Monthly Archives: March 2011

Homewood Meet and some awesome running this week

On Thursday, I lifted weights, ran some and hit the mountain bike trails some on my bike. Felt pretty good. So, after going by the track Friday afternoon with the SHS kids, I went back over to the Research Park, did some mile repeats at about 5:20 then unloaded the bike and rode for a while on the trails again. There were some people riding around, and they asked me to join them (one of them did). So, I rode with them a while. That was pretty fun. They were cruising along pretty good. One of them, Landon Voller, is one of the people that work on the trails out there. Of course, if you have read my  blog regularly, you know I am not as happy with the trails as I used to be, but I certainly respect anyone willing to spend their time doing it! Actually, he does a great job with them, I just don’t like all the many tight turns because it makes the trail too slow. But, I guess some people might like that. Those guys had some cool looking bikes, and all had the fancy locking pedals with special shoes! Maybe one day I will upgrade, but I do alright with what I have, so its hard to justify spending money on yet another hobby! Either way, I don’t need them out there, because the trails are pretty easy. I don’t want to make it easier, I want a workout! People always tell me that those pedals are more efficient, and obviously they are, since you can pull up on the pedals in addition to pushing down. I would for sure use them if I still biked on the roads. However, on trails, you can only go so fast anyway, because of the many obstacles, turns, hills, etc., so I don’t believe they are necessary.  I like to take my feet off the pedals somewhat regularly too. I will say that if it was really wet, those pedals might prevent your foot from slipping off the pedals. Since I don’t ride the trails when it is really wet, that is not an issue. So far, I have not noticed anybody riding any faster than I am either, but some people do crazier stuff I imagine. Crazy stuff on mountain bikes is for young stupid people anyway. They tend not to have yet understood the concept of what their body will feel like when they get older if they abuse it when they are young! As it is, I am fairly reckless, and usually leave with at least minor scrapes. I don’t want a serious injury for sure, as it would set me back while running with the SHS high school track team!

The Starkville High Track and Field team attended the Homewood Meet in Alabama this past Saturday, and it was awesome! Even though we had to be at Starkville High to load buses at 5 AM and did not get back until 11 PM, the day was well worth it. The meet was huge! I don’t know how many teams, but there were a bunch. Joseph ran the 1600m race and then later the 3200m race. There were about 150 runners in six heats in the 1600m race and something similarly crazy in the 3200m race. He did pretty well and ran 4:51 for the mile and 10:36 for the 2 mile. Both were PR’s for him on a track at a race, although he has run faster times on the road for both distances. We had several other kids who ran quite well also.  I thought Kamau did a good job in the 800m race and the 4 X 800m race. He is looking like a serious contender for our state meet title in that event.

Sunday afternoon, I met with Joseph, Kamau, Nathan (Gaudin), and Steve Shaffer for a great 10 mile run. We again hit the University Estate hills, the MSU campus,  and the downtown Starkville area. The day was cloudy, misty, and chilly. We all wore long sleeve shirts (at least for a while). On the way back we went by the Sanderson Center just as the spectators of the MSU baseball game were leaving. Some of those jokers were so rude in their cars, I couldn’t believe it! Two cars actually ran stop signs just so they would not have to wait the 1 or 2 seconds to cross the crosswalk in front of them! One car actually pulled out into traffic and almost got hit by another car. Other cars pulled out in front of us then abruptly stopped because other cars were in the way, forcing us to dodge them. Crazy! It made Joseph and Kamau mad, so they started racing the cars. The rest of us sped up too. But, those two were flying! I don’t know exactly how fast they ran their last mile and a half, but I would guess under a 5 minute mile pace. And that was after a crazy long run. We were running at about a 7.5 minute per mile pace most of the way, but whenever we got to a hill, we ran faster. Plus, those crazy kids were running up and down grassy hills, up concrete slopes under overpasses, running on retaining walls then jumping off, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Awesome run!!! We barely made it back before it started really raining, but we did make it! I was starving, so I went to Piggly Wiggly and got us some doughnuts and chocolate milk, then took Kamau home.

Monday, I lifted weights, then headed to the track to time people, etc. The high school distance kids were doing repeat 1600’s. Joseph and Kamau were doing theirs at about 5:10 to 5:15 per mile. They also did a mile warm up and cool down.

On Tuesday, we ran at the South Farm in misty, pre-rain weather. Sort of a small group today, as the junior high kids are mostly running on the track this week getting ready for their last meet of the season next Tuesday. Since the weather looked iffy, we all went only 5.5 miles. Abigail, Walker, and Mary Elizabeth, our premier high school long distance girls all ran together.  Actually, Abigail and Walker run for our varsity team, but are only in 8th grade! Next year, Walker’s younger sister, Kate, who is in 6th grade, will also run for the varsity team. Right now, she is probably faster than any of our varsity girls, as well as some of the varsity boys. Aaron Remotigue had, in my opinion, his best day of running ever! He started out ahead of Kamau, Joseph and I by a few minutes, but I could see him as he ran, and he did a great job. In fact, I thought that Kamau, Joseph and I were doing pretty good as well. We easily ran the 5.5 mile distance in 37 minutes. Aaron and Joseph did some 150m strides, and Kamau and I jogged back and joined the girls as they ran in.  Must have been the weather or something, but everybody was feeling great!

Tomorrow we will be back at the North Farm running. This Saturday we will be at the Mississippi State Invitational here in Starkville. Come out if you can! Running events start at 11Am with the 3200m race, in which Joseph will be a participant. Field events start around 9:30ish that morn.


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Running tomorrow at North Farm and MSU Invite next Saturday

We will be running tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM if anybody wants to go. We will meet at the old Enology Building on the big hill at the MSU North Farm near the Research Park just of Hwy 82.

In other news, just got back from a big track meet in Homewood, AL.  Lots of the kids ran or threw well and many had PR’s! Joseph ran a 4:51 in the mile and 10:36 in the two mile, which was pretty good for him. Next Saturday our team will be in action at the Mississippi State Invitational in Starkville at the new track. Come out and watch our team run if you can!

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Warmer weather!

We didn’t have a track meet this past Saturday, so we got to sleep late for a change! We had talked about running the Lake Lowndes St. Paddy’s Day 5k that morning-even woke up in time, but we were too lazy, so we went back to bed.  Don’t know who won yet. Last year Joseph won and I was 2nd.  That has happened a few times. Later in the day, we decided to make up for our laziness by running at the track. We started off with a 1 mile warm up. Then, Joseph ran a relatively fast 2 mile (11:00), then 5 minutes later a mile (5:15 -5:20 or so), then a 400m run in about 1:09, then a 200 in :26, then finished up with a mile cool down.

Sunday afternoon, we met with Steve Shaffer at the North Farm. It was very warm for this time of year, about 86°F! We went a different route today and headed toward downtown Starkville.  Went down University Drive toward Main Street, then down Greensboro Street where we turned left on Louisville Street, then left on Gillispie Street, then left down Montgomery Street until University Street. We then went through the MSU campus and back around the Sanderson Center and through the Research Center finishing up back at the North Farm. I think We went about 7.5 miles or so, but it seemed a little harder than usual with the warmer weather.

Monday was another track day for the SHS track kids. The high school distance runners did 5 X 1000m intervals. The junior high runners had a reduced workout because they were going to run in a junior high meet in Meridian the next day.  Of course, in track events, 9th graders can participate in junior high races, so many, if not most, of the 9th graders were going to be in the meet. I think Joseph may have been one of the few 9th grade boys who was not supposed to go, but he will be in a big varsity meet this weekend in Homewood, Alabama, so I think he was ok with that. Of the high school boys working out that day, I thought Joseph and Case looked really good.  Joseph’s times were between 3:07 and 3:14 I think, with 400m jogs between. Case was typically only a few seconds back. Kamau started out pretty good, but appeared to be a little dehydrated after his 3rd 1000m run, so he had to take a break. The other group of boys seemed to be doing pretty well, and Damian was consistently leading that group.

Tuesday afternoon, we met at the South Farm for a medium paced run. All of the younger kids except for Joseph and Walker were at the Meridian meet, so we had a reduced group. But, we had a pretty good run. I was able to keep up with Joseph and Kamau today for 7 miles at about a 6:40 pace. I believe Steve ended up doing about 8 miles, because at some point they had started moving some cattle across the road. Kamau, Joseph, and I had just beat the cows, but Steve had to turn around and back track some, which added a mile or so to his run.  Most of the others went 5.5 miles, and a couple with mild injuries only went 3.1 miles. Everybody did 6 strides when they got through. Because it was pretty warm today I put out a water jug at a point about 3.5 miles out. Probably a good idea, since nobody is really used to the heat yet! It was somewhat dusty too, but it was only really bad when a MAFES work truck went by.  Fortunately, most of those jokers get off work at 4 PM and generally leave enmasse. We generally start our run right after the mass exodus of farm workers.

Tomorrow afternoon we will be at the North Farm, again meeting at the old Enology Building on the big hill.

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track workout

We went to the SHS this morning for a track workout with the runners that happened to be in town (instead of on vacation somewhere).  The distance kids did 12 300’s in sets of 4, although Kamau and Joseph did two sets of six instead. In between each 300 they did a 100m walk/jog and a 500 m jog between sets.

Coach  Barnett was out of town today, but Coach Woomer, Coach Fisher, and Coach Minor were there, as well as us crazy cool volunteer coaches including Coach Heard, Coach Beckam, Coach Evans, and myself. Coach Heard, from Eupora, was a great jumper in high school and recently got done playing arena football.  He is doing a great job helping the jumpers with their form and what-have-you. Coach Beckam knows a lot about how to make people faster and is helping the sprinters with various things. Coach Evans ran at SHS a few years back and at MSU, and helps the sprinters and hurdlers. And, of course, I help out the distance runners. Mostly I try to push them, help pace them, give them pointers on form, etc. I don’t really get to design their workouts or anything, although I may occasionally modify them a bit depending on what’s going on.  Also there today was David Miller, the sports writer for the Dispatch. He hung out a while talking to various people.

Before we even got started, a metal sign about 12 X 16 inches was blown off the fence around the track and into Joseph’s right arm. He received a nasty gash and blood was plentiful. Coach Fisher took him over to the Athletic complex and cleaned it up and bandaged it. It probably could have used stitches, but we decided not to do all that. Finally, he and Kamau got to start their workout!

Since there were not many people there, I ran along with the junior high boys to pace them. There were only 4 of them, Christian, Marshall, Chin, and Matthew (Myles).  Marshall is a 7th grader and the other three are 8th and 9th graders, but those 3 are all 14 years old now. Christian was the fastest of that group and I ran along side him as the others ran right behind. I did not run the first few 300s with them and noticed they seemed to be going too slow for the workout. But, when I jumped in, that changed! Christian especially looked good today, although all 4 of them were hitting the times they were supposed to be doing. On the last set of 3, Christian ran 53 seconds, 50 seconds, and 51 seconds, which was great. Actually, he did so well on the first two in that set, I had him run his last one with Kamau and Joseph to help push him, and to keep Joseph and Kamau honest. I knew they would not let him pass them. Kamau ran that one in 43, Joseph in 45, and Christian was 51 seconds.  We finally got done with the 300s and did a cool down mile (or or two).


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Running this week and the Paul Bryant Stampede

Saturday was a long day that started at about 6 AM with us meeting at Starkville High to load the buses with the track team and ended at about 9 PM when we got back home!  We had a meet that day at Paul Bryant High in Tuscaloosa, AL. This meet included middle school (7th – 8th grades) and high school. This was our first real meet of the season, and we did quite well with the boys varsity team coming in 2nd, varsity girls  6th, middle school boys  4th, and the middle school girls  2nd!  Joseph ran the 1600 m race coming in 3rd at 4:56. Not a great time, but he is still figuring out how to run the race.  He almost beat Kamau, having passed him with about 300 m to go, but Kamau had a great surge at the end and beat him by about a second. He had lots of juice left, and hopefully he will be in the 4:40’s at the next race.  We had several boys run the mile from our team who also run on the cross country team. They all ran under 5:36, which means that they should all be able to run at least 18:30 for the 5k next fall, the faster ones should be under 18, and Joseph and Kamau should be under 17 minutes.  Kate also did well in the 1600 m race, and she easily won with a time of 5:39. Not bad for a sixth grade girl! Some of our high school boys were only a couple of seconds faster! Joseph also ran the 800m race and out of the 3 heats ended up with fifth place at 2:15. Not bad, considering he is really more of a distance runner. He had the best time of the boys on our team in the open 800 that day, although our faster half miler, Kamau, did not run the 800. About a half hour after the 800, Joseph ran the 3200m race. He was not scheduled to run it, but he asked Coach Barnett if he could run it unattached. As it turned out, one of our two entrants in the race had already left, so he got to run in his place. Although he was tired, he ended up running it in 10:58 coming in second place.  For complete results, go to .

Sunday afternoon, Joseph, Steve,  Ethan Musser, and I went for a great run around MSU, University Estates, the North Farm, and other places in the vicinity. As we had done recently, we hit a bunch of nice hills! We went just over an hour today, about 9.5 miles. Then, Joseph, Ethan and I jumped on the mountain bikes and rode around the bike trails at the Research Park woods. Steve ran along behind us, as we were not going too fast and apparently, the almost ten miles we ran at a pretty good pace was not enough for him! We probably rode about 45 minutes or so, and ended up cutting it short after Joseph had a nice tumble! I think this was about the 4th or 5th time he wrecked actually that day, but this time was a bit more serious. He knee and shin was pretty banged up and he had a hard time walking.  Nothing too serious though, after ice and a couple of days rest, he seemed to be ok.   As far as the condition of the trails, they were in pretty good shape. Obviously, folks are working on them a bunch.  I had just been out there the week before, and it seemed like large sections of the trail had again been rerouted. Every time I go out there, I have to relearn the trails! I don’t mind that so much, but boy, the trails have almost become so looped and convoluted, that they are less fun to ride than ever before. I have to say, whoever is laying them out apparently has less than zero interest in riding at a speed of anything approaching fast. The trails are overall very easy to ride, but require constant turning and breaking,   Maybe this is what they call technical riding? But, I enjoy nicer stretches where you can go a bit faster. I need to start riding back out at the Tombigbee National Forest trails. The last time I was there, those trails were quite nice, and there is so much land present, they don’t have to loop everything around so much. Hopefully, the technical trail builders have not had their way there!

Monday, we did not run, and just as well, as it rained like crazy that afternoon. Either way, Joseph’s knee was still pretty sore. However, we did go for a 30 minute run Tuesday afternoon around campus. We stopped by the MSU track, which was just finally finished. I saw the MSU men’s coach, Houston Franks, and talked to him for a few minutes, before we headed back to the South Farm where we had parked.

On Wednesday, of this fine spring break week, Joseph and I went for a run at the north farm. Did a 5.1 mile loop at about 6:30 per mile. We went at about 5 PM and the weather was really nice!

Tomorrow morning at 10 AM, I am going to take Joseph to the SHS track, where they will be doing some type of workout. Not everyone is in town since it is Spring Break, but several are still around. Should be fun.

This Saturday morning, we may run in the St. Paddy’s Day 5k at Lake Lowndes State Park in Columbus, MS. The race starts at 8 AM. We ran this race last year and it was pretty fun, plus, it is a beautiful place to run. Another St. Paddy’s 5k will be held the same day in Jackson, MS. We also did this one last year, but the two races were not on the same day last year.  The one in Jackson is much bigger, but a farther drive!


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