Another week of running in Mississippi equals another week of sweating profusely. The humidity is so high here you can be coated with a thick sheen of sweat by just walking out the door! Joseph got Monday morning going by running about 30-35 minutes on our trail at an easy pace. He usually follows that with a core workout later in the morning, but one of his friends came over and spent the day, which put a crimp in the workout. Unfortunately, they spent the day drinking large quantities of Dr. Pepper and eating lots of chips and sugary snacks while watching videos all day. This was probably the worst thing he could have done before our 4 mile tempo run planned for 7 pm. Even so, we did go by the North Farm to run at 7 pm. Joseph ran a mile warm up, then started running with me, but he soon felt the effects of a sugar low and had a difficult run! Hopefully, he learned his lesson. The whole thing was exacerbated because he does not usually drink sodas at all and eats very little junk food. For me, the run was about what I had been doing, as I was able to keep a 6:30 per mile pace. Steve Shaffer cruised along a what looked to be a good pace. Also joining us for the first time this summer were two high school sophomores, Josh Franz and Andrew Rogers, who were both getting ready for the upcoming xc season. Josh, who had run cross country as a freshman, had just been at cross country camp the week before and was probably still a bit motivated from that. His friend is basically a beginner, but is tall and thin, ideal for running distance. Since neither of these two had done much running this summer, they only managed to run a bit more than 3 miles at a fairly slow pace. But, it was hot and humid, and they will have to get used to that.
On Tuesday, I told Joseph not to run in the morning, since he did not do very well the evening before. I felt like he needed a rest. He did do his core/weight type workout some time before lunch. For our evening run, we again went to the North Farm. Joining us today were Kamau Bostic, Christian Kingery, Russ Patterson, and a first timer, John Mitchell. John is a graduate student at state who we met on Saturday at the Boardtown running club run. For today’s run, I had planned on doing three one-mile intervals at a decent pace, but not crazy. We warmed up by running from the rose garden area to the Research Park, where we were going to run. Since everybody there was at different levels of fitness, we all kind of had our own pace. Joseph set the pace for the first mile at about 5:16, with Kamau running just over 5:20 and me right behind him. Russ and John came in around 7 minutes or so, maybe a little under, and Christian was some where around 7:30. Of course, with the heat that was not as slow as it sounded. We took about 4 minutes for a rest, drank some water, and headed back for a second mile. Some time around then, Steve Shaffer showed up to run with us. Whew! The 2nd one was not as easy! At least for most of us. Joseph looked smooth and relaxed, again running his in 5:16. However, Kamau and I only mustered about 5:43 and that felt hard with the heat. The other guys also ran slower than the first one. We again rested for a few minutes before doing our third mile. Joseph also ran this one at a decent pace, about 5:23. I was about 5:50, Russ was in the mid 6:40’s, and I believe John was mid 7’s. Christian did this one a little bit slower. In fact, all of his were fairly slow, but that was fine, since he is just getting back into running. Kamau was completely zapped from the first two, so he decided to run the last one as a cool down mile. Near the end he sprinted a bit, but was still well over 7 minutes. I don’t know about Steve, who was doing his on his own schedule. Julie also ran some intervals, but she did them over on the gravel road, and I don’t know how fast or what she did exactly. When we got through with ours, everybody jogged back to the rose garden, then stretched and we headed on home.
On Wednesday, I again went out of town to collect insects and did not return until late Thursday afternoon. Joseph was able to get an easy run in Wednesday morning, but did not run later that day because of thunderstorms. He ran about 25 minutes on Thursday morning and did an ab workout. That evening at 7 pm, we met at the South Farm for a run. Christian and Steve again ran with us. Julie did a 5k distance in what was her best time so far. Christian and Steve both ran 4 miles at a moderate pace. Joseph and I ran 7.3 miles at about a 7 minute per mile pace.
I took Friday off, but Joseph ran 5.3 miles in the morning with Julie riding behind him on the bike. She said he ran easy with good form and at a decent pace. The next morning, we got up early the next morning and ran with the Boardtown running group doing a 12.4 mile loop. I was not feeling it today; I think I was still worn out from my driving around the state collecting ants on Wednesday and Thursday. I started out ok, but could not keep the pace up past the first water stop. Haley Greenwell, the Star runner for MSU, again ran today. She and Joseph ran together for the entire run, which was great for him as she is a steady runner who has already run a 16:20 5k. Apparently, he did not have any problem keeping up with her, which may bode well for him this year, since he would love to be able to run a 16:20! Anyway, by the time I got through, I was soaking wet, had a couple of new blisters on my toes, and my thighs were cramping up a bit. This humid weather is taking its toll on my toes! For sure going to lose a couple of toenails. Fortunately, they grow back.
Later that day, Joseph and I did an easy little recovery jog out here in Sessums just to loosen our legs up. Boy, they were sore at first, but after a half mile, everything felt much better.
Tomorrow evening we will be meeting at 7 PM at the South Farm again for an easy run of some non-predetermined length (depends on how hot it is). Starting on Monday at 4 pm, cross country practice starts for Starkville High. Runners will meet at the SHS track. Basically, practice will be every weekday from Monday to the end of the season from 4 to 5:30 pm. For the first couple of weeks, it sounds like the runners will be meeting at the track to run in the nearby neighborhood. Hopefully, we can start meeting elsewhere soon to get off the hard paved roads. Should be a decent season with quite a few returning runners, both boys and girls. It will be interesting to see how they all do!