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.
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!
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.
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!
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!