It’s a Jungle Out There

Even though I missed one of my scheduled runs, I’m pretty darn happy with week 3 of Ways Bluff 25k training. The heat and humidity continue its relentless pursuit to make any outdoor activity as miserable as possible and work continues to encroach on my weekday workout time. However, on a positive note, I was able to spend some quality time with my boys before summer break comes to a close …every Mother’s dream right?

Ways Bluff

Here’s how Week 3 of rookie trail training went:PicsArt_08-12-06.29.32.png

Monday:  3 mile hill run

Tuesday:  Rest Day

Endured 90 degree heat to watch my youngest son’s exhibition football scrimmage game. I have no doubt that I lost at least a couple of pounds in sweat alone. I have to admit though, I do feel a tad nostalgic when I think about this being the last football season.


Yes, I’m biased …but my baby sure is handsome!

Wednesday:  30 minute tempo run with my training group was on the schedule but I just couldn’t get away from work in time to make it. Sure, I could’ve laced up once I got home and gotten in a solo tempo run ….instead, I opted for a glass of wine and quality time with my boys.

Thursday:  4 mile easy run, although there really isn’t anything easy about running in feels like temps of 91 at 8pm.

Friday: Rest and the official day marking the end of summer break for two of my boys.

With the grandpup in tow, the middle boy packed up and headed back to college to begin his junior year and the caboose started his senior year of high school. Geez, I can seriously remember their first day of kindergarten as if it were yesterday. Time certainly has a way of getting away from you …in the blink of an eye!PicsArt_08-12-06.40.01.png

Saturday:  My favorite training run of the week! 6 mile group trail run.

When I lived in Meridian, we used to run ‘trails’ all the time. At least that’s what we called them. To be precise, they were ‘access’ trails ….hard packed, gravel roads, wide enough for a jeep to traverse. They were not single track trails. There were no roots, ruts, fallen trees or rocks to traverse. After three weeks of running single track trails, I now know that there is most definitely a difference between not only the terrain, but also the toll it takes on the body.

I am truly enjoying this new adventure, but I’m not going to sugar coat it ….it’s hard. While it is incredibly peaceful to be surrounded by nature and not have to even think about a car passing by, you cannot ‘zone out’ mentally like you can while road running. You have to think about every single step you take and where you will place your foot. I’ve also learned very quickly that you cannot shuffle the feet on trails when fatigue sets in like you can on the road …unless of course you’d like to eat dirt for breakfast. I’m working muscles I haven’t used in years and it feels good. Even though my pace has slowed markedly, my effort level has increased tremendously. It’s invigorating!

20180811_183922.jpgThis week’s run was hilly. And because it was near the reservoir, there was quite a bit of sandy areas along the trail. This particular trail is known for having more than its fair share of spider webs, like BIG spider webs. Our coach told us that most people run these trails holding a stick out in front of their face in order to clear the spider webs. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about this run. But one of the many advantages of being a slower runner is that the faster runners clear the way for you! So, while I encountered no spider webs, I did see an angry little Copperhead which was literally striking at the two guys who were trying to, ever so gently, scoot him away from the trail. A little further down the trail, we saw that a fairly large serpent had left his skin behind as a reminder that not only is he still lurking around, but he’s even bigger! Eeeek!

I had three close calls with a fall, but managed to catch myself each time. However, every time I hit these single track trails, I know my turn to fall is becoming more and more imminent. Fingers crossed.

Sunday:  Body Pump …finally made it back to my favorite group fitness class and of course, as my luck would have it, it was the lunge track. Oh how I hate lunges, especially weighted ones. I’ll be whimpering tomorrow but hopefully it’ll pay off on those trails!

Trail Stats: 19 single track trail miles, 1 tick, 2 snakes, 3 stumbles, 0 falls ….Whew!

….and that’s a wrap on Week 3 of Ways Bluff 25k training! What was your favorie workout this week? Are you a rookie or veteran trail runner? If so, what’s your favorite aspect of trail running?

I’m linking up with my partner in crime, Holly and her partner in crime, Wendy for the Weekly Wrap. Be sure to visit their blogs and as many other as you can …you’re sure to find enough motivation and inspiration to get you out the door and on the path to a new you!

Also, I’m trying to talk Holly into making the trip to Mississippi and joining me on this new trail race adventure …if you think she should, let me know and give her a shout out! I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather run 16 miles of trails with than HoHo! (other than the hubs and since he’s in the desert right now and hasn’t been able to train, I have to rule him out this year. Lol)


Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one run at a time!




30 thoughts on “It’s a Jungle Out There

  1. I salute you for taking on these technical trails. It is tiring having to watch it all and you’re so right about not being able to shuffle when you’re tired. I was convinced I was going to go flat on my face negotiating a grassy hill at the end of my race on Saturday! At least there are few snakes and people are always ahead of me to get the spiders …

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  2. Your close encounters with snakes would be a deal breaker for me. Other than that, running those trails would be right up my alley. I like the idea of the slower pace and soaking in all the nature around me.

    Your boys are all handsome! It’s so hard to see them grow up–at least for me. This weekend we said goodbye to Matthew’s girlfriend as she left for Arizona State. He’s going out to see her next week for a couple of days. I was really sad to see her go. I wonder how it’s all going to work out.

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  3. Your son is so handsome! I am impressed that he was able to play football in that type of heat!

    You’re a rockstar! I don’t know if I could love the trails as much as you do. So happy that training is going so well for you.

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  4. Well of course Holly needs to join you. 🙂

    You are so right about trails — you absolutely have to think about what you’re doing (which gets harder as you get more tired). And they definitely feel harder than road racing. Despite having done a trail half, I still would consider myself a train novice because I don’t do it a lot.

    There’s actually a clinic for women only on trail running tonight, but between the fact that it’s a bit of a drive, it’s supposed to rain, and the goshdarnhumidity, I’m not going. I’ve already done my run. I might’ve done it if I weren’t training for a race though!

    You’re doing a great job. I’m so impressed with how you run by all the creepy crawlies. I think I only saw a snake or two while training for my trail half and they were little itty bitty things, not at all scary. I remember those large skins we’d see when we lived in TX though!

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  5. LOL at “rooky” training. Trails really are quite different – you can’t compare paces at all. It’s great to be using a different part of your brain along with different muscles. You definitely made the right decision opting for more time with your boys!

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  6. What a good looking football player! Well… all of your boys are handsome. 😉 You are seriously tearing up the trails. I love the trick about holding the stick to clear the spider webs. It’s time for my life to settle down some so I can get back to training. I’ll definitely consider this race. Sounds fun! Thanks for linking!

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    • Girl, I’m with you on needing our life to settle down. I’m just downright tired these days! I do hope you consider the trail race …just think about all the fun and potential trouble we can find traversing 16 miles of trails. 🙂


  7. On Saturday’s run we saw 1 bunny, 1 deer, 1 blue heron, and 1 squirrel – rather boring compared to your sightings! 🙂 I do love trail running and have done quite a bit on the Appalachian Trial and spurs off of it. My very first trail race was the JFK 50-Miler where 17 of the early miles were on the Appalachian Trail, next we ran 26 miles on the C&O Canal (more like the jeep trail you mention), and the final 6-7 were on country paved roads. My friend actually taught me to watch the heels of the runner in front of me so I’d see if there were rocks, roots, etc. as we ran on the AT. It was exhilarating!

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  8. You are doing well on all those trails! And, don’t be discouraged that your pace seems slower…everyone’s pace has to slow down a bit to properly navigate the terrain. And, yes, there are so many muscles that get worked on the trails in comparison to those “wimpy” roads LOL It’s a whole different kind of dragon to slay 😉

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