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.  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.

We missed our Saturday morning run, so 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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