Tag Archives: John Mooney

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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Spartan Race: Mississippi Sprint coming up on 8 November 2014

Yep, for you crazy semi athletic to super athletic types out there that like to do obstacle type running races, the Spartan Race is one of the more popular ones out there. In about three weeks, we will have one near the Mississippi Gulf Coast at Muddy Joe’s in Kiln. 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/.

Whew, back in town after my collecting trip and got in an awesome run on Tuesday. Did not get one Monday because we had crazy storms with high winds and hail that downed numerous large trees, damaged lots of houses and cars, and knocked power out of much of downtown Starkville. So, Tuesday at 5:15, I met the awesome fit dudes Brent Wallace, Jay McCurdy and John Mooney for a 6.5 mile run. Cool weather helped of course, and having Jay out there didn’t hurt either. First mile, 7:27, then picked it up. Averaged 6:32 for the entire route and it felt pretty easy. Finished last mile about 5:45. Cool.

Got a solo 5 mile run in at 5 PM on Wednesday. Another nice day, cool temps, still shirtless weather though! Easy run with first mile 7:10, then 6:50, 6:49, 6:47 and finished with 6:34. felt good.

Thursday was such a beautiful day that I decided to take most of the day off from work. Went in for a while, then took my mountain bike to the awesome trails at Tombigbee National Forest in Winston County. Nobody there but me! Rode the hilly trails for about 2 hours, then threw a hammock up on a ridge overlooking a creek. Ate a snack, then fell asleep for an hour. Cool. Got back on the bike and headed back a slightly different way. Good day!

JoeHammock1 joebike creek bikehammock Armadillo

Got home in time to get a run in with Brent. Six miles at an easy 7:07 pace today. Started out quite slow as my legs were still in mountain bike mode!! By halfway we were doing fine though………

6 AM! Pushups, pullups, curls, abs, shoulder presses and Nirvanna! Yeah Baby!


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run, swim, kayak, pushups, bike, pushups, stuff….

Monday, Woke up, rolled out of bed, and did 4 sets of 50 pushups and a few crunches. Then I wrangled that wascally kid out of bed and we then ran a few easy miles. He got in 5 and I did 4. Did some more ab stuff when I got home, then headed to work!

Lunch time! Translation, awesome workout time! Another good one. Yippie chippie! Then lunch, also awesome! Salad and a nice juicy cut of t-bone stead. THICK. RARE. YUM.

Later, at 7 pm, ran another few miles with the Joseph Smoseph. Good day.

Tuesday, Six AM, 400 pushups in 4 sets and several sets of ab stuff. Then, on my mountain bike, I paced Joseph during his tempo workout. This was on a paved country road in the Sessums community where we live. He did a 2 mi WA jog, easy, then stretched/loosened up a bit before starting the tempo stuff. Today he did 2 X 10 minutes and 1 X 5 minutes at tempo pace with about 2-3 minute rests, then about a mile jog after. Already semi warm and of course very humid by the time we got started, but he was pretty solid today with the first 10 minutes at 5:34 pace, then next 10 minutes at 5:32 pace, and the final 5 minutes at 5:28 pace. So, that was a good start to the day. One of the neighborhood dogs joined us for the 2 mile WA and the first 10 minute faster section. I guess that was enough, because he did not rejoin us for the rest!

Lunch time! First, did another 600+ pushups to add to the day’s total, plus pullups, lots of ab stuff, some curls, shoulder presses and flies. Nice. Steak fajita nachos for lunch!

Had a solid 7 miler at 6 PM with Will Kallfelz. Pretty hot! Cruised thru town and the Greensboro District. Will had already run 13 miles that morn! Pretty relaxed and easy pace in the mid 7’s, but I did pick it up on the last couple with them being about 7:10 and then 6:43.

Wednesday, Got in a few easy miles (no watch on) this morn at 6 AM. Couple of friendly Sessum’s dogs ran with me much of the way. Later, at lunch, I came home and did 8 X 400m intervals on my trail. WHEW! Super Hot! In between each, I did a set of 30 pushups just because. Not an easy loop at all with the harsh turns, roots, and respectable semi-long hill at the end. Managed to keep them between 1:19 and 1:25 today, with the last one the faster. Really, 7 were right at 1:25 and the last one was 1:19. Man! I was hot. So, I did some more pushups, pullups, a few curls and shoulder presses, and a few ab things out on my deck. I was sweating like  CRAZEEE! That shower after felt soooo nice! Yep.

Joseph also had his own double run today.

Thursday, Morn, got up at 5:30ish and did some stuff! Pullups, pushups, ab crunchy things and oblique things, both with 45 lb weight in hands, some light (30 lb) dumbbell curls. Took about an hour. Nice workout!

Rain coming in. So, got in a run at lunch. Pretty hot. But, heh. Did 5.3 miles at a decent pace. Felt really good. Might be getting in shape or something?? Oh yeah, it was hot! Afterward, as I stretched, I saw a dead Polyphemus moth on the ground. Beautiful moth!

Polyphemus moth

Polyphemus moth

Noon! Hot!

Noon! Hot!

Another run at 6:30 after the storm. Ran with Robert Morgan, Morgan Henry and Juan Villarreal! Good run. First mile was 7:30, then 6:55, 6:55, 6:49, 6:20, and about 6:15 pace for the last. 0.3 miles! Yeah baby! Of course, Joseph was off doing some crazy fartlek that would have made my run look like a walk. Ah well. Good deal.



Friday, No run, but worked out in morn, and another light one before lunch. Lunch! Steak and vegetables! Tasty, tasty.

Saturday, Morning run with the Boardtown group. I stayed up too late, but was still able to run the 11 mile route. Not fast today, but not bad. Just plugged along with Patton Little who is a junior at Starkville High who runs XC and the 800m run in track. He has come a long way from being a slow chubby kid (his description, but basically true). Now he is just over 6 feet tall, pretty dern skinny, and running quite well. He has a lot of drive. I briefly coached his older brother Layton at Starkville Academy a few years back. Layton had a good build and natural talent, but Patton is more driven and is really coming along. We averaged about 7:22 per mile mostly chatting the entire way, but at mile 10 we picked the pace up and ran that last mile at 6:10. Nice.  When we finished up, Joseph was heading back out for another 3 miles. Patton joined him, and, with that additional three miles, they both got in 14 miles total for the morn. Awesome. This was Patton’s longest run ever I believe, and he was super happy to be able to run with Joseph for a while. Joseph is something of a local running hero to the high school kids around here. Speaking of which, Joseph once again had a nice run with Houston Franks and Jay McCurdy  on this super humid morn!

We left there, then hit the farmers market to get some goodies! Then bought some swordfish and salmon at the store and headed home. Both Joseph and I got in an awesome upper body workout when we got home. I did not count how many sets of pushups and pullups and other things I did today, but a lot! Cha ha ta cha.

And lunch! Ah. Grilled fish; purple rice with fresh diced cucumber, bell pepper, and tomato on top; a nice mixed salad; and afterward banana, peach, and strawberry smoothies! Man. SUM goood eatin’.

Sunday, Got up early and we headed to Choctaw Lake on this beautiful overcast morn. Started out with some atrocious swimming! Joseph, who used to be on a swim team (although he has not swam much lately), gave some pointers, some of which may have helped. He also pointed out the obvious fact that my body is probably not meant for swimming with my dense upper shoulder chest area that does not seem to have any propensity for floating. And, of course, he then showed me that he could still do the backstroke and butterfly stroke with no problem. Punk.

After quickly wearing myself out, we jumped in the kayaks and leisurely paddled around the lake. As per usual on these Sunday mornings, we had the place to ourselves once again! Lots of birds flying around including egrets, Canadian geese, and others, and a ton of insect activity on the shoreline flowers.

Joseph in the yellow boat of power

Joseph in the yellow boat of power

Me on the boat! Howdy

Me in my my blue boat! Howdy

Choctaw Lake

Choctaw Lake

shoreline flowers

shoreline flowers

We goobed around for a while on the lake, then ran about 4.5 miles on the mountain bike trail. Legs felt like rubber for a little while, but it got better. By 10:30 am or so, it was starting to get pretty warm and we were getting hungry. Jumped back in the water to cool down, ate some snacks (banana, protein bar, water) then headed on home. Great day at the lake for sure!

When I got home, still had some energy, so I did about 5 sets of pushups (70-80 reps) and about the same with weighted crunches. Yippie! Did not eat lunch ’til 3 PM. Left over steak (just a small bit really) and a bunch of salad.

6 pm run with Joseph, Robert Morgan, Morgan Henry, Drew Boyles, Brian Laird, and John Mooney. Pretty warm and very humid, but still a decent run. Only 5 miles for most of us. John caught us in the middle of his 14 mile run. Despite having run and done lots of other stuff earlier, I still had a decent, jog. I stayed with Joseph today, with Drew and John mostly hanging with us, for about a 7 minute average pace per mile with first mile slower and 5th at 6:30. Drew, who had run over to meet us, dropped off around the four mile mark (5 or 6 for him) and headed home to cook supper and eat. John briefly dropped off to stretch his legs and finished up just a bit behind us. The other mugs dropped off here and there, but showed up not too long after us. Good run! Robert was pretty hyped up and inspired by my recent loss of 20 pounds and getting back into decent shape, so he decided to go add a few miles after and help Mooney finish his run up. Mooney, incidentally, won yet another triathlon yesterday in Jackson, MS and even broke the course record. Apparently, he is the man around this region right now! Congrats Mr. Mooney!

I was still pretty hyped up myself after this pleasant and quite sweaty jaunt thru town, so I did 5 sets of pushups (50-70 reps each) and some hanging oblique raises when we got home! Yeah baby!


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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 Jorge,  Joseph and the other posers.  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.


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

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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Joseph MacGown commits to run for SCAD XC!

Sunday, Morning, workout-normal pushups and stuff, yeah man! Afternoon, met some of the wild bunch for a run. Joseph and Brent ran together, and I ran with Lucas and John Mooney as we all headed downtown. Max was on his bike today, joined us for a bit, then went off on his own to where ever German dudes bike to. Joseph, Brent, and I opted for about 6 miles, Lucas and Thomas got more. Easy run, beautiful day!! About 80°F.  A college girl, or someone who appeared to be a college girl, told me that I had a nice beard! Cool. Had my sunglasses and dew-rag on, no shirt, looking like a crazy man!

Brent Wallace, Max Roethig, Joseph MacGown, and John Mooney.

Brent Wallace, Max Roethig, Joseph MacGown, and John Mooney.

Monday, Cold today! Started out chilly and by late afternoon was 29°F! TrIpPy! Joseph ran some early, easy run. I did not run today, got off work late. Did go see some awesome Latin music that night though. One of our Starkville Striders, Chad Anderson, played his drumkit with the group. He is pretty spectacular at drumming and even toured in Europe at some point as a jazz drummer! Coolness all around.

Tuesday, Joseph did a 10 X 400m workout on our trail this morning. Pretty muddy and crazy, but I have a nice 400m+  a bit trail mowed. He did time it, but said it went well. Met Joseph, Lucas and Nick at the South Farm at 4 PM. Chilly again, about 36°, but not too bad. I wore shorts. I only did 3 miles, pretty slow. Still trying to figure out a way to run that does not kill my left calf. I have a noticeable limp the last few years, and I always favor one side.  Actually contemplating visiting a chiropractor to check it out. I often wonder if the many years of playing pickup basketball and associated knee injuries is partly to blame. May have lost stuff in that right knee. My left calf is pretty much the one that get sore, but my right foot has had issues. I don’t know. I was trying to make myself lean into my left leg today! Also, trying to pick my feet up quicker. Have gotten lazier the last 10 or 15 years with my stride rate. Anywho. The other guys did about 7 easy miles.

Wednesday, Workout day for me. Felt pretty good. Joseph ran on his own that morn. Late, we met a couple of the guys at the South Farm. I did about 4 miles pretty easy. Joseph and Lucas got in 7 or so, and Nick the braniac wildman did who knows what.

Thursday,  Non run day for me, worked late, and really did not have chance to run. Joseph slapped in a run in between showers. Easy run.


Joseph, as I have mentioned in other posts, has had quite a few college coaches contact him about running for them. From NCAA Division I, II, III, junior and community colleges, to NAIA schools. This was cool, because if you follow my blog, you know that he has not run track for his school since 9th grade, when he decided it was not worth running for a guy who had zero concern for the athletes and no real experience with running in general (he is no longer there, thankfully). He did not run XC this past fall either, for a variety of reasons, although he won the state meet the year before. Intuitively, you might think this would make it difficult to run in college and reduce the likelihood of receiving an athletic scholarship. And, yes, this likely impacted the choices he had, but it also helped in a way. He was able to concentrate on some longer races as well, which in the end, helped probably more than anything. Certainly, college coaches like to see runners win state meets, as that shows competitiveness. And, with two individual state championships in hand, Joseph had that.  But, in reality, college coaches are more interested in how fast a kid can run, how far they can hold that pace, and the personality of the runner. Will that runner fit their scheme, get along with the team, and believe in the system. Well, of course, that is a two way street. In high school, it is next to impossible to find a coach who even has a quality system to believe in. But, this is not as often the case for college coaches, who are much more knowledgeable. So. after having contacted a bunch of coaches via email or phone the spring of his junior year, and after putting his stats online on several important sites, he was contacted by well over 30 coaches. Cool. Next, the process of talking with them, making relationships, and even visiting some schools. A big decision, with running being only part of the equation. For Joseph, who wants to major in art, a quality art program was crucial, but also, the idea of running somewhere with a quality coach. And, of course, the feel of the school and location was important. Not to mention, cost. Basically, we were looking for free, as we are not wealthy (the opposite really). We had some great visits here and there, but ultimately, he made his final decision this past week and signed with the cross country team at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, an NAIA school.

He received the official signed offer letter today! Very exciting for him, and relief all around. Now we can at least relax about where he is going. This art school is super cool, but really expensive. The only possibility of him going here was with a great scholarship, which a year ago, seemed like a long shot. But, fast forward to today, and he has a sweet four year deal at a premier art school where he will be running for a great coach with a bunch of crazy artistic and musical jokers. If this sounds ideal, thats because it is. An opportunity of a lifetime kind of deal! He should fit in pretty well there too, as he is a musical, artistic, runner dude. The coach, Patrick Reagan, has only been there a couple of years, but has already seen great improvement from his runners, both female and male, with this past fall being the best XC season ever at SCAD. Coach Reagan himself is a speedy distance running and can still run sub 30 minutes for the 10K! He seemed particularly impressed with Joseph’s easy going nature,  complete lack of egotism, and his openness to the coach’s system.  He also was impressed with Joseph’s endurance at longer distances for someone so young. For example, his ability to run 10 miles at 5:35 or better, is not typical for 17 year olds. This, coupled with pretty good speed for reps during workouts should/could translate into some good times in college, especially with good runners to run with and a good coach guiding him. This is a kid who ran 2:05 for the 800m run at age 14 in limited races and was sub 5 minute mile and sub 11 minute 3200m in 8th grade at 13. So, the future is his to make!

Friday, Joseph and I headed to McKee Park at 4 PM, then I biked and he got in a warmup thru the Neighborhood over there. Saw our awesome bud Steve Shaffer jogging with some fast junior high girls. They were doing an easy run before their meet the next day. After warming up, Joseph did some tempo cruise intervals with the distance of each varying from .70 miles to 1.25 on the longest. Basically, if he started to slow down from the pace I wanted him to do, then we stopped. Trying to get him back on pace here with the spring coming up. Garmin watches truly help with this pacing. I have tried the Nike watches, but they sucked royally, especially with the pacing component. It jumped all over  the place and never matched the end result, which sometimes seemed accurate.  The built in pacing algorithm for the Garmin is much better and very useful. This is my opinion of course, and solely based on watches that I have tried out. I have tried 4 different Garmins and two Nikes thus far. The intervals were good today. Joseph stayed right at 5:25-5:27 pace for the first 3.30 miles, then finished up the last .7 miles at 5:08 pace. He used to blow this away with minimal rest, so I think its just a matter of getting back into it. After all the bullshit politics associated with his school’s XC program, and then later the Mississippi Athletic Board’s good ole boy policy of restricting unattached and home-schooled runners, he was pretty fed up with organized running in this state. Fortunately, after a few months of pretty easy running and reflection, his  love of running has returned!  During one of the rest parts of the workout and after finishing the cool down, we saw some of Joseph’s friends who run distance at SHS hanging out at McKee Park. Those crazy jokers. Its amazing how entertaining a tennis ball can be, apparently!

Saturday, Worked out in the morn with Joseph. Then, yard work for several hours on a glorious day! Trimmed bushes, picked up some branches (two truckloads), cut back some Liriope, got my lettuce and stuff out of the cold frame and in the ground, and well, I guess that was it! Later, we got in an easy run out here in the country. 70°F today! I did 3.2 miles at 7:20 pace. Joseph got in maybe 4.5. I put a full length sole insert of decent thickness in my right shoe today, as I have done off and on. I also concentrated on running to my left a bit to help balance out some stuff, if that makes any sense (probably not), and ran in the middle of the road instead of the left side where the road angles down. That for sure helps, and I can get away with it out here in the country where there is little traffic. Still trying to work on my cadence to get it back to a reasonable level, which would probably help as well. Basically, I am a lazy punk these days!

We we will be heading out to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM for a long run and bike (I am biking with the kid first, then running some). Will be meeting at the Headquarters/visitor center parking lot if anyone is still in town and wants to join us.


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