First week of SHS Cross Country Conditioning going well!

I started off the week with a nice mountain bike ride Sunday morning at the Tombigbee National Forest trails. Pretty good ride, probably lost 5 pounds in sweat!

On Sunday evening, Joseph and I met Steve Shaffer, Kamau Bostic, and Ethan Musser at the South Farm and we did our  campus/downtown Starkville Loop. It was pretty humid for sure, but it seemed maybe a tiny bit cooler, so the run was not overly bad. Even so, Kamau was hurting today; being from Virginia, he still seems to have problems with the humidity. I think he will be fine once the temps come down though. This may have been the first, and possibly, the only time that Steve and Ethan finished a run before him. Joseph seemed bored with our pace and took off on his own after 1.5 miles. The rest of us ran 6.2 miles, and Joseph showed up about 20 minutes later, probably having run about 9 miles. He seemed pretty relaxed and was not tired, so that was cool. I was sweating like a mug myself!

Early Monday morning, Joseph and I got up at around 5:30 am for a tempo paced run. Actually, I rode my bike along while he ran. He first did a mile warm up, then ran 3 miles at a 6 minute per mile pace.

The first  week of cross country conditioning for Starkville High School started Monday afternoon at 4 pm. And, yep, it was pretty hot, but we do live in Mississippi, so it was not unexpected!  The cross country head coach is Caroline Woomer and Chris Barnett is the assistant coach. I am a volunteer assistant coach and really enjoy running with the guys. We met at the high school track, but ran through Longmeadow neighborhood and back around the Industrial Park area. For our first day, we basically started with an easy run of varying distances dependent on the ability level of the runners. The ones in the best shape were supposed to do a 7 mile run or so. Joseph ran with us for a while, about a half mile, then split off as his easy pace is pretty fast compared to most of the others. He ended up running for an hour, probably 8.5 miles or so. Both Stuart Woomer and Ethan Musser ran with me at a decent pace for 7.2 miles. Damian Grady and Walker Mattox ran for an hour or so too, probably doing 6.5 miles more or less. Nathan Gaudin, Grant Woomer, and a couple of others ran about 5 miles and did a pretty good job. I was glad to be through with the run though, it was really hot!

On Tuesday morn, Joseph got up and jogged an easy 25 minutes on our trail. That afternoon, we again met at 4 pm near the SHS track. This afternoon, Coach Barnett had some of the kids who had obviously been running this summer do a few 800m intervals. Joseph, Stuart and Walker were the only ones to do 6 (with 400 jogs between), and the others did 4 of them. I ran with different people here and there. I ran along with Joseph on his last one, since he did not have anybody to run with him. We managed to do that one in about 2:35. His first three were faster, the 4th and 5th were a bit slower, so he probably averaged around 2:35 for the six. I thought quite a few of them did a pretty good job today, especially considering we were running on the freshly paved road at the high school with temperatures above 90° and the humidity very high. In particular, Joseph, Stuart and Walker stood out, but nobody really looked bad.

Joseph again ran about 25 minutes on the trail on Wednesday morning. He followed that with his core/weight workout later in the morning. At 4 pm, we met at the track for another run through the neighborhood/McKee Park area, which was to be followed by some drills. I ran with the more advanced group (at least the ones that are coming to practice at this time of year). Today, Kamau, Damian, Joseph, Nathan Gaudin, Christian, Daniel Ruff, Alex Ross, Walker Mattox, Abigail Arinder, Shanika Musser, Stuart Woomer, and Grant Woomer started out with me, with Grant doing 3 miles (slight injury), some of them only doing 4 miles, most of the rest of us doing 5.5 miles, and Joseph probably doing 11 or 12 miles. He was supposed to only go for 50 minutes or so, but apparently was feeling good and kept running for a good while-at least an hour and 25 minutes. When we got done, everybody did their various drills, and a storm started moving in. By the time Joseph showed up, everybody had already left practice. Hopefully, in the future he will be more cognizant of the time. At least he appears to be in very good shape right now.

Tomorrow, doing some type of fartlek workout.

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