Monthly Archives: June 2014

A good week of running in Starkpatch despite lack of sleep

Monday, Late afternoon run on the South Farm with Joseph following a storm. Roads were still wet and muddy in places, but plenty of gravel on those hills to keep you honest. I ended up doing a 5.5 mile loop at a pretty easy pace of 7:30. Joseph ran the 7 mile loop at an easy pace. I felt really good today.

Tuesday, Early morn run in Sessums with the kid. Super humid. Only did about 2.5 miles, first mile was slow, then 6:49 pace the rest of the way. Joseph got in maybe 3.5 miles, then we headed back to the house before going to work later.

That afternoon, we met some of the jokers for a run through campus and the research park. Joining us were Brent, Trevon, Alex Ross, and Jorge. Those guys took off pretty fast, and I kept them semi close for the first couple miles, at which point Trevon dropped off a bit. He was still in front of me, and pretty much maintained a respectable distance from me. I felt pretty good early, but the fourth mile or so was tough. I ended up with a 7:13 average. Apparently, Joseph and the guys were hitting 6:18s and 6:20s. After, Joseph threw in some strides to finish off the day. Worked out when I got home, pushups, pullups, crunches, curls, and shoulder presses.

Wednesday, At 7 pm, we me Trevon, Will, and Robert at McKee Park for a tempo run in the nearby Longmeadow neighborhood. Began with a 1.7 mile warmup job with Trevon and Joseph doing theirs slightly faster than our 7:38 pace. I then biked with Joseph during his 4 mile tempo, which he did at 5:46 pace more or less. It was super humid, and after a couple of miles, he was feeling it. Trevon also did 4 miles, probably in the low 6’s, not sure as he did not have a watch. Man, that dude is so excited to be running. Its truly contagious!  Crazy Will and Robert did a 4000k tempo at somewhere around 6:45-6:50 mile pace.  Nice work for them. Jogged a couple more miles with the guys after they finished. Got home and did some stray pushups.

Thursday, Early morn, got in some pushups, curls, pullups, and ab work. Still hanging around 180 lbs, which is too heavy for the pace I like to run. Maybe by another month. Six miles with Joseph, Lake, Brent, Will, and Jorge. I again averaged right at 7:13 per mile. Same as Tuesday, different route. Will, who had already done 9 miles earlier than morning, ran around an 8 minute pace, which meant that I basically ran the route on my own, ’cause those other muggs were flying! After the first mile, which we do at warmup pace, their next 5 were around 6:18 pace. Joseph added another mile or so at the end, then did some 200m strides. Pretty good running this week so far. Some crazy ladies who were participating in a wine drinking event in downtown Starkville seemed really glad to see me running by shirtless and with sunglasses on. I look much younger with the shades on you know, they hide those cracks and bags under my eyes from 50 years of living. So, its likely that they were confused. The ladies were pretty funny though, and told me inappropriate things that they wanted to do to me!

Saturday, 10 miles in the rain to start the day! Ran with the Boardtown group, but had plenty of Starkville Striders there today including me, Joseph “Darth Vader” MacGown, Jorge “the Colombian chic magnet” Villarreal, Lucas “prima donna” Muniz, Brent “Captain America” Wallace, Wildman Will Kallfelz, Trevon (LL Cool Trey) Strange, Robert “superman” Morgan, and others. I was planning on doing maybe 12 miles, but could not sleep the night before; got maybe 3 hours! Then, with the rain, my feet were so wet, it was uncomfortable, so I turned back at a bit past 5 miles. Let me elaborate. The rain felt great, but it soaked my shoes and socks. My wet socks were killing my feet!  Averaged 7:28 per mile on the slick roads. Felt better than expected given the lack of sleep. Joseph, Lucas, Houston Franks (MSU XC Coach), and Jay McCurdy (former pro triathlete) were killing it, with Jorge, Trevon, and Micah White not far behind. Brent hung with them until 3.5 miles, before turning back for a 7 mile loop. The top 4 averaged 6:20 or better with Joseph and Houston having a 3 mile or so leg at 5:40-5:50  pace. This was 12 miles in the rain on some slick roads. Joseph added some more when they got done, as he wanted to get in 13 or 14 miles. Crazy jokers. Keep in mind that their first 3.5 miles were probably about a 6:40-6:50 average. That tells you how fast the next 8-9 were! Wow, what an awesome group. Robert Morgan looked good too, and I ran with him and Vicky McCurdy for a while. They ended up doing the entire 12 miles though, so I ran the remaining 5 on my own.

Good start to the day. Hung out with the many runners afterward in the pool and patio area of Mike and Marcie White’s place. Despite the rain, there was a ton of folks here today. And, eventually, the light rain dissipated making the time in the pool even better.  A ton of kids were playing and swimming in the pool, and I did my best to annoy them and the adults.

Brent, me, Kyle, and Micah hanging out in the pool

Brent, me, Kyle, and Micah hanging out in the pool

After leaving the White’s, Joseph and I headed to the Farmer’s Market to get some fresh stuff! Added that to some salmon that I grilled up for lunch, and whew boy! Nice lunch!

Sunday,  I did a workout on my deck doing pushups, curls, shoulder presses, and pullups on my arbor. At 9 am, it was already fantastically hot and humid out. Typical for Mississippi. Regardless, exercising outside is nice. Lots of things blooming in the yard, honeybees buzzing about, tree frogs and lizards popping in and out, cicadas singing their mysterious ululations, and the sky a pleasant and slightly lazy grayish blue. Anyway, I am starting to feel like I am getting back in shape gradually. Being able to run more consistently helps a lot, of course. Being 5’9″ and 183 lbs has not been helping, so I need to shed a few to save my knees! Actually down to 174 today, almost 10 lbs from week ago. When people say it gets harder when you get older, they are not exaggerating one bit! Here is a pict of me from today. 50 years old! Dang, getting old.

Trying to hang in there at 50 years old.

Trying to hang in there at 50 years old.

bottle tree in my yard

bottle tree in my yard



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Humid as Hell in Starkville, MS

Monday, Lots of rain in the area this week, which makes getting a run in challenging. Especially when you have to work! Today, Joseph and I went at 4:30 PM, rather than later when it would be cooler, due to a big storm coming in. We ran out in the country in Sessums where we live. Yes, hot and humid! I had planned on doing at least 6, but ended up with about 4.5 miles at a 7:13 pace. Joseph had planned on doing 7 or 8, but he did about 6 instead. It was just too hot. He was supposed to be running easy today, and really every day right now, and maybe he was. He looked like was not pushing it. Even so, he average 6:18 per mile on this hot, humid afternoon. I thought he looked too hot, so told him that was enough. That storm that was coming? Well, it blew in hard around 6 PM and pretty much rained all night.

Tuesday, Rain in the forecast for the entire day. But, for some reason, it stopped for a couple of hours in the morning, so Joseph was able to squeeze in a quick 4 run at 6:22 pace before we headed to work. I did not run this morn. The rain let up by early afternoon, so we were able to run at 5 PM. It was only about 75° today, so that was nice. Somewhat windy too, but not bad. Jorge, Brent, and I ran thru the campus and Research Park. Neither of them ran yesterday, so they went farther, about 7 miles, but I split off just before 4 miles and finished up with 5.5 miles at 7:25 pace. Joseph also ran, but started late. He got in about 6 miles on the South Farm. Surprisingly, he said it was not overly muddy! After, he and Jorge did a few 200m strides. I did some random pushups.

rainy day!

rainy day!

Wednesday, No run today for me, but got in my regular workout after work. Joseph ran on his own today.

Thursday, ran 6 miles with Brent, Joseph, and Robert at 6:30 pm. Pretty hot, but not bad. Joseph and Brent quickly left us today, while Robert and I took it easy more or less. Robert was a little tight from doing some squats earlier, and after the tough 4th mile part of the run, he slowed up a good bit.  I picked it up running 7:01 for the 5th mile and 6:38 for the last mile, but averaged 7:15 for the entire route. Joseph added a couple miles on the end running at least 8 total, then threw in 6 X 100m strides. He has been looking really good lately, his form seems to be straightening out nicely.

Friday, Got up in the morn and did my “wake myself up” workout with pullups, pushups, curls, militaries and ab stuff. This is pretty quick routine with little rest between sets. Usually start with pullups (15-20 reps), jump down for about 70 pushups, roll over for several types of crunch type deals, jump up and grab the 40 lb dumbells for some military presses (usually about 30 reps wit this light weight), lower them and do 12-15 reps of curls, then drop one and do those oblique deals where you have the dumbbell in one hand and lower it up and down, then 25-30 dips, then repeat the entire process two or more times. This simple workout is quick and effective!

I did not run today. Joseph got in an easy morning run though. He also did some type of core workout this morn.

Saturday, Whoohoo! Joseph’s birthday today, 18 years old! Started the celebration with a morning run with the Boardtown group. Started the run with our buds Brent and Jorge up in the front, but Brent only went about 7.5 miles total, so he turned around at 3.25 and Jorge did 10 miles, so he turned around at 5 miles and came back. Joseph and Jorge were going a good bit faster than me, and by the time Joseph was at 5.5 miles, I did not see him again until finishing the run. He basically ran the nest 7.5 miles by himself, as did I. My pace was 7:20 today. Not bad. Joseph was around 6:40 average with minimal water breaks at 1st and 3rd water stops. I also did not hang out long at the water stops. Pretty good run. My knees get a bit sore, and I think its partly from my Ravennas that I am running in. They are stiff! But, seem to be better for my calf muscles, so I am hesitant to change right now.

Later that day, a very strange mix of folks come over for some burgers and to hang out. Mostly running folks, but also some of Joseph’s chums from school. We had some ice cream and stuff. Ate outside on the deck.

Sunday, Mighty hot!!! Started the day with some kayaking on Oktibbeha County Lake with fellow weird artist Laurie Burton. The lake itself is fairly boring and hot, but if you get in the back area, there is some cool stuff and a creek that feeds the lake. Later, we went running at 5:30 PM, which is really way too early in this heat. But, some Bug Camp kids were heading to my property for some insect collecting at around 7, so I needed to be there. The run, as expected, was crazy hot and humid! I only did 5 miles at a 7:20 pace. Brent and Joseph did 6 miles at about 7 flat pace.

The bug campers eventually showed up, at like 8:30 PM! I should have just ran at 7 PM, as the folks running this camp are always notoriously late. They stayed until about 11 PM.  The kids collected  insects on sheets suspended between trees with UV lights present to lure insects in, on trails, on plants, in rotting logs, and even in the pond. Pretty cool.

Monday, Started this Monday with pushup and some pull ups. The exercise woke me up a little anyway. At 7 PM, Joseph and I met Brent, Jorge, and newcomer, Trevon Strange for run through campus, the Research Park and part of town. Trevon is doing some type of internship at MSU this year. He is a student and XC runner at Tuskeegee University in Alambama. He was pretty excited to find some folks to run with, and we for sure have some people that will push him. It was again hot and humid. I know, go figure. My plan this summer is to pretty much take these runs pretty easy, looking for 7:00-7:30 type paces. My calf injury seems to be pretty much healed, but because I limited my runs for a few months to 5 miles or less and to 3 or 4 days, I lost quite a bit of fitness. Plus, gained weight. Still weighing about 180-183 lbs, up from my 163-165 last fall! Anyway, I find these hot humid days to be pretty tough right now! I did 5.5 miles today at a 7:28 mile pace. Joseph, Brent, and Jorge got in almost 7 miles with Joseph and Jorge finishing up first with a 6:49 average pace (pretty good easy run for this weather), and Brent finishing about 1 minute back. I branched off from them somewhere along the way. They said Trevon kept up for about 4 miles before falling back. He, not being familiar with Starkville yet, ended up coming back a slightly different way after having lost sight of the guys. When he finally showed up, he was very pumped and excited to have folks faster than him to run with. Apparently, his college XC team is not very strong. I suspect that if he can hang with our faster folks by summer’s end, he will impress some folks this fall.

Brent, Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Brent, Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Jorge, Joseph, and Trevon

Tuesday, Joseph and I got up at 5:45 and headed out for an easy run. With the heat and humidity, its hard for Joseph to get all of his mileage in during just one run a day, so he slplits some up. He did 4 this morn and will do another 6 or so this evening. I did a 5k this morn, and very slowly. Mainly just loosening up my legs from the last few day! And, WOW!! It was some kind of humid this morn. For people that don’t live in this area, there is simply no way to explain it. Kind of like running in a giant sauna maybe.

Brent’s birthday is today, and that wiley goofy joker is now 27. We grabbed some lunch with him and Jorge.

Happy birthday Brent Wallace...

Happy birthday Brent Wallace…

Wednesday, Well, planned on running at 7 pm, but a crazy local storm dropped down on us and the lightning scared us away. So, no run. Oh well.

Thursday, Got up early and paced Joseph on my bike while he did a tempo workout starting at 6 AM. Two mile warmup jog, some light stretching and water, then 4 miles faster, then right into a 2 mile cool down jog. Warmup was nice and easy, about 7:38 pace. Tempo was pretty good given the high humidity levels, with mile 1 at 5:28, mile 2 was 5:38 (really faster as it was an out and back course so he had to slow down for turn), mile 3 was 5:33, and mile 4 was 6:05. He started struggling with the humidity on that last one I think. His cool down was about 7:15 average.

Later, at 7 PM, we met Brent, Jorge, Trevon, and Steve Shoto, an awesome runner at MSU, for a 6 mile jog through town. Pretty hot, but maybe not quite as humid. I stuck with those bozos for just over three miles, but they picked it up and I fell behind a bit. I ended up with a 7:03 pace today, which was not bad for me right now. They all averaged 6:49 for the run. After, Joseph, Trevon, and Steve got in a few nice 100m strides.

Friday, 6 AM run with the kid. Super humid, like pretty much every morn here! I only did 3.1  miles, Joseph was closer to 4. Got cleaned up and we headed to work. Later, at about 7 pm, I got a nice upper body/core workout.

Saturday, Joseph and I again joined the Boardtown Running group for a long run in the morn. The route was 11.4 miles today, and on this momentous date of my birth and now 50th birthday, I felt every mile as we ran through clouds of humidity. Amazingly hard to run today! I managed to average 7:35 per mile, but it was not easy! Ran with Robert Morgan much of the way and we pushed each other just to finish. Joseph apparently had no problem as he ran with Jorge and past resident and awesome runner Neal Hadley, who was in town for something or another. After the first easy mile at 7:20, they averaged 6:28 for the rest of the journey, with Joseph adding a bit more at the end.

A bunch of the runner jokers joined me at local bar and grill Bin 612 at 7 pm for a birthday celebration of sorts. We sat outside and enjoyed the hot, muggy air for a while.

Sunday, Morning came about and I got a really good workout in. Took about an hour and felt pretty danged good! Later, at 7 pm, Joseph and I met Brent, Lake Spradling, Jorge, and Will Kallfelz who just got back in town. Of course, it was hot and humid. Me and Will kept up with those mugs for about 2.5 miles of this 6 mile loop, then they left us. Will actually ran two miles from our house to run with us, and, of course, ran back after, getting in about 10 miles total. He been running like a crazy man lately, doing a marathon a month with some halves thrown in. I ended up averaging 7:09 today, which was not bad. Felt pretty good and finished the last couple miles sub 7. Joseph and those muggs averaged 6:49 for the route, with the last four being under 6:40. Lake, a 10th grader at Starkville Academy, looked pretty good and kept up with them fine. If that joker can come out with us regularly this summer, he will be in great shape by the fall!


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Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve ants and running getting better again

Monday, Memorial Day. No work. Played at Choctaw Lake a bit early, paddled the canoe around. After lunch, worked out, and did crazy art.

Tuesday, got in 5 + mile run in with Brent and Joseph at 7 pm. Overcast skies made it nice. We hit the hills of University Estates today, which is pretty much the hilliest place to run around here. About half way through, it became clear that were going to get rained on, and yep, we did. It was welcoming though. Averaged right at 7:30 per mile today. Those hills were tough. Brent and Joseph were nice enough not to run off and leave me.

Wednesday, Got up early and did 3 sets of pushups, 70 reps. Came home at lunch and did some more. Three sets of 111, 102, and 101. Also 3 sets of pullups (21 reps), some crunches, a random set of bench press (185-15 reps), military presses (40 lb DB, 3 sets, 25 reps), a couple sets of dips (31 reps), and some DB curls with the 40s (4 sets of 15, 12, 12, and 15 reps). Did not run today, weather was pretty iffy, and I worked late anyway. Joseph ran on his own early in the morn.

Thursday, 5 pm run with Brent and Robert (Morgan). Joseph again went on his own today earlier. We jogged along at a 7:10 average pace for our downtown 6 mile loop. First mile was 7:45, then we picked it up. Overcast day helped a bit.  Robert just got back from a 10 day trip to Italy with a group from the campus here. He was pretty stoked to say the least! So, this was his first run back with us. He felt great early and hung with us for 3.3 miles, but just before hitting the hillier part of the loop, he needed to slow down a bit. He caught up with us later with tales of slow movement. Haha. Yep. I felt ok today, and Brent, who maybe ate a little late, might have even had to work to keep up with me later in the run with the last mile about 6:30. I wore the Saucony Guides today. Still playing with shoes. Thinking that they may be slightly too cushiony for me.

Friday, No run today, but I did get in a workout when I got off work . Nothing super stellar, a few sets of pushups, pullups, crunches, and curls.

Saturday, Got up early and Joseph and I  headed to the White’s house for the weekly Boardtown Runners Club run. We had not been here since basically last October. Some of our buds also joined us including Jorge, Brent, and Dominique! Sweet. We met Jay McCurdy and his wife Vicky too. Jay is a new faculty member working with turf grass. Apparently, this joker was a pro triathlete before becoming too busy with work. Both he and Vicky are great runners, as evidenced by today’s run. Joseph basically ran with him for the 10.7 mile loop. Jorge and Micah White hung with them for the first half, but Jorge turned around joining Brent and I on the way back for a 9 mile run. I believe Micah dropped back and ran with Vicky. Joseph averaged 6:39 per mile today and said it felt easy. First long run in a few weeks, so I expect this pace will be back to 6 minutes or better in a few weeks. Brent was a bit sore today, following our hill run on Tuesday and faster than usual run on Thursday, so he did not want to kill it today. Fine with me, as I have not run over 7.2 miles since mid October. We ended up with 9 miles today at a 7:30 pace. My calf felt tight most of the way, but not bad, and, it was not sore at all after. I guess running at this moderate pace is working okay, as are the Brooks Ravennas that I ran in today.

Went to the Farmers market after the run to pick up some veggies and stuff. Man, it was a happenin’ place with music, demos, food, and stuff! This local community farmers market is really coming along! This also happens on Tuesday afternoons. Took a few picts.


Later, Saturday afternoon, I took the rowboat out in my pond for a while. Relaxed a bit under the willow trees that are growing on the levee. Of course, it would be better for my pond if there were not trees all over the levee. But, anyway.


Sunday, upper body workout in the morn with dips, curls, military presses, pushups, pullups, and crunches. Good workout. More or less my typical workout. Later, at 6 pm, Joseph and I met Brent, Lucas, and Brian Laird for a run thru town. Lucas and Brian had already run about 10 minutes to get there. Brian has done a triathlon each of the last two weekends, and he and Lucas will be doing another next Saturday. Crazy dudes. Brian, who is 22, is fairly new to all this, only having started his freshman year of college. When he started, he was 260 lbs. At 5’9″, thats not small. Today, he is at 173 lbs. Pretty awesome. Anyway, warm today, but not bad. Super humid, of course. After the longish run yesterday, I decided on doing only 5 mile today, which I did at a 7:20 average. Felt pretty good. Brent did 6 miles, and Joseph and Lucas did 8 miles. Brian was doing an hour, but finished up at his home, so we did not see him again.

Monday, I headed to Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve in Colbert County, AL early Monday morn with my coworker James Lewis. We are doing a quick survey of ants in the Preserve with Paul Davison, that super cool Biology professor at the University of North Alabama. No running while there, but plenty of walking up and down steep slopes!

Joseph got his first running workout schedule from his college coach this week and started that on Monday. For now, much of it is easy mileage, so, basically, he can run with us for many of our runs. Cool.

Tuesday, Got back from my trip onTuesday afternoon, so I had time to get a run in at 7 pm. Ran with Joseph, Brent, Jorge, and Damian Grady, former SHS teammate of Joseph’s and current member of the XC and track team at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Damian had a stress fracture his first year, which is not unusual for incoming freshmen coming out of high school programs that don’t prepare their runners for the mileage needed for running college. Hopefully, this summer he can get in shape and be competitive the next few years. Nice to see that crazy little mug. Got in 6 miles at just under 42 minutes. Not bad. I was about 25-30 behind Brent, Jorge,and Joseph. Damian did not do the entire distance with us, as he ran over to start with and is just getting back into it.

Wednesday, National running day or something. Yep. Joseph did a solo run, 7-8 miles. I went home and did six 400s on my trail at about 5 pm. I did 50 pushups between each set for the rest. Man, it was hot!!!

Thursday, Joseph again ran on his own today. He got up early before work and got in a few miles (6-7). I think he may have added 3-4 more later in the day. I met Brent, Jorge, and Robert at 7 pm for a 6 mile run thru the muggy streets of Starkville. First mile was easy at 7:55, then we picked it up. Brent and Jorge were slightly ahead of us after about 2 miles and finished up about 30 seconds in front of us. Robert and I ended up averaging about 7:19 for the entire route, and 7:12 for 5 miles after the warmup-ish first mile.  This was a pretty dang good run for Robert. Way to go! Brent is in pretty danged good shape right now himself and is easing thru these runs like they are nothing. At about 190 lbs, that is a pretty good deal. In fact, Jorge was the light weight in today’s group weighing about 150-160 lbs. I am still hanging right around 180 + and Robert is an easy 190. But, apparently some of the ladies liked at least some of us, ’cause we got some nice catcalls today!

Friday, Worked out in the morn before heading to work 4 sets of pushups (70-75 reps per set), 3 sets of 15 pullups, 3 sets of dumbbell curls (40 lb dumbbells, 12 reps), 3 sets of military dumbbells (40 lbs, 25 reps), and interspersed those things with various ab exercises. No run today. Joseph did an easy few miles.

Saturday, Morning run with the Boardtown Club. I managed to get in a 11 miles at a 7:32 average pace, which was my longest run since last fall. Felt pretty good, did not push it at all. Ran with Brent earlier, but he only went about 6.6 miles and ending up running faster. Ran the last 5 miles or so with Kelly White who is an awesomely athletic chic. Joseph goobed around in front of us with Houston Franks (MSU XC coach)  and Micah White, who is in pretty dang good shape himself. At some point, Houston and Joseph picked it up in the middle with some sub 6 minute mile splits. Plus, they added a couple of miles completing 13.22 miles at a 6:25 pace overall. And, whew! It was once again super humid, about a 100%. No, really. Maybe slightly cooler than last week.

group shot of the crew this morn

group shot of the crew this morn

Sunday, Raining day! I started out the this dreary day with a upper body workout. My usual mix of pushups, crunches, pullups, curls, and shoulder presses. Then, and awesome mess of scrambled eggs (locally raised). Tasty! Today’s run was looking like it might become a swim! But, at 7 PM, the weather settled down a little and Brent, Joseph, Jorge, and I hit the streets of Starkville! My legs were feeling heavy following yesterday’s long run, so I kept my run at 5 miles today. The other three did the 6 mile loop. Joseph’s Garmin said he only did 5.73, but it was quite cloudy, and he even went farther than the other two by a bit. They were going pretty fast. I averaged 7:08 per mile. Kept up with them for the first mile, but at the second mile they were two blocks ahead, and I finished that mile at 6:59. Joseph and Jorge hit the 4th mile, which is by far the hardest on this loop, at 5:33. Then, they slowed back down to a more moderate pace after realizing they were going that fast. Joseph showed up about 30 seconds ahead of Jorge, but kept going a bit farther trying to even out the distance at 6 miles, which he did not get on his watch. But, I think it was just off today or he did something weird. Jorge’s time was 37:15. Brent was maybe 45 seconds back from Jorge. So, I am not sure of their overall pace, but somewhere around 6 minutes flat to 6:15 per mile. Crazy.

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