A few more days of running…

Another week has gone by and we are that much closer to the end of summer. Amazingly, Joseph starts school on August 8th, right around the corner! Cross country practice starts on the 27th of July, just 10 days from now. I imagine we will have a multitude of new runners trying out for the team. Until then, we will keep on with our summer training, which has kept us in pretty good shape. Except for the week when we were on vacation and last week when he was at a church retreat, he has been running 58-63 miles a week (on the two vacation weeks he averaged about 30 miles per week).  With this base mileage and core workouts 3 times a week, Joseph should be primed for the XC season.  Regardless of how he does in cross country this fall, his running form has improved and he is in great shape, and so far, injury free. Hopefully that will continue, it is so easy to tweak some muscle group or joint.

After Tuesday’s light interval workout at the North Farm, we did not meet to run again until Thursday night. I did not get to run Wed. at all, as I went insect collecting that day in the Delta National Forest in Sharkey County. Joseph was able to get in a few easy miles on our trail that morning. He was going to run later that afternoon, but thundershowers prevented it. He was able to get his core workout in before lunch too. The next morning, he and Julie went to the South Farm to run at 6 AM. He ran 7 miles at a decent pace, and she went a 5k distance.  He also ran for 35 minutes later that day, then headed to see a friend who was visiting town.  Since he was at his friend’s, he did not get to run with us on our Thursday afternoon run.  However, after lifting some weights, I headed to the South Farm to see if anybody felt like running. Of course, the amazingly enthusiastic Steve Shaffer was there, then  Shanika Musser showed up on her bike. Christian again joined us. His Mom walked and his younger sister Kennis ran with us for the first time. She is thinking about running XC this fall as she enters the 7th grade.  At some point, Ethan Musser also showed up.  He was supposed to play softball, but the other team did not show up, so he came and ran. Most everybody ran a 4 mile loop on a hilly section, except for Kennis who intermittently jogged for a few minutes and walked (since she is a beginning runner). I ran ahead of everyone and did about 5.5 miles, then came back behind them to make sure everyone made it in. It was hot, but no problems. In fact both Shanika and Christian did a great job. Shanika is a beast! Although she is only going into the 7th grade and not even 12 years old yet, she has no problem running 4 miles at an 8 minute per mile pace! She is is overall good shape and can do over 50 pushups in a row! And, it is not taking long for Christian to get back in running shape. He had no problem with the 4 miles.

Joseph ended up spending Thursday night with his friend(s), but got up Friday morning and ran 3 or 4 pretty fast miles with two of his friends pushing the pace on their bikes.  Later in the day, he did his core workout. He did not run again on Friday, but instead went skating with some friends that night.

We got up early Saturday morning to run a 13 mile loop with the boardtown runners. The temperature was a bit cooler and we had cloud cover the entire journey, which made it somewhat easier to run. It was just as humid as ever though! Joseph was beat after pretty much staying up all night Thursday and again hanging out with friends on Friday night, but he did alright considering. He knew he was tired, because he was not way out in front like he usually is!  I felt alright, but my calf muscles were a bit sore and a couple of toes were feeling it. May loose a toenail pretty soon. That is the problem with running in high humidity, my feet get soaking wet after a while! We were aiming for 13 miles, but did not know the route, so were following other people today (of course, I often follow other folks, as some of them are very fast!). Houston Franks was out in front as per usual, and he added a section on at the end not knowing that several of us were following him. Anyway, we added close to two miles to the entire loop, so ended up doing about 15 miles total! I believe that is the farthest Joseph has run. We finished up about 1:45 or so.  I met a couple of new people today and also ran with an Australian guy (Keith)  who I had not seen in quite a few years. Keith is in town visiting friends. I had actually run with him about 20 years ago, when he was about 46 years old. Now, he is 66 and still in amazing shape. He had no problem running 15 miles at a pretty decent pace! Met a guy named John who is friends with Russ. Coincidentally, I had just seen him for the first time this past week in the gym lifting weights! Meggan introduced me to Haley Greenwell. Haley is about to be a senior on the MSU XC team and is a running beast! She apparently now holds the MSU female 10k record after running a 33:51 (or something like that). Haley was super nice and ran effortlessly. Russ later told her about about running group, and she asked me if she could run with us some. So, she may join us occasionally, which would be seriously cool! I can’t tell you how nice it is to run with the Boardtown runners.  They are a group of amazingly fit athletes lead by people like Houston and Meggan Franks, Micah and Kelly White, David Dycus, and others. If these folks and everybody else out there does not get you hyped about running, then nothing will.

Today, we met at the South Farm at 7 pm for a run through the campus and downtown Starkville. Steve, Kamau, and Christian ran with us today. Julie ran 5 miles on the South Farm and Christian’s mom walked while she was there. Christian ended up doing about 4 miles or so with Steve, after which Steve ran another mile or so. Joseph, Kamau, and I ran for 45 minutes at a pretty good pace. It was great to have Kamau back running with us. His being there always brings more out of us, and usually we have a good run when he is there. He had been at a running camp the past week with several other kids from the XC team and coaches Woomer and Barnett. Sounded like they had a good time at camp. Today was a great afternoon to run, because it was only about 85° instead of the usual 95° or more. Even so, I was sweaty like a mug when I was through.  It ended up being an easier run than I thought it would be. My calves were sore before starting, but they felt better after the run. Crazy. But, that is often the case.

And, as in previous weeks, we will meet at the Rose Garden/North Farm at 7 pm Monday and Tuesday, and at the South Farm on Thursday at 7pm.

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