Meggan Franks third at the XTERRA world trail running championships in Kualao Ranch, Hawaii.

Sunday, Got in a decent upper body workout late in the morn. A few sets of pullups, curls, ab deals, and some bench press. Five sets of bench press with 180 lbs, with fewer reps the first couple of sets, then 21 reps for each of the last three sets. Not bad. Later that afternoon, I met Zach, Brent, and Ravi at the South Farm for a run. Brent and I did 5 miles at 7:30 pace. Ravi did a couple with us, then headed on his way, and Zach ran about 4.5 miles with us before looping back out for another 5 miles or so. Nice. Pretty chilly and windy, especially on the way back, but not too bad.

Awesome news from our local running front. Canadian born Starkvillian Meggan Franks turned in another impressive trail run this weekend. She was the third female  finisher at the XTERRA world trail running championships in Kualao Ranch, Hawaii. Read that again, “World Championships”… Pretty freakin’ awesome. In looking at the results, her husband Houston Franks, head XC coach at MSU, paced her and finished up at 24th overall himself. This was a 21k trail run and they finished at about 1:40:24 and 1:40:26 for a 7:32 average mile pace. Great work guys!   Read more about it at and


Meggan and Houston Franks competing in the Xterra race in Hawaii

Monday, Not much exercise today. When I say not much, I actually mean none.  Rained like crazy! Joseph was out of town visiting Millsaps College in Jackson, MS and hanging out with the runners there. Andy Till, the XC and track coach at Millsaps, is a super nice guy, so I am sure that he had a great visit.

Tuesday,  Still raining like crazy!  Got home about 6:30 pm after a long day of working on my ant web site at work. Fun though. So, yep. After all that, I could have used a run, but it was cold, dark, and raining. Forget it. Instead, I did 5 sets of pull-ups (23-26 reps each), and no, I am sure they were not marine perfect. But, they worked very well! As I may have mentioned in the past, doing a pull-up or chin-up to the full hang does not make any sense to me. I understand that for comparative purposes, this may be advantageous, but for a long term exercise scheme, I think its a bad idea. A lot of pressure on the shoulder joints. So, I go pretty far down, then up. Anyway, awesome pump from that.  I felt like a crazy lumberjack or something. Then, I did 4 sets of bench press. I put a 45 lb and 25 lb plate on each end, but I am not exactly sure how much my bar weighs, so the total weight was probably 170-180 lbs. The bar is the length of an Olympic bar, but lighter. Maybe 30-35 lbs? I guess I need to find a used Olympic bar for which the weight is known. If you have one, mail it to me. Thanks. On the other hand, it is pretty irrelevant how much weight I am doing. It is more important that it was a good workout. Some progress on the bench lately for sure, as I got 25 reps for each of the first two sets, then 22, and 21. Not bad. Until I recently obtaining this used bench and weights, I had not bench-pressed anything in probably 4 or more years, at least with a long bar. A couple years back I regularly did dumbbell bench-press, but can’t afford our university gym anymore. Sucks. Thats another story. But, at one time, not too many years ago at about the same weight I am at now (180 lbs), I could bench 185 lbs 35 times in a row, and 225 lbs for 22 reps. That was pretty good for me. In fact, I would say that is pretty good for anybody. Not very good for running fast 5ks though, but in reality, I am not really a runner anyway. When I was in the best shape of my life in my 20s and early 30s, I weighed between 155 and 160 lbs. At that time, I could occasionally run a 5k under 15 minute pace while during that same period of time I could do 3 sets of 10 reps with 255 lbs on the bench. Not bad, and especially considering that bench press was not really my strongest lift. I would say my strength was more in my shoulders and legs. At 5’9″ Legs for sure. I could dunk a basketball behind my head. Very cool. The last time I dunked a ball in the gym was at about age 42 or 43, and it did not feel good to my knee at all. I loved dunking a ball. I don’t love what it did to my knees. But, I can’t really complain too much, as they are still holding up. Ah, the joy of being young! Back to the workout though. Finished up with some 40 lb dumbbell curls and various crunches. Feeling swell now. Swoll even.

Wednesday, Whew! Chilly today! High was about 38°F and winds around 15mph. Not like the temps you the folks in the north have to deal with, but for here, its cold enough. At about 3:30 PM, Joseph and I got a run deal in out here in Sessums. I ran a mile with him, then he ran 5 more as I biked, then I got one more mile of running in. First mile was at 7:30 pace and the one after my bike ride was 6:25. Man, it was cold on that bike, even with gloves and long pants. Joseph’s 5 mile route was done in 32:45. It was nice to get back in the house where I had a small fire going on my wood stove and chili cooking in the crockpot! Oh yeah baby!

Thursday, Thanksgiving. Even so, or especially because of that, I got in a pushup, pullup type workout deal in at about 8:30 AM. Not bad. Later, had an awesome Thanksgiving meal with the Sheridans. Thanks!

Friday, Joseph did and upper body workup at about 9 AM, and I also did a few things that I missed the morning before. Nothing crazy. Later, that afternoon, we headed to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge arriving at about 2:30 PM. Joseph did a 12 mile run today as I biked along. Pretty nice out, 50°F more or less, but it started getting chilly as the evening approached. Nice place to run, but with hunting season now here, we made sure that we had on some bright orange stuff on even though we were on the main road. Can’t be too careful. Anyway, its been a weird week running-wise for Joseph with the XC race this past Saturday, then the visit to Millsaps, then crazy rain. Essentially, this was only the 2nd run for him this week! So, yeah. He did alright though. Averaged 5:53 per mile with the first mile being 6:20, then the others all under six minutes except the 6th mile, which was 6:12. Probably should have skipped the XC race on Saturday, as basically all it did was throw off training for a couple of weeks. Oh well, I think he and Alex had a good time anyhow. Break down today was 6:20, 5:42, 5:53, 5:44, 5:54, 6:12, 5:55, 5:45, 5:52, 5:55, 5:55, and 5:36. Throw out the warmup mile and the 6th mile, and he had 10 miles at 5:49 average. Need to get 13.1 at 5:43 or better for the goal of a 1:15 half. Coming along and looking very do-able at this point.

Saturday, Got up, not too early, and ran 3.3 miles with Joseph at a 7:20 average pace. Basically, just an easy recovery jog for him from yesterday’s 12 miler. Pretty chilly early, but quickly warmed up. Looking like it will be almost 60°F today, and sunny. Beautiful day!


Sunday, AM- upper body workout; PM, 5 mile run on hilly gravel road at 7:30 mile pace

Monday, Punked out.

Tuesday, Awesome upper body workout.

Wednesday, PM – 1 mile run, 5 mile bike, 1 mile run; Joseph, 6 mile run.

Thursday, AM – upperbody workout

Friday, AM – upperbody workout; PM – 12 mile bike; Joseph 12 mile run at 5:53 mile pace.

Saturday, AM – 3.3 mile jog, 7:20 pace.


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