Monthly Archives: November 2011

Chill in the air!

With cross country season over, things have really calmed down. Although Joseph and I are still running just about every day, we get home an hour earlier or more because I don’t have to wait for parents to pick up their kids. But, it was great fun, and I miss running with the kids for sure! Some of the distance runners are going to run indoor track this season, which Coach Barnett just got reinstated at the school. All meets will be at the new state of the art track in Birmingham, AL. The first meet is just around the corner on December 10, for those who will be running. There seems to be some excitement about this. However, Joseph will not be running indoor track. I prefer, as does he, a break from competition between seasons. We use this time of year, as well as the summer, to build a nice mileage base, with little in the way of super fast workouts. With that in mind, things are progressing well. We have done three longish runs the last three Saturdays with the Boardtown Running Club interspersed by 6-8 mile runs during the rest of the week. All runs have been semi easy, but not super easy, with a trend toward gradually picking up the pace for a better average pace. The first Saturday run was awesome (as I mentioned in the last post), and we covered the 12 miles in just over 1:18. But, I was pretty worn out the next couple of days, as I had not run that far since the summer. The next day I was able to do 7 miles at a 6:30 mile pace, while Joseph ran at a slower pace with Ethan Musser, Kamau Bostic, and Steve Shaffer until he got bored and picked it up. Steve actually finished ahead of Ethan and Kamau, which was not surprising as this was their first run since the state meet. Steve was happy as a clam though! Not many times do you run seven miles faster than those punks!

The next few days were pretty easy; I think we all needed some recovery type runs. The wonderful thing about the season being over is that you can run more intuitively. That is, if you feel good, go for it, but if you don’t, then its okay to take it easy. Some of the guys joined us again a couple of days that week, but mostly it was Steve, Joseph and I. We made a point to run with the Boardtown bunch again on Saturday, but only did a 11.4 mile loop.  Some folks ran 15 to 20 miles in preparation for one marathon or another. Either way, our pace was slower than the previous weekend, although not bad, about 6:48 per mile. With Thanksgiving the next week, most folks were out of town, so running was kind of hit or miss. Mostly just me and the kid, which was kind of nice anyway. We even got a run in on Thanksgiving morn! On a warm Saturday morning (about 56°F), I managed to run 15:8 miles at 6:45 per mile with the Boardtown club. Joseph ended up doing about a mile more, as he and Houston Franks took off at some ridiculous pace and were soon out of eyesight. But, they took a wrong turn and did part of the course backward. By the time they met us, they had already run a mile extra. They then turned around and went back the same way they  had come so they could run with us mortals.  Actually, Joseph was pretty tired I think, so he ran back with me most of the way until the last water stop, which I skipped, but he stopped at. This was the longest run of his life, so he was pretty happy! I felt pretty good too and am pretty sure I could have gone another 5 miles at the pace I going. Pretty sweet! It probably helped that I ran my first mile slower than usual before picking the pace up.

After the long run on Saturday, we got up the next morning and ran 3.5 miles easy to loosen up our legs. Whew, good thing too! I was stiff as board. We ran another six miles that afternoon in the cold rain with Ethan Musser and Jorge Villareal (an MSU distance runner). It was cold, wet, and windy, but quite invigorating!!

We skipped the run on Monday because it was about 34°F and raining. Nice to take a day off anyway. Hit the South Farm on Tuesday afternoon and did about 7 miles at a 6:40ish pace per mile. When we arrived the farm, the MSU distance runners were all getting ready to run. They had different workouts depending on the distance events they run. Seeing all those fast jokers out there was very motivational!

After I lifted some weights on Wednesday, Joseph met me at the Sanderson Center and we cruised through 6 miles, including about 4 miles on the gravel roads at the North Farm running about 6:25 per mile. A little chilly, but not bad. Shorts and a long sleeve shirt.


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Boardtown Running Club

Ran by myself last week, because Joseph took the week off following the state XC meet to rest a while. In general, I felt pretty good too! But, by Saturday, Joseph was anxious to run, so we joined the Boardtown Running club for a 12 mile run. Of course, some folks went farther and some went less. The temperature was cold enough that we decided to wear running tights, longs leeves, and gloves.  Glad I did too, felt much better than had I not. A few years back, I would never have worn tights, but I am now a firm believer in them. The ones I have not only keep me warm, but also keep my calves and knees feeling better. Anyway, quite a few folks were there this morning, including several new people. We had not run with the group since the summer, and it was interesting all the new people. Today was also a bit weird because most of the really fast runners were not there, or  had just recently done a marathon and were still pretty wiped out from that. Micah and Kelly White, and David Dycus all ran really well last Saturday in Savannah with times right around the 3 hour mark.  Joseph and I both felt pretty good today and we ended up running the 12 miles at a 6:40 pace, which was pretty good considering we had not run 12 miles since the beginning of the season. Hope to knock that pace down a bit too!

We will be running this week on Sunday at 3 pm at the South Farm, Monday at 4 pm meeting at Sanderson Center,  Tuesday at 3:45 pm at North Farm, Wednesday at 4 pm meeting at Sanderson Center,
Thursday at 3:45 pm at South Farm, and Saturday morning at 6:30 am with the Boardtown running club if anybody wants to join us.

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MSHAA 5 State Championship

Well, our cross country season is over. Ended with the MSHAA state meet on Saturday at Choctaw Trails. Our team competed in the 5A division and acquitted themselves well with girls team coming in 2nd and the boys coming in 3rd.  For the girls, Kate Mattox won the race, her sister Walker came in third getting a bronze medal, and Abigail Arinder came in 7th.  All three girls made the all state team, which is composed of the top 14 runners at the state meet.  In the boys race, our top finishers were Kamau Bostic who placed second overall and Joseph MacGown who placed third.

Lucienne Duchanne, Kamau Bostic, and Joseph MacGown

The boys had a decent chance of winning the meet, but in order for that to have happened, each of the guys had to have their best race, which did not happen. I think the pressure got to a couple of them, and they ran much slower than they had been. They felt really bad about it, obviously, but even so, this was the best finish for both girls and boys in probably over 10 years. Definite progress. I will say, Alex Ross remained composed and was our 4th finisher behind Ethan Musser. Prior to this meet, he had always been our 7th finisher, so that was wonderful. For complete results of the meet, go to:

With the season being over, the runners are taking a week or two off from running to rest their bodies. Following that, some of them will be running indoor track, then doing base training to get ready for the outdoor track season (assuming they run track). The break will be nice in a way. I will have time to get back in the gym more regularly! I felt like any muscles I had were disappearing daily with all the running I have been doing with the kids. At most, I was only getting to the gym once a week! Anyway, today, I used the 100 lb dumbbells for my last set of dumbbell bench press, so I guess I have not lost everything! Felt nice to have some weight on there. As I was leaving I talked to a student who I had met last year when he ran high school track for Madison Central. He said be would be running track for MSU this spring! Cool. I went out and ran 3 miles before heading out, and passed that same kid, who was also running. I ended up doing about a 6:20 pace.

Ran about 6 miles yesterday with Joseph and Steve, as sort of a recovery run for Joseph. We cruised along pretty slowly, but it felt great. The weather was absolutely beautiful! The previous Friday, I got a nice 4 mile tempo run in following a 30 minute weight workout. I ran on the gravel roads at the north farm and was able to run just over 24:30, which was good for me. The first two miles were great, just under 6 minutes per mile, but then I slowed down to about 6:10 for the next one, and about 6:22 for the last mile. Still, I was pretty happy with the run.

One thing with practice being over, I hope to get in a few runs with the boardtown group on some Saturday mornings, assuming I can make myself get up! Both Joseph and I need to get our long runs back up to an hour and a half or so. We had dropped back a bit as the season progressed, doing only 10 miles, then only 8 the last couple of weeks for our longer runs.  Anyway, I feel like we got a little faster (maybe), but at the same time, I don’t think we are as in good shape as we were six weeks ago. Partly due to lack of tempo runs as of late. I love tempo runs and think they are critical for 5k success. Need to find a way to implement them next year (hopefully).


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