Joseph, finished with high school, celebrates with 55:58 10 miler!

Sunday, Morning-well, got up pretty late, so did some pullups, pushups, crunches, curls, and a few shoulder presses. Did them in between household chores, so it took longer than it should have. By the time I got thru, it was essentially lunch time. Later, Joseph and I met Brent at the South Farm for a 5.2 mile run. Pretty chilly, about 36°F and with wind chill it was supposedly 29-30°F. But, not really super cold so we wore shorts, but long sleeves today. Brent punked out and wore tights. By 3/4 of the way thru the run, I took off my long sleeve deal (had short sleeves under) and tied it around my waist. Gloves had to come off too. Pretty good run, we averaged around 7:05 per mile with first mile slower, next three right around 7 minutes, and 5th mile 6:45. Probably should have only went about three today, as I could tell my calf was acting up again. At about 4.5 miles I could feel it pretty good! But, not as bad as earlier in the fall when it was hard to walk and eat oatmeal at the same time.

Brent in tights

Brent in tights

Monday, 4 pm, Joseph got in an easy 5.3 mile run on the south farm while I biked along. His first 3 miles were a bit too fast, so I told him to slow down. He ended up with a 6:35 mile average. Yeah, think I will take it easy on the running this week with my calf feeling a bit sore the last few runs.

Tuesda, Again biked with Joseph at about 4 pm. Freaking 65°F outside! Crazyeeey. Most of our running buds are out of school and out of town right now. Brent and Max are still around, but decided to run early today to catch some sun! Really. Anyway, after a warmup mile, Joseph did 3 X 1 mile with 2 minute jogs between each, then 2 X 400m with a jog between them, then a cool down jog. Trying to pick up the pace of these mile repeats a bit. Today he averaged 5:18 for them. 400s were 1:06 and 1:09. Thought that was pretty good for right now. While running, we saw some SHS kids once again and the brightly shoed wall climbing Steve Shaffer along with them. Once again Patton Little was cruising along. He informed me that I was a punk and needed to spell his name right when mentioning him in my blog! Punk;) Maybe I got it right this time! Keep up the running, poser. Got home and did 6 sets of pushups, 6 sets of dumbbell curls, and 6 sets of dumbbell military presses. Feel better now.

Wednesday, Joseph got in a easy run, few miles, not sure how far. I did not run today. Calf sore, a haunting injury that comes back. Did a few ab things when I got home.

Thursday, I biked along with Joseph as he ran 5.5 miles on the South Farm. Pretty nice out. He averaged 6:45isth today. Got home and did an awesome workout: pull ups, pushups, curls-normal routine, but felt good.

Friday, We both took today off. This was Joseph’s last day of high school. He had enough credits to graduate early, and so he is now a high school grad! Next step, figuring out where he is going to go to college. So many choices! Despite his not having run track since 9th grade and also not even running XC this year, he has been recruited by over 40 university coaches from NCAA I, II, and III and NAIA schools from all over the US. They seem to be as happy or happier with his 5k, 10k and half marathon road races than with his state championships when he did run for the school. Obviously, its not practical to seriously think about and visit every school, so he is narrowing down choices based on several factors. He wants to major in art, so that is a factor for sure. The feel of a school is very important as well. If he does decide to run in college, positive connections with the coach are crucial, as is the coaches way of doing things. Anyway, lots to think about! He has already had some really good offers, so we know that if he wants to, he will be able to run someone and basically not have to pay for college. Now, if he decides ultimately not to run, you may see me taking on another job;) If you are a parent of a high school distance runner who might someday want to run in college, there are a few things you should know. First of all, its all about the TIMES and CHARACTER of the kid that coaches look at. How fast did you do a race. Its also helpful if you win some races, because that shows you know how to win. And, they want to know what you are like, will you be a good fit for the team. There are some fallacies about being recruited though, that are often generated from high school coaches. FALLACY 1: YOU HAVE TO RUN TRACK OR YOU WILL NOT BE RECRUITED. One of the biggest fallacies I have heard came from Joseph’s 9th grade coach, Coach Barnett (this coach is no longer at SHS). He said that college coaches don’t care about XC times and races, and that they only look at track times. I have to call bullshit on this one. Sorry coach. Yes, track times are objective measures of success and are very helpful, but that is not the only thing college coaches look at. There are several divisions of colleges, and within each one, there are different levels of competition. Sure, the best in the country tend to go to the most competitive schools, but all of the other schools still have to fill rosters. Some of these schools don’t even have track programs, they only have XC ! Yes, true. Also, college runners have longer races, usually 8k to 10 k for boys. The NAIA and community colleges even have  half marathon/marathon national championships. Guess what? Most high school runners don’t run that far. So, if your kid runs in and does well in certified road races, especially longer than 10k, then that can be just as important as running for their school. In fact, if you don’t have a strong program at your school and you are a good runner, running for your school could make it unlikely that you will be able to run in college. Sometimes you might be better off training on your own. Depends on your personality, if you have someone good to help train you, how good your high school coaches are, if your coaches work with you on what is best for you, and many other factors. I am not advocating that everyone run on their own, either. Its good for some, but not others. Running for their school is great if it all works out, don’t get me wrong. If you can win a state meet in anything, that looks good. But, you don’t even have to run in high school to run in college.  FALLACY 2: YOUR HIGH SCHOOL COACHES WILL HELP YOU IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS.  Probably not. I am sure that there are exceptions to this, but by and large, if you are a high school runner or parent of a runner who wants to run in college, you are mostly on your own. If you are amazingly fast, regularly win races, and have good times posted on, then you may not have to do a whole lot. Coaches will see you and contact you. But, even then, they will mostly be local coaches. Fortunately, we live in the age of the internet. As a parent, you can go online and post your kid’s times and accomplishments, or, the kids can even do it. A prime example would be:  Other places where you need to go are the NCAA  eligibility center web site and the NAIA Eligibilty Center.  The last two are not optional if you are thinking about running in these divisions. This is a process that will also involve getting transcripts sent from your school and other things. About spring of their junior year, you should start posting info to these sites. Pay the few dollars for the full accounts. Coaches see this stuff. Another thing you can do/should do is be proactive. Go online, find a list of colleges with XC and/or track programs. Go to their web sites, look at the times being run by their runners. If you think you can do it, contact the coach by letter, email, and/or phone and talk about the possibility of running there. Coaches want to hear from you. They can’t call you until summer before your senior year, but you can contact them. Simple. But, you have to do it. Your coach is not going to do it for you. You might think, well, I only ran a 17:55 at my state meet for the 5k and there are guys running 15:01, but believe it or not, you are still really good and could do very well on many teams. Not only that, we are in Mississippi. As mentioned in some of my earlier posts, we are at the bottom of the heap as far as times go for distance races in the country. Most of our XC coaches are not really coaches (sorry, I know there are some exeptions), and even the absolute best coaches in MS pale in comparison to some average coaches in other states. It is just not that important here. The numbers back it up. Success of a coach within our state is not indicative of how good that coach at a national level. And, I don’t mean having one or two fast distance runners now and then that would have been good on any team. You know you have a a great coach when year after year many of the runners  on the team are competitive nationally. In MS, we are lucky to see the top five boys on a team average 16:50. On good teams in other states, those runners would be junior varsity, and barely. But, thats ok. With that in mind, if you are a guy, for example, running under 18 minutes for a 5k, then chances are you are doing that mostly on your own, and/or despite the poor coaching you have received. Imagine what you could do in college with a really good coach?? You could easily be running with that 15:01 guy within a year of good training. He has much less potential.

Saturday, A crazy windy day with serious storms moving in later! Decided to post phone the long run until Sunday afternoon when the wind is supposed to be a lot less than 25 miles per hour. Instead, we got up in the morn for an easy run. Joseph did 5 miles, and I did 3. We got home and then did an upper body workout! Yeehah Baby!!

Sunday, Gloomy, cloudy, gray day, but fairly warm in the mid 60°sF. At about 2 pm, we headed out to the Noxubee Refuge so the kid could get another longish run in.

gloomy day at the refuge

gloomy day at the refuge

As I was getting my bike out and stuff, Joseph did a bit of a really short warmup jog. Then we got to it.  He said he was more sore than usual, which was not surprising given the good 13.14 mile run last Saturday and the nice workout on Tuesday.  But, he again had a very nice run, with only a couple of brief water stops in there. So, today, he was going to only do 10 miles. This was for sure his best 10 mile run ever, and he finished up just under 56 minutes at 55:58! His average pace was 5:35.8 per mile. Splits were 5:41, 5:27, 5:33, 5:41, 5:52, 5:36, 5:33, 5:36, 5:27, and 5:32. Obviously, that 5th mile was slower. It seems as though the last mile before turning around is always his worst mile, and it does not matter what the distance is! Need to work on that. Of course, that was a good point to stop and stretch a minute.


Sunday, AM – upper body workout; PM – 5.2 mile run, 7:05 minute pace

Monday, PM – 5.3 mile bike on gravel; Joseph, 5.3 mile run at 6:35 pace

Tuesday, PM  – 6 mile bike, upper body workout; Joseph, 1 mile WU, 3 X 1 mile at 5:18 average with 2 min jogs between + 2 X 400m at 1:06 and 1:08, CD

Wednesday, PM – Joseph did an easy run on his own. I took it easy today.

Thursday, PM – 5.5 mile bike, upper body workout; Joseph, 5.5 mile run Friday, – rest

Saturday, AM – 3 mile run, upper body workout; Joseph, 5 mile easy run, upper body workout.

Sunday, PM – 10 mile bike; Joseph, 10 mile run at 5:35.8 minute pace


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