Rails to Trails 100K

Rails to Trails 100K race recap:

I will start with a course description.  We start in a medium town and run south to a very small town then continue to small town.  After that we continue south to a smallish town then proceed to an extremely small town and turnaround and head north back to the original medium town.  We do that for 62 miles with a little less than 900 feet of elevation gain.  The course views were mainly flat farmland in Kansas.  Lots of cows but a did see a combine actually moving.  I did like the tree lined course though.  The weather was perfect.  It started out in the 30s but never made it out of the low 60s.  The sun was shining and there was very little wind.  I could not have asked for a better day.FB_IMG_1572156498411IMG_38811.jpgIMG_38761.jpgIMG_38691.jpgFB_IMG_1572149301800 Pictures from the smallish town and the trees around the trail.

Now for my crew.  They were awesome.  Not one of them is an ultra runner and only two are regular runners.  I worked with two of them for a combined 30+ years and the other two are family members in addition to being great friends.  We had fun learning what to do on the fly.  I was mostly confused on what I needed when I needed it.  They were there doing everything necessary to keep me moving and well supported.  My pacers were the only reason I finished.  At times we did not see people for hours, when the sun went down I would not have made it by myself in the dark.  I have praised this magnificent group in other forums and I cannot say enough about how grateful I am of them.                      FB_IMG_1572156551907IMG_3895120191027_010538FB_IMG_1572147273262FB_IMG_1572147236296FB_IMG_1572147374204 These are the best four people I could have ever asked to finish this journey with me.

How I got to this point.  I want to thank North Texas Trail Runners for being the first group to get me to run more than a 5K on the trails.  Dallas Dirt Runners (D.D.R.) this group put the idea in my mind that I can something this crazy.  If I named all the individuals it be pages of praise.  I am going to single out Ray Liberatore for being a person who not matter how a feel just talking to him calms me down and gives me confidence in my abilities.  My Wednesday running group: Kenny Hallman,  Darren Beck,  Dennis Starkey and Noemi Moreno Lusk to name a few.  Those Wednesday night runs with this group are must do runs.  I will drop a few more names Agustin Negrete, Nikki Davis and Elisa Norman, I have not run with these three much lately but they have inspired me to run far, faster and do stupid things.IMG_38671.jpgIMG_38871.jpgFB_IMG_1572148074518        I had to find some fun in this longest of long runs.

I am happy to have buckled the eff up with a 100K.  I have regained the ability to walk somewhat normal as of now.  The chaffing is not as bad as I thought it would be.  I am having trouble standing and sitting but it is just sore muscles.  I also have some mystery bruises.  I am overall elated and feel accomplished.  I finally feel like I am somewhat of an ultra runner.  Bonus information, I finished in a time of 15:06:47. I was trying for 14 but this is good time for me.  I took second in my age group and yes there were more than two of us in my age group.  Lastly, I finished in the top half overall.20191027_010703FB_IMG_1572147230442FB_IMG_157214726143120191027_18032420191027_180543

It was a long training season but worth it.  I had some ups and downs but mostly good times.  I had two DNFs in training races and literally had wasps flying out of my shorts in a training run.  I had a hard time sitting after that incident.  I also made some great friends on the trails and my last to lead up training races I set all sorts of personal best.  While in Kansas, I had to get some Kansas City beer for the celebration.

One more thing on the Kansas trip, I drove through the Flint Hills section of Kansas.  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  I can’t explain it.  It is simply rolling hills but so much more.  I can’t wait to run a marathon out there.  Sorry for the no pictures on this section.

The best part of the weekend was my son graduating from the fire academy.20191018_19095620191018_1910465937205411

This ends my journey to a 100K.  I miss hiking so much.  I am going to take some time off from trail running and get back to hiking once my legs are stable.

Training is not so bad when beer is involved.

I did not have a training trail race this weekend, so I went to a brewery.  My training is going well, I think.  I really will not know until I finish the 50K in two weeks.  This upcoming week I have a 25K that almost retired me last year.  I am on pace to get 200 miles this month.  I have had some soreness in my hips and knee, so I trying to find out if I am going to far too soon.  A coach in my running group said I needed to take 48 hours off from running and give my body some rest.  It was hard after finding some new routes on different trails.  FB_IMG_1568332004900.jpgCrazy look on Big Cedar TrailFB_IMG_1568332022022.jpgRunning on Big Cedar trail and taking sharp turnsFB_IMG_1568332106336.jpgView of Joe Pool Lake from the trails of Cedar Hill State ParkFB_IMG_1568332116716.jpgWoodsy section of Cedar Hill SPFB_IMG_1568332101621.jpgPrairie part of Cedar Hill SPFB_IMG_1568332165232.jpgStill a forest in Cedar Hill SP

I decided to use my 48hrs off by going to a semi local brewery.  I really like this place after one visit.  The selection of beer is just enough to cover all the bases but not overwhelming.  The atmosphere was laid back but enough noise to be interesting.  I, of course, got the hefeweizen and it was fantastic. My favorite was the John Hancock Lager.  It is a dark and smooth lager that was very drinkable.  They also had a small BBQ stand inside the biergarten which was nice.  They had board games and plenty of TVs so we were thoroughly entertained for hours.20190914_172007.jpgOutside20190914_172903.jpgInside20190914_172854.jpgMy first flight20190914_180514.jpgBBQ sandwich with a John Hancock20190914_185408.jpgMy wife beating me in Star Wars trivia.

I did kick her butt in checkers 3x.  I am now back to more serious training with just six weeks left till the 100K.  Nothing better than a trails and ales break.

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.