The miracle of birth while running on the South Farm

After the long weekend of running, biking, hiking, and kayaking  at Oak Mountain State Park, I still went for a run on Sunday evening. Physically, I felt fine, so what the hell. Just Steve, Joseph, and I today. Joseph was still ridiculously tired from his meet the day before. Not only the race itself, but getting up at 5 am, riding bus to meet, bus ride back  from meet, etc.  Pretty much fills out a day when the meet is out of town. He was actually worn out before the race, and has not had enough sleep lately due to various projects. So, we took it easy. By 3.6 miles, I was ready to be done! And we were not flying. I was not particularly sore or anything, but had no energy, and even felt light headed. Definitely did not eat enough over the weekend, and half of what I ate and drank was unhealthy! Couple that with the drive over and back, sleeping in a tent, and spending the weekend exercising, and that is what you get I guess. Consequently, today I took the shortcut and only did 5.5 miles. Joseph got in 7 and Steve managed 6. Steve had run 9+ miles the day before. When I got done I was starving! Even so, the run was not terrible.

Monday, Joseph had practice with SHS. Normally, following a race on Saturday, this would be an easy day. He was looking forward to that because he was still worn out. Instead, the team did some kind of 3 mile (plus some) tempo run on the South Farm. Supposed to be 3, but he apparently missed a turn or something and ran probably 5k or more. According to Kamau, he ran pretty fast: sub 5:30’s. They followed up their run with some short hill repeats. I ran about 5 miles while they were doing their thing. First mile was easy, about 7 minutes, next three average 6:30, then 6:58 for the last. Not bad. Saw both Arash and Kyle running too. Crazy jokers.

Tuesday, Joseph joined me as we did a modified fartlek on the farm and XC course. I say modified, because obviously he was tired from the day before and did not have the normal energy level he typically has. We did 4 X 30 seconds, 2 X 2:30, 3 X 3:30, and 1 X 1:00. We did the 3:30’s around the 1000m flat loop of the XC course. Tried to avoid hills today, as we have been running the farm and XC hills quite a bit.  It was obvious that he was tired, as I was keeping up with him. As a result, I was able to stick with that little Jasper today. Even on the 1000’s (3:30’s), which we basically did at tempo pace. I pushed my last one though, and was about 3:15. Of course, your body basically dictates what you can do based on what you have been doing. We wanted to get at least one more fartlek in before his season was over, so we did it despite the hard run the day before. Felt like there was enough time left in the season for one more. He seems to get a lot out of both fartleks and tempos, and his team does not do fartleks and only recently started doing tempos.

Well, more bad news for someone wanting rest, Joseph’s team had another hard workout on Wednesday.  3 X mile repeats at a tempo pace, which Joseph did around 5:24, and followed that with more hill repeats.  Wow, three workouts three days in a row, and after a hard race on Saturday. So, 4 out of 5 days hard!!! Probably not good. He will be tired for the race this weekend.  I ran 9.2 miles with Kyle at a 7:30 pace. Very easy today at that pace. Arash ran some of the way with us and finished up with 6 miles. While running, Arash witnessed a calf being born! Seriously. How Crazy. He was like, “dude, something was hanging out of the cow, and it was moving”. Went back later and got some photos and videos of the newborn calf trying to walk about. Cute little calf and a pretty momma. Arash is a nut, and seems to witness strange happenings on a regular basis.

new born calf

As we were leaving the farm there was a nice sunset. So, yeah, took a photo that did not do justice. Here it is anyway. Beautiful!

Did not get to run on Thursday, but instead worked on treehouse after work. Joseph had practice with the team. Easy run of a few miles, don’t know the pace or exact duration. Then Homecoming Dance. On Thursday? What’s up with that? On Friday, got about 4-5 miles at 6:25 pace in around the MSU XC course while the SHS team was practicing. Then, parents of runners had to meet to get ready for the Starkville Invitational the next morn. I was to oversee folks on the course who needed to move ropes, etc.  Did not leave until 6:30 or so. Joseph was dragging like a dead fish. Smelled bad too. They did not practice hard or anything, he just needed a break, a nap, or something. Maybe next month.

Got up early Saturday morn, dragged the kid out of bed, and headed for the Starkville XC invite. Supposed to be 19 teams present, but not sure if they all made it. Among the better ones were Starkville (obviously), Pearl, and St. Andrews. Starkville dominated the varsity races winning both girls and boys.  Quite a coup considering they were facing their 5A nemesis Pearl who has won more state meets than I have toes and fingers. Kate Mattox once again (no surprise here) won the girl’s 4k race with a time of 14:53.  Kate is really looking solid this year. Taller, more muscular, and she wants to win like a big dog! Second for the team was Anna Jackson in 7th place with a time of 16:59, then Shaunika Musser in 9th at 17:12, Carlo Bohna in 11th at 17:21, Abigail Arinder in 14th at 17:39, and Kelly Coble in 20th at 18:02. Anna is putting it together this year, getting better and better. The girls ran great as a team with the 2nd through 5th SHS runners staying together for a large part of the race.

Similarly, I thought the boys team showed much better team running today than I had seen in a while from them, maybe ever. Joseph and Damian started out in front and pretty much ran the entire together and completely by themselves with Joseph setting the pace and Damian about 2-5 seconds behind. With about 200m left to go they were side by side and Damian out sprinted Joseph to the finish to win the race by 2 seconds. No surprise there, as Damian is a speedy Kenyan-looking joker with a 400m time of around 50 seconds. Damian PR’ed with his 16:51 and Joseph was 16:53. This is a difficult course too. This was a great race for Damian who is finally running a the level he should be at. Definitely not Joseph’s best race, but not bad either, and working together they looked pretty good. Those two are looking to go 1 and 2 at the 5 A state meet in 3 weeks, and their chances are good as Joseph is ranked 1st and Damian is ranked 2nd in the state 5 A rankings.  Similarly, the next few SHS boys ran together for at least a couple of miles before separating. Ethan Musser came in 3rd overall with his 18:01. Excellent!  Stuart Woomer was 6th at 18:13, and Jack “Mr. ACT” Bryan finished up 11th with an 18:49, by far his best time. Next was Aaron “dance-machine” Remotigue coming in 13th with an 18:58, Christian “pretty boy” Kingery at 15th with a 19:08, Nathan “the hulk beast” Gaudin in 23rd at 19:32, which was his best time this year, and Daniel Ruff at 25th with a 19:45. .So, yep, they did a fantastic job. None of Pearl’s top runners broke 18 minutes today, but as a team they were still able to finish 2nd. I can’t tell you how nice it was to beat Pearl as their head coach (our former and VERY dour Track coach) vented at his runners.  Positive energy can be a positive thing. Go figure;)   For full results of the race go to:  Also, Starkville Daily News had a nice article about the race, which can be viewed online at

SHS boys top nine (Nathan Gaudin not pictured): Christian Kingery, Ethan Musser, Jack Bryan, Daniel Ruff, Aaron Remotigue, Damian Grady, Stuart Woomer, and Joseph MacGown

Next Saturday is the Hannah Pote Run for Education, a 5k run here in Starkville. I, and quite a few folks I run with, including many of the SHS runners, will be participating. The race startes at 8 AM at the Sportsplex on Lynn Lane, and the course is flat. If you are in the area, come run this one. You can register that morn from 7 to 7:45 AM.


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