I am getting more road time than usual especially since most trails are open. We had a day with plenty of rain so I hit the road. I enjoy the road a little more than I used to for two reasons. The trails close at sunset for good reasons and where a live I still can get a wilderness feeling. I can run along the boundary or on the roads of Cedar Hill State Park or Joe Pool Lake. Some of those views are spectacular at sunset. I really do need to get pictures of both the next time I am on a slow run(slow being a relative term). As a random thought does anybody else but me just look at the sky. The clouds and colors are so impressive. I like the north Texas skies but sunset in central Texas is a must do for everyone at least once. I do get sunset pictures post run in my neighborhood. Low clouds across the street.North Texas sunsetThe sun reflecting off the cloudsNot as late as beforeNot as pink but just as nice.
A quote that everybody gets wrong and is now driving me crazy. “Money is the root of all evil.” I hear it this way all the time and they are not saying the quote correct and it ruins the true meaning of the quote. “The pursuit of wealth i.e. money is the root of all evil.” What does this quote have to do with running or hiking, nothing. People who have worked hard and earned money are not evil. They made money. Doctors, lawyers and businessmen who have made millions have worked for their money. It is those who are in pursuit of money and do not earn it fall into evil ways. It is those with the ability to make money but do not want to earn is who the quote is referring.
I am going to stop here because this can go in many different ways religious, political, philosophical and my favorite nonsensical. I try to keep it light.
Oh yea I am still training and down to 247, twelve more pounds to go.
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I have nine weeks till my 100K. My “see where I was at run” was not what I expected but many funny stories will come out of my Habanero experience. I am currently putting in 30-40 miles weekly on different terrain. I did flat and fast at Trinity Groves with a tire pull for desert.Tire pull crew a few weeks ago.
I also did 1000 feet of elevation gain with hill repeats at Dogwood Canyon in just under six and a half miles.This picture was actually taken at Cedar Ridge Preserve overlooking Dogwood Canyon.
The best thing about my training is my runs on Wednesday and Thursday. I get to do group runs with the Dallas Dirt Runners. It took me a long time to get use to group runs and at times I still run alone during group runs or run as a sweeper in the back. I am a bit more motivated when running with familiar faces. Thursday night group at Norbuck ParkWednesday night group at Big Cedar Park.
I also need somebody to keep me from signing up for races. I signed up for another 25K in Oklahoma because I liked the background picture. I hope I am not being catfished. It promises thousands of feet of elevation gain and scenic canyon views. It was priced right but just two weeks away. Oh well.
Next week is a half marathon and then the newly registered 25K.
I am still wrapping my mind around this race and what could have been. The Habanero Hundred and in my case the Habanero 30K or my DNF 20K. It was a case of doing everything right but one little change of my routine and that was it. I heat trained for weeks and had good nutrition and hydration the week leading up to the race. I was ready for the worse that the Houston area heat and humidity had to offer. I was ready for the course with its sand and no shade. I was ready to conquer the hottest race in Texas. Did a mention a change in my routine.Pre race group photo and my shirt is already drenched
Since I have been training in the middle of the day all summer, the noon start time did not throw me off as it did some runners. Instead of drinking from individual water bottles, I decided to go with a gallon jug of enhanced water. I usually do not drink enhanced water because I get my electrolytes from SOS powder mixed in spring water. I still used the SOS powder but I thought I needed this enhanced water due to the nature of a midday start of the race. I was told how hard the race can be if you are not properly prepared. The temperature reaches triple digits and no shade. The sand makes it even hotter and tender feet. I had all of these thoughts going through my mind while training for this race. I knew I was prepared and slightly confident. Did I mention a change in my routine.The most shade on the course.
On the four hour drive down to the race I was drinking plenty of enhanced water so I would be hydrated before running in the heat. I got to the race with three hours to spare before the race start. I set up my camper and met up with the DDR crew and I was sweating a ton. I drank more enhanced water because I did not want to be dehydrated before I even hit the starting line. I have now finish off a half gallon of enhanced water. I never even checked what enhanced water was or what is in it. Hence the change in my routine, I never drink enhanced water.Me being the tallest and darkest at the start
My race should have consisted of three 10K loops and a smile and medal at the end. My race actually consisted of two 10K loops and feeling like death. I was flying the first loop and finished it feeling good and about ten minutes ahead of my predicted pace. I even did a little dance at the end of the loop that made the volunteers laugh. I hadn’t taken in any food but that is usual for me. I had been icing myself at every aid station and felt good. It was the feeling of the beginning of the end.Still looking for shade
The second loop started like the first loop. Since the trail was not technical it was easy to get into a rhythm with only the sand being a constant obstacle. I got past the first batch of sand and realized I had stopped sweating. I had gotten iced down at the aid station and refilled my bottles with enhanced water. I thought maybe I just over iced and started drinking more water. By the time I got to the midway aid station, I was sweating again and feeling good. The feeling last about five minutes. It felt like a bomb went off in my stomach. I was releasing so much gas and it was awful. I am sorry for all of those running behind me. I could not stop. The end was near. My stomach was killing me. Everything else felt good and I was showing no signs of heat exhaustion. I had no idea what just happened in my stomach. I tried walking and it was painful and running made it worse. My legs felt good and my mind was clear. No dizziness or nausea, I actually felt good except for my stomach.I look soooo defeated at this point.
I got to the start/finish aid station and called it quits. I could hardly walk at this time. I ate some peanut butter pretzels and my stomach immediately rejected it. I hate public restrooms and especially port a pots. I used the same one 20+ times the next eight hours. I once again apologize for those who had to go in after me. I had an awful sleep but woke up feeling better. I learned a very important lesson the next day. There is a mineral called magnesium. It makes you POOP and too much gives you diarrhea and guess who drank almost a gallon of water enhanced with magnesium citrate. Yours truly. The one change in my routine killed me. The leftover water it still sitting in my refrigerator. I will eventually drink the rest but not anytime soon. It is a reminder of my self imposed colonoscopy.Back to drinking regular water and I didn’t die like Kenny. Just kidding he survived.
A huge shout out to two fellow bloggers @thedancingrunner and @pkadams for both crushing there 50Ks. They are an inspiration to me and true badasses.
Since my weekend race is the Habanero 30K, I have been heat training for over a month. The race starts at noon in central Texas and yes it is August. I am still keeping my eyes on the prize which is the October 100K. I like the no real training guide method of training. I see other runners staying to a strict running regiment and using a coach. It seems to work for some runners but I do think I would like to be told when and how much to run daily. As my blogging might tell a little about myself, I do things randomly. I write randomly, I think randomly and I train randomly. I have fun on my training runs. I switched from road running to trail running because it is more enjoyable. Do my training methods work? So far so good except for once but I did barely finish.
For this weekend I have put in a ton of very hot and humid miles. Most of my training runs have been at the hottest time of the day. I have been running hills on the trails since there are no sandy trails in my area. I am guessing running hills is just as hard as running in sand. I also did a 105 floor stair run. It took me three days to recover. My calves were not ready to run up stairs for that long. I am “tapering” this week with shorter runs but am going much faster. I do not know what that means but I do not need speed for this weekend. I have not had any gym workouts as I planned but I will get there eventually. I feel good but under prepared. I keep hearing this race is a beast and I am about to find out.
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.
I have been intrigued by this park for a long time. I have heard great things about this park. The Guadalupe River flowing through a picturesque park with high vistas, I thought this would be a great park to visit. I think I put this park on such a high pedestal. I really liked to park but it was crowded and the trail system was fairly simple. I would have liked for the trail system to run along the river longer and less people. The amount of people cannot be controlled by the park. The park is attached to the Honey Creek SNA which is available by guided tour only. I will need to do that hike and see what the other side has to offer.
The park is located in Spring Branch, TX which is north of San Antonio. This is in the hill country of Texas and a great area to hike all of the state parks. It is a great park if you like fishing or floating and playing in a river. The hiking is good but it is more of a water park.
The trails went through many different types of landscapes. They past lakeside, vistas and prairie lands. The trail was very rocky but that is not unusual for this area of Texas. There was not much elevation gain on the trails even though they start on the river and end overlooking the river from a bluff.This part of the river was moving pretty good.The river looked like this but full of people.My favorite part of the hike looking down on the river.Near the edge of the cliff.Hiking through a large open prairie.