Sunday afternoon, “the ridiculously crazy military man” Brent Wallace, Joseph “the scroungy monger” MacGown, Steve “the happy dog-loving ladies man” Shaffer, Richard “wingeater extraordinaire” McCrory, and I did the 6 mile route through campus, downtown and beyond. Beautiful day, about 68°F! No shirts today. Decent pace, about 6:40 average for me and the kid. Brent hung tough for the first 3, took a shortcut, caught back up, then dropped back a little. Good run for him though. Steve and Richard ran together.
Steve was using today as a recovery from yesterday’s Frostbite Half Marathon here in Starkville. Steve ran the race in his black dress pants, complete with belt, wallet, and keys, proving that you don’t need the latest in fashion running gear to be awesome! 58 years old and kicking butt, and happy the entire way. He ran most of the Frostbite race with Awesome Anna Jackson, an SHS senior who just finished up a great cross country season. Steve said they both PR’ed running the course in 1:41:33 (Anna) and 141:41 (Steve), so there you go!
Anna was 28th overall and the 4th female, and Steve was 29th out of the 264 fit folks who finished. Anna, who ran XC, but does not run track, was the only SHS runner to participate. Over the last few years there have been quite a few of the Starkville High School XC and middle distance track kids (same people, essentially) run this race, but not this year. The XC and track teams no longer do long runs (sustained runs of 90 to 120 minutes depending on your fitness level, or 10 to 15 miles), so they don’t want the runners doing races of this length. And, since they don’t do long runs, they really are not prepared for this race length anyway. Different philosophy I guess. Joseph is not planning on running for the school any more, so is no longer constrained by those rules. However, he did not run the race either, but, for different reasons. One, he was busy as a beaver working on some school projects. Also, he wants to do a few select 5k and 10k races this spring, and decided against doing any half marathons right now. So why pay for them when we can run some miles for free. His time of 1:19:45 last year was two minutes faster than the winning time for this year’s race (1:21:48). Also, the team time of 1:18:04 that Joseph and Kamau ran last year would have bested this year’s winning time of 1:19:00, but, of course, a race is a race, and you never know. For whatever reason, many of our other fast local runners, such as Meggan Franks, did not run this year. I guess it just did not work in to their race schedule. Although, apparently, quite a few of them helped out with the race. Meggan’s time from last year, for example, also would have won this year’s men’s division! This year’s overall men’s winner was Brad Atkins of Columbus, who ran a respectable time of 1:21.48. Tupelo High’s fastest female and this past year’s 6A XC state champion, Christina Daniels, showed up for the Frostbite and smacked down a time of 1:30:11 to easily win the female division besting the 2nd place female by least 10 minutes! I believe she is a freshman. Pretty dang fast running for this distance for someone of her age. Peyton Allen, who runs sprints for the track team at Starkville Academy, also participated and ran a 2:15. Peyton is a versatile young lady with great character. Our super happy running buddy Ian Prester also ran placing 20th overall with his time of 1:38:33. Jim George, who must be in his mid 50’s, came into town and smashed the Grandmaster’s course record with his time of 1:27:18, which was also good enough for 3rd overall! I will be 50 in a year and a half and hope to challenge that record in 2015! Look out Jim! Wade Jones, a local fireman, also did well, coming in 2nd place overall with his time of 1:22:19. Nice running Wade!! Rod Simmons, owner of Rod’s Racers, was present for the race, and he posted on FaceBook probably close to a thousand photos that he and Meggan Franks took of runners in the race! I grabbed a couple of the ones of some folks that run with us, and posted them here. Thank you Rod! Rod is the a force who is promoting road racing in the state like you would not believe. Visit his web site at: http://www.rodsracers.net/ and his blog at: http://rodsracers.wordpress.com/ Full results of this year’s race can be viewed at http://www.och.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=282&Itemid=282
Monday, another great day to run. Joseph and I met Lucas (Mr. Happy) in Longmeadow neighborhood. About 68°F and not much wind. Very nice. Lucas had his convertible top down on his red Miata as he drove up grinning from ear to ear. Basically, we ran about 5 miles, more or less through the neighborhood, into McKee Park, down Industrial Park Road and back. First mile and a half was easy, did not look at the watch. Then, we ran 2.5 miles pretty fast, then another mile easier. The 2.5 miles felt good, first mile was 5:25, then slowed down, at least according to the Nike watch, which I no longer really trust at all. If a cloud pops up, you go around a curve, or squint, the watch seems to have problems. Like today, according to the watch, my second mile, which felt fast (for me), was the same pace as my last cool down mile, which was much easier and obviously slower. Same for Joseph. Basically, I am 100% unhappy with these watches. All they do is give me a rough idea of distance, which I can get on Mapmyrun.com or elsewhere. Using them for a tempo or any kind of run where you want to know your pace and mile splits is useless. Sorry Nike, watch sucks. I am sure some folks like them. They do look cool and have big numbers for the time display. The fun ends there in my opinion. The run was good though, and maybe I just need to go back to not wearing a watch. Technology, techsmology. Just a little energy left by the time we got home, so did 3 quick sets of pushups, pullups, and ab stuff. That was it for today!
Tuesday, JoVonn Hill, Nathan “He-Man” Gaudin, Joseph, and me at the South Farm. Windy! 15-16 mile winds from the south. Ran into the wind, but on the way back it was pretty smooth sailing! JoVonn ran a 5k, Nathan did 6 miles, and me and the smack dog ran 7 miles. Not fast. Oh, and did I mention that Nike watches suck? Either I have become the most inconsistant runner in the world pace-wise, or my watch is schizophrenic! Useless piece of garbage. Blah. Got home, packed our watches up, and sent them back. Hopefully, I will get some money back.
Wow! Wednesday afternoon was crazy windy! Had some crazy weather come in early in the morn with a cold front and temps dropped throughout the day. By the time we ran this afternoon, it was 30°F colder than the same time yesterday. And with the over 20 miles an hour wind, it felt much colder. Since it was so wet and cold and windy, we decided to do some 400’s on the trail at my house. I have a nice loop that I measured out. With all the rain, its pretty muddy! Figured it would be just me and Joseph, but Ian Prester and his buddy Louis Montesi decided to join in on the fun. Louis is a sportscaster for ABC in Meridian, MS, and was here visiting Ian. Don’t know if he knew what he was getting in for. Well, we jogged a bit, then hit the loop. Basically, Joseph lead the way, then me, Ian, and Louis. I did not time mine, but they felt pretty good. It was crazy muddy! Every lap got more muddy as we slopped up the trail. One corner was particularly bad, and you had slow down a lot to avoid going down. Even so, both Ian and Joseph hit the ground at least once! We only did 8 400’s, but on this muddy, slightly hilly course with the wind, that seemed like a good number. And, because running 400’s is so easy, we did a set of pushups after each one! Not bad. After, we jogged back toward the house, then did some high skips, long skips, and bounds. They guys needed to go, and Joseph was done, so they did not join me in the rest of the workout: 6 sets of pullups, a bunch of abs, shoulder presses, and dumbbell curls. Good day! If we had not run out of daylight, I had planned on doing some kayak sprints in my pond. Another day perhaps.
Thursday-Kamau, Lucas, Joseph, and I did a 5.5 mile loop on the South Farm. Felt like a good pace today. I no longer have a GPS watch. Kamau had his Garmin on and Lucas had his Nike watch on. I timed some sections to compare. Lucas’ watch said we did mile two in 7:03. Whether it was a mile or not I don’t know, but my stopwatch said we did the distance in 6:40. There you go. Last two miles were about the same pace. Cool.
Did not run Friday, too much work stuff going on. We did a rather awesome core/upper body workout though! Yep, sweet. Typical deal: pushups, pullups, dips, curls, shoulder pressess, ab stuff, etc.
Saturday, just Joseph and I, 3:00 pm on the South Farm. Chilly, about 47°F and wild north winds! It rained on our way back and we were pelted with icy pellets. Did the 5.5 mile loop. No Nike watches today, but I timed the distance using a normal stop watch. I know this course well, including where the mile splits are. I checked the first three and got 6:28, 6:32, and 6:27. Finished the run at 36:11. Not bad.
Two upcoming races this week. The first is called the Glow Run and takes place on Thursday starting at 7 pm at the Amphitheater on the MSU campus. Register before on site. More info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/352544048186068/?fref=ts
The other race is the Tupelo Muddy, which will be held at 10 AM Saturday on the cross country course at Tupelo Preparatory School (https://www.facebook.com/events/329741293799888/ ).
Running at 3 pm today, meeting at south farm.