4 days of running this week equals progress

On Tuesday, we ran at the South Farm for an easy run. I went about 4 miles, then biked for another 30 minutes. Joseph got in an easy run of 1:10 minutes as he meandered around the farm.  Not a bad day all in all. In fact, every day at the South Farm is a good day. Its such a pretty place to run.

horses at the South Farm

I took Wednesday off from running or biking, but got some upper body stuff in, so it was not a total loss. Joseph ran through Longmeadow neighborhood and Mckee Park, making a few loops for 45-50 minutes. Easy day.

On Thursday, we met Arash at the SHS track at 5 pm. The track had already cleared out except for a young man (10th grader) who was working on getting out of the blocks faster. I joined Arash and Joseph for an easy two mile warmup in Longmeadow neighborhood across the street from the high school. After they got stretched some, they started the workout: 3 X 400m (1:09-1:12 pace) with 400m jogs between, 3 X 800m with 800m jogs (Joseph was 2:23, 2:19, 2:30; Arash was 2:29, 2:32,2:26), then 6 X 200m with 200m jogs (30-33 seconds each), and finished up with a mile cool down and some stretching. Since my foot was feeling better, I decided to try a few 400’s myself. Did a few between 1:11 and 1:14, and also got a couple 200s (33 and 34). My foot was mildly sore, but not terrible. Slept in the “boot” later just to be safe.

On Friday, we headed back to the South Farm for an easy run. We met Juan and Jorge Villarreall and Arash Taheri there. Jorge had a strained hamstring, so did not run. We all started together, with Joseph leading the way. He ended up doing 7 miles. Arash was a bit behind him, and Juan and I followed. I was only going 5 miles today, so I turned around halfway and headed back. We were cruising along at around 6:30, talking the entire time. At some point, Juan caught up with Joseph, but separated later and finished up with 8 miles. Arash went 6 miles. After they got through, Juan and Joseph also did some strides on the intramural soccer fields. While Jorge was waiting for us, he went and bought some cookies and Gatorade for everyone! Very thoughtful! After the run, everybody came out to my house for some dinner. I cooked up a bunch of gumbo, jambalaya, and rice. Probably made enough food for 10-12 people, but these guys pretty much finished it off and 2 or 3 bags of chips! Scrawny runner dudes can put the food away! Not surprising when you consider that in an average 15 mile run, any one of us can burn 2000 calories. The guys checked out my studio and artwork, as well as my trails while they were here. Then we watched “Miracle”, a great and inspiring movie that Arash brought out about the US hockey team beating a stacked Soviet Team in the Olympics.

MAFES South Research Farm

Got up Saturday morning and started attacking a bunch of small trees in the back of the house. Did that until about 2:30 pm, then took Joseph to the North Farm gravel Roads for a 4 mile tempo run. I rode my bike. Can’t run fast enough to pace or push him on these days anyway. After a mile warmup, we got going. First two miles were both 5:34, then the next two were a little slower, but not terrible. He ended up running the 4 miles in 22:51. This was 40 seconds faster than his best tempo on the same gravel course, so that was improvement. Its hard to run fast on gravel, and they tend to keep these road graded regularly, so it is almost always on the difficult side to run there. I would like to see him get this down to 22 flat pretty soon on this course, and hopefully to 21 by the end of the summer. Last summer before XC, the best he did out there was 24:30, and he ran a 16:36 mid season before hurting his lower leg after stepping in a hole the wrong way. So, based on his tempo times alone, he seems to be in much better shape right now. If he can get to the point where he could do 4 miles at a 5:15-5:20 pace, that would be sweet.

Got thru with the run and bike ride, then just made it to the 4:30 matinee where we viewed John Carter of Mars. I read the books when I was a kid and as an adult, so was pretty excited to hear that they made a movie based on this classic Burrough’s tale.  I thought the movie was great! I may be biased, because I am such an Edgar Rice Burrough’s fan, but I really enjoyed it.

Back to the South Farm tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm for a longish run. Mine will not be over 7 miles, if that.

One of the many horses at the South Farm


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