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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Back to Boston

My wife and I were able to get tickets to the American League Divisional Series game on October 5, 2013 between Tampa Bay and Boston. It gets a bit expensive to stay at a hotel in and around Boston so we opted not to stay over night in the city. The game was scheduled to start at 5:30 pm, but we had a family commitment to go to at 1:00 pm, which made the schedule tight. 
At around 2:30 pm, we left the family gathering and headed for the Riverside T-station off of Route 95 in MA. We like to leave our car there and take the T-rail to Fenway Park to avoid the traffic.When we reached the station at around 4:15, the parking lot was full so we had to improvise. There's a number of apartment complexes just past the station so we parked the car there, for free. I think we saved ten bucks or one Fenway beer.

The rail system in Boston is heavily used so we didn't get into Fenway Park until 5:25 pm. The weather was good, partly sunny and in the 60s. It was an exciting game. The Red Sox won by a score of  7 to 4.  After the game, we headed over to where the Red Sox players exit Fenway Park to see some of the players and find out what kind of cars they drive. We saw Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, John Lackey, Daniel Nava and Andrew Miller. We also saw Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox CEO and President, with his entourage.
We didn't get home until midnight, but it was worth it.   

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Running in Boston

This past weekend, my wife and I spent some time in Boston and attended the Saturday afternoon Red Sox game versus the Yankees. But before we left for the game, I went out for a 50 minute run around 9:30 am along the Charles River. I can't remember running along with or near as many people other than in a large race. Runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities were coming out of the trees literally.  On Friday, I had watched the scores of runners, bikers, boats, and walkers from our 12th floor hotel room window pass by along the river so I figured that a run would be anything but solitary.

I headed across the Charles River from our hotel and headed south towards Boston University along the east side of the river for 25 minutes or so. I decided to go this way because there's a dirt path that runs along the paved sidewalk, which is much more forgiving on my joints. I passed by B.U. bridge, Harvard Bridge, and Longsfellow Bridge, and turned around near Bunker Hill Community College. I talked to one guy near my turnaround point and asked him how far he intended to run. He politely replied, "18 miles or so," as I turned and waved goodbye.

Just as I started back, I noticed a fairly tall blond-haired woman running slightly ahead of me. It took me about a minute or two, but I was able to catch her when we got stuck at a traffic light with another 13 or so runners. As we headed north along the river, I passed her and said, "This might be a mistake trying to pass you." She laughed and kept on running. We seemed  to be going the same pace so we ended up talking for 5 minutes. It turns out she works in college financial aid. We talked about the Red Sox and running around Boston. I enjoyed our exchange until we parted ways around the B.U. Bridge.

I wasn't able to get in a run on Sunday before we left, but plan to run along the Charles River again if the opportunity presents itself. It was a really enjoyable run and I had great running weather: sunny, a slight wind, 65 degrees F.

By the way, the Red Sox ended up beating the Yankees Friday and Saturday so the weekend was a total success.      

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Speedwork revisited

Over the past several years, I've written a number of posts about speedwork. I just started going to the local track once a week again to do repeats, specifically half miles and quarters.  You might remember me comparing actual track speedwork from two different decades, 1997-1999 and 2008 - 2009s in a previous post. There was about a thirty second difference in times, slower more recently.

On July 12, 2013, I did five halves (3:24, 3:30, 3:29, 3:29, and 3:26) and  two quarters (1:36 and 1:34). These times compare quite well with my times from 2007-2009. I ran a rest quarter in between each hard repeat. I also used my lightweight Merrills, which seemed to help me increase my turnover.

On July18, 2013, I did five halves (3:23, 3:27, 3:30, 3:29, and 3:37). It was very hot and humid that morning and I really struggled to do the workout. I brought two bottles of water, but that didn't last long. With the sun beating down on me, I couldn't manage to do the two quarters I had planned to do. I like to think of these workouts as character building, but I was really tired after finishing.

I was unable to get in a track speedwork session last week because of several issues. I still did some pickups on a nearby trail on July 24, 2013 during a 7 mile run. I ran two minutes faster on the return trip from an out and back run.

I'll keep you posted on my times to see how these workouts help my overall speed. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Translate Feature Added To My Blog

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a number of lurkers stopping by my blog, but they don't seem to want to comment. Perhaps, they don't understand English. Well, near the top of my opening page on the right of this post, I added the "translate" feature to allow people to convert my blog writings into whatever language a person uses. I hope this helps.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Running in Florida

Just about every year, we go to Florida on vacation for a week or so. It's a nice break because we don't really care for the cold, snowy conditions in the Northeast each winter. So this April we headed down to Fort Myers Beach for a little R&R. We arrived in Florida via Detroit in the early afternoon of April 16th. The temperature was around 85 degrees and it was sunny. Sounds good, right?

Running in Florida for me has been a bit of a challenge. With the high humidity and temperature, it seems that each mile down there is almost like twice the distance up north. Don't get me wrong. I like going to Florida. But I've found that certain things are important for me to do when running in Florida. First, I put on suntan lotion to prevent overexposure. Then I run earlier in the morning to avoid the hotter conditions. I always drink water before running, but I carry water with me on every run down there. I know some people have difficulties drinking or eating on the run, but my energy gets so zapped if I don't sip some water during these tropical runs. I also don't feel the need to stretch as much before running in Florida because the "fluid" conditions.
One of the best things about running in Florida are the views though. When I run on the beach, it's not unusual to see numerous types of birds.  Pelicans, terns, gulls and sandpipers fly back and forth in the wind. Dolphins sometimes show up and chase schools of fish along the shore. Of course, there are people mulling around the beach too. This April I was particularly impressed with this very old woman who religiously ran by our condo in the early morning on multiple days and returned about 45 minutes later going the other direction, unfazed by the conditions. She wasn't moving fast, in fact, she was barely crawling, but she was doing her thing. It was obvious to me that running played a very important role in her life and I can relate to that. I hope when I get to that age I'm able to do the same.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Calling All Lurkers!

I know that my posts on this blog are few and far between, but I'm trying to change things. One of the interesting aspects of maintaining a blog is that you can see where your audience hail from and what method they used to find your blog. I've had a number of visitors from Russia and Sweden, but unfortunately no comments. I get very few comments.

This is an all out appeal. If you stop by, feel free to just say hello or leave a note, even if it's not in English. I really appreciate them! Perhaps we can actually help each other in some small way, whether it's related to running or something else.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombings

In the early afternoon on marathon day, I was sitting in Burger King, of all places, watching a big screen TV when I first heard about the bombings. I had spent ninety minutes or so watching the marathon on-line earlier that day before going out to lunch. The whole terrible incident left me feeling sick to my stomach.

While driving home, I couldn't stop thinking about a number of bloggers that I occasionally converse with. They were running Boston. I immediately went home and tried to find out if they were okay. I've never actually met these fellow runners, but feel connected to them after reading posts about their running exploits and lives. Over the next several days, I learned that Laura at "On Your Left Please...",  Nicole at "Amazon At Another Level", and  Katherine at "Neon Blonde Runner" all finished before the explosions and luckily weren't physically hurt. But incidents like this can obviously affect you emotionally and the signs aren't so evident.

I've always felt comfort in difficult times in the company of family, but even more so with people who have experienced the same incident or similar things. Only they truly know what you're going through. That's why I'm suggesting that people at the race reach out to each other through blogging or whatever means they can. It can really help in my opinion. You don't have to be a runner to do this either. 

The Boston Marathon has been on my bucket list for a while. Unfortunately, my left knee issues have kept me from training  for a marathon lately. I've run three Hartford Marathons, each one slower than the last, back in 1997, 1998, and 1999, and have lacked motivation.  Do I have it in me to qualify for Boston? I don't know. It makes me so mad when I think about what happened. I haven't run longer than 8 miles in three years so it's a lofty goal.  It would be great to be able to pull it off. I'm older now, but  the qualifying standards recently got tougher.

Anyway, I'm betting next year's Boston Marathon will be one of the best!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


If you look at the interests on my profile page, you'll discover that I'm a college basketball fan. As a UCONN alumnus, basketball has sustained us UCONN fans through winter into spring for a long time. The UCONN women have won seven national championships behind Geno Auriemma. The UCONN men have won three national championships under now retired Jim Calhoun. Despite these accolades, it's been about being part of something even bigger than any single team. It's been about being part of the Big East. With great coaches like Thompson, Massimino, Boeheim, and Calhoun, and exceptional players like Ewing, Allen, Hamilton, and Walker, it's made for a competitive college basketball season every year for over thirty years.

I challenge anyone who doubts that the Big East will go down as the greatest conference in the history of college basketball. Sure, UCLA won eleven NCAA Men's basketball championships and Kentucky won eight themselves. But from top to bottom, year in and year out, the Big East has rocked college basketball for a long time. A look at the men's national champions in the last decade reveals that of the ten championships, teams from the Big East won four times, UCONN in 2004 and 2011, Syracuse in 2003 and Louisville this year. The story's the same for the women's national champions, UCONN won five times.
Again, this year's men's and women's final four participants include five Big East teams, three on the women's side, Louisville, UCONN, and Notre Dame, and two on the men's side, Louisville and Syracuse. With one more game tonight, UCONN versus Louisville for the women's national championship, today marks the end of the Big East as we know it. There's no changing that fact, but for a moment think about all the fun and excitement that we've been able to experience as fans. It's been quite a ride. So farewell Big East. And GO UCONN!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Quite Frankly Charlotte, I DO Give a Damn!

The Northeast just got whacked last night with anywhere from 24 to 36 inches of snow from Blizzard Charlotte. I was scheduled to run five miles early this morning, but it looks like my plans will have to be adjusted. I still plan to snowshoe later after I clear the snow from my driveway, porch, and back deck. Calvin has that look in his eyes too. He wants to go out with me when I snowshoe. But he's never had to run through this much snow on the trail before. 

Several weeks ago we did two or three workouts in the snow and Calvin loved it. At the time, there was only about eight to ten inches to get through, with the exceptional foot and a half snow drift.  It was snowing during one of the workouts, which made it even more challenging. With wind gusts of twenty miles an hour, the trails we made were soon buried. But we weren't the only ones out there. We saw a guy with his golden retriever out and about. They appeared from around a corner of the trail from a blast of snow.

Well, I'm just about to start my snow clearing activities this morning. This after my son and I cleared the first sixteen or so inches of snow off of his car and our driveway around 11:30 pm last night. I'm hoping that the second time through is quick and easy to finish. It's still snowing though.

Take care and happy running.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Running in Snowshoes

My area has been the recipient of some significant snow lately. With the trails covered with 8 to 10 inches, it was time to break out the snowshoes for trail running. My first snowshoe run this year was this past Sunday. Calvin, my lab, and I had to cut trail since there were only several spots where deer had patted down the snow. These runs are always a challenge because every mile covered is like going twice that distance or more. I covered about 3 miles that day, while Calvin, with his zigzag approach, probably went 3.5 miles.

The trail we run goes by a large open field. We did an out and back route, which had us retracing our steps past the field. Well, with the strong wind blowing across the area, our tracks were completely covered. So much for it being easier on the way back.

We went out again this morning. It was definitely easier because other people had followed our tracks. There were even a set of cross country ski tracks, which helped smooth things out. Calvin was wearing his usual bright blue doggy coat, which has a few battle scars on it from Calvin's occasion ventures into the pricker bushes along the trail. I let him off the leash for most of the run except for a few spots where the trail is close to a road and one where the trail actually crosses it.  

I swear that Calvin loves running more than I do. He does 360 degree turns in the air beforehand when he sees me putting on my running gear. Then the barking starts. He has to make sure all the other dogs in the area know that he's going for a run and they aren't. He's funny like that.

Anyway, did anyone else venture out in the snow for a run recently? I'm curious. Let me know.