Sunday, September 12, 2004

Nice weekend so far

We've had great weather here in Dallas and I took advantage of it. Yesterday my daughter and I went geocaching. I heard about geocaching by reading Jon's blog and Flashes of Panic. It's basically like a "treasure hunt" or scavenger hunt with GPS (if you're interested there's a lot of great information on the Geocaching website). I thought it would be a good activity for my daughter and me, a good way to get outdoors and get her used to exploring slightly unknown areas. We didn't go any place exotic--all of the caches were within two miles of our house, and one was in the very park where she plays. But it's interesting that normally we stick to the sidewalk and the marked areas and never venture off anyplace unusual. Geocaching encourages us to explore. I'm excited about a series of caches I read about yesterday--there are 6 caches along the DART red line light rail. I'm a big fan of mass transit (both as an environmental issue and as a cool thing to enjoy--I have a Master's degree in Urban studies) and I've taken my daughter out on the buses, trains and trolleys here in Dallas, so I think we'll really enjoy a cache hunt combined with light rail.

After the cache hunt (we found three of the four we were hunting) we ran our normal weekend errands (Whole Foods Market, Tom Thumb, etc.) and we all spent the evening together at home. I made Bar-b-que'd Sweet Plantains for dinner, then my wife and I fell asleep watching Full Metal Jacket (we're both huge Kubrick fans and like all of his films except Eyes Wide Shut).

Today I walked on a trail I had never walked before, the Rowlett Creek Preserve. It's primarily a mountain biking trail maintained by DORBA. It's a good trail with a lot of variety (some nice dips and hills, some smooth and easy sections, lots of shade) but since it's more urban than the North Shore of Lake Grapevine there was a lot more trash around the trail and in the creeks; it was kind of depressing. I wanted to do some trail walking but I didn't want to push too hard since I need to start tapering for Heartland, so I just walked all of the loops once, completing almost 11 miles. My pace was fairly slow because I stopped frequently to enjoy the wildlife: lots of large spiders, a baby snake, some turtles in the creek, etc. I will probably walk this trail again since it is only 15-18 minutes from my house, but I prefer North Shore and will probably spend more time there. North Shore is also a more challenging trail so it will provide better training; I think I spent about 30-40% of my time at North Shore jumping, hopping, running up hills, etc.

For the rest of the day we are just going to prepare for the week: laundry, cleaning, etc. I've got to make a quick trip to San Antonio Monday night, coming back Wednesday night. I'm also going to start planning my gear for Heartland. I'll post more information soon about the race, the aid stations, the route, etc. One bad thing is that there is a high probability of flat tires for crews, so my wife and daughter will probably not crew for me at the race. They will be there when I start and finish, but my wife is not physically able to replace a tire due to her reduced long capacity so it's too risky to ask her to crew for me.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and great racing/training!