Starkville Striders, running like a gang of wildmen

Sunday, off and on rain, but by 7 pm it was awesome! Joseph and I headed to the South Farm area and waited to see who would show up. First one to make it was Damian Grady, who had won the state meet titles in the 1600m and 800m this year for the 5 A division.  Damian was slightly injured during the season, so took some time off. This was his second day back following his run with us on Saturday with the Boardtown group when he ran 8 miles. He said that was probably too far for the first day, as he was sore today! Steve Shaffer was next. His plan was to mix it up with some jogging and walking. Then Kamau Bostic and Juan and Jorge Villarreal showed up and we headed toward campus. We have been running a route thru campus and downtown a good bit lately, primarily because at least two thirds of it has sidewalks. Sidewalks are a rare commodity in Starkville. As it turns out though, this route is not busy at all late Sunday afternoons, so I often find myself running on the side of the roads, which seems softer. 

Jorge Villarreal

Jorge Villarreal

Good run, after the first mile to mile and a half, Kamau, Joseph and I picked it up and ran together for the loop. I managed to stay with them until the last mile, when they picked it up further. Their last mile was 5:30ish; I was probably 12-15 seconds back. They averaged 6:20 something per mile for 5.5 miles and I was not over 6:30 per mile average. Not bad considering that we started off slower. Juan, Jorge, and Damian ran about 4.5 miles together at a 6:48 pace. I think everyone had a decent run. When we got done we did some stretching, some folks also did some pushups, and Jorge threw in some strides, which he seems to really like.

Juan Villarreal

Juan Villarreal

Monday, Whew! 90 sumpin’ degrees out! Got home around 4:30 and jogged the trail with Joseph. Then we did 8 X 400m with about 40 seconds rest between each on the back loop. Thought about doing more, but too hot. Then jogged the trail for a while. Nothing crazy.

Tuesday, Some pushups, pullups, and curls to start the day, then off to work. Hot today (and all week), about 96°F. Headed out for a run with the guys at 7 pm. Me and Joseph, of course, and some other crazy jokers including the likes of Jorge “the Colombian Heart throb”, his bro Juan (Mr. Juan-derful), Kamau “superstar” Bostic, Damian “the Kenyan looking Menace” Grady, and Arash the scary Taheri. Headed toward campus all together and mostly ran the first three miles  as a group with Kamau, Joseph, Arash, and I leading the way somewhere under a 7 minute mile pace. Kamau, Juan, Jorge, and Damian opted for about a 5 mile route, and Joseph, Arash, and I got in 7.5-8 miles at a pretty steady, but not hard pace. So hot, we did not even think about pushing it. Felt good though, and we even had several young ladies yelling at us!

Damian Grady, Juan, Joseph, and Jorge after the run

Damian Grady, Juan, Joseph, and Jorge after the run

Kamau Bostic

Kamau Bostic

Wednesday, HOTDOG! It was hot and humid today! Joseph and I were going to do decent paced 5 miler out in Sessums, but soon after starting, we realized it was too hot. So, we had to change something. Opted with doing a 3.45 mile route instead with me finishing in 20:56 and Joseph in front of me somewhere. Hot.

Thursday, Joseph and I met  Jorge, Kamau, and Damian for a 7 pm run thru campus and University Estates. With the combination of heat and humidity, this had to have been the hardest day to have run this year!! After exiting the crazy hilly University Estates neighborhood, Kamau, Damain and I just headed back to the start finishing up our run in 29 minutes. Jorge and Joseph added a loop, and showed up a while, but not too much, later. We all did some pushups as we waited for the impending storm. Finally left, just as some rain came in. The sky was a most fantastic blend of colors and strange lighting!

Friday, Got up in the morning and ran 5 miles with Joseph. Cruised downtown and thru the campus. Lots of folks running, walking, and biking! Wonderful!  Saw our bud Steve on Main Street as he was taking a walk. The weather was much nicer this morn than the previous evening! Joseph’s birthday today, turned 17!!

Saturday, Got up (barely) and headed to the Boardtown Running Club for a run. On my own this morn, as Joseph was on his way to Gulf Shores for a weeklong vacation with his mom and grandparents. Lots of folks were at the White’s this morning though! They said over 90 people showed up for the run! Some of our Starkville Striders were there, such as Jorge, Damian, Kamau, and others! Bunch of awesome Air Force dudes and one Air Force chic as well. Meggan and Houston Franks were there, and as usual, they made the run look easy. I ran pretty good today, so can’t complain. And, felt great after too. Ran to the first water stop pretty much by myself at a decent pace, about 6:20 per mile for 3.5 miles. I should say that the only reason Houston and Meggan were not in front of me was that they went the wrong way. After that first water stop, they were back in the front!  After the first water stop,  I ran the rest of the route with my favorite running partner Renee Masterson at a 6:30 pace. Nice! Renee is awesome! She is a beautiful girl,  with a beautiful attitude, and she can run like the dickens!  This was the longest that Damian, Kamau, and Jorge had run in a while, and they all did really well. My overall time was better, but they ran the last leg pretty fast and finished a bit ahead of Renee and I. One thing is for sure, when they want to, I pretty much have no chance of keeping up with them! Boardtown Runners! Great group.

Going to run this Sunday in the morn at 7 am, meeting at the South Farm if anyone wants to join me. Then Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm. Maybe some other group runs as well, which I will post on our Starkville Striders FaceBook page.

Happy running. Don’t get too hot!


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