Monday, November 3, 2014

Garner State Park: Run, Hike & Camp



It was time to set out on another RV excursion so we drove to Garner State Park in the hill country of Texas. If you're ever in the area, it's worth the trip!

On my first morning there, I ran 13 miles and I saw dozens of deer and the biggest wild turkeys and jack rabbits I've ever seen. I fell and scraped my elbow and knee, but the fall wasn't bad enough to keep me from running 5 more miles (for 13 total) and 8 more miles the next day. Since I have a 50K race coming up on November 22, I was glad about that.

Painted Rock
My Fasted 13 Mile Run

For my 13 miler, I ran first thing in the morning without breakfast and without eating any food during the run. Running fasted was not a problem at all - especially with all of the wild animal distractions! Some people recommend a fasted run in order to teach your body not to need as many carbohydrates. If you want to try it, start out doing it on shorter runs first. The longest I've done a fasted run is 17 miles.

Frio River in the Distance
Hiking

On our first full day there, my husband and I hiked up to Painted Rock, which is on the top of a rocky hill. After climbing to the top to enjoy the view, we stopped for a look inside a cave. The hike took 2 1/2 hours, just like my 13 miler. The next day, we walked along the Frio River. The water was so clear that I could see the fish swimming in the water.

Frio River
Camping

At night, we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows by the campfire. Also, I baked chicken pot pies and peanut butter cookies in our RV convection oven. Outside, I was amazed at all of the stars in the sky. We camped, but I felt a little like I was cheating because I slept in a warm bed in our cozy RV instead of in a cold tent!

Garner State Park: steep and rocky hiking trails, 3.5 mile mountain bike/running trail, only AT&T phone access, some sites with electric and water hook-ups, 6 hour drive west of Houston.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun trip! I love roasting hot dogs and occasionally roasting marshmallows (which is not often because I have no self control when it comes to those things) over a fire. Looks like y'all are getting settled with your RV! Our camper has a microwave/convection oven, too, and I love that thing.

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    1. My husband gave me the idea of putting a roasted marshmallow on a freshly baked peanut butter cookie - a new favorite for me!

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  2. Looks like an awesome place to run and hike! Glad the run went well without fuel. I did a few of those for my marathon training. I did a 22 miler with just a banana and no fuel during, and another one with no fuel before, but only my sports drink. It was good practice.

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    1. Even after you've gotten some experience running, it's fun to keep experimenting like that!

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  3. Looks like a beautiful spot and a nice trip!

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    1. It was the first time I've seen such clear water in Texas that I could see the fish!

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  4. Sounds fun!! I haven't been camping since I was a kid. I keep wanting to go but never make the time. I also don't have an RV so I know I am going to actually have to rough it!

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    1. This was our second trip in our RV, but last year we camped in a tent attached to our car near the Grand Canyon. That was a fun experience, too, and may be less of a "roughing it trip" than a regular tent would be. You might like that!

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  5. Glad the fall didn't bang you up too much. I've plopped down on trails it's easy to do. The park looks great! How wonderful you to get enjoy all the awesome stuff about camping and then curl in your home on wheels :) I like to run in the morning without anything on my tummy, I just feel better. When I run at night after a few meals are in tummy, I usually feel yuck but do it.

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    1. I can't believe that I fell on the fairly flat section and not on the rocky trail where I was so afraid of falling. The good thing is that I fell on dirt and not rocks!

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  6. Sounds like a fantastic getaway, Tina! All the wildlife and beautiful scenery sounds perfect for running :)

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    1. During my 13 mile run, I saw the largest herds of deer I've ever seen before (30 maybe). I had many "Wow!" moments!

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  7. Your 50K is coming up so fast! Do you feel ready? That looks like a beautiful place to hike, camp and run. I'm a little jealous that you are still sporting short sleeves and shorts. You said this is west of Houston... did you have to drive through Austin to get there?

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    1. We didn't drive through Austin, but we drove through San Antonio. Hello traffic jam! Texas weather has been great for running and, yes, I'm ready and excited to race!

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  8. This looks and sounds like such a fun trip! I've never been to Texas but it's a part of the country I would love to explore. I'm hoping to get one more camping excursion in before the end of 2014, myself!

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    1. This was our first trip to Garner State Park, but seeing the hills in the hill country is always a nice change from flat land. Have fun camping!

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  9. If I went camping it would only be in an RV - I'm a bit of a wimp!!!
    I do all of my runs fasted - it works for me (unless I'm trying to run 50 miles).

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    1. I like to run first thing in the morning, even before eating, but if I have to put my run off until daylight and I'm hungry, I'll eat first, which happens most of the time during summers.

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  10. Looks like a gorgeous place to run and hike!

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    1. It was the prettiest river I've ever seen in Texas - a nice surprise!

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  11. 13 Mile fasted run? I can't do 5 km fasting. I've tried and just run out of steam. Good job!

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    1. Being able to eat before a run is a good thing! I like to do eat before training runs, too, so that I'll be ready for race days when I like to eat beforehand.

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  12. I fast for a lot of my runs, I can't seem to find what settles in my stomach and what gives me problems.
    Camping for me is sleeping with the windows open. I love hiking, etc. I just want my bed and a shower after--I could probably make it in an RV.

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    1. Ha! I'm pretty sure you'd like an RV!

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  13. You've had a lot of fun adventures with your RV! It looks like a beautiful area and an added bonus that you got some great running in while you were traveling. I love to run while traveling!

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    1. I love to run when we travel, too. It's so much fun to see new places during a run.

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  14. I love everything about this! RV camping really is great.

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    1. This short trip was a good time to check out our new RV. We came across some problems that our RV dealer is going to repair. Looking forward to having more hot water!

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I love reading comments! I'll post your comment when I get back from my run so please don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away.

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