Monthly Archives: July 2012

Don’t forget core workouts…

The sunday night run was excellent. Planned on doing something through the MSU campus and beyond, but a couple of folks that run with us wanted the softer gravel/dirt roads of the south farm, so we ran out there.  Although earlier in the day it looked like a good chance of rain for this evening, we instead had great weather! Not too hot, only about 90°F and even an occasional breeze. Somewhat humid, but not quite as bad as usual. Another good group tonight to join Joseph and I. We had Super Steve Shaffer, the laid back Brent Wallace, curious Jorge Villarreal, pretty boy Kamau Bostic, the ineffable Ian Prester, Raheem Bostic (a newbie), and Philip Young (2nd timer).  The run went well. Got in 7 miles at 48 minutes. Pretty steady today. I ran the first 2.5 with Kamau and Brent going at a 6:45 pace (more or less), then Kamau turned back as he was only doing 5 today. Continued on with Brent for another mile, with Joseph having done the first 3.5 miles in 21:30. Brent took the short way back for 5.5 miles, and I followed Joseph for the 7 mile route. Jorge and Ian went 5.5 miles, and Steve and Phillip went either 6 or 7 miles. Raheem said he got in about 3 miles, which for a non runner, was not bad. When we got done, we all did a couple of sets of pushups as well!

Monday, Joseph and I headed back to the South Farm for a hill workout. After a warmup jog and some very light stretching, we found a nice gravel hill to run up. Not the steepest one on the farm, but we thought it would be a good one to start with. The plan was to do 8 X 1 minute and 6 X 30 seconds runs up the hill, with slow jogs back down. Of course, the road being gravel compounded the difficulty of the workout. But, gravel is good in a way, because it forces you to run upright and keep your legs beneath you rather than behind you. If you lean over too much, your legs end up behind you too far, and you will find that your feet slip on the gravel. Feels like you are spinning out on a bike or something. I thought the workout went great for the first day. Don’t know how fast we were going, but I do know that my 1 minute runs did not end as far up the hill as Joseph’s! The 30 seconds runs were very good.  We were concentrating on good upright form, shorter and faster strides, and trying to touch the ground as lightly and quickly as possible. After the hills, we got a cool down jog in and stretched. We plan on doing some version of this workout twice a week for about 4 weeks. Build those legs up!

Tuesday morn, Joseph got a recovery run in on our trail, then did his core workout with lots of ab exercies, pullups, pushups, dips, shoulder flys, bicep curls, etc. and some plyometric skips and bounds. He is starting to look like a serious runner here lately. I did a similar workout in the afternoon. Of course, being Tuesday, we headed to the South Farm parking lot for another nice group run at 7 pm.  Another crazy cool bunch of psycho runner jokers joined us including Kamau, Damian Grady, Jorge, Steve, Cleat, Chap, Jessica Comer, Raheem, and Brent.  As we were getting ready to run, the Starkville Academy XC boys and their coach Nancy Christiansen were gearing up for their first practice of the year! Awesome. Some of the kids who were 7th or 8th graders on the team when I was coaching there 3 or 4 years ago were out there, and, somehow, they were taller and more cross country-like than I remembered them. Looking like seasoned runners now! Anyway, they headed out to the South Farm, as did Steve, Cleat, and Chap. The rest of us ran together across campus, through the research park, through the north farm, down some railroad tracks, and then returned. We ran about 8 miles, which was about what we had planned. Jessica was supposed to do 6 today, so she turned around at three, and Raheem turned around earlier. It was a fantastic run for sure. Hot, humid, and a nice group of punks to run with. What more can you ask for? After the run, folks stretched and cooled down for quite a while. Seemed like nobody felt like leaving, but eventually, we left…another good run in the books.

Joseph and I went back to the South Farm Wednesday at 7 pm for some more hill repeats. Hot. Humid. Typical. Started out with a warm up jog. Whew, legs were a bit sore from the hills on Monday! But, not too bad. We got to our gravelly, tortuous hill and did 8 X 30 seconds and 6 X 1 minute runs up the hill, with jogs back. Man o’ man!! Hard today. I did not think I could finish. But, somehow I made it! Ran ok today, kept up with Joseph on the first few, but started falling behind near the last couple of 30 second repeats. It is amazing how you can run up the hill, think you are totally worn out, then by the time you jog back down you can do another one. We got through with that, and did a mile cool down, stretched, drank a bunch of water, and headed home.

Thursday, Joseph and I had a great core type workout at the house. He also added some plyo skips and a couple of other things. We both felt good after this one. Actually felt almost in shape today!  Cleat, Brent, James Wright, Kamau, Raheem, Steve, Cleat, Abigail and Shuanika all joined us at 7 pm. Cleat was the only one to run the South Farm. I think this was his last run of the week before the Heart of Dixie Triathlon on Saturday, which he was going to do a leg of as part of a relay team. The rest of us headed toward campus, and various places from there. We lost Joseph by about 1.5 miles, with Kamau and I running together and Brent and James running together. Kamau and I felt pretty good, so we added a mile near the middle portion of the run and ended up with about 6.5 for the day. Brent and James went about 5.5, and Joseph apparently did the same route, but came back and ran some more at the end. Steve said he and girls wrapped up around 4 miles, before Abigail and Shaunika biked home. Raheem, the novice of the group ran for over an hour. Not sure where he went, he started out with us, but showed up as I was leaving! He may have gotten lost, but no harm, he made it back in one piece and looked happy as a clam.

Nothing much going on for Friday, although Joseph did get in an easy recovery jog in the morn. But, we got a nice run in Saturday morn with the Boardtown group. I was planning on only doing 10-12, but both Joseph and I ended up doing a 14.7 mile route. It was pretty warm and humid, but there was a slight breeze and more shade than usual along the route today, so it was not too bad. Plus, we did not push it at all. Well, Joseph ran the first 3.6 miles fast (to the first water stop), but ran the rest with me at about 7:10 per mile. Lots of our Starkville Striders were there including Ian, Brent, Jorge, Jessica, and Kamau, who all ran 7 miles, and a bunch of the Starkville XC girls, many of whom also run some with us in the off season including Kate Mattox, Walker Mattox, Abigail Musser, Shaunika Musser, Carys Snyder, Anna Jackson, and a new girl who I don’t know. Almost as soon as we finished, we headed to the South Farm parking lot to meet and carpool to Tishomingo State Park in northeast Mississippi. For those of you who are unaware of this park, it is the coolest state park in our state in my opinion. Rocky ledges and boulders, a rocky creek for swimming and paddling in, and a swinging bridge are some of the highlights of this park. We took two cars with Joseph, Audrey, Jorge, Ian, Jessica, Brent, and Drew Zeidwig going along for the adventure.

We arrived about 12:30 and ate some lunch (tuna, oranges, chips, gatorade, power bars, etc.), threw the frisbee around some, which Ian thoughtfully brought along, then trekked across the swinging bridge toward some trails.

The bridge crossed Bear Creek, which was relatively low, but still inviting looking. We goofed around along the trail for probably an hour and a half before taking a break of about the same time in the creek. We were not the only ones, as many other folks were also chilling out there.

got me!

The rocks wall along the upper trail are amazing, at least for Mississippi, and this is basically the only part of the state with these formations. Several members of the group climbed up parts of the easier rock faces.

Brent and Joseph

Jorge of the Jungle climbing rock wall

At one point, we came across a nice waterfall, albeit, a waterfall with very little flow, and we cooled off there a while. It was much like a natural shower and felt great with the high temps!

waterfall (water drip?)

The creek was very nice after working up quite a sweat hiking along the trail. The hike was easy enough, but it was fairly warm. The favored activity in the creek seemed to be skipping stones. By the time we left Jessica had become a seasoned stone skipping veteran under Brent’s firm, but patient tutelage. But, Jorge and his unorthodox Colombian throwing motion was the one with the most skips in row. While in the creek we saw a very large Dolomedes fishing spider perched on the side of a rock as it waited for dinner.

Playing in the creek

Topped off the day by stopping in Tupelo for some food at the Atlanta Bread Company (used to be Paneras). Not bad. Then, dessert at Baskin Robbins! Got back to town about 8:30 after quite a nice day!

Sunday, we got a decent upper body workout in just before lunch. Lunch was freaking awesome too! I grilled some salmon with olive oil, lime juice and fresh basil; grilled shrimp with onions, red and yellow bell peppers, onion, and cajun spice in a skillet on the burner of the grill; had some that crazy cool purple-black rice; fresh tomotoes; sliced avocado; and focaccia bread with spinach and feta cheese!! Awesome!!@!@

Heading out for a run at 7 pm again. Will meet at the South Farm as usual…


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Joseph and I got in a nice upper body workout about 3:30 PM Sunday afternoon. This one was fueled by Jimi Hendrix. Mostly sticking to a circuit type workout that starts with pullups, then crunches, pushups, more ab stuff, dumbbell curls, abs, dips, maybe some shoulder flys, then repeat. Try to change the hang position of the pullups on each set. Also, we do normal, wide and narrow pushups. Sometimes squeeze extra sets of pushups in. Joseph also did some leg curls and extensions, and some type of light military press.

Only five of us for the Sunday evening run with Joseph back in town, Steve Shaffer, Brent Wallace, Jorge Villarreal, and me braving the muggy South Farm gravel roads.  Joseph had been on vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama the previous week living the life of Riley. He said he did not run much, but had a good time. He did not miss a beat though, and was in front of us by the half mile mark. The week before, Brent and I were leading the pack, but not today! Joseph ended up doing the 6 mile loop, as did Steve (I believe), Brent and I did the 5.5 mile loop, and Jorge ran about 4 miles. Jorge is looking much better lately, and apparently his hamstring is close to being healed, if not completely healed! Although he only went 4 miles, he was ahead of Brent and I, whereas, up until then, we had been in front of him! Punk. We did alright even so, as we averaged about 6:45 for the 5.5 miles.  I have mentioned the crazy humidity in this blog many times, but tonight was again crazy! After the run, we were all saturated. Looked like we had been swimming. The folks that stretched on the parking lot left crazy sweat stained splotches that resembled abstract art. Brent, in particular, created a spectacular piece of sweat art, which resembled some type of alien caterpillar. I know this is pretty damned weird, but you have to admit, its also pretty impressive! Gives you an indication of just how humid it is right now!

“Sweat Art” by Brent Wallace

Joseph and I did a fartlek workout Monday at 7 pm out here in the Sessums community. Started with a mile warmup, then did 1 minute fast, 1 minute slow; 2 minutes fast, 2 slow; 3 fast, 3 slow, 4:30 fast, 3:30 slow; 3, fast, 3 slow; 2 fast, 2 slow; 1 fast, 1 slow, and a cool down. At least that was the plan. I did not finish the last 2 and 1 minute fast ones. I was way too hot and needed some water. Joseph finished without any trouble, although he said the last couple were not super fast. Actually, nothing was super fast. Impossible to go fast for long at this time of year with the heat and humidity. Too dangerous, and really, your body won’t let you do it anyway. But, even so, it was not terrible. Little breaks of time running at a pace of 5:10-5:55 depending on the time slot was nice, but hard.

I was hyped up Tuesday. I like Tuesdays and usually feel pretty good on that day. Weird. Yeah. Started the day with pushups and crunches, then went to work. Joseph got up and jogged a couple easy miles on our trail, then did his upper body workout. By lunch time, I was going crazy, so I went home and got in a really stoked workout with some Nirvanna playing semi loudly. Felt really good.

Tuesday evening the sky was thundering with the threat of an impending storm, but we headed to the South Farm just in case.  Wasn’t sure if anybody would come, but quite a few crazy jokers made it. Of course, Steve was there when we arrived, then Christian Kingery showed up, Kate and Walker Mattox, Brent, Jorge, Ian Prester, Jessica Comer, Cleat Morris, Chap Fenwick, and Kamau Bostic.  Jessica was showing off her tanned shoulders, but Kamau pointed out that he was much tanner!

Jessica, Ian, Kamau, and Brent

With all the thunder, it sure seemed likely that we would get caught in a storm, but we headed out anyway. Today, we had two main groups. Jessica needed a fartlek run, so Kamau, Brent, Jorge and Ian joined her in that as they headed toward the campus. The rest of us ran the South Farm, where we split up further. Joseph and I ran did the 7 mile loop (clockwise), then added some more at the end for a bit over 8 miles. Steve and Walker ran 6 miles, Kate and Christian did 5, Cleat did 7 (counter clockwise direction), and Chap ran 5.5 miles.

Cleat and Chap

Kate said she averaged 7:38 per mile. Not bad for another incredibly humid run. I did alright today, with my first 4 around 6:45, then the rest slower. I slowed down a bit so I get run a little farther today. Felt pretty good really. Christian, Walker and Steve all ran at a nice pace as well!

Walker, Steve, Joseph, Christian, and Kate

After the run we got some stretching in, while some relatively large mosquitoes attacked us! Did not notice what genus and species they were, but they were not quite big enough to be Psorophora. Probably some type of Anopholine. With all the recent rain, I expect the big ditch across the road from the parking area has turned into a veritable mosquito heaven! By the time we left, which was about 8:30, the fartlek group had not yet returned. I imagine they were getting a good cool down jog.

Our Wednesday afternoon tempo run was cancelled due to stormy weather. Getting to be a common problem here lately!! Thursday was much the same with crazy weather. Planned on running that morn about 7 AM, but another scattered T-storm  came in, so we cancelled that too. But, we did get a nice core/upper body workout in. Some of the other jokers that run with us got in an early morning 7 mile run in on the South Farm before any weather showed up. Brent, Kamau, Jorge, and Jessica were able to get that in. Good thing too, because the weather was crazy all day. Later in the evening, our run was looking bleak! 100% chance of thunderstorms from 6 to 8 pm. And man, there was some crazeee lightning!! But, we showed up at the South Farm just in case. Steve Shaffer, Kamau, and Cleat also showed up. We waited until a few minutes after 7 pm as the weather seemed to be staying to the north of us. We were reluctant to take off because of the intense spidery display of lightning, but we finally decided to go. Cleat actually arrived after us, but the rest of us opted for a shorter route in case we needed to get back in a hurry. Decided to do 4 miles. Kamau was super hyped up, and has really got the running bug back. Nice to see. We took off pretty fast, with Joseph and Kamau in front, then me, then Steve. Kamau and Joseph averaged 5:45 for the first 2 miles, which was pretty good on those hills! I did alright for me as well and was about 20 seconds behind them at the 2 mile mark. On the return, which is harder in my opinion, Kamau and Joseph slowed down a bit, and I was able to pretty much keep up with Joseph on the way back running 6:05, and Kamau was around 6:30 per mile. About a half mile before the finish, Joseph split off to get in a another mile, because the weather felt so awesome. As soon as Kamau got back, we walked a couple of minutes, then did a cool down jog; found Joseph along the way, and finished it up. Steve got through with his run, then went out and found Cleat, who had apparently done the 7 mile loop. They showed up as the sun was almost set. And, a beautiful sunset it was. I got a couple of photos, but they did not do justice to it.

Thought about getting up early Friday morn for an easy jog, but skipped it. But, we got up Saturday morning for the weekly Boardtown Run. Holy moly! It was storming like crazy! Black clouds, thunder and lightning, the whole deal. Checked out the weather, and it looked like it might move out of here, so we headed to the White’s house just in case. Wasn’t sure if anybody else would be there, but some of the crazy diehard jokers were there! I guess I should not have been surprised. Brent was one of them, but he was the only Starkville Strider to show up other than Joseph and I. We all waited a few extra minutes inside the house, hoping the storm would move out. It finally let up a bit, so we made our way outside about 6:45. Brent, Joseph and I were lingering by my truck, thinking we should wait even longer, as there was still some rather prominent lightning flashes, but as we saw Sarah Mutter, Katie Frantes, and Meg Henderson take off, we realized we were being weanies and joined them. Today was different also, because many of the usual beasts such as Meggan and Houston Franks, Kelly and Micah White, David Dycus, and the MSU XC runners (the ones that usually come) were not here. Of course, Joseph is a beast, and Brent is a beast in the making with the way he has been running lately. Katie, Sarah, and Meg are pretty damned good as well, and are seasoned marathoners and triathletes.  I am only a has-been beast, but still enjoy trying!  Some where along the way I got old!!! Anyway, Joseph, Brent and I got to lead the way today. Wasn’t long before Joseph scampered off ahead of us. It was a pretty crazy first few miles with the random lightning and rain, but at least it was much cooler than usual. The only negative was that our shoes were soaked from the rain and the wet roads. By the first water stop, which was at about 3.25 miles, Brent and I were doing well and had averaged about 6:45 per mile. Joseph probably averaged about 6:20 or less. I guess he was bored running by himself, so he ran the rest of the way with us. That was nice, because it is so much easier to run with a couple of others beside you. The 10.9 mile route took us down South Montgomery a few miles, before veering off toward the Vet School, then through the South Farm, and back to the White’s house. As we entered the farm roads we passed Renee Masterson, who was leaving the farm. She looked like she was flying! I gave her a high five as she passed, and she smacked me pretty good! Crazy girl!  The gravel roads were a lot muddier than usual, but at least the rain had quit by the time we hit them. It did slow us down though, and we ran 7:10-7:15 on the muddy roads. Picked it back up and finished the last couple of miles strong. Felt really good and could have went a few more miles, but our shoes were so wet it would have been uncomfortable. Weird today, as we went out back of the White’s house to stretch in the pool, and nobody was out there yet! We hung around about an hour, then Joseph and I headed to the refuge with Audrey for a bike ride on the roads out there. We pedaled about 16 miles at a moderate 16-17 miles per hour, which felt fine with mountain bikes we were on and the fact that we had already run 11 miles. Audrey, who used to race mountain bikes, periodically picked the pace up, as it was pretty easy for her at our pace. It was very nice out, still cool, which was a nice change from the usual 100° degrees. We saw several other folks we knew out there biking, but they were all on road bikes.

Much of the rest of the day, I was a lazy slacker, but while Joseph was doing a workout around 6 pm, he got me motivated and I actually got off my butt and did some pushups and assorted other things.

Hopefully, we can get in another good run tomorrow evening. We will show up at the South Farm parking lot just in case!

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Run, Rain, Run, Rain, Run, Rain, Run

Wet week here in Starkville. We went from drought-like conditions to monsoon type weather. Somehow, we have been able to squeeze some runs in on the three days a week that we meet at the South Farm. Sunday, it pretty much rained all day, but by 7 pm, it stopped long enough for us to run. With the wet weather, we avoided the gravel roads at the South Farm thinking they would be too muddy. Instead we ran the campus, research park loop and back journey, with some folks opting for a slightly shorter route depending on their goals for the day.  Another decent group today with Steve Shaffer (our always happy runner), Brent Wallace, Jorge Villarreal, Jessica Comer, and Ian Prester. Ian was sporting his new and quite awesome Newton running shoes. To be honest, I think that was a big part of why we did not run the South Farm, to keep his beautiful shoes sparkly.  Either way, it was a nice run at a moderate pace. Without Joseph there to follow, Brent and I led the way, running the 5.5 miles at about a 7 minute mile average. Most of the others did a 4 mile route. We got through and stretched, talked and hung out for a while. Jessica and Jorge gave us the finer points on stretching, as they are both members of the MSU XC and track teams and know quite a bit about that.

No rain on Monday! But, I used this opportunity to collect ants in Tennessee with JoVonn Hill. We collected at Big Hill Pond State Park and Chickasaw State Park. Hiked around the trails as we searched for ant colonies and different microhabitats. Collected quite a few species, but have not sorted through them all yet. Long day, we got back to Starkville about 8 pm. For anybody interested in ants, you should check out my Ants of the Southeastern US web site.  Needless to say, did not run today.

Got an awesome workout in Tuesday morn, which meant that I got to work late. Ok though, just worked later. Lots of pushups and  stuff. Sweet. Felt really good in general Tuesday. Not surprising as Tuesday is my favorite day of the week for some reason. Maybe my weekly biorhythmic peak is on Tuesday or something? When I met the crazy jokers for a run that evening at 7 PM I was still feeling good. Nice. Rained again today. I did not think we would be able to run with all the storms in the area, but again, the weather was nice to us during our run time. Another good group of people showed up today including Steve, Brent, Jorge, Jessica, Ian, and Cleat.

Even though it had rained a bunch, the farm roads were not ridiculously muddy, so we ran on them. The combination of not having run on Monday coupled with the great Tuesday feeling made today a good day for running for me. I did a 5.5 mile loop today and took off fairly fast (for me) with the first mile at 6:20 and the next 3 faster that! Pretty awesome. I slowed down to about 6:40 for the 5th mile, then kicked in the last half at under 6 minutes. So, good day. It also probably helped that following the rain, it was somewhat cooler than usual. Brent came in behind me, and he also ran well today. Most of the other folks ran slightly different routes, with Cleat and Steve going 7 miles, and the rest doing about 4 to 5 miles.  Awesome day, one of my better runs on the farm since recovering from my plantar fasciatus injury.

Wednesday-RAIN-all day. Did not run:(

Thursday, it rained all day again, but quit before our 7 pm run. How cool is that! Lots of running folks today. As we were getting started, Rob Ellis was finishing up his 7 mile run. Rob is outstanding runner from Tupelo who ran for MSU for a while. Jorge’s roommate Henry was also running the farm roads today, which were again, surprisingly dry enough to run on. Another good group with Steve, Brent, Cleat, Kamau Bostic, Thomas McBroom, Jessica, Kate Mattox, Abigail and Shaunika Musser, Jorge, and Audrey Sheridan (who rode her bike). Thomas is now an MSU student, but ran cross country for us at Starkville Academy.

Thomas McBroom

Felt pretty good again today, but nothing like Tuesday. Brent was determined to keep up with me today, and he did so quite easily. In fact, I thought he was running easier than me today. Or maybe I just sound like I am hurting more? Not sure, but either way, this was one of his better runs. The dude is getting faster every week. We both did the 5.5 mile loop, of which the first 3.6 are very hilly. On that hardest part of the run we averaged 6:30 per mile, then slowed to 6:40 from 3.6 to about 4.5, then started picking it back up with our last 800m at about 5:30. Sweet!  Everyone else either ran 4 or 5.5 miles, except Jessica, who warmed up for a while, then did some hill repeats. Kamau was so fired up, he joined her. The younger girls, Kate, Abigail, and Shaunika, all finished up their run with 6 X 20 second strides. Lots of stretching, and talking after. Seems like nobody wants to leave anymore! The girls wanted to make sure I knew they were stretching, as they have sometimes tried to get out of it. But, I can attest that they stretched plenty today!

Abigail, Shaunika, and Kate

Got up Saturday morn and headed to the Boardtown Running Club for a long run. Lots of good runners out there again including our buds Kamau Bostic, Damian Grady, Steve Shaffer, Jorge Villarreal, Brent Wallace, and others. Three MSU XC guys were there leading the way once again. Not too hot today, but crazy humid! Supposedly 100% at 6 AM. The run started at 6:30, so, yeah. Running through a cloud basically. First 6 miles felt pretty good. I ran along with Houston Franks, who is much faster than I am, but was basically treating today like a recovery run. My 4th through 6th miles were 6:45 or so. Then I ran the rest of the way on my own at a more moderate 7:15 pace while Houston took with with Micah. Man, my legs felt heavy today!! By mile 8, my shoes and socks were completely saturated with sweat. I could actually hear my shoes squishing as they hit the road. And, I believe almost everyone who went at least 10 miles had the same issue. Anyway, I felt quite sluggish, so I added 2 miles to the 11.5 mile route to make up for my slow second half of the run. I got in about 13.5 miles, which was more than I had run in a while. Hung around the pool a while. Saw Liz Stringer there. She has girls that run on the SHS XC team, and she is now getting into running herself. She told me she ran 6 miles today, which I believe is her longest run to date!! Nice job Liz!  Steve Shaffer did exceptionally well today. He ran a 12.2 mile route. He was smart and carried his own water, so did not have to stop at the water stops. While we were at the first stop he passed us, then we would gain on him a little until the next water stop, then we would stop and so forth. I finally caught up with him for good at about mile 11, which was the point where I added some to my run. He said this was his farthest run in quite some time. Impressive on a humid day like today!! After a while, I suggested that we should go to the refuge and bike some since it was not overly hot today. We ended up riding on one of the main roads for about 12.5-13 miles. Saw one alligator, lots of herons, and Jorge saved a turtle that was in the road. Here and there, we  got a few random sprinkles to cool us off, which was nice. Afterward, we ate some tasty grapes and enjoyed the day a little before heading out.

Sunday, another rainy looking day, but still planning on running this evening at 7 pm. Joseph is back in town, so he will be there today.

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Humidity does not stop Mississippians from running

Man, did I mention it gets hot here in Mississippi? Oh yeah, it is hot here, and humid. After a typical run, I am drenched: my body, shorts, sock, and shoes. I can wring out my socks like they had been in a washer. Crazy. But, we can’t let little things like imperfect weather keep us from moving around. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do anything. With that in mind, Joseph and I had a beast workout Saturday afternoon. Pushups, pullups, crunches, and all that; then some plyometric skips, bounds, and fast arm drills with more pushups between each set. Got done and jogged the trail, before playing a game of one on one basketball in 100° weather! Awesome.

Sunday we met at the South Farm 7 pm for a run. I am always surprised that any other people are crazy enough to join us in running in this weather! Crazy jokers. Today, joining Joseph and I were Brent Wallace, Steve Shaffer, Arash Taheri, Jorge Villarreal, Ethan Musser, and Kamau Bostic. We ran from the farm through campus, around the research park, and back to the farm-about 5.5 miles. First mile was not bad, we all followed Joseph out, but by the end of the first mile he was almost out of sight already. About then, we all picked it up a bit, and by 1.5 miles, Brent and I started pulling ahead of the others. At 2 miles, Jorge turned around and headed back, as he was still rehabing his leg. Brent and my 2nd and 3rd miles averaged 6:40, which meant Joseph must have been averaging at least a minute faster per mile, because he was gone. We cruised around the research park and headed back. The rest of the gang started showing up about 4 minutes later. Joseph did not show up for a while yet. Apparently, he threw in some of the  bike trails near the research park as part of his run. Anyway, good day and it was great to have Kamau and Ethan out there with us.

Kamau, Jorge and Ethan

Monday afternoon, Joseph and I ran out here in Sessums. Did something a little faster today. After a warm up run, we ran 5 X 3 minutes semi fast with 2 minute jogs between, and finished up with a cool down jog. Although not super fast by spring or fall season running, the 3 minute runs were not bad either. The first one felt pretty good. My legs felt light, almost skipping across the pavement. We both wore Kinvaras. I was averaging about a 5:14 per mile pace on that one, and Joseph was a bit faster. The next 4 were definitely slower, each one being slower than the previous one-for both of us. My last one was at a 5:45 minute per mile pace, with Joseph’s last one at about a 5:30 pace. Whew! I did not think I was going to get through this. Hot and hard. But, made it, and felt pretty good after. Even did some pushups when I got home.

We got up early Tuesday morning and ran an easy 3.5 mile recovery run. Nice way to start the day! We got home and did an upper body workout. Then, I headed to work while Joseph finished up with some plyos in the yard.  That evening at 7 pm, we met some runner folks for a run through the South Farm. Today we had Steve, Shaunika and Abigail Musser, Jorge, Kamau, Ethan, and Cleat. Also there was Matthew Christianson and his Starkville Academy XC teammate Tyler Vaughan, although they got started just after we did. I again ran with Brent, with Joseph ahead of us. Brent and I ran the 5.5 mile route, Joseph ran 6, Cleat ran six, and I believe the others ran about 4 miles. Pretty hot!  Nobody ran fast by any means, too humid!


Got up  July 4th on Wednesday morning and went to Choctaw lake. Jorge Villarreal, Joseph and I ran about 7 miles on the bike trail.  After, we kayaked and canoed in the lake for a while, before chillin’ in the lake. Later, we saw Arash, and several other folks we know from the Boardtown Running Club who had the same idea for hanging out at the lake!

Joseph got up early Thursday morning and ran for quite a while, apparently well over an hour and for sure over 10 miles. Thursday was also another morning workout day for Joseph, and me, to a lesser extent. Mine was abbreviated so I could go to work.  Of course, we met for a run that evening at 7 pm at our usual South Farm meeting area. Another good group today. Joining us were Brent, Steve, John Mitchell, Ian Prester, Cleat, Abigail and Shaunika. Jorge and Cleat ran the farm today, with Jorge going about 5.5 miles and Cleat doing the entire 7 mile loop. This was the first time he had done the full loop, so he was pretty stoked! Steve and the girls did a slightly more than 4 mile route through campus, after which Steve added another mile or so. The rest of us did our downtown, Greensboro District, Cotton District and back route. About 6 miles.  Felt pretty good, but not great. I averaged 6:35 ish for the first half, then averaged 7 minutes per mil for the next 3. Brent again did well, running with me for a while, then finished up a minute or two back. Joseph mostly ran ahead of us, then, at some point, turned around, and joined me and we ran together on the way back. It was nice to see Ian again. He had not been out there since the spring semester. He and John ran together and seemed to be having a good time.

Friday, Joseph headed to the coast with his church group and won’t be back until next Sunday. On my own for a while I guess. So, maybe surprisingly, I managed to get up Saturday morn to join the Boardtown group for a 12.5 mile run. A bunch of folks that run with us during the week were there this morning. Brent, Ian, John, Steve, Jorge, Nathan Gaudin, Damian Grady, the Musser girls, and others! Awesomeness! Also, several of the MSU XC dudes were there including Henry, John Valentine, and a couple of others. Man, Joseph would have like running with these beasts! I think they averaged about 6:10 a mile. Hopefully, they will be out there in a couple of weeks when he can again join the group.  I met Jessica Comer, who is also on the team. Jessica ran for Caledonia High here in Mississippi and did very well. As much as she enjoyed running in high school, she said running in college was much better.

Today was not a great day for me. No energy at all. Muscles felt fine, but could not move my legs. I did not eat enough yesterday for sure, and it was obvious this morn!!! I managed to make it through the run at a 7:08 pace, which was pretty much my slowest long run this summer. And, man, it was humid. Had my glasses on with sunglass deals that fit over them. Fogged up by a mile. By the first water stop, I was sweating like crazy! I guess everyone was at that. It is not bad until you stop, then the sweat flows off. By the 7 mile mark (more or less-2nd water stop), I was completely soaked. My shoes included. At the 3rd and final water stop, I had to retie my shoes as they were loose by now. That helped for sure. Brent ran with me for a while, as did Damian and a cool guy from Niger named Ibraham (probably spelled that wrong). Brent, Jorge, Ian and a couple of others turned around at the 4 mile mark. Damian and I kept going for the full route. At the 2nd water stop, Damian took off with Micah White and Drew Anthony. I started behind them, trying to clean my glasses! Anyway, finally made it to the Whites. Rough day! Did a few pushups when I got home, and some yard work. Finally ate lunch around 2 pm. No breakfast, last meal was a sandwich the night before. Probably not the way to go, it just worked out that way! No wonder I did not have any energy this morning.

Back to the South Farm tomorrow at 7 pm.  Come on out and sweat.

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