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May 10, 2013

On The Run: Keeping the streak alive

For some of us, getting three or four runs in during a week is a good accomplishment. But for others, the need to run every day holds more significance than simply improving fitness or losing a few pounds. Streak runners hit the pavement, trail or treadmill every day, regardless of weather, injuries or schedule.

It began as a New Year’s resolution for Ken Skier, 59, of Lexington, who runs in many local races and documents them with photographs he takes as he runs (visit runwithken.com to see his work). Seven years ago, Skier was running 5Ks at a low 7-minute-per-mile pace before suffering serious knee injuries that slowed him down considerably.

“On New Year’s Day, I made a resolution: to run at least a mile outdoors every day. That’s all it was, just a personal challenge. I thought if I kept each run short — no more than 2 miles — I might be able to do it,” he said. “But after a couple of months, it became something very different. Now I run at dawn every day because it fills my spirit.”

Previously, running was a painful pursuit for Skier. “One knee has no ACL and very little meniscus. I’ve had over four hours of surgery on that knee and operations on my foot and lower back. Plus a whole host of other injuries that did not require surgery,” he said. “Over the last eight years, I have been unable to run for a couple of months out of each year. So my goal as a runner has always been very simple: not to get faster, but just to avoid injury.”

When he began on New Year’s Day, Skier was running a mile each day. “Since then, as the sun has risen earlier each morning, I have gradually extended my run. Now each morning I run 1.7 miles on the road, and 1.3 miles on a trail. These are very hilly miles.”

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