Feeling Good this Week

Its been a somewhat wet week thus far, but somehow or another we have been able to get some running in. On Monday, it was just me and Joseph. We thought we would do something semi fast, since we hadn’t in a while, so we headed over to the track and did a few light intervals. After jogging around as a warmup, we started with an 800m, not very fast-Joseph was around 2:30. Then a couple of 1:08-1:09 ‘ish 400’s, then some 200’s. Mine were 29-30 seconds, with Joseph in front of me by about 3 seconds. It had been so long since we had done anything remotely fast, we had to remember how to move our legs! But, it was nice for a change.

Got my last weight workout of the year at the Sanderson Center on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, the gym will not reopen until January 3rd. That afternoon, we met again at the South Farm. Joining me and Joseph were Ethan and Brent. Looks like Brent is really getting into this! We ran through campus, then University Estates, down Bardwell Rd, and back through the campus to the South Farm. We do this route occasionally and find it very challenging due to the many hills in University Estates and on Bardwell Rd. We all started out together, but gradually Joseph took the lead and after about 1.5 miles, I started picking it up as well. He stopped to stretch at about 4 miles, and I caught him and kept going. I ended up averaging 6:35 per mile for the 6 mile route, with the second half being faster than the first. Joseph finished up a few seconds behind me. Brent and Ethan pretty much ran the entire way together and both seemed to be doing quite well. They came in a few minutes later.

We did a 4 mile loop over at the MSU North Farm on Wednesday afternoon. Steve Shaffer and Christian Kingery joined us today. Christian had run a PR for the 1600m race this past Saturday at in indoor meet in Birmingham. With that positive motivation, he was inspired to get in some extra running I guess. Running with Joseph, who is only a couple of months older than him, is certainly a good way to push himself to get even better. The gravel road conditions were again rough, with deep gravel and lots of gooey, sticky mud to weigh our shoes down!  I ran the first mile with Steve and Christian in 7:12, with Joseph probably about 6:30 or so. When we got to the first mile, both Joseph (who was ahead of me) and I picked the pace up. My next mile was 5:55, then 6:25, and the final one was 6:27. Not coincidentally, the 5:55 mile was on a portion of the road that was at least marginally, more run-able. The next two miles were much more difficult, with some points near the 3 mile mark being ridiculously muddy! Somehow, the mud bothered Joseph less than me. Maybe because he weighs 45 lbs less? Either way, his last 3 miles were all pretty decent, averaging around 5:50 per mile, which was not bad given the road conditions. He finished a couple of minutes before I did. Both Steve and Christian ran at a more relaxed pace and finished up several minutes after I was done. I think everyone felt pretty good after the run. I was pretty hyped up myself.

Thursday looked bleak as I awoke to rain and thunder. The weather report called for a million per cent chance of rain pretty much all day. Nevertheless, we decided to chance it and drove to the South Farm at 3 pm to see if anybody else would show up. As luck would have it, the rain actually stopped when we pulled in the parking lot!  Steve was already there, also wondering if any of us wackos would show up. As we were starting the run, Brent and Ethan pulled up next! Crazy jokers. Because it was crazy wet out, we opted to not run the muddy gravel roads on the farm. Instead we did our campus, downtown Starkville, Louisville Street, Gillespie Street, then back to campus route, which is close to 6 miles. After the last few day’s relatively fast paced runs, today was going to be much easier! We all started together, but Joseph could not take our slow pace for long and was soon far ahead. I ran most of the way with Brent, since he did not know the route, with Steve right behind us most of the way, and Ethan stayed with us for a couple of miles before picking the pace up. Even on easy days, I still like to run my last mile or so somewhat faster, and today was no exception. For the first 5 miles we were only running at about a 7:15’ish pace, which felt very comfortable. Somewhere about a half mile to go, more or less, I picked it up, as did Brent. I ended up running my last mile in 5:40, and almost caught Ethan. Brent came in a just a bit later, and was followed by Steve, who again had a good run. We got done just in the nick of time, as within minutes of finishing,the skies darkened, the wind picked up, and the temperature suddenly dropped! We used that as a sign that we should leave. Looks like Brent may be a regular with us-three days in one week! His immediate goal appears to be running at my pace, which probably won’t take him long since he is already  in great shape and 23 years younger than me! I imagine if he sticks with it, I won’t be able to keep up with him by this summer. And Ethan continues to run strong, which I really like to see. Joseph, of course, usually makes us all look bad. Unless he is sick, sore, or just being nice, we are rarely able to keep up with him.

After the run, we were still pretty wound up, so when we got home, Joseph and I did some pushups, crunches, pullups,  and a couple of other upper body type workouts.  But, we will probably take tomorrow off altogether.

Even though Christmas is this Sunday, the Boardtown Running Club will again be meeting for a run at the White’s house on Saturday morning at 6:30 AM. The scheduled route is only 8.7 miles this Saturday. If the weather is decent, I plan on joining them. I imagine it will be a much reduced crowd however!

Due to the Christmas holiday on Sunday, we will likely skip our 3 pm run that day, although that could change if we get super hyper!

Merry Christmas and happy running!

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