Spring Break I guess….

Yep, its spring break here in Starkville, Mississippi and the Mississippi State campus is relatively quiet! The weather for this week was predicted to be stormy pretty much every day, but its been anything but that. Nope, instead, the weather has been wonderful! Breezy, with winds from the south and temps in the 70’s and 80’s! Not bad at all. Some light rain here and there, but not bad. This kind of weather makes it impossible to not want to work in the yard. Also makes it impossible to not want to get outside and do anything.

Spring break is a big week for many folks, but mostly just another week of work for me. Not that my job is really work. I mean, I get to work with bugs and take photos of bugs and write about them and other cool things. This week I have been working on a couple of papers about some fantastically supercool ant species. Took some decent photos of them with my nice camera system that is mounted on a sweet microscope with an automated focus column, and also some pretty good looking scanning electron microscope generated images. Been cleaning those photos up in Adobe Photoshop and also working on our web site a bit. So, yeah, pretty fun stuff. But, even so, I took Monday off and probably will take Friday off. Of course, Joseph has the whole week off. No big plans, although he and his mother were going to spend 2 or 3 days at Tombigbee State Park.

We started off spring break on Monday with some 400m intervals. Isn’t that what everyone does on their first day of spring break? Planned to do them at the MSU track at 3 pm, but they actually had practice for those runners still in town. We did not want to get in their way, so we went to the Starkville High track instead. Sort of a bummer, because the MSU track is brand new and awesome, and the SHS track is the opposite of awesome. Painted concrete basically. I would rather run on a road than this track for the most part, except once in a while it is useful to have a fixed 400m course available to run on. No painted lanes either! Grass is growing out of some cracks which have developed. The other choice is the Starkville Academy track, which is slightly less hard being some type of tarmac like substance, but the cracks in it are bigger and in places you could actually fall into them perhaps to land in China or at least somewhere near the core of the earth. So, we went to the SHS track. I got a start on a few 400s myself while Joseph was doing a warmup jog of unknown duration and location. By the time he got back to the track, Steve Shaffer had showed up. He thought the high school team was having practice, but did not realize that they had cancelled it and that it was supposed to be in the morning if they had not cancelled it. But, he was glad to run with us. Why not, we are some crazy running fools.  He did about 4 fast 400’s, then ran another 4 miles or so on the track, and finished off with a cool down jog with Joseph later. I ended doing about 10 400’s, which was great progress for me. Started slow, but the last five were 1:10 to 1:12. Mostly I just rested between them. Joseph did 16 400’s with 400m jogs between each. His were all between 1:09 and 1:12. The last eight were the best ones. He said he felt like they all would have been a couple seconds faster on a real track, which is probable. Did I mention that this track sucks? Oh yeah, this track sucks. I am really glad that we do most of our running on dirt roads, because I would hate to think of what our legs would feel like running on this stuff on a regular basis! However, it was nice to see a couple of girls fr0m the SHS track team doing some hurdle practice, and another girl doing some sprints. Also, a few random adults were jogging and walking. Anyway, I was happy enough to be able to run  two days in a row, and especially to be able to do something resembling a fast workout. The foot is still sore, but not enough to keep me down! Of couse, Joseph got in a total of about 11 miles with his warm up, workout, jogs between everything and cool down run. He said his calf on one leg was a little sore after running on the hard track, but not too bad.

Well, Joseph headed to his mom’s for most of the rest of this week, and with them going out of town, I am on my own. He was planning on doing some easy runs of between 45 and 60 minutes on his own each day for the rest of the week.  Both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons I got in 4 mile runs around the MSU campus and part of downtown Starkville. Nothing crazy, averaged about 7 minutes per mile both days. Promising though, 4 days of running in a row. Also got some pushups and pullups and assorted other upper body stuff in both evenings. So, I guess the plantar fasciatus is on the mend. Most folks I have talked to who have had this issue have indicated that it took many months to heal. Several people told me that it took 9 months.  The fact that it has only been about 2 months and I am back to running several days a week is promising, but I am not running very many miles. Hopefully, things will keep getting better. Today I concentrated on landing on the balls of my foot more than usual. I normally let most of my weight land on the balls of my feet, but I also usually let my heel touch, mostly for balance though, rather than weight support. But, I would like to get to the point where the heel does not touch at all, or only minimally.

Depending on the weather, I will probably run tomorrow as well. On Saturday, I will probably take Joseph over to Columbus for the Lake Lowndes State Park 5k, which starts at 9 am. I don’t plan on running it, but may hike around some later. Have not been to this race in a while, but its a beautiful place to run.

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