Tag Archives: Houston Franks

Free Entry to Spartan Race, do you want it?????


Spartan Race: Mississippi Sprint coming up on 8 November 2014

Next Saturday, November 8th, there will be a Spartan Race near the Mississippi Gulf Coast at Muddy Joe’s in Kiln, MS. This race, like others in this series will be held in waves of 200 entrants every 15 minutes. Crazy race, crazy times. I have not done one of these races, but everyone who I know that has done one has greatly enjoyed them. Of course, these races cost money, and its almost last minute, so that does not help. But, guess what! I have a 10% off discount code here that will work for any Spartan Race. Cool, yeah! Here it is: SPARTANBLOGGER.  Further, I have a code for a free entry (thanks to Dan the Man) to any Spartan race in US, including the MS Race. This is a great deal worth up to $100 depending on when you register! Want it? Write a reason why you want it and include it in a comment here or email me.  I will pick someone to give the code to.  I would prefer giving it to someone doing the Mississippi race, but that is not a requirement. More info about Mississippi Sprint Spartan Race is at http://www.spartan.com/events/?event_id=168/mississippi-sprint#. More info about the Spartan Races series is at http://www.spartan.com/.

Good run Sunday afternoon with Drew Boyles, Brent Wallace, Christian Kingery, Armon Borjani, Patton Little, and Ben Mackin. The last four guys are Starkville High kids with Patton and Armon being the top runners on the XC team, and Ben being a solid runner as well. Christian decided not to run his senior year and has instead been focusing on swimming and soccer. However, he is no slouch either and was running the 400m in about 51 seconds last year as well as having been a solid XC runner. It was warmer today and we ran our almost 6 mile route a bit earlier at 4 PM. I consider these Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday runs to be easy to medium pace, but of course that varies a lot depending on how you feel. I felt pretty good today. I told the high school guys that we usually do the first mile slower, around 7:30, then pick it up and try to finish at a decent pace, but, of course, they could do what they wanted. Obviously, with me being a 50 year old man they probably going to do what I was doing if possible, even if their easy runs are typically slower. Today we were right at 7:29 for the first mile, then we picked it up. Mostly everyone hung together for that second mile, which was 6:25, but after the third mile, which was 6:10, the group broke up. In fact, after my fourth mile, which was about 6 flat or better, I realized I had drifted ahead of everyone and went back to join them. We slowed down a bit, then Drew headed home (he had already run 3 miles before joining us), then Brent and I picked it back up, with Patton and Armon content to run about a 7 minute pace for the last couple. Anyway, good run. I averaged under 6:30 pace for the entire route and about 6:13 for the last 5 miles. Thigh felt great today and whoo hoo! Good run.

Monday, got in a super easy 6+ mile run in on the hilly gravel roads of the South Farm. Just took it easy. Figured after the decent run the day before, that would be the way to go.

Tuesday, met John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Drew Boyles for a 5.8 mile run at 4:30 PM. As we were getting ready to start, Houston Franks came running up, so he joined us. Really nice group run. First mile was 7:19, then 6:36, 6:28, 6:31, 6:09, and the last 0.8 miles was at 4:41 (5:52 mile average). Averaged about 6:29 per mile with everyone pretty much sticking together the entire way, except Mooney, who dropped back with a mile to go because he is on some training plan and did not need to pick it up. So, first mile at 7:19, then the next 4.8 at 6:20 pace. Certainly another nice run. Also cool about this was that we were pretty much talking the entire time, so it was not a struggle by any means. And, the route thru town has numerous stop lights, stop signs, roads that bisect that route, and lots of turns. Basically, we have to slow down a lot to make sure cars are not going to hit us at these places, then we pick it back up. The actual pace we are moving along at is better than the average pace indicated by our watch. COOL.

Easy run Wednesday afternoon, about 6 miles total. That followed a pretty decent lunch time workout earlier in the day!

Just me and Brent Thursday afternoon. We did our usual about 6 mile loop. Not as fast as Thursday and Sunday, but  more by choice. Felt a little stiff for the first half mile, which was at about 8 minute pace, then gradually picked it up with the first mile being 7:35, then 6:48, 6:45, 6:56, 6:40, and finished off with a 6:32. Pretty day, chillier though. Won’t be long before we will have to don our shirts. I love the feeling of running shirtless. Feels good.

Took both Friday and Saturday off from running. Was planning on going Saturday, but it did not work out. Got is a couple of brief workouts though

Sunday, I met Brent at 3PM at the Refuge for an afternoon run. Temps in the low 50’s, so pretty good for running on this sunny early November morn! He brought his lady friend Clara along as well, although she biked. Brent showed up sans shirt, so I had to brave the chill and run shirtless too! Glad I did too, but it was chilly after and nice to get my warmups back on after the run. We decided to only do 8 miles today because we had both eaten late heavy lunches. Man, that food was churning in my belly! Anyhoo, started off with a 7:06 mile, then dropped to 6:33, 6:24, and 6:23 before turning around at the 4 mile mark (also a quick “pee” break). Turned around and picked it up with a 6:06, 6:04, 6:12 (a hilly section), and finished up with a 5:53 mile. Afterward, I jogged easy for about 10 minutes to loosen up. I thought this was an awesome run for both of us. We averaged 6:20 for the entire 8 miles, 6:13 for the 7 miles following the slower warmup mile, and 6:03 for the final 4 miles!

Clara and Brent Eno action

Clara and Brent Eno action

Clara and Brent

Clara and Brent

 

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cha, cha, cha…do the run thang


Monday, At 6 AM, I ran about 4 easy miles with Joseph. Well, I ran 4 miles and he ran 4 miles, but not together. Got back to the truck and our awesome dog buddies came by to visit. These dogs are so nice! My dogs are nice, but have gotten so old, they have very little pep in them. They get excited, kind of, when its dinner time. And, Butch, my annoying beagle, still tries to chase animals. But yeah, thats about it. After the run, I did 4 sets of 50 pushups and 4 sets of 15 pullups.

Came home at lunch and had a freaktacular workout! The teaser that morn was good, but I got pretty ramped up at lunch. Shoulder flies, another 300 pushups (a few sets), weighted crunches, oblique shrugs, hanging oblique raises, dumbbell curls, dumbbell military presses, some bench press, some crazy dumbbell shoulder arm deals, etc. Man, it was a good workout! Veins were jumping and some definition is coming in. Barring anything weird, I think I will be able to at least look physically close to where I was at age 20 in the very near future. Getting closer! Nice. Felt really good. I am still hyped up 2 hours later!!

Another easy 4 miles run at 6:15 pm with Joseph. Cooled off a bit, felt really nice! Legs were slightly sore from my mountain bike spill yesterday. More sore than yesterday in fact. Especially my right knee, which absorbed a lot of the impact and my left calf, which was twisted smashed against my bike pretty nicely. Thinking about taking off a couple of days from running.

Tuesday, Did some early morning cleaning. Woohoo! Mopped, swept, blah, blah…In between, I did some random pushup sets and crunches. Ended up doing about 8 sets of 70-80 pushups.

At 5:30 PM, I worked out some more. Weighted crunches (holding a 25 lb weight in my hands), some more pushups, some dips, oblique shrugs, and some various weird dumbbell fly deals. Pretty good workout, albeit fairly quick. Later, at 7 PM, Joseph and I met Will Kallfelz for a tempo type run. We met at McKee Park and mostly ran around the main loop in the adjoining Longmeadow neighborhood. That loop is almost exactly 2000m, which is handy dandy. We all did 2 mile warmup jog, stretched some, drank some water, then started. Joseph did a 5 mile run. I ended up doing 3.1 and Will did the 2.47 miles (two loops), then cool down. I was planning on not running because of soreness from minor bike wreck, but, dang! It was super nice and not very humid. Sore or not, I had to do something. The warmup felt fine, so I figured I would see how things went. I ran with with Will for probably 1.7 miles and we were averaging 6:25 or so mile pace. I was 6:26, 6:23, and 6:14 plus something similar for the last .1 miles. Good run, and probably could have done more. Averaged out to about 6:20 per mile. Will also had a great run averaging close to 6:25 per mile. When I got done, I jogged back to the truck then biked around until I found Joseph. Paced him for his last mile or so, which was 5:40-5:45 pace. Both he and Will cooled down with another loop around the neighborhood. Whew, what a super beautiful day!!

Wednesday, Morning workout with about 5 sets of 100-130 reps of pushups, weighted ab stuff, and 5 sets of pullups (15 reps). A few other things, but needed to get to work. Plan to come back at lunch and finish up the workout. Well, lunch! I made it  home and jumped right back into the workout. Quite a few random curls with the curl bar and 30 lb and 40 lb dumbbells. Shoulder presses with 40 lbs dumbbells (4 sets with between 15 and 35 reps depending on rest), 3 sets of shoulder presses with the long bar (135 lbs, did not count reps), some different ab stuff including those things where you hang from the straps and pull your knees up, obliques shrugs, trap shrugs (light weight), some light squats with 135 lbs with bar in front of my chest, and some odd little exercises that I do for definition. Good workout.

Later, at 6 PM, I met Joseph, Jorge, Juan, Will, and Trevon Strange at our regular meeting spot for a 6 mile run thru town. Trevon! Yep, he got him a new tattoo across his chest. Pretty awesome. He will be heading back to Tuckegee University this week where he should be ready to dominate his XC team. Actually, he was easily their best runner last year and is in much better shape now! We all had a pretty good run and started out together. After the tempo the day before, I figured Joseph, Will, and I would be sort taking it easy today, and even though Joseph was in the front with Jorge, I would say that he did. In fact, Trevon had run a nice 6 miler the day before, and Jorge and Juan had done something similar two days earlier. But, it was once again great running weather, and after the first mile, which we all did at about 7:30 pace, we picked it up. Will dropped back a bit, and ended up with a 7:17 average today, but the rest of us hung tight for almost 4 miles. The fourth mile of this route is hillier and by far the hardest, and Joseph and Jorge got some space on us. Not too bad though. My average pace today was about 6:44 and my splits were 7:31, 6:50, 6:46, 6:41, 6:19, and 6:17. Pretty good run for me!

Joseph MacGown, Will Kallfelz, Trevon Strange, Jorge Villarreal, Juan Villarreal, and me (Joe MacGown)

Joseph MacGown, Will Kallfelz, Trevon Strange, Jorge Villarreal, Juan Villarreal, and me (Joe MacGown)

Thursday, Well, did some pushups and stuff in the morn, but not too much. Spent some time mowing and doing yard work at lunch. Then, at 6 pm, got in a 6 mile run with Will Kallfelz, Morgan Henry, and Houston Franks. This was the first time that speedy little Franks joker went with us, although we routinely see him at Boardtown runs on Saturday. Ironically, the day he showed up first was a day when our faster folks were not there. But, he seemed happy as clam to cruise along with us thru the campus and research park on this nice day. Averaged about 7:05 per mile. Joseph did some kind of crazy fartlek elsewhere.

Friday, As I have been doing sometimes lately, I split my workout into two sessions, one before work and one after work. Nice. No run today.

Saturday, 6:30 AM run with Boardtown. This week, Jorge and his brother Juan Villarreal are staying with me as they are in between places. Jorge got up and rode over with Joseph and I for the run. Today’s route was 12.4 miles with humid conditions that became light rain later. The rain felt nice. Joseph had his running partners Houston Franks and Jay McCurdy back today, so he ran with them. About 14.5 miles at 6:25-ish pace. My bud Robert Morgan was not here, but I ran with Vicky McCurdy, Will Kallfelz, Micah White, and MSU XC runner Carmen Brothers depending on how I felt during the run. Started out easy with first 6 miles all over 7 minute pace, but the second half I was under 7 minute pace. So, that was cool! My watch died at about 9 miles (forgot to charge that mug), and up to there I had a 7:15 going, but overall it was probably closer to 7 or slightly under.

After the run, I teased some of the local junior high and high school XC girls. Those jokers are crazy and always give me a hard time, so I have to give it back!

Stopped by the farmer’s market for some local freshness, then headed home to workout. The good run made me hyper for more. Worked out for about an hour. The usual stuff. Pushups, pullups, curls, ab stuff, shoulder stuff. Blah, blah. Good workout though. Had to make myself stop. I get so hyped up doing these workouts I have to be careful that I don’t make myself pass out!

Sunday, Early in the morn, I kayaked for about 2 good hours at Oktibbeha Lake with Laurie Burton and her crazy hyper ninja dog Ripley who was commander of her boat. Because we  got early, we beat the heat, it was great!

Laurie and Ripley

Laurie and Ripley

Laurie and RIpley paddling

Laurie and RIpley paddling

Oktibbeha County Lake

Oktibbeha County Lake

Oktibbeha County Lake

Oktibbeha County Lake

Got home around noon and did some pushups (about 800 in sets of 50-80) and pullups (150 reps in sets of 15-20) and ab stuff!! A few dips, jah. Threw in a few curls for good measure. Yeah, I know. Conventional wisdom says don’t do this stuff every day or even close. But, not using much weight or only my body weight. And, have been doing this stuff since I was 12. So. Yep.

At 7 pm, I met Joseph and Juan for a Sunday evening jaunt thru town. Ah yes. Good times baby. Was looking rough there for a bit with a very localized storm cell, but miraculously it dissipated just before we started! Good and bad. Sure did not help the humidity! Anywhoo, I ran the first 2.3 miles with those two former high school state xc champs and former and about to be college xc runners. Then I turned off a different way for a shorter route, which ended up being about 5.3 miles at just over 7 minute pace. First mile was warmup pace, 7:30, then 7:05, 7:03, then 6:37, and 6:36 (and about the same pace for the last 0.3 bit). Those two did a 6 mile loop at some pace. Not sure exactly. Not bad though. Felt pretty good. Saw crazy Will Kallfelz along the way. He was doing a 12+ miler!

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Some cooler weather makes for faster running!


Monday, 6 AM run in Sessums with Joseph. He got in about 5 miles easy, and did 3.5 super easy! At 7 pm, we both repeated the same run, although this time I went faster.

Tuesday, 6 AM upper body and core baby! 7 PM tempo run in Longmeadow with Will Kallfelz and Joseph. First, 2 miles easy paced warmup. Then Joseph started his 5 mile tempo. Will and I were shooting for a 2.5 mile tempo, and we ran the first 1.5 miles together at about a 6:37 pace. Today was cooler than normal, and I was feeling good as a result, so was able to pick up the pace a bit. Ended up doing 2.7 miles at 6:27 pace. Will ended up right around 6:40 pace for almost 2.5 miles. Not to mention that in addition to the 2 mile warmup and 1.65 mile cooldown, he had already run 8 miles earlier that afternoon! I jogged around after for a bit, then 5 easy miles on my mountain bike.

Wednesday, No run this morn, stayed up too late. In fact, did not even go to work. Beautiful day though, about 20° cooler! Worked out on my art studio porch. Awesome pump today. Curls, pushups, pullups, shoulder presses, shoulder flies, and some oblique shrugs. Butterflies everywhere, cicadas singing, flowers blooming. Gorgeous.

cool double day lilies in the yard

cool double day lilies in the yard

I did a 5 mile run through town at 4 PM. This early start time was a lot easier because of the cooler temps! I averaged 7:15 per mile with the first being the slowest and the 5th the fastest at 6:46. Not bad, felt good. Yeehah!

Thursday, Before lunch, I was hyper, so I did a few sets of pushups and various ab things. For some reason, pushups don’t tax me like weightlifting does. I could probably do them every day. My reps varied dramatically depending on how much I rested between the sets. The rest consisted of doing ab exercises. So, I did sets of between 51 and 130 reps of pushups.

At 7PM, I met Joseph, Jorge, Juan, Trevon Strange, Robert, and Gabe Muniz who was in town visiting his brother Lucas. We started at our usual place, the parking lot near the MSU tennis courts. We headed downtown on another relatively cool day! Awesome. As usual, our first mile was slowish at 7:30 pace, then gradually everyone picked it up. Next mile was about 6:51. At 2.3 miles, Robert, Gabe, Juan, and I split off for a 5.3 mile route. The other three did the 6 mile loop, although, at least today, everyone pretty much ran the same or close to the same pace between 6:47 and 6:50 average pace. My last 1.3 miles were under 6:25, so that was nice! Great day for running!

Gabe Muniz

Gabe Muniz

Trevon and Joseph

Trevon and Joseph

Jorge and Robert

Jorge and Robert

Jorge

Jorge

Friday, Going to be a rainy day! Temps are great though. Started the morn out with bench press, pullups, curls and abs! YEAH!  Great way to start the day. Thought about an early run, but rain was starting, so skipped it. I can run in the rain, but I have a problem starting the run if its already running. If I am already running and it starts raining, I don’t have any problem. Chalk that up to another one of my strange mental issues I guess.

So yeah, rainy Friday! Joseph was at his mom’s the last couple of nights, and he said he managed to get in about 7 miles in Friday morn in the rain.

Saturday, Still some light rain early in the morn, but it seemed to be moving out of here. Me and the kid headed to the White’s for the Boardtown Club run. I opted for 10 miles today, of which I did almost 7 with my running bud Robert Morgan. I was a bit quicker than him on the first 3.3 miles to the water stop, but the rest of the way we ran together. Not bad, I ended with a 1:12:02 for about 7:12 pace. Last mile was the best, about 6:40. Joseph ran with Coach Houston Franks and Jay McCurdy for most of the way until about 13.3 miles at which point they split up with Houston doing 18 miles, Jay 17 miles, and Joseph 15 miles. After an easy first few miles around 6:30 pace, they picked it up with some low 6’s and even a 5:40 and 5:48 section in there. Nice. Joseph ended doing the 15 mile run at about 6:19 pace overall.

Hung out with Laurie Burton Saturday afternoon in the Cotton District for the “Running of the Bulldogs”! Not really sure what the hell this was exactly, but, there was awesome music by some local dudes: Johnny Hollis, then Nick Cruz (sp?), and finally Bill Cook. Good Stuff. Also, a ribeye steak cooking competition, and yes, we were able buy some of that nice beef. Lots of alcohol if you were so inclined, and finally, at 7 PM, the local Roller Derby Girls chased random people from one bar to another and back. Strange, but interesting. The girls are awesome and call themselves the Mississippi Brawlstars.

Laurie with one of the girls

Laurie with one of the girls

Me and one of the Brawlstars, Smarty ....

Me and one of the Brawlstars, Snarly Quinn 

Sunday, Morning run with Joseph out here in Sessums. Nothing crazy, 4 miles, easy. Got done and were greeted by the local dog committee. Dogs like us, and kids. So it seems. Some friendly dogs for sure! Almost every Sunday morn, after our run, these crazy canines c0me by to say hello and receive some petting!

pet me human!

pet me human!

dogs

dogs

meet and greet

meet and greet

Joseph and a friend!

Joseph and a friend!

After the run, I went to town and goobed around on my mountain bike just to loosen up my legs.  A pleasant morning, so why not. Passed Haley Jenkins who was running. She is a happy camper for sure. She was also at the Boardtown run yesterday where she ran 15 miles. That pleasant little joker has sure got the running bug the last couple of years! I ended up mosying over to City Bagel for a nice breakfast bagel. Ate outside and enjoyed the breeze. Some more biking, then back home to work on some art stuff.

Got home and worked on two different pieces, one of which will be included in a book and later in an international show and the other for a local show. Listened to Blur and Nirvana! Loud. Yeah Baby. Got hyper, so occasionally I took breaks from my paintings to do pushups, curls, and shoulder flies. I did about 7 sets of 50+ pushups, probably 5 or 6 sets of dumbbells curls with 35 lb dumbbells, and 4 sets of 10 shoulder flies with the same weight.

Seven PM, yep, Joseph and I headed to town for a run. As we started, Nick Petit showed up and ran with us for about a mile! Have not seen much of that crazy mugg! So, yeah, I ran 5 miles. First one was super easy, about 7:55, then the next 4 were all under 7 minutes each. Averaged about 6:46 for those 4. Nice. Joseph ran on his own and did 6 miles.

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Humidity, Cicadas, and smoothies


Sunday, I finally got to sleep some time after 2 AM, and woke up a couple of times before getting up a 5 AM. Got up and ate breakfast on the deck – some yogurt, a peach, and an orange. It was pretty nice out. After a while I went back to bed and slept maybe another hour. Got back up and did various ab exercises. Headed to town and goobed around on my mountain bike for 90 minutes cruising the campus, downtown, research park, north farm gravel roads and some of the bike trails near the research park.

At 7 PM, Joseph and I met some scrubs including John Mooney, Brent Wallace, and Drew Boyles. Mooney was doing a two hour run, but joined me for 4.6 miles. The rest of them bugs did 6 miles at 6:50ish pace. My pace was 7:21.

Monday, Morn, Joseph and I ran out here in Sessums. I did 4 miles easy, and he got in 6. Later, at 7 PM, and right after eating pizza, I ran 3.1 more miles at 7:10 pace, then worked out some. Joseph also added 4 miles.

Tuesday, Rode my bike some with Joseph this morn as he attempted a tempo run. First a 2 mile warmup run at easy pace, then he got in 3 miles at ok pace, but not really very good, so he just finished up with a jog and we called it a day. He was not feeling it this morn for sure.

Later, I met Joseph, Lake, Brent, and Jorge for a 6 mile run thru town. They all went faster than me, although I kept up for the first couple of miles. I ended up with a 7:14 pace. Pretty hot, pretty humid. This will be our last run with Brent for a while, as he is heading to England for a month! Some or another. He does know how to pick the right classes!

Wednesday, Went home for lunch and worked out. A good one, got all pumped and hyper! Simple things: pushups, pullups, ab stuff, bicep stuff, tricep stuff, shoulder stuff. Yep. Throw it together with little rest and it really works. Later, got in an easy 4 mile run (near 7 minute pace) after work. Pretty hot at 5:30 PM! Joseph ran somewhere on his own today.

Thursday, Joseph started the day with a Fartlek run. I started the day with work. Yippie. At 7 pm, afternoon run with Robert Morgan, Morgan Henry, Jorge, Villarreal and Will Kalfelz. Changed our route up some today and hit some road south of old Hwy 82. Nice change of pace. Morgan, Robert, and I did 5.35 miles, and my average mile pace was 7:22. This week is killer hot and humid. All runs have been crazy! Joseph again ran on his own today.

Friday, No run for me today. Did some upper body and core stuff from 3-4PM. Starting to get those abs back. Also did some plyometric type  jumps and skips out in the yard. In fact, I did the entire workout in the yard. Super hot! Have not done the frog type jumps in a long time. I will probably regret this in the morning! Joseph did an easy loose 5k type jog on the trail.

Saturday, Joseph and I met with the Boardtown group today for 6:30 AM run. The route was 11 miles. But, wow! Humid and hot! And those plyo’s? Yes, I regretted doing them. Apparently I was not the only one hurting. Jorge had played soccer the day before and Robert was struggling today as well. So, all three of us punked out and turned around at the first water stop, then headed back for about 6.5 miles. My pace was 7:21 per mile. Jorge’s pace was much faster, although he stopped several times and we caught him. Meanwhile, Joseph and Houston Franks ran almost 15 miles and at a very decent pace for this extreme weather. They added a segment thru the campus to get this distance. They basically ran together for about 13 miles, then Joseph said he needed to stop for a minute because he was hot. He came in a couple minutes after Coach Franks with a about a 6:25 average pace for 14.7 miles.

After running, I hung out in and by the pool with Audrey and her wacky punks, as well as Jorge and Joseph.  Played with the kids quite a while in the pool. Crazy little jokers. Times like this always make me appreciate Mike and Marcie White’s amazing hospitality in opening their house up every Saturday for 50-100 people! Their backyard is set up just for guests with beautiful arbors, flowering trees and vines, numerous tables and chairs, a wonderful swimming pool, and even a really cool playground for the many kids that show up including their own grandkids. Every single Saturday is a wonderful happy get together for Starkville’s running and Triathlete crowd, plus walkers and others just trying to stay in or get in shape.

Boardtownfolks1

Some Boardtown runners and walkers post run. Marcie White far left and Mike White in all black standing by post on right.

pool fun

pool fun

At 5 PM, I decided to do some pace based 400’s on my trail. After warming up for about 10 minutes, I did 10 X 400m with 30 seconds of rest between each. Not much rest, but I was not doing super fast ones. I ran them all between 1:33 and 1:35. After jogging/walking for a cool down, I then did several sets of pushups and various ab exercises. I did this outside, threw an old blanket on the grass for the ab things. Whew doggies! Hot and sweaty. Felt good though.

Eating a lot better lately. No soft drinks candy or really anything super bad. I always eat good stuff, but I have always also mixed the good with the bad. But, these last few weeks I have been trying to change my stupid ways with eating, as well as other negative parts of my life.  Tonight’s supper was grilled salmon with lemon; stir fried eggplant, yellow bell pepper, red onion, and yellow squash; and rice pilaf with orza topped with fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden and lime juice and habenero sauce. This type of meal is not unusual for me, but every time I eat something like this it makes me super happy and appreciative of the fact that I am one of the lucky people in the world who has an opportunity to partake in such a rich feast of the senses. After putting my food on my plate, I typically sit before it for a couple of minutes appreciating the moment, the smells, the colors, and life in general. Good food is good stuff in so many ways!

In other good news today, our running buds John Mooney, Lucas Muniz, and Brian Laird all did well at the Sunfish Triathlon. Mooney was first overall, Lucas was 5th overall, and Brian was 2nd in his age group! Way to go guys!

Brian Laird, John Mooney, and Lucas Muniz – tri guys!

Brian Laird, John Mooney, and Lucas Muniz – tri guys!

Sunday, Ran 5 miles at 6 AM with Joseph. Of course, super humid. I ran really easy, just trying to loosen up from the 400s I did the day before. Got home and made some awesome tasty banana, mango, peach, chocolate protein shakes! Yep, good stuff.

Worked out at noon. My basic but effective combo of pullups, pushups, curls, shoulder presses, dips, and ab exercises. Not bad, not bad. I have even slept more than 3 hours per night the last three nights. Couple that with good food, no crap food, and consistent exercise and I feel like I am in decent shape for a 50 year old artist punk.

7 PM run with Joseph, Drew Boyles, Juan and Jorge Villarreal, and Robert Morgan. Robert and Drew opted for 5 miles, Juan about 4, and the rest of did our standard Sunday afternoon 6 mile loop thru town. Hottt! Humid! I averaged 7:25 per mile, Joseph and Jorge ran together averaging around 6:45, with their first mile slow with us. Their splits were like 7:20, 6:45, 6:42, 6:37, 6:24, and 6:13. Not sure about the other jokers, but I was running with them until they turned back early, so it probably about the same pace as mine. Felt pretty good though.

 

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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, maybe even had some sort of life changing epiphany as I was running. As I was scooting along, I felt myself being overly tense, tight, trying to hard. So, I just relaxed and pretended I was a kid out running because its fun to run. My speed did not really change, but it sure felt better. As I relaxed and smiled like a foolish buffoon strolling down this gravel road, I realized that this was not just about running. My life has been tense and somewhat unfulfilling in many ways the last few years. There are some high points for sure, such as watching Joseph grow up and seeing his potential as and artist and musician. Its still hard to believe the amazing opportunity he will have at the Savannah College of Art and Design starting this fall. And, of course, I have had some success with my crazy artwork, interesting things to study at work, and getting to run with some awesome runner folks. But, at some point, and although it probably appears that I am a happy selfish punk because I spend time doing artwork, playing guitar, and exercising, I am in fact, wandering around in a strange fog, still trying to figure out basic things. Still living and doing things because I feel like I have to. Not relaxing and really enjoying life and what it has to offer. I am exaggerating a little, because I do get out and do some things such as random kayaking, hiking, biking, and stuff. I experience wonder every time I see a hummingbird or insects flying about. But, I have also become overly entrenched in my own little place in the universe, not willing to change for anyone, even if makes life less pleasant and my life less meaningful. I need to change. I suddenly and inexplicably realized that instead of finding ways to do things, I have been dwelling on why I can’t do things. Geez, its only taken me 50 years to come to that. Some people realize this when they are teenagers. Apparently, I am basically a really slow person. Reflection while running. The zen of running. Search your mind and soul and once in a while obvious answers pop up. Sometimes the answers come too late. I guess thats part of it. So, yeah, the run was good. This is part of why I run, to ponder the universe and my sometimes idiotic way of life. Occasionally, a random and meaningful assortment of thoughts pops into my head, and it is for these days and moments that I truly enjoy running.

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 where 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! My former girlfriend Audrey Sheridan, honey bee researcher extraordinaire (read more about her work at http://blogs.msucares.com/honeybees/) came by with her goober kids to enjoy the tastiness. I may or may not be suitable boyfriend material, but I can sure as hell grill some freakin’ awesome salmon and vegetables. Today was no exception. The vegetables included a mix of eggplant, red bell pepper, red onion, carrots, and zucchini cooked with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper in a wok over the open flame on my grill (side attachment). Threw that on some jasmine rice, then added some chopped tomato, cucumber, and basil. Everything was from the farmer’s market or from my own garden (other than the fish). I don’t always eat right, but when I do, it is soooooo satisfying.

Always good to see Audrey and her kids, who love playing with Joseph’s old toys.  Joseph seemed to enjoy playing with the toys as well, I guess basically he is still a kid. Heck, for that matter, who wouldn’t? He has some awesome toys like teenage mutant ninja turtles from back in the day!

Awesomeness

Awesomeness

the power of magnets!

the power of magnets!

goodies

goodies

Audrey seems especially happy these days, so I guess things are turning around for her with this crazy weird art dude out of her life (more or less). I imagine having someone less artistically inclined in her life now will make things much easier for her. Artists are complicated weirdos. I am no exception. Just look at my artwork! No, really, check it out: joemacgown.com. Maybe I will figure it out one day.  I am amazed and proud of her for the job she does with her kids. Those jokers are always doing something cool, staying fit, and have a vocabulary that probably surpasses mine. Not typical here in Mississippi!

Audrey, proud mother hen, with with youngsters at Choctaw Lake

Audrey Sheridan, proud mother hen, with with her youngsters at Choctaw Lake

Perhaps the highlight of my day was the super amazing blueberry chocolate bar that Laurie Burton brought me back from Alaska! Man, I love blueberries. And chocolate. Good stuff! Thank you very much! She said she also brought back a raspberry one, but somehow, it mysteriously disappeared! Hmm.

Sunday, Another semi sleepless night. Pretty much the norm the last few years following divorce and then crazy back and forth relationship with girlfriend/not girlfriend/girlfriend/not girlfriend, etc. Have not been able to find an inner calm, and the obvious lack of sleep does not help my energy level. Fortunately, my lowest energy level appears to be above the norm for folks, so I still manage to somehow manically get things done and even have some energy left over for exercise. I don’t recommend what I do for others. Its crazy and so much is going on it makes things like relationships really difficult. With that in mind, 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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Filed under Running