Some awesome runners in Starkville, MS

Big weekend for running! Of course, it was exciting watching Joseph dominate the Mississippi College Challenge on Saturday, but lots of our friends also ran some great races. The Starkville High XC team competed in the Memphis Twilight Meet Saturday night. Of course, Kate Mattox, as always, did very well placing 3rd overall with a 18:49 in the 5k. Joseph’s friend Alex Ross had his best race ever running a 17:33 5k and was easily the first SHS runner with Christian Kingery following him at 19:02. I wish the Twilight race had been open to unattached high school runners. But, nope.  I would like to have seen Joseph run that race last night in the shape he is in now. Flat course, 3 laps around soccer fields, and at 9 PM instead at 10 AM! Lots of competition to push you. Oh well. We must all live with politics, and in this case, its the politics of leaving certain people out. Ironically, I could have run in the college/open 4.2 mile race at Twilight, as could anyone but a high school runner. Funny, but not really. Kudus to Coach Ard at Mississippi College for still letting unattached runners in his open meets!  Competition is good guys. Don’t hide from it! Our bud Jorge Villarreal did get to run in the Twilight college race and placed 52nd with a 23:12. Not bad for his first race back since being injured for a while when he was on the MSU team. Speaking of MSU, they did well at the meet with both the men’s and women’s teams winning the meet! MSU’s John Valentine was the overall men’s winner with a 21:08! COOL. His first collegiate XC win. John is an awesome dude. Glad for him.

Also happening this weekend was a 14.2 miler and marathon in Tupelo on Sunday morn. Some joker from Alabama won the marathon with a 2:36. Pretty good for this time of year! But, the overall winning time for the 14.2 mile race was only 1:38, which I am capable of doing on an average day. So, looks like the hotdogs ran the long race. Crazy muggs!

Anyway, enough of the race reports for now, and back to the week’s running.

Sunday, got up in the morn, late in the morn, and did some upper body/ab stuff with Joseph. Lazy, probably should not have stayed up so late! Later, at 6 PM, we met Will, crazy Nick, and Captain America Brent Wallace for a run. Nick jogged a mile or so to get there. That trippy dippy snack head had already swam 5 miles earlier! We all started together, but were going different distances. Brent did a 5.3 mile route, but ran with me and the kid for the first 2.5 miles. Will and Nick ran together and did a 7.5 mile stretch. Joseph and I headed toward the airport and did a 10 mile loop. Our first mile was nice and slow at about 7:40, but we gradually picked it up and finished at 1:04:29. Better than I thought it would be, it was hot! I was super sweaty! SS.

Monday, I pulled out my mountain bike and rode a relatively easy 45 minutes on the MSU South Farm gravel roads and on part of the MSU XC course. Checked out the course, and well, not bad considering cows have been out there for the past few months! Only at MSU do cows share an athletic field with SEC athletes! AMAZING!! So, yeah, at 5:30 PM, Joseph and I met the red headed Zach at the south farm. We headed over to the MSU XC course and after jogging some, we did 5 X 1000m on the lower loop. Planned on doing more, but it was too hot and humid! Man, that was hard today after the 10 miler yesterday and the bike ride today. Joseph was slower than usual, of course we had not done them in a while. He was consistent though. Right at 3:20-3:21 for the first 4, then 3:16 on the last one. I was 3:23-3:24 for the first 4, then 3:18. Zach was 3:27-3:29 for first 4, but he went crazy on the last one and passed me at the end finishing up with Joseph at 3:16. But, boy, that was enough. No energy left!

Also today, Arash Taheri ran a 5k race in Puckett, MS and won his age division. He said his time sucked though, and he did not want to talk about it! Well, even at the 8 AM race start it was hot, so I expect pretty much everyone’s times were off!

Tuesday, Had a nice group run on the MSU South Farm this afternoon at 5:30 with the likes of Jorge and Juan Villarreal, Zach Marsh, Ravinder Singh, Arash Taheri, Tiffany Dudley, Will Kallfelz, and Joseph. Tiffany has not run with us in the afternoon, so it was awesome to have her join us. Back in her prime she was a 4:26 miler! Earlier this summer, at age 30, she set the new female 10k state record for Mississippi! Yeah, she is awesome. But, back to the run. Hot, dusty, hot, gravelly, hot, and hilly! Joseph, Juan, and Jorge were cruising along pretty well, the rest of us were behind them somewhere chilling, talking. Arash, Ravi, Tiffany, and Zach went back a shorter way, probably 5-5.5 miles (not sure really). Both Zach and Ravi had jogged over to the start today, so they were going to get some more miles anyway. The rest of us extended the run some more. As we rounded about the 4 mile mark, Will headed straight back. Will had also jogged to the start from his office! I attempted to follow the 3 J’s for a longer journey.  At about 5.5 miles or so, I saw Juan and Jorge head back to the start for probably a 6.5  mile route, and Joseph was running back toward me. Said he wanted some company. We hit the last loop and got in at least 7.5 miles, which took 56 minutes. The last couple of miles were slow. We were thirsty! His first few miles were good, probably 6:20 or so, as Juan and Jorge said they were running 6:30’s and he was in front of them. But, yeah, I for sure needed some water about halfway thru the run today!

some crazy runner jokers

some crazy runner jokers

Wednesday, Joseph ran on his own today. I met Brent and Nick at the South Farm entrance at 6 pm,  and we did our 5.3 mile route thru town. Nick had already run some, so he only went about 4 miles.  Started out slow for the first mile, really slow! Just relaxing, etc. Then at near a mile, Brent and I picked it up and were running relatively  fast for the next 1.5 miles or so. We were cruising. Brent has gotten super fast lately, that joker is really pushing me. After that fast section, we slowed down to a normal pace for at least a mile, then did a couple more fast sections that were probably between 400 and 600 meters with the in between parts at a moderate pace. Man, I was really hot! This past few days have been super hard with heat and humidity being crazy. Something about the heat at this time of year really gets me! At the end of the run, we were at 35:11. Not bad. A week ago we did the same route at 33:52, which was super awesome, but we started out faster that day, and I think it was cooler. Also, today, we actually were running faster on the “fast” sections. So, it was more or less a fartlek day today.

Thursday, met Joseph, Brent, Will, and Nick at the South Farm at 6 pm for an easy run through the campus, research park, and Cotton District.  Yeah, hot again. Go figure! We started out together, then I hung back and ran with Nick for a few miles. He said we were mostly going 7 minute or better mile pace. Not sure, but enjoyed talking with that crazy rascal. He had already run 15 miles earlier that day! At some point, Nick veered off and I attempted to catch the other muggs. got them with a mile or so to go. At which point, Will was leading the charge. As I caught them, we all sped up without really thinking about it. Pretty soon we were flying along at a nice clip and dropped Will as we continued to lift the pace. Could not shake that crazy air force kid though. Brent is in great shape right now and running well! So, pretty good run all in all.

Friday, Got up in the morn and drove down to New Orleans with Joseph for a Saturday morn XC meet put on by Loyola University called the Wolfpack Invitational. Louisiana has some awesome runners especially from some of the private catholic schools, so we figured that would be a nice race. Met the Loyola coach Friday afternoon as we checked out the course. Figured it would be flat being in New Orleans, but nope. Hilly park! Go figure. And sloppy wet! Some mild construction going on, so he was going to reroute part of it. Ah well. Anyway, walked some of the course, then drove downtown and explored a bit. New Orleans is not a place for me. Not my scene.

Saturday, Arrived at the meet early to get Joseph’s bib number. They had already given it to someone else by mistake, the eventual winner of the college race, also a 5k. I watched the guy run, he was flying. Apparently he is like 30 years old and used to run for LSU. Still looked great. In college he was a 4:02 miler. Despite how fast he appeared to be running, his time for the race was over 17 minutes. Crazy. Second place was to Ryan Archie of William Carey who was a sub 16 minute 5k guy in high school, and Kwame Jackson of Xavier was 3rd. Kwame won the MS College race last Friday with a 16:34, but was close to two minutes slower today.

So, they gave Joseph a different bibb no., and he lined up for the boys varsity race that was set to start at 9:30. Hot, muggy, and by now, after college men’s and womens and high school girl’s races, a super soggy, muddy course. Joseph started out pretty well, and by the first mile was in 1st place, but not by a lot. By a couple of miles it was him and Noah Martin of Northshore, LA. Last year Noah had run 16:03 for the 3 mile, which is usually what the Louisiana kids race. They were followed by three Jesuit boys. Jesuit is a dominant XC school in LA and they always have awesome runners. By season’s end, they will likely have 5 guys sub 17 for 5k. The next half mile was a battle, but finally Noah got a lead on Joseph and finished first and Joseph second. He might have went out too fast on the first mile, which was a tough section that was repeated at the end. Pretty good race, other than he was tired before he started. Noah’s time was 18:04 and Joseph was 18:15. I know that sounds slow, but they would have beat almost all of the college runners today who had slower times, so I have no idea what these times mean. Several college runners told us the course was at least two minutes slow. The 2-5 Jesuit guys were 18:28-18:39, and again, some of these guys are 16:30 or better type 5k guys. Joseph has run courses that were wetter and hillier under 17 minutes, and ran 16:56 very easily last week on a much harder course (that was dry). Today, when he got through, he was super tired from exertion. The coach measured this course with a wheel. Maybe the gator leading the packs today thought it would be fun to add an extra loop! I don’t know. It was a hard race against some good runners and he got second. So, we will go with that! If you look up the results, you won’t see Joseph’s name though, despite them saying they fixed it. Instead, some guy named DeAuntre Alvis.  He did get a a tshirt along with the other top ten though! Also, it says 3 miles, which is was not.

Joseph and Noah around 2 miles

Joseph and Noah around 2 miles


Sunday, AM – upper body/ab workout, PM – 10 mile run at 6 pm (1:04:29)

Monday, AM – 45 minute mountain bike ride on hilly, gravel roads; PM – 5 X 1000m on grass, 3:18-3:23 pace.

Tuesday, PM – 56 minute run, easy pace, on hilly, gravel roads.

Wednesday, PM – 5.3 mile run, 1st miles slow,then 1.5 fast, then 1 mile moderate, then two more shorter fast sections (400-600m each) with moderate pace between. 35:11 for the entire route.

Thursday, AM – some pushups and crunches, PM – easy run, 45-50 minutes (did not time it, but somewhere around there), last couple miles faster.

Friday, walked XC course, did some pushups and crunches that evening.

Saturday, AM – Joseph did 10 minute warmup jog, then 5k, then cooldown, PM –  after a long drive home, I did a pullup weight workout.


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