50K Training, Week 13 – A Trip to Palo Duro Canyon

As always after a hard week of running, I was happy to have an easy week. For one reason or another, I didn’t do as much strength training or yoga, and that’s something I want to work on in the coming weeks. Summer decided to hang on a bit longer, with temperatures rising again above 100 degrees, but I ended the week with a wonderful trail run in Palo Duro Canyon, site of our 50K race in October, with my friends Hari and Kurt. 

Palo Duro Canyon

MON: Running rest day – I was like a zombie all day. I felt very fatigued, somewhat grumpy, but my legs felt surprisingly good after a 23  mile run. I did nothing physical, and spent the afternoon and evening on the couch with the iPad.

TUE: Run – 4 mi – Met Mike at 5:15am for a 4 mile run through Highland Park. I forgot to charge my Garmin, and he didn’t wear his either, so we were Garmin-free. It felt like we were pushing the pace, but hard to tell on tired legs. Another humid morning. So ready for summer to be done with. It was a busy day and somehow I never got around to core/strength or yoga.

WED: Run – 10 mi, Strength (arms) – This morning was one of those great runs where everything comes together. The temps were cool, humidity low, and I felt strong and smooth. We added in some significant hills, too, and despite the fact I ran 23 miles on trails just three days ago, the legs felt great. I just felt really good the entire run. We also got passed by a coyote, who came running out of the Arboretum and continued on in the grass. It was a truly beautiful animal, so lean and incredibly fast. Came home to finish off with 20 minutes of upper body weights.

THU: Running rest day, Yoga (forward bends) – 20:00 – Got some much-needed sleep. Going to run 10 tomorrow with Hari since we’re going camping this weekend to Palo Duro to check out the race course–and just have fun. Hopefully we’ll be able to run 4 on Saturday evening and 6 on Sunday morning. Not happy that it’s going to be in the upper 90’s all weekend. Did yoga in the evening to loosen up the legs before tomorrow morning’s run.

FRI: Run –  9 mi – It was such an incredibly warm and humid morning, Hari and I decided to run a loop and add the missing mile on to one of the weekend runs. The air was completely still and the bugs were horrible as well, getting in our eyes, ears, mouths, and noses. The run itself felt easy, and I’m enjoying being able to run so strong and effortlessly on a loop around the lake. I love having this level of fitness.

SAT: Running rest day – Hari, Kurt, and our families drove to Palo Duro Canyon for a weekend of camping and trail running. We were hoping to run at least 4 miles in the canyon in the evening, but the 104 degree temps helped us decide to run long in the morning instead.

Palo Duro Canyon

SUN: Run – 11 mi – Best trail run so far! Started at dawn at the Givens, Spicer & Lowry Running Trail, which took us to the Lighthouse formation, and added on the Little Fox Canyon Trail loop. It was 70 degrees at the start, and it felt great to be running in such cool temps. It also felt great to be running on a trail without roots or stumps. Though the temperature climbed up to 95 degrees by the end of the run, we couldn’t stop raving about how beautiful the scenery was. It’s runs like this that remind me why I love trail running so much.

Palo Duro Canyon

* All photos courtesy of Kurt Cimino

STATS for WEEK 13: Run – 34 miles, 1 strength/core workout, Yoga – 20:00


  1. Mark Johnson

    Terri and I went to Palo Duro Canyon while I was working in Dumas, TX. We loved it there. If you are wanting cool temps and low humidity, head this way. Mid 50’s mornings and single digit humidity. Oh, and good company, haha.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Mark, you have no idea how tempting it is to jump in the car right now and head your way. We get little teasers of cooler temps, then it goes right back up over 100. Palo Duro was so beautiful. I definitely want to go back in the winter or spring when it’s not so hot. Our last day there it was 114 degrees in the late afternoon!

  2. iRuniBreathe

    Sounds like you are still doing incredibly well and your body is holding up. Don’t you love it when you can go out and run a 10 miler and feel good and have the run feel easy? Reaching new levels of fitness is great!
    (Beautiful photos of the trails there. Amazing scenery).

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Yes, I love being at this level of fitness. I also love doing a long run and not feeling sore the next day. Palo Duro Canyon is apparently the second largest canyon in the US, after the Grand Canyon. It really is gorgeous, even more so than the photos show.

  3. AndrewGills

    Those are some amazing running locations you have there. It must be great to have training pals for your long runs. I have awesome running friends too but often end up doing my long runs alone

      • AndrewGills

        Oh, we do have a group in my area and it’s a fantastic group who I run with a lot (there’s 200 people in total in our group from all walks of life and all running desires).

        Our traditional running season is over now so those who do run at my pace are all resting after their big marathon for the year (they race the Gold Coast Marathon in July so train from March for that event). They do long runs together as part of their marathon training but I’m running out of season ( our long hot summer is just starting here in Oz).

        Those who are doing long runs are either doing them in our local area (I like to explore new places and can’t think of anything worse than doing a 25+km run in the same places that I run during the week) or are running a lot faster than me.

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        That sounds a lot like my running group. Our season just started, with most people running a fall and/or spring marathon. Summer is tough here as well for running, and I’m glad it’s almost over!

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