running and biking offers a break from insane yard work

a few of the many branches and small trees that were taken down today!

Man!  I worked in my yard 9 hours yesterday and at least 8 more today. I am not talking about regular stuff either. Many, many small trees were cut and moved toward an area where I will eventually burn them. Most of them were at least 20 ft tall. I also dug up some bushes and transplanted them. Planted new things. Trimmed a bunch of shrubs. Anyway, things are coming along. I like where its going.  Using a chain saw, trimmer, and a shovel all day and then the next day, doing lots of shoveling, carrying trees about, and picking up all manner of sticks, branches, and what have you is apparently great exercise. I am almost worn out. I was out in the yard by 7:30 am this morn, worked until noon, ate a sandwich, then worked for 2.5 more  hours before taking a break for our afternoon run.  A break to run! Haha.

We made it to the South Farm at about 2:45 for our 3 pm run and found Steve Shaffer there already sweating. He had already run 3 miles. He had given up on us showing up as apparently we were an hour late. He said that there was some kind of time change or something! Yeah, I completely missed that! Sorry Steve…Anyway, he decided to run with us too. So, Joseph, he, and I headed out. I was planning to do 5 miles today, then bike for another 40-50 minutes. Steve did an additional 7 miles for a total of 10! Joseph ran for 80 minutes, but I don’t know how far he went; he was ahead of us.

Joseph in the distance..

Today was pretty nice, about 67° F, but prestorm weather with strong south winds. I ran with Steve for about 1.5 miles as we trudged forward against the wind, then I picked it up a bit. My foot seems to be feeling better and better. However, I experienced a different problem today. By one mile in, I noticed my hamstrings were starting to cramp. This has only happened to me a handful of times in my life. Always a matter of being somewhat dehydrated. I failed to realize the extent of my serious yard work and how much I had exerted myself. I made efforts to drink water while working, but evidently it was not enough!! As I said, I have only had this happen a handful of times, and always in the summer before. Here in Mississippi, it gets pretty danged hot and humid in the summer. Running over an hour in the heat will get you if you don’t have enough liquid in you. The worst time was about 25 years ago when I had biked for about 2 hours, then ran for an hour after. Then, my friend got off work and wanted to go biking and running! Poor timing I guess. So, we biked for another couple of hours and ran for at least one more hour. I made it to within a block of my apartment when both legs cramped up so bad that I could not move. I sat on the side of the road, and my friend went and got the car and helped me in! I can tell you that sleeping later was difficult as charlie horses seemed to keep popping up as my legs tightened and spasmed for quite some time! Today was not as bad, but by 3 miles, I had to stop a minute and stretch. Then, for a while things got better, and I was able to run a a decent pace for a mile, before again feeling the hams tighten! I stopped again for a minute then made it another half mile before it starting getting rough! I had to stop and lean over to touch my toes for a couple of minutes. I could not stand up or my legs would tighten up! After about 3 minutes, I said what the heck and made it back to the car by variously running with short steps and doing a variation of a skip. When I got back to the truck I drank 32 ounces of a recovery drink, then I drank some water, and did some mild stretches. After a few minutes, I jumped on my bike and headed back out.

I found Joseph after he had run about 45 minutes and gave him some water. Then Steve came by from another direction and finished up his run.

Steve Shaffer, finishing up a 10 mile run at the South Farm.

Joseph ran for another 35 minutes as I cruised around on my bike. The horses were excited today as it was bring your foal to work day. Lots of young horses closely following their moms!

Horses at the MAFES South Farm

Protective parent

We got through with our exercising and got some stretching in. Then we headed to Dollar General for junk food! Bought three different packages of cookies, potato chips, and some other junk! Ate cookies on the way back home. I drank an energy/recovery drink with mine, and Joseph had some Gatorade.

Got home and immediately went back to work in the yard! Worked until after dark planting and transplanting things! Awesome. Finally came in and ate some Tamales.

Tomorrow, hopefully we can make it to the track for some 400’s. Joseph will be doing 16 of them with 400m jogs between each. I say hopefully, because there is a good chance of storms tonight and tomorrow. Maybe by the afternoon they will have passed through. Maybe…

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