Yesterday afternoon around 4pm, we went over to the MSU XC course to do a tempo run on the 5k course. Actually, my run was less of a tempo run, as was Julie’s. Kamau Bostic joined us, and Joseph and he ran the course together. The course itself had dried out from the deluge earlier in the week and was in pretty good shape. There were some slightly rough areas here and there, and tire tracks from at least a couple of vehicles did not help! Annoying. I thought that Kamau and Joseph did a great job with the tempo run considering nobody else was there, it was fairly warm, and it was a lazy Saturday afternoon. Joseph finished up at 17:24 and Kamau was about 17:42. They ran together most of the way, really until about 2 miles, then Kamau dropped back a bit. But, I think they were both pleased with their efforts. Plus, neither were seriously winded and within a couple of minutes of finishing, we started a cool down jog.
Another beautiful Sunday morning to run! Julie, Joseph, and I arrived at the South Farm parking lot at about 6:45 AM this morning for our weekly 10 mile run. Steve Shaffer was already there, as were a bunch of RV’s and the folks inhabiting them who had made MSU their temporary residence during and following the football game last evening. The first person from our team to show up was Aaron Remotigue, who has never run with us on the weekend! It was great to have him out there. He has been our 6th runner on the team this year, but has shown a lot of promise at practice the last few weeks. Hopefully, running with the top five guys will get him better and better. One thing is for sure, the top 6 boys are starting to click together as a team, which bodes well for the season. After a bit, Ethan and Damian showed up, then Kamau dragged in (prompted by a phone call or two!). Stuart Woomer was out of town, so he did not get to run with us today.
Julie headed out to the South Farm for her run, and the rest of us headed out toward campus, then downtown, and onward toward the airport and back. As usual, we started out a bit slow, 1st mile was only 7:35 or so, but then we started picking it up with most of us averaging around 7 minutes a mile for the first 4 or 5 miles, except for Joseph and Kamau who were well in front of us. At about 30 minutes, Kamau dropped back to run with our group. Then, at about 5 miles, I picked up the pace significantly. Trying to get these jokers used to doing the second half faster than the first half. I ended up running the next couple at 6:42 or so, then we stopped at McKee Park for some water. Ethan was pretty much running side by side with me, and Kamau and Damian in front of us a bit. Aaron had dropped off at about mile 5; don’t think he was used to the negative split idea, and Steve was just behind him. Joseph was so far in front, we could not see him, but he waited for us at the water stop, then took off when we got there. At that point we only had about 3 miles, more or less, to go, so we again tried for decent pace. Kamau, Damian, Ethan, and I took off running around 6:40 per mile, with Kamau and Damian a little faster than that. With a mile to go, we picked it up further, with Damian smoking the rest of us, followed by Kamau, me, and Ethan. Ethan and I were together until about the last 1/2 mile, then I picked it up considerably running the last 400-500 m at about a 5:05 pace. My last mile was not more than 6 minutes, which meant Damian and Kamau were much faster than that. Of course, by the time we got there, Joseph was already done stretching. We then jogged to recover, meeting up with Aaron and Steve, we were finishing up. What a great run! The guys averaged between 6:25 per mile and 7:05 or so. It was nice for Aaron to get out here with us to see how we do our long runs and to be a part of the main group of varsity boys! Some people probably do their long runs at a slower pace, but I would rather maintain a decent pace if possible. As long as it feels relatively easy, and we can talk to one another, I don’t think its too fast. In fact, if they get to where they can run 10 miles at 6 minute per mile pace or better, I would be ecstatic!
We followed our run with breakfast at McDonalds. I know it sounds unhealthy, but I don’t really worry about what I eat as much as people assume I do. I try to have a nice balance of healthy and unhealthy foods, and so far, that has worked very nicely for me. At any rate, we were hungry and McDonalds was nearby! Plus, it was nice to have the guys together as a group.
Man, I really like that the top few boys are getting together for these non mandatory weekend runs. It shows that they are really getting into it! Its not just the boys though, as the top 5 varsity girls all ran yesterday morning with the Boardtown Running Club! Those girls included Kate Mattox, Walker Mattox, Abigail Arinder, Shanika Musser, and Mary Elizabeth Stringer. Way to go girls!!!!
Not to be outdone by our amazing kids, Steve Shaffer has been pretty much running with us every day now! He said that he is averaging about 50 miles a week, more than he has ever done in the past. Steve has been a great help with our cross country team this year. He runs with them and is constantly encouraging all of us!
Next Saturday the SHS team will be running at the Jesse Owen’s meet in Alabama. This will be a huge meet with around 5000 runners in 14 different divisions! Hopefully, our kids will keep improving and this will be a PR day for everyone!