Following the Gumtree 10k last Saturday, we started back to doing some base training for the summer. I imagine we will start out somewhat slow and easy and pick it up the pace and mileage as the summer moves along. Especially these first couple of weeks following the harder spring training we did. Sunday we only did 4 miles at a 7 minute per mile pace. Monday afternoon was similarly easy with 6 miles at a 7:05 pace. We changed up the Monday run a bit by running through our MSU campus, the wonderfully hilly University Estates neighborhood, and Bardwell Road route. We love this particular route because it is very challenging, but tend not to do it much during the fall and spring university sessions, because the campus get ridiculously busy. Pretty nice now though!
On Tuesday around 5 pm, we met Juan Villarreal, who is a redshirt freshman on MSU’s XC and track teams, and happens to still be in town for some of the summer. Starting from the South Farm parking area, we scampered across campus and around the Research Park on Old Hwy 82 for a little over 5 miles. I managed to hang with them for about 3.5 miles, but they picked it up a little (or I slowed down?). I ended up running the route at a 6:36 per mile average, which I was actually pretty happy with considered I have been banged up with the plantar fascia deal. One thing for sure, running that pace today was not as easy as it was 6 months ago, and obviously way harder than the ease in which Joseph and Juan were running. It looked quite effortless. Juan had already run a few miles earlier that morning as well.
Wednesday afternoon, Joseph and I just did an easy 4 miles through Longmeadow neighborhood and down Industrial Park Road and back. Nothing remotely fast today. We both seemed a little tired, but me less so than Joseph, so I actually did that last 2 miles faster than him today. Joseph was still recovering from his cold/flu deal, not to mention being overwhelmed this week with some extra work he was doing as a result of this being the week before final exams. Its funny how the body works. If you are tired, you can’t run as fast. Go figure. And if you do run too fast when you are tired, you will probably pay for it later.
Thursday was a different story, as we again met Juan for a run. Today we did the 6 mile plus loop on the South Farm. Today, I basically could not keep up with them at all. After about 400-600 meters I had already fallen behind their pace. I was probably a little tired from the decent Tuesday run. I ended up doing a 7:09 minute per mile pace. Not terrible by any means, but nothing crazy. I guess those guys ended up around 6:30 or better, with Joseph keeping up with Juan for most of the way before dropping off 5 miles.
We got up early Saturday morning and ran with the Boardtown Running Club. Had not been since January, so it was nice to see all those crazy running jokers again. Juan and his brother Jorge also joined us. Jorge still has some kind of injury, so he rode his bike, but Juan and Joseph ran together. I am glad he showed up for sure, as it is great for Joseph to have somebody to run with. All three of us (Juan, Joseph, and I) ran a 10 mile route, although many of the other runners there ran a 14.7 mile loop. There are some really good runners out there for sure. Joseph and Juan averaged about 6:20 per mile for the 10 miles, and did not seem to be overly taxed. I ran much slower, at 7 minutes per mile. Definitely easy though, did not feel sore or very tired at all. I think I will continue to not push it too hard for a while. I can still feel some soreness in my right heel, but not too bad. I figure I should not push it too hard for a while, not to mention, I am not in good enough shape to do much more! I imagine we will do our longer runs with the Boardtown group for most of the rest of the summer. Its a lot easier to run farther in the morning than later in the day for one thing, and the Whites put out water/Gatorade stops along the routes every 3-3.5 miles. How freakin’ cool is that! Plus, there are some amazing runners, such as Meggan and Houston Franks, Micah and Kelly White, David Dycus, and many others out there that can push Joseph. Its not always easy to do a long run at the right pace by yourself, and I can’t really push him anymore unless I am on a bike! The only problem with that is I don’t get the run in myself. Today was a perfect example. At one point, Joseph, Meggan, and Juan were cruising along together. We are so lucky to have runners like that around here!
Today, we are planning to get in an easy 6 miles or so at the South Farm. We will meet there at 5:30 pm.
In other news, results for the State 5A meet are now online at http://ms.milesplit.com/meets/118510-mhsaa-state-championships-5a . As I mentioned in an earlier post, Starkville High’s boys came in second overall behind Pearl at the meet. Quite a few boys and girls qualified for the state meet, and I suspect that this was one of the more well rounded teams that SHS has ever had. As far as the distance boys who made it to the state meet, Kamau Bostic placed 2nd in the 1600m race with a 4:36.46 and 2nd in the 800m race with a 1:59. He was closely followed by Starkville’s Damian Grady in both events with Damian coming in 3rd in the 1600m race with a 4:36.79 and 3rd in the 800m race with a 2:01. The first place finisher in both of those races was Matthew Oneal of Calloway who ran a 4:21 in the 1600 and a 1:56 in the 800m. Matthew also won first place in the triple jump with his 49′ jump, giving him a fairly unique set of state awards. From what I hear, he is also a very talented soccer player. Kamau and Damian were able to get a first place award though, as they were two crucial components of SHS’s first place finish in the 4 X 400m event! They easily won the event beating the 2nd place team by 5 seconds with their 3:23.61. Also finishing well for Starkville in a distance event was sophomore Alex Ross, who placed 6th with a time of 10:49. This kids greatly improved from the XC season last fall, and you can look for him to be awesome this coming fall.
On the girls side, the team placed 5th overall. Not to be outdone by the guys, the girls running the distance events excelled. Starkville High junior Mary Elizabeth Stringer posted a 2nd place finish in the 800m race with her 2:27! Last year, she ended up 5th at the state meet with a 2:29, so this was significant improvement for her. She will certainly be a favorite to win 1st next year. Seventh grade superstar Kate Mattox won both the 1600m and 3200m races with her times of 5:31 and 11:59. Her sister Walker Mattox also made it to the state meet and placed 8th with her time of 13:31. Starkville’s 4 X 400m team also did well placing third with a time of 4:13.33. For Kate Mattox, this was an amazing year for running as she also won the state meet in cross country last fall. In fact, just this week, Kate received “The Pop Star Award” for having been the fastest female runner in all divisions in MS during cross country season You can read more about this in the Starkville Daily News article at http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/node/10047. Congrats to her!!! Making Starkville look good.