After the race Saturday, Joseph jogged our trails to loosen up some more. That is often helpful. He was somewhat sore from a long week with not enough sleep and some hard running. On Sunday at 5 pm, we met Brent Wallace, Kamau Bostic, and Steve Shaffer for a run on the South Farm. I was curious how Joseph would do today, as he spent the night with some friends, meaning, they probably did not sleep much! We were shooting for 9-10 miles today. As we were about to start, Anna Jackson jogged up from the farm. So, Steve opted to run back with her. The rest of us took off and were running quite well and relaxed as we talked back and forth. Started out a bit slower to loosen up for the first half mile, then were running at about 6:35 mile pace. At that point, Kamau and Brent headed back as they were only doing 5.5. Joseph and I headed to the XC course for the 3000m loop, came back around the long way and were at 9.2 miles at the parking lot. Joseph wanted 10 miles, so he added some more. A pretty good run all in all. We ended up averaging about around a 6:50 mile pace the entire way. Much better run than the week before when both of us were drained. Typically, if Joseph has a good Sunday longish run, his running that week is good also. Hopefully, he can run a decent time this Saturday at the Run for Education.
Monday, I got in a 3.5 tempo run of sorts on the South Farm. Of course, first did a warmup jog. The tempo was done at an average of 6:22 per mile, which was not terrible considering the gravel and hills. The SHS team also did a tempo out there, 3 miles, then followed that with some down hill sprints on one of the gravel roads. I saw Joseph at some point and thought he was running smoothly. He does not wear a watch, so did not know his time, but was easily in front for the tempo. When they finished, we jogged back to the car. As we were almost to the truck, Joseph stepped in hole that was hidden by some grass and was over a foot deep! I don’t know how he did not break his leg! Crazy! Might be sore though.
Also on Monday, the Mississippi Private schools held their state meet at Choctaw Trails in Clinton. Since I used to coach at Starkville Academy (something I greatly miss), we know lots of folks that are involved with that, especially from Starkville, but also from some of the other schools. One runner in particular, Jon Luke Watts from Colombia Academy, has continued to keep in touch, so I like to keep track of his progress. Joseph used to run against him and they had some great races. I sometimes wish we had kept him in the private schools for the running, as he seemed to thrive there. Jon Luke easily won the MAIS State AA meet this year with his time of 16:37! I would not be surprised if he could not run a good bit faster, but he seldom gets pushed in MS races. Second place was his teammate Douglas Mumme with an 18:03, so you get the picture. Of course, we had lots of Starkville friends in the 3A race. Coached by the enthusiastic and very pleasant Nancy Christiansen, the boys team placed 4th. They were lead by Lake Spradling (who I believe is an 8th grader) with his 21st place finish and time of 20:37. Following him was Will Christiansen (28th, 21:32), Matthew Christiansen (32nd, 21:56), Daniel Chung (43rd, 22:48), Tyler Vaughan (45th, 23:04), Pierce Fondren (57th, 24:10), and Layton Little (25:03). They did not have enough girls for a complete team, but were lead by Abbie Vaughan in the 2 mile race with her time of 14:45. Another friend and former competitor of Joseph’s, Curt Knight, won this 3 A race with his time of 16:30. Similar to the 2A race, he had little competition, although 2nd place was much closer at 17:08. Full results of this years MAIS XC State Meet are at http://home.msais.org/mailouts/ccfinals2012.pdf
Tuesday, I just ran by myself, again at the South Farm and XC course. Did 7 miles at 6:58 average mile pace. Pretty nice afternoon. Joseph said he got in a 20 X 400m workout with the SHS team on their ridiculously bad track (painted concrete with crack, etc. with a surface as hard or harder than anything I have ever run on!!@!!). He said he ran them from about 1:07 to 1:18.
Wednesday afternoon I ran 5.5 miles with Brent Wallace on the south farm and XC course. Along the way we saw a good sized dead bobcat in a drainage ditch. Don’t know what happened to it. Today was a crazy run as various sections of roads were gated for moving either horses or cows. It was like a maze! We felt like rats as we ran, turned around, ran, turned around, ran… We cruised along at a moderate pace of 6:55, with the first mile being 7:29. Picked it up near the end, and our last mile was at a 6:03 pace. The SHS XC team was out there running as well. They did a 45 minute moderate run followed by 6 downhill and 2 uphill sprints. Ian Prester somehow found himself running with them, but when Brent and I came cruising through, he finished up the last mile with us, which was really pretty close to 6 minutes. Nice to see that crazy curly headed joker! Such a happy mug.
Just me and Ian on Thursday afternoon as we cruised through the MSU campus and Research Park. Ian is wanting to run races at a 7 minute mile pace, so we were going for something about that pace. I did the 5.2 mile distance at 6:49 and he was just a bit behind me at the end, and that was mostly because I picked it up on the last half mile. He came in at a slower pace to cool down. Pretty good run though.
We ran the Hannah Pote 5k on Saturday morn. Got up and it was chilly and windy. Arrggh. The 14 mile an hour wind from the north made it interesting, especially on the 2nd mile. This race began about 22 years ago as a part of a downtown Jubilee (I ran that race!), but gradually became the Run for Education. It was renamed the Hannah Pote Run after Hannah Pote, a wonderful 16 year old SHS XC runner, (whom I had the privilege of knowing) was killed in a tragic car accident here in Starkville a number of years ago. For many years, several area XC teams, such as New Hope, Caledonia, and others joined in for the run, as well as numerous other runners from the area. Lately, for whatever reason, the race seems to have become smaller and smaller and now seems to be largely made up of SHS XC runners and their families, plus a few random locals. This may be in part due to the tremendous number of races available every single weekend now. This year, we were also joined by the MSU XC team. These kids are all quality individuals with great attitudes! And, they are very speedy! The MSU men and their coach Houston Franks, along with some of the faster SHS runners, ran together taking turns pushing Matt Hutchinson in a speedy wheelchair or running along with him. Their goal was for him to win the race, and this goal was accomplished! I believe they finished around 17:45 or faster. Matt was quite happy I think. Matt is a great kid and has apparently become quite the fan of the MSU XC team. His brother Tyler ran for Starkville High last year and is now on a bike racing team in college. His younger sister was also present today and ran! I cannot say enough about their parents, who have made their children the priority in their lives!!
I was the next finisher after that group, and I averaged 5:50 per mile, although my recorded time was much different (19:02), so not sure what happened there with the results. I was hoping to keep up with the MSU group, and did for over a mile, but when the north winds hit me, I lost some zeal. So, whoo-hoo, I won the 40-49 age group (I think there only two of us). I had won the master’s division the previous 3 years, and was obviously the first runner over 40 this year too, but apparently this year’s master division was for runners over 60. So the masters trophy went to local running legend Peter Rabideau, who is still running great at about 70 years old. I don’t know what his time was, but that joker looked awesome coming in! Peter and people like him are very inspirational. Joseph actually ran much of the race with Juan Villarreal in front of the lead group trying to get a workout out of the run. Their aim was to run pretty hard for much of the way, then come back and run with the MSU group and Matt. For some unknown reason, the lead police vehicle decided to stop leading the race, and instead chose to lead the group with Matt. This was no problem for Joseph who knew the route, but Juan did not know the route. On one of the last major turns, Juan had a lead on Joseph, and he went straight down Industrial Park Road instead of turning left on Lynn Lane! This was at about the 2.7 mile mark. Joseph said he tried yelling at him, but apparently he did not hear him. It was at that point that Joseph turned around and joined Matt and crew for the remainder of the race. They all finished around 17:45 or faster, with he and Damian being the only two SHS runners still left in the group. I would guess Joseph would have been mid 16’s had he finished on his own. Juan eventually found his way back, probably 10-15 minutes later! He said his 3 mile time (with Garmin watch) was in the 15’s, so he was running pretty good. They looked good early for sure, with him and Joseph at 4:58 at the mile, and 10 something at the 2 mile. Of course, our buddy super Steve Shaffer won his age group (50-59) with ease! Lake Spradling and Will Christiansen represented Starkville Academy well and were 1st and 2nd in the 13-14 male division. “Shake and Bake” Kate Mattox won the female division despite the plethora of MSU XC girls present. But, to be fair, they used the run as a recovery from their SEC Championship Meet the day before. Either way, Kate might as well be running with the MSU girls, as the times she is putting up in 8th grade are legit college times!
Following the 5k, kids from kindergarden through 6th grade participated in a mile fun run, and they had lots of encouragement from both MSU and SHS runners. So, that was pretty exciting for them I am sure!! Several were decked out in Halloween costumes.
There is another 5k coming up on the MSU campus this Tuesday at 6:30 pm. I believe it starts at McComas Hall, with registration probably about an hour earlier. For those of you mugs you like to run with us, we will be back at the MSU South Farm tomorrow at 5 pm.