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.