The 9 Mile Lake Loop Run & Taco Reward

I’ve written about it before, but White Rock Lake in Dallas is an extremely popular spot for area runners – as well as bikers, walkers, fishers, kayakers, unicyclers, etc.

The main trail around the lake is pretty much exactly 9 miles. There are also connecting trails and secret little side trails if you want to add more mileage. When in marathon training, this is where I usually go for my really long runs – especially if I need to run 20+ miles.

Running Shoes, meet Lake.  Lake, meet Running Shoes.

Running Shoes, meet Lake. Lake, meet Running Shoes.

Since I finished the Dopey Challenge in Janurary, I hadn’t been down to WRL to run. But as our week of record low temps for North Texas in July kept on keepin on, I decided I better take advantage, and so I went to loop the lake.  The temps were awesome, but it was still 95% humidity – It never quite rained, but it did mist at times.  But the cloud cover was very welcome indeed.

Panorama mode

Panorama mode

One always see a lot of weird interesting things around the lake – elites training, an episode of Cheaters being shot, coyotes, Dallas Cowboys taking photos of a horse, a dead body, a marriage proposal – seriously, you knever know.

This time around, I ran into crossed paths with a couple runner friends who were doing their own loops…Like my buddy Lindsay over at Marathonstateofmind .  It’s funny though how none of us ever seem to stop and say our hellos – nobody wants to interfere with the others’ workout – we just wave and shout a passing, “Heeyyyyyy!”  Haha – though immediately afterwards we all contacted each other to make plans to catch up.

boom

You might want to avert your eyes at the Pump House ~ brown chicken brown cow!!

Anyways, for my run I decided to keep my pace comfortable and not look at my watch the whole way. Just wanted to enjoy it. I don’t know if it was the weather, but I think this may be the first time I’ve looped the lake without taking any quick breaks (to refill my water bottle or use the loo). I just kept going – one foot after another until I made it all the way around.

When I finished, I looked at my watch and was pleasantly surprised. I had ran the whole way with an average pace of 8:10 per mile! Not bad (for me) for a ‘long’ ‘comfortable’ solo run. I’ve run one 10 mile race as well as a few half marathons at an 8:13-15 pace which felt like tuff exertion.  So I’m anxious to see how my next race at those distances goes! Looks like my speed work is working.

The tale of one man and his trek around a city lake.

And so ends the tale of one brave man and his trek around a city lake.

Another bonus to running there is the proximity to some good taco joints. Of course that is exactly where I went after I was done to get some breakfast tacos…

Boom.  Tacos.  Boom.

Boom. Tacos. Boom.

All in all, a purdy good lil Saturday morning there.  It made me really look forward to the fall (not a literal fall, like falling down, but like the Autumn kind ~ ya dig).

How bout you?  Any special go to run spots?  Seen any odd interesting things on a run recently?  Who wants tacos?

-Scott

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Categories: Fuel (food), run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

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53 thoughts on “The 9 Mile Lake Loop Run & Taco Reward

  1. I want tacos!
    I love those runs when you don’t look at your watch and you just go. Those are the best. Far and few between but when you have them you appreciate them more.
    I enjoy running around Thetis Lake. It is a pretty trail run and I am finding new trails around it to run. #perfect and you can run longer.

    • You need to come get some!
      Yes, this run was for the joy, and I enjoyed it!
      Hmm, Thetis Lake…sounds like it’s from Greek mythology! I bet it is scenic!

  2. Well, mighty fine seeing you out there as well! WRL is always good for people watching. I’ve seen a guy running in a speedo, a marriage proposal, the crazy guy on his bike who always yells obscenities at people, and my personal favorite watching all of the family photo shoots going on where the husband looks 100% miserable while the wife is trying to control the equally miserable children. #familymemories

    • Thanks Linz! Ha, I hate that bike yelling guy! Right before I saw you he was yelling at a family pushing a stroller to get off the trail. Shhesh! Ha, yes, the family photos are pretty great! So awkward!

  3. You are getting so fast! I haven’t made any real effort in regards to speed work lately, I’m kind of in “just finish mode,” but I definitely want to focus a little more on improving my speed in the second half of the year. It’s obviously working for you! Awesome job!

    Also, I could eat tacos pretty much everyday 🙂

    • Thanks Jamie! Oh yes, you need to be in maintenance mode! Don’t start mixing it up now. I’m just like you – after doing so many long slow runs last year getting ready for Dopey, I’m loving taking time to focus on speed at some shorter distances.
      tacos4life!

  4. Awesome run and way to hold down a good time. Speed work is definitely working. Good grief those tacos look delicious.

  5. Mmmm, tacos. Looks like a nice spot to run! There is a trail about 1.5 hours from here that I want to run. It’s in the mountains and ends at a lake! Perfect for me and the hound. No weird sightings for me lately, I’ll take it!!

    • This trail is paved, I’m guessing yours is not. Sounds like a great spot though! But 1.5 hr drive? And I thought my 30 minute drive to get to this trail was bad! Haha!

  6. Great job! I wish I considered a 8:10 pace as a comfortable long run pace.

    I haven’t seen anything interesting on my runs.

    Tacos = Always

    • Thanks! Yes, I was quite surprised considering the last time I ran that pace in a half, it was a real struggle.

      I bet there’s interesting stuff, you’re just not noticing it! 😉

      Tacos forever!

  7. Love me some Torchy’s! And tacos are my favorite post-run food. Yum!

  8. You are so lucky to have a scenic loop for long runs. I find myself looking for sidewalks when I drive trying to devise new routes.

    I knew this post was gonna end with some tacos. I took your advice and ditched the flour for the corn tortillas. Much healthier!

    • Ha, yes, I’m always noticing trails around town when I drive. Just need to figure out where they start!

      Yay! Good for you! Yes, healthier, but I also think they have way more flavor!

  9. Question: are there any places in TX that are *not* near a taco joint? 😉

    That looks like an awesome place to run!!

    • Haha, good point! 😉

      It’s pretty nice, when the weather is nice. If it’s cold or windy out, it changes dramatically along the lake!

  10. How nice to have such a long loop available. All my long non-repeating routes involve stopping for traffic at some point.
    I’ve never had breakfast tacos and I’m not sure I could do it. One time I did stop at Taco Bell in the morning post run and had regular tacos. That worked for me.

    • Yes, it’s great to have a decent length non traffic-y spot. I’ve also taken some of the side trails that branch off of it when I need to get extra mileage. So convenient!
      What. just. what. never. what. oh no!
      Breakfast tacos are amazing!!! And NO, Taco Hell does not count!!!! Ha, make your own if you want – eggs, potatoes, chorizo, veggies, salsa, beans, cheese, avocado, just put whatever you like!

  11. I think this is evidence that your speed work really is taking effect. That is pretty awesome! Isn’t it nice to see that happen when you are just out for a nice easy run? That lake looks like such a perfect place to get a long one in.

    • Thank you! It was a really nice surprise – especially after all the ‘bad’ runs I’ve been experiencing in the heat! You’re right – when we just focus on taking it easy, we can surprise ourselves! The Lake is def a good place to get some miles in!!

  12. Yum, tacos, now I am hungry. I wish we had a trail that long around here, well one that wasn’t in the middle of nowhere. Great run! I can only dream about that pace. 🙂

    • Yes tacos all day! I should explain that it’s a paved trail. Eventually all the trails around the metroplex are supposed to connect, which will be nice! Too bad yours is so far away! Bummer!

  13. Please tell me you did indeed see an episode of Cheaters being filmed one time… I’m impressed that you lasted the whole run without checking your watch! I love being able to see progress like that, it’s one of the greatest things about running.

    • Haha, I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I saw an episode that they shot the big confrontation there – I was jumping up and down – “That’s where I run!” Haha!
      Yeah, I didn’t want to know my mileage or pace, just want to keep on truckin!

  14. That looks like it must be a really nice loop the way the path hugs the lake the whole time. Can you see the lake the whole time? I ran around a lake the other weekend and I couldn’t see it for most of it because of all the cabins and how the road goes away from the lake for like three miles at one point.

    • Yes, you can pretty much see it the whole way if you choose to. There is one stretch that goes through a tree lined area where you can’t for a mile or so, but you can skip that and hug the lake along the dam – but I didn’t cause it means a nasty hill. Haha!
      Aww, bummer about your lake. That’s too bad. It is nice to see all the activity on the lake – sail boats and kayakers…but it can be a bit disheartening when you look across to the where you started and see you have a ways to go to get there. Ha!

  15. I ALWAYS want tacos. Looks like a nice running loop-I’m jealous!

  16. charissarunning

    Yay tacos!! It’s Taco Tuesday for me 🙂 Every Tuesday, I run and do yoga and then reward myself with tacos at a local bar. They are delicious but I’ve still got about 9 hours till go-time 😥

    P.S. Great job on the long run – that’s a great pace! It’s a wonderful feeling when you can see all the progress your training has made. I think running in all that Texas heat is making you a stronger runner!

    • Taco Tuesday!!! Yes! I like your reward system! On Thursdays I usually run with a group that gets grub and brews after…love it!

      Thank you!!! I think you’re right – running in tough conditions I think does make us stronger!!!

  17. That sounds like a great route! We have one long route like that in Philadelphia. I have only been a couple of times, but I think I need to get back. You see some interesting things out there too, including the rowers practicing on the river!

    • Thanks, it’s pretty nice! You should go back to yours. Give it a go! Ahh, I haven’t seen rowers since my last trip to Boston. This lake doesn’t allow motors, so only sailboats and kayaks…So cool!

  18. Yum……….tacos. Great job on the run! I think you are going to smash your PRs in the fall. I regularly see a guy in my local park who’s training for cross-country skiing. He wears wheelie skis and a boombox around his waist.

    • Thank you!!! It definitely gave me some hope! Haha, that guy sounds cool! I have a friend who runs every so often and straps some speakers to his hips. Last time he joined me we looped the same lake, but his batteries died part way around!

  19. That is awesome! 9 mile loop sounds like a good distance to play with! I also like to run around the lake which is about 3 miles away my home; however, it’s a bit less than a 3-mile loop. So what I normally do is run there, do 2.5 turns around it and run back. That being said, I wish I could run all the distance around it, it is so much more pleasant 🙂 xoxo

    • Thank you! It’s a good distance I think. You’re lucky to have a lake that close! Yeah, I hear you on the multiple loops. When training for a marathon, I usually have a couple runs where I have to do 2+ loops of this lake…man, that’s a long day! XO

  20. Those tacos look fantastic! Looks like you had an awesome run and what a picture perfect location! I haven’t seen anything too out of the ordinary on my runs lately but I did pass a family of skunks on the side of the road on my way to work last week!

    • They tasted even better!! It was a great day for a run at the lake! Skunks!! Oh no! If I see a bobcat or coyote I will shoo them away, but skunks…I always stop in my tracks and back away slowly. I’ve had a few friends get sprayed on their runs!

  21. Looks like a great place to run! But the tacos look even better. Yum! Great work on your run! The weirdest thing I’ve seen on a run lately is a guy on a unicycle. No joke. Just unicycling down the bike path.

    • Yes, it’s a pretty nice spot for sure! And the tacos were so worth it! Thank you!!
      Haha, weird! At this lake I occasionally see a group of dudes on unicycles – but they have mountain bike tires and they’re really big. So bizarre!

    • I saw a guy on a unicycle recently too! Just carrying a bag of groceries like it was no big deal!

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  23. FANTASTIC pace! I want to run there. I will report back what I see, when I do.

    I have some special trails I run around here that I only get to when I have travel time. I am really itching to hit them up!

    • Thank you! You should! Can’t wait to hear about it!

      WRL is paved, but I do like the un paved trails at Erwin park in McKinney. And also Arbor Hills.

  24. That lake loops looks amazing! And the tacos…don’t even get me started. Your mexican food pics kill me. I will be visiting at some point.

  25. What a cool place to run… and man, you did it well!

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