Barber Hills – Paris Tx

Lets start with the address. What you’re looking for is County Road 35920 Paris Texas 75460. Now let me warn you its a bit of a drive from Frisco Tx but absolutely worth it. We are headed to Barber Hills – Paris TX. Here is a map to help give you a picture of where it is in relation to the DFW area.

Continue reading “Barber Hills – Paris Tx”

7 trails in 7 days roundup! 

7 Trails in 7 days.

This is a round-up summary of my 7 trails in 7 days attempt. #7trails7days. If you’re familiar with me or my blog I have bad knees. If it’s not one thing it’s another! Continue reading “7 trails in 7 days roundup! “

7 trails in 7 days. North Texas edition.

The fact of the matter is that believe it or not, we have a lot of dirt trails in North Texas. 7 trails in 7 days is an attempt by me to run 7 days in a row. A feat I’ve only ever done once before.

Continue reading “7 trails in 7 days. North Texas edition.”

Whats your favorite 50K or less than 50K race?

sage canada

Whats your favorite 50K or less than 50K race?

I did a quick little survey yesterday of a few select twitter friends and reached out to few celebrities as well. I simply asked them what was their favorite 50k or less than 50k race around the globe. Continue reading “Whats your favorite 50K or less than 50K race?”

Rough Creek Trail Run 2016

moments before sunrise

Rough Creek trail run

Rough Creek Trail Run 2016

Where to start? This is a tough one. What an incredible day. What a very very hard day. A slow day. A sore day. Rough Creek Trail Run 2016 will for sure go down as one of the hardest. Ironman Texas 2011 was hard. Super hard. But Rough Creek Trail Run was really something else. So, lets get into it then.

Continue reading “Rough Creek Trail Run 2016”

Injured again, 6 days to go!

So it’s 6 days out from my full marathon 26.2 mile Rough Creek Trail run in Glen Rose Texas! It’s Sunday morning and my training calendar calls for a 1-2 hour run with fast finish! Continue reading “Injured again, 6 days to go!”

Lahaina Pali Trail

Mt. Haleakala from Lahaina Pali Trail

Lahaina Pali Trail Run Maui Hawaii.

Lahaina Pali Trail

As part of this blog i really want to share with you guys some of the runs that i feel stand out about the rest. Normally most of those will be trail runs I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing first hand. Trail runs like this one i had in Maui Hawaii earlier this year on a family vacation. This one in particular took place on the Lahaina Pali Trail system.

The Lahaina Pali Trail is 5 miles long & climbs from sea level to 1600ft. Going to Maui i didn’t even know about this trail until I saw another local N.Texas runner Jeff Ball ( who just happened to be in Maui at the same time ) Post his Strava segment on this run. One of my goals for running in Hawaii was to run hills & gain some serious elevation. Being stuck in Frisco Texas we seriously lack any proper elevation change and i was going to take full advantage of being in this amazing trail running location.

If you’re heading to the trail from Lahaina the trail head is about a mile BEFORE the tunnel. Its pretty easy to find as its right at the end of the open beach section and just as you start the climb to the pass.

Strava breakdown of Lahaina Pali Trail

strava of Lahaina Pali trail

So as you can see there from that data above my ave pace was only 16:06 & you’re think, oh it must of been a nice leisurely hike right? Nope! This we me running the trail. This is what proper elevation will do to ones ego. I was working really hard trying to get over this mountain as quickly as i could. To put it into perspective I’ve added the two graphs below. The first one to show you my HR zones & the second to show you my pace breakdown.

As you can see from my HR zone analysis I spent the majority of the time in my Tempo Z3 meaning i was working pretty hard.

HR zones strava

HAHA 🙂 Thats to funny because then you look at my pace distribution & I spent all day essentially at my recovery pace at slower than a 9:38 pace 😛 .

This is real elevation & I learned really fast on this trip to throw pace out the window. But wow, it was all worth it. The views & experience in itself was worth every bit of effort i had to leave out there on the trail.

Mt. Haleakala from Lahaina Pali TrailThe trail itself was incredible, challenging, scenic and just plain amazing. As far as going up it was concerned its essentially run on the sections that aren’t to steep and power walk the sections that are. I actually did this trail run twice & the first time was quite wet going up so caution is highly recommended. On top of the rain which falls at times, there is little to no vegetation on this west side slope. Its very rocky which means it can be slippery when wet as well. And if thats not bad enough ( by the way at no point did anything suck 🙂 ) but once you start getting close to the top thats when the wind starts. Apparently there are now 24 Wind Turbines which you don’t realize how big they are till you’re standing right next to them. These turbines serve about 18000 people on the island with power.

This slideshow are pictures taken from my two hikes up the initial slope and getting to the top where the turbines are. Thats a round trip of around 6 miles & would say use caution & perhaps if you’re new to running trails take a buddy with you. The fun however is still to come. Oh & remember to bring food & water. There is none available on this route and there are no restrooms.

Past The Turbines

Once your over the top & past the turbines the mountain is somewhat flat at the top for about half a mile and you can actually run if the wind isn’t to strong. Once you get through this section where there are a few roads which are used by service vehicles for the turbines the terrain changes quite a bit. Down the initial west side slope there was some green but down the east side it honestly looks like Mars. Its dry, windy, steep and as the plaque at the start said, its Zig Zag trail big time.

If you manage to get to the top around sunrise its well worth the early wake up. The sunrise over Haleakala ( house of the sun ) is fantastic & breathtaking. Getting down to the bottom was quite challenging as you can see from the pictures its very rocky and very steep. The fun however for me was at this point I was only half way. It was time to turn around and head back the same way I came. I had spoken to a couple that I passed and they mentioned in the past they’ve dropped a car at this point so that they didn’t have to go all the way back. Thats what i call lazy. 🙂

Rocky pathway at Lahaina Pali TrailThis was such an amazing experience i cant wait to take my girls up there for a run one day. We truly love Hawaii & all it has to offer. Its our favorite place no doubt to go on family vacations.

More to come

I will be posting more trail runs i did while out here on this trip. Makawoa State Forest Preserve / Hahakapoa Recreational area, Mahana ridge trail, Kaanapali coffee plantations & more.

Call for comments :

What did you think of this trail?

Have you run this route?

Whats your favorite trail run?

What gear can you never go running without?

This was certainly one of the highlights for me on this trip & look forward to running it again in the next couple years. I leave you with this view.

Jan’16 Resolution Half Marathon

Orange mud hydraquiver double barrel hydration vest

Ok so here I am sitting at home & trying to figure out whats the best way to catch everyone up on my running for 2016. As you know from my last post “1000 miles to go” i decided in late 2015 to get my ass back into gear & attempt to run 1000 miles in 2016. I decided pretty much just to write them down as they happened one at a time.

Still hovering at around 200 lbs i felt running was a great way to lose weight & get back into shape.

So in December 2015 I managed to rack up a few miles and was feeling confident for the start of the 1000 mile journey. I decided to keep myself motivated by running 1 x Half Marathon ( 13.1 miles ) every month during 2016. I would start with The Resolution Run on January 9th.

resolution-run

Resolution Run is an event put on each year by the Frisco Running Company based in Frisco Texas and includes a 1K, 5K & Half Marathon. The race location is : McKinney Boyd High School 600 N. Lake Forest Dr McKinney, Tx 75071.

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-12-39-42-pm

I remember back in January the weather was on the cool side. I had gloves & a Beanie on to keep my little ears warm. It had rained a bit in the days leading up to the event but the morning whilst gloomy was mostly dry.

The run course wasn’t to challenging and is mostly flat as it leads you down a community green belt with water on one side lined with houses and small wooded areas. It even at one point passes the North Texas McKinney Cricket fields which I’ve played at many times. For all those looking at doing a Half Marathon for the first time I highly recommend this event. Its fast, Small & friendly as long as you don’t mind the cold. Luckily Starbucks is a sponsor so there is plenty of Hot Coffee on hand.

As far as my race goes I really only had one goal & that was to finish somewhere under 2 hours as this was my first official solo half marathon. ( i had run one previously with my wife ). I remember starting out slow & steady keeping all the things under control that I could. Things like Heart Rate, speed, nutrition, liquids etc. For my first race i remember i was feeling quite strong and was working hard to keep my pace under control and my splits somewhere around the 8:15 mark.

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-12-57-59-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-12-57-46-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-12-57-33-pm

As you can see from the graphs above i seem to be able to run a very consistent pace & thats been a real feature for me during training this year. I guess that could also be due to the fact that the Frisco area is mostly flat as a pancake. I remember about half way i caught up with Kathy Dann a local running legend 🙂 who is also a member of the Frisco Triathlon Club who I’ve known now since around 2010. We ran together for a few miles and helped keep each other focussed and on pace. Once we reached about the 7-8 mile point i decided to pick the pace up a little & thats when Kathy fell behind a bit. Shortly after that & around the 11 mile mark i remember seeing Jon Cotton and put him firmly in my sights. I sometimes need a carrot up ahead to get “going” & Jon was just that carrot i needed. ( Note the jump to 7 minute pace in this section )

I did manage to pass Jon with about 1 mile to go & remember that this section was quite hard. I probably hit that 7 min mile a bit to early in the race & was paying for it now. As I’m sure you know when you pass a runner, cyclist or child on a tricycle you make sure you’re going so fast they don’t even think about holding on to your tail. I did struggle a bit on that last mile & the fact it was mostly uphill as well didn’t help. But finish i did and with a respectable time of 1:50 which instantly became my new PR & time to beat in future races.

Little did i know someone who i hadn’t even met yet was also running the resolution half by the name of Hamlin jones and it wouldn’t be long before or paths crossed.

In the end I managed 6th in my age group and 26th overall which i felt was a good solid start to the year and was extremely pleased with the time and effort.

img_2344

Here I am the morning of, trying to stay warm. Hmm where is that coffee..

If you’re on Twitter please follow me @theslowafrican