Trail Running in Texas & beyond


Looking at the blog, I haven’t posted a race report since July 2013 (Tahoe 100). There is a saying that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. The better writers out there can weave live stories into their race reports but that isn’t really my style. Still regular documentation is valuable and, at a minimum, it is proven to help hold oneself accountable.

Recap of 2014 to date

I signed up for Devil’s Backbone 50 for my summer focus race. It seemed to have the effect of not getting me excited for the usual Texas races though I had a great times volunteering at Bandera & Rocky. A last minute decision to run Run like the Wind 6hr resulted in surprisingly fun day and a win. A work trip meant missing Possum Kingdom 52 miler but I tried to squeeze in the Exmoor Ultra while over in Europe. Lovely race but a bad day for a variety of reasons provided a DNF after 27 miles. Then nothing until a prep run at Pedernalas 60k and then Devil’s Backbone 50 in July.

DB50 was a stunningly awesome course. The race slogan is “Unmarked, Unsupported, Unequaled” and that is definitely true. Without doing a full recap: I had an ok but not great run. I had an amazing time and won’t ever forget the experience but I can’t say it was my best run. I did feel like I acquitted Texas well, though. When I signed up, the RD emailed and said, “Are you sure, people from Texas have a really hard time with this race”. In previous races, Texas runners either were either DNF or DFL. The RD made changes to the cutoffs due to some Texas runners struggling to the finish in previous years. This year, Pam and I both finished well safe from DFL as I finished 12th at 13 hours and Pam a couple hours laters.

If you ever are looking for an old-school style race, check out DB50.

Photo via


We climbed this face up to Hylalite Peak. The route was covered in snow this year.


The backbone heads off to the left. It was pretty rocky and over 12,000 ft of elevation gain.


The meadow near the turn-around spot.



Looking back at my training for 2014, running was going well up to April but then went sideways. I made two changes around April: a new job & added weight training. The weight training is undoubtedly a good thing, but I think I hit it too hard, too fast and late in the training cycle. It really messed with my legs and overall energy level (which probably means I wasn’t eating enough either). New jobs, especially with travel, are a disruptive. Ultimately, I lost focus and my training didn’t build on the good start to the year.   I also made some mistakes in that I didn’t get the miles where they needed to be and I didn’t have a good polarized training cycle going within my weekly runs (mostly, I didn’t run as hard as I should have on hard days).

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 6.34.53 PM

The graph don’t lie in this case.

Moving forward

The race for next summer is already decided on: Fatdog 120. Seems like my kind of race and with friends to pass the miles with, it will be fun to train for. I am also going to run more local races leading up to FD120. Used well, races can help focus the training and provide good checkpoint along the way towards bigger goal. It also a good excuse to see and run with friends. Rocky Raccoon fits well within the schedule and should provide a good focus for the next 5 months. I haven’t yet set goals for RR100. I need to research it more but the one thing I know is that I want to get much better about running consistently for longer rather than my usual run, fall apart, hike for a long time and then rally to the finish.

With that in mind, the macro plan is:

Running Cross Training Races
Aug 6hr / wk 3 / wk
Sept 11 hr / wk 2 / wk Rough Creek 26.2, CK RR30k*
Oct 14hr / wk 2 / wk Paleface 30k
Nov 16hr / wk 1-2 / wk Wildhare 25k, RWB Training Camp
Dec 17hr / wk 1-2 / wk Lost Pines 26
Jan 16hr / wk 1 / wk Taper
Feb RR100

The races are mostly to get some points for the Tejas team in the Texas Trail Championship series. It is year 2 and I’ve not really scored points yet for the team.

Over this next month, I am going to be building back up to a regular routine after taking August off and then drop into a Lydiard based training program in October.

Training for Sep 1 – 7

  • Monday — Strictly Strength @Travis County Strength
  • Tuesday — 1hr run w/Tejas Trails. Moderate.
  • Wednesday — 1hr recovery run.
  • Thursday — 1hr 30m run w/Tejas Trails. Easy.
  • Friday — Rest.
  • Saturday — Capt Karl’s Reveille Ranch 30k.
  • Sunday — 1hr

Not really ready to run a 30k race for time, but the distance is good and team points for the series.

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