Easter Weekend Running

On Tuesday, Joseph and I got in a good run on the South Farm. We ended up going 8+ miles at an easy pace, of which mine was slower than Joseph’s.  We actually were only planning on going about 7 miles, but the road was gated in the back area near the Horse Park and had horses in there. This seems to be the case every Tuesday. So, we cruised down there, then turned around and added some stuff.

I took Joseph over to Longmeadow neighborhood on Wednesday for another  tempo based, but with some speed, type workout. Arash was supposed to meet us, but there was some confusion about the meeting time or something, and he ended up running on his own. Longmeadow is pretty nice, not much traffic, pretty flat, with some shade, and its across the street from the high school. I did a warmup jog with Joseph, but biked with him on the workout. Today, he did 3 X 1 mile with one minute rests between each. First was 5:23, 2nd was 5:23, and the third was 5:21. Then two 400s at 1:11ish with 400m jogs, and 4 X 30 second sprints (pretty fast). Followed this with a cool down. Although he hit the times about right, Joseph seemed to be dragging today, lots going on at school, and he ran quite a bit the day before (more than usual). He told that he actually ran some more on Tuesday after going home to his mother’s. Got bored and took a walk, which turned into a run. He probably ended up doing about 13 miles that day instead of our usual 6 or 7. I told him to take Thursday off and relax a little, or at most only go for a little while.

So, yeah, on Thursday, I went to the South Farm on my own for a 4 mile run. A storm was coming in. I ran out 2 miles at 6:33 for each mile.  I turned around and ran back with a crazy strong wind in my face, and some rain. Spots of lightning dotted the sky as well. I actually ran back slightly faster and averaged 6: 29 per mile on the last two miles. This was the best 4 mile run I have had since getting plantar fasciatus back in mid January. Maybe by summer I will be back to normal. I hope! As I headed back, I passed Anna Jackson, a junior on our cross country team. She was going the opposite way and appeared to be running well. Anna ran the Frostbite Half Marathon in late January here in Starkville and did well. Anna is not the fastest girl on our cross country team, but is certainly one of the top 5, and she is for sure in better overall running shape than the other girls. She does not seem to be plagued with many injuries either, like our other top runners (girls) who focus primarily on speed. This is despite the fact that she likely logs more miles than the other girls on our team. This makes sense really. A lot of folks think that running more miles equates to having more injuries. That is possible, but not always the case. I read one study which stated (I should find the reference for this, sorry) that there was no direct correlation to running lots of miles to injury incidence. This was basically talking about high mileage being 70-100 miles per week or something like that, as compared to 25-40 miles per week. Obviously, as some point, this may not be the case. In other words, if you ran 300 miles per week, that may be too many. Instead, most injuries are the result of poor running form, running too fast (faster than you are accustomed to), not enough stretching, not enough warm up and cool down, down hill running, and increasing your mileage base too fast. If you gradually increase your miles week to week, year to year, and include time periods of less running with time periods of higher mileage, you will likely find that your incidence of injury is reduced. Of course, you can always step in a hole and twist your ankle, pull a muscle playing volleyball, have a dog run full force into the back or your leg, or things like that. There are some many ways to injure yourself, why be stupid? However, I routinely do stupid stuff. For example, I often find myself doing something too fast while trying to keep up with these young whipper-snappers. It is so much easier to get hurt while doing something fast than by doing something slower. So, don’t push it too hard too soon. Gradual is so much easier in the long run!

Joseph and I met Juan and Jorge Villarreal Friday afternoon at 5 pm at the South Farm. Jorge was still recovering from a pulled hamstring that resulted from a fast tempo run with the MSU track team, of which he is a member. Remember that last paragraph? Yeah, Jorge had another injury before this one, and was probably not quite ready for the pace he was doing with his team mates. However, he is running for a division 1 university track team, and I imagine it is hard to rein yourself in when you are out there with those other running beasts! So, Jorge rode his bike with us. Even though we all started together, Juan ended up doing about 9 miles, Joseph went 6, and I went 5.5.  This was a difficult 5.5 miles for me, because I had spent the entire day cutting trees, splitting wood, and other serious forms of yard work. I clearly had not had enough water (remember the last paragraph about being stupid), and my muscles were cramping before I started. Even my arms, probably from working with a chain saw and ax so long. By the last mile, my hamstrings were cramping pretty nicely too, but I made it in no problem. Averaged about 7:15 per mile. After Joseph and I got stretched, I went and bought us some Nutty Buddy ice cream bars and a box of Dole frozen strawberry fruit bars. I was craving some ice cream man! I ate two Nutty Buddys and one strawberry bar. We stopped back by the South Farm and gave a Nutty Buddy to Juan and Jorge too. Those things are so tasty!

Saturday was another day of yard work. Yet more trees to be cleared in the yard. Of course, that means another pile of stuff to burn some day. Later in the day, I took Joseph to the MSU track for a little workout. We arrived at 5 pm, got a 1.5 mile warm up run in, then stretched a while. One of the MSU runners was jogging around the track. She is a redshirt freshman from South Dakota who specializes in distance events. Joseph got started, and I timed him while he ran 2 miles. He was amazingly sluggish and tired today, probably due to the fact that he had spent the night with some friends on Thursday, probably not sleeping overly much, and we stayed up late Friday night. Even so, he did the 2 miles in 10:08, which is his best time yet, then rested 2 minutes and did 800m in 2:31, then a 2 minute rest, followed by a 28 second 200, which I ran with him (I was 30-31 seconds). We walked a 100m, then did 300m: he was 42 seconds and I was 46. Walked another 100m and did a fast 100m, really working on good arm movement. He was 11 something, and I was about 13 (old man). I have never seen him run a 100 this fast, and was clearly surprised that he could do that after a good 2 mile and the other stuff. Of course, I was just using my watch to time him, and did not get the decimal points or anything, but the point is that he was running it faster than I have ever seen him! Promising. I especially liked his fast 300. It would be ideal to be able to run a really fast 300 at the end of a 2 mile or 5k race.

The Crescent City Classic 10k was held today in New Orleans, LA. Over 20,000 entrants. Our buddies Arash Taheri and Newman Kazery both ran the race. Arash ran a 37:07 and Newman was 46:30. Good for them. I suspect Arash would have been much faster, but with crowds like that, if you are not in front, you get bogged down pretty quick. Still a good time for him though. Results are posted online at https://www.nolimitstiming.com/results/default.aspx?event=11435 Newman was not the only Kazery running today. His younger brother William ran an outstanding time of 15:54 in the Run From the Sun 5k in Jackson!

Starkville High’s track team was at the Mississippi College/Blue Cross Invitational today, but I don’t know how they did yet, as the results have not been posted. I did hear that Starkville’s fast little 7th grader, Kate Mattox, ran another good 3200m with a time of 11:35. Mary Elizabeth Stringer, who has been injured, ran a pretty good 800m with her time of 2:32. Emily Woomer, who is another good junior high/middle school aged runner did well in the 400m with a 1:02. And in the boys 800m Kamau Bostic again ran 1:58, and Damian Grady ran a 2:01. When the results are posted, I will put up a link. It sounds like they had a great meet though

Likewise, MSU’s track team did well at the Battle of the Bayou track meet at LSU. Tavaris Tate, who ran for Starkville a couple of years ago, ran the fastest 400m thus far in the country at the meet with his time of 45:45, and he was closely followed by his team mate James Harris who ran a 45:58, which was good enough to place him second in the country behind Tavaris. Not to be outdone by the boys, Jody-Ann Muir ran a 52:47 400m to become number one in the country. One the distance side, Juan Sanchez ran a decent 1500m at 3:51, and Katie Huston won the women’s 1500m with her 4:33. Cameron Vernier placed second in the 3000m with his  8:29.48, and Philip Johnson was 5th with his 8:39. For Cameron, that would about like running a 9:05 two mile. Pretty good stuff! Full results are at http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/conn/sports/m-track/auto_pdf/2011-12/box_score/stats_20120407aaa.pdf

We are thinking about going up to Holly Springs, MS next Saturday for the Killer Kudzu 5k (http://www.kudzu5k.com/ ). Some fast folks have run this race, and last year’s winner ran a 14:51.

Tomorrow, we will be running at the South Farm at 5:30 pm for a longish run.

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