Monday, whew, me and the kid did a workout out in Sessums. Today was a fun one: 200m hard, 200m easy, 200m hard, 200 easy, 800m hard, 400m easy, then repeat 3 more times. Of course, warmup and cool down jogs. I think we were both tired from Saturday’s workout, because we were not really on top of this one. Anyway, my 200’s were 37-39 and my 800’s were 2:46-2:51. Obviously, Joseph was ahead of me, but only slightly today. I have seen him do the 800’s between 2:18 and 2:22, but today they were all over 2:30. Anyway. Still a pretty good workout with the jogs between everything.
Tuesday, had an awesome 45 minute run with Lucas Muniz, Ian Prester, and Kamau Bostic. Joseph could not make it due to some afterschool work this week. We ran through campus, and after the first mile, picked it up pretty good. The last three were by far our fastest. Nice afternoon and no need for shirts today. I was the odd man out, being 48 years old, 5’9″, and 170 lbs. The other three are all 19 or 20, 6’2″ to 6’3″ and 150 lbs more or less. Great run. Thanks guys!
Wednesday, rained all day. Cold and wet. Ended up running in the rain on the South Farm with Audrey Sheridan. She has had some crazy injuries, mostly related to horses falling on her, so sometimes running is difficult. She wore an ankle/foot brace today. This was the first day for her to run in a while, so we took it easy, maybe 3.5 miles total, with some walking here and there. Worked a lot on breathing today.
Thursday, rained all day again. Picked up Joseph from school at 4:30 and skipped the run. Too messy. We did an upperbody workout instead. Not bad. Then had a remarkable dinner consisting of baked salmon, jasmine rice, stirfried eggplant, peppers, and zuchini! Youch! That was good!
Friday, headed to Jackson, MS late in the afternoon for the Biggest Loser 5k the next morning! Picked up our packets late after at the Jackson Convention Center. Met lots of cool motivational folks there including a couple of celebrity contestants from the Biggest Loser tv show, Gina McDonald and Patrick House. Both of these jokers originally hail from Vicksburg, MS! How cool is that, right? Gina was a major player on season 14, and Patrick actually won season 10. The weight that they lost and have kept off is truly remarkable!
This race had great support from some Mississippi groups that have dedicated themselves to making people more fit. Kudos to them! Some of these groups included Rebecca Turner’s Runner’s Fuel Group (http://runners-fuel.com/), the Black Girls Run (www.blackgirlsrun.com) group represented by Venecca Mason, D1 Sports Training expert Mike Espy (D1Jackson.com), liveRIGHTnowonline.com with Terry, and of course Rod’s Racers (http://www.rodsracers.net/)! Crazy enthusiastic Jewel Parelman who works as the director of new business development for the Biggest Loser RunWalk Series (biggestloser.com/runwalk) was there leading people in stretching and other activities. That girl has some energy!
We also met some wonderful runners while we were there. One of my favorites was the amazingly nice and ridiculously young looking Nettye Johnson. Not only does she run, she also blogs about her experiences with running and faith (myfaithmyfitness.com).
Race morning. Awesome weather, mid 50’s, sun coming up, and lots of very happy people. The people running this race knew what they were doing. Tons of police cars to block traffic and lead the runners, cones lining the entire 5k and half marathon, and just a great atmosphere. Both races started at the same time, and at 7:35, we headed off. Joseph and I opted for the 5k today, since we have geared more of our running toward that goal, but lots of runners were in the half. At the starting line, we met Henry Cooper, a very nice young man who had recently starting running. Big guy, but doing well. He actually finished the 5k strong at 23:39! Dude.
Also at the starting line were some friends that we have run with at the Boardtown Running Club in Starkville, Kelly White, Mina Tahai, and Tanner Mixon! Just looking around, I figured that for sure Kelly and Mina would probably be 1 and 2 in the women’s half marathon and that Kelly would likely even be the first finisher. Guess what? Yep, that was exactly how it came down! Kelly still lives in Starkville, where she is a nutritionist, and Mina and her boyfriend Tanner are now in Jackson, but are from Starkville. Kelly ended up running the rather hilly half in 1:30:26, which is slow for her, but easily good enough to be the overall winner! Mina ended up being the 2nd female with her time of 1:41:18, barely edging out her training partner Erin Pierce, who also used to live in Starkville and also ran with the Boardtown Running Club!!!
Oh yeah, 5k. Um, that went well too. Nice course, pylons along the entire way, only a couple of turns where I was a bit unclear, but not bad. I never felt threatened by traffic at any time either! Wonderful job to the Jackson Police officers! Like the half marathon, I thought I knew who would win the 5k today, and looking about, I was pretty sure it would be Joseph, and I figured I might be able to pull off second. Prediction number two, also correct. Joseph took off, and had nobody to push him at all. He ended up running 17:01, and I don’t think he was really winded. I took 2nd with an 18:14. Also felt really good after. Think I can break 18 now. Fingers crossed! Next time? Anyway, we got our picture taken with past Biggest Loser Dan Evans, who is now a famous Nashville singer! And, yes, he sang and played guitar today! Wonderfully.
I mentioned the ever exuberant Jewel Parelman earlier! Wow, I think every single runner experienced her support as they finished the race and she cheered them in. Wonderful girl, perfect person for this job! I got a photo with her, but we had to redo it because I didn’t hug her hard enough!
At some point, I heard some rowdy cheering, which was for the mayor of Jackson Harvey Johnson. He is a big feller and decided to come out and participate! Good for him and good for Jackson!
We met a ton of very nice people today. In fact, everyone we met was super nice. Of course, I can’t mention every single person, but Pennier Johnson was one who really stood out. Joseph and I greatly enjoyed meeting both her and her husband. She ran the 5k and and has already taken 20 minutes off of her time!
Overall, great race. Couple of minor issues with some immediate timing results for the half, but I think they worked that out. A lot of people trying to become more healthy and fit and a lot of already fit folks out there as well. Great mix of people, wonderful day, and fun and safe race.