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This is the post excerpt.

This my blog enjoy stay awhile. I will be as entertaining as possible with stories and pictures in the blog section and videos under the other stuff section. Mostly I will chronicle my adventures to becoming a hiker as a sidebar to trail running. Hopefully I will have a before and after weight lose story also.

Prairie Spirit Trail 50K

After my first 50K, I vowed to not run another 50K.  I was also told once you run your first ultra I would to run many more.  I guess I was wrong.  I finished my second ultra and have already signed up for a 100K.  The Prairie Spirit Trail run was located in Ottawa, KS, which is about an hour and a half south west of Kansas City.  Unlike my first 50K, I had no crew or fellow runners to help pace.  I ran alone with the use of a drop bag.  I did not use my drop bag as much as I thought. I had a change of clothes, some extra food and pain aids.  I did not change clothes and probably should have changed shirts. I did eat some additional food but the aid stations were well stocked.  I did use the 2Toms anti chafe pads.  These pads saved the race for me.

The race started in a snowstorm and ended in the bright sun.  The 2Toms came into play early because the snow made my clothes wet from the start.  The 2Toms eased the rubbing and I had no chafing problems the entire rest of the race.

The race was a very flat and fast out and back course. The 50K runners had a short out and back before heading on the main trail out and back.  The first manned aid station was located in Princeton and that is where I had my drop bag.  I thought I was running slow but I was way ahead of my predicted pace. I had to tell myself to slow down so I would burn out early. I have this problem in my long runs. I start off way to fast and have nothing left at the end of the race.  I slowed myself down by taking pictures and this aid station is also where I had my first application of 2Toms.

The next manned aid station was at Richmond.  This is also the 50K turn around.  I was still ahead of schedule but the race changed entirely at this aid station. The aid station to the finish would be into a 25 MPH head wind with gust up to 45 MPH.  It felt like a 10 degree temperature drop and it was a tough run.  I could not get any pictures because my hands had 2Toms on them and it was just to cold to take off my gloves.

I got to the Princeton aid station on the way back and still felt pretty good.  I was still ahead of pace so I readjusted my finishing time and sped up.  I should not have changed my plan.  I struggled the last 5 miles. I also ran out of water with 2 miles left.  I felt the slight uphill to the finished line and it hurt.  I did have a somewhat sprint finish to get my time under 6 hours and 30 minutes.  My official time was 6:29:27 which is over 2 hours faster than my first 50K and 30 minutes faster than my predicted time.  20190330_090928.jpg20190330_090804.jpg20190330_094636.jpg20190330_103343.jpg20190330_103242.jpg

I met a bunch of good people at this race.  I am going to be back here for the 100K and might pick up another two trail races in Kansas.  They told me that there are hills in Kansas so I will sign up for those races.

Next up is a super hilly race in Texas.

Red River National Wildlife Refuge

The Red River National Wildlife Refuge is located in Bossier City, LA.  It was just a fifteen minute drive from Shreveport.  I expected a flat hike through marsh wetlands. This place was a bit different than what I expected. There was no elevation change but that is expected at wetlands but the terrain was varied.  In some areas I was hiking in sand and other parts dense forest.  It had rained several days before and some of the lower wetlands were flooded.  I did hike on every trail in the refuge and only missed about 2 miles of trail.  I enjoyed the views of Lake Caroline in the middle of the refuge. The trails were clearly marked and it would be difficult to get lost once on the trail system.  I had a hike of 6 plus miles but the map stated there is only 5 miles of trail.  I did have to back track some  due to the flooded trails.  There was wildlife in abundance and if you are a bird watcher this place would be awesome.  I also caught a glimpse of deer.   I was expecting to see alligators but I was lucky enough to avoid that creature.  20190324_103329.jpgDeer crossing the trail20190322_094647.jpgLake Caroline20190322_094539.jpgRandom tractor20190322_083551.jpgCool looking trees20190322_090342.jpgSandy trail20190322_092907.jpgFlooded trail

Next up is a trip to Kansas to run a 50K.

Grasslands Half Marathon

The Grasslands Half Marathon is located on the grounds of the LBJ National Grasslands in Alvord, TX. The city is about 45 minutes north of Fort Worth.  I have heard about this race for about two years but did not think I could run a half marathon until last year.  I liked the location and the race director is a good person so I signed up for the Rockledge Rumble.  Yes that is a different race but the same race director. Rockledge Rumble was cancelled because the trail was several feet under water, so I transferred my registration to the Grasslands Half Marathon.  We still had rain days before this race but the trails held up very well. There were a few muddy spots in the low lying areas but overall they were in good shape.  The trails were fairly wide but some single track.  The trails also were made of compact sand for many miles which was different to run on .  I was using this race to train for my upcoming 50K just like Rockledge suppose to be for also. I wanted to hold a slow and steady pace but finish under three hours. My first half marathon I worked hard to get under three hours.  This time around it was quite easy and my running partner and I had to slow down several times because we were going too fast. I finished in 2:57 and change but I felt great.  I was not tired and I felt like I could run it again faster. The weather was perfect.  Sunny skies with the temperatures staying in the low 40s to mid 60s. Plus who can argue with beer and BBQ at the finish.FB_IMG_1552768414726.jpgFB_IMG_1552768427092.jpgFB_IMG_1552768450001.jpg20190316_080355.jpg20190316_080325.jpg

It was a good day of running and next up is crossing the state line for some fun in Louisiana.

Eagle Mountain Lake Park

I actually was here before I was at Grasslands. The park is located on the far north west side of Fort Worth. I have hiked here before but this time I did every mile of the trails. I also found out the deer here will only move when they want to not when I want them to move. I hiked to the highest point of the park and got a good view of the lake. Last time I did not go past this area. The trails always seem nice and even with plenty of rain recently the trails held up well. The park has some good elevation changes and a couple are quite technical. The park is basically broken up in two sections and I got to hike the other side which lead me to the boat docks. The hike was around 10 miles so it was a good day.20190223_094956.jpg20190223_095102.jpgcaRMtN_8WTXs5wJ-Ln7xOG09RQ_-t4DJikgv_fqv5pc-2048x1152.jpgnZz3Q4rK0JEuc9eGPUo00Y4jsuuyHwFP6FjWlbN3ZGA-2048x1152.jpgTj_twFrYo5QjC5Z7BlEUtnjtDi0gC1tPTzJIZoPgUUY-2048x1152.jpg

From hazy to sunny this was a nice hike and also did some trail running also. Next up is my second half marathon. It happens to be at Grasslands and a warm up for my second 50K.

LBJ National Grasslands

LBJ National Grasslands is located in Alvord, TX which is about an hour north west of Fort Worth. I was out here because I was doing a half marathon. I liked that I got a chance to roam around and see other parts of the grasslands not just the parts on the course. It seems to be mainly used as a horse trail. I could see myself easily getting lost if it was not for the race trail markers. If you like prairie lands and rolling hills, this is the perfect place. It is also in the middle of nowhere so I am guessing the nights are awesome when it is clear. There are no grandiose views anything particularly special about this place but it is so peaceful and tranquil. It grabbed my attention and I do not really know why. FB_IMG_1552768404538.jpgFB_IMG_1552768400800.jpgFB_IMG_1552768424168.jpgFB_IMG_1552768417548.jpgFB_IMG_1552768420278.jpg

Since they do allow overnight camping, this would be a great getaway spot to do some stargazing on a warm Texas night.

Next up back to Eagle Mountain.

Hiking on Hold but still on the Trails

I have only done about a half dozen hikes this year. I could blame the weather but I have not been away from the trails. I have several big trail runs coming up this month. I have a half marathon and a 50K trail run in a two week period. Also in April and May I have four races on technical terrain each ten plus miles long. I then take a two week break and go into 100K training. I like hiking and if I never started hiking I would not be trail running. I have a great group to run with and I happen to live in an area where I have six great trails within fifteen minutes from home. So here are some pictures of places I am training and people I am training with.nZz3Q4rK0JEuc9eGPUo00Y4jsuuyHwFP6FjWlbN3ZGA-2048x1152.jpgEagle Mountain Park52607936_2159477870742141_4923248044205408256_n.jpgCedar Ridge Preserve22289666_10214717700999924_1406004877095561363_o.jpgNTTR Group when I am up north of the metroplex38392101_10217363826673368_3624816384799670272_n.jpgDDR when I am in my neighborhood43041061_1956246004398663_5133407678831263744_o.jpgTrinity Groves with downtown Dallas in the background.FB_IMG_1529546131471.jpgThe main group of crazies.

The places and the groups make training fun and interesting. I miss my solo hikes but running with a good group of people helps me take my mind off the training. This big guy will be back hiking soon enough.

DNSed

Today I was suppose to run the Trail Madness 16K at Turkey Mountain Urban Area in Tulsa, OK. I really wanted to make the four and a half drive and get in a good run. I checked the weather a for two weeks and the forecast was getting worse and worse. The predicted temperature was going lower and the snow and freezing precipitation prediction was growing.  I have run in freezing conditions and snow so not a problem but the travel concerns me. I do not think it was a wise or safe idea to drive that distance on possible icy roads. Plus, it was a SUnday race so I had no choice to return the day of because of work. The RD sent several emails earlier this week to update the trail conditions and giving the go ahead for the race. The final email stated the race was on the only thing that would stop the race would be excessive mud. Mud would not be a problem since the trails are frozen. I am assuming that some of the roads are not in great shape since the race entrances have been changed and the parking has also been changed. There are arguments among the trail running community of which is worse., a DNS or DNF.  I feel really bad about this DNS and I have not had a DNF so I would say a DNS is worse. I am glad the race did not sell out and I took someone’s spot so I guess the registration fee is a donation. 20171220_085511.jpg

In two weeks I will run my second half marathon, I have no plans on a DNS or DNF.