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!
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.