Tag Archives: hills

Spartan Race Entry Give Away Winner, Nice hill workout, good ten mile run, and great weather…


Me and the Brent dude got in a nice 6 miler on Tuesday afternoon around 4 pm. Through town and campus, so had to put up with some lights of course, but mostly hit them pretty good. Run started easy as usual, 7:22, 6:36, 6:32, 6:36 (some hills on this mile), then 6:11, and finished with a 5:41. Sweet. The 6:30 paced miles are feeling pretty danged easy right now. Likin’ dat!

Man,  busy, missing some runs! Did not get to go Monday or Wednesday. Ah well, probably need the break. Just me and Brent again on Thursday. We went early because I needed to be at the local “Holiday Showcase” group exhibition at 5 PM. I needed to be there because I am a cochair of arts in public places and I had art in the show (read it about the show on my art blog). So, we started our run at 3 PM. Nice, but very windy today! Started easy as usual and picked it up along the way. Only did 5 miles. Here are the splits: 7:20, 6:25, 6:18, 6:19, and 5:40. Overall average was 6:24, the four miles after the “warmup” mile were 6:10 average.

Friday at 4 PM, I got in 6.5 awesome miles with Brent, John Mooney, Patrick Bell, Armon Borzjani, and Patton Little. Patton and Armon are the top two XC runners at SHS and Patrick is about 4th. Good to have those speedy jokers with us.  Today, we hit the hilly University Estates neighborhood. Mooney wanted to do 8 X 1 minute hills, so we did. I could not believe it, but other than Brent, no one even knew about the cool hills over there! Anyway, in our 6.5 mile run, we hit the hills pretty good. Felt good to me anyway! Awesome run. Chilly though, I actually wore a tank top! Mooney was the only one crazy enough to go shirtless.

Saturday, I was in Jackson, MS with coworkers Audrey Sheridan and Lois Connington giving a bug presentation at the Mississippi Food Summit and Agricultural Revival. So, no run today. While I was there, Joseph was running in his XC conference meet in West Palm Beach Florida. His team ended about where they figured in the Sun Conference with a second place finish. Joseph did not have a great race, but I think that was due to high temps down there and an attempt to go hard early hoping for a remote possibility of beating the very strong Embry Riddle team out of Atlanta. Anyway, they finished up the season as runner up champions in the conference, and their girls won the conference championship. Good job. The guys team is super young with the best runners being sophomores and freshman, so that bodes well for their future. Not to mention that apparently Embry Riddle will be moving to the NCAA next year, meaning, at least theoretically, that the SCAD boys have a great chance of being number one in the Sun Conference the next few years and a much better chance of winning the conference meet. Winning the conference meet gives automatic selection to the national meet.

Sunday, 2 pm run with Brent “space cadet” Wallace, John “Moon Man” Mooney,  and Drew “Secret Agent Man” Boyles. We hit the campus, research park, and north farm then returned to the south farm entrance for a 10.2 mile loop. We ran a very comfortable easy average pace of 7:13. After getting some water, Drew and John headed out on the south farm for a few more miles, but that was enough for me and Brent today. I had stuff to do and needed to head out. Otherwise I probably would have ran another 5 or 6 miles. The weather was a perfect 60° F and after some of our faster runs that we have had lately, this “easy” 7:13 minute mile pace was a piece of cake. We chatted back and forth the entire run. Super Cool.

John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Drew Boyles

John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Drew Boyles

No run Monday, had some meetings interfering with that. Bummer.  Of course I did some workout stuff at home.

Worked out a couple of times on Tuesday beginning with about 500 pushups, 50+ pullups, some curls, crunches, and a few other things and finishing up at lunch with a few sets of curls, military presses, and pushups. At 4 PM, I met Patton, Armon, and Patrick for a run in Longmeadow. Since their XC season is over now, I am working with them as they prepare for the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics XC South Regional Meet coming up in Clinton, MS on November 22. They all three looked good today. We started with a 2000m easy jog, then some light loosening up. Then  2000m (one nice loop around the neighborhood) at 5k race pace or slightly better. Armon and Patton both ran together doing the 2000m loop at a  5:12 mile pace. I ran with Patrick most of the way, but finished slightly ahead of him with a 5:34 pace and he finished with a 5:42 pace. About 5 minutes rest, then another 2000m loop. This time, Armon and Patton, who again stayed together, averaged 5:20, I was 5:36, and Patrick was about 5:45. A shorter rest, then a quicker, “lighter” 800m run with Patton and Armon at 2:28, and me and Patrick at 2:32. Short jog, then 1 minute pretty fast (sub 5 minute mile pace), then a 30 second jog, then 30 seconds fast uphill. We followed that with a 1.5 mile cool down jog at an easy pace, then some leg swings and light stretches. In total, about 1 hour was needed for the entire workout including warmup and cool down. Great job guys!

***Spartan Race Entry Give Away Winner***

Eric Wisniewski is the winner for the free entry to a Spartan Race. Eric will be participating in the Fenway Park Spartan Sprint on the 15th. This guy is hard core and loves these races. Good Luck Eric and Congrats on winning a free entry to the Spartan Race!

 Eric Wisniewski

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Don’t forget core workouts…


The sunday night run was excellent. Planned on doing something through the MSU campus and beyond, but a couple of folks that run with us wanted the softer gravel/dirt roads of the south farm, so we ran out there.  Although earlier in the day it looked like a good chance of rain for this evening, we instead had great weather! Not too hot, only about 90°F and even an occasional breeze. Somewhat humid, but not quite as bad as usual. Another good group tonight to join Joseph and I. We had Super Steve Shaffer, the laid back Brent Wallace, curious Jorge Villarreal, pretty boy Kamau Bostic, the ineffable Ian Prester, Raheem Bostic (a newbie), and Philip Young (2nd timer).  The run went well. Got in 7 miles at 48 minutes. Pretty steady today. I ran the first 2.5 with Kamau and Brent going at a 6:45 pace (more or less), then Kamau turned back as he was only doing 5 today. Continued on with Brent for another mile, with Joseph having done the first 3.5 miles in 21:30. Brent took the short way back for 5.5 miles, and I followed Joseph for the 7 mile route. Jorge and Ian went 5.5 miles, and Steve and Phillip went either 6 or 7 miles. Raheem said he got in about 3 miles, which for a non runner, was not bad. When we got done, we all did a couple of sets of pushups as well!

Monday, Joseph and I headed back to the South Farm for a hill workout. After a warmup jog and some very light stretching, we found a nice gravel hill to run up. Not the steepest one on the farm, but we thought it would be a good one to start with. The plan was to do 8 X 1 minute and 6 X 30 seconds runs up the hill, with slow jogs back down. Of course, the road being gravel compounded the difficulty of the workout. But, gravel is good in a way, because it forces you to run upright and keep your legs beneath you rather than behind you. If you lean over too much, your legs end up behind you too far, and you will find that your feet slip on the gravel. Feels like you are spinning out on a bike or something. I thought the workout went great for the first day. Don’t know how fast we were going, but I do know that my 1 minute runs did not end as far up the hill as Joseph’s! The 30 seconds runs were very good.  We were concentrating on good upright form, shorter and faster strides, and trying to touch the ground as lightly and quickly as possible. After the hills, we got a cool down jog in and stretched. We plan on doing some version of this workout twice a week for about 4 weeks. Build those legs up!

Tuesday morn, Joseph got a recovery run in on our trail, then did his core workout with lots of ab exercies, pullups, pushups, dips, shoulder flys, bicep curls, etc. and some plyometric skips and bounds. He is starting to look like a serious runner here lately. I did a similar workout in the afternoon. Of course, being Tuesday, we headed to the South Farm parking lot for another nice group run at 7 pm.  Another crazy cool bunch of psycho runner jokers joined us including Kamau, Damian Grady, Jorge, Steve, Cleat, Chap, Jessica Comer, Raheem, and Brent.  As we were getting ready to run, the Starkville Academy XC boys and their coach Nancy Christiansen were gearing up for their first practice of the year! Awesome. Some of the kids who were 7th or 8th graders on the team when I was coaching there 3 or 4 years ago were out there, and, somehow, they were taller and more cross country-like than I remembered them. Looking like seasoned runners now! Anyway, they headed out to the South Farm, as did Steve, Cleat, and Chap. The rest of us ran together across campus, through the research park, through the north farm, down some railroad tracks, and then returned. We ran about 8 miles, which was about what we had planned. Jessica was supposed to do 6 today, so she turned around at three, and Raheem turned around earlier. It was a fantastic run for sure. Hot, humid, and a nice group of punks to run with. What more can you ask for? After the run, folks stretched and cooled down for quite a while. Seemed like nobody felt like leaving, but eventually, we left…another good run in the books.

Joseph and I went back to the South Farm Wednesday at 7 pm for some more hill repeats. Hot. Humid. Typical. Started out with a warm up jog. Whew, legs were a bit sore from the hills on Monday! But, not too bad. We got to our gravelly, tortuous hill and did 8 X 30 seconds and 6 X 1 minute runs up the hill, with jogs back. Man o’ man!! Hard today. I did not think I could finish. But, somehow I made it! Ran ok today, kept up with Joseph on the first few, but started falling behind near the last couple of 30 second repeats. It is amazing how you can run up the hill, think you are totally worn out, then by the time you jog back down you can do another one. We got through with that, and did a mile cool down, stretched, drank a bunch of water, and headed home.

Thursday, Joseph and I had a great core type workout at the house. He also added some plyo skips and a couple of other things. We both felt good after this one. Actually felt almost in shape today!  Cleat, Brent, James Wright, Kamau, Raheem, Steve, Cleat, Abigail and Shuanika all joined us at 7 pm. Cleat was the only one to run the South Farm. I think this was his last run of the week before the Heart of Dixie Triathlon on Saturday, which he was going to do a leg of as part of a relay team. The rest of us headed toward campus, and various places from there. We lost Joseph by about 1.5 miles, with Kamau and I running together and Brent and James running together. Kamau and I felt pretty good, so we added a mile near the middle portion of the run and ended up with about 6.5 for the day. Brent and James went about 5.5, and Joseph apparently did the same route, but came back and ran some more at the end. Steve said he and girls wrapped up around 4 miles, before Abigail and Shaunika biked home. Raheem, the novice of the group ran for over an hour. Not sure where he went, he started out with us, but showed up as I was leaving! He may have gotten lost, but no harm, he made it back in one piece and looked happy as a clam.

Nothing much going on for Friday, although Joseph did get in an easy recovery jog in the morn. But, we got a nice run in Saturday morn with the Boardtown group. I was planning on only doing 10-12, but both Joseph and I ended up doing a 14.7 mile route. It was pretty warm and humid, but there was a slight breeze and more shade than usual along the route today, so it was not too bad. Plus, we did not push it at all. Well, Joseph ran the first 3.6 miles fast (to the first water stop), but ran the rest with me at about 7:10 per mile. Lots of our Starkville Striders were there including Ian, Brent, Jorge, Jessica, and Kamau, who all ran 7 miles, and a bunch of the Starkville XC girls, many of whom also run some with us in the off season including Kate Mattox, Walker Mattox, Abigail Musser, Shaunika Musser, Carys Snyder, Anna Jackson, and a new girl who I don’t know. Almost as soon as we finished, we headed to the South Farm parking lot to meet and carpool to Tishomingo State Park in northeast Mississippi. For those of you who are unaware of this park, it is the coolest state park in our state in my opinion. Rocky ledges and boulders, a rocky creek for swimming and paddling in, and a swinging bridge are some of the highlights of this park. We took two cars with Joseph, Audrey, Jorge, Ian, Jessica, Brent, and Drew Zeidwig going along for the adventure.

We arrived about 12:30 and ate some lunch (tuna, oranges, chips, gatorade, power bars, etc.), threw the frisbee around some, which Ian thoughtfully brought along, then trekked across the swinging bridge toward some trails.

Action shot of Audrey and frisbee

The bridge crossed Bear Creek, which was relatively low, but still inviting looking. We goofed around along the trail for probably an hour and a half before taking a break of about the same time in the creek. We were not the only ones, as many other folks were also chilling out there.

got me!

The rocks wall along the upper trail are amazing, at least for Mississippi, and this is basically the only part of the state with these formations. Several members of the group climbed up parts of the easier rock faces.

Brent and Joseph

Jorge of the Jungle climbing rock wall

At one point, we came across a nice waterfall, albeit, a waterfall with very little flow, and we cooled off there a while. It was much like a natural shower and felt great with the high temps!

waterfall (water drip?)

The creek was very nice after working up quite a sweat hiking along the trail. The hike was easy enough, but it was fairly warm. The favored activity in the creek seemed to be skipping stones. By the time we left Jessica had become a seasoned stone skipping veteran under Brent’s firm, but patient tutelage. But, Jorge and his unorthodox Colombian throwing motion was the one with the most skips in row. While in the creek we saw a very large Dolomedes fishing spider perched on the side of a rock as it waited for dinner. Also, a water snake swam by our group and nipped Audrey on the finger as she tried to guide it onward.

Playing in the creek

Audrey, Ian, Jessica, and Drew

Topped off the day by stopping in Tupelo for some food at the Atlanta Bread Company (used to be Paneras). Not bad. Then, dessert at Baskin Robbins! Got back to town about 8:30 after quite a nice day!

Sunday, we got a decent upper body workout in just before lunch. Lunch was freaking awesome too! I grilled some salmon with olive oil, lime juice and fresh basil; grilled shrimp with onions, red and yellow bell peppers, onion, and cajun spice in a skillet on the burner of the grill; had some that crazy cool purple-black rice; fresh tomotoes; sliced avocado; and focaccia bread with spinach and feta cheese!! Awesome!!@!@

Heading out for a run at 7 pm again. Will meet at the South Farm as usual…

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