I took the lean mean Joseph Machine over to Lake Lowndes State Park Saturday morn for the St. Patrick’s Day 5k that the Golden Triangle Cycling and Running Club put on. Beautiful morning, not too hot, although it was a bit humid. Race start time was 9 am, so we got there around 8 to register and get warmed up. I actually contemplated running the race, as my foot is starting to feel much better, or at least it does not hurt as much. Also, the course is beautiful as it winds through the hilly state park roads. I have enjoyed running races here in the past. I even won a 5 mile race here years ago. But, I decided that I would wait on the races a while longer. The first two miles are actually pretty tough, but the last mile is not bad. I did a warmup jog with Joseph for about 15 minutes as we checked out the course a bit. Headed back to the park office for some light stretching and communing with the various runners from MS and AL. Always nice to see folks at these runs. Everybody is always so nice. Met a dude named Mitch from Sulligent, Alabama who drove over on his sweet baby blue Harley. The Johnson brothers and a sister were there. They are from around the Columbus area somewhere and the siblings have been running since they were little kids. Three of the brothers ran the 5k and another brother and sister ran the mile fun run after! Some crazy chics wearing tutu’s and wild calf high socks ran the race. Quite a few guys from the Columbus Air Force Base ran as well. Peter Rabideau was there and still running strong at 71 years of age (I believe that is his age). He ended up with a 24 minute something race today!
The race got off without a hitch at 9 AM. Nobody super fast was here today, so Joseph was pretty much by himself up there in the front. He ended up winning the race easily running 17:04, which was okay for him, but not great.
But, its hard to push yourself. Second place was an Air Force dude who ran in toe shoes with a 19:05 time. We have been doing some tempo runs on Saturdays, so Joseph’s pace for this race was about what I wanted him to do today anyway. He received a beautiful, fairly big, green trophy for his efforts. He had run this race two years ago as well when he was 13, and he won then too. I guess I came in 2nd. So, that was cool. I think I could have managed second today too, but who knows.
A much bigger St. Patrick’s Day 5k was also held on Saturday. This one was in Jackson, MS. We did this one a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Big race with over a 1000 people. But, to be honest, I did not feel like driving all the way down there. I almost wished I had, just to have given the punk some competition to push him more. Our buddy Arash Taheri did run the race there and placed third with a 17:03. Another fellow we know, Avery Ainsworth, won the race with a respectable 16:02. Back in the day, I used to run against Avery’s dad, Gerald. Nice to see his son (and his other son) running well! Complete results are at: http://www.stpaddys5k.com/
Although Joseph got in a cool down run after the race, he felt like he needed a bit more when we got home, so he jogged around our trail barefoot for a while. Meanwhile, I got back to my crazy yard work trimming more bushes and taking a few more small trees down for yet another burn! I even mowed the lawn and did some weed eating. Yeah, March 17 and already mowing the lawn. It was at least 85° F out there too!
I spent Sunday morning helping a friend move furniture and randomly heavy stuff to his new place to be. The crazy joker bought some land, sold his home, and is planning on building a small cabin while living in a camper. He built a big shed this past week to store his stuff in temporarily. I got a decent workout just helping him! Went home and ate some amazingly tasty sausage stuffed tortellini that I had prepared the night before, then tried to get my chain saw going, which started giving me fits yesterday. Yeah, not much luck with that.
We went back to the South Farm at 3 pm for a run. Kamau Bostic and Steve Shaffer joined us today. Hadn’t seen Kamau in a while. That crazy hooligan always brings a heightened level of excited to any run. I was planning another 5.5 mile loop today, which I managed to do at a decent pace actually (considering). I ended up running at least 4 miles with Kamau. Joseph had taken off in front, then Kamau, who ran the first mile with me, took off and caught, then passed Joseph, then realized that maybe he was running too fast, since he had no idea of what his track workout might be tomorrow. So, he turned around, rejoined me at about mile 2, and ran the rest of the way with me. We averaged around 6:35 for the next 3.4 miles of hilly, hot gravel! Somebody forgot to mention to Mother Nature that it is still March here and not mid summer! Steve also opted for the 5.5 mile route today, probably due to the warmer than usual weather. He was behind us, but still had a great run from what I could see. After I got back to the truck, I jumped on my bike to bring Joseph, was doing a longer run, some water. Man, I rode all over the place and could not find that wily rascal. Finally found him after about an hour and 15 minutes. Fortunately, he showed that he had some common sense, as he had went back to the truck at some point and got some water before heading back out. I gave him some more, and we headed back to the truck. He ran somewhere between 80 and 90 minutes. While we were at the South Farm, we saw Walker Mattox, who is on our cross country team at SHS, and Layton Little, who I used to coach when he was on the XC team at Starkville Academy (I guess he is still on the team, but I am not over there more). They were not running, but were biking. Also, a couple other folks were out running, including one of the fast MSU runner dudes.
Anyway, great run today! And great to see Kamau too!
Ate some wonderful curry type food that I prepared for supper. Used some pork, potatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, cilantro, even some boiled egg, and served it over rice. I probably broke some strange sacreligious or cultural taboo by combining these particular ingredients. But, whatever the case, it was some freakin’ awesome supper!
Tomorrow we are heading to the SHS track for another 400m workout at about 5 pm (or whenever the track team is done).
Next Saturday, mark your calendars, the Starkvegas 5k and 10k will be held, starting at the Greensboro Center in Starkville, MS! Also next Saturday, MSU will be hosting a high school meet, which should be a good one with decent teams from the region including Starkville High. I imagine we will go watch some of Joseph’s friends run. I had planned on entering Joseph in that meet (and a couple of other university hosted high school meets) as an unattached runner. But, apparently that defied some ridiculous rule or another of the Mississippi Athletic Association. I was told that high school runners cannot run unattached in any Mississippi sanctioned high school track meet if the school they attend has a track team. In other words, you run for the team, or you don’t run at all. I actually tried to get several of the higher ups to show me in print this rule, but I pretty much got the run around on that. Big surprise there! I even got some rules emailed to me: everything but the rule I wanted to see. It may actually be a valid rule, but as a scientific minded individual, I like to see the proof. Not quite sure what the punishment would be if he did run either. Some people suggested that the SHS team could be ruled inelegible at those meets, although I can’t imagine why that would be the case? But, who knows,we are in Mississippi, not exactly a place of reason. I guess, theoretically, Joseph could run meets in other states, but what the hell, its not worth the trouble, and he is having much more fun running these cool road races anyway. Maybe he will decide to run next year, who knows?