Sunday evening run was awesome! Had a enthusiastic crew with Steve, Joseph, Ethan, Dominque, Cleat, and me. Also, Jorge, Richard McCrory, and Ian Prester stopped by to visit before we took off. Jorge had already done a crazy cool 8 mile workout with the MSU team, Richard was in the middle of a run, and Ian was between frisbee matches. Nice to see those jokers. The temp was very nice this evening, and we ran the 7 miles loop thru the farm, with the exception of Dominque who is just getting back into it, so he did 5 miles. The first half of the run, Joseph was far ahead, and Cleat took off in front of the rest of us. I ran with Ethan, Steve, and Dominique for 2.5 miles. Dominique headed back, and Ethan and I decided to try and catch Cleat the crazy hippy climbing dude.
Took us about a mile, but we finally reeled that rascal in! After another 1.5 miles we saw Joseph in sight, and started yelling insults at him to let him know we were there. Well, I guess it was just me yelling. So, he turned around and joined us. We definitely ran the second half of the run faster, which was nice. As we ran, we talked about deep breathing exercises and how to relax more while still running at a decent pace. We finished up strong running the last half mile at under 6:20 pace. At some point, Steve caught Cleat, and they were only a couple minutes behind us. This was Cleat’s best run out there. Steve also thought it might have been one of his best, despite the fact that he had already run 5 miles on some bike trails earlier in the day!
Dominique was equally happy with his run and said it was the best one he had had in quite some time. If he keeps this up, he will be running his 5ks under 18 minutes again like he did while running for the Ocean Springs High School XC team a couple of years ago! Dominique only ran XC his senior year, but was able to to do pretty well even so. He attributes this to the new coach they got that year, Tim Sayers, who had run for Eastern Michigan in college. Tim was a 26 type of 8k runner and apparently, he is really pushing Ocean Springs program forward! Awesome.
Monday was XC practice day for the kid starting with about 5 miles that morning and followed by about 8 that afternoon out at the South Farm and XC course (my favorite places to run). While waiting for the afternoon practice to finish, I ran about 7 miles on the South Farm, very easy pace from 7:15 to 7:30. Got home around 6 pm and did an upper body workout! Awesome.
Tuesday I met Brent, Dominique, Joseph, and Kyle Johnson for some 1000m intervals with 3 minute rests on the XC course. The MSU softball girls were out there doing hill repeats. They were killing them too! We jogged around a while to warm up, then got started. One of the hardest things today was the plethora of mosquitoes! Lots of standing water here and there in small pools or ditches to provide ideal habitat for these nasty blood sucking mothers! Fortunately, they were not bad while running, so that was some pretty good motivation to get going. I don’t think Brent or Kyle had ever done these before, but they did a good job with them even so. Brent was probably the most consistant of all of us doing his first five all at right around 3:23, and his 6th one in 3:27. Other than Joseph, Brent was also the only one to do six; the rest of us only did 5. Very awesome! Especially for his weight, which is at least 185. In fact, with the exception of Joseph, none of us really look like runners. Dominique, Kyle, and Brent are all about 6’2″ with similar builds. Kyle did surprisingly well considering he has been doing his easy runs at around an 8 minute per mile pace. He averaged about 3:40 for each of his. Dominique, who has really just started running again, also did well and was averaging about 4:00 minutes for each of his. Joseph did pretty well, although still behind where he was 2 or 3 weeks ago before he got sick. His first three were 3:05, 3:03, 3:06; then he dropped off a little on the next two doing them in 3:11 and 3:16; but his final one was an outstanding 2:55 and an average of about 3:06. If you have not done 1000m intervals, then you don’t know how hard it is to get that last one that much faster than the others. They wear you out! My first three were decent, 3:06, 3:08, 3:12, then I dropped off to 3:23 and 3:19 for my last ones. I ran about the last third of Joseph’s sixth one to push him in, and Brent pushed him for over a third of the way at the beginning. That definitely helped him get the good time on his last one. After that, we ran the 3000m loop for a cooldown and got out of there.
Wednesday, Joseph again got in an early morning run of 4.6 miles with the high school team and another 9.5 miles in that afternoon on the South Farm and XC course. I showed up after the team had started to run myself. A new feller, Jonathan Pegues, a mechanical engineering student at MSU, also joined me for the first 3.2 miles before we parted ways. He had never run on the gravel hills of the South Farm and seemed to enjoy it. He ended up doing the 5.5 mile loop. I headed over to the XC course and added the main loop there plus the extra part getting and coming back from there. Ended up with over 9 miles. Felt pretty good. It was not too hot, and I was not pushing it. Passed some of the XC kids here and there.
Thursday, Arash joined us for a run in Longmeadow. Me and the kid ran the 1.25 mile once, then did it at tempo pace, rested two minutes, then tempo pace, then finished with an easy loop. Joseph was 6:40-6:45 for his two, and I was 7:08-7:11. Not bad. Arash just jogged the loop 3 times at an easy pace.
I did not run Friday. On Saturday, we got up early, and Joseph joined his SHS team for the Bulldog Invitational High School XC Meet. I think there were 10-11 teams there with Starkville, Madison Central, and Germantown (from Memphis) being the strongest teams. Starkville Academy also had their team there! The meet went well. Joseph won the boys race with a time of 16:58. Not great, not terrible, especially on this course. By about 400m, he was in front and was never really pushed.
His teammate Damian Grady had a great race and placed 2nd overall with his PR of 17:10. Rounding out the top 5 for SHS was Alex Ross (8th), Stuart Woomer (10th), and Ethan Musser (19th).
The boys team placed second overall behind Germantown. Starkville’s superstar Kate Mattox dominated the girls 4k race with her time of 14:52, which is a first team national elite time! Her sister Walker was the 2nd SHS finisher, with Shaunika Musser just behind her. The girls team was also 2nd overall, finishing just behind Madison Central.
Ironically, Joseph is running more miles right now with the team than he was this summer during his “base” phase. About 67 miles this week. He needs to tone this down for sure as the season progresses.
In other awesome running news, the Mississippi State XC team did very well this weekend at a large meet at Vanderbilt. The guys were 5th overall and girls were 4th! Our buddy Renee Masterson was the first MSU finisher!!
We will be meeting at the South Farm Parking lot at 6 pm again Sunday afternoon for a run for anyone interested.