Friday, August 22, 2014

Isle Du Bois (is the worst!)

Last year, Endurance Buzz's Isle Du Bois trail race was set to be my first trail race. Rosie and I were all jacked up for it, but unsure of what to expect. The "plenty of roots and rocks" description should have been a tip-off... all trails have lots of roots and rocks, but when it becomes the description of the trail, well.. it's LOTS of roots and rocks.

Anyway, Mother Nature took care of us and sent an ice storm that canceled our race along with the Dallas Marathon.

Ever since, we've wondered what we missed out on. So, when the North Texas Trail Runners hosted a run at IDB a couple of weeks ago, we went for it.

It's not the worst drive out to Pilot Point, around an hour from Dallas. The lake is low but nice, with a lovely beach area, playgrounds, and restrooms that didn't make me run away screaming (though I also didn't dawdle).

The trail is 4 loops (A-E, but A and B are basically one), and they connect in sort of stacking loops that go out to the lake in the middle of loop E. So, if you want any kind of view, you have to go out to loop E.

Doing the full loop is about 10.5 miles, so you kinda have to be in it to win it if you want any scenic reward for your trek.

And this is where I start complaining...

Okay, the views are okay, and you can pretty much just walk down to the lake when you get out there on loop E, which is fine, but you are walking through basically a giant ant mound to get there. Like, literally, don't stop moving or they will eat you alive, probably.


So, there's that. But wait, there are more "no, thank you" moments at IDB. The temps were supposed to get up to 100+ the day we went, so we wanted to try and only do about 8 miles, so we were going to do 4 miles out and 4 miles back. But the 4 miles out were so grim and we had enough water left, that we decided to do the full loop just to avoid retracing our steps through not wonderful terrain.

And second half did getting a little more pleasant to look at, but by then, the rocks really started to get tedious. We found that we couldn't even run most of the trail. It was 10 yards of runnable dirt (or worst, sand), then 10 yards of rocks, over and over and over.

It was like running through a construction zone... like romping through rubble. Every time I'd start us running again, we'd hit loose rocks the size of lemons, which is just too unstable to run on safely (I'm sure plenty of people can, but I really don't know how). Especially as we got tired and our footing became less trustworthy.

There were a few nice inclines to mountain-goat up, but nothing special.

All in all, ugh. We weren't even done before we decided that we'd be volunteering at this year's IDB race. It's just no fun at all to run. So many better choices around Dallas.

That said, the beach entry to the lake was wonderfully refreshing after 3.5 hours of dragging ass around the rocks. I don't like being in lake water, but this hit the spot.

Anyway, at least now we know and, really, any time spent with good running friends is time well spent, even if our feet aren't fond of where we spent the time.