Run4Bibles 10K

This is my first time running this race but I have run the course many many times. The race was held at Cedar Ridge Preserve which is five minutes from home. It was packed, I have never seen this many people at the preserve. This is my favorite place to run for many reasons. The proximity to home is great but so are the views and trails. Plus depending on what kind of race you are training for you can get great hill training or speed training on flat sections. This was my third race at the preserve and it was by far the most difficult race I have run. I cramped up twice in my hamstring and once in my calf. I made it halfway before my hamstring cramped. It was a unseasonably warm and humid day and the race was a rare midday start. The second cramp of the hamstring came on a steep downhill and I was stuck at the top. After surviving that double, on the last steep uphill my calf cramped. I finished in a not so bad 1:28:56 for the cramping circumstances. Once again I avoided a last place age group finish by one place. 28514897_1639006719516327_4788469335810601624_o.jpg29025895_1645132918903707_3517117571591569408_o.jpgI actually look like I am going fast.29103543_1645134785570187_8696516821085323264_n.jpgPrecramp partial smile.FB_IMG_1520126237636.jpgGood times running with friends.

I have another trail run before I hit the hiking trails again.

Purtis Creek State Park

Maybe they should rename the park Purtis Lake because the park sits on a lake and if a creek ran through it. I did not see it. Purtis Creek State Park is located in Eustace, TX which is about an hour east of Dallas. This was another nice hike for me to take my daughter on. The funny thing is on the ride to the park we saw camels and longhorns grazing on the same farm. I never knew there were camels in east Texas. Purtis Creek had a real east Texas feel with tall pine trees and red dirt. This is another park in which if you are not there for the lake there is not much else to do. The park campsites were sold out and the fishing must be great. The hiking was nice with views of the lake and the trees. 20180315_123343.jpgDSC00524.JPGDSC00526.JPGDSC00527.JPGDSC00538.JPGDSC00556.JPGDSC00558.JPG

It was a fun day hiking with my daughter. We did not go to widely known destinations but a good time was had by all.

 

Lake Tawakoni State Park

Twenty years ago I was doing outreach work in the area of this state park. I would hear people saying they are going to Lake Tawakoni for the weekend. I was picturing in my mind a little lake in even more of the middle of nowhere. To my surprise twenty years later, I find out that this lake is big and there is a real city that is nearby. The city of Wills Point, TX only has 3500 people and twenty years ago it had the same population but more buildings now. They have yoga and a spin class. The city is still mostly farmland but the downtown area is very nice and has cobbled stone streets.

Lake Tawakoni State Park is located about one hour east of Dallas. The lake is the main attraction but it also was the place of one of the largest communal spiderweb. The spiderweb is not there anymore but we did see a few small ones on the hike. I did say we because my daughter was my special hiking partner this time. We had a good time on the hike even though I have been spoiled by hiking canyons and mountains. The trails were in great shape and clearly marked and defined. These were some of the nicest trails I had been on.20180315_121444.jpgDSC00497.JPGDSC00502.JPGDSC00511.JPGDSC00506.JPGDSC00516.JPG20180315_121403.jpg

This was a nice fun flat hike. This was hike 19 of my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series. It will not rank up near the top of my hike list but hiking with my daughter was a blast and on the drive we saw a farm with camels. It was funny to see camels in east Texas along side of longhorns.

Next hike more east Texas hiking with my girl.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

I love waterfalls. I do not care of the size. I love the huge straight down drop ones but also the long multi tiered shallow ones. I was even amazed by a dry one once. I had not been to this area of Oklahoma in about 20 years but this place advertised springs and waterfalls. It has been raining a bunch for about three weeks so I decided it would be a perfect time to visit the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Located in Sulphur, OK, which is about a two and a half hour drive due north of Dallas. Driving in the park to the Travertine Nature Center you pass four very different waterfalls. I was here to see Little Niagara Falls and it did not disappoint. I was not expecting a huge 40+ foot waterfall but a ten foot high velocity waterfall. I got exactly what I wanted. I got there early and there were not many people but after a three mile warmup hike, it started to fill up. It was hard to get good pictures without random people in the photo. I ended up hiking to Little Niagara, Bear Falls, Garfield Falls, Pebble Falls, Sycamore Falls, Lost Cave Falls and Panther Falls plus Travertine Island, Antelope Springs and Buffalo Springs. The falls were amazing and all different. The water was crystal clear. There were some springs and falls that are so clean that you can drink from them. I decided to pass on that decision. The number of falls seems to be a bunch but they are only about a quarter to a half mile apart. I was constantly finding more and more picturesque places here that I stayed twice as long as I scheduled. 20180312_150021.jpgPanther Falls

DSC00356.JPGBuffalo Spring

DSC00384.JPGLittle Niagara Falls

DSC00395.JPGFalls and clear water

DSC00419.JPGBear Falls I think

DSC00426.JPGGarfield Falls I think

DSC00368.JPGCrystal clear water

I had a hard time narrowing down what pictures to use. I would use all different pictures at a different time. This was awesome and I only hiked half of the park. I will definitely have to return.

This was also hike 17 in my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series. This series has me exploring places that have been magnificient to see. So far I have hiked up mountains, down in canyons, around lakes and on a beach.

The next hike I continue my exploration of Oklahoma.

Viking Dash 5K

The second trail run of the year was the Viking Dash 5K. I have not done a 5K in a long time. I am glad I choose the 5K because the course was extremely muddy. I cannot run well in mud. I decided to pace my sister and not worry about my time. We both struggled and the mud was sticky and heavy. At the end of the race, the mud was caked on the bottom and sides of my shoes. Little did I know it would rain all February and I had two more trail races and a road race in the next five weeks. My time of 47:08 is about fifteen minutes slower than my average trail 5K time. The course was not particularly difficult but the course condition was not good. They even rerouted the course or it could have been worse. I think the race would have been really nice if it was not a mud run. The Viking Dash people put on a good race and I think the Fort Worth run will be better. 20180126_122804.jpg20180126_124116.jpg20180129_073051.png20180129_073654.png

I usually do not post pictures of myself but these pictures turned out pretty good. Check out the muddy shoes. It is race day today so I will be running my third trail 10K and the sun is out and the weather is great.

Knob Hills 10K Trail Race

It has been raining for weeks now and I have not been able to get much hiking done. I did get a few trail races in between the rain. My first race of the year was the Knob Hills 10K. As most trail races distances can vary. So I was not surprised the race was actually 7.3 miles and not the normal 6.2 miles. The trails were nice single track trails. The course is located in Roanoke, TX right off of Lake Grapevine. They are DORBA trails but did not have the normal DORBA feel. There were not many switchbacks or short steep hills. But there were hills and some were long and some were steep. I put up a time of 1:26:13. I am pretty proud of the time considering the distance. The running conditions were great. It was a clear and cool morning. 20180120_072559.jpg20180120_072611.jpg20180120_073533.jpg20180120_073538.jpg20180120_073546.jpg

The hat, shirt and medal were nice also. I am ready to up my mileage but I will do a few more <10 mile races. I have a 1/2 marathon and a 50K on the schedule.

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is located in Sherman, TX which is an hour north of Dallas. I had never heard of this place before visiting. I had no idea what to expect to see on this hike. I randomly picked the Haller’s Haven Trail. It seemed like a good trail to start with and the distance was not too long or short. The lady at the visitor’s desk did mention that it is legal to hunt on this trail. I am not a hunter but she said if you see some cars already there you might want to hike elsewhere due to possible hunters shooting. I was intrigued by the possibility of being shot so I posed the question of what would they be hunting. She replied small game animals like squirrels and other small rodents. So I decided to take my chances if people were already out there to hike anyway. What is the worst that could happen, I get hit in the foot by 410 shot or a .22 slug. Not too surprising there were no cars at the trailhead when I got there. The terrain was flat but the trails were really nice. I kept thinking to myself these are the perfect flat trail running trails. They were wide and tree lined. You could see small rolling hills in front of you and behind you. The trail did have one stretch of uphill hiking but it was not steep and relatively not that long. There were two small ponds and Lake Texoma on the trail. I also like the bridge that was near the beginning of the trail. There was nothing to scenic unless you like birding. I am guessing that this is what it is most known for. There were all different types of birds everywhere. As for anything else not much to see. It was a relaxing stroll the day before race day.  20180216_133454.jpg20180216_133627.jpg20180216_133943.jpg20180216_134012.jpg20180216_140034.jpg20180216_135240.jpg20180216_141952.jpg20180216_135719.jpg

This was the second wildlife refuge I have visited. They are vastly different. In retrospect this place is also very different than the state park nearby and a natural public use area. This was hike 16 of my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.