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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