Well, a new month is finally here…I guess it’s been here for about 11 days now, lol. June was very eventful around our house. So much, that I never had time to finish writing that fussy little post I began countless times! The title was: “Does this heat make me look fat?” and I still may use it one day, lol.
That particular blog was basically me agonizing over the fact that it’s really hot and I don’t like it one bit. And because I’m not a fan of broiling when I go run, I’ve cut back my runs considerably lately. Of course, because I’ve cut back my runs, it makes me automatically feel, well…you know, fat and lazy…and if you ask my family, maybe a teensy bit grouchy at times. It also hasn’t helped that we’ve been really busy lately with lots of summertime activities and by the time I’m able to go run, it might be 9 or 10 at night. Seriously. After feeling down in the dumps over my lack of running when and how much I wanted, I finally decided that I could either keep feeling bad or put on my big girl running shoes and do something about it. (I figured I should take a little of my advice that I give my children and be grateful for what time I do have.) So, on the days that I know I probably won’t get to go and run, I have started using our elliptical machine again and then if I get to go anyway, great! At least once a week, I dress at lightly as possible, bring my water bottle and bite the bullet and go run at the Longleaf Trace. It’s my favorite spot to run my longer runs. It’s always pretty hot and I haven’t run a truly “long” run (more than 6 miles) in a really long time but it’s so much better than running in circles at the track!!! As for the other days, I have come to peace with the fact that I’m going to be running at night and for now, that’s just the way it will be. Soon enough, it will be cooling off and it will be time to start training for our next half marathon. I think that it’s just hard, for me at least, to go from training hard during the week and running races nearly every weekend to training not nearly as much and no races. It was a shock to my system and I felt almost depressed, as strange as that may sound. In a nutshell, that’s basically the blog I was trying to write for nearly a month.
Now that I’ve given myself a good kick in the rear for acting like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, I’m trying to use this time to work on my form and just kind of be in maintenance mode. We’re also getting ourselves ready mentally to start our half and full marathon training. I think it’s never too soon to get your mind focused and geared up towards looking forward it. I know it takes a lot of physical endurance but I can tell you that if you start thinking that can’t, your body will most likely listen.
Speaking of races, we have one coming up this weekend! Yeah, it was kind of a surprise to me when I found out too. It surprised me first when I was told that it was July 23 and then an even bigger surprise when Jason said he found out that it was actually the 16th.(Here’s a link to the race, if you’re interested.) In a way, I’m excited to have a race to look forward to and in another way, a little anxious. We went Saturday to see what the course would look like and if it’s where we think it’s going to be, then, wow. Just wow. Do you remember that time several months ago when I was so worried about a race with all of those hills? This one may be worse. Especially when you factor in the heat/humidity. I’m trying to tell myself to not fret over it. (Back to the mind over matter/visualization thing.) I know that I’m going to have to take it slow for the first half of the run because it uphill nearly the whole way. On the other hand, while I can cruise coming back, part of it is pretty steep and if I’m not careful, I’ll use up a lot of energy trying to “put on brakes”. Jeff Galloway talks about “gliding“, which is what I’ll need to concentrate on when I’m running the 2nd half of the race.
Here’s how he explains it:
What are gliders? Many of us incorporate gliders into our runs without even realizing it. When you run down a hill, using the momentum of the last few yards to relax while keeping the same speed for a few steps, you’re gliding. With practice you can stretch the distance of this glide, riding the wave of momentum farther and farther. You can even learn to adapt this technique to flat ground.
You can click the link on gliding and see his full explanation of how to do them and why they can work for you. I will admit that I haven’t done hill work lately which means I haven’t practiced this technique lately. *Mental note – I might need to go do hills tonight….
I probably won’t have a PR that day but I’m going to do the best I can and go slow if I need to. The important thing is to have fun and finish, right? I’ll try to post an update on how it went and pictures. Here’s one of me from a previous race:
Another thing that is going to be happening soon is the Race for Grace 5k Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run to benefit Grace Link Kids which is an outreach of Grace International.This idea began during a conversation with my brother about putting on a trail race someday, even though I’m not even a trail runner and it somehow grew into this!! After having a meeting and forming a committee, I (of all people..if you know me, you’ll agree, lol) was chosen to be the race director. I have only been in races and never even helped with one, so you can imagine my surprise and panic mode that I was suddenly in since I’ve never considered myself a “leader”. Luckily, we have several other people who are great with planning and know people who can advise us on things that we have questions about. We really want this to be a fun event that is family oriented and something that runners and their families will want to participate in again. Most of all, we want to be able to have lots of folks participate so we can help as many kids as we can. By the way, if you have any race planning suggestions or advice for me, I’d LOVE to hear from you!! We are planning our second meeting this week and hope to have the final details ironed out. Here is what we know for sure: It will be held September 24 at 8:30am at the Longleaf Trace Gateway, which is behind USM (See directions below). There will be race t-shirts, prizes for the winners (age group categories to be decided on soon), water and snacks afterwards and some fun stuff for the kids too. We will be listing it on the Mississippi Track Club site and the Pinebelt Pacers site too. We’ve already listed it as an event on Facebook and made a page for it too so you can keep up with updates there. If you don’t have Facebook, no worries because I’ll update things on here and Twitter and Grace International has a page started on their website and will post info there too. I’m really excited about it coming together and I hope I’ll see lots of you there!
The temps are looking like they are going to be pretty high this week so remember to stay hydrated and take your water bottle with you when you go outside to exercise!
I hope everyone has a great week.
*Directions to the Longleaf Trace Gateway*
From I59 take the Hardy Street exit and go east on Hardy Street to 38th Street (second light). Turn left on 38th Avenue and then right at the next light at 4th Street. The Gateway will be on your left at the foot of the water tower at the northern edge of the USM campus.
From US Highway 49 from Jackson: At Mendenhall turn south on Highway 13. At Prentiss turn west on US Highway 84. The Trace crosses 84 just south of its terminus at the park in Prentiss. Take a side street to the beautiful park (see pictures below) and parking area. For the Hattiesburg terminus see I59 instructions above or the US Highway 49 directions below.
To access the Trace at Sumrall or Epley from Highway 49: Turn west on 42. Turn left on Epley Road (first paved road) to go to Epley, or straight to continue to Sumrall. In Sumrall turn left on 589 and the parking area is a few blocks on your left.
If you are coming from Mobile on US Highway 98 or from the coast on US Highway 49 (they intersect just south of Hattiesburg): Continue (or turn) west on US 98 to I59 north to Hardy Street. Then follow the directions from I59 above.
US Highway 49 Directions: If you are familiar with Hattiesburg and USM, another more scenic way to get to the Gateway Southern Miss is to stay on 49 into Hattiesburg, and then turn west on 4th street (watch for signs directing you to the Gateway. You will get onto a frontage road that will take you to 4th Street (4th Street passes over US 49). The Gateway will be on your right across from the football stadium. That way you get to see more of the fabulous hub city and USM. To start at Epley or Sumrall, follow the directions above. Going North, Highway 42 will be on your left about 3 miles after you cross under I59.