Some cooler weather makes for faster running!


Monday, 6 AM run in Sessums with Joseph. He got in about 5 miles easy, and did 3.5 super easy! At 7 pm, we both repeated the same run, although this time I went faster.

Tuesday, 6 AM upper body and core baby! 7 PM tempo run in Longmeadow with Will Kallfelz and Joseph. First, 2 miles easy paced warmup. Then Joseph started his 5 mile tempo. Will and I were shooting for a 2.5 mile tempo, and we ran the first 1.5 miles together at about a 6:37 pace. Today was cooler than normal, and I was feeling good as a result, so was able to pick up the pace a bit. Ended up doing 2.7 miles at 6:27 pace. Will ended up right around 6:40 pace for almost 2.5 miles. Not to mention that in addition to the 2 mile warmup and 1.65 mile cooldown, he had already run 8 miles earlier that afternoon! I jogged around after for a bit, then 5 easy miles on my mountain bike.

Wednesday, No run this morn, stayed up too late. In fact, did not even go to work. Beautiful day though, about 20° cooler! Worked out on my art studio porch. Awesome pump today. Curls, pushups, pullups, shoulder presses, shoulder flies, and some oblique shrugs. Butterflies everywhere, cicadas singing, flowers blooming. Gorgeous.

cool double day lilies in the yard

cool double day lilies in the yard

I did a 5 mile run through town at 4 PM. This early start time was a lot easier because of the cooler temps! I averaged 7:15 per mile with the first being the slowest and the 5th the fastest at 6:46. Not bad, felt good. Yeehah!

Thursday, Before lunch, I was hyper, so I did a few sets of pushups and various ab things. For some reason, pushups don’t tax me like weightlifting does. I could probably do them every day. My reps varied dramatically depending on how much I rested between the sets. The rest consisted of doing ab exercises. So, I did sets of between 51 and 130 reps of pushups.

At 7PM, I met Joseph, Jorge, Juan, Trevon Strange, Robert, and Gabe Muniz who was in town visiting his brother Lucas. We started at our usual place, the parking lot near the MSU tennis courts. We headed downtown on another relatively cool day! Awesome. As usual, our first mile was slowish at 7:30 pace, then gradually everyone picked it up. Next mile was about 6:51. At 2.3 miles, Robert, Gabe, Juan, and I split off for a 5.3 mile route. The other three did the 6 mile loop, although, at least today, everyone pretty much ran the same or close to the same pace between 6:47 and 6:50 average pace. My last 1.3 miles were under 6:25, so that was nice! Great day for running!

Gabe Muniz

Gabe Muniz

Trevon and Joseph

Trevon and Joseph

Jorge and Robert

Jorge and Robert

Jorge

Jorge

Friday, Going to be a rainy day! Temps are great though. Started the morn out with bench press, pullups, curls and abs! YEAH!  Great way to start the day. Thought about an early run, but rain was starting, so skipped it. I can run in the rain, but I have a problem starting the run if its already running. If I am already running and it starts raining, I don’t have any problem. Chalk that up to another one of my strange mental issues I guess.

So yeah, rainy Friday! Joseph was at his mom’s the last couple of nights, and he said he managed to get in about 7 miles in Friday morn in the rain.

Saturday, Still some light rain early in the morn, but it seemed to be moving out of here. Me and the kid headed to the White’s for the Boardtown Club run. I opted for 10 miles today, of which I did almost 7 with my running bud Robert Morgan. I was a bit quicker than him on the first 3.3 miles to the water stop, but the rest of the way we ran together. Not bad, I ended with a 1:12:02 for about 7:12 pace. Last mile was the best, about 6:40. Joseph ran with Coach Houston Franks and Jay McCurdy for most of the way until about 13.3 miles at which point they split up with Houston doing 18 miles, Jay 17 miles, and Joseph 15 miles. After an easy first few miles around 6:30 pace, they picked it up with some low 6′s and even a 5:40 and 5:48 section in there. Nice. Joseph ended doing the 15 mile run at about 6:19 pace overall.

Hung out with Laurie Burton Saturday afternoon in the Cotton District for the “Running of the Bulldogs”! Not really sure what the hell this was exactly, but, there was awesome music by some local dudes: Johnny Hollis, then Nick Cruz (sp?), and finally Bill Cook. Good Stuff. Also, a ribeye steak cooking competition, and yes, we were able buy some of that nice beef. Lots of alcohol if you were so inclined, and finally, at 7 PM, the local Roller Derby Girls chased random people from one bar to another and back. Strange, but interesting. The girls are awesome and call themselves the Mississippi Brawlstars.

Laurie with one of the girls

Laurie with one of the girls

Me and one of the Brawlstars, Smarty ....

Me and one of the Brawlstars, Snarly Quinn 

Sunday, Morning run with Joseph out here in Sessums. Nothing crazy, 4 miles, easy. Got done and were greeted by the local dog committee. Dogs like us, and kids. So it seems. Some friendly dogs for sure! Almost every Sunday morn, after our run, these crazy canines c0me by to say hello and receive some petting!

pet me human!

pet me human!

dogs

dogs

meet and greet

meet and greet

Joseph and a friend!

Joseph and a friend!

After the run, I went to town and goobed around on my mountain bike just to loosen up my legs.  A pleasant morning, so why not. Passed Haley Jenkins who was running. She is a happy camper for sure. She was also at the Boardtown run yesterday where she ran 15 miles. That pleasant little joker has sure got the running bug the last couple of years! I ended up mosying over to City Bagel for a nice breakfast bagel. Ate outside and enjoyed the breeze. Some more biking, then back home to work on some art stuff.

Got home and worked on two different pieces, one of which will be included in a book and later in an international show and the other for a local show. Listened to Blur and Nirvana! Loud. Yeah Baby. Got hyper, so occasionally I took breaks from my paintings to do pushups, curls, and shoulder flies. I did about 7 sets of 50+ pushups, probably 5 or 6 sets of dumbbells curls with 35 lb dumbbells, and 4 sets of 10 shoulder flies with the same weight.

Seven PM, yep, Joseph and I headed to town for a run. As we started, Nick Petit showed up and ran with us for about a mile! Have not seen much of that crazy mugg! So, yeah, I ran 5 miles. First one was super easy, about 7:55, then the next 4 were all under 7 minutes each. Averaged about 6:46 for those 4. Nice. Joseph ran on his own and did 6 miles.

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Humidity, Cicadas, and smoothies


Sunday, I finally got to sleep some time after 2 AM, and woke up a couple of times before getting up a 5 AM. Got up and ate breakfast on the deck – some yogurt, a peach, and an orange. It was pretty nice out. After a while I went back to bed and slept maybe another hour. Got back up and did various ab exercises. Headed to town and goobed around on my mountain bike for 90 minutes cruising the campus, downtown, research park, north farm gravel roads and some of the bike trails near the research park.

At 7 PM, Joseph and I met some scrubs including John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Drew Boyles. Mooney was doing a two hour run, but joined me for 4.6 miles. The rest of them bugs did 6 miles at 6:50ish pace. My pace was 7:21.

Monday, Morn, Joseph and I ran out here in Sessums. I did 4 miles easy, and he got in 6. Later, at 7 PM, and right after eating pizza, I ran 3.1 more miles at 7:10 pace, then worked out some. Joseph also added 4 miles.

Tuesday, Rode my bike some with Joseph this morn as he attempted a tempo run. First a 2 mile warmup run at easy pace, then he got in 3 miles at ok pace, but not really very good, so he just finished up with a jog and we called it a day. He was not feeling it this morn for sure.

Later, I met Joseph, Lake, Brent, and Jorge for a 6 mile run thru town. They all went faster than me, although I kept up for the first couple of miles. I ended up with a 7:14 pace. Pretty hot, pretty humid. This will be our last run with Brent for a while, as he is heading to England for a month! Some or another. He does know how to pick the right classes!

Wednesday, Went home for lunch and worked out. A good one, got all pumped and hyper! Simple things: pushups, pullups, ab stuff, bicep stuff, tricep stuff, shoulder stuff. Yep. Throw it together with little rest and it really works. Later, got in an easy 4 mile run (near 7 minute pace) after work. Pretty hot at 5:30 PM! Joseph ran somewhere on his own today.

Thursday, Joseph started the day with a Fartlek run. I started the day with work. Yippie. At 7 pm, afternoon run with Robert Morgan, Morgan Henry, Jorge, Villarreal and Will Kalfelz. Changed our route up some today and hit some road south of old Hwy 82. Nice change of pace. Morgan, Robert, and I did 5.35 miles, and my average mile pace was 7:22. This week is killer hot and humid. All runs have been crazy! Joseph again ran on his own today.

Friday, No run for me today. Did some upper body and core stuff from 3-4PM. Starting to get those abs back. Also did some plyometric type  jumps and skips out in the yard. In fact, I did the entire workout in the yard. Super hot! Have not done the frog type jumps in a long time. I will probably regret this in the morning! Joseph did an easy loose 5k type jog on the trail.

Saturday, Joseph and I met with the Boardtown group today for 6:30 AM run. The route was 11 miles. But, wow! Humid and hot! And those plyo’s? Yes, I regretted doing them. Apparently I was not the only one hurting. Jorge had played soccer the day before and Robert was struggling today as well. So, all three of us punked out and turned around at the first water stop, then headed back for about 6.5 miles. My pace was 7:21 per mile. Jorge’s pace was much faster, although he stopped several times and we caught him. Meanwhile, Joseph and Houston Franks ran almost 15 miles and at a very decent pace for this extreme weather. They added a segment thru the campus to get this distance. They basically ran together for about 13 miles, then Joseph said he needed to stop for a minute because he was hot. He came in a couple minutes after Coach Franks with a about a 6:25 average pace for 14.7 miles.

After running, I hung out in and by the pool with Audrey and her wacky punks, as well as Jorge and Joseph.  Played with the kids quite a while in the pool. Crazy little jokers. Times like this always make me appreciate Mike and Marcie White’s amazing hospitality in opening their house up every Saturday for 50-100 people! Their backyard is set up just for guests with beautiful arbors, flowering trees and vines, numerous tables and chairs, a wonderful swimming pool, and even a really cool playground for the many kids that show up including their own grandkids. Every single Saturday is a wonderful happy get together for Starkville’s running and Triathlete crowd, plus walkers and others just trying to stay in or get in shape.

Boardtownfolks1

Some Boardtown runners and walkers post run. Marcie White far left and Mike White in all black standing by post on right.

pool fun

pool fun

At 5 PM, I decided to do some pace based 400′s on my trail. After warming up for about 10 minutes, I did 10 X 400m with 30 seconds of rest between each. Not much rest, but I was not doing super fast ones. I ran them all between 1:33 and 1:35. After jogging/walking for a cool down, I then did several sets of pushups and various ab exercises. I did this outside, threw an old blanket on the grass for the ab things. Whew doggies! Hot and sweaty. Felt good though.

Eating a lot better lately. No soft drinks candy or really anything super bad. I always eat good stuff, but I have always also mixed the good with the bad. But, these last few weeks I have been trying to change my stupid ways with eating, as well as other negative parts of my life.  Tonight’s supper was grilled salmon with lemon; stir fried eggplant, yellow bell pepper, red onion, and yellow squash; and rice pilaf with orza topped with fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden and lime juice and habenero sauce. This type of meal is not unusual for me, but every time I eat something like this it makes me super happy and appreciative of the fact that I am one of the lucky people in the world who has an opportunity to partake in such a rich feast of the senses. After putting my food on my plate, I typically sit before it for a couple of minutes appreciating the moment, the smells, the colors, and life in general. Good food is good stuff in so many ways!

In other good news today, our running buds John Mooney, Lucas Muniz, and Brian Laird all did well at the Sunfish Triathlon. Mooney was first overall, Lucas was 5th overall, and Brian was 2nd in his age group! Way to go guys!

Brian Laird, John Mooney, and Lucas Muniz – tri guys!

Brian Laird, John Mooney, and Lucas Muniz – tri guys!

Sunday, Ran 5 miles at 6 AM with Joseph. Of course, super humid. I ran really easy, just trying to loosen up from the 400s I did the day before. Got home and made some awesome tasty banana, mango, peach, chocolate protein shakes! Yep, good stuff.

Worked out at noon. My basic but effective combo of pullups, pushups, curls, shoulder presses, dips, and ab exercises. Not bad, not bad. I have even slept more than 3 hours per night the last three nights. Couple that with good food, no crap food, and consistent exercise and I feel like I am in decent shape for a 50 year old artist punk.

7 PM run with Joseph, Drew Boyles, Juan and Jorge Villarreal, and Robert Morgan. Robert and Drew opted for 5 miles, Juan about 4, and the rest of did our standard Sunday afternoon 6 mile loop thru town. Hottt! Humid! I averaged 7:25 per mile, Joseph and Jorge ran together averaging around 6:45, with their first mile slow with us. Their splits were like 7:20, 6:45, 6:42, 6:37, 6:24, and 6:13. Not sure about the other jokers, but I was running with them until they turned back early, so it probably about the same pace as mine. Felt pretty good though.

 

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lose weight, run faster, go figure


Sunday, Met the guys at the South Farm parking lot for our Sunday evening run.  Pretty hot and humid today, but we still had a few idiotic jokers come out including me, Joseph, Lake Spradling, Jorge Villarreal, Robert Morgan, and newcomer Morgan Henry. Man, wow. Hot and humid. And, I was lacking my usual energy level. Not much appetite the last couple of days. Result, well, losing some weight, so thats great, ’cause I need to be lighter to run in this mucky weather. But, also not much energy. Anyway, our regular running joker, Brent Wallace, could not make it, but at least Joseph had Jorge and Lake to run with, who are both running well. They all did the six mile loop thru town at probably around 6:40 pace. Robert, Morgan, and I only did 4.6 miles with a simple out and back route. I was not planning on doing more than 5 miles anyway, as I was super tired. Still no sleep. Personal reasons you might say have kept me from sleeping for some time now, and its starting to catch up with me. Averaged about 7:25 per mile, with miles 2 and 3 the fastest. It was sooooo hot and humid. Man, lost 4 lbs on this 4.6 miles run.

Monday, Another morning workout on my deck. Bunch of pushups, pullups were done on the arbor, did crunches on a towel on the deck, and some curls and military presses with some 40 lb dumbbells. Got a pretty good workout.

pullups on the arbor

pullups on the arbor

That afternoon, Joseph and I met Morgan and Will Kallfelz for a run on the South Farm. Today’s weather was again brutal, and if anything, I was more tired than the day before. I guess sleeping 2-3 hours a night is just not enough. Running the gravel hills of the South Farm is much harder than running thru town! WHEW. Morgan and I once again went about 4.5 miles. And slow! Hot. Tired. I did plan on going easy, but geez. Will kept going for a 6 mile loop at 7:45 pace. Joseph did at least 7 miles at an easy pace for him. When I got done, I got on my bike and met Joseph to give him some water.

Between eating less, not drinking any sodas, working out pretty hard, and running in this heat, I have dropped a few pounds fast. Friday evening (and really Saturday morning as well) I weighed 183 lbs, but by Monday evening I was down to 168, the lightest I have been since October. Of course, losing weight this quick has left me pretty weak too. Need to hang around this weight and now eat more.

Tuesday, Early morning run out here in Sessums with Joseph. He did 6 miles, and I did 3.1 really easy miles. Temp was nice, but humidity was at 100%. Tough. Later that day, Joseph got in a few more miles and some strides. I decided that was enough for me today. I did do some crunches and pullups later in the afternoon.

Wednesday, Met Joseph and Lake Spradling at McKee Park at 6:30 AM for a three mile tempo, of which I biked. Started with a 2  mile warmup and finished with 2 miles of cool down jogging. I ran the warmup with them, then jumped on the bike for the tempo. Of course, with this humidity, everything is harder than usual, so they did not kill it. Joseph was fairly consistent and averaged 5:48 per mile. Lake averaged right about 6:26. Both of them can run faster, but you have to be careful in this weather. I then headed to the MSU campus, where I parked and ran another 3 miles on my own. Went downtown and here and there. About 7:40 pace.

Thursday, Joseph got in a 7 mile run early in the morn. I did not run today, but had a decent bout of pushups, ab stuff, pullups, dips,  curls, and militaries. These are my staple exercises, coupled with running and some light biking, it seems to work really well. All of the other is maybe superfluous. Running and biking work the legs really well, running also helps the abs and some upper body muscles as well, and the simple array of upper stuff pretty much gets everything else. Plus, its free. Don’t have to pay a gym membership.

Later, we headed to Jackson for the upcoming Watermelon Classic 5k the next morn.

Friday, Joseph ran in the Watermelon Classic 5k this morn in Jackson, MS. This was a workout day for him, or he had the option of running a race. He basically ran it like a workout, and did not look tired at the end, running a 7:24 and coming in 4th place. The winner was 16:38, and even though it was a workout type day, I would have like to have seen Joseph push it more and win the race today. Oh well.

Joseph finishing up the 5k

Joseph finishing up the 5k

Meanwhile, Lucas Muniz was in his hometown of Atlanta showing out in the gigantic Peach Tree 10k. He rammed out a 33:26, easily his best time ever! Great job on that Lucas. He is figuring out what works for him and it appears to be relatively low mileage with a sprinkling of  fast mile repeats and ocassional fartleks. Additionally, he is biking and swimming, hence the reduced mileage. At least for the time being, his strategy is working and not only is he becoming a better triathlete, but also a better runner.

Later that evening, after returning to Starkville, I cooked up a few burgers for a few runners jokers still in town including Brent Wallace, Tory Butler, Kamau Bostic, Jorge Villarreal, Juan Villarreal, and Audrey Sheridan. Of course, Joseph “Darth Vader” MacGown lives here and was also present for some tasty food. Hamburgers, steak, and vegetables, watermelon, and some beers.

Me, Bina, and Audrey Sheridan

Me, Bina, and Audrey Sheridan

Saturday, Got up and headed to the Boardtown Running Club deal. The route was only 9.8 miles, so I went with that. I was supposed to help Audrey this morn with her running form, breathing, etc., but she was a no show, so I got started after the main group. It was cooler than normal this morn, which was nice, and of course, I was a good 13 lbs or more lighter than last Saturday. I started behind everyone, but eventually reeled in all but Jorge, Joseph and Houston. Ended up running the 9.88 miles at a 6:55 pace, easily my best run in months. That was nice. Joseph said he ran good for 6 or 7 hitting low 6′s and some 5:40s, but then his foot starting hurting. He had a nice splinter or something in there near the ball of his foot, and apparently in his attempts to cut it out, he did not get it all. Was slightly swollen and infected. When we got home, he cut into it some more, then cleaned it up, and put some liquid bandaid on there. Hopefully that will help. But, he only got in 9.8 miles, so he needs another 5 or so today.

When we got home I did some pushups, pullups, curls, and shoulder presses and flies. Dragged this out over a a couple of hours while working on some paintings and listening to extremely loud music including Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and Ween.

So, 6 pm, another run. This time in town. Only a few since Joseph just needed another five or so. He ended up doing 4.2 at 6:40 pace. I did 3.2 at 7:10 pace. Thirteen miles total today. Felt pretty good.

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A good week of running in Starkpatch despite lack of sleep


Monday, Late afternoon run on the South Farm with Joseph following a storm. Roads were still wet and muddy in places, but plenty of gravel on those hills to keep you honest. I ended up doing a 5.5 mile loop at a pretty easy pace of 7:30. Joseph ran the 7 mile loop at an easy pace. I felt really good today, maybe even had some sort of life changing epiphany as I was running. As I was scooting along, I felt myself being overly tense, tight, trying to hard. So, I just relaxed and pretended I was a kid out running because its fun to run. My speed did not really change, but it sure felt better. As I relaxed and smiled like a foolish buffoon strolling down this gravel road, I realized that this was not just about running. My life has been tense and somewhat unfulfilling in many ways the last few years. There are some high points for sure, such as watching Joseph grow up and seeing his potential as and artist and musician. Its still hard to believe the amazing opportunity he will have at the Savannah College of Art and Design starting this fall. And, of course, I have had some success with my crazy artwork, interesting things to study at work, and getting to run with some awesome runner folks. But, at some point, and although it probably appears that I am a happy selfish punk because I spend time doing artwork, playing guitar, and exercising, I am in fact, wandering around in a strange fog, still trying to figure out basic things. Still living and doing things because I feel like I have to. Not relaxing and really enjoying life and what it has to offer. I am exaggerating a little, because I do get out and do some things such as random kayaking, hiking, biking, and stuff. I experience wonder every time I see a hummingbird or insects flying about. But, I have also become overly entrenched in my own little place in the universe, not willing to change for anyone, even if makes life less pleasant and my life less meaningful. I need to change. I suddenly and inexplicably realized that instead of finding ways to do things, I have been dwelling on why I can’t do things. Geez, its only taken me 50 years to come to that. Some people realize this when they are teenagers. Apparently, I am basically a really slow person. Reflection while running. The zen of running. Search your mind and soul and once in a while obvious answers pop up. Sometimes the answers come too late. I guess thats part of it. So, yeah, the run was good. This is part of why I run, to ponder the universe and my sometimes idiotic way of life. Occasionally, a random and meaningful assortment of thoughts pops into my head, and it is for these days and moments that I truly enjoy running.

Tuesday, Early morn run in Sessums with the kid. Super humid. Only did about 2.5 miles, first mile was slow, then 6:49 pace the rest of the way. Joseph got in maybe 3.5 miles, then we headed back to the house before going to work later.

That afternoon, we met some of the jokers for a run through campus and the research park. Joining us were Brent, Trevon, Alex Ross, and Jorge. Those guys took off pretty fast, and I kept them semi close for the first couple miles, at which point Trevon dropped off a bit. He was still in front of me, and pretty much maintained a respectable distance from me. I felt pretty good early, but the fourth mile or so was tough. I ended up with a 7:13 average. Apparently, Joseph and the guys were hitting 6:18s and 6:20s. After, Joseph threw in some strides to finish off the day. Worked out when I got home, pushups, pullups, crunches, curls, and shoulder presses.

Wednesday, At 7 pm, we me Trevon, Will, and Robert at McKee Park for a tempo run in the nearby Longmeadow neighborhood. Began with a 1.7 mile warmup job with Trevon and Joseph doing theirs slightly faster than our 7:38 pace. I then biked with Joseph during his 4 mile tempo, which he did at 5:46 pace more or less. It was super humid, and after a couple of miles, he was feeling it. Trevon also did 4 miles, probably in the low 6′s, not sure as he did not have a watch. Man, that dude is so excited to be running. Its truly contagious!  Crazy Will and Robert did a 4000k tempo at somewhere around 6:45-6:50 mile pace.  Nice work for them. Jogged a couple more miles with the guys after they finished. Got home and did some stray pushups.

Thursday, Early morn, got in some pushups, curls, pullups, and ab work. Still hanging around 180 lbs, which is too heavy for the pace I like to run. Maybe by another month. Six miles with Joseph, Lake, Brent, Will, and Jorge. I again averaged right at 7:13 per mile. Same as Tuesday, different route. Will, who had already done 9 miles earlier than morning, ran around an 8 minute pace, which meant that I basically ran the route on my own, ’cause those other muggs were flying! After the first mile, which we do at warmup pace, their next 5 were around 6:18 pace. Joseph added another mile or so at the end, then did some 200m strides. Pretty good running this week so far. Some crazy ladies who were participating in a wine drinking event in downtown Starkville seemed really glad to see me running by shirtless and with sunglasses on. I look much younger with the shades on you know, they hide those cracks and bags under my eyes from 50 years of living. So, its likely that they were confused. The ladies were pretty funny though, and told me inappropriate things that they wanted to do to me!

Saturday, 10 miles in the rain to start the day! Ran with the Boardtown group, but had plenty of Starkville Striders there today including me, Joseph “Darth Vader” MacGown, Jorge “the Colombian chic magnet” Villarreal, Lucas “prima donna” Muniz, Brent “Captain America” Wallace, Wildman Will Kallfelz, Trevon (LL Cool Trey) Strange, Robert “superman” Morgan, and others. I was planning on doing maybe 12 miles, but could not sleep the night before; got maybe 3 hours! Then, with the rain, my feet were so wet, it was uncomfortable, so I turned back at a bit past 5 miles. Let me elaborate. The rain felt great, but it soaked my shoes and socks. My wet socks were killing my feet!  Averaged 7:28 per mile on the slick roads. Felt better than expected given the lack of sleep. Joseph, Lucas, Houston Franks (MSU XC Coach), and Jay McCurdy (former pro triathlete) were killing it, with Jorge, Trevon, and Micah White not far behind. Brent hung with them until 3.5 miles, before turning back for a 7 mile loop. The top 4 averaged 6:20 or better with Joseph and Houston having a 3 mile or so leg at 5:40-5:50  pace. This was 12 miles in the rain on some slick roads. Joseph added some more when they got done, as he wanted to get in 13 or 14 miles. Crazy jokers. Keep in mind that their first 3.5 miles were probably about a 6:40-6:50 average. That tells you how fast the next 8-9 were! Wow, what an awesome group. Robert Morgan looked good too, and I ran with him and Vicky McCurdy for a while. They ended up doing the entire 12 miles though, so I ran the remaining 5 on my own.

Good start to the day. Hung out with the many runners afterward in the pool and patio area of Mike and Marcie White’s place. Despite the rain, there was a ton of folks here today. And, eventually, the light rain dissipated making the time in the pool even better.  A ton of kids where playing and swimming in the pool, and I did my best to annoy them and the adults.

Brent, me, Kyle, and Micah hanging out in the pool

Brent, me, Kyle, and Micah hanging out in the pool

After leaving the White’s, Joseph and I headed to the Farmer’s Market to get some fresh stuff! Added that to some salmon that I grilled up for lunch, and whew boy! Nice lunch! My former girlfriend Audrey Sheridan, honey bee researcher extraordinaire (read more about her work at http://blogs.msucares.com/honeybees/) came by with her goober kids to enjoy the tastiness. I may or may not be suitable boyfriend material, but I can sure as hell grill some freakin’ awesome salmon and vegetables. Today was no exception. The vegetables included a mix of eggplant, red bell pepper, red onion, carrots, and zucchini cooked with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper in a wok over the open flame on my grill (side attachment). Threw that on some jasmine rice, then added some chopped tomato, cucumber, and basil. Everything was from the farmer’s market or from my own garden (other than the fish). I don’t always eat right, but when I do, it is soooooo satisfying.

Always good to see Audrey and her kids, who love playing with Joseph’s old toys.  Joseph seemed to enjoy playing with the toys as well, I guess basically he is still a kid. Heck, for that matter, who wouldn’t? He has some awesome toys like teenage mutant ninja turtles from back in the day!

Awesomeness

Awesomeness

the power of magnets!

the power of magnets!

goodies

goodies

Audrey seems especially happy these days, so I guess things are turning around for her with this crazy weird art dude out of her life (more or less). I imagine having someone less artistically inclined in her life now will make things much easier for her. Artists are complicated weirdos. I am no exception. Just look at my artwork! No, really, check it out: joemacgown.com. Maybe I will figure it out one day.  I am amazed and proud of her for the job she does with her kids. Those jokers are always doing something cool, staying fit, and have a vocabulary that probably surpasses mine. Not typical here in Mississippi!

Audrey, proud mother hen, with with youngsters at Choctaw Lake

Audrey Sheridan, proud mother hen, with with her youngsters at Choctaw Lake

Perhaps the highlight of my day was the super amazing blueberry chocolate bar that Laurie Burton brought me back from Alaska! Man, I love blueberries. And chocolate. Good stuff! Thank you very much! She said she also brought back a raspberry one, but somehow, it mysteriously disappeared! Hmm.

Sunday, Another semi sleepless night. Pretty much the norm the last few years following divorce and then crazy back and forth relationship with girlfriend/not girlfriend/girlfriend/not girlfriend, etc. Have not been able to find an inner calm, and the obvious lack of sleep does not help my energy level. Fortunately, my lowest energy level appears to be above the norm for folks, so I still manage to somehow manically get things done and even have some energy left over for exercise. I don’t recommend what I do for others. Its crazy and so much is going on it makes things like relationships really difficult. With that in mind, I did a workout on my deck doing pushups, curls, shoulder presses, and pullups on my arbor. At 9 am, it was already fantastically hot and humid out. Typical for Mississippi. Regardless, exercising outside is nice. Lots of things blooming in the yard, honeybees buzzing about, tree frogs and lizards popping in and out, cicadas singing their mysterious ululations, and the sky a pleasant and slightly lazy grayish blue. Anyway, I am starting to feel like I am getting back in shape gradually. Being able to run more consistently helps a lot, of course. Being 5’9″ and 183 lbs has not been helping, so I need to shed a few to save my knees! Actually down to 174 today, almost 10 lbs from week ago. When people say it gets harder when you get older, they are not exaggerating one bit! Here is a pict of me from today. 50 years old! Dang, getting old.

Trying to hang in there at 50 years old.

Trying to hang in there at 50 years old.

bottle tree in my yard

bottle tree in my yard

 

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Humid as Hell in Starkville, MS


Monday, Lots of rain in the area this week, which makes getting a run in challenging. Especially when you have to work! Today, Joseph and I went at 4:30 PM, rather than later when it would be cooler, due to a big storm coming in. We ran out in the country in Sessums where we live. Yes, hot and humid! I had planned on doing at least 6, but ended up with about 4.5 miles at a 7:13 pace. Joseph had planned on doing 7 or 8, but he did about 6 instead. It was just too hot. He was supposed to be running easy today, and really every day right now, and maybe he was. He looked like was not pushing it. Even so, he average 6:18 per mile on this hot, humid afternoon. I thought he looked too hot, so told him that was enough. That storm that was coming? Well, it blew in hard around 6 PM and pretty much rained all night.

Tuesday, Rain in the forecast for the entire day. But, for some reason, it stopped for a couple of hours in the morning, so Joseph was able to squeeze in a quick 4 run at 6:22 pace before we headed to work. I did not run this morn. The rain let up by early afternoon, so we were able to run at 5 PM. It was only about 75° today, so that was nice. Somewhat windy too, but not bad. Jorge, Brent, and I ran thru the campus and Research Park. Neither of them ran yesterday, so they went farther, about 7 miles, but I split off just before 4 miles and finished up with 5.5 miles at 7:25 pace. Joseph also ran, but started late. He got in about 6 miles on the South Farm. Surprisingly, he said it was not overly muddy! After, he and Jorge did a few 200m strides. I did some random pushups.

rainy day!

rainy day!

Wednesday, No run today for me, but got in my regular workout after work. Joseph ran on his own today.

Thursday, ran 6 miles with Brent, Joseph, and Robert at 6:30 pm. Pretty hot, but not bad. Joseph and Brent quickly left us today, while Robert and I took it easy more or less. Robert was a little tight from doing some squats earlier, and after the tough 4th mile part of the run, he slowed up a good bit.  I picked it up running 7:01 for the 5th mile and 6:38 for the last mile, but averaged 7:15 for the entire route. Joseph added a couple miles on the end running at least 8 total, then threw in 6 X 100m strides. He has been looking really good lately, his form seems to be straightening out nicely.

Friday, Got up in the morn and did my “wake myself up” workout with pullups, pushups, curls, militaries and ab stuff. This is pretty quick routine with little rest between sets. Usually start with pullups (15-20 reps), jump down for about 70 pushups, roll over for several types of crunch type deals, jump up and grab the 40 lb dumbells for some military presses (usually about 30 reps wit this light weight), lower them and do 12-15 reps of curls, then drop one and do those oblique deals where you have the dumbbell in one hand and lower it up and down, then 25-30 dips, then repeat the entire process two or more times. This simple workout is quick and effective!

I did not run today. Joseph got in an easy morning run though. He also did some type of core workout this morn.

Saturday, Whoohoo! Joseph’s birthday today, 18 years old! Started the celebration with a morning run with the Boardtown group. Started the run with our buds Brent and Jorge up in the front, but Brent only went about 7.5 miles total, so he turned around at 3.25 and Jorge did 10 miles, so he turned around at 5 miles and came back. Joseph and Jorge were going a good bit faster than me, and by the time Joseph was at 5.5 miles, I did not see him again until finishing the run. He basically ran the nest 7.5 miles by himself, as did I. My pace was 7:20 today. Not bad. Joseph was around 6:40 average with minimal water breaks at 1st and 3rd water stops. I also did not hang out long at the water stops. Pretty good run. My knees get a bit sore, and I think its partly from my Ravennas that I am running in. They are stiff! But, seem to be better for my calf muscles, so I am hesitant to change right now.

Later that day, a very strange mix of folks come over for some burgers and to hang out. Mostly running folks, but also some of Joseph’s chums from school. We had some ice cream and stuff. Ate outside on the deck.

Sunday, Mighty hot!!! Started the day with some kayaking on Oktibbeha County Lake with fellow weird artist Laurie Burton. The lake itself is fairly boring and hot, but if you get in the back area, there is some cool stuff and a creek that feeds the lake. Later, we went running at 5:30 PM, which is really way too early in this heat. But, some Bug Camp kids were heading to my property for some insect collecting at around 7, so I needed to be there. The run, as expected, was crazy hot and humid! I only did 5 miles at a 7:20 pace. Brent and Joseph did 6 miles at about 7 flat pace.

The bug campers eventually showed up, at like 8:30 PM! I should have just ran at 7 PM, as the folks running this camp are always notoriously late. They stayed until about 11 PM.  The kids collected  insects on sheets suspended between trees with UV lights present to lure insects in, on trails, on plants, in rotting logs, and even in the pond. Pretty cool.

Monday, Started this Monday with pushup and some pull ups. The exercise woke me up a little anyway. At 7 PM, Joseph and I met Brent, Jorge, and newcomer, Trevon Strange for run through campus, the Research Park and part of town. Trevon is doing some type of internship at MSU this year. He is a student and XC runner at Tuskeegee University in Alambama. He was pretty excited to find some folks to run with, and we for sure have some people that will push him. It was again hot and humid. I know, go figure. My plan this summer is to pretty much take these runs pretty easy, looking for 7:00-7:30 type paces. My calf injury seems to be pretty much healed, but because I limited my runs for a few months to 5 miles or less and to 3 or 4 days, I lost quite a bit of fitness. Plus, gained weight. Still weighing about 180-183 lbs, up from my 163-165 last fall! Anyway, I find these hot humid days to be pretty tough right now! I did 5.5 miles today at a 7:28 mile pace. Joseph, Brent, and Jorge got in almost 7 miles with Joseph and Jorge finishing up first with a 6:49 average pace (pretty good easy run for this weather), and Brent finishing about 1 minute back. I branched off from them somewhere along the way. They said Trevon kept up for about 4 miles before falling back. He, not being familiar with Starkville yet, ended up coming back a slightly different way after having lost sight of the guys. When he finally showed up, he was very pumped and excited to have folks faster than him to run with. Apparently, his college XC team is not very strong. I suspect that if he can hang with our faster folks by summer’s end, he will impress some folks this fall.

Brent, Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Brent, Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Tuesday, Joseph and I got up at 5:45 and headed out for an easy run. With the heat and humidity, its hard for Joseph to get all of his mileage in during just one run a day, so he slplits some up. He did 4 this morn and will do another 6 or so this evening. I did a 5k this morn, and very slowly. Mainly just loosening up my legs from the last few day! And, WOW!! It was some kind of humid this morn. For people that don’t live in this area, there is simply no way to explain it. Kind of like running in a giant sauna maybe.

Brent’s birthday is today, and that wiley goofy joker is now 27. We grabbed some lunch with him and Jorge.

Happy birthday Brent Wallace...

Happy birthday Brent Wallace…

Wednesday, Well, planned on running at 7 pm, but a crazy local storm dropped down on us and the lightning scared us away. So, no run. Oh well.

Thursday, Got up early and paced Joseph on my bike while he did a tempo workout starting at 6 AM. Two mile warmup jog, some light stretching and water, then 4 miles faster, then right into a 2 mile cool down jog. Warmup was nice and easy, about 7:38 pace. Tempo was pretty good given the high humidity levels, with mile 1 at 5:28, mile 2 was 5:38 (really faster as it was an out and back course so he had to slow down for turn), mile 3 was 5:33, and mile 4 was 6:05. He started struggling with the humidity on that last one I think. His cool down was about 7:15 average.

Later, at 7 PM, we met Brent, Jorge, Trevon, and Steve Shoto, an awesome runner at MSU, for a 6 mile jog through town. Pretty hot, but maybe not quite as humid. I stuck with those bozos for just over three miles, but they picked it up and I fell behind a bit. I ended up with a 7:03 pace today, which was not bad for me right now. They all averaged 6:49 for the run. After, Joseph, Trevon, and Steve got in a few nice 100m strides.

Friday, 6 AM run with the kid. Super humid, like pretty much every morn here! I only did 3.1  miles, Joseph was closer to 4. Got cleaned up and we headed to work. Later, at about 7 pm, I got a nice upper body/core workout.

Saturday, Joseph and I again joined the Boardtown Running group for a long run in the morn. The route was 11.4 miles today, and on this momentous date of my birth and now 50th birthday, I felt every mile as we ran through clouds of humidity. Amazingly hard to run today! I managed to average 7:35 per mile, but it was not easy! Ran with Robert Morgan much of the way and we pushed each other just to finish. Joseph apparently had no problem as he ran with Jorge and past resident and awesome runner Neal Hadley, who was in town for something or another. After the first easy mile at 7:20, they averaged 6:28 for the rest of the journey, with Joseph adding a bit more at the end.

A bunch of the runner jokers joined me at local bar and grill Bin 612 at 7 pm for a birthday celebration of sorts. We sat outside and enjoyed the hot, muggy air for a while.

Sunday, Morning came about and I got a really good workout in. Took about an hour and felt pretty danged good! Later, at 7 pm, Joseph and I met Brent, Lake Spradling, Jorge, and Will Kallfelz who just got back in town. Of course, it was hot and humid. Me and Will kept up with those mugs for about 2.5 miles of this 6 mile loop, then they left us. Will actually ran two miles from our house to run with us, and, of course, ran back after, getting in about 10 miles total. He been running like a crazy man lately, doing a marathon a month with some halves thrown in. I ended up averaging 7:09 today, which was not bad. Felt pretty good and finished the last couple miles sub 7. Joseph and those muggs averaged 6:49 for the route, with the last four being under 6:40. Lake, a 10th grader at Starkville Academy, looked pretty good and kept up with them fine. If that joker can come out with us regularly this summer, he will be in great shape by the fall!

 

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