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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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Good ten mile run at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge


Starkville hosted a half marathon Saturday morn called the Preparathon. Our bud Lucas Muniz ran away with first place. His official time was 1:12:59, although he said the course was slightly short and at that pace he would have actually been about 1:15:35. Either way, awesome job Lucas! Big PR.

Lucas Muniz dominated the Preparathon Half Marathon in Starkville, MS last week in Starkville

Lucas Muniz dominated the Preparathon Half Marathon in Starkville, MS last week in Starkville

Awesome 10 mile run with Brent Wallace on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM. We headed out to the Sam Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge for today’s run. It was worth the drive out there to run thru wonderful wilderness and no stop signs or street lights. We ran out and back on one of the main paved roads. A few cars here and there, but they were all kind (nobody ran over us). Started out with an easy 7:27 first mile, then 6:44, 6:42, 6:40, 6:39, 6:34, 6:29, 6:15, 6:25, and finished with a 6:09! Really good run for us I thought. No water break, but we did briefly stretch at the 5 mile turnaround. That second half was awesome as we averaged 6:22 per mile. Nice.

Next run of the week was with Brent on Tuesday at 3 PM. Had a huge lunch at noon with ribs, chicken, beans, and potato salad! Our Mississippi Entomological Awards Luncheon. Well, weather was beautiful even though my stomach was full. We did a 5 mile route and it turned out better than expected with first mile at 7:24, then 6:24, 6:22, 6:16, and 5:59. Go figure.

Ran by myself at the South Farm and XC course at noon on Wednesday. Another beautiful day! Got in just over 5 miles at a 7:09 average pace. Nothing crazy today. A bit sore here and there, especially in my left quads! Might have slightly strained some muscles after the fast runs this week coupled with the awesome hills on the XC course.

Thursday, got in an easy 5 miles thru town and some neighborhoods around 5 pm. Beautiful day. The last couple of weeks have been extraordinarily beautiful. Great temps and not humid. Kept my pace easy today, trying to let the quads rest a bit. I have no idea what my pace was as my Garmin watch was all over the place today for some reason!

No run Friday, but again took some time off from work and did some mountain biking at the Tombigbee National Forest trails. Rode harder this time than last week. Maybe a bad idea with the sore quads on left leg, but it actually felt better after. Tight though! Got those legs feeling good hitting some the crazy hills out there. And the down hills! Umm, umm. Nice.

Trail1

tree1

trail2

Somehow, I woke up at 5 AM Saturday morn. I say somehow, because I drank a bit too much bourbon Friday night! Since I was up, I went over to run with the Boardtown Club. Quite a few jokers out there. About 46°F when we started, so I wore an thin long sleeved bright orange shirt with some reflective stuff on it as it was still dark out when we started. I ran 11 miles (just about) with Drew Boyles. My thighs were feeling that hilly mountain bike ride from the day before, so I did not push it today. Ran pretty steady though, averaged 6:50 something per mile. Both Drew and I picked it up on the last mile, but Drew killed it leaving me behind. I was probably under 6:30 pace, but that was all I could do with my quads still sore. Drew had a great finish for sure!

Got home and did a little workout to finish up my exercise for the day. Not posting every time I workout, but basically I do pushups, pullups, abs, and something else every day. Keeps me semi sane.

Spartan Race: Mississippi Sprint coming up on 8 November 2014

In about two weeks  on 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/.

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Lots of cool stuff to do here in Mississippi….


 

Monday, Started the day with a 5 mile run at 6:30 AM at the Sam Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Joseph got in 7-8 miles. Since we were there, and since it was freakin beautiful out and since I brought kayaks, we paddled around Bluff Lake for a while. Saw two gators, tons of birds, and lots of other wildlife. Pretty morning, and surprisingly cool under the cypress trees as we lazily meandered about. Finally, I remembered that I had to go to work, and we headed out!

birds

morning light

morning light

Joseph

Joseph

me

me

cypress tree

cypress tree

great blue heron!

great blue heron!

Went home briefly mid afternoon and did 4 sets of bench (15 reps each set) with 185 lbs, 4 sets of curls with 95 lbs counting curl bar (15 reps each), 4 sets of one arm cable triceps pull downs, some oblique shrugs with 40 lb dumbell, and various crunches with a 25 lb weight. This was a rather fast workout as I needed to get back to work, but effective.

Later, at 6 pm, I got in a little 4 mile run thru part of town and the campus.  Slightly warmer today, but ended up with a 7:15 average mile pace.

Tuesday, Morning workout with 7 sets of 50 plus reps, 5 sets of pullups with 15 reps each, some ab stuff, and then to work. At 5 pm, I got in a little 4 mile run. First mile was 7:24, then 6:22, then 7:32, then 6:15. Cool. Biked about 10 easy miles when I got home. Did three sets of about 10-15 reps of handstand pushups after supper.

Wednesday, 6:30 AM run with Joseph out here in Sessums. Super easy, no watch, about 3.5–4 miles. Worked out at home at lunch with several sets of pushups with 75-100 reps each, probably 8-10 sets. Didn’t keep track. Also, some dips, curls, militaries, random weird pullups, and various ab exercises. Pretty good workout. Listened to some Cage the Elephant! Followed that with a ridiculously good tasting T-bone steak that I grilled. Vegetables along with it included some grilled yellow pepper, red onion, and portabella mushrooms and fresh tomato, sliced avocado, and some habanero cheese. Tasty, tasty, tasty. This meal was so perfect, I almost had an out of body experience. The steak was a great cut of meat and although I cooked it fairly rare, it almost melted in my mouth. Yeah. Oh, and wow, the tomato! This crazy heirloom tomato grown locally from Bountiful Harvest Farms was probably the best tomato I have ever eaten! YES!!!

At 7 PM, I met Joseph, Lucas, and Morgan Henry for a run. Did our downtown loop. We started together, but by about a mile or less, Joseph and Lucas got ahead of us on this easy run. I ran with Morgan for about 1.5-1.7 miles, then picked it up a bit. My first mile was about 7:24, but the next 4.5 of my 5.5 mile route were all under 7 and averaged about 6:54 per mile. It was a nice evening to run with overcast skies and even some delightful light rain for part of the run! Lucas and Joseph ran about 6.5 miles averaging 6:50 something. Morgan ran about 4.6 miles I believe, and that happy car selling joker was grinning from ear to ear just like when he started. Morgan is a happy dude!

Thursday, Woke up and did 4 sets of bench press (185 lbs, 10-15 reps each), some ab stuff, and a few curlbar curls. Nothing crazy. Went to work, but came home for lunch to finish up my workout. Did 8 sets of 50-60 reps of pushups with about half of them with my feet elevated about a foot or so. Did some dips off of a chair, and a few hanging ab deals. Did all this while grilling some lunch outside.

At 6 PM, I met Morgan Henry at the parking area near the MSU rec fields and tennis courts for a run. The Starkville Academy XC team was there as well getting ready to start their practice. One of their better runners, Lake Spradling, has run with us off and on this summer. Coach Christiansen told him and her son Will to go run with us, and so they did! Lake has apparently had some type of virus, and was not his usual self, but that was ok with me because I was not planning on killing it today anyway. We ran around campus and the loop around the Sanderson Lake, then returned for a 5 mile loop. Averaged about 7:20 per mile. Not bad. Pretty warm day. Morgan was a bit behind us, but he looked as happy as ever when he showed up!

Friday, No run today for me. Did some pushups and stuff like that. Pretty much everyday here lately I have been doing between 500-1000 pushups and various ab exercises. Seeing some noticeable differences, so thats cool. Always am doing something, so this is not exactly new.

Saturday, Morning run with Boardtown club. Joseph seemed confused this morn, as there were no other speedy folks for him to run with. He started out ahead, took a wrong turn, came back, then mostly ran with Drew Boyles. until 9 miles, then added some more, probably getting in about 14 miles or so at around a 6:38 pace, nothing crazy. The route was 11.4. Not a bad morn, warm and humid, but not unbearable. I averaged about 7:05 per mile today, with plenty of energy to spare. Ran the last mile around 6:40. Nice to see Will Kallfelz out there, and I ran with or near him most of the way. He was slightly ahead of me for most of the 2nd half of the run, but with about 1.5 miles, I kicked it up a notch and ended up finishing a little ahead of him. Our giant shouldered friend Robert Morgan ran with us for 4 miles, then turned around to go back and run with a friend. Vicky McCurdy once again had a great run and she also ran with us for most of the first half of the run. However, she killed the 2nd half and I did not see her again until I got back to the house!

After stopping by the Farmers Market, I headed home. Got in a workout, of course! Weighed myself before starting, and yes, this was after the run, but still, I weighed 163 lbs. I have not been this light in at least 20 years. Holy moly. Yep. This eating better  routine may be something after all? You think? Or simply not pumping useless calories into my body. The best shape of my life ever was in early to late 20’s when I weighed about 155 lbs. I could dunk a basketball behind my head, rep out 275 lbs on the bench, run 20-20 miles at 6 minute pace, and could pound out some miles on my bike. I know I will be able to do all of those things anymore, but I feel pretty good for 50 years old!

getting there! ARGGH!

getting there! ARGGH!

WOW! Our bud Lucas Muniz, who is basically a novice triathlete, has been smashing his first few tri’s! He had a great race today at the Heart of Dixie Triathlon coming in 2nd overall and beating some quality athletes! Way to go dude! After the half mile swim, he said he was in the top 15 at least, then went thru the 28 mile bike ride at 24 something miles per hour, and followed that up with at 7 mile run at 5:45 pace! Nice. Our young friend Lake Spradling also had a good day as he ran the running portion for a relay team that placed 3rd! Way to go guys!

Did some crazy yard work that afternoon and my goodness, it was hot! Relaxed for a while, then finished off the evening with Laurie Burton at a Starkville Area Arts Association function called Corks ‘n Forks. This was a competition between local chefs for various awards and a fund raiser of sorts for the arts council. Of course, wine was available as we sampled delectable dishes and chatted with arts association members. Interestingly, I bet I saw 20 plus folks there who were at the running club earlier that morn! Cool!

Sunday, Got up early and headed to Choctaw Lake with my kayak and bike. Saw one boat with two fishermen in the lake, but otherwise, it looked look I would the place to myself. Basically, this beautiful place is deserted most mornings. Fine with me!

Choctaw Lake

Choctaw Lake

Choctaw Lake

Choctaw Lake

Arrived about 6:40 AM and started the day out with some awkward swimming. Awkward because I suck at swimming! Did not even learn how until mid 20’s and really have not have much opportunity to practice or really went to the effort of finding a way. Probably because I don’t really like to swim. Anyway, yeah, whew boy! I do need some practice. Have not swam in years. I went back and forth a few times in the swimming area. Had to stop halfway thru each time.

ready to unload

ready to unload

After floundering about for a while, I then pulled out the mountain bike and headed toward the trails. There are miles and miles of trails in the adjacent Tombigbee National Forest with lots of elevational changes. I have a couple of older Treks, and I decided to bring the one with the clip pedals today. Have not ridden it in a while and it needs some work. The seat is not right for sure, and I need to fix that. Very uncomfortable! Anyway, put my shoes and and started up the hard gravel paved hill toward the trails. Then, dang, something locked up and I could not pedal. Tried to kick out of the left pedal and my shoe would not come out, and, well, that was it. I went quickly sidewise and fell pretty hard on the road hitting my knee and shoulder. Ouch. Looked under my shoe, and the dang clip was missing a screw so it was spinning around. No wonder I could not get out of that pedal! I got the bike going and managed to lock that shoe in and started out again. Ended up having a pleasant ride. At some point near a creek, I almost ran over a moccasin that was chillin’ on the trail. I came within inches of that joker, and nope, it did not like it! The snake struck at me coming about two inches from my ankle on the  down-pedal! I got off the bike and came back to take a photo of the snake, who had managed to wiggle off into the weeds. Found it though, and it opened its mouth up wide for the photo!

snake

snake

smile!

smile!

After a couple of hours of goobing around on the trail, I attempted a brief run, but did not go very far because my knee was actually pretty sore from that spill earlier!

random creek in the woods

random creek in the woods

Well, anyway, smacked around with the kayak and bit and called it a day. Maybe the knee will feel better for the evening run!

I guess the knee was not overly bad, as I did not have any issues when running at 7 PM. Just me and The Joseph today. Ran about 2.3 miles with him, then split off as he was doing 7 miles and I was doing only 5. Verrrrry warm today! Yowza. Or so it felt with the humidity. Felt good though and averaged 6:58 per mile with the last couple about 6:40 and 6:35. Nice. I was soaking wet when done though!!

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