Well, I don’t really have a lot to write about concerning running and stuff this week because I was in Austin, TX for most of the week at the 2013 Entomological Society of America Annual Conference. This was a week packed full of presentations by some of the brightest entomologists out there and their up and coming students. It is always cool to see some of these folks who I know through emails and other correspondence, but have never met in the real world. I study ants myself, which is a very popular group, so I got to see hear plenty of talks about them. Man, those ant researchers are CRAZEEE!
Downtown Austin is a fairly nice place to have a conference like this, and whenever I got the opportunity, I walked around the downtown area, along the river, as well as a local park. Usually with a friend or two from the meeting, but sometimes on my own. Tall buildings abounded!
The Colorado River, which was nearby, had a wonderful pathway alongside of it. Austin is a pretty cool town, a little too big and trendy for me, but with some scattered natural areas such as this place. One thing that I really liked seeing was the numerous walkers, runners, and cyclists. They were every where and could be seen at all times of day and night. This trail was no exception, as it was packed. I, however, did not run down the trail, but walked with my coworker JamesLewis. At some point, we found a park like area where we collected some ants. Have not got a chance to verify the species, but for sure got some Forelius, probably mccooki, some Pheidole sp., and a few others. Cool.
Another day, we visited Zilker Park and grabbed some ants there. David Cross joined us there, and was happy to find some Solenopsis geminata. Whew, but yeah, over the week, I walked a lot! Did not run at all. I drank way too much on two nights of my stay, and basically did not drink the rest of the time simply because I had to recover from those two nights. I did not have to buy my own drinks either, which is probably why I drank too much come to think of it! Scientists are really crazy when they all get together at these conferences! To wake myself up each morning, I did pushups and crunches. Helped a bit.
I ate a lot of great food while in Austin, and of course, about half of it was Mexican food! Very, very tasty. The highlight of the trip for me, though, was visiting a most awesome CD/record store that James took me too. I picked up a few Blur and Guerillaz CDs. Nice. During the week, I got many comments from people about some of the shirts I wore including a Greatful Dead shirt, a WEEN band tshirt that I designed, and an entomology shirt I designed. People loved those shirts and did not mind telling me! Funny.
I mentioned last week that a New York Times sports reporter contacted me about a story she was doing about neon colored running apparel. She had found my running blog and asked my opinion on the subject. Of course, I was but one of several people interviewed. Anyway, the story came out and can be read at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/sports/running-in-the-dazzle-of-neon.html?_r=0 Pretty cool!
While I was away, Joseph said he got some running in on his own. Easy run on Sunday and Monday, tempo on Tuesday, easy Wednesday, and repeat fast 3 minute interval type deals on Thursday. He also said he got quite a few pushups and crunches in during the week. He said that it was a homework filled week though and he did seem beat when I saw him on Friday.
Nice to be back in town. What with all the eating and stuff in Austin, I feel like a slob! Yep. So, I got up Saturday morn and did a bunch of pushups, pullups, curls, and ab exercises while listening to Blur and the Guerillaz! Mid afternoon, Joseph and I headed to the refuge for a run deal. He ran 10 miles while I biked. He said he was still sore from Thursday when he apparently had a good day, but neglected to do any post run stretching. But, even so, he had another nice day today. We were thinking about doing 12 miles, but since he will be running in the USATF XC South Regional Meet next Saturday, we thought 10 would be sufficient this weekend. He ended up with a 5:52 average mile pace for the entire 10 miles. On a wet and dreary day, on sore legs, that was pretty good. Especially with the first mile being 6:31. Splits were: 6:31, 5:35, 5:54, 5:46, 5:48, 5:52, 6:05, 5:41, 5:44, and 5:41. Take that first warmup mile out, and thats a 5:48 pace for nine miles. Nice. Basically, his aim was his half marathon time down to about 1:15 or so by January. Ironically, he really did not start his half marathon training until after the New Orleans Jazz Half in October, which was basically a “see where you are at that time” run. Since then, he is been gradually working on speeding up the longer run, getting slightly longer tempos in, and throwing in some repeat 1000-1600m intervals at race pace. Those tempos and longer distance speed workouts really seem to be helping his long runs, the pace of which has been dropping dramatically week to week. Four weeks ago, he did 10 miles at 6:30 pace, the next week was 10 at 6:15 pace, the next week he did 11 at 5:58 pace, and this week, of course, was 10 miles at 5:52 average pace. When you consider that the first mile of each of these runs was done slower to warm up, this was pretty good. I hope he can continue this trend for another month. If so, he could have a pretty nice half marathon in January. Have not decided which one to do yet. Maybe the Blues in Jackson, MS, or possibly one in Pensacola, FL. The Frostbite half here in Starkville, which is the only half he has run, is also a possibility. I wish it were a certified course though:(
After he ran, I went for a 5k run, with Joseph doing part of it with me as a cool down. Started out slow and evened out at a decent pace for an old injured punk. Finished up at a 6:47 average pace. Calf felt pretty good until the last .3 miles, when it tightened up a bit. Not terrible. As I was finishing up, Will Kallfelz came cruising by on his bike, probably doing about 50 miles. Awesome.