Tag Archives: Tombigbee National Forest

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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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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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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Homeschoolers and unattached high school runners not wanted in Mississippi


Sunday morning, another beautiful day, albeit still very dry. Got up and did routine stuff – house cleaning, dishes, laundry, that sort of thing, then did a upper body/ab workout. Finally got around to some lunch!

Later, Joseph and I met Juan, Jorge, Brent, Will, and Nick for a 6 PM run. We did our 5.3 ish route. The weather was still not overly hot, so we cruised along pretty well. Crazy Nick was wanting a slightly faster pace than his usual, which works out well for our easier days. This probably won’t be the case much longer, as that apple eatin’ dude is speeding up daily! He stayed with us for at least two miles and at a 6:20 or better pace! Will was back there too, but then backed off as he had already biked freakin 76 miles this morning! Geez. These guys. Brent had just got back from camping over the weekend, but had no problem staying with us the entire route. That trippin air force joker is getting fast! For Juan, Jorge, and Joseph, this was basically an easy run, but anytime I am running 5.3 miles right at 34 minutes (33:58), I am happy. And really, it was better than that because we had to slow down for lots of intersections, red lights, etc. The only time I really stopped my watch was when Juan and Jorge scooted thru a red light that caught the rest of us. We did not quite recatch those two, but did not lose any distance either and basically all 5 of us finished at almost exactly the overall time and pace. Awesome. Yep.

Monday, Easy run on the South Farm gravel at 6 PM with Will, Brent, Joseph, and Zach. Both Will and Zach jogged over from their respective homes, then ran. They both shortened up the run on gravel too, since they needed to jog home. I took it easy today. Felt really nice out, and I enjoyed a relaxing 51 minutes of running as the sun started to set. In fact, after about 3 miles, the others got ahead of me. They all took a shorter route back, but were still hanging out after I finished mine. Cool.

Tuesday, Got up in the morn and did some pushups and ab stuff. Not too much, but some. At 6 PM, John “Moonman” Mooney joined Joseph and I for some semi fast stuff at the MSU XC course. Dusty! After a 1000m warmup jog and light stretching we did 2 X 1000m, 4 X 1 minute (1 minute rests), and 2 X 30 seconds (30 second rests), then a cool down 1000m. Nothing crazy. Joseph was thinking he might run in the MSU High School XC Invitational on Thursday as a unattached runner, so no need to over do it in case. He lead the way, but we were right behind him. His first 1000 was 3:19, I was 3:21, and John was right behind me. Second 1000 was faster with Joseph 3:09, me 3:11, and John 3:13. Our 1 minute and 30 seconds fast deals were at least that fast. Felt pretty good. I was really thirsty. It was really dusty. And, I saw a unicorn.

Wednesday, 40 minute easy run with Nick and Brent thru campus and research park. On the way back, Nick headed back to his dorm. He ended up with about 19 miles for the day. Brent and I ran the remaining couple of miles pretty fast. As the sun was setting, it was ideal for running and we took advantage of it. Still hyper when I got home, so I did some pushups, pull ups, curls, shoulder presses, and crunches. AH. That’s better.

Thursday, Well, change of plans.  Joseph  did not get to run  in the MSU High School XC meet after all. Apparently, the SHS Coach   and the SHS Athletic Director Stan Miller got wind of his entry and contacted the Mississippi High School Activities Association and they all contacted the MSU coach and told him that Joseph could not run the meet. Thanks for jumping all over that! Even though Mississippi has allowed unattached runners in college hosted meets since they have had cross country as a sport in MS, and even though Joseph was able to enter and run one about three weeks ago, they have now decided that unattached and home schooled runners (especially Joseph MacGown because he is good??? — Don’t want no damn unattached runner beating our kids with real coaches!) can no longer run in any college hosted (or high school hosted) meets in MS, unless the meet offers them their own little race. Woohoo!  They cannot be in the same race as the public school kids because they have cooties?? Just another case of backwards attitudes in MS! Politics in sports. One reason why Joseph is not running this year for his school . He got tired of the games and bullshit. Not sure what would have happened had they let him run. Nothing happened when he ran in Jackson a few weeks ago. And, I could not get a straight answer on that question. In fact, I got lots of answers, none of which made any sense!  The funny thing is, before Joseph decided to run unattached this year, I checked with the director of track and XC for MS (Lonnie Tillman) last year to make sure it was ok for him to run in these college hosted meets. Lonnie Tillman told me it was fine.  Also, I have a copy of the rules from last year and it did not mention anything about unattached runners in there. And apparently, many of the college coaches were unaware of this rule. Today I talked to Lonnie Tillman again,  but now inexplicably his story had changed, and he said it has always been a rule. He did not respond to me asking him why he told me the opposite thing last year, nor did he respond to me asking him that why that rule did not appear in the older handbook. Coincidentally, the rules are no longer posted online. Perhaps there is something about this in the new rule book. Thanks for sharing that with folks. Not. Oh, wait, I still don’t know how to even purchase the new and improved rulebook, if that is even possible for a “civilian”. Good ole boys’ rules! Yeehaw Mississippi! On a positive note, I heard our bud Alex Ross had a good race today and won the meet with a PR time of 17:15. Way to go Alex.

Well, all was not lost. Life is not over. And, it was another beautiful day to run! Joseph watched some of a local swim meet, then he and I ran a nice 5.3 mile run with Brent, Will, and Max (Brent’s cool daddy German roommate). Max has been running on his own to try to get in shape to run with us! He did alright today, especially for that first 1.5 miles, which was probably about 7:20 pace. But, when we dropped it down to around 6 minute pace, it was Brent, Joseph and I. Will finished up a couple of minutes behind us, and Max a couple behind him. I should also mention that Will ran over there from his office, and back afterward, and also ran 5 miles that morning! So, awesome job guys! That crazy Brent is getting really fast man! Really getting hard to keep up with him lately instead of the other way around.

Saturday, Rained all night and was pouring in the morning. Still, we headed to the White’s for the weekly Boardtown Running Club long run. As were arriving, it was absolutely pouring! Windy like crazy. And, still pitch black at 6:25. We were thinking, geez, nobody will be running today, this was probably a waste of time. But, then, we saw Haley Jenkins running into blinding rain in the dark! Awesomeness! So, dang. We had to run then. Haley has come so far with her running. Its amazing really. She is quite inspirational! Keep it up Haley.  Actually quite a few folks showed up. Some of our Starkville Striders made it including Zach, Will, Ravi, and Nick! Joseph, Zach and I did the 12 mile loop. Ravi too, except he missed the turn near the end and ran who knows how far. Freaking Nick ran 6 miles to the club in the rain, then ran 12, then ran back home! Will did the longer 15.8ish mile loop today. Joseph ended up right around 1:20 with his first 6 miles ahead of me, then he ran back with me. I was 1:21:12. Zach was also in that area, but not sure exactly. As it turned out, the weather ended up not being too bad. Yeah, we did get wet, but really, it was much better than I expected. The return was harder because the wind was hitting us in the face! Will said he added some later and got in about 21 miles total. Nick probably got in about 26 miles this morn!

Later that afternoon, I had a nice mountain bike ride with Audrey and her buds Erin, Kent, and Reese at the Tombigbee National Forest. Trails were somewhat wet, but not terrible. Very pleasant out and we mostly cruised along at a decent pace (considering the difficulty of the trails). About halfway thru, my calves were both getting tight! I think I was a bit dehydrated. Also, maybe my seat was a couple inches low. Raising it seemed to help. Some fun stretches of down hill action here and there!

WEEKLY WORKOUT SUMMARY

Sunday, AM – upper body/ab workout; PM – 5.3 mile run, 33:58.

Monday, PM – 51 minutes on gravel, easy pace

Tuesday, AM – pushups, abs; PM – workout: 2 X 1000m, 4 X 1 minute (1 minute rests), and 2 X 30 seconds (30 second rests)

Wednesday, PM – 40 easy run; upper body/ab workout.

Thursday, PM –  5.3 miles, first 1.5 slow, then the rest at tempo pace (6:15 or better)

Saturday, AM – 12 miles, about 6:45 mile pace in the rain; PM – 2 hour mountain bike ride at Noxubee Hills Trails

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