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.

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.

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.

Cross Country Run 5 Miler

I was back at Cameron Park for another wonderful rough day in the hills of Waco. I actually won this time. I did not win the race or my gender or my age group. I beat the course. I ran a smooth 1:11:21 which is a victory. I dropped ten minutes off my time from last year and beat my predicted time by four minutes. I felt good the entire time and finished strong. I also paced, not purposely, two second place finishers in the women’s age group. They said I set a steady pace and was easy to follow. They were very happy to place in there age group and I was happy to have company for most of the race. I ended up 5th in my age group but very happy with my time. I like that every time I do a Waco Striders Trail race I feel good afterwards. My ankle held up well going up and down the hills. I used a new shoe and sock combination that worked really well. I think I will continue to wear the ALTRAs and compression socks for races. I am also liking the numbers I got the last two Cross Country races, last year was 777 and this year was 1. How I got bib #1 I will never know but it was fun wearing a low number.20190209_214150.jpg49468800_10155761159370894_741556709591351296_n.jpg50937046_2176471182396465_8961698689034747904_n.jpg51138331_2176471529063097_1542609372046163968_o.jpg52326628_2176670355725134_3774917997076938752_n.jpg

I am now in full preparation mode for my 50K. I have two races in between so hiking will be put on hold for awhile. I am currently building mileage and I am already running more miles weekly than I did prior to my first 50K. If I stay healthy and the weather cooperates I should be able to get through this unsupported 50K.

Running the Rose 11 Miler

Last September I ran a 25K at Tyler State Park and it ended badly. My legs became useless after three hours and I missed my anticipated finish time by one and a half hours. So I signed up for another race here even though it is shorter. Once again Tyler State Park got the best of me, sort of. I twisted my ankle within the first two miles of the race. I have rolled my ankle many times running the trails. I never had the pain I went through this time. I was limping for the next half mile or so. The pain eventually came and went continuously throughout the next nine miles. I did finish and the win was that I was only three minutes slower than my predicted time. My time of 2:33 was not too bad considering the difficulty of the course and the twisted ankle. I am guessing due to the previous damage that has been done to this particular ankle, the ankle did not swell too much. The foot was bruised and swelled a little. The foot already had so many crazy injuries so seeing swelling is hard. The next two days it was my achilles on that leg was very sore. The race itself was put on by Trail Racing Over Texas and their races are always great. Plus having the support of the Dallas Dirt Runners is always fun. I also had time to conversate with runners from my friends from the south, Waco Striders and north North Texas Trail Runners. 50648334_10216219805595582_4482824509782491136_o.jpg50581455_10216219822916015_3464287502460780544_o.jpg50967373_2337459773155309_3937321177373999104_o.jpg50839919_2337459793155307_7125170144984170496_o.jpg50599281_10216219806795612_6972889158926729216_o.jpg

It was a fun race despite the injury. I have some other races I want to run that are put on by T.R.O.T. So returning to Tyler will be put on the back burner for awhile.

Next hike a hiking trip in the San Antonio area.

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.

2019 Tyler State Park

As I start off the new year, I am trying to up my mileage in both hiking and trail running. I am trying to get more hiking in this year than I did last year and some longer hikes. I also am going to increase my trail running distances and try to get at least one long run a week. For me a long run is anything above ten miles. So far so good with the running but not so much with the hiking. It has been raining so the trails are still closed. I have gotten a couple of runs at Cedar Hill SP on the roads. I much prefer trails but the roads at this state park are hilly and curvy. I also got a run/hike at Tyler SP. It is one of the few parks that hold up well in the rain. If I continue to hold onto these two goals I will prepared for a 50K in March.

My hike/run at Tyler SP was nice since I was on the parts I have not been on yet. I now have finished this park also. I have a handful of Texas state parks that I have hiked the entire park. The biggest surprises at this part of the park were the many small waterfalls scattered along the trails. It was probably  due to all the rain but it was nice to hear the running water for most of the 9 miles on the trail. Of course the huge east Texas pine trees and loblollies trees are always impressive. 20190105_100738.jpg20190105_100728.jpg20190105_095027.jpg20190105_100844.jpg20190105_104108.jpg20190105_102633.jpg

I am a week away from my first run. I am starting off with an 11 Miler then going to a new for me state park the next day. Getting those outdoor miles in in the best way.