cold weather (almost)

We actually wore shirts for our Sunday afternoon run. That may sound a bit weird, but here in Mississippi, it stays so warm for so long, that we often run shirtless like a bunch of cavemen. I say we, of course I mean the guys. The women wear fur covered jog bras. Obviously.  But, the weather is finally feeling a bit nippy, and coupled with the steady 15-16 mile an hour north wind we had today, it was definitely time to don some more outerwear! Mixed bag of runners today with Richard McCrory, Steve Shaffer, Jorge Villarreal, Kamau Bostic, and Nathan Ball! Richard had just run a PR (I believe) for the Run for the Cure 5k in Tupelo the day before! We had not run with Nathan in quite some time. This great young man ran at SHS and is now a sophomore at MSU. He ran two miles with Joseph and I, then returned and finished with some type of sprints. Richard did the 7 mile loop, then finished up with some strides. I believe Steve also did about 7 miles. The other two hooligans were doing about 5 miles, although Kamau actually ran from his house to the farm, so he got in a couple more. Joseph and I did 10 miles at an average of 6:55 per mile. Our pace was definitely slowed when facing the wind. Whew! Glad I had my shirt on, it was downright chilly on the way back as the sun was setting!

Monday afternoon was crazy windy once again! Got my 6 miles in at the South Farm and XC course. The first half was relatively easy with the wind at my back, and I averaged 6:40 per mile for the first three. The last three were much more difficult and I only averaged 7:20 or so for that part. The worst part was the dust from the gravel roads being blown into my eyes and under my contact lens, which are of the harder variety. Man, that dust stings! Of course, it does not help that many of the various Ag students that take classes on the farm seem to find delight in traveling the gravel roads as fast as possible seemingly to create as large a dust storm as possible for the sundry walkers and runners who frequent this area.

Tuesday, Joseph did some kind of fast workout with his team on the track. A few 400s and then some fast 200s. He said the 400s were around 1:05 and the 200s were 25-26 seconds. I don’t know what the rest was or anything.  I  got a short run in late afternoon. Nothing crazy. Then, for some ridiculous reason, I decided at the last minute to participate in the Bully United Way 5k slated for 6:30 pm. I was not going to run, but posted something about the race and a crazy dude I know who goes by the name Newman Kazery said he was going to go. I felt guilty for posting it and not going, so I went. I wish I had made that decision before my wonderful and typical Tuesday luncheon at Hardees! For some reason, I like Tuesdays. My favorite day of the week.  And I like to reward myself on my favorite day of the week with a big fat hamburger! Often at Hardees. What’s a burger without tasty fries and at least one refill of a large coke! Anyway, stomach was churning all afternoon. But, I still say its worth it!

Well, over 70 folks showed up for the race, and quite a few of those crazy jaspers were decked out in costumes for Halloween. One couple I know, Thierry and Joby Czarnecki, were dressed as the “hare and tortoise”. In this race the hare won.  I also met a couple of facebook friends in person for the first time including Stacy Barr and his son Aidan of Meridian, and Gunnar Olson, who lives in Starkville. Aidan is only 9 years old and already is a force to be reckoned with. He ran this very difficult course in 22:50! Gunnar is an extremely athletic 45 year dude who does a multitude of triathlons and extended running races.  Obviously, he did well in the 5k this evening. Some of my other running friends showed up including “Mr. Personality” Ian Prester and wildman Newman “Noomdawg” Kazery!

Newman Kazery!!!

Lots of other folks I knew were there as well. The race was pretty fun, but super crazy and really weird, at least for me. The course wound through the roads of the MSU campus at night. We had some great Campus Security officers helping out as one, then another of the 3 police cars lead the way or stopped traffic at various intersections. But, it was crazy because the roads were open to traffic , and we were running from one side of the road to the other. I was literally running down the road between and in front of cars at times, and I am sure they had no clue what was going on.  The lighting was not optimal at some places, which made some of the turns very difficult and made finding irregularities in the roads interesting. Lighting may have been less of a problem for other runners, I don’t know, because my night vision is not great and is exacerbated by my ridiculously bad astigmatism. My glasses help a lot with that, but I typically run with my contact lens, which do not seem to help as much as my glasses.  This means lights spread out and are quite freaky at night. For some reason, my gas permeable (hard lens) do weird things at night and especially when its cold and windy. These things added together with the flashing blue lights of the cops as they zoomed about made the  entire evening a crazy surreal, dream-like adventure!! But, don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the race, because surreal adventures are awesome. I do think they were lucky that nobody was hit by a car though. In the future, if they do a night run again, I would recommend doing it on a course that could be closed, such as the Research Park Loop.

Start of the Bully United Way Run 2012

As far as the running went, I thought I did ok, but slower overall than I have been running. In fact, I averaged about the pace I do during parts of some longer runs. Part of reason was that I had already run a lot this week and pretty hard (for me). I even did a 5k on Saturday. Before that, my last race was a year ago! Now, two in four days! Also, I  was really not planning on doing the race and was in no way prepared to run, even to the point of already gotten in a run not much earlier that afternoon. Additionally, this is a hard course! But, considering all that, I felt pretty good. I was the overall male winner with my time of 18:47, which is not great by any means, but maybe respectable on this hilly course (which I measured a bit long). I have gotten into the habit of using my Garmin watch to pace myself, but it was so dark, I could not do that. I started out with Meggan Franks, an elite runner who lives in Starkville. I ran beside her for the first mile, which is the easiest mile of this race with some downhill action, but once we got to the major hills I started losing some steam, and gradually she lengthened her lead until the finish where she placed first overall in the race at 18:33 and 14 seconds in front of me! I have to say, she looked as though it was effortless. I wish I could have run with her longer to at least try and give her some simulation of competition. But, I couldn’t hang! Meggan looks like she is barely touching the ground when she runs. Amazing. She really did not appear to be remotely tired at the end either.  For all I know, this could have been part of an easy run for her.  I thought our first mile felt pretty fast, and when I looked at my watch later it said the first mile was done in 5:20! Whew. I can’t really run that fast. Must have been confused! I had wanted to be about 5:45, so there you go. Each of the next two miles went downhill from there. I never really felt overly tired though, but was pretty uncomfortable being crazy full from my late and ridiculously awesome lunch. I had to slow down quite a few times in the race to avoid cars, and even the cops as they sped around us. I don’t know how this affected Meggan or the others, but I was extremely uncomfortable pretty much the entire way, except for the first mile around the Sanderson Center Lake, which was basically traffic free. I would say mile 3 was the worst in this regard. Regardless, I think most people really liked the night run, and it was cool to win a little cowbell. For anybody interested, here are the complete results of the race. Note that the results are not broken down into female, male, or age classes. 2012 Bully 5k results

Wednesday, just me and Richard McCrory. We got in a 7 mile run around the South Farm perimeter. Nothing crazy today. Richard is getting ready for the Shakerag half marathon in Tupelo set for November 10th.  And what a beautiful day!! I ran along with Richard for about 4.5 miles, then picked it up for the last 2.5 miles. My sixth mile was 6:32 and last mile was 6:19. Tried to work on  my arm movement today during that last couple of miles.

Thursday, Joseph did not have XC practice for some reason, so he just did an easy 5.5 mile run with me through the MSU campus. We did not push it, running about 7 minutes per mile as we enjoyed the day. He seemed to be a bit sick, coughing and stuff, but hopefully nothing serious. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! No shirts today!

No run on Friday. Joseph either. He was still a little under the weather. Dragging. On Saturday afternoon, we got in 9 miles at the XC course and the South Farm, about a 7 minute per mile pace. Another beautiful day. We were both dragging today, but glad to be out running on such a pretty afternoon.

We will be running Sunday afternoon at 4 pm meeting at the South Farm.  With the time change, we will be going an hour earlier than usual.

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