Ant Collecting in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina

Spent Monday thru Wednesday on the Alabama coast where I was picking up some insect samples that I had some volunteers running. Also, grabbed some soil and leaf litter to take back extract insects from. Went with a coworker, James Lewis, and we had our fill of seafood while we were there. I did not get any runs in while there though, but was able to throw in a few pushups each day! So, not a total loss.

Next run of the week was Thursday at 5:15 with Lucas Muniz and Brent Wallace. Just as we got started, a crazy storm popped up, and BAM! –  lightning, thunder, wind, and crazy rain! Wow!  Yep, we got drenched! Great run though. Low 6:30 pace for 5.6 miles.

No run Friday, but worked out some in the morn. Not much, more later. Went to the Bulldog Bash that night. First couple of bands were ok, but the third was boring, and I could not stay to watch the last one, which was another country dude. A ton of people were there, and it was a beautiful night. Pretty fun evening which made it hard to get up and run the next morn! But, somehow I got up and headed to the Boardtown Run. Today’s course was just under 11 miles, about 10.7. None of the folks I usually run with were there on this much cooler than usual morning. Crazy, it was like 47°F! Suddenly, its Fall I guess. Well, somehow I ended up starting after most of the crowd today, so had to play catch up. I ran pretty good, first mile was 7:05, then ran most of the rest under that. Averaged 6:49 per mile, no water stops today, so that was cool!

5 mile run Sunday afternoon at 4 pm with Brent. First mile was warmup pace at 7:28, then 6:34, 6:23, 6:04, and 5:41 for the last mile. Nice!

I was out of town all week, so did not get to run with Brent and anyone else, but I did snag three runs in while gone. A coworker, James Lewis, and I were collecting ants with a crazy joker named Doug Booher. We spent most of our time at Magnolia Springs State Park in northern Georgia, but later in the week we also got into South Carolina and North Carolina before heading back to MSU late Saturday. Its a pretty long drive, at least 8 hours, so I did not get a run in on Monday, but I got in 5 to 7 miles runs in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. The park had a few nice sandy trails to run on, not very long, but if you ran them a couple of times or added some of the park’s paved roads, you could get a good 40 minute run in. As it happened, there were two cross country meets held at the park while I was there, which was pretty cool. I talked to a couple of coaches about running and coaching.

sandy running trail at Magnolia Springs State Park

sandy running trail at Magnolia Springs State Park

I also managed to get in a few hundred pushups each morning before getting started with our collecting, but that was about it. We ate quite a bit during the trip, plus I had at least 3 beers each night! I usually stop at one, and not every night. So, I was feeling a little out of shape as the week went on!

Friday, James and I headed up north just a bit to South Carolina and finished the day off in Charlotte, NC where we found a motel. It was hard to find a hotel where we were due to a large car race going on this weekend, but finally after several failed attempts, we found one. Coincidentally, it was the same hotel that the Savannah College of Art and Design XC team was staying in. Of course, my son is running for them now. I knew they had a meet here in the area the next day, but did not know they would be here. It was quite a surprise to walk out the door and see Joseph’s coach, Patrick Reagan, then Joseph!

So, how cool! We were able to catch the meet before coming back home. A big one with Duke, Davison, Wake Forest, and lots of smaller schools including SCAD. It was nice to meet Joseph’s teammates as well, and they were pretty trippy. Go figure, kids at an art school. They had a pretty solid meet with their two top runners PR’ing in the mid 25 minute range for the 8k, another in the low 26’s, and Joseph and another freshman in the mid 27’s. Another good freshmen was ahead of them, but had problems with the heat, and slowed down. It was extremely hot for August for sure, and it gave some runners some real problems. Not everyone was adversely affected however. The winner, a Duke runner who was redshirted this year and running unattached, killed the course running a 23:09! Yeah. Fast. Anyway, awesome to be able to see Joseph run in a college meet and pretty lucky it was at a place where we were at.

Ace and Joseph posing

Ace and Joseph posing

me and the kid

me and the kid



When we arrived back in Starkville at 9 PM, the place was still crazy and packed with MSU football fans after MSU’s amazing victory over 2nd ranked Auburn. After beating two top 8 teams in a row, MSU was ranked third in the country and there were some high hopes! MSU did not disappoint the fans as they convincingly beat Auburn. Of course, that made getting back to work and unloading tricky, but we finally got out of there around 10:30 PM!

The next day I got in a good workout finally! Felt good. Put some Rage Against the Machine on and went after it. Ate a steak and salad after. Later, biked on my trail, then shot some hoops. Decided not to run today. Pretty rainy, and well.


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