Sunday evening at 7 PM, we met Brent Wallace, Arash Taheri, and Steve Shaffer at the South Farm. Decided to do the route clockwise for a change of pace. For the most part recently, we had been running the course counter clockwise. The advantages of this are that the west side of the loop we typically do is somewhat shaded by a line of trees at this time of day, then as we get to the other side, the sun has usually dropped enough to where its not unbearable. The disadvantage is that when I go this way, I sometimes skip the last mile loop and don’t do the entire 7 mile route. Or, sometimes I get to a certain point where I can just head straight back for a 5.5 mile route. For whatever reason, the second half of the 7 mile loop going counter clockwise from the parking area just about always gets me! Those rolling hills are killer, especially if I do the first half at a decent pace. But, if I run clockwise and get that first mile loop in, it is much more difficult to cheat, and I pretty much always do the 7 mile route. Today, again hot! But, I was able to do the first 3.5 miles in just over 22 minutes. Pretty sweet. I think I was trying to prove I could still run ok despite the sudden 10 lb weight gain! Joseph was in front of me. Brent decided to go straight, instead of doing the 7 mile loop, and he ended up doing the 5.5 mile trek. Steve followed Joseph and I, and our CRAZY bud Arash the magnificent rode Joseph’s bike and carried water for us, which I greatly enjoyed at the halfway point! Another cool thing about this route is that we get to run up a tremendously annoying hill at around the 4 mile mark! Yeehah. The fast paced first half was fun, but wore me out with the heat! The second half was 26 minutes plus! Big difference, but still, the average for the entire 7 miles was not terrible given the hills, gravel, and HOTNESS. Of course, the punk (Joseph) was well ahead of me. Steve did a fine job today, and he ended up finishing only a few minutes behind me.
Monday, got a few pushups in early in the morn. Joseph did a more comprehensive workout later that morning. That evening we ran 5 miles out here in Sessums. First half mile easy, then 4 miles at an average of 6:30, then easy last half. Joseph just ran the entire route easy today. Even at 7 pm, the heat was quite intense. I noticed that each of my 4 faster miles got slower as I went along.
Tuesday evening at 7 pm, we met at the South Farm parking lot, but ran through the campus, around the Research Park, and back. Another decent crew today. Joining Joseph and I were Jorge Villarreal, Abigail and Shaunika Musser, Steve, Brent, John Mitchell, Christian Kingery, and Renee Masterson. Steve, Shaunika, Abigail, and Jorge did a route that was a bit shorter, about 4.2 miles. The rest of us ran the 5.5 mile route. Joseph lead the way, and Brent, Renee, and I ran along with him for the first 4 miles or so, before absolutely having to get some water along the way back at the Sanderson Center Intramural Center. Joseph continued on back. Despite the first mile being at a 6:56 minute per mile pace, we averaged 6:35 for the entire way. I thought this was pretty darn good considering the heat. It was so hot, Renee mentioned that the soles of her feet were burning from the hot road. All I know is I wanted some water! This pace was actually faster than I was planning on going today, but with Brent and Renee there, we sort of fed off of each other. Felt pretty good though. Near the end, thanks to Renee’s prodding we did a few strides of various lengths. Renee is a freakin’ beast, and it was awesome to have her come run out with us.
Wednesday, we were going to run pretty easy, as we had planned on doing a 5k time trial on the MSU track on the following night with Meggan Franks. But, Meggan called it off because she was sick and because with temperatures over a 100°F , this was not the time to do that. So, we ended up running about 6 miles in town. Parked at the South Farm, and John Mitchell was there. So, he joined us too. We ran through campus, downtown, to the Greensboro Center, down Louisville Street, back toward campus through the Cotton District and back to the parking area. I ran the first mile with John at an easy 7:50 pace, then picked it up with the next two at 6:15 and 6:27, then the following two were slower, around 7 minutes, with the last mile being relatively fast. John cruised in a bit later. Not a super fast day, but not bad either.
Well, since there was no time trial on Thursday, we just did our normal Thursday run at the South Farm at 7 pm. Today was probably the hottest day of the year thus far. Supposedly around 102° today. Could not believe it, but despite the heat, we had another good group of jokers.
We met Steve, Arash, Jorge, Brent, Abigail, Shaunika, and some crazy climber dude friend of Steve’s named Cleat. Cool name. He also had a cool daddy 4 door black jeep with all the doors and roof pealed off. Sweet ride. Wish I could afford one. Somebody should buy me one! Audrey Sheridan showed up with her dogs and walked a couple of miles.
Did I mention it was was hot? Yeah. Oppressive, heavy air. Stifling. Even my Garmin watch did not like the heat. Did not get it working until the half way point. Brent and I followed Joseph out, going counter clockwise today. Cleat and John followed us. Steve and the girl ran behind us for 2 miles, before heading back. Jorge just ran straight down the main road until he reached a gate, where he stretched, then headed back. Because of the heat, I had left a cooler of water at that gate for anybody who needed it. Arash also carried water in a back pack for us. From the start I felt tired. No energy. I guess it was the heat, plus the fact that I had run at a decent pace for the past five days in a row. Decent for me anyway. Even though my Garmin did not get set right, I knew more or less what pace were going based on our time. The first 3.6 were around 6:45. By the time I got to the water stop, I was hot! Stopped to drink about 20+ ounces and poured some over my head. Stretched a bit too. While we three were stretching, Cleat caught up with us. Joseph took off to finish up the 7 mile loop, but Brent, Cleat, and I opted for the shorter way back (1.9 miles) for the 5.5 mile loop. Those last couple of miles were not fast at all, about 7:30ish. Quite a bit of sweat left my body, that is for sure. I was freakin beat when I got through. I think everyone was. But, it felt good. I even got in 3 sets of pushups, with one set angled with my feet on the bed of my truck, and a couple sets of dips. Nothing crazy, but it felt good. When I weighed myself later that night, I was 166 lbs. Yeah, 14 lbs lighter than Saturday night! Crazy! After noting my change in weight on Saturday, I decided maybe I should not eat such big meals at 9:30 pm each evening. Also, did not drink any cokes this week. Quite a difference.
Yep, everyone seemed to find today fairly tough I think. Instead of the 7 I planned on, only 5.5. Joseph was going to do 9 or 10, but he only did 7. Not sure what John did, but he said it was crazy hard. Of course, he also did some biking that morning I believe. Arash maybe had it the easiest, as he looked like a kid riding the bike out there. He said he did 12 miles on the bike.
Friday, we took the day off from running. Today was even hotter than Thursday, and supposedly Saturday will be hotter yet. That night I did get a nice workout in at home though. Dumbbell curls, shoulder flys, dips, and crunches. About 30 minutes worth.
12 mile run this morning with the Boardtown Running Club! Even though we started around 6:40, it was already warm. Glad they have some water stops! Joseph ran most of the way with Houston Franks and Micah White. I got to run with Brent for the first 4 miles or so, before he turned around for an 8+ mile route, and Renee ran with us some until she turned around at 5 miles. I was pretty much on my own for the next 7 with Joseph, Houston, and Micah well in front of me. The first 6 miles felt pretty good, but on the way back I slowed down quite a bit. Did not want to push it. Sometimes on these longish runs in the summer, my hamstrings cramp near the end. Today, I an electrolyte tablet before the run started, and one after. I don’t know if they helped, but no Charlie horses in the legs today. And today would have been the day! John Mitchell also showed up to run today. He did about 7 miles I believe. Renee talked several of the newer female MSU distance runners to come today too. They cruised along for about 8 miles. Of course, after the run everyone hung out at the White’s home eating fruit and chilling out in the pool! The water felt very nice.
Running in the summer in Mississippi is challenging for sure. Its hard to describe how hot and humid it is here. The heat is bad. The humidity is bad. The air is heavy. And, even if the weather man says its only 102° or whatever, it may be much hotter on the roads. Of course, temps vary depending on where they are taken. For example, at my home in the country, my thermometer measured 110° in the shade yesterday! In this heat, all you can do is go slower and not go as far. If possible, morning runs are better, but if not, anything after 7 pm is better than during the day. When people move here from more northern climates, they are often overwhelmed by the summers here. It makes breathing difficult for people not used to it. Very easy to become dehydrated too. Even if you hydrate all day, if you go for a longish run, you will be drained. You really have to have some water or other type of hydration along the way somewhere, or it could be dangerous.
Probably will go a few miles in the morn tomorrow. For sure will do some kind of workout this afternoon. And, we will meet at 7 PM tomorrow at the South Farm for a run.