Sunday afternoon, 60°F, but strong winds from the north at 3 pm. Beautiful day though. Brent Wallace and Steve Shaffer joined us as we headed downtown. Steve runs with some of the SHS track kids during the week, and he said they about wore him out with a 5 X 1 mile workout the other day and something else another day, so he said he was going to take it easy today! So, we headed out, pretty slow pace to start with, as usual, but with Steve behind us. Gradually picked it up. We saw lots of folks running today! Interestingly, most of the people that we saw running were female. We had a theory that all the guys were being slugs sitting around drinking beer in anticipation of the Super Bowl, which gave their girlfriends a chance to get out and run together. I don’t know for sure of course. I do know this, 30 years ago, I did not see many girls out running, but now it seems that more girls are running than guys. Ironically, here in Mississippi, the fattest state and place in the universe, we have loads of very fit girls. Actually, it is strange to see what seems to be happening in our country. More fat people at one end of the spectrum and more ridiculously fit people at the other end, with less “normal” people in between. But, back to the run. Brent stayed with Joseph and I for about 3 miles, then we parted ways. He did the “almost” 6 mile loop, and we did the 10.4 mile loop. We used to do this loop on Sunday mornings when I was involved with coaching the SHS XC team. The serious boys would come run it with me for a longish run. This loop is easier in the morning for sure, as the traffic can get a bit annoying at times. For whatever reason lately, neither Joseph or I have been getting many runs in over 7 or 8 miles, so we needed something longer. The first half was for sure slower, but even so, finished up in just over 1:07, around 6:30 per mile. Not bad, especially considering I had not had lunch, and it was windy as, well, you know.
Monday afternoon, I ran with Joseph and Lucas through the 5k course for the upcoming Glow Run on Thursday. Pretty hard course, as it winds through the hilly MSU campus. We were not trying to kill it or anything, but Joseph was thinking about doing the 5k race on Thursday, so we thought we would check it out. I looked at the map to see where the mile splits were. If accurate, we were 5:58 at mile 1, 6:02 at mile 2, and finished up in 18:34. Actually, Lucas picked up the last mile and finished about 15 seconds earlier. Pretty busy at 5 pm on the campus, and we really had to pay attention to the traffic. Ironically, the closest call we had was on the cool down jog back to the cars. Apparently, people in cars don’t like runners in crosswalks. Then again, it is hard to cross the crosswalk when cars are pulled up and stopped in them! Punks.
Tuesday, cloudy, but about 60°F. Several crazy jokers showed up to run today at 4:30 PM. When I got to our usual meeting place, Nathan and JoVonn were just finishing up their run. They got an early start on us. The rest of us, me, Joseph, Arash, Brent, Lucas, Ian, and Kamau headed toward the campus and research park area. Pretty crazy group of people, all of whom are pretty good runners. Most of us ran together doing a 6 mile loop, but Kamau and Lucas broke off at some point and went back to the South Farm to run on the dirt/gravel roads. Actually, we about gave up on them, so we started out without them, but they showed up after we had only been about a minute. So, Lucas parked his toy Miata and they joined us. I started my watch over from there, so, I ended up timing 5.5 miles (according to mapmyrun.com), although the route was 5.76 miles. At some point, Joseph, Arash, and I got a bit ahead of Ian and Brent, but they ran the opposite way around the Research Park and rejoined us for a while. Joseph and I ended up with a time of 35:50, which averaged out to 6:31 per mile if the distance was right. Here is a map of the loop for those interested. I thought we had a pretty good run overall either way.
After the run, we went home for some pullups, pushups, and stuff like that. Audrey Sheridan came by and couldn’t resist joining in herself. As you can see, she is not only very serious about exercise, but also very stylish as she exercises.
Wednesday, 4:30 PM, met Kamau, Joseph, Arash, and Lucas as we did the 7 mile loop around the South Farm. Easy day. Of course, nothing is easy if I want to keep up with these mugs! Did alright though. Stayed with Kamau and Joseph for first 2 miles, then they left me. Waited for me at 3.5 miles and we waited for the other two, then took off. They soon were well ahead, but waited for me to catch them at the 5 mile mark (both of these stops were at gates we had to climb). Then, they left me again. Somehow, Lucas had found a shortcut and was in front of us, but we caught him again. He was cruising along at a more leisurely stroll today, as was Arash. I finished in 45:32. Take off about 45 seconds for Kamau and Joseph. After the first mile or two, they were hitting a pretty good pace for the following 5 miles, especially considering the difficulty of this course!
Thursday, we opted to not do the Glow Run for tonight. Joseph was wavering until the last minute, but he decided to just do the Tupelo Muddy on Saturday instead. And, I really don’t like running at night. My astigmatism and lights at night make it difficult for me. If it were a closed course, such as maybe through the Research Park area, I would probably do it. It looked like it was going to be a really cool race though, and there was even entertainment after with DJ Glowtron! No, I did not make that up. Tim Irvine from Meridian did the timing (TimIrvineRaceTiming), so I am sure that part of the race went well. Apparently over 300 folks ran the 5k, others walked, and another 100 or more did the fun run. The male overall winner ran a 17:47, so not bad. Full results for the race are here [link]. Anyway, instead of that run, Lucas, Joseph, Kamau, and I did a 6 mile loop through downtown, starting from the South Farm parking lot. This is one of our standard loops we do. Nothing crazy, although, at 3 miles, Kamau and Joseph picked it up running at a 5:30 pace for about 1.5 miles. I hung with Lucas, and we were happy. Those two long legged rascals turned around at 4.5 miles and rejoined us, and we all finished more or less together. I was just over 39 minutes. So, not too bad, about 6:35 per mile for me. Here is the route (thanks to Mapmyrun.com).
Got home and did another good upperbody/core workout! Lucas and Kamau were planning on doing one too.
Took off Friday. Nice day for a break.
Saturday, Joseph and I headed to Tupelo for the Tupelo Muddy 5k held at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School. This was a cross country race open to all ages. Apparently, the course is always muddy at this time of year, and with all the rain we have had this year, it was no exception. Weather was around 40°F at race time (10 AM) with 8-10 mile per hour winds. Quite a few runners came for the mud run, probably about 150ish. Being a XC race, some pretty good high school XC kids and even a couple of XC college runners showed up (Josh Lazore and Brian McDonnieal from Blue Mountain College). Also, Eddie Morrow, a solid 33 year old runner from New Albany was there. A bunch of kids from the 5A 2012 state champion team from Saltillo ran, as did some very good Corinth High runners such as freshman Will Crigger. So, plenty of competition! But, yeah, this race was super muddy, and with a awesome hill in the middle of a loop that had to be run twice. This is a great course. A little rough foot-wise with clumpy grass, but cross country is not about easy. There is a reason cross country is not held at this time of year. ITS crazy wet! Seriously, the mud was nasty, sticky, clay that stuck to your shoes in large clumps. It was like carrying around weights on your shoes. The run was very fun though. The course was pretty well marked, except for a couple of places if you happened to be the front runner, which I was not. Times sucked today! Joseph won the race with a time of 19:01. He was running a minute under that in 8th grade, but, believe me, this time was not bad today on this course.
Josh ended up coming in 2nd place, a kid from Saltillo was 3rd, Brian was 4th, then I believe Eddie was next, then another Salitillo kid. With a about 400 meters left, I was in the group with the 4th-6th place finishers, but they got me in the end. Whippersnappers! I ended coming in at 7th place at 20:23 and won the Master’s division pretty convincingly, so that was cool. That time was a good 2 minutes slower than I ran through a pretty hard 5k course on MSU’s campus the other day, and was harder. Everybody was slower than normal today by a lot! Some of the high school kids that I was able to beat today had run times in the mid 17’s this past fall on XC courses, whereas today, they were over 21 minutes! Crazy day, crazy mud run. Enjoyed it though, and we met some cool, awesome folks. Great race. Congrats to Lynne Holland for the wonderful job with the race. He has for sure done this before!! Full results are online [link].
Will be again meeting at the South Farm parking area tomorrow at 3 pm for a run through town and elsewhere.