Running and more Running

Training in the heat is going better than I thought it would go.  I got 175 miles in July.  The total miles surpassed my best month by over 20 miles.  I am slowly building up my mileage per run also getting several 7-10 mile runs.  I still do not like long runs.  I am not fast so long runs take up a bunch of time.  I do, time on my feet runs, which last from two and half to three hours.

My races this month include Habanero 30K and Six-0 Ranch Half Marathon.  They will be my long runs and to see where my fitness is at by the end of the month.  My previous hip injury has been nagging a bit but nothing major.  My knees are feeling good.  I am surprised because I am running six to eight days in a row.

I am going to start to incorporate gym workouts twice a week to build core strength.  My weight is down to 253 and I want to be around 235 by the time I run my 100K.  I should be able to lose 18 pounds in 12 weeks but it is going to be tough. Back to the heat and hills.

Judgement Day Run 6 Trails 1 Day

So I tried the mini Judgement Day trail run on the south side.  A judgement day run is doing multiple trails in one day.  The trails included Windmill Hill, Boulder, OCNP, CHSP Dogwood Canyon and CRP.  I got an average of 3 miles per park and a bonus 2 for good measure.  This was easily one of the three hardest runs I have done along with my first 50K and last year’s Piney Woods 25K.21765050_1440469806006426_8076358115759936169_n.jpg

Run report:
Started at 11AM at Windmill Hill, got a good paced 3.28 miles at 11:21 minute miles. This is a small park with short and steep elevation changes.  I felt good and took a ten minute drive to Boulder.

Boulder was a leisurely paced run. The drive in the car wore me out more than refreshed me.  This park is a bit more level with one long hill but it is not too steep.  I got 3.45 miles at a 13:20 pace.  The late start hurt due to the temperature rising at noon.  The next ten minutes were driving to OCNP.

OCNP was the first park I had to make a trail decision. I did the white and blue trails.  The blue trail is hilly and technical but the white trail is relatively flat.  I started to tire on this run.  My morning fuel was depleted but my hydration was still good.  I had some fruit juice and a banana for breakfast.  I did 3.28 miles at a pace of 13:34 minute miles. I got back to the car and got a banana and a nutri-grain bar and took the long 15 minute drive to CHSP.   14495274_1102904826429594_910515625703402285_n.jpg

CHSP was hot. I had my first thoughts of a DNF but it was not a race but still.  I was tired and my legs were turning into jello.  CHSP is a sneaky hard trail.  It has a bunch of switchbacks and elevation changes.  I did the Green Loop and got 2.75 miles(really 3) at a very slow pace of 15:23 minutes per mile.  I also had a clothes change. I needed a new shirt but that was all.  The next was a quick seven minute drive to Dogwood Canyon.

I knew Dogwood Canyon would be the shortest trip.  This is another small park but it has several nice views from the canyon rim.  I did forget about the climb up the canyon. The quarter mile climb is steep and was tearing my legs up.  It was hot and I was just trying to get up this hill.  The trail was also longer than I expected but I trudged on.  The trail was 2.23 miles total but had the most elevation gain of all of the trails.  My pace had slowed down to 16:28 minute miles.  My final drive was six minutes to CRP.

I got to CRP and was sitting in the car debating on getting out.  I got out and tried to get it done as fast as possible.  Fast being a relative term at this point.  I was exhausted and did not eat enough to get me through this run.  I did drink plenty of water and SOS electrolyte drink.  I struggled through the 3.31 miles in a turtle like pace of 17:20 per mile.  I decided to avoid all of the hills and steep climbs and did a flat loop around the top of the park.

I finished the 6 trails and 18+2 miles in seven hours including the drive, change of clothes and the thoughts of stopping.  The two extra miles came with warmup and cooldown miles.  I saw a familiar face at the end which is always nice.  Thanks for the chat Elisa.  My thought is this was not one of my best ideas.  It was a good training run.

Beer the other Carbohydrate

Why am writing about beer on a hiking and trail running blog? Why not.

I have been getting into the local beer scene recently.  I am not a beer snob nor a connoisseur of beer.  I like what I like so I drink what I like.  I like lagers, Mexican style, hefeweizens and Belgian wheat beer.  I stay away from IPAs, stouts and saisons.  My taste for beer limits my selections since most microbreweries love their IPAs.

I am going to rundown some of my favorite beers and local breweries just in case anyone is in the Dallas Fort Worth area looking for some good local beer.  I am listing the ones I have been but there are plenty more.  As a bonus I will throw in two Texas brewers that have some great beer.

Austin and Houston have some good breweries but Celis and Karbach are my favorites.  Celis brewery in Austin has Celis White and it is the perfect Belgian Witbier.  This is the beer that puts Blue Moon and Shocktop to shame.   Houston’s Karbach has gone a little big time but Love Street is an awesome lager. It is an easy drinking beer full of flavor.

DFW area breweries:

Peticolas Brewery-I absolutely love this place. You cannot go wrong with any of the beer.  The tour was great and the people are awesome. Velvet Hammer is their signature beer and I hear it is great but it is an IPA so I did not partake.  I did have Golden Opportunity, Sit Down or I’ll Sit You Down and several others but A Lost Epic was by far my favorite.  It is a Belgian Tripel so take notice of the alcohol content. At the time, it was the best beer I have ever drank.Snapchat-2064936553.jpg

Legal Draft Brewery-A great laid back place to drink in Arlington, Tx.  Friendly and accommodating staff that try to make the customers happy.  It is a very family friendly place.  Of all of the beers, two stuck out for me.  Hung Jury Hefeweizen and You’ve Been Cerveza’d were great.  Hung Jury is my all time favorite hefeweizen.  I was happy that they also have more than usual selection of tasty lagers. 20190427_155349.jpg

Bitter Sisters Brewery-Hidden somewhat in Addison, TX is the coolest placed brewery.  It is in a very nondescript location that you could drive by ten times and still not see it.  Bring food and games and have a blast.  This is another brewery that has a generous selection of lagers.  I am pretty sure I had one of every beer they had on tap.  Family Trip is their Belgian Tripel and is not to be missed. It is very smooth and is also one of my all time favorites.  The lagers are second to none and Busy Body and Hissy Fit should not be passed up.20190202_130542.jpg

Deep Ellum Brewery-It is in the Deep Ellum section of downtown Dallas. It is an IPA heavy brewery but I found a great Mexican style beer that has replaced my usual Dos XX.  Neato Bandito is a great beer Mexican style beer for all occasions.  The atmosphere is outstanding and the brewmasters have a passion for beer and are willing to talk to you for hours about not only the process but also all other things that pertain to beer.

Martin House-I really could not find a beer like the other breweries but this will always make the list due to their Halloween Party.  They have their beer on tap plus tons of other venders sharing their adult libations.  They do have very good IPAs and different types of beer.  20171028_151300I am a hunter and she is my deer.

Other places not mentioned but are not too bad are Steam Theory Brewery and Brain Dead Brewery.  I am going to try to knock out at least 8-10 more breweries this summer.  So if you know any good breweries in the DFW area let me know.

 

Hidden Hills Half Marathon

The race was amazing.  The race was held at Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.  The state park is not open yet but the runners got a sneak peek of what the future of the trails might look like at the park.  The park is located in Strawn, TX which is about an hour and a half west of the DFW metroplex.  The hill country of Texas makes up most of central Texas and this area in the northwest part is beautiful.  It has the hills and flowers and some great views.

The race offered distances ranging from 5K all the way up to a 50 miler.  I chose the half marathon because I am starting to like this distance.  It is long enough to feel like hard work but short enough to recover fairly quick.  The half marathon course consisted of two out and backs over a changing terrain.  The trails held up well from the rain overnight.  They were wet and had some muddy spots but overall in good shape.

The first out and back was a feeling out process and not difficult.  The course started with two small but steep uphills. The first major climb came after a water crossing.  The water crossing was not too deep so I rock jumped to keep my feet dry.  The top of the climb had great views but I could not get good pictures because of the weather.  It was cloudy and very very humid.  It was smoove sailing down the hill to an area filled with wildflowers.  The trail went into a forest type area in which the trail turned a bit muddy.  After the muddy section was the turn around point of the race.  I decided to get most of my pictures on the way back.  I was feeling good and I wanted to get the picture before the second out and back.  I got to the start/finish ahead of my three hour half marathon pace.

I started the second out and back drenched in sweat.  My shirt and shorts were soaking wet.  My shirt was feeling heavy and my shorts were clinging to my legs.  My nutrition and hydration was still good but my clothes were an added weight.  I had to tuck in my shirt to keep my shorts from falling down.  The water crossing was a bit deeper but crossable without getting too wet.  At the top of the climb the temperature dropped at least ten degrees.  The sky got darker and thicker clouds came rolling over the course.  I made it almost to the muddy part when it started to rain on and off.  I got to the turn around and the sky opened up.  It started to rain consistently.  The thunder and lightning started after I was out of the now swamp like muddy section.  I could see lightning bolts go from cloud to ground.  As I started up the backside of the biggest climb it started to pour.  At the top of the climb, it started to hail.  By now the trails were flooded and muddy.  There were mini waterfalls on the big hill.  The water crossing was shin deep.  The rock jumping idea was scrapped and I just ran through the water.  I finished drenched and exhausted.  My time of 3:17:13 was slow but I was happy just to finish.FB_IMG_1558287448257.jpg20190518_082225.jpgFB_IMG_1558287604486.jpgFB_IMG_1558287620636.jpgFB_IMG_1558287611176.jpg20190518_103242.jpg

Overall, I really liked to race but better weather would have made this race great.  I did get to see another Texas state park.  I have week till my next race in this same area.

 

Dallas Corporate 5K

I have not run a 5K on the road in five months.  I have been training and racing on the trails for about two years.  I have done four road races and all 5Ks this being my latest.  I do 5Ks for speed work and I want to run at least one under 27 minutes.  A group of trail runners decided to do a road race for fun and the rain has forced us off the trails.  I had made the decision to go for the sub 27 but I was still recovering from the 25K.  My feet were still sore and I also had leg soreness after putting in many miles on hills to get ready for another race that was rained out.  The Dallas Corporate 5K was on a Thursday night which is usually my off day.  I put all these factors in my failure to get under 27 minutes.  My time of 27:25 was slightly disappointing.  The course was flat and fast but it was very warm and humid.  I thought it would be colder and I was overdressed with a heavy long sleeve shirt.  I was running well and at the midway point my time was 13:12.  My race fell apart from that point.  I lost my legs and could not keep up the pace.  I had a   great time hanging out with the running crew.  e4b969cf-6f3b-4b98-8aa8-77cf9d586aff.jpgPost race pictureFB_IMG_1556851755063.jpgPost race meal and drinksFB_IMG_1556851690892.jpgPre race selfieFB_IMG_1556855786914.jpgPost race group pic

I am getting back to training for trails but the rain has forced me to do some more road work.

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.

Trinity Groves Dallas, TX

I like running on all the trails I can find in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Being a trail runner and hiker, for that matter, is that weather sometimes determines how much outdoor time I can enjoy. The rain in 2018 was the second most in the area since they started recording rainfall. The most just happened to be 2015. The rain floods the trails and the they get closed for weeks at a time. I would usually trudge to the gym and get a workout there but I found with the help of my running buddies a great place to get some trail time. Trinity Groves on the west side of downtown Dallas. The trail is crushed gravel and drains really well, so running can be done even on raining days. The light from downtown Dallas keeps the trail lit fairly well, so I can run at night with or without a headlamp. I have been running here regularly but am anxious to get to some less urban trails. The trail is flat and fast but you can add hills when running down into the levee. This part gets flooded when it rains a bunch and the Trinity river rises and covers the lower trail. The is an out and back for the most part but you can run a 16 mile loop, so I heard. I particularly do not like out and back runs but when returning on this trail you get great views of downtown Dallas the entire time. The lights of the city keep the run interesting especially during any event. The buildings in the city will have a light show that correlates to the event. FB_IMG_1539225142284.jpg43098483_1956246097731987_6609849695248318464_o.jpg43053753_1956246164398647_7220257267763904512_o.jpg43110257_1956245897732007_6908378015701401600_o.jpg20181219_182051.jpg

The very distinctive bridge in the background is the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

Next up is my first run of the year. I need some revenge at Tyler State Park.