Beautiful weather for running

Another day of work in the yard on Sunday. Cut down a big dead pine tree, took some limbs off a tree that was overhanging my shed, and other similar endeavors. About wore myself out this weekend. So, I thought I would top it off with a run Sunday afternoon. Joseph and I met Steve Shaffer at 5:30 pm at the South Farm for a longish run at a pretty easy pace. I started out with Steve and ran with him for 2.5 miles, then when we hit some hills, I picked up some in a half hearted attempt to catch up with Joseph. I finally caught him at about 7 miles, but only because he stopped to stretch. Ran with him for a few minutes, but apparently I was going too slow, because he was soon ahead of me. We ended doing around a little over 11 miles. Went the entire way without a water break, which was probably not a great idea, but it seemed cooler than usual. Steve either went 6 or 7 miles, and called it a day. After the run, my entire body was more sore than it had been in a long time. I don’t think it was from running though; I think it was from all the cutting, shoveling, and carrying around limbs and trees.

We headed over to the SHS track Monday evening where we met Arash Taheri, Ian Prester, and John Mitchell for a workout. Got our 2 mile warm up in, stretched some and got to it.

Ian, John, Arash, and Joseph

Today was similar to last week, and similar to what we will do next week too: 3 sets of 800m/800m jog, 400m/400m jog, 200m/400m jog, and 200m/400 jog. And, of course a cool down jog and stretching. Hard workout! In fact, Arash did not finish the whole thing, he was having some cramps, so finished his with some easy running. Ian did two sets, before taking off. Said he had to save some energy for some upcoming frisbee action later in the evening! But, I still called him a slacker. Joseph, John, and I were the only ones to do the complete workout today! Pretty good for an old man. Joseph did alright, each set got a little faster. First set he was 2:24 for 800, 1:14 for 400, then 34ish for 200s; second set was 2:22 for 800, 1:11 for 400, 33s for 200s; and 3rd set was 2:20 for 800, 1:06 for 400, 32 for first 200, and 28 for last. So, nice to see each set get better. I would like him to get the 800s down to 2:18 or so though. I was much slower, with my 800s being 2:40, 2:42, and 2:40; 400s around 1:17, and 200s around 35-36. I don’t know John’s times. He was behind me, but kept a steady pace and finished the workout. Ian was with me on the first 800, beat me on the first 400 and 200s, but I got him on everything during the second set! Whippersnapper! Of course, Arash did great on the first set, but not so well on the next one that he did not finish.

While we were finishing up, Damian Grady and Kamau Bostic showed up for a workout. I guess with the high school not having classes today, there was no official practice. But, like Joseph, these guys like to run, and don’t skip a workout because of holidays. Both of them  have looked much better in the last two track meets and have a great chance of coming in one and two in both the 800m and 1600m state championships in the 5A division this May. I am truly glad to see that they are even on track team, as early in the season it looked like they would not be be running for the team. And, it is wonderful to see Kamau running fast again after his lackluster performance in his first meet. Fortunately for him, local running legend Sule Alli, who was an All American for MSU in the 800m many years ago, and a friend of mine who I used to run with and run against in local 5ks, took an interest in him and has been giving him some pointers. In fact, Sule was at the track tonight giving the guys some tips on running form, various stretches, and what have you. Awesome!  So nice to have such knowledgeable folks in this community! Sule is originally from Nigeria, and  is a few years older than me, but still running well. Always nice to see that crazy joker. He has trained many of the great young runners in Starkville at one time or another. I remember him working with Tavaris Tate, when he was young, and with Julia Cathcart. Of course, everyone knows about Tavaris who won the national championship in the 400m event in high school. In fact, he is ranked no. one in the country right now in college! Julia won the XC state championship at least twice, the 3200m and 1600m races I don’t know how many times, and landed a great college scholarship to William and Mary where she was great.  I know she ran 17:59  for the 5k in at least one high school meet for XC and 11:08 for 3200m and right at 5 minutes for the 1600m. I believe she holds state records for all three of those events in her class as well.

For anybody interested, results of the Mississippi College/Blue Cross-Blue Shield Invitational in which SHS participated this past Saturday are now posted at: http://ms.milesplit.com/meets/106141-mississippi-college-blue-cross-blue-shield-invitational

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