Monthly Archives: July 2013

Back to Starkville


Whew doggies! Drove all day Sunday from Savannah, GA back to Starkville, MS. It seemed like every time we hit a big city there was both road work and rain. AHH!  Got home around 5, so even though we were as tired as a couple of lazy summer dogs, we decided to go run with the guys at 7 pm. Most of the regulars were there, Jorge, Juan, Arash, and Brent. Also, Audrey road a bike along and ahead of us. We did a campus/research park loop. Surprisingly, we both felt pretty good today. Joseph took off pretty early, and Arash and I stayed with him for a mile or so, then I dropped back to talk with the others. Joseph and Arash were running about 6:20-6:25 mile pace, then Arash dropped off and Joseph finished on his own. The last time we saw him was when he was crossing Hwy 82 toward the Research Park. Did not see him again until later. I would guess the rest of us were running 6:45ish pace and it felt good. Striking contrast to my Saturday morning run in Savannah. Felt terrible! Slow and no energy. Even felt almost feverish and sick-like for much of the day. Joseph too. We wondered if it was something we ate. But, maybe just a combination of things. At any rate, it was great to feel normal again. Normal. Ha. Yeah.

Monday evening we had an awesome workout at the North Farm. They recently made a new connecting road between from old hwy 82 to the Research Park. Part of the road includes a wonderful hill that is just over 400m long. Not a super steep crazy ass hill, but a nice steady grade. Maybe 10-12° for the first 200m, then getting slightly steeper for the next 200m. I am guessing here, but surely not over a 15° slope. Perfect for hill repeats (in my humble opinion). I got out my measuring wheel and flags and measured 200m and 400m. Then, met the jokers at the Rose Garden Parking lot. Starkville Academy’s Cross Country team was just finishing up their first practice. Coach Christiansen had a nice group of kids, a few of whom we knew. Ah, I have to say I miss coaching them over there. Recently graduated Austin Miles was there waiting for his sister who is now running. Awesome!  Austin ran for me back when and it was good to see that mugg again. He was about 7 inches taller than the last time I saw him! As we were getting ready to warm up, Steve Shaffer walked up. He has had an injury stemming from some track workouts with the SHS team last spring, but is not letting that stop him from exercising. He said he has been walking 10 miles a day!

Jorge and Juan were there today, already doing a warmup jog when we arrived. Brent, Joseph, and Arash all pulled in about the same time, and Nick Pettit joined us for the first time! Nick is a wild beast exercise dude! He jogged 1.5 miles to get there, then warmed up some more with us. This guy was 315 lbs a year or so ago and is now fluctuating between 173 and 182! WHAT!!! Crazy. He is planning on doing bunches of marathons and triathlons over the upcoming years. Only 19 years old, but with great endurance already. His days just sound crazy to me with 70+ miles a week running, super long swim sessions of sometimes over 4 miles at a time, and crazy bike rides. Also throw in weight workouts. Great to have him out there.

So, the plan today was to do 6 X 400m uphill with jogs down, then 8 X 200 up with jogs down with a 2 minute break between 400s and 200s. With the hill, this is harder than it sounds. Everyone did well today I thought. Juan was feeling some creaky freaky muscle stuff, so he did not do the workout, and Joseph and I were the only ones to do all of it! Joseph killed it thanks to Jorge and Arash pushing him, Arash early, then Jorge later. His 400s were between 1:09 and 1:12 and his 200s were 31 to 32 seconds. Mine were 1:18-1:20 and 34-36 seconds.  Jorge and Arash had some nice 400s too, and their 200s were fast. Jorge was not far behind Joseph, and Arash was just in front or with me most of the way.  Arash was crazy on the first couple of 400s, but slowed down some for the latter ones. Brent hung with us pretty good for the first few, and did very well on the three 200s that he did. At 195 lbs, he was booking it. Nick looked superb on his 400s, and I would guess he averaged about 1:30 or so. He was pretty worn out from some other stuff, so he skipped the 200s and just ran around for a while.  After, we jogged back. Some of us showered and head to Bin 612 later for supper, beers, and $1 margaritas! Awesome. Joseph drank water. Food was great and we sat outside. Super awesome workout! Great job to everyone.

Tuesday evening, easy run thru town with Will, Brent, Arash, and Joseph. Weather was pretty nice, not too hot. Rained a bunch in the afternoon, but looked good as we started. But, it was not long before we felt some sprinkles. On the way back, it was raining fairly hard, but it felt great. The only part that did not feel great was my feet as my shoes were soaking wet! The route today basically started at the intersection of Stone Blvd and Blackjack Rd, then thru campus, down University Dr. (turns into Maine St.)., down Greensboro St., Whitfield, then back along Scales/Gillispie, thru the Cotton District, back down University, and returned to the start. Right about 6 miles. First mile was easy, slow even, then we picked it up. Arash said we were going about 6:23 mile pace on Main St., but that was according to his Garmin, and we may not have kept that up. Somewhere about 2 miles, Joseph separated himself from us as he picked the pace up. I also picked it up some. Brent returned via a slightly shorter route that took him down Louisville St. While he was with us, he was right there. Arash said he lost me at some point, but either way, he wanted to get in 7 miles, so he added another mile on the campus. Will was not too far back from him. He also did the 6 mile route that Joseph and I did. Joseph was 39:08 (6:31 per mile), I was 40:21 (6:43 per mile), and Will finished at 43:02 (7:10 per mile). Arash said he finished up his 7 miles at just over 49 minutes for about a 7 minute mile pace. Pretty good run, especially considering how slippery the roads were! After we finished, Abigail and Shanika Musser and Carla Bohna came running up from the south farm. These crazy young runners (8th and 9th grade this year) are amazing runners, and we often see them out and about. They also got caught in the rain, but apparently did not drink the rain, so we gave them some water! These goobers have been running all summer and should have a great XC at Starkville High this fall. Good luck!

6 mile route thru town

6 mile route thru town

Got up Thursday morn and headed to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge for a 4 mile tempo. Joseph and I met Juan and Jorge at 6:30 AM at the picnic area near Bluff Lake. After a 10 minute warmup and some light active stretching, we began. Juan rode a bike today, and recorded some of the run with a helmet cam. Jorge used his GPS watch as a guide. We started near the parking area, then headed 2 miles out and back. Two according to the watch. It seemed just a bit long, so I remeasured it with a wheel and found that it was actually a little over 2 miles to the turnaround, almost 2.1 miles. So, the course was closer to 4.15 miles. I felt ok early, but slowed to the pace where I really needed to be. Joseph looked good and lead the way. He did not know where to turn around, so slowed down at some point for Jorge to tell him where to turn. They pretty much ran together the way back, with Joseph finishing just a few seconds ahead. They  basically averaged a 5:39-5:40 mile pace for the course finishing at 23:34-23:39. I was behind them by a good margin finishing up at 26:04 for a 6:18 average mile.

Thursday evening run with some jokers at 7 pm. Young Joseph of the MacGown clan did not join us as he was hosting his own art show for a select group of artistic high schools. Really, more of an installation with various weird pieces of art on the walls, a silent movie he did, a cd of his music playing, various poems that he has written laid out, and crazy lights every where. Yeah, you get the idea. Hosted in a currently vacant house on Old Hwy 82 West. Crazy. The run was basically an easy recovery run following this mornings tempo. Joseph did his earlier.

Took Friday off. Planned on joining the folks at Boardtown Sat. morn, but did not. We got up ready to go, but it was pouring at my house out in the country. Checked the forecast, which said 90% chance of thunderstorms for the next two hours. So, we went back to bed. Got up about the time we should have been running and it had completely cleared up! AH! Just goes to show you, you never know. Our buds were better, and many of them went. Will and his as of late long run partner Philip did the longer 14.7 mile route at a 7:40 pace! Juan, Jorge, Arash, and Justin Tyner ran a 10 mile loop at a 6:30-6:40 pace, with Juan doing 6 miles. Jorge said it went well. To be honest though, I was not feeling super energetic anyway, so it was probably just as well. Plus, I had a long drive today coming up taking Audrey Sheridan to Athens, AL to pick up her new Arabian Horse. About a 4 hour drive, then messing with the horse, loading it and all that. Pretty horse, which was called Smudge, but will now be called Eva. Wise choice. She is a feisty bugger with lots of energy! Audrey will have fun whipping her into shape!

Audrey and her new horse Eva

Audrey and her new horse Eva

Since we missed our Saturday morning run, Joseph and I did a longish run Sunday morning starting at 6:30 AM. We parked near the South Farm and ran a 10.1 mile route that goes thru town, down Hwy 12, around the airport, thru McKee Park, Longmeadow neighborhood, by Starkville High, back around the Vet School returning to the start (PDF of route). We felt pretty lazy, and I was not sure how it would go. In fact, I thought were going maybe a little too slow as we hit the 30 minute mark. But, as I checked our time here and there, I realized the pace was better than I thought. Our course, Joseph ran a good bit ahead of me for a few miles. At some point, maybe at about 4 miles, he must have wanted company, because he came back and joined me. He picked it back up a little later and was at the water stop (about 6.7  miles) about 30 seconds in front of me. He ran the remaining 3 miles with me. His time for the run was 1:04:11 (6:21 average) and mine was 1:05:12 (6:27 mile average). So, good 10 miler today!

Will be doing an easy 5-7 mile run later today at 7 pm, meeting at the south farm. Tomorrow, some mile repeats!

 

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Collecting bugs in South Carolina and running in Savannah, Georgia.


Well, other than last Sunday (July 7th), I was out of town collecting bugs in South Carolina. I did get a great run in with some of the guys Sunday evening before I left. During my trip to SC, which was a part of the William H. Cross Expedition, I stayed at a cabin in Cheraw State Park with some fellow employees. Good trip, despite having quite a bit of rain. We collected quite a few insects, some of them were decent records for the area. These trips are busy with both day and night collecting. Following a 10 hour journey, we literally got out of the truck and started working. First unloading, then putting up traps, then collecting at white sheets with suspended ultraviolet lights.

Me at the Blacklight.

Me at the Blacklight.

 

Not much time or energy for running, but I did snag two decent runs in. Midweek, I ran for 60 minutes from about 3 pm to 4 pm. Very warm! No water break either. Some of the run, about 4 miles, was on a trail through pine savanna habitat. Not sure about my pace, but I think I was about 7 minutes per mile. I was also able to get a 30 minute run in late Friday afternoon. Very good run at a nice pace. Felt great!

me at the nature trail head in the state park where I ran

me at the nature trail head in the state park where I ran

Did not get back in town until Saturday night. During the time I was gone, I know several members of our Starkville Striders group got some good runs in. Joseph ran on his own Monday and Wednesday, but went with the group on Tuesday and Thursday. Apparently, they ran on the South Farm on Tuesday and had a nice group. He said it was pretty much him, Brent, and Will on Thursday as they did a downtown route. Joseph said he had a good 15+ mile run Saturday morn with the Boardtown group as well. Hate I missed that!

Sunday the 14th, I was quite ready for a run. Joseph and I met Arash, Brent, Jorge, and Juan and we hit the Starkville streets. Arash and Brent did a slight shorter route, about 5.5 miles or so. The rest of us did  a 7.4 mile route, and we all ran together finishing right at 51 minutes. Crazy run today, as it pretty much rained the entire way!

On Monday, Juan, Jorge, Arash, Brent, Joseph, and I met at the soccer fields at the Starkville Sportsplex where we did an 8 X 400m workout with 1 minute rests between 400s. Had a good warmup and cool down During the warmup, we got poured on again! The 400s went well with Jorge and Joseph leading the way for most of them, and Juan not far back. The rest of us hung with them pretty well. I would guess I averaged about 1:14-1:15 per 400m, maybe a bit better. My last one was 1:11 as I finished it up with Arash. I think my slowest was 1:16. Joseph was 1:02 for his last one, and he looked pretty good on all of them, although the first few were slower as we ran as a group for the first 5 or 6 at between 1:12 and 1:15. Good running. On grass. Even put some spikes on!

Tuesday, we met the crazy jokers at the South Farm at 7 pm and ran the gravel roads at the farm today. Ran a bit over 6 miles thru the farm. I felt like I kept a pretty steady pace.  I also added another mile or so after the run at a slower pace and did a couple of strides. At about the halfway point, Jorge picked it up and ran some 6:20’s. Joseph slowed down at 4 miles, and I ended up finishing before him today. Juan slipped off from us and added a half mile or so. Brent and Will also finished up looking strong and steady. Pretty decent run. Great run for Jorge I would. And, Joseph was not feeling it for sure.

Wednesday, pretty easy run today. Just me and the kid out in Sessums, about 3.4 miles at 7 minute mile pace. We went earlier than usual and it was hot!

Thursday, Joseph and I headed to Savannah to visit the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Been visiting some colleges this summer as Joseph is starting to really think about where he would like to go. As a senior this coming year, that time will be fast approaching, and we are hoping he gets to also run in college. Along the way, we stopped at Auburn University in Alabama so I could visit the insect collection there. Also, I had borrowed some ant specimens for my research and used this opportunity to return them. While there, I was able to look thru and verify ids on most of the already identified ants. Also did a quick check thru of the unidentified ants and had Joseph enter a species list in an Excel chart for me. Thanks to Charles Ray, the curator, for letting me examine the material there!

.Got back on the road and spent the night in one of the worst motels I have ever been in.Scary. AH!  Back on the road the next morn and arrived in Savannah at around lunch. Savannah! Beautiful old city with a great downtown arts district. The Savannah College of Art and Design is spread throughout parts of downtown with different departments being housed in different buildings. Pretty trippy. Lots of cool art shops and restaurants here.

Downtown Savannah, GA at night

Downtown Savannah, GA at night

After arriving, we grabbed some lunch, then met Coach Patrick Reagan, the head XC and track coach for the university. Yep, you heard me right. This art school has a cross country and track team. Who knew. They are in the NAIA division. Coach Reagan is a 26 year bundle of energy and enthusiasm who is dedicated to making this school’s teams competitive. He was and is fast himself, so knows a bit about running. Having run 5ks in the low 14’s gives him some pretty good credibility!  Anyway, had a good visit, then rejoined him for a 7 pm run on trail at Tybee Island along the coast. 6 mile run, plus another mile or so of cool down. First 3 miles were really easy as we talked back and forth, about 7-7:05 per mile, then mile 4 was 6:38, then mile 5 was 6:29, then Joseph and Coach Reagan left me behind with a 5:24 on mile 6. I think I more or less stayed at the same 6:30ish mile pace. Pretty good run. I was sweating more than those guys.

Followed the run with a supper at Firehouse Subs. We were sweaty nasty mugs, but they did not seem to care. They a bunch of awesome hot sauces. Made me happy. I poured a nice habenero sauce that I like on one side of my sandwich and then liberally applied some Dave’s Insanity to the other side. Pretty hot. At some point, Coach Reagan and Joseph tried on some Firemen jackets that were hanging on the wall. Pretty strange looking with their running shorts!

Joseph and Coach Reagan with Firemen attire

Joseph and Coach Reagan with Firemen attire

Supper, then back to the motel. I should mention that this motel (Hampton on Martin Luther King Dr.) was exponentially nicer than the one from the night before. We got up early Saturday to join Coach Reagan for another run. We started a little after 7:30 AM, and probably should have started an hour earlier. It was not excruciatingly hot, but hot enough and humid. After starting from some really nice park, we followed Patrick thru various streets of Savannah. I have no idea of where we were, but we passed thru some amazing neighborhoods with very old homes. We were running at a fairly slow pace today, actually a good bit slower than what we typically do, just over 7 minute mile pace. We ran close to 8 miles before stopping for a sip of water. Then started out again. Joseph and Coach Reagan pretty much went on their own for a little over 2 more miles, and I ran the loop around the park, which was very nice. I think we all go in at least 10 miles. I would guess this was my slowest 10 mile run in quite some time. And it was not easy. Probably a little tired from all of my recent traveling.

After lunch, we had a tour of the  different art departments. Very cool.  This crazy campus is spread all over downtown Savannah, but boy do they have some nice facilities! Thanks to our tour guide Adrian, he did a great job. Sushi for supper. Hung out downtown later and listened to some local band. Overall, a very nice visit!

Adrian and Joseph after the SCAD tour

Adrian and Joseph after the SCAD tour

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Walmart Zombies


Sunday, Got a really good upper body and ab workout in the morn. Later, a nice 40+ minute run at 7 pm with Joseph, Will, Brent, Kamau, and Damian. Had not seen Captain Brent in a few weeks as he was in the Bahamas and then the Dominican Republic. He apparently did not get to run during that time, but you could not tell from today. He was running well, as was everyone. Great easy run.

Monday, On my own today. Felt really good today! I ran 4 miles thru the MSU campus at 7 pm with miles 2-4 at a good pace. First mile was a warmup, at  7:30 pace. Ran the next 3 miles (2.96 miles) at 16:43 for an average pace of 5:38 per mile.  After, I jogged another mile or so. Here is an image of the route.

4 miles thru MSU

4 miles thru MSU

Tuesday, Joseph started his day with a 7.5 mile run with some jokers in Jackson, MS. Later in the day at 7 pm, he joined me, Will, Brent, Arash, and Juan for steady 5 miler thru the MSU campus and Research Park Blvd. First mile was a slow warmup, but then we picked it up to a steady pace of somewhere near 6:35 per mile for Joseph, Juan, and I. Arash cut the run a little short and ended up averaging a 6:55 per mile. Brent and Will hung right with us for about halfway, then dropped off a bit and both finished up really well. Another great day to run in Starkville!

Wednesday, came home for lunch and got in a pushup, pullup, dumbbell curl, dumbbell shoulder press, and ab workout. Not bad. Just long enough to get a slight pump! Joseph had already done some crazy workout of his own, which he said involved spastic dancing. Later, at about 7:30 pm, he and I ran out here in Sessums. After a warmup jog, we both did a tempo type 3.4 mile route. He averaged 5:53 per mile, and I was 5:57 per mile. Felt ok today, but nothing like on Monday. After the run, we went to the movies and checked out World War Z. Thought it was an awesome movie. And those zombies could move! Made me glad to know that I can run ok. Followed the movie with a late night jaunt to Walmart, where the real zombies were;) Man, that was scary.

Sessums 3.4 mile route

Sessums 3.4 mile route

Crazy Will said he got in a 12 mile run today, which included some intervals. That yoga stretching philosopher dude is getting in some miles, both running and biking. Said he was planning on biking 50 miles the next morn.

Thursday, July 4th! Big 5k in Jackson, MS this morn called the Watermelon 5k Classic. Some of our buds ran it, but neither Joseph or I really wanted to run a race right now, so we skipped it. Jorge came in 5th overall with a 17:04! Arash also ran, but not quite as well as he had hoped. Still, he said he had lots of fun at the race. We opted for a 5.3 mile run thru campus and downtown. Just ran easy. First mile was really easy, but we did pick it up. Averaged 6:38 per mile today, and the 2nd half of the run was a good bit faster than the first. Temps were great this evening and it was a very pleasant run.

Friday, pushup type workout to start the day, but most of the rest of the day devoted to some art stuff. Nice to have this extra day off! Had a great sushi supper at Umi’s with Audrey. Ate way too much, and man, expensive! It was tasty though. I will regret this dinner in the morn. For some reason, I never have a good long run after having eaten sushi the night before.

Saturday, 12 mile run with the Boardtown Running Club. The run was looking iffy because of bad weather, but the weather cleared up. The temp was awesome, but the humidity was crazy. My run was only ok today. Actually, I think it was probably my worst run in a while. Just felt stiff and slow the entire way. I ended up running the route at 1:22:12 for a 6:51 per mile pace. That sounds ok, but it just was not smooth and easy today. Joseph ran pretty well, especially the first 6 miles, which he did around 38 minutes. He started back pretty well too, but at mile 7 he stopped for a minute. Said his stomach hurt. Then picked it back up for a mile or so, then slowed down. He ended up running the last leg with Micah, David Dycus, Some guy named Justin, and Carmin. I stopped to tie my shoes, which would not stay tied with the humidity, and finished up a little behind them. I guess Joseph was probably 1:20 or so for the route today. Kelly White was not far behind me, and Haley Jenkins was not too far behind her finishing up at 1:32 for a 7:40 per mile average. HALEY! Awesome run. She has only been running a couple of years. She started running XC at SHS her junior year when I was still helping with the coaching, and at that time, she could not even run a mile. She ran again this past fall, but did not run track, instead running on her own.  Wow, since then, she has turned into a running beast, running probably 60 miles a week and steadily getting better. Haley , who will be a freshman at MSU this year, is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! If you want to run with her, you better do it soon, because it won’t be long until she will be too fast for mortals to keep up with at the rate she is progressing! Carmen Brothers also had a great run today. She added 2 miles at the end for a 14 miler, her longest run ever! Sweet! Of course, Meggan and Houston Franks, who ran 18 miles, made it look as easy as ever! Running machines they are. Will Kallfelz ran the 15 mile route, and had Cade the crazy ultramarathoner as a running partner today! Brent and Jorge also ran today, but decided on only doing 7 miles. Jorge was recovering from his 5k on Thursday, and Brent did not even go to sleep last night! I don’t know how that guy does that!!! Crazy. Audrey was able to get in at least 3 miles of running plus some walking, which, considering her injured foot, was pretty good. Ah, the frustation of injury!

Later in the day, Joseph, Audrey, and I checked out the Lone Ranger movie. Yep, very good. Liked it. Followed that with a 30 minute run thru town and campus with Joseph. Supposed have rained today, but did not. It was very enjoyable running this evening, not hot and not morning!  I hate running in the morning!

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