Monthly Archives: March 2014

Anting, running, and gardening

Monday, James Lewis and I headed to northwest Alabama to visit a Biology professor (Paul Davison) at the University of North Alabama and to check out a potential collecting spot in Colbert County. The site is called Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve and its 700 acres plus of wonderful rocky sloped hardwood forests with scattered open glades, creeks, waterfalls, and amazing rock overhangs. Collected a few ants while there, of course. As we hiked around exploring, Paul gave us the naturalist tour pointing out interesting flowers, trees, mosses and liverworts! That guy is super enthusiastic and knows his stuff. This place is owned by Jim Lacefield and his wife, but is open to the public. They support the efforts of researchers and even encourage them to visit. They even have a small cabin that researchers can stay in, and we did just that. Needless to say, I did not run, but did get some walking in. Joseph and the other striders were on their own, and I am sure they got some miles in. Joseph actually did an easy run on our trail.

Tuesday, Woke up and man! It was chilly and super windy. Even some snow flurries. This extreme temperature shift from the previous days 60°F certainly put a damper on our plans to collect insects. Despite this, we headed back out to at least explore the area more and take some pictures. Cold! I got home in time to run that afternoon, but was quite busy dealing with things at work, so I again did not run. Joseph said he got in a run in town, although I don’t know how long.

Wednesday, After work I met Joseph, Max, Brent, and Lucas at the South Farm for a run through town. Joseph had already done a semi easy run that morn of about 30 minutes. He thought he was running about 6:30 pace, although he did not measure or specifically time the run. This afternoon was pretty nice weather wise and I ran along with Lucas and the guys for a while until Lucas and Joseph split off. Joseph ended up with probably close to 9 miles, and Lucas probably 10 or so as he jogged .5 miles from his dorm to where we started, and then back to the dorm. Good day of total running for Joseph with about 13 miles. The rest of us did a 6 mile loop and although Brent and Max got ahead of me, I managed to catch them with about .5 miles to go and we finished up at about a 7:10 pace. I actually ran most of the way a bit slower, but ran the last mile pretty fast. Too fast really, as I am still trying to heal that calf up. Maybe some day I will actually go visit a doctor:)

Max the mad German runner dude

Max the mad German runner dude

Thursday, Got up and started the day with pushups, pullups, and crunches. Pretty weird day, as I managed to delay my lunch a bit too far due to dealing with a very nice microscope salesperson at work. Lunch was just bizarre and involved some mixed nuts, and apple, and a Monster drink. Semi healthy until the Monster! The problem was I ate too late. Some people can do that, not me. So, at 4 pm,  I met Brent, Joseph and Lucas again at the South Farm. Today we looped around campus, then to the Research Park loop. At some point, Joseph and Lucas separated and added some miles. Brent and I got in 5.5 miles, and the other two mugs added 2 or 3 more miles. Man, it was super windy coming back, making the hills very difficult today. After yesterday’s nice last mile, my left calf was somewhat sore today, so I felt that on the hills. And, oh, my stomach was doing flips! Had to briefly stop and stretch twice. I ended up with a 7:30 pace, but the ones on the way back were much slower than the ones with the wind at my back! Brent also stopped, although he did not need to. He ran the last mile faster, and his overall pace was faster than mine as a result. Also saw Thomas Cermack briefly. He got in 13.1 miles today in this crazy wind and did it at a 6:53 pace! Nice job wildman!

After the run, I stopped by McComas Hall to check the student art show. Saw Lucas, Thomas, Chad Anderson, and Kamau Bostic there! Cool. The show was pretty good I thought. Some pretty strong paintings that were definitely influenced by MSU’s world renowned art professor Brent Funderburk, some very nice graphic design pieces, and some pretty cool 3D pieces. Glad I stopped by for sure!

Friday, we both basically took it easy today. No run.

Saturday,  Joseph and I did an upper body/core workout in the morn. Mostly pushups, dips, pullups, curls, military presses, and ab stuff. Ate a late breakfast, then lunch. At 4 pm, we were at the refuge on this crazy windy day with sustained winds of 15 miles per hour and gusts a good beat more fierce. Temp was in upper 50’s, but the wind made it seem colder. Today’s plan was to do a 7 mile tempo after a 2 mile warmup run, and followed by another 2 miles of easy running. I biked along. Audrey Sheridan also came out and biked with us. I am sure it was really slow for her, as back in the day she raced mountain bikes, but maybe she enjoyed it. Its always nice to visit the refuge at least. She did sprint off a couple of times. One thing is for sure, she looks hot as hell in her bike shorts. That girl can rock the tights, make no mistake about it!  As we got going, we realized that a tempo run today was not going to be very practical with the wind and all, so instead, Joseph did a relatively fast 12 mile run averaging 5:57 per mile. Following, that, I got off of my bike and then ran 3 miles. Joseph ran with me, mostly as a cool down, and we averaged right at 7 minutes per mile with Audrey pacing us. That wind was really tough! Whew doggies.

Sunday, Joseph and I met Brent, Max, and Robert Morgan this afternoon at our usual meeting place (parking lot behind tennis courts near South Farm entrance). We haven’t seen Robert in quite some time, so it was great to see that joker. And, dude, he has been working out and looked like a wide shoulder superhero! In fact, with the exception of Joseph, none of really looked like runners at all!

Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan

We did our downtown/Greensboro District 6 mile route today, and might I add, this beautiful day! Started out slow, as we chatted and warmed up, and our first mile was almost 8 minutes, then the next three miles were between 7:10 and 7:15 pace. At about the 4 mile mark, Brent and Joseph slipped ahead a bit and probably ran the last couple of miles at 6:40 and 6:30ish; I was 6:50 and 6:40; and Max and Robert came in just a bit later. Nice day, nice run, no calf pain! I was even able to wear my Brooks Pure Flows today. I have been avoiding them while my calf was super sore because of the low heel to toe drop (4 mm), but I do love these shoes (although not as much as the earlier incarnation of this shoe!)


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Spring is in the air!

Monday, After work, I got in short warmup run with Joseph, then paced him on my bike as he did a workout of sorts on this chilly  and windy afternoon. Using my Garmin watch as a guide he did 4 X 200 m, 3 X 400m, 1 X 800m, 2 X 400m, and 4 X 200m with 200s at around 34-35, 400s 1:12-1:15, and the 800 at 2:33 with 200m jogs after each except for a 400m jog after the 800. He seemed a little tired today. For whatever reason, he has not been sleeping great. Of course, he had a great 14 miler on Saturday and the good 5 X 1 mile tempo the previous Thursday, so that could have been part of it. We probably should have waited till Tuesday for this. But, given the windy conditions, it was not a bad day really. After we got home, I did some upper body pushup/pullup/ab type stuff. Some of my normal stuff.

Tuesday, Easy afternoon run for Joseph, about 4.5 miles. I also ran, got in 3.2 with first mile at 7:38, 2nd at 6:53, and 3rd at 6:02. Even with sore calf still annoying me, I can at least get a short run in.

Wednesday, Joseph and Lucas did a tempo workout today. First, I jogged 2 miles with them on a windy afternoon on the super gravelly North Farm. Then, we headed over to the Research Park loop for some two-mile tempo repeats. Wanted them to shoot for 5:35 pace. Was not sure about today, and contemplated waiting until Thursday for this. Joseph said he felt ok, but tight everywhere and sluggish/weak. Still, he thought he would be fine. The first 2 miles were pretty easy and they were 5:37 and 5:34 for 11:11 total. The second 2 mile section started good with first mile at 5:36, but then Joseph said his calfs and hamstrings were locking up, so he basically just jogged after that. Lucas continued the workout and finished that 2 mile section at 11:06. After a couple minute break, Lucas did his 3rd mile 2 mile run at 11:01. He looked good for the entire workout, not really struggling until the last half mile of the last one, and not bad then. After that, I jogged 2 miles with Lucas for a cooldown. Joseph felt fine later. Hopefully this will not be an issue. He ran in his Brooks Pure Flows today, which have a 4 mm heel to toe drop, but I don’t really think this semi low profile shoe has much to do with why his calfs were sore, as he has been doing most of his runs the last two years in this model of shoe. Sometimes he does his faster, shorter runs in a zero drop shoe. He seems to be going through another growth spurt, and as in the past when he put on height quickly, he seems to lean over more when running during this transition. Also, he seems to be more tired. I guess that makes sense. Leaning is bad, because it really strains the calfs. Anyway, until that feels much better, he will probably run in something with at least an 8 mm heel to toe drop and also keep the runs at an easier pace for a few days.

Thursday, Joseph and I met with the Starkville/Columbus Dispatch Sports Editor Adam Minichino today at 3:30 PM before our run. He was doing a story for the Dispatch about Joseph’s scholarship to SCAD. After that, Lucas and Brent showed up, and we headed out from the MSU tennis courts for a run. Lucas decided to go run on the farm roads today, while the rest of us headed toward town. I stayed with Brent and Joseph for a mile, which was 7:40ish, then they picked it up a little. I caught  them at a light at about 2 miles, which I did at 7:20. Then, they got back to whatever pace they were doing, probably about 6:50. I followed them for a bit, then headed back.  I finished up at almost 5 miles at an average pace of 7:33 per mile. Those two did a 6 mile loop. Lucas showed up a little later. Not sure how far he went, I think he said that he got in a hour of easy running. He was still hurting from yesterday. Not so much from the running, or not only the running, as he also did a swimming workout following our tempo run workout. Apparently, about halfway through his swim his calf cramped up badly and, well, ouch! I imagine everyone knows how it feels to have a massive Charlie-horse while in water.

Friday, Pretty much did nothing exercise related today. Planned on working out when I got off work, but worked late. By the time  I got home and changed my headlight bulb in the truck, washed clothes,  and stuff it was time to eat. Then the dishwasher started leaking, had to fix that. Now its 10 pm. Oh well.

Saturday, Pretty day, spent the morning and early afternoon messing around in the garden. Joseph got in a short upper body workout before lunch, but I did not have time. At 4 pm went to the refuge for a run/bike deal. He did 10 miles at 6:15 averag pace taking it easy because his calf was pretty sore on Wednesday. He seemed ok today, 1st mile was an easy 6:20, then he pretty much stayed between 6:10 and 6:15 the rest of the way with one brief water stop at the 5 mile turnaround. When we got done with that, I ran for about 20 minutes, and he jogged along with me. So, he got in some good easy miles today and my legs felt fine today as well!

Sunday, More garden work. About finished up putting up a perimeter fence and gate around my little garden area. Nothing crazy, just trying to keep the rabbits out! Punk rabbits like my green stuff. I don’t really mind, but geez guys, leave me some. Checked out the local Starkville Dispatch newspaper today. They had nice story by Adam Minichino about Joseph’s scholarship deal to SCAD. Some of the article can be viewed online at

Some of the Starkville Striders

Some of the Starkville Striders

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Great weather, the frogs are croaking!

Sunday, Whew, time change! Got up later. Oh well. Its Sunday, so who cares. At 3 pm, Joseph and I headed to the refuge to run down one of the nice paved roads that runs through mixed pine/hardwood, pine, and cypress swamp habitat. Another nice day, upper 60°s F, partly cloudy. I again rode my bike along with the kid, pacing him essentially.  Changing up the plan a little now and will be elongating the long run distance and generally slowing them down. Today was 12 miles, 6 out and 6 back, with a brief water break at 6 miles. I was thinking he should be around 6:20-6:40 today, but really just wanted him to run consistently (pace wise) and run easy. He has been feeling slightly under the weather the last couple of days, but nothing crazy. Anyway, started out looking nice and easy, 1st mile was 6:17, then picked it up at the mile and I had to tell him to slow down as he was suddenly 5:40. Did slow down, but still averaged 6:06 for the 12 miles (1:13:06), and it looked pretty easy today. He got slightly weary just before finishing the 6th mile, but not bad. Water helped. Splits were 6:17, 6:06, 6:05, 6:02, 6:07, 6:15, 6:04, 6:04, 6:01, 5:59, 6:01, and 6:05.

Monday, What happened Monday? Oh yeah, it was beautiful outside!! So, I took today off. Started out the morn with a workout with Joseph.  Then, worked in the yard a bit, a basically either worked on some art, or lazed out. Joseph went on some mystic adventure with some friends to Tupelo and did not return until after dark. We ended up skipping any kind of run. I did get out and goob around on the pond in the row boat and stuff.

Tuesday, Another nice day, and another day that I took off. Started out with a bike ride with the kid while he got in an easy run of about 30 minutes. Later, at 3 pm, we went over to the Starkville High track to get in some 400s, but it was closed. So, we went to McKee Park and he ran there, at the nearby neighborhood, and on Spruil Road near the soccer fields. After a warmup jog of about. 1.3 miles, he did 5 X 400m runs at 1:07-1:10 with 200-300m jogs betwween each, then 2 X 200m at 34ish with a 200m jogs, and then 6 X 400m at an average of 1:12 with jogs of about 200-300m.  About a 3/4 miles cool down.  Total workout was probably 7-8 miles.

Wednesday, Easy morning run for the Joseph kid, morning work for me. Back to it. Got off work around 5:30 and headed to the South Farm for a solo run. Super windy with wind coming from the north and temps in upper 40’sF. Ran about 30 minutes, felt pretty good today. Still using the full insole in the right shoe that I put in last week. Seems to be helping. Who knows. No calf soreness. Loosened up after and before with legs swings front to back and side to side. Also, some light stretches after for quads, hams, hips, and calfs. Good easy run. Pretty slow right now, and even trying to go slow this time! I weigh a bit over 180 lbs right now, which at 5’9″ is ok, but still a good 15-20 lbs over my weight last fall when running well.

Got home and did about 8 sets of pushups, mostly between 50 and 75 reps, 5 sets of pullups (15-21 reps), and some ab/crunch deals.

Thursday, Work today. Again! Two days in a row. Ah well, was not bad. Mostly took photos of bugs and then photoshopped stuff. Pretty good deal really. While I was working, Joseph got in an easy run in the morn. At 4:30 PM I met Joseph, Lucas, and Kamau Bostic at the Research Park Loop for a cruise tempo workout. I only did the 2 mile warmup and the 2 mile cool down after. Rode my bike to pace them during the mile tempos. Kamau who is not in as good of shape as the other two guys, did 3 of them, and Lucas and Joseph did 5. I told them to shoot for 5:30 or so, and the first one could be 5:35, and with a 2 minutse rest, which was basically the jog back to the start and maybe a sip of water. All three of them did a superb job. I had their splits at 5:30, 5:29, 5:27, 5:24, and 5:15 (5:25 average pace per mile). Kamau did the first three, and looked pretty until the end. Joseph and Lucas never really looked that bad, and could have done more. That was good for today though. More to come. Joseph ended up with about 13 miles today. Awesome job to those guys!

Friday, easy morning run for Joseph. I waited until after work, Then, I shot some hoops on my home goal, did some skips, and four semi easy 400s on my 400m loop trail. Did sets of 50 pushups before, in between each set, and after.  A few more lighter skips and jumps. Jumps sucked. Knees are getting old!

Saturday, Got in some pushups, military presses, and crunches in early. At 4 pm, Joseph and I went out the refuge so he could get in a long run while I paced him on the bike. Cloudy, but fairly warm, about 68°F. Today, we had 14 miles on the agenda, and not too crazy fast, but not slow either. His first mile was 6:38, then the rest were all faster as he averaged 6:12 per mile for the entire 14 miles. He made only one stop, at the 7 mile turn around for a bit of water and quick stretch, then back. The last 7 miles were slightly faster than the first seven. Pretty good long run.

Later that evening, several of the Striders came out to grill stuff. It was BYOM night (bring your own meat). Pretty good eats all around! After leaving, some of the guys, Lucas, John, and Thomas, went for a 6 mile run on the South Farm in the rain. They said they got done at about 12:30 AM! Crazy jokers!

Sunday, Got up and again did some more pushups, crunches, pullups, and some curls.

At 4 PM we met several of the Starkville Striders and some of Joseph’s relatives at the MSU North Farm for a photo op with one of the sports’ columnists from Starkville Daily News. This was to document his signing the athletic commitment to the Savannah College of Art and Design Cross Country Team. Some of the guys that have run with him the most the last couple of years came out to support him with this! Awesomeness. Having these folks to run with has really helped him for sure!

Joseph doing a mock signing of his athletic scholarship agreement with mom (far left), his pastor Jeff Morgan, me (far right), and a bunch of Strider dudes!

Joseph doing a mock signing of his athletic scholarship agreement with mom (far left), his pastor Jeff Morgan, me (far right), and a bunch of Strider dudes!

After we got done here, Joseph, Juan, Jorge, and I got in an easy run around the North Farm loop. Nice afternoon to job around!

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Joseph MacGown commits to run for SCAD XC!

Sunday, Morning, workout-normal pushups and stuff, yeah man! Afternoon, met some of the wild bunch for a run. Joseph and Brent ran together, and I ran with Lucas and John Mooney as we all headed downtown. Max was on his bike today, joined us for a bit, then went off on his own to where ever German dudes bike to. Joseph, Brent, and I opted for about 6 miles, Lucas and Thomas got more. Easy run, beautiful day!! About 80°F.  A college girl, or someone who appeared to be a college girl, told me that I had a nice beard! Cool. Had my sunglasses and dew-rag on, no shirt, looking like a crazy man!

Brent Wallace, Max Roethig, Joseph MacGown, and John Mooney.

Brent Wallace, Max Roethig, Joseph MacGown, and John Mooney.

Monday, Cold today! Started out chilly and by late afternoon was 29°F! TrIpPy! Joseph ran some early, easy run. I did not run today, got off work late. Did go see some awesome Latin music that night though. One of our Starkville Striders, Chad Anderson, played his drumkit with the group. He is pretty spectacular at drumming and even toured in Europe at some point as a jazz drummer! Coolness all around.

Tuesday, Joseph did a 10 X 400m workout on our trail this morning. Pretty muddy and crazy, but I have a nice 400m+  a bit trail mowed. He did time it, but said it went well. Met Joseph, Lucas and Nick at the South Farm at 4 PM. Chilly again, about 36°, but not too bad. I wore shorts. I only did 3 miles, pretty slow. Still trying to figure out a way to run that does not kill my left calf. I have a noticeable limp the last few years, and I always favor one side.  Actually contemplating visiting a chiropractor to check it out. I often wonder if the many years of playing pickup basketball and associated knee injuries is partly to blame. May have lost stuff in that right knee. My left calf is pretty much the one that get sore, but my right foot has had issues. I don’t know. I was trying to make myself lean into my left leg today! Also, trying to pick my feet up quicker. Have gotten lazier the last 10 or 15 years with my stride rate. Anywho. The other guys did about 7 easy miles.

Wednesday, Workout day for me. Felt pretty good. Joseph ran on his own that morn. Late, we met a couple of the guys at the South Farm. I did about 4 miles pretty easy. Joseph and Lucas got in 7 or so, and Nick the braniac wildman did who knows what.

Thursday,  Non run day for me, worked late, and really did not have chance to run. Joseph slapped in a run in between showers. Easy run.


Joseph, as I have mentioned in other posts, has had quite a few college coaches contact him about running for them. From NCAA Division I, II, III, junior and community colleges, to NAIA schools. This was cool, because if you follow my blog, you know that he has not run track for his school since 9th grade, when he decided it was not worth running for a guy who had zero concern for the athletes and no real experience with running in general (he is no longer there, thankfully). He did not run XC this past fall either, for a variety of reasons, although he won the state meet the year before. Intuitively, you might think this would make it difficult to run in college and reduce the likelihood of receiving an athletic scholarship. And, yes, this likely impacted the choices he had, but it also helped in a way. He was able to concentrate on some longer races as well, which in the end, helped probably more than anything. Certainly, college coaches like to see runners win state meets, as that shows competitiveness. And, with two individual state championships in hand, Joseph had that.  But, in reality, college coaches are more interested in how fast a kid can run, how far they can hold that pace, and the personality of the runner. Will that runner fit their scheme, get along with the team, and believe in the system. Well, of course, that is a two way street. In high school, it is next to impossible to find a coach who even has a quality system to believe in. But, this is not as often the case for college coaches, who are much more knowledgeable. So. after having contacted a bunch of coaches via email or phone the spring of his junior year, and after putting his stats online on several important sites, he was contacted by well over 30 coaches. Cool. Next, the process of talking with them, making relationships, and even visiting some schools. A big decision, with running being only part of the equation. For Joseph, who wants to major in art, a quality art program was crucial, but also, the idea of running somewhere with a quality coach. And, of course, the feel of the school and location was important. Not to mention, cost. Basically, we were looking for free, as we are not wealthy (the opposite really). We had some great visits here and there, but ultimately, he made his final decision this past week and signed with the cross country team at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, an NAIA school.

He received the official signed offer letter today! Very exciting for him, and relief all around. Now we can at least relax about where he is going. This art school is super cool, but really expensive. The only possibility of him going here was with a great scholarship, which a year ago, seemed like a long shot. But, fast forward to today, and he has a sweet four year deal at a premier art school where he will be running for a great coach with a bunch of crazy artistic and musical jokers. If this sounds ideal, thats because it is. An opportunity of a lifetime kind of deal! He should fit in pretty well there too, as he is a musical, artistic, runner dude. The coach, Patrick Reagan, has only been there a couple of years, but has already seen great improvement from his runners, both female and male, with this past fall being the best XC season ever at SCAD. Coach Reagan himself is a speedy distance running and can still run sub 30 minutes for the 10K! He seemed particularly impressed with Joseph’s easy going nature,  complete lack of egotism, and his openness to the coach’s system.  He also was impressed with Joseph’s endurance at longer distances for someone so young. For example, his ability to run 10 miles at 5:35 or better, is not typical for 17 year olds. This, coupled with pretty good speed for reps during workouts should/could translate into some good times in college, especially with good runners to run with and a good coach guiding him. This is a kid who ran 2:05 for the 800m run at age 14 in limited races and was sub 5 minute mile and sub 11 minute 3200m in 8th grade at 13. So, the future is his to make!

Friday, Joseph and I headed to McKee Park at 4 PM, then I biked and he got in a warmup thru the Neighborhood over there. Saw our awesome bud Steve Shaffer jogging with some fast junior high girls. They were doing an easy run before their meet the next day. After warming up, Joseph did some tempo cruise intervals with the distance of each varying from .70 miles to 1.25 on the longest. Basically, if he started to slow down from the pace I wanted him to do, then we stopped. Trying to get him back on pace here with the spring coming up. Garmin watches truly help with this pacing. I have tried the Nike watches, but they sucked royally, especially with the pacing component. It jumped all over  the place and never matched the end result, which sometimes seemed accurate.  The built in pacing algorithm for the Garmin is much better and very useful. This is my opinion of course, and solely based on watches that I have tried out. I have tried 4 different Garmins and two Nikes thus far. The intervals were good today. Joseph stayed right at 5:25-5:27 pace for the first 3.30 miles, then finished up the last .7 miles at 5:08 pace. He used to blow this away with minimal rest, so I think its just a matter of getting back into it. After all the bullshit politics associated with his school’s XC program, and then later the Mississippi Athletic Board’s good ole boy policy of restricting unattached and home-schooled runners, he was pretty fed up with organized running in this state. Fortunately, after a few months of pretty easy running and reflection, his  love of running has returned!  During one of the rest parts of the workout and after finishing the cool down, we saw some of Joseph’s friends who run distance at SHS hanging out at McKee Park. Those crazy jokers. Its amazing how entertaining a tennis ball can be, apparently!

Saturday, Worked out in the morn with Joseph. Then, yard work for several hours on a glorious day! Trimmed bushes, picked up some branches (two truckloads), cut back some Liriope, got my lettuce and stuff out of the cold frame and in the ground, and well, I guess that was it! Later, we got in an easy run out here in the country. 70°F today! I did 3.2 miles at 7:20 pace. Joseph got in maybe 4.5. I put a full length sole insert of decent thickness in my right shoe today, as I have done off and on. I also concentrated on running to my left a bit to help balance out some stuff, if that makes any sense (probably not), and ran in the middle of the road instead of the left side where the road angles down. That for sure helps, and I can get away with it out here in the country where there is little traffic. Still trying to work on my cadence to get it back to a reasonable level, which would probably help as well. Basically, I am a lazy punk these days!

We we will be heading out to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM for a long run and bike (I am biking with the kid first, then running some). Will be meeting at the Headquarters/visitor center parking lot if anyone is still in town and wants to join us.


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Lucas Muniz wins and PR’s at two local races!

Monday, Biked with the kid out here in Sessums. Slightly cooler today, about 55°F. I had Joseph do a couple of tempo type runs or the last couple of weeks, but after watching him, realized that he needed to work on his form and foot turnover. So, changing that up for a bit. Today, I had him do a mix of 200s and 400s with about the same distance of each jogged after each. For this first day back doing this type of thing, he kept the number of reps down and concentrated on form and even pacing. He did 2 X 200m, 4 X 400m, 4 X 200m, and finished with a 400m (with warmup and cool down). Averaged 32-32 for 200s and 1:10 for 400s (1:08-1:11). All in all pretty good day. Form looked good. Foot speed was nice and steady.

Tuesday, joined Will Kallfelz, Nick Pettit, Lucas Muniz, and Joseph for a run on the South Farm gravel and hills. Another nice day, still hanging out about 55°F. Calf has been feeling good, so figured I would run again today, maybe even faster? But, no, kept it pretty slow. It really was not long before I felt some tightness in my calf. Has felt fine until I hit the gravel out here. Seems like whenever I come out here lately, my calf gets sore again. Maybe it has healed up too tight, or something to that effect, and the hills probably don’t help. Actually, in my opinion, running on dirt and gravel, which may be somewhat softer than paved roads, is in some ways harder on your body than running on paved roads. A lot of folks attribute their shin splints to running on hard surfaces, but I think that is pretty much a crock of shit. Personally. I have been running for at least 40 years, and much of it has been on paved roads. In my 20s, I would often hit 100+ miles a week. Really, have not ever had issues with shin splints. I think its more about gradually upping mileage, warming up, and having decent running form. On the other hand, when you run on softer surfaces, I think it absorbs the footfall more, especially with cushioned shoes, and ends up straining the calf muscles more. The hills don’t help either, but the hills on paved roads seem to hurt less. Well, anyway, I got in about 4.5 miles, pretty slow. I meandered about with Nick and we talked about crazy stuff. The other guys did 7 or so. Got home and did pushups, militaries, and curls. Nothing crazy. Calf was sore though. Should be alright in a few days. Haha. And so it goes!

Wednesday, I did not run today. Joseph got in an easy run. I think he may run in a Glow run on the MSU campus tomorrow night, using the run as a tempo. Several of our Starkville Striders are planning on running. I am not. I know if I do, I will push it, and regret it afterward! Joseph is only going because the other guys are, and we don’t get to do many races where several of the guys show up.

Thursday, Showed up at the Glow Run at about 6 PM, and Joseph registered for the race. Lots of brightly clad folks. Some other guys in our group showed to run including Lucas, Brent, Max, Zach, and Thomas. A friend of Zach’s, Brooks, decided he wanted to join our Starkville Striders club as well. John Mooney showed up too, but was too late to register.


Lucas, Max, Brent, and Joseph

Max, Joseph and Brent

Max, Joseph and Brent

Race start was scheduled for 7 PM, so they all got in a warmup run and loosened up. Headed to the start area, but the race folks decided to run the mile fun run first. A bad omen. Anyway, started the 5k at around 7:30. So much for the well timed warmup! Joseph and Lucas are both in pretty shape just from running base stuff this winter, with Lucas probably in a little better shape at the moment, as Joseph finished up some fairly intensive stuff about 1 month ago, then basically did no running or only limited running for 2 weeks. Just getting back into it. First good workout was Monday. Either way, I figured they would both break 17 minutes, and I figured Brent and Thomas, and maybe Zach would break 18. Well, night runs are weird, especially when they don’t block traffic. Either you keep up with the cop car, or you may not know where to go. And, they don’t block traffic for the MSU runs. Also, sometimes the lead car stops to temporarily block traffic, and as a runner, you may have to go around the car, sometimes running down the middle of the road between cars (this happened to me last year). I told Joseph to hang with Lucas, or if Lucas did not run fast, follow the lead car. Joseph is fairly blind and has some astigmatism, like I do.  He ran out of contact lens and did not run in his glasses either. So, not good. Well, I hear that he and Lucas ran together for a while, then Joseph dropped just a bit, with Lucas just ahead. Joseph said at some point, Lucas was just a few yards ahead, but he lost sight of him after the lead car did some crazy stop or another at some junction. Lucas apparently knew the route, so no problem. Joseph did not see where Lucas went and was confused by multiple cop cars. He was also told by someone to go the wrong way. Anyway, he ended up in a parking lot with no idea of where to go. Eventually, the other guys from our group showed up where they saw him just standing there waving his arms. Unfortunately, none of them knew where to go either. Finally, after walking around for a while, they saw some other people and figured it out. At that point, the race was completely meaningless to everyone in our group, except for Lucas, who knew the route. Lucas ended up winning the race handily with a time of 16:41, a PR for him. Joseph, Brent, and Thomas all showed up at about the 20 minute mark with Thomas in 2nd, Brent 3rd, and Joseph 4th. Obviously, this time meant nothing, as they are all minutes faster than this. In fact, Joseph was running 20 flat at 12 years old. Basically, they just jogged in. The other guys followed them. Even so, the top seven finishers were Starkville Striders even though all of them except for Lucas ran extra and were completely lost. Overall, it was good to see Lucas do well, but I wish I had not brought Joseph. I figured this race would not be done well, as I have been to too many similar ones. Charity races like this tend to be pretty bad. Waste of a workout day and a very poorly organized race.  Lucky that nobody got run over. Despite all this, they all had a good time. Joseph enjoyed running and hanging with the other guys. They are all goofballs, so they can pretty much enjoy anything.


six of the top seven finishers, all Striders (Joseph had to leave early)

Friday, I got up in the morn and did a workout of sorts. Mostly pushups and curls.  A few pullups. Joseph did  a short easy run after lunch.

Saturday, Chick  Fill A sponsored a 10k and 5K this morn with the winning prize for each being a free dinner for basically every week in the year or close to it. We did not go, but some of our guys went. This was a newly certified course, which is nice. Lucas, who won the 5k two nights earlier, was hoping to win this 10k too. And really, the only people around this area who can even run under 36 minutes are members of the MSU track team (who don’t usually do local races), Robert Scribner (a former MSU runner turned professional who would probably break 30 minutes), and Joseph who was running low to mid 34’s last year as a junior in high school, and Lucas. The only one of those people in the race was Lucas, so basically, he knew some free lunches were coming his way!!  Lucas easily won the race with a 34:12, which was a huge PR for him. Pretty good, especially considering he had just run a 16:41 two night before! Good job. John Mooney, another one of our Striders, also did well, coming in 2nd in the 5k with his time in the low 18’s! Very sweet! John is a super freak triathlete, so running is just part of his bag. Lucas said this race was very well done with lots of support along the way. No questions about where to go. I wish the other Striders would have skipped the Glowrun and done this one instead! Ah well.

While they were running this morn, I was working out. Got in some bench, pushups, curls, pullups and crunches. Later, Joseph and I  headed out to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Got there at 3 pm, and we took off. There were a ton out people out there today hiking, fishing, biking, lying in hammocks, and just hangings out! Beautiful day with temps in the low 70’s, so why not! Anyway, we got going. Joseph did not sleep well last night and it was obvious. His face had that puffy tired look. Even so, too pretty to not go. I rode along with him on my bike as he did 10 miles, 5 miles out and back. Stopped for water at the halfway point, and he also stretched just a bit. Overall, he averaged right at 5:50 per mile today. Not where he was 6 weeks ago, but not bad at all for right now! Got back to the truck where we found Brent and Max lounging in the back of Brent’s car. Jokers showed up a few minutes later than us. They ran for about 50 minutes. We also saw John Mooney and Brian Laird, who were biking.  I put my bike up, and jogged a couple of miles myself. Calf still sore from running on the farm the other day. I played with various ways of running before finally settling on the “Steve Shaffer shuffle”. This is more hip oriented, and I don’t have to lift my legs as high. A little easier on my calf. It actually felt better as I went along and I picked it up to 6:30 mile pace. Still sore though.

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