Last weekend started out great running-wise with a pretty decent 8.8 mile run with the Boardtown runners. I ran the first three and last three at about 6:20 per mile and the middle section slower. Joseph started out slower than I did, but ran his last couple of miles much faster. I ended up with a 6:30 pace and he was a little faster with his much quicker finish. Houston and Meggan Franks, and Micah and Kelly White all ran really well too. Houston was flying the last mile or so! For some idiotic reason, maybe because it was very chilly, I did not stretch as much as usual. I compounded that stupidity by wearing some heeled work boots for about 12 hours later that day. Result? Sore heel. I may have over stretched my plantar fascia. At any rate, by the next day it was pretty sore. Therefore, I did what any runner would do, went running 7 miles on hilly, gravelly terrain (with Joseph and Steve Shaffer)! Good idea? Not really. By the time I got through, it was quite sore. That night I was hobbling around like an injured troll. So, lots of stretching, some ice, ibuprofen, and some athletic tape. Needless to say, I have not run since last Sunday. But, all is not lost. Instead of running, I rode my mountain bike around with the guys and got some weightlifting in too!
Although my foot was sore, Joseph had a pretty good week. On Monday, he did a 400m interval workout with 12 fairly fast and 12 jogs between. This was the first semi fast workout he had done since cross country season had ended in November. This winter was pretty much easy running, getting a few miles in, with an occasional easy tempo. This winter was not quite as good for him as last, as he has been dealing with a nagging injury that he sustained while doing a workout on some very irregular terrain about 6 weeks before the end of the XC season. Unfortunately, he twisted his leg in a hole while running downhill, and not once, but twice on two different days. The first time he hurt his knee, which was sore for about 3 weeks, but the second time, it affected his lower leg (same leg though). Doctor briefly looked at it and though maybe minor ligament damage. He has been able to run, but it definitely slowed him down. He ended up coming in 3rd in the state XC meet with a time a good bit slower than he had been running, and with the winner being someone he had beat easily all season. Frustrating, I am sure. A good break following XC helped for sure, and for the most part it seems better now, but still seems to be sore occasionally, especially at the beginnings of runs. It has been most noticeable when he has been running downhill, so we have been avoiding steeping down hill runs lately. But, I digress! His intervals on Monday were done on a 400m loop on our trail, which is not flat by any means. 400’s on this course are much harder than on a track, However, they are also much easier on the joints since they are on dirt and grass. He said they were mostly in the 1:15 range.
Tuesday was cold and rainy. With the questionable weather, Joseph ran 6 or 7 miles before lunch at the South Farm. I got a good weight workout later in the day. He also did an upper body workout that afternoon. On Wednesday after work, I rode my bike with Joseph out here on some roads in Sessums. After a warmup, he did 6 three minute fast runs with 3 minute jogs between each, then followed that with a cool down. I had my Garmin watch on as he ran, and he seemed to be doing pretty well. I noted his 800m times for each, and they were between 2:27 and 2:32.
On Thursday, I met Joseph, Steve Shaffer, Kamau Bostic,Christian Kingery, and Brent Wallace at the South Farm, where they ran, and I rode along on my bike. It was a beautiful day! Kamau and Joseph took off at a brisk pace after doing a somewhat slower first 1/2 mile. According to my watch, they were cruising along at about a 5:35 per mile pace for about 1.5 miles, at which point Kamau turned around and headed back. He was only doing a 20 minute run. Apparently, he had not done much running over the break. Joseph continued a good pace for until the 3.6 mile mark, where he stopped to stretch a minute. I waited for Brent, who again ran this hilly section very well. Joseph took off and finished up the 7 mile loop. I rode along with Brent as he headed back a shorter way. He ended up with a nice 5.5 mile run. We passed Steve along the way back going in the opposite direction. He ran 4 miles with Christian, then added a couple more miles. He said that this was one of Christian’s best runs and that he seemed to be getting much faster for that distance!
Friday was an easy day for Joseph. He did an upper body workout, then an easy jog on our trail. I lifted weights myself. Still no running for me:( I took Joseph to the Boardtown group early Saturday morning to run. He was supposed to run 13 miles, but did not know the way, so I wanted him to run with Micah, Houston, and that group. They, as it turned out, were doing a different run altogether, and did not start until later. So, he took off with Michael Lee, with Brent and his roommate James behind them. Apparently, Michael (Mr. Fit MSU), did not know the way either, and they took a 4 mile detour before finally meeting back up with the group! Oh well. Instead of 13, they got in about 17. Joseph said Michael and he ran together for about 40 minutes before Michael slowed down, at which point he ran on his own the rest of the way.
Hopefully, we will get over to the South Farm this afternoon for a run at about 3:30. I may try to run just a little to test my foot, but will be taking my bike too. The weather is iffy today, with good chances of rain, so it may not happen. Also, we will be attending the funeral of Devin Mitchell at 2 pm, so we may not even be done by then. We attended a visitation for him yesterday. Devin was randomly murdered last weekend by some guy who did not even know him. Devin was a 16 year old student at Starkville High who was on our track team, as well as the football, baseball, and powerlifting team. He was a very happy kid and seemed to be friends with everybody. He will be missed by many people in our community.
Some good news too. Yesterday, Ethan Musser (16 years old), one of our regular runners, ran the Disney Half Marathon in 1:31:41! On the same day, our head cross country coach, Caroline Woomer, completed the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon in 2:08:49. Great job to both of them! Lots of locals will be running in the Frostbite Half Marathon here in Starkville in two weeks, including both Ethan, Coach Woomer, and Joseph. With my foot injury, its looking like I will be skipping it. But, I don’t really like doing races anyway, so no problem there. But not running is a problem.