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 http://al.milesplit.com/meets/83029/results/150555 .
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!