This past weekend two lovely ladies and I trekked down to San Antonio for the 4th (?) annual Chupacabra 5k/10k run. The course is as such…
The course runs through heavily wooded dirt trails in the pitch dark. A flashlight or headlamp is required and extremely necessary. The trails can be very rocky with tree roots in places, as well as low branches so paying attention is critical. There are many opportunities to fall and get injured. This is not a trail run for beginners. It is up to you to provide your own lighting so you do not take a spill or run into a branch.
We headed down to San Antonio on Friday to catch the start of the race at 9 p.m. Now, mind you, none of us are runners. Nor do we enjoy running. However, these kinds of runs are fun! Give me something fun on the course and I’m in!! So, as the description states, this was a run that took place in pitch black dark through a trail in the woods. We didn’t do much stopping on the way to SA. We really just needed to get there in time for the race.
Well, we decked ourselves out in no less than 50 (but probably more) glow sticks, adorned our brightly colored clothes and hit the trail around 9:15. The first half of the run was great. I really felt the CrossFit kicking in. We were passing people one after another, after another. It felt pretty good to be able to actually pass someone while running! In the dark…on a heavily wooded trail too! Mad props to Cari who kept the pace for us. After a while, we caught up to the people who kept more of the pace we were keeping and we stayed in line with them for most of the second half of the race. We did end up walking once (maybe twice?) for a little bit but we mostly ran. I’m really, really proud of myself. Anyway, final time was around 41 minutes. I consider that pretty good for running in the dark through a rocky trail! I don’t have my exact time because the website has my chip time and gun time as the same time…which it wasn’t at all.
So that night we check into our hotel and crashed. (but not after the manager told us that he gave away our room so all three of us would have to share one bed. long story short, we won the argument and he miraculously came up with a room with 2 beds. a miracle, I tell ya.)
Saturday we decided to float the Comal River. Thanks to a very helpful local at the race, we got to the river early before it got crowded. Had a great, relaxing time on the river. Much needed R&R!! We did have a little mishap with one of our cameras trying to make a break for the bottom of the river. But, 30 minutes and one really helpful gentleman later, we had the camera back! We owe that dude a beer & a shot! whoever he is….
After the river we headed north to Austin, ate at Chuys (mmm margaritas!) and also stopped at Be My Cupcake in Round Rock.
The most memorable part of Austin was most definitely The Savory Spice Shop. Melissa Joulwan featured this amazing shop on her blog back in March and Cari and I have been no less than obsessed with taking a trip there since then! Well, Karen (the owner), was delighted to see us and to show us every exotic, tasty, amazing spice in her shop! She gave me lots of ideas for recipes and uses of each of the spices I bought (plus some I already owned…and had no idea what to use them for! herbs de Provence, anyone?)
The things that attracted me to this shop from Melissa’s blog are what I ended up loving the most about it. Please read her entire list here at her blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.
Spices I got from this amazing place are:
Ornate Onion Salt – Melissa Joulwan gave a great suggestion for this one. Mix it with her homemade mayo and voila! Paleo french onion dip! Cannot wait to try this!
Tarragon Shallot Citrus Seasoning – for some baked chicken
Mexican Mole – to add to Sarah Fragoso’s already amazing mole recipe! I also took the recipe card for their Mexican Mole but it calls for significantly more spice than I bought so I thought I would give it a try in my recipe first, then give theirs a go if I like it!
Black Truffle Italian Salt – uh, where has this been all my life?? Just wondering…because this is quite possibly the most amazing spice I have ever tasted. Three granules (literally!) are more than enough flavor for a taste! I’m trying this with eggs!
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt – very similar to regular sea salt but a little bit saltier so the lovely shop owner told me I wouldn’t have to use as much! Also, because it hasn’t been processed and bleached, its got much more of the good nutrients and minerals that are part of natural sea salt.
Murray River Sea Salt – this salt resembles peach colored snow flakes and has an extremely light salt taste. She told me to only use this as a finishing salt as it does not work well for cooking.
Chimayo Chorizo Sausage Spice – to make my own chorizo!
Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry – The other lady in the shop (didn’t catch her name!) recommended this to me. I’ve lightly dabbled in curry and I like it, but I do not like very spicy things. She recommended this and a couple others to try that were only slightly spicy. I chose this one because it was a little sweet and a little spicy! Leighton likes it too! I’ll be making htis with some mixed veggies.
Grand Garlic Salt – Well, because I use garlic salt like its going out of style and the only kinds I find in the store have a lot more crap in them besides garlic and salt.
Well, that was it! Thanks for reading… 🙂
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