Friday, May 20, 2016

The Big D

Katy Trail in Dallas


I flew to Dallas for the weekend to surprise my nephews, and my Dad and Stephanee-- who were also visiting. I grew up in Dallas and had not been back in 7+ years. If someone asked me what I thought about Dallas or Texas I normally didn't have very positive things to say, so I was curious if going back after all this time would change my perception. I also wasn't much of a runner the last time I was in Dallas, so I was eager to see what kind of trail my sister Gretchen would take me to. 

Saturday morning Gretchen and I ran from where we were staying to Dad and Stephanee's Airbnb, to surprise my Dad (Stephanee was in on the surprise). I wish I had a picture of his face when he saw me. I tried to surprise him in November by flying to Michigan for his birthday, but he is nosy and read an email I sent to Stephanee. So this time I was very careful not to send her any text or emails about the visit. It also meant not posting to social media and turning off all location tracking once I was in Dallas, as my dad is obsessed with Friend Finder. It is really hard to be sneaky in the digital age. But somehow we managed to pull it off. 


Me, Stephanee, Gretchen and Dad after running the Katy Trail

Saturday was pretty packed with family activities, and we only had an hour or so to run, so we headed over to the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is a 3.5 mile paved pedestrian path built on an old rail road track. It was the perfect distance for a quick out and back for all of us. 

Sunday morning Gretchen and I had a little bit more time and headed out to some trails. She took us out to Cedar Ridge Preserve, which is 25 minutes from Dallas but feel like you are running in the Texas Hill Country. The trails are very similar to the ones at Bandera, which makes sense why Gretchen did most of her training there. There are only 10 miles worth of trails, but given the amount of time we were going to run it was perfect. I took a picture of the trail map but didn't really look at it, I figured I wouldn't get too lost. 


A sign I never see trail running in Oregon



A pond at Cedar Ridge 

I was pleasantly surprised how nice the trails were and the area in general. When I think of the Dallas metroplex I don't think of trail running, but if you look hard enough you can normally find an oasis anywhere, even if it is only a few miles of trails.

Overall I didn't feel that Dallas had changed that much since I last visited-- though they do have several microbreweries now-- but what had changed was me. I have grown up and Dallas just felt like another city to me. It wasn't about all the memories and feelings from years ago, but more about my family who I was visiting and the time we got to spend together. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Two loops with Anna

On a de facto recovery week, I txted Anna and Leslie to see what they were running this weekend. They were looking for about 8 miles, and I was looking for about 18. I wanted to not end on the uphill (so they'd agree to run with me in the future); starting at the NW 53rd trailhead was just about the best option.

Leslie decided to skip and get some much-needed rest, and Anna and I enjoyed a cool, cloudy run on surprisingly dry trails-- a far cry from the hot weather we've been having and a welcome change. The first loop went by so quickly, enjoying Anna's company. The second loop was more of a slog for me, but it was nice to zone out on the Leif and Wildwood stretches.


Start at Wildwood/NW 53rd trailhead

Wildwood (9.18) to Alder (ww 9.4)-- .22 mi
Alder (ww 9.4) to Leif (1.49)-- .84 mi (1.06 total)
Leif (1.49) to Maple (ww 4.22)-- 2.73 mi (3.79 total)
Maple (ww 4.21) to WW (12.84)-- .86 mi (4.65 total)
WW (12.84) to 53rd (ww 9.18)-- 3.66 mi 
8.27 total


WW (9.18) to Dogwood (ww 8.47)-- .71 mi (8.98 total)
Dogwood (ww 8.47) to Leif (.92)-- .34 mi (9.32 total)
Leif (.92) to Koenig (le 4.57)-- 3.64 mi (12.96 total)
Koenig (le 4.57) to WW (14.23)-- .15 mi (13.11 total)
WW (14.23) to 53rd (ww 9.18)-- 5.05 mi 
18.16 total

Friday, May 6, 2016

All the ups and downs

My son loaned me his lovey for our run-- as long as I didn't get him stinky.

Thought I'd have a little fun and make us hit lots of the trails between Wildwood and Leif. My first iteration was only 20 miles, and by the time I got that far into route-making I just used the easiest method of adding on. So there's a longer stretch on Wildwood from Nature Trail to Ridge. The multiple, short climbs break things up nicely.

Firelane 4 is difficult to run even downhill, so might as well go up it.
I knew the hike up Firelane 4 would be overgrown, but I didn't realize there'd be stinging nettles there, too. Now that's incentive to get up a hill quickly!

Moss creeping in on Firelane 3.

Dogwood to ww (8.47)-- .66 mi
ww (8.47) to Alder (ww 9.40)-- .93 mi (1.59 total)
Alder (ww 9.40) to Leif (1.49)-- .84 mi (2.43 total)
Leif (1.49) to FL 1 (le 3.03)-- 1.54 mi (3.97 total)
FL 1 to Nature-- .53 mi (4.5 total)
Nature to ww (11.83)-- .65 mi (5.15 total)
ww (11.83) to Ridge (ww 20.99)-- 9.16 mi (14.31 total)
Ridge (ww 20.99) to le (8.47)-- .35 mi (14.66 total)
le (8.47) to Saltzman (le 6.20)-- 2.27 mi (16.93 total)
Saltzman to hwy 30-- 1.26 mi (18.19 total)
FL 4 to Maple-- .55 mi ?? (18.74 total)
Maple to Leif (4.21)-- 1.03 mi (19.77 total)
Leif (4.21) to FL 3
FL 3 (le 4.22) to WW (13.64)-- .31 mi (20.08 total)
WW (13.64) to Chestnut (ww 12.14)-- 1.5 mi (21.58 total)
Chestnut (ww 12.14) to le (3.46)-- .49 mi (22.07 total)
le (3.46) to Thuman-- 3.46 mi (25.53 total)
Thurman to Aspen-- .25 mi (25.78 total)
Aspen to ww (6.36)-- .23 mi (26.01 total)
ww (6.63) to Wild Cherry (ww 7.88)-- .1.25 mi (27.26 total)
Wild Cherry to 53rd-- .32 mi (27.58 total)

Lovely spot for a slug nap.