2019 DanMan Challenge Recap.

So I believe in previous years I have skipped doing a recap on this race (because hey, no time cutoffs, no medal…NO RECOGNITION?!) What can I say, I am a millennial and I like to be recognized from time to time. But since this race has become a staple on my race calendar I figured hey, why not? This is the third year in a row that I’ve done the DanMan and I absolutely love it every year. Even with the usually very unpredictable weather! This year I signed up for the marathon distance and it proved to be quite the adventure.

So the DanMan Challenge is a race that my trail run group, the Dallas Dirt Runners, do every year…some years we camp out there and other years we drive up the morning of. It is just under a 2 hour drive outside of Dallas, and the run starts at 8 a.m. We sign up online, and Jackie who is Dan’s assistant (Dan owns the ranch property and is basically the big wig of this country Oklahoma town) sends you an email of confirmation that you are in the race.

The race has a 10k, half marathon, full marathon as well as a 50 mile option! Since the marathon distance is right on par with my back to back long run training for Hachie 50 I was all in for 26.2. My friend Lisa and I drove out EARLY on Saturday (5 a.m.) and made the trek. We were quite concerned about the weather, as there were thunderstorms in the forecast for the morning.

We drove up there and got there about half an hour early, parked on the ranch and met up with some good buddies also doing the race. Dan’s camp provides a pancake breakfast, and lets you inside of his home to hang and get your things ready for the race. It really is one MASSIVE party. And one that I super enjoy. Dan actually just completed the World Marathon Challenge (7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days) and had all of his swag and pictures up on the wall. I thought that was pretty cool and fun to show off to inspire all of the runners.

We line up and of course with it being an untimed, no cutoff type of race…we start around 8:20 ish. Dan made a quick speech and we were off. The race has 2 loops, a 6 mile loop and then a 7 mile loop- the marathoners do each loop twice. Which is great because it gives you a chance to get back to the main ‘aid station’ which is his house/back patio area where they had a TON of snacks, treats, and hydration. So you could fuel up before heading back out for the next loop.

The race started out with a bit of drizzle which was quite pleasant and felt nice out there, fairly decent temps in the 60s with a solid amount of humidity. I wore a light jacket but instantly got warm and had to shed that. There were also a fair amount of climbs on the 6 mile loop trail..then the 7 mile one to me was a tad more runnable. I felt excellent the first two loops, chatting with my DDR friends and rocking and rolling along.

The third loop is where things got a little more real. We headed back out onto the 6 mile slightly more technical loop and it that is when the storm moved in. We had it all…wind…lightning (and yeah RUN AT YOUR OWN risk cuz they ain’t cancelling the race plus you’ve signed a waiver, etc) and heavy downpour for a good hour. The third loop was VERY intense and muddy and almost made me want to throw in the towel. This was where I had wished I downgraded to the half because I was ankle deep into the mud. I circled back onto the jeep road which led back to Dan’s house and really was ready to call it a day as I hit mile 19. I’m thinking okay…I ran 15 miles yesterday…19 miles today…that is some dang solid training! I would be super happy ending it there. But you know…the inner coach in my mind stepped in and just was not having it. I’m like…okay really Chelsea…7 miles to go…the 7 mile loop is the one you like, remember? Just crank your tunes up and freaking rock.IT.OUT. So that, my friends, is what I did.

I was literally jamming out to Spotify and at some point the rain just completely stopped. I was oh so happy!! I got separated from my friends (some slowed down, others sped up) so I was basically on the LAST 7 mile loop all alone. But I had my music and my crazy hard headed self that just would not let me quit. With the sun coming out I picked up the pace and felt freaking great. The shuffling picked up and I started climbing those muddy hills with a vengeance. Eventually I caught up to some friends that had sped up and we all kind of finished together. I finished that darn muddy tough trail race in 5 hours and some change and really felt good about it. Great day, strong trail run and got some kickass training in.

After the run we all grabbed some phenomenal BBQ- smoked brisket, homemade catfish and potato salad, baked beans, and even pie. And the best sweet tea you will ever have in life. I also brought a honey pear cider from home as my reward- from my favorite cider place in Ft. Worth. It was the icing on the cake for sure. And all was well in the world.

Overall I absolutely LOVE this run and highly recommend it if you are a short drive away from North Texas/Oklahoma! Great way to run and enjoy a very laid back spring trail race with good people. And get some SERIOUS grub that is all freaking free.

How was your weekend? Anyone else participate in the DanMan Challenge?

Weekly Running Report.

Hi there and happy Monday! Hope you had a lovely weekend. I definitely had a great one and am here to do a little recapping in my world of running! I was able to get in 76.8 miles last week as training continues for the Hachie 50 miler. Let’s see how it all went down.

Monday- I ventured out to some different territory and ran 6.3 miles of hills through my old stomping ground. Last week the weather was absolutely beautiful, we did have some rain towards the end of the week but for the most part it was quite pleasant.
Tuesday AM- 5.21 miles in the morning to start the day. Work wise April is quite the busy month so I’m going to continue on with being consistent with my early morning runs as they are quite therapeutic. And necessary for my mood to stay sane in hectic times. I am sure y’all feel me.
Tuesday PM- 4.12 mile run after teaching class at the gym. Legs were tired but got it done.
Wednesday AM- 7.22 miles with some more rolling hills. Nice quiet solo miles and managed to get up a little earlier.
Wednesday PM- 4.21 miles at night. Unwinding from the day.
Thursday- Back with the breakfast club run crew. 8.32 miles with some faster miles thrown in there.
Friday- 15.21 mile long run on my day off from work. I ran a bit in the morning then met up with a friend to finish since she had her long run that day too. Saturday was looking kind of sketchy weather wise (severe storms aka welcome to “Tornado Alley” in the springtime) and was not sure if they would even have the run that I was supposed to do in Oklahoma. So was glad to get this run in and happy to hopefully get some back to back long runs in.
Saturday- 26.22 miles at the DanMan trail run! If you are a regular reader you know I like doing this trail run and have done it the last few years in a row. Dan has ranch land out in Oklahoma and puts on a free trail run every year for the runners with delicious BBQ at the end. So I got in a solid marathon and then got down on some smoked brisket with all of the fixins. Good gracious that food was delicious. Hashtag so worth it.

Sunday- REST DAY after a bit of a run streak. Much needed rest day at that.

And there you have it!

How was your week last week? Hows your training going?

Random Thoughts Thursday.

It was insane humidity for this morning’s run. I am pretty sure it was 1,000 percent humidity at 5 a.m. Yes I said 1,000. Runs like that definitely make you stronger. Thankfully a little bit of breeze helped. But it reminded me almost of an early summer Texas run.
Speaking of Texas humidity I definitely have a love/hate relationship with summer training. I will still do it…and mostly enjoy it because of Run My Hood and other fun social runner friend activities. but I would prefer cooler temps any day.

Runners in Texas basically get naked when we run in the summer. 

I wore my hydration backpack this morning and it’s funny because my road runner friends ALWAYS comment when they see me wearing my backpack. Like it’s some big monster of a thing on my back. Even when I wear the kiddie one. “What on earth/WHY ARE YOU WEARING THE BACKPACK today? It’s quite funny.
Then when I wear it around my trail run buds…I fit right in. Trail runners love their vests and hydration packs. And trucker hats.
Speaking of which I haven’t worn my trucker hats in a while. I traded them in for sparkly headbands.
When people ask me if I am a road runner or a trail runner I like to say I’m BOTH. You know, a hybrid of sorts. Ha. I do love me some ultras on trails.
The sauna at the gym was EXTRA HOT this morning. I usually stay in there forever (because I love dry heat) but I tapped out after several minutes. This was my sauna face.

I will also be lugging this thing around the office all day. I am obsessed with my gallon jug. Also…Ozarka water is absolutely THE BEST. You know this if you are from Texas. Ozarka for the win.

Tell me some of your random thoughts today!

Weekly Running Report.

Happy April, y’all! You will have to excuse me being tardy for the party this week on my blog posts. I was not by a computer on Monday!! Anyway I am here to recap some miles and smiles from last week. Plus a recap of all of my monthly miles from March! Let’s get straight to the running, shall we?

Monday AM- 7.23 miles getting the day started in the early a.m. It is funny because now I always see the same morning folks out on the lake. And we kind of do the head nod (hey morning person, I see you out here) gesture which is kinda fun. Always lovely and always puts me in a good mood and a good frame of mind for the week.

Monday PM- 3.02 miles watching the sunset and getting in my double run day in.. Love having my Monday evenings off from work to unwind from the typical busy day.

Tuesday AM- 5.35 miles for breakfast. Threw some faster strides in at the end to finish strong.

Tuesday PM- 3.31 miles on my lunch break. It was beautiful out but it certainly is allergy season. AHH-choo. I had a spin class at the gym also to teach on this day so kept the runs fairly short.

Wednesday- 11.22 miles early with a friend of mine who is also training for Hachie 50! She also does her longer runs on Fridays so I have been linking up with her to run long on that day. We had a good lil chat and then I finished the last few miles solo.

Thursday AM- 8.38 morning miles with the breakfast run club. Rolling hills and then 7-eleven coffee after.

Thursday PM- 3.22 lunch miles. Quick loop around the park and then went off to the gym to shower up. Then back to work and taught another class at the gym that night.

Friday- 20.12 miles with my friend before a busy work day. Yep…running long in the mornings BEFORE work is no easy feat but hey. Someone’s gotta do it. Lots of coffee was consumed on this workday but at least it was Friday.

Saturday- 14.01 miles in the morning with WRRC before teaching a 9:30 AM class at the gym. Took a long power nap after – and had to stock up on a few of my Trader Joe’s goodies.

Sunday- 5.32 miles to hit my numbers for the week. Thankful for great running weather basically all week long to knock out all of those miles.

Finally, MONTHLY miles for March totals are in- 352.4! Woohoo for that. I should be good and ready for my Hachie 50 mile race coming up.

Oh, and I also celebrated by participating in a little bit of Sunday funday. In my hot new jumpsuit. See?! I like to get out of the running clothes every once in a while.

And there you have it!

Share with me how your training is going! Any races coming up??

TGIFriday Faves.

Hey y’all!! (Imagine me saying that in the most TEXAN of accents) Happy Friday to ya! You will have to excuse me because I am riding the runner’s high from my 20.1 mile run this morning. Yep that point 1 is pretty important. Ahh yes, it always feels so good to get it done on a Friday, right? Hope you have some fun weekend plans in store.

Here are some of my faves from this week!

-I am obsessed with everything on SHEIN– has anyone ordered from here? I can’t believe how crazy cheap it is. I want all of the swimwear in every color on there. Especially this one.

Skinny funfetti cake batter dip. Where do I sign up…seriously thinking about making it this weekend.

2019’s best gels, bars and drinks for runners. I may have to look into that Amazing Grass.

-Ya’ll have probably already seen this but I came across it the other day on IG. I love her dad’s coaching skills from back in the day- super cute. Super inspiring for the runs and all of your athletic stuff this weekend.

And there you have it! Have a lovely Friday.

What’s on tap for your weekend?
More running, teaching a class at gym, relax time.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

I know it seems like I am constantly talking about the weather lately but you guys I sincerely cannot help it. Temps are in the 70s every dang day. I cannot contain the amount of spring fever joy that I have right now.

So whenever I order my running shoes online (shoutout to Brooks) I always get them delivered to work and it feels like freaking Christmas time. My soul is just oh so happy. Does anyone else just get so giddy when they buy new running shoes?

I also get really happy when I can manage to get an early run in, shower at the gym and still am the first person in my little office suite to make it to work. The office in the morning without coworkers is oh so peaceful and I can check emails in blissful solitude.

Also my birthday run is fast approaching and I am trying to decide how I’m going to go about it this year. Run solo miles on the actual day (which is a Friday) or do the run with friends on a Saturday? I do have a few friends that want to do at least some of the miles with me. Hey I don’t expect everyone to do the whole 35. BUT…then the only child solo zen runner in me – wants the miles alllllll to myself…HMM. Decisions.

Also I love having 3 day weekends in the spring time. Especially when the weather is so glorious. Yes, I have another one coming up this weekend and I am going to a concert on Sunday so having Monday off will be the icing on the cake. I may even go get a spa pedicure. Ahhh yes.

I’ve just discovered a new favorite conditioner from Whole Foods and it is lavender and it is wonderful. Conditioner from a natural foods store? Hey, it is a thing. My new favorite thing. And it makes my curls seriously POP. See?? Wild, all natural and free.

Share some random thoughts with me for today!

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hey there! It is spin cycle Wednesday!! I’ve got some great workout tracks for your spin class, running, and high energy workouts! Lots of throwbacks and hot new tracks are on the list.

Follow on Spotify here and see my latest spin cycle teaching schedule here.

Let’s go for a ride!

Gold- Valentino Khan, Sean Paul: Warm up
Utami- Bougenvilla: Jumps
If I Was You- Far East Movement: Rolling hills
A No No- Mariah Carey: Seated/standing run
Good Feeling (Hook N Sling Remix)- Flo Rida: Accelerations
Make Up- Jason Derulo, Vice, Ava Max: Jumps
Koala- Oliver Heldens: Sprints
In My Feelings- Drake: Active recovery
Nasty- Tommy Trash: Sprints
Electricity- Dua Lipa: Rolling hills
El Camino- Black Caviar: Jumps on a hill
Don’t Stop the Party- Pitbull: Hill climb
Slide- Young Futura: Accelerations
Magalenha- Simon Fava: Tapbacks
Alright- Kendrick Lamar: Rolling hills
Stay- Dannic, INNA: Sprints
Soul Vibe- Aso: Cool down

What songs are you grooving to this week? (Even if they aren’t workout songs! I need some more smooth jam ideas for the cool down.)

Ways to Feed Your Wild (Running) Side.

So, runners. We tend to be TYPE A people. Always chasing after those PRs, that BQ. Trying to be your best. Be the fastest. Top the Strava leaderboards. Chasing the next challenge. And those goals are amazing to have. Sometimes, I do feel like I’ve done it all. 100 miler? Check. Sub 4 marathon? Check. Sub 3:50 marathon?? Check check check. BQ? (Getting there. Still a few minutes off. So sue me. I’m young and have time.)

But…have you ever thought that there was SO MUCH more to running? So much more than doing every race, than posting every Instastory with some brag worthy post about how you got another medal on #medalMonday. If I can be honest, my medals (I have too many of them) from 10 years of marathon running are all collecting dust in a massive box. My ultrarunning buckles too are in the drawer as we speak. And since the last time I’ve moved, I haven’t taken the time to put anything back up. But really, what or who would I be putting them up for? Probably to post something on social media about how many medals or 100 mile buckles I have. Lately, I’ve taken a step back from constant racing…and guess what?! I’m really enjoying it. I am doing races that I love, and that I really want to do. I am really loving where I’m at with my running right now. Anyway, so if you are that runner that is a chronic road racer. And perhaps. Craving some adventure? Then this may be the post just for ya…

Here are some ways you can feed that wild side and start really revving up…and LOVING your running again.

Take a RUN on the wild side, literally. I’ve been getting back into running through the trees and the trails. And after stepping away from trails for a bit, I feel like I’m ready to get back off the beaten path. It is incredible what a little deep woods therapy can do. Don’t know where to start with trail running? Check out this post if you are beginner.

Go out for a run with absolutely NO DIRECTION, route wise, at all. Literally go run and make up a route on the fly. I cannot tell you how many awesome runs I’ve had where I’ve had no clue what my route was going to be that day. The other day actually I discovered some rolling hills in my ‘hood that were super hidden. And now I feel like Dora the Explorer or some ish.

Sign up for a mountain race! I know that may sound a little outlandish if you are used to a humdrum 5k 10k in your neighborhood. But expand your horizons! It doesn’t have to be an ultramarathon race. Believe it or not they have 5k 10k mountain races as well! Soak in the amazing views. I signed up for a 25k in the mountains in September and hey, it’s West Texas mountains but still! Some uncharted territory. Can’t wait.

Go nocturnal. I absolutely LOVE night races, especially because it is something different from the norm. Read my Fossil Valley race recap if you want some inspiration. This is especially great in the summer, when it’s just so blazing hot and you’re seeking some cooler air. A relay with friends could be even better.

What are some other ways to feed your wild (running) side?

Weekly Running Report.

Hello there and happy Monday to ya! Hope you had a marvelous weekend! I am here to recap some miles from last week. I was able to get in 75.8 miles and have lived to tell you all about it!! Things are shaping up great for my upcoming ultra, the Hachie 50 miler. Let’s see how it all went down!

Monday AM- 7.13 miles in the hood, watching the sunrise. Without a doubt the best way to start my work week. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
Monday PM- This run was actually at lunch, just getting in my double run day in for the day. 3.21 miles complete with a few speedy strides thrown on in there.
Tuesday AM- 5.2 miles enjoying the lake view and getting some early miles in. Work has been stressful lately so I have been forcing myself to get my early runs in so the work day will go smoother. Sometimes, it is all about that mental, running for sanity’s sake, amiright?!
Tuesday PM- Another 3.21 miles at lunch time, the weather was so incredible. I am so happy it is shorts & tanks weather down in Texas once again. Woot woot.

Wednesday AM- 10.12 miles with the breakfast run club. They had a few easy miles to do then I finished with hills on my own.
Wednesday PM- 4.22 miles in the evening after a long work day. Another stress-relief type of run on double run day.
Thursday- 8.12 miles in the early AM. This was done with some morning run buds. Rolling hills for breakfast.
Friday- 20.3 miles on a Friday!! Friday long runs have really been my jam lately. Thankfully I had Friday off last week so I was able to relax, get some things done around the house and enjoy the day. I even got to have happy hour at my favorite healthy-ish Mexican spot. Quinoa bowl for the win.

Saturday- 10.11 miles in the ‘hood. Everyone seemed to be out and about this weekend because for the most part temperatures were spring perfection.
Sunday- 4.21 miles to hit my numbers for the week. Running on rest day.

And there you have it!

How was your week last week? Training for any upcoming races?
Hachie 50 miler in May, some trail stuff coming up, and then trying to schedule some more races for spring and summer! And all the while still doing my high mileage running. I do have a mountain race coming up also in September! So excited to do something a little different from my usual road racing.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

I am super excited because today IS MY FRI-YAY (I have some extra vacation time to burn) so tomorrow on my day off I plan on doing all of the running and all of the relaxing. A massage planned with my favorite therapist in the middle of the day is kind of the cherry on top.

Plus I need to get my nails done…hmm…will probably do that tomorrow too.

Even though it is a long weekend for me this weekend I actually don’t have a whole lot planned aside from the usual (running and brunching and friend and family time). And I kind of like it like that.

The sun has been shining here in Texas ALL WEEK LONG and temps are in the mid 70s just about everyday. Yaaas. My favorite weather is back plus the extra daylight in the evenings has been absolutely everything.

I do think we have a little bit of rain in the forecast for the weekend but should be good for a low key Saturday. Hey, maybe I will even read a book or something.

-Yeah, right. Actually I bought this book a LONG time ago and never read it. I love me some Andy Cohen and am obsessed with him in general but something about my A.D.D. will not let me relax and read a darn book before I start thinking about something else I need to be doing.

The (self diagnosed) a.d.d. is actually why I really enjoy going to the sauna in the mornings after my run. It kind of helps me turn my brain off and just….reeee-lax.

Another thing I’ve loved is not having so many after work commitments. Can I tell you I used to want to do ALL THE THINGS- like go to everyone’s happy hour, teach every class at the gym. And be at home every night at 8 or 9 pm. Just exhausted. I mean and I would just go right to sleep too from sheer exhaustion everyday. Usually with very little dinner or food to eat in my fridge. Well now that I’ve started focusing on ME more and having free time in the evenings– my life just feels more at peace. Thank you self care. And, I get more time to do my double run days and stuff. Watching the sunset and all that zen stuff. So, there’s that. Yay.

I am also going to cancel my Netflix before the week is over. See, I’m on a ‘get rid of the clutter’ kick. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve used it. ALSO. I have free Hulu now along with my Spotify membership! Oh, happy day. Plus there’s just so much YouTube to watch!!! So much.

Tell me something random about your week this week!