International Weekend at MSU

I did not get to run Wednesday afternoon, but Joseph met Arash and Ian at the high school and they were all able to get in the tempo based workout for the day: 3 X 1 mile with 1 minute rests, 4 x 400m at about 1:15 with 400m jogs, and 1 X mile at tempo pace. From what they told me, they did a good job, other than maybe running the first one too fast. Arash was 5:14 on his first one, and he said Joseph was a good bit ahead of him, maybe near 5 minutes or close to it. Arash said his next two were 5:32 and 5:38, then his 400s were 70 to 75 or so, then a 5:36. He did not know for sure what Joseph’s times were on the miles, but apparently they were a good bit faster than Arash’s. Sounded like they were around 5:20ish? Don’t know how Ian did either, but they said he did a good job.

We got our Thursday afternoon run in at the South Farm. Just Arash, Joseph and I today. I ran 6 miles. First four were decent, under 7 minutes, last two were around 7:30.  I thought I was doing good as my first mile was around 6:40, but Arash was way in front of me, and Joseph was in front of him. I am guess Joseph’s first 4 miles were around 6:10 or so, with Arash probably about 6:20ish. Then they both slowed down a little, but still finished the 7 mile loop at a good pace.

Took Friday off from running, but did go to a cool Iranian new year deal at the MSU campus where we ate for free and heard some amazing classical guitar music by a world famous Iranian guitarist. What a treat! Arash, who is Iranian, was there as were quite a few people from the Boardtown Running Club.

Also on Friday, Starkville High’s track team ran a meet at Ole Miss. At the previous meets, the distance runners did not look very good, but they did much better at this meet. Kate Mattox ran a 5:28 1600m placing 4th and an 11:33 3200m coming in 1st, which was a great time for a 7th grader. Her sister Walker ran a 2:37 800m, a decent 1600m with her 5:58, and a good 3200m race with her 12:22. Mary Elizabeth Stringer ran a 2:34 800m, which was good for her considering she has been injured. In the boys 3200m, Alex Ross PR’ed with a 10:51 and Nathanael Houston also PR’ed with an 11:10. These two guys were decent in XC, but no where near this fast. This bodes well for the XC team next fall.  If Joseph can go into next fall’s XC season running 16 minutes or better,  Damian Grady can run in the 16s (he ran in the 17:20s this past fall), Alex and Nathanael can run in low 17s or better, and we can get some solid running from Ethan Musser, Stuart Woomer, and Aaron Remotigue, we could have a great team. In the boys 800m, Kamau Bostic ran much better than last week and posted a 1:58 for 3rd place and Damian Grady PR’ed with his 2:00:09. Kamau also did better in the 1600m with his 4:37 coming in 5th. Stuart Woomer also ran the 1600m with a time of 5:16.  Good job guys! Complete results are posted at:

Lunch Saturday was freakin awesome. The International Fiesta was held today, and with that was tons of amazingly cool food from all over the world. I ate a lot! So many things to choose from including fare from various parts of Africa, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran, China, Turkey, and many other countries. I tried many things and was so full, it was difficult to run later! Worth it though. You don’t get this stuff every day.

Sri Lanka booth

Saw lots of friends at the Fiesta too including several that I have played volleyball with such as Marta AmirSadeghi, Mohammed Rouhi (both from Iran), Ondor Tor (from Turkey), and Clau Ferrari (from Brazil). The latter three were all on my intramural volleyball team last year, which won the championship here at MSU. We had the oldest team with grad students, one professor (who was only about 32), and me. I was over twice the age of most of the participants! All four of these jokers are really nice and very good at volleyball. Marta can dig and set quite well, Mohammed, who is only 5’7″, can actually spike quite well and is adept at placing the ball strategically, Ondor can jump about 4 feet and can pound it, and Clau, who is a Brazilian jujitsu master, just about tears the ball in half every time he spikes it!

I got someone to take a picture of me with Marta in her traditional Iranian garb!

In addition to the wonderful food, there were some very interesting performances including a Sitar player, lots of dances, and other forms of music and song. When I see so many people from so many parts of the world getting along so well, it amazes me that our governments cannot seem to get along. Basically, I think people are good everywhere, but with a few bad apples thrown. If we all hung out and shared food and music, we could probably avoid lots of strife!

Asian dancer at the Fiesta

Went to the MSU track at 5 pm on today so Joseph and Arash could do a 2 mile tempo paced run. When we got there Juan Villarreal jogged up. He was doing an easy run around campus and the research park, so we joined him for about 20 minutes, using that as a warm up run. When we got back to the track, Juan finished up the rest of his run on the track. After stretching, Joseph and Arash got their 2 mile run going. We have been doing longer tempo runs, or splitting up some mile tempos, so I thought we could do something in between today. Actually, this was probably slightly faster than a tempo, but still not super fast like a race. Joseph got his in at 10:19-10:20 and Arash was 10:43. Immediately following that, they jogged an 800, then they did 4 X 200m at 29-31 seconds. I also did a couple of 400s in there, and a couple of the 200s with them. After the 200s, they got in a mile cool down, then some stretching, and we got out of there.  Might do something similar to this the next two Saturdays, then we do the Old Cotton Mill 5k on April 21st.

Nest Saturday, Arash will be running the Crescent City 10k in New Orleans. Both Joseph and Arash are planning on doing the Gumtree 10 in Tupelo on May 12, so lots of what we are doing is in preparation for that. But, more than that, in preparation for next fall, and the next, and the next. Realistic gains don’t have to be achieved overnight.  Take your time over the course of several years. Keep the progress going man. Gradually, you keep running, keep pushing, then one day you find that you are much faster than you once were. Crazy how that works…

Will be at the South Farm tomorrow at 5pm for a longish run.


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