than usual.  That was okay because I had planned to do 4 runs this week, but with Christmas activities I didn't have time to run on Friday as planned.

I covered the return trip in 27:41, slightly less than a 2 minute negative split. Upon finishing, I took a quick walk around. That's when I noticed that fast guy over by a car doing an assortment of post-run stretches. I walked over and complimented him on his pace and he returned the favor. After a minute or so of talking, he indicated that he was training to run the Boston Marathon this spring. He said that he was shooting for around a 2:21. Now there aren't too many people around here that can do that kind of time.

As it turned out, I had been running on the trail with Eric Blake, the two-time U.S. mountain champion. This is the very same guy that won the Mount Washington Road Race in 2006 and 2008. I think he came in second the last two years. It was kind of nice to rub elbows and talk a bit with him. He seems like a nice guy. Small world.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Annual Holiday Traditions

As I've mentioned before, there are a number of runners that belong to my informal office running club. Each year we organize a special holiday run at lunch. We usually shorten the distance so that we can spent some time over at a local watering hole to toast the year and our friends. Over the years, the establishments we have celebrated at and the participants have changed. But the event always has that closeness, where we share stories of the year's events, some good and some bad.

In particular, we remembered Doug Zimmerman, one of our running friends, who died earlier in the year during one of our lunchtime runs. Doug was one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.  He really enjoyed this tradition and always found a way to be there to share in the fun. Heck, he was one of the ones that kept us laughing and made this celebration such a great time.

I think it's so important each year to stop and reflect on the events and the friendships in your life. So drink a toast to your friends and if you can, tell them how much you appreciate them. Make sure you laugh a lot too. It's amazing how good you can feel by doing it.

Stop by and tell me about your traditions.  If you don't have one, perhaps you should start one.
Happy Holidays!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holidays

To all,
I want to thank all of my blog followers for stopping by and sharing your comments and experiences. I hope you've found something on my blog that's helped you in some small way.  I've enjoyed our exchanges. Also, I'd like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. 
I know a number of you are struggling with various injuries too. I sincerely hope your recovery is swift and the new year finds you able to enjoy your passion, whatever that may be.