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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Maybe Florida Isn't Such A Bad Idea.

Today I did two workouts. I've been doing double workouts 1-2 times a week over the past month. First I do my run, which is usually 5 to 6 miles. Then later in the day, I've been doing a lifting workout. However, I'm not talking traditional weights. Here's the fun part. I've been shoveling snow-make that- a lot of snow. Now I've been using my neighbor's snowblower since mine crapped out. But with so much snow, I've had to shovel plenty too. Today I spent about 6 hours removing 3-4 feet of snow from my roof. The run seemed like nothing after that.
Now as I drove around town lately, I could see numerous people working on removing the almost 3.5 feet of snow accumulation on their roofs. Bad enough people have to remove snow from their driveways. I decided to join the rest about a week ago and roof raked around the edges of my house numerous times. We received news this past Friday that another significant storm is expected to hit us this coming Wednesday. With that in mind, I decided to climb onto my roof and get serious about this snow removal stuff. 

Recently I read about a number of people dying from falling off roofs while clearing snow. I didn't want to add to this statistic so I decided to take my time and chip away at things. I was a little nervous as I climbed off the ladder onto my roof . But once on my roof, I was okay. Don't get me wrong though. I was very careful as I traversed the roof knocking down snow. At least I didn't have to throw the snow over a 6 foot snow bank.
Anyway, I ran around my neighborhood today instead of the trail. I knew my second workout was coming so I decided to try and  take it easy. I did an out and back run for a total of 6 miles and negative split the run by almost 2 minutes. So much for taking it easy. Perhaps my new Nike Tri-S running shoes helped. As I write this post, my whole body aches. I don't plan on running tomorrow so that should help. There's still snow on my roof, but I'm not going to have time to tackle that tomorrow. At least I was able to remove all the snow on the back side of my house.
I hope everyone is doing okay. Please be careful if you find yourself needing to duplicate my feat. 


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowblower Blues

Now have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blues. 
 I said have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blues.
This ain't no winter ruse.  It's just not something I would do.
Now have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blues.
All right have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blu-whooos.
This thing went for a snooze. And I have no one to accuse.
Now have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blues.
Oh no have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blues.
Look at that oily ooze, all over my new fancy shoes.
Now have you heard the news? I've got the snowblower blues.
But wait you have heard the news. I've got the snowblower blu-whooos.
It's time to go peruse, that big brown box with all my booze. 
My snowblower just died today after we got 24 inches of snow.
I'm in a strange state of mind so I put together this little lyrical jazzy poem.
Luckily my neighbor let me use his snowblower. But damn those town snowplows.
They just dumped another four feet of snow at the end of my driveway tonight. Oh well.
Snowblower blues, again.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Snowshoe Shuffle

This past Sunday morning I headed over to my favorite rail trail, Hop River, to get in a workout. The only difference was that I brought along a pair of snowshoes my wife bought me last year. They had been hanging on the wall in my garage since last Christmas with the tag still on them. We had gotten about 9 inches of snow over the past three days so I figured why not give them a try.

Several weeks ago I ran about 5 miles on the very same trail with just running shoes after a snow storm. With the uneven surface caused by the snow and slippery conditions, I could feel the bottoms of my feet starting to ache a bit. Several years ago I developed plantar fasciitis and I'm pretty sure it stemmed from similar snowy runs. 

Anyway, I strapped these bad boys on and started off on what I had hoped would be a 7 mile run. With snowshoes, your foot is strapped in completely, but the rear of the snowshoe moves up and down making it unlikely you would spike yourself while running.  I was a little uncertain how they would feel and if they would give me problems running. Off I went at about 9:30 am after a quick stretching routine. It was still snowing lightly and there was a slight wind blowing. From the tracks on the trail, I could tell that a number of cross country skiers, walkers, dogs, rabbits, deer, squirrels, birds and chipmunks had been around. There was also one set of snowshoe tracks that seemed to drift back and forth on the trail as if that person had been hitting the brandy before or during their journey. I guess that person had to keep warm somehow. Ha Ha!

When running the last time on the snowy trail, I took advantage of the cross country tracks as much as possible because it made for easier running. But with the snowshoes on, I just blazed down the center of the trail, occasionally catching a packed down patch left by the dizzy snowshoe person. But I did occasionally bump the insides of my ankles with the side of the snowshoes. It hurt a little bit so I concentrated on running straight while trying to keep a certain distance between each snowshoe as I ran. I didn't bother using the poles that came with the snowshoes and I'm glad about that.  They would have gotten in the way. I'm sure there will be plenty of conditions when I'll end up using them.
At the 3.5 mile mark, my turnaround point, I stopped for a minute to check my snowshoe straps. It took me 40:49 to reach that spot.  An older gentleman cross country skiing stopped by for a minute to chat. He looked about 70 years old, but he was moving right along. I was impressed by him. I wish my dad was in that kind of shape.

A little while later, on the way back, guess what? My left foot snowshoe came loose so I had to stop. The strap around the heal had slipped off, making it impossible to run. After a quick adjustment, I continued my run. A minute later I thought I saw two deer run across the trail ahead of me.   Turns out it was two dogs out for a snowy walk with their owner. My nearsightedness had struck again. I've seen many deer in this area before on previous runs. I knew they were around there because of the tracks.

My return trip took me 39:28, a 1 minute and 21 second negative split. I was pleased with that time given the conditions.

I just checked the forecast for New England this week. It looks like we're going to get hit again with possibly up to 12-14 inches of snow on Wednesday. Looks like another chance to go snowshoeing. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Goals for 2011

After reading a number of blogs and seeing all those great goals people have put forward to accomplish, I wanted to do the same. I'm a firm believer that goal setting is a extremely important element to have in one's life to be happy. So with that in mind, I put forward my health and fitness goals for this year. I plan on developing goals for my writing blog, BRIANWOODS too.
                  KEN'S HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS FOR 2011
1) Continue to run 3 to 4 times per week. 
2) Add in at least one cross-training aerobic exercise each week, for a total of 4 to 5 per week.
3) Buckle down and start a regular weight training program at least two times per week.
4) Incorporate more stretching into my daily routine, even if it's sitting at my desk at work or watching TV.
5) Commit this spring to going to the track weekly with those dedicated guys from Travelers.
6) Improve my eating habits, whether it be cutting down on going to fast food places or eating more fruit.
7) Here's a tough one-get a colonoscopy. Being healthy involves more than working out.
8) Slowly increase my weekend long run back to over ten miles, but continue to do it on the soft rail trail.
9)  Increase my weekly running mileage back up to 30 miles.
10) Run more races earlier in the year. I only did three races this year, all at the end of the year.
11) Read more books on running and physical fitness.
12) Help and encourage others to accomplish their fitness and health goals through this blog.
13) Find other electronic media to do the same as goal 12).
14) Continue to improve my writing by reading books about the subject as well as blogging more.
15) Make sure I keep my mid-year check-up appointment with my cancer surgeon-a no brainer.
16) Try to place in my age category (top three) at least twice this year in local races.
17) Remain positive despite negative influences.
18) Lose a little weight. I'd like to get back in the low 160's again rather than low 170's. 

What are your goals for this year? I'm curious so let me know here or direct me to your blog 2011 goals.
Thanks for stopping by.