Had some really sweet runs this week including a super one Wednesday afternoon with Joseph. It was freezing! As we started our run, some of the MSU distance runners were coming around the corner. Joseph was cruising along with them as they finished their run, then he picked up his pace. He ran 30 minutes, with about 24 being at a good clip, somewhere under 5:45 per mile. As I was running, Jorge Villarreal, also on the track team, came along and ran with me for about a mile and a half as he finished his run up. At that point, I was running about 6:08 per mile. He headed back and I looked for Joseph, but he was long gone! Punk. I ran through and around the campus, then made my way to University Drive where I met some of our High School runners: Kamau Bostic, Ethan Musser, Aaron Remotigue, Stuart Woomer and Damian Grady who were out for a 6 mile run. I ran with them for a minute, then picked up my pace to finish the last mile in about 5:45, which was good for me.
Thursday was still cool, but much better than Wednesday afternoon. I ran 7 miles with Joseph, than Musser, Steve Shaffer, and Joerg Bergbauer at the South Farm. Felt pretty good considering the pace of the day before. Was able to stay under 7 minutes per mile pretty easily (except for the first mile, which was basically warmup). The next six were about 6:40ish for me and Ethan. Joseph was way ahead of us, then Steve came strolling through. I went back and checked to make sure Joerg was not lost and ran back in with him. I think he enjoyed the beautiful scenery at the farm more than the gravelly, hilly roads! But, he actually did quite a good job and maintained about a 7:40 per mile or better pace!
Another nice Saturday morning run with the Boardtown running club! As Joseph and I traveled the back roads from our home in Sessums to the White’s house off South Montgomery, we were rewarded with a luminous full moon that lit up the still dark morning sky. As we passed one pond, the moon’s reflection in it was mesmerizing! On this sub freezing morning, I was so distracted by the beautiful foggy morning scenery that I drove by the entrance to the White’s and had to turn around and go back. Upon arrival, I wondered if it was the right day as not many cars were there yet. But, I guess we were slightly early, and with the temps being cooler, maybe folks were waiting to the last minute to show. As it turned out, I would say there were fewer runners than usual, but still a good crowd.
I spent a few minutes stretching outside and tried to get a bit warmed up. It was not super cold, probably about 30°F, but supposedly the wind chill was like 24°F! I opted for my thermal CW-X tights for sure, long sleeve Under Armour shirt with a short sleeve shirt over that, Under Armour winter cap, Under Armour gloves, and my bright orange Saucony running shoes. Man, did I mention that I am really loving Saucony running shoes lately! I have been wearing them the last couple of years, as has Joseph. They have been great for both of us. We have several pairs for different conditions: Excursion TR-5 trail shoes for gravel road, Kinvarras for faster runs, spiked and non spiked cross country shoes for XC races, and ProGrid Mirages for running several to quite a few miles on pavement. I love all of these shoes! They work for me. I have recommended the trail shoes to a bunch of our high school XC kids for everyday running, a good bit of which tends to be on gravel roads. But, these shoes work great on pavement too, and they are not super expensive-$50-60. Man, these Under Armour and Saucony people should pay me considering how much stuff I have bought and or convinced others to buy!
Anyway, everybody finally got motivated and left the house toward the starting point and ventured forth. Today’s route, for those so inclined, was a 15.8 mile trek out to Browning Creek (i.e. neighborhood for the elite Starkvillians off of Oktoc Rd.). Of course, some folks did less or more. I was going to wait until getting to the 6 mile mark to decide whether or not I was going to include the extra 3.8 mile Browning Ck. neighborhood loop. I started the run with Joseph, Ethan, Micah, Kelly, and Michael Lee. After about a half mile, Ethan, Joseph, Michael, and I picked it up a bit and ran together for about a mile and half, then Mike and Joseph picked it up further finishing about 20 seconds ahead of Ethan and I, with Mike being a bit ahead of Joseph at the first water stop (about 3.4 miles). I felt really good, so did not stop for water and just continued toward the next point. Mike was only doing 7 miles, so he stopped, got some water, stretched and headed back. Joseph and Ethan also stopped, and then ran the next section together. Since I did not stop, I ended up doing the run by myself. Got to the next water stop (6 miles), got a sip of Gatorade, and continued on through the neighborhood. Man, what a beautiful, but remarkably hilly place to run! I made it though, albeit, at a slower pace. Got back to the water stop, cup of Gatorade, and headed back for the remaining 5.8 miles. With the mighty hills conquered, the rest of the way was pretty easy, and I averaged about 6:40 the rest of the way back. Joseph, on the other hand, did not know the route, so ended up running with Kelly, Meggan, and Micah, who added a little loop at the end making their run 17 miles! That was a pretty good run for him, but he seemed ok with it!
Of course, following the run, we stretched, hung out with the crazy runner people, ate other people’s food, and then headed home. When I say crazy runner people, I don’t really mean crazy, I mean wacko. You know, jokers who go run run 16 miles at 6:30 or earlier in the morning on cold winter mornings or hot humid mornings. Wait? That might be me too? Most of the folks who meet at the club are really cool, and all are very interesting. Take Joerg Bergbauer, for example. He’s a German dude who has been working at Eurocopter as of late, but will be moving back to Germany in about a week. This guy had a serious achilles injury about 4 years ago, which required cutting off some of his calf muscle or something crazy of that nature to replace damaged tissue. Doctors told him he would not run again, but now he is out there running 9-15 miles! Joerg is super friendly, plus he has the way cool German accent, so I like him. He seems to attract cool friends too, and they all hang out, eat outrageously interesting potluck dinners, and that sort of thing.
On Sunday afternoon I ran 7 miles at the South Farm with Kamau Bostic, Damian Grady, John Mitchell, Michael Lee, Joseph [MacGown], and Steve Shaffer. Today’s run was basically a recovery type run from our long Saturday jaunt. Michael and Joseph lead the way, I ran with Kamau and Damian (at about 6:53 per mile), and Steve and John came in pretty soon thereafter. It was almost 50°F and felt a lot better than the morning before!!
Next stop, tomorrow afternoon at 3:50 -4 pm meeting in front of the Sanderson Center. May do something a little faster tomorrow!