crazy amounts of yard work, is that exercise???

Friday was another beautiful day, and as soon as me and kid got home I started on some serious yard work while Joseph did an easy run on our trail. When I say yard work, I don’t mean trimming a few bushes. We have a bit over 17 acres, so I can pretty much go crazy. Been letting the area between the road and my house and between my neighbors and my house grow up for the last 17 years. So, I decided to thin out some of the weedy stuff and spastic, gnarly trees that were filling in those areas. Also, I had planted 1000 pine trees 15 years ago (or so) and some have died here and there, plus some just needed to be thinned. Trying to take the tangled mass and sculpt something from it. Well, I probably cut down over a hundred scrubby trees, bunches of wiry bushes, vines, etc. Trees were mostly smallish-2 to 8 inch diameter, but also some bigger ones (dead pines, etc.). My neighbors, who are nice enough, but have zero in common with me, and whom I don’t hang out with (I don’t hang out with anybody really), must not have liked the fact that I opened up my property some, because while I was at work they put up a nice wooden privacy fence between our properties! Awesome! I have continued my crazy pruning like a madman. Also planting various shrubs here and there, including along the new fence! I spent the entire weekend moving the trees and branches from this part of the property to another part, where I burned piles of wood! Of course, I saved some good stuff. Truckloads and truckloads. When I saw how much I had to burn and move, I thought it would take me months! But, I am a maniac when it comes to this stuff. Lots to do still, but its coming along. Everything that I cut, I managed to burn.

In between my slash and burn weekend, I took Joseph to the MSU track Saturday at noon. Nobody there but us chickens. There was a baseball game going on at the same time. I jogged around the periphery a bit as Joseph did a warm up run. Then I timed him while he did 16 X 400m intervals with 400m jogs between each. This was an awesome workout, and I thought he did a good job with it. I asked him to do them at 1:09 if possible. 7 of the first 8 were exactly 1:09 and the other one was 1:10. The next 8 were not as steady, some were faster, some slower. Laps 9 and 10 were a couple seconds slower, but 11 and 12 were faster (12 was 1:02), then 13 and 14 were again a bit slower, but 15 and 16 were faster. However, at the end of the day, the average for all 16 was 1:09! He then ran around campus a while for a cool down, and ended up running about 11.5 miles total.

Back home, back to work. Burned stuff into the night! Joseph and I, and an old high school friend, Gentry Lewis, hung out by the fire a while as Jupiter, Venus, and the crescent moon were aligned in a triangular pattern in the early night sky. Magical, mysterious. What does it all mean? I wondered what sort of thoughts were going through the minds of ancient man eons ago as he viewed similar celestial skies. In tribute to shaman of old,  we pulled out our African Djembe drums and smacked them around a while. We are not any good or anything, but who cares? Joseph and Gentry also took turns singing their own songs while playing guitar.

One particular song with Joseph singing and playing guitar, Gentry playing a drum, and me attempting to play banjo, actually sounded pretty good. At least to my ears, which could have been slightly off after working all day and breathing large quantities of wood smoke and after also drinking a couple of tasty brews.

Went to bed late! Back up early the next morn to continue on my never ending quest to beautify the yard. Took a break at 3 pm and Joseph and I headed to the south farm for his long run. Only our ever faithful Steve Shaffer showed up today. The day was gorgeous, so it was somewhat surprising that no one else showed up. On the other hand, maybe because it was so nice, nobody wanted to go run! Either way, we got on it. I ran with Steve a bit, only 2 miles – 1 mile out and 1 mile back. Then I hopped on my bike and caught up with Steve again.  Cruised back with Steve a while, then went back and found Joseph and cruised around with him some. Steve did a 6 mile loop, and Joseph ran for 90 minutes, probably around 13 miles. At some point, I sped up and headed back to my truck, then put the bike up and jogged a little more. Nothing serious, just trying to get something in even though my foot is far from healed. I ran until I saw Joseph, then turned around and came in with him.

Yep, you guessed it. Back to the house to cut and burn more stuff!

Monday, Joseph and I went over to the Research Park, where we met Arash. After a pretty substantial warm up jog, they did 4 X 1200m intervals with 4 minutes jogs between. They both did a decent job, not great, but not terrible. Back home, cut another couple truck loads of stuff for the burn pile and moved some holly bushes to their new location. Basically, worked out in the yard until it got to dark to see! Then came in the house and got in a pullup, pushup, and curl workout. Took a couple of sets to get into it because somehow this weekend with all the tree cutting I smashed my hand ,and it hurt to hold the dumbbells. But, after psyching myself up with loud Nirvana music I was able to push the pain aside. Felt fine after a while. Yard work is dangerous! Speaking of which, its 10:13, I better go check on my fire!

Back to the South Farm tomorrow for an easy run….

In other running news, on Saturday, Starkville High’s track team competed in the first meet of the year, a practice meet of sorts, at Pearl High School. Don’t know how they did, but hopefully everybody ran well. Of course, with Joseph not running track this season, we did not go. Not sure who ran the 3200m or 1600m events, which he would have run in, or how they did. Curious of course. In some good news for the team, Kamau Bostic has apparently been reinstated to the team, and will join them in the meet after the next one. He has a great chance of winning the state title in the 800m run and possibly the 1600m as well, so I was glad to hear that things worked out for him!

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