(The conversation as we were deciding between two different trails to explore)
Jason: Well this one looks really flat and the other one looks hilly and is listed as challenging.
Me: Hills! Flat is the bane of my existence.
Jason: Like Batman. Except Bane is the bane of his existence.
Me: I can’t even…
Do you know how I’ve been itching to have a post like this to write? FINALLY I am not injured, or recovering and taking it easy or out of town or it’s pouring or WHATEVER and we were able to explore a new trail today!
We tried out one of the Fossil Rim trail s at Cleburne State park today-a trail full of scrambly, scrabbly terrain, challenging hills, cactus everywhere. Which means that I, of course, was happy as a pig in slop.
I don’t know what my deal is with challenging terrain. Maybe because I know I’m not fast enough to see a podium (unless there are only three people in my gender group and they are handing out prizes for top 3…) so I figure I’ll challenge myself other ways.
If that’s the case, then this trail completely fit the bill. The hills were steep and continuous, the ground so covered in loose rock that even if I had ankles of steel (which I totally don’t-look at me wrong and my ankles collapse), I would have kept my eyes glued to the ground.
There are several trail systems in the park, this one being one of the longest at 2.5 miles one way. The 5 mile round trip was the perfect distance for me now as I’ve been slowly working up the miles and I knew the hills would slow me down enough to give my foot a break from the running.
Hell, even Jason was challenged and he’s got me beat in size, strength and stamina any day (life long soccer player-that guy has some endurance built up). But I think he had fun too.
This was the first run that felt like a regular run since, oh, how long have I been whining about this injury? Like before I had to think about rest and biomechanics and strassberg socks. And I truly felt like myself again, out there sweating and straining up those hills, not just mentally but physically too.
I feel like I’ve turned a corner, that maybe I can give run recaps that are just that, not run recaps in relation to how I’m doing with my injury.
Having said that, I’m still cautious so I won’t be pushing that theory too far and ramping up the mileage any time soon. Slow and steady, that’s going to be me out there.
But if that means more exploring, then I’m okay with that.
Review :If you are in the Dallas area, this is only about a 45 min-1 hour drive a way and a really nice change up to our trails. Loose, rocky terrain throughout and many hills. Fairly well marked and clear but there are a couple of side paths that can come to dead ends at roads and such. Stay to your left at any trail split (going out from the trail head-coming back, you’d stick to your right). This specific trail is 2.5 miles one way but then connects with other trails in the park so you could continue on if you wanted. We passed a couple of picnic areas but didn’t stop to see if they had water/bathroom facilities so carry what you need with you. We saw no wildlife other than a rabbit but I bet we’d see snakes in the summer. The park has a $5 entrance fee per person.
If, unlike me, you actually like to go flat and fast, this is NOT your course. However, if you’ve got a challenging race coming up and need some hill work, this place is PERFECT. I loved the experience and I’ll definitely be back for more.
On the running play list: