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

Joseph

Joseph

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Running Gear

twisted my knee, ouch…


Tuesday already, geez. Yeah, still doing my norm workout stuff pretty much every day, and sometimes a bit a lunch or later. It wakes up, you know. Good run this afternoon with Brent Wallace.  Six miles thru town. First mile was 7:14, then 6:46, 6:35, 6:38, 6:14, and last mile was 5:42. Nice weather and in general feeling pretty good. Solid run with a good finish.

Ran at lunch on Wednesday. Went over to the South Farm, jogged easy peasy for a bit, then did three 1000m intervals on the Cross Country course. Averaged 5:27 pace on those. Then ran some more for a while at 6:30 pace.

Ran with Lucas and Brent Thursday at 5 PM. Our normal 6 mile loop. Had not run with Lucas the crazy tri guy in a while. Like we usually do, the first mile was slower, 7:25, then three 6:40 somethings (I forgot to turn my watch back on after a stop at a light for probably 30 or more seconds). The next two miles were 6:14 and 5:50. Another nice finish and good run!

Lucas Muniz

Lucas Muniz

Saturday morn run with Boardtown runners. Got in 12 miles at 7 minute pace. I took it easy today because I hurt my knee on my Thursday run. Twisted it the wrong way, and ouch! Not my good knee either. Never is. Had a bunch of basketball related injuries back when with this knee. Well, it hurt pretty good Friday, so I wore a tendonitis band all day and during the run on Saturday. It helped. But, that joker is swollen a bit. Will have to rest it some I suspect. Dang it. Ah well.

After the run, I headed to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge with Laurie Burton as their some stuff going on out there with art, music, displays, and paddling. Free hotdogs too! After checking out stuff for a while, we paddled around on Bluff Lake. The lake was low, so there were lots of cypress trunks, some barely submerged, to navigate around. But, it was a very pleasant day and it was good to be out there.

Another Sunday run with Brent Wallace. Went about 6.4 miles today. First mile, 7:40, then the next three miles were all 6:40s, then a 6:33, 6:14, and we finished the last 0.4 at 5:45 pace. Not bad. Knee was still a little sore, but I am old. Jah.

Leave a comment

Filed under Running

Excellent 8 X 400m trail intervals


Well, my running blog is getting stale and boring. The darn kid has moved off and is running XC at SCAD, and well, I am running and working out regularly. But, jeesh, who cares really? Same ole thing every day or every week more or less. I think I will be blogging about this stuff less regularly, or maybe just hit the highlights. Like, yeah, I ran a bunch this week, did a bunch of pushups, ab stuff, blah, blah. Still trying to keep my sugar intake down! Have not had any caffeine in a while either. Hmm. Trippy man. Ran 10 miles this afternoon. Actually was fairly pleasant out today! Ran about 6:50 pace, no water break. Pretty easy. Knees were slightly sore today, but not bad. A bunch of girls, and a few guys even, yelled at me while I was running. Nice things. That was cool. When you are 50 years old, that puts some pep in your step.

So, whoohoo hootie hoo. But hey, awesome almost 7 mile Sunday afternoon run with Brent Wallace and Drew Boyles. Weather was still decent, so that made it easier than normal. Started out about 7:25 and everything else was was sub 7. The last 3 miles were about 6:13 pace. Overall pace was 6:36. Nice.

Another nice solo run Monday at 5:30 PM. Ran on the gravel roads of the south farm then hit the MSU XC course before heading back. They have the course mowed and runable now, so that was nice. Great to run on grassy hills eh! Unfortunately, they don’t maintain this course for most of the year. In fact, research cattle hand out there for much of the year. Crazy.

Tuesday, yep, pumped up at lunch with 4 sets of 150 pushups, 4 sets of 25 pullups, and some ab stuff. Later, 6 mile run with Brent thru town. Legs were sore from the previous day’s hills! But, we still averaged 6:39 per mile even with the first mile at 7:27. Cool.

Wednesday was awesome. Why? I did 8 X 400m on my loop trail. Hard loop, just over 400m, which I measured with a wheel. Not flat and the corners are so tight you almost have to come to a stop to round them. Yeah, that slows you down. That, and the fact that it ends on an irregular 70m uphill slope. Also, its a trail, you know, with dips and holes, roots, spider webs (first time around anyway!), and one decent ditch to jump or land in. Anyway. Yep, pretty hot too. I worked out enough at lunch, so I decided to forego my usual pushups between each 400. In fact, I am trying to force myself to work less because I have a tendency to overdo things. WHAT? ME? Yeah. 8 of those 400s. First was 1:26ish. Not really bad out here. Then rest, about 45 seconds or so, then BAM. Next one was faster, and each successive one was a bit faster until my final 400, which was 1:11! That was maybe the best one I have done on this loop ever. I don’t know what it would equate to on a track, but something nice! So. Good little workout. Only did 8, but felt good.

11 mile run this morn with the Boardtown group. Weird day, everyone started super slow. First mile was 8:02. Too slow, hurts my knees to run that slow. So, Drew Boyles, Brent Wallace, Micah White and I picked up the pace a little. Second mile was 7:01 or something, then 6:34 for the third, a couple of 6:50s on a hard gravel section, then we started grooving pretty good despite the gravel hitting 6:30s and 6:20 until finishing up with a 6:10 mile. Ended up with a 6:46 overall pace. Pretty good considering that slow first mile. Nice finish. Brent and Drew are looking good for the upcoming half marathon here in town on the 18th of October. I probably won’t do it because I am not really into races, plus I have a bunch of things going on that day already. Yep, great run though!

Sunday at 6 PM, I met some Meggan Franks and some running jokers at our usual place for a run. Meggan actually came to give us free stuff, gels and Brooks water bottles. Nice. We like stuff. Especially free stuff! Speaking of running, Meggan had a baby 3 weeks ago. She is already running 8 miles at aroud 7:40 pace. Jeepers! Amazing. Oh yeah, ran about 4.6 miles, pretty easy. Nice to run with Robert Morgan, had not run with him in a while!

Joe MacGown, Meggan Franks, Richard McCrory, Robert Morgan, John Mooney, and Brent Wallace,

Joe MacGown, Meggan Franks, Richard McCrory, Robert Morgan, John Mooney, and Brent Wallace,

Joe MacGown, Richard McCrory, Robert Morgan, John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Clara Tew

Joe MacGown, Richard McCrory, Robert Morgan, John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Clara Tew

Monday, I got in a nice easy 7:23 pace 8.5 mile run on the gravel roads of the MSU South Farm and MSU XC Course. The SHS XC team was out there running too, chatted with their better runners as I passed them. Good day. Beautiful weather finally!

Leave a comment

Filed under Running

Garmin Forerunner 10 watch band could be designed better!


Tuesday, As per usual now, split workout into morning and lunch. Body is used to doing something regularly! 6:30 pm run with wild man Brent Wallace thru town and campus. Only 5 miles, but pretty fast, averaged 6:50ish. Nice.

Wednesday, more of the same. Four mile solo run at 6:30 PM thru campus and research park at 6:39 average pace. Felt good!

Thursday, yep, 500 + pushups for breakfast, other stuff at lunch. Not a ton, just some stuff. Cha. Ran with Brent  at 5:30. Nice easy run, averaged about 6:50. First mile was 7:40, then the next was around 7, then a couple of nice 6:40s, and the last two miles we averaged under 6:10! Actually, the 5th mile was 6:16 and we killed the last mile even hitting parts of it at 5:55 pace. Pretty good for a nice easy run in this crazy humid weather.

Friday, just some easy workout late in the day, no run.

Saturday, well, part of the band came off of my Garmin watch this morn. Dang. Really? You would think an expensive watch like this would not fall apart. No watch today on my long run. Actually, it was kind of nice, like the old days. And, of course now days, almost everyone else has one anyway. But, I felt free without it. Had a good run of 15.2 miles. It was hot, but I had company most of the way with Micah White, Drew Anthony, Jay McCurdy, Brent Wallace (for part of the way), and a new feller, Daniel McKeller or something. He was built more like Micah and I, not like a runner. And, at first, I was like, what is this guy doing up here. He had  black colored long warmup pants on and a black t-shirt. The rest of us were all shirtless and wearing short shorts. I mean, its freakin’ hot and 100% humid in the morn. But, that crazy cat did fine. Apparently, we hit the first water stop, which is about 3.5 miles out, at a 6:40 or better pace. Daniel did not stop for water, but kept going. That, to me, was crazy, because, hey, its fucking hot! Even if you can do it, I think it strains the body too much. If there is some water along the way, I am getting some! Also, that crazy joker did not know the route and ended up at WalMart on the other side of town later! His bud had to go get that trippy dude! Probably ran 20 miles with no water. Anyway, I got water at every stop and still was 6-7 pounds lighter when I finished! Awesome run though. And thanks to Drew and the others for keeping me going.

After hitting Lowes for some stuff, I went home and did pushups and other things. Yep. Outside. Hot. Kind of hard because I had not eaten since 5 AM and that was just a breakfast bar and a banana!

Sunday, Workout here and there in the morn. Then a 6 mile run with Brent in town at 6 PM. Ravinder Singh joined us for part of the run. Cool. Had not run with that mug in a while. Anywhoo, took it easy today with a 7:10 average pace with the first part slower and the last couple of miles faster. Not bad. Fixed my Garmin watchband with a paper clip. Much better design than the simple pin they use. I looped it through the holes, then tied it off with needle-nosed pliers. Does not look as elegant, but it should stay on there. Geez guys. Hire an engineer or something. Find McGyver and hire that guy.

Monday, Morning workout. Stuff. Lunch time, 8 X 400m plus 1 X 800m on my trail. 50 pushups between each set of 400s and 100 pushups after the 800. 400s were 1:24-1:28 and 800 was 3:02. Hot! With the pushups thrown in, this was a pretty decent workout.

Tuesday, woke up, did 600 pushups and some ab stuff. Work. Whohoo! Some ab stuff at lunch. Then a close to  6 mile run at 5:30 pm with Brent Wallace. We did alright today averaging 6:35 per mile.

Leave a comment

Filed under Running

Crotchety Old Man Becomes Self Appointed Gate Keeper to Local Park


Tuesday, Morning! Yep, Pushups, pullups, abs, curls, typical morning wakeup drill! Then an awesome peach, banana, strawberrry, vanilla yogurt, and chocolate protein smoothie! Tasty.

Lunch, grilled salmon, also grilled tomato slices with sharp provolone cheese, had an awesome salad. Washed it down with a Samuel Smith Oatmeal stout. While grilling, I did about 7 sets of nice elevated pushups, some crazy pullups where I used only one arm as I near the top, some side shrugs, some curls, and shoulder presses.

At 5 pm I got in a solo run thru town and campus of about 5.5 miles at a 7:14 pace. Not bad. Did not push. Maybe it was slightly cooler than usual at 5pm, because my shorts were only partially sweaty.

Wednesday, Morn! Workout. Stretched out too long. And art. I could not go to work, so I took some leave and skipped the work day. Worked out in between things all morn. Crazy, I know. It works. My abs are starting to pop out. I think they may be better than at any point in my life now. What? Trippy.

Ran at 3:30 PM. Parked at McKee Park, then down sidewalk to Longmeadow Neighborhood. They had recently laid down some fresh concrete for the sidewalk leading to the neighborhood, but it was dry, so I ran across it. But, the gate was closed. So, I opened it. At which point the crazy assed dude who lives right there (Steve Swisher) started yelling at me to get off the wet concrete. I was like, dude, its dry. And, hey, mind your business. He was like, “they don’t want anyone on it for a day or so.” I said, “maybe they should have a sign up or have it roped off then.” Then I opened the gate and started my run. He was not happy. Freakin’ gate nazi. It has gotten to the point where that dude routinely shuts the gate, which is normally left open and then locked at 9 pm when the park closes. I have done workouts starting at the park with others where we may pass thru the gate back and forth to the neighborhood several times, and yes, that goober headed fool will go over and shut the gate each time we go thru. Annoying codger punk. Well, I got my run in, 1.5 mile warmup, then 3 miles at 6:18 pace then a cool down, then back to gated fence to get to my truck. Yep, that slap-headed punk was over there and ready. As soon as I showed up, he said, “the park man come over and locked the gate.” I said, “huh, thats mighty coincidental.” He said, “I didn’t tell him, I don’t even know his number. But he knew you had walked on that concrete.” I said, “I wonder how he knew that.”  He said, “he could see your footprints.” Interesting, considering it was dry, but hey? Who am I to questin the wisdom of the gnarly gatekeeper to McKee Park. He was happy as a friggin clam. Well, you know, 8 ft tall fence, suddenly locked, my truck about 100 m away, the alternate route several miles away down a busy highway and super busy road with no sidewalks. So, I just put my foot on the latch and popped myself up and over. Imagine that? Huh. He was stupified. Punk. Mysteriously, not long after, the park man showed back up and walked over to the gate. Another coincidence I guess. Funny.

Thursday, Workout in morn! Yep. Awesome. Ran later at 4 PM with Brent Wallace. Basically, a six mile loop thru town. Averaged 6:56 per mile. Today felt like the hottest day so far this year. Really crazy hot. Made it though!

Friday, As per usual, got my morning pushups in, pullups, abs, etc. Even on the worst day I would say I do at least 500 pushups and 80-100 pullups. Cool. No run today. Worked in the yard during the afternoon. Got purty warmish!

Saturday, Barely got up, but did, then headed to the Boardtown Running Club for a run. Super hot and humid. A storm on the way. Yay. We need some rain. The route was 10.7 miles today and I average 6:56 per mile. I did it wrong though, as the first half was faster than the second. I ran with Houston Franks early, and his easy pace is my fast pace! Man, I was sweating like crazy! Got home, worked out some, then headed to West Point, MS for the Prairie Arts Festival.

Later, at 6 PM, I did some more pushups and stuff. I like to tucker myself out on Saturdays. Don’t know why.

getting there!

getting there!

Sunday, Morning easy run in Sessums, then worked in the yard all day with some intermittent pushups and stuff. Burned a bunch old branches and other accumulated debris from the last few months. Always something with a house and 17 plus acres.

Monday, Started this holiday off with a nice ab/pushup/pullup oriented workout fueled by the Violent Femmes and Cage the Elephant! At about 3:30 pm, I did 10 400m intervals on my trail with 30-40 pushups in between each 400 as my rest. It was hot, and whew! I again kept them relatively slow, going for a certain pace, with all of them between 1:28 and 1:29. Worked out some more after to finish off the deal!

Leave a comment

Filed under Running