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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