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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