Warning: This isn’t rocket science people.

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I recently saw a headline that read “How to Run Uphill.” Really? Are there people who have to be told how to run uphill?

I began running and reading about running in 1977. Over the years I have watched this simple activity be examined, dissected, autopsied, discussed, studied, debated and argued over from every angle possible and to levels of nit picking that defied logic.

While thinking about the absurdity of instructing someone on how to run uphill, I decided to put my years of experience and knowledge to work. Herewith, I answer ten of the questions I see addressed so often in the running literature. …


Both for running and for moving into 2021.

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2020 mercifully draws to a close. I hesitate to think that anyone skipped through this year without feeling totally bummed out at one point or another. Since we often use running as a metaphor for life I refer back to my first ultramarathon.

The wheels came off somewhere around twenty miles into the Long Cane 50K. It was a warm and humid May afternoon in South Carolina and I shouldn’t have been surprised. My training leading up to the race had topped out with a long run of seventeen miles. And while the Long Cane course is an endless succession of rolling hills, my training routes were as flat as a truck pressed pheasant. …


Two very important miles

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I stand on the walkway and wait for the satellites to acknowledge my Garmin. A wind from the south drives clouds across the sky with rare patches of blue peeking through for a few seconds at most. The choppy, slate grey ocean sends relentless ranks of waves to curl, crash and turn to foam as they chase sandpipers to higher ground. The Garmin beeps. I turn south and slowly jog into the wind.

I am back on Amelia Island, a barrier island off the coast of Florida, and the place where I sustained a pinched nerve one year ago. I recently wrote about running a mile after almost a year of recovery and rehab. The time had now come to attempt my next milestone. …


Really, what is left to say?

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Before I retired I kept a half dozen running books on my office bookshelf. A non running coworker looked at them and asked if there was really that much to be written about running. At the time I didn’t think much about it but now I have to reconsider his question.

The idea occurred to me while reading the December issue of Ultrarunning. I first subscribed to the magazine in the early 1980s and after a brief hiatus resumed in 1991. I haven’t missed an issue since. …


How it can help us in our current chaos.

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In the early 1920s, Max Ehrmann wrote a piece of poetic prose named Desiderata. The word desiderata are Latin for “things desired” and Ehrmann’s work certainly contains advice and ideals that are desirable for our current world. This world of the pandemic, social unrest, political rancor, and uncivil discourse. Can we, in the beginnings of the 2020s, learn from something written in the beginnings of the 1920s? I believe we can and we should. …


It’s a bigger deal than it sounds.

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On November 17, 2020 I ran an entire mile. That’s not much to most people but it was a significant milestone in a 337 day long rehabilitation process. It was the first entire mile I had run since December 13, 2019. On that day I ran three miles and felt fine. But the next day, pain in one foot caused a limp that then caused my back to hurt. …


Who rescued who?

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Bella the Wonderdog was two years old when she chose us to be her family. It happened at a local doggie day care/rescue kennel. I was there to pick up my daughter’s bulldog from day care. When I exited my truck the owner of the kennel stood about fifty feet away with a long legged, flop eared, brown hound on a leash. She knew that we had recently lost a dog and as if fate were guiding her, she looked at me, smiled and unsnapped the leash.

The hound sprinted across the yard and reared up to place both front paws on my chest. She stuck her nose in my face and the look in her eyes announced, “I’m yours.” I learned from the kennel owner that Bella was a two-time loser, returned twice by adopters due to whatever issues they felt required them to give her back. …


But one I can live with.

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My wife and I were on the way to Taco Tuesday at the Salty Pelican when the doctor called.

“Dude, you got cancer. But don’t worry. You don’t have much and it’s growing really, really slow.”

Maybe he didn’t put it quite that way but the message was essential that I had a very small tumor that he expected to grow very slowly.

Slow-growing cancer sounds like a curse you would put on your worst enemy. But on the other hand, I guess it’s better than a fast-growing one. …


Halloween horror in coastal Florida

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You leave the Palace Saloon, which claims to be both the oldest saloon in Florida and haunted, just before midnight. You walk out the front door and look at the sparsely populated sidewalks that lead down to the marina. In the other direction to 8th Street. You step around the corner and walk toward the warehouses where your car is parked and you think you see a shape appear in the shadows.

Can’t be, you think, this is Fernandina Beach. Nothing happens here. …


A commentary on Halloween Hell Houses

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Halloween is upon us once again. A time for children to dress up in costume and roam the neighborhood in search of candy as they continue the tradition of trick or treat. Unfortunately, that scary monster known as COVID will curtail much of those activities this year. And, as is also usual, some Christians will choose not to participate because of the pagan traditions associated with Halloween. Other Christians however, will participate by trying to scare people into following God with the use of Hell Houses.

Halloween as we know it is an outgrowth of the Celtic observance of Samhain, which was an ancient festivity that marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. It included bonfires, sacrifices of grain and animals, as well as expected visits from the spirit world. Treats were left out to appease the spirits and prevent them from wreaking havoc on the community. Much as we do for the pre-teens that live down the street in our neighborhoods. …

About

Micah Ward

Micah is a retiree who writes, runs, prays and enjoys craft beer in the rolling hills of central Tennessee. He goes to the ocean when he can.

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