Tag Archives: MacGown MSU South Farm

running with the beasts

Got in a great run Sunday afternoon with Brent “the voice of reason” Wallace, Steve “happy as a clam” Shaffer, smooth Jorge Villarreal, and Joseph the trippy hippie as we hit the 7 mile loop on the South Farm. We started together then drifted a part a little.  Joseph was hyper early and ran the first 3.6 miles pretty fast. Jorge, Brent and I ran together for about 2.2 miles, then Jorge and I picked it up some. Joseph waited for us at the 3.6 miles point, then we took off. Jorge was going now and took the lead, but came back to run with me for a bit. Must have been lonely, poor feller. Then, he caught Joseph and they ran together for a while, then he took off again. I caught with Joseph at about the 6 mile mark and actually finished up before him. I think his skipping breakfast this morn caught up with him. I ran the course in 46:08. Jorge was at least a minute faster. Joseph was right behind me. Brent came strolling after not too long, and Steve pulled up at just over 53 minutes. It was truly nice out today, warm-73°F!

Did not run Monday, took the day off. Headed over to the gravelly goodness at the South Farm again on Tuesday. Met Nathan “the Hulk” Gaudin. That muscle headed joker ran with us for a couple of miles before veering off to the east and finishing up a 5 mile route.  He was running pretty well as we were doing about a 7 minute pace.  Joseph and I continued southward and picked up the pace. We met Jorge and Lucas Muniz at about the 3 mile mark and ran with them the rest of the way. Lucas is wanting to walk on the MSU team this spring and seems to really enjoy running. We went ahead and did the 3000 m loop of the XC course before heading back to the gravel. We were running along at a decent pace I think. Kept up with those rascals for a while, but after about 7 miles, I either slowed down slightly or they sped up! Or both. Anyway, those three punks finished about 25 seconds ahead of me. Joseph and I ended up with about 9.4 miles, and I think they were closer to 8 miles. Almost as soon as we got back to the cars, a crazy dark storm came in! We were running shirtless, but suddenly it was mighty chilly! Got a quick stretch in, and headed out. Good run. Yeah!

Wednesday was also a grey and chilly day. Picked Joseph up late from choir practice, and we managed to get a short run in before dark on the rainy, wet roads of Longmeadow neighborhood. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had some issues with my Garmin watches, so I ordered a Nike GPS watch. Today was my first time to try it out. I used the first half mile or so to see how the thing worked.   The watch said I was going an average pace of 10:39!! I was probably going about 7 minutes a mile type pace. Looked at the watch and realized that both the GPS sensor and the shoe sensor were on, and I was not wearing a shoe sensor. Figured that might be messing it up. Hoped that was it, or I was sending this joker back too! It was cloudy of course, but surely it would not mess it up that bad? Anyway, then ran two semi quick miles along a route I knew. Average pace 6:05. Better. One thing I did not like was the back lighting on the watch, which is activated by tapping the screen, absolutely sucks!!! To the point of not really working. Other ticky things are the tiny letters and numbers for some things, but the giant numbers for the time of day. What’s up with that? Also, I would like to be able to plug it into an outlet to charge, but have to use the computer for that. The coolest thing is when you connect to Nikeplus.com though, and you can chart your run. Very cool.

Since the run was cut short by weather, I was still hyper as a wild duck, so I went home and did pullups, pushups, ab stuff, curls, dips, and military presses! Nice. Helped a little.

Thursday afternoon was awesome. About 73°F and not windy. We met Nathan Gaudin and Steve Shaffer at the South Farm and got going. We all started together. We pulled ahead of Steve a bit at the mile, and Nathan hung tough until the 2 mile mark, where he again veered off for a 5 mile run. Joseph and I ran the 6.1 mile loop, and Steve ran the full 7 miles! Man, it was so nice out! Muddy too. Nathan “the beast” loved the mud and made crazy noises while we splashed along. When we got thru, we did a few push ups to make Nathan happy! As we were getting ready to leave, Lucas showed up for his second run of the day. He is needing 70+ miles this week. I was curious if the Nike watch would show the same distance at various points and at the end as my Garmin watch had. It seemed to be very close. So that was nice. I uploaded the data to Nikeplus.com and it drew me a cool map with elevation. Said my splits were: 7:04, 6:47, 6:54, 6:51, 6:35, and 6:15.  Interestingly, as we ran, the pace on the watch said we were going much faster. But, when the route was completed, these were the results.

Steve Shaffer, Nathan Gaudin, Joseph MacGown, and Lucas Muniz

Steve Shaffer, Nathan Gaudin, Joseph MacGown, and Lucas Muniz

Bummer, did not get to run either Friday or Saturday! Did get some pushups, crunches, shoulder presses and curls in Saturday morn. Nice hike Saturday afternoon at Tombigbee National Forest!

Tomorrow, meeting at the South Farm again-3 pm, and also on Tuesday and Thursday at 3:40pm. Join us if you like!


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how hot is hot?

Sunday evening at 7 PM, we met Brent Wallace, Arash Taheri, and Steve Shaffer at the South Farm.  Decided to do the route clockwise for a change of pace. For the most part recently, we had been running the course counter clockwise. The advantages of this are that the west side of the loop we typically do is somewhat shaded by a line of trees at this time of day, then as we get to the other side, the sun has usually dropped enough to where its not unbearable. The disadvantage is that when I go this way, I sometimes skip the last mile loop and don’t do the entire 7 mile route. Or, sometimes I get to a certain point where I can just head straight back for a 5.5 mile route. For whatever reason, the second half of the 7 mile loop going counter clockwise from the parking area just about always gets me! Those rolling hills are killer, especially if I do the first half at a decent pace. But, if I run clockwise and get that first mile loop in, it is much more difficult to cheat, and I pretty much always do the 7 mile route. Today, again hot! But, I was able to do the first 3.5 miles in just over 22 minutes. Pretty sweet. I think I was trying to prove I could still run ok despite the sudden 10 lb weight gain! Joseph was in front of me. Brent decided to go straight, instead of doing the 7 mile loop, and he ended up doing the 5.5 mile trek. Steve followed Joseph and I, and our CRAZY bud Arash the magnificent rode Joseph’s bike and carried water for us, which I greatly enjoyed at the halfway point! Another cool thing about this route is that we get to run up a tremendously annoying hill at around the 4 mile mark! Yeehah. The fast paced first half was fun, but wore me out with the heat! The second half was 26 minutes plus! Big difference, but still, the average for the entire 7 miles was not terrible given the hills, gravel, and HOTNESS.  Of course, the punk (Joseph) was well ahead of me. Steve did a fine job today, and he ended up finishing only a few minutes behind me.

Monday, got a few pushups in early in the morn. Joseph did a more comprehensive workout later that morning. That evening we ran 5 miles out here in Sessums. First half mile easy, then 4 miles at an average of 6:30, then easy last half. Joseph just ran the entire route easy today. Even at 7 pm, the heat was quite intense.  I noticed that each of my 4 faster miles got slower as I went along.

Tuesday evening at 7 pm, we met at the South Farm parking lot, but ran through the campus, around the Research Park, and back. Another decent crew today. Joining Joseph and I  were Jorge Villarreal, Abigail and Shaunika Musser, Steve, Brent, John Mitchell, Christian Kingery, and Renee Masterson. Steve, Shaunika, Abigail, and Jorge did a route that was a bit shorter, about 4.2 miles. The rest of us ran the 5.5 mile route.  Joseph lead the way, and Brent, Renee, and I ran along with him for the first 4 miles or so, before absolutely having to get some water along the way back at the Sanderson Center Intramural Center. Joseph continued on back. Despite the first mile being at a 6:56 minute per mile pace, we averaged 6:35 for the entire way. I thought this was pretty darn good considering the heat. It was so hot, Renee mentioned that the soles of her feet were burning from the hot road. All I know is I wanted some water! This pace was actually faster than I was planning on going today, but with Brent and Renee there, we sort of fed off of each other. Felt pretty good though. Near the end, thanks to Renee’s prodding we did a few strides of various lengths. Renee is a freakin’ beast, and it was awesome to have her come run out with us.

Wednesday, we were going to run pretty easy, as we had planned on doing a 5k time trial on the MSU track on the following night with Meggan Franks. But, Meggan called it off because she was sick and because with temperatures over a 100°F , this was not the time to do that. So, we ended up running about 6 miles in town. Parked at the South Farm, and John Mitchell was there. So, he joined us too. We ran through campus, downtown, to the Greensboro Center, down Louisville Street, back toward campus through the Cotton District and back to the parking area. I ran the first mile with John at an easy 7:50 pace, then picked it up with the next two at 6:15 and 6:27, then the following two were slower, around 7 minutes, with the last mile being relatively fast. John cruised in a bit later. Not a super fast day, but not bad either.

Well, since there was no time trial on Thursday, we just did our normal Thursday run at the South Farm at 7 pm. Today was probably the hottest day of the year thus far. Supposedly around 102° today. Could not believe it, but despite the heat, we had another good group of jokers.

Shaunika, Steve, and Abigail

We met Steve, Arash, Jorge, Brent, Abigail, Shaunika, and some crazy climber dude friend of Steve’s named Cleat. Cool name. He also had a cool daddy 4 door black jeep with all the doors and roof pealed off. Sweet ride. Wish I could afford one. Somebody should buy me one!

Brent, Cleat, John, Jorge, Joseph, and Arash

Did I mention it was was hot? Yeah. Oppressive, heavy air. Stifling. Even my Garmin watch did not like the heat. Did not get it working until the half way point. Brent and I followed Joseph out, going counter clockwise today. Cleat and John followed us. Steve and the girl ran behind us for 2 miles, before heading back. Jorge just ran straight down the main road until he reached a gate, where he stretched, then headed back. Because of the heat, I had left a cooler of water at that gate for anybody who needed it. Arash also carried water in a back pack for us. From the start I felt tired. No energy. I guess it was the heat, plus the fact that I had run at a decent pace for the past five days in a row. Decent for me anyway. Even though my Garmin did not get set right, I knew more or less what pace were going based on our time. The first 3.6 were around 6:45. By the time I got to the water stop, I was hot! Stopped to drink about 20+ ounces and poured some over my head. Stretched a bit too. While we three were stretching, Cleat caught up with us. Joseph took off to finish up the 7 mile loop, but Brent, Cleat, and I opted for the shorter way back (1.9 miles) for the 5.5 mile loop. Those last couple of miles were not fast at all, about 7:30ish. Quite a bit of sweat left my body, that is for sure. I was freakin beat when I got through. I think everyone was. But, it felt good. I even got in 3 sets of pushups, with one set angled with my feet on the bed of my truck, and a couple sets of dips. Nothing crazy, but it felt good. When I weighed myself later that night, I was 166 lbs. Yeah, 14 lbs lighter than Saturday night! Crazy! After noting my change in weight on Saturday, I decided maybe I should not eat such big meals at 9:30 pm each evening. Also, did not drink any cokes this week. Quite a difference.

Jorge, Joseph, and Arash

Yep, everyone seemed to find today fairly tough I think. Instead of the 7 I planned on, only 5.5. Joseph was going to do 9 or 10, but he only did 7. Not sure what John did, but he said it was crazy hard. Of course, he also did some biking that morning I believe. Arash maybe had it the easiest, as he looked like a kid riding the bike out there. He said he did 12 miles on the bike.

Friday, we took the day off from running. Today was even hotter than Thursday, and supposedly Saturday will be hotter yet. That night I did get a nice workout in at home though. Dumbbell curls, shoulder flys, dips, and crunches. About 30 minutes worth.

12 mile run this morning with the Boardtown Running Club! Even though we started around 6:40, it was already warm. Glad they have some water stops! Joseph ran most of the way with Houston Franks and Micah White. I got to run with Brent for the first 4 miles or so, before he turned around for an 8+ mile route, and Renee ran with us some until she turned around at 5 miles. I was pretty much on my own for the next 7 with Joseph, Houston, and Micah well in front of me. The first 6 miles felt pretty good, but on the way back I slowed down quite a bit. Did not want to push it. Sometimes on these longish runs in the summer, my hamstrings cramp near the end. Today, I an electrolyte tablet before the run started, and one after. I don’t know if they helped, but no Charlie horses in the legs today. And today would have been the day! John Mitchell also showed up to run today. He did about 7 miles I believe. Renee talked several of the newer female MSU distance runners to come today too. They cruised along for about 8 miles. Of course, after the run everyone hung out at the White’s home eating fruit and chilling out in the pool! The water felt very nice.

Running in the summer in Mississippi is challenging for sure. Its hard to describe how hot and humid it is here. The heat is bad. The humidity is bad. The air is heavy. And, even if the weather man says its only 102° or whatever, it may be much hotter on the roads. Of course, temps vary depending on where they are taken. For example, at my home in the country, my thermometer measured 110° in the shade yesterday! In this heat, all you can do is go slower and not go as far. If possible, morning runs are better, but if not, anything after 7 pm is better than during the day. When people move here from more northern climates, they are often overwhelmed by the summers here. It makes breathing difficult for people not used to it. Very easy to become dehydrated too. Even if you hydrate all day, if you go for a longish run, you will be drained. You really have to have some water or other type of hydration along the way somewhere, or it could be dangerous.

Probably will go a few miles in the morn tomorrow. For sure will do some kind of workout this afternoon. And, we will meet at 7 PM tomorrow at the South Farm for a run.

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Hyper this Week

I don’t know if its the fact that I have not had a coke in two weeks, or that I have been doing some tedious, monotonous stuff at work the last few days, but by quitting time each afternoon I have been quite hyper the last few work days! That’s fine with me, and maybe I will actually not starting drinking cokes again! Used that energy for a quick two mile run yesterday with Joseph. I don’t actually know how fast we went, because we had a stop watch malfunction, but it was definitely faster than our regular runs. Then we jogged around a while to cool down. Temps weren’t too bad, but we did wear long sleeve shirts.

Picked up Joseph this afternoon and headed to the South Farm for one of our nice hilly, gravelly road runs. While waiting for Joseph at the school, we saw Steve Shaffer, who decided to run with some of the kids doing training for indoor track. He said we wore him out last week running too fast and he was taking it easy this week! As far as our run, it started out with just me and Joseph. We decided to only do the 6 mile loop (actually, about 6.25 miles). First half mile was a little slower, then we picked it up. My next 3 were 6:18, 6:25, and 6:31. As we made our way to a gate we needed to cross, we spotted  Ethan Musser. He apparently got there a little late, and took a shortcut. So we ran the rest of the way back with him, and averaged 6:25 per mile most of the way, except for the end, which was faster. Ethan is really coming along! Its nice to see him getting in such good shape. He’s a great kid who puts the work in. I think he will have a great XC season next fall for his senior year. I pushed Ethan pretty hard on the last half mile. Felt good too, according to my Garmin watch I ran that part at a 4:50 pace. That felt great!! When we got through, Steve Shaffer came by. He told how good the kids ran at the high school. He ran with some of the varsity girls and jv boys. He mentioned that Stuart Woomer was running very well and had to run by himself because he was much faster than everyone else! Way to go Stuart.

I think we will hit the North Farm tomorrow at 4 pm, maybe do a tempo type run on the flat gravel road over there.  We will park at the Rose Garden off of old Hwy 82. Then on Thursday at 3:30,  we will be back to our favorite place to run, the South Farm! That is, if the weather is conducive. Decent chances of rain on Thursday and Friday.

The route for Saturday’s Boardtown Running club is 11.4 miles. Sounds great to me, as we went farther last Saturday. I like to alternate long run distances each weekend from 11.5-12.5 one weekend to about 15-16 the next weekend. Seems to be working out pretty well.


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Chill in the air!

With cross country season over, things have really calmed down. Although Joseph and I are still running just about every day, we get home an hour earlier or more because I don’t have to wait for parents to pick up their kids. But, it was great fun, and I miss running with the kids for sure! Some of the distance runners are going to run indoor track this season, which Coach Barnett just got reinstated at the school. All meets will be at the new state of the art track in Birmingham, AL. The first meet is just around the corner on December 10, for those who will be running. There seems to be some excitement about this. However, Joseph will not be running indoor track. I prefer, as does he, a break from competition between seasons. We use this time of year, as well as the summer, to build a nice mileage base, with little in the way of super fast workouts. With that in mind, things are progressing well. We have done three longish runs the last three Saturdays with the Boardtown Running Club interspersed by 6-8 mile runs during the rest of the week. All runs have been semi easy, but not super easy, with a trend toward gradually picking up the pace for a better average pace. The first Saturday run was awesome (as I mentioned in the last post), and we covered the 12 miles in just over 1:18. But, I was pretty worn out the next couple of days, as I had not run that far since the summer. The next day I was able to do 7 miles at a 6:30 mile pace, while Joseph ran at a slower pace with Ethan Musser, Kamau Bostic, and Steve Shaffer until he got bored and picked it up. Steve actually finished ahead of Ethan and Kamau, which was not surprising as this was their first run since the state meet. Steve was happy as a clam though! Not many times do you run seven miles faster than those punks!

The next few days were pretty easy; I think we all needed some recovery type runs. The wonderful thing about the season being over is that you can run more intuitively. That is, if you feel good, go for it, but if you don’t, then its okay to take it easy. Some of the guys joined us again a couple of days that week, but mostly it was Steve, Joseph and I. We made a point to run with the Boardtown bunch again on Saturday, but only did a 11.4 mile loop.  Some folks ran 15 to 20 miles in preparation for one marathon or another. Either way, our pace was slower than the previous weekend, although not bad, about 6:48 per mile. With Thanksgiving the next week, most folks were out of town, so running was kind of hit or miss. Mostly just me and the kid, which was kind of nice anyway. We even got a run in on Thanksgiving morn! On a warm Saturday morning (about 56°F), I managed to run 15:8 miles at 6:45 per mile with the Boardtown club. Joseph ended up doing about a mile more, as he and Houston Franks took off at some ridiculous pace and were soon out of eyesight. But, they took a wrong turn and did part of the course backward. By the time they met us, they had already run a mile extra. They then turned around and went back the same way they  had come so they could run with us mortals.  Actually, Joseph was pretty tired I think, so he ran back with me most of the way until the last water stop, which I skipped, but he stopped at. This was the longest run of his life, so he was pretty happy! I felt pretty good too and am pretty sure I could have gone another 5 miles at the pace I going. Pretty sweet! It probably helped that I ran my first mile slower than usual before picking the pace up.

After the long run on Saturday, we got up the next morning and ran 3.5 miles easy to loosen up our legs. Whew, good thing too! I was stiff as board. We ran another six miles that afternoon in the cold rain with Ethan Musser and Jorge Villareal (an MSU distance runner). It was cold, wet, and windy, but quite invigorating!!

We skipped the run on Monday because it was about 34°F and raining. Nice to take a day off anyway. Hit the South Farm on Tuesday afternoon and did about 7 miles at a 6:40ish pace per mile. When we arrived the farm, the MSU distance runners were all getting ready to run. They had different workouts depending on the distance events they run. Seeing all those fast jokers out there was very motivational!

After I lifted some weights on Wednesday, Joseph met me at the Sanderson Center and we cruised through 6 miles, including about 4 miles on the gravel roads at the North Farm running about 6:25 per mile. A little chilly, but not bad. Shorts and a long sleeve shirt.

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crazy run in the rain yesterday!

There was  nice article in the paper about our XC team yesterday (article). Check it out.

With the heavy rain coming in from the tropical storm, I did not think we would be able to get a run in yesterday, especially since we weren’t starting until about 6 pm. I started getting anxious, so we headed to the South Farm early arriving about 5:30. We went ahead and jogged a couple of miles in the area before the others got there. Steve showed up right after we got there and he joined us for several minutes as well. We got back to the car and stretched for a few minutes, then Kamau and Ethan showed up. It was already raining, so we decided to roam around the campus area for the most part. After about a mile, it was pouring!! But, it was only about 70° F and it felt wonderful. This was supposed to be an easy run, as we had the race the day before, but with the cool weather and rain, we all were cruising along faster than we probably should have, averaging about 6:40 per mile or better. We ran the last mile under six minutes. We ended up doing about 6.5 miles, with Joseph and I having done 8.5 miles. Kamau looked really good today.  After his less than perfect race on Saturday, that was nice to see! I think he is finally working out some of the issues that were bothering him. Of course, he is not the only one dealing with how to race better. The mental part of running is probably the hardest part.  All of the kids have to figure out the mental part of racing, how to deal with nervousness, and how to push themselves when tired. If our top eight boys can learn to relax better when running, we will have a great team this year. We have a great opportunity to win the 5A state title with both the boys and girls teams, and could even have the top 3 runners in each race if our kids keep running like they are!

Planning on running today again at 4 pm, meeting at the South Farm again. Of course, this will only happen if we get a break in the weather, but I am optimistic that we will get to run.

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