Texas®

I know, I know, we’ve been talking about running a bunch lately, but you know what? It’s fun, right? Right.

Well, add the sense of impending, food-driven joy that comes from Thanksgiving morning to a 5k, and it’s even better, we think. Come on. Lets be honest, we all know that well eat so much through the day. It’ll be good to make some extra room for that extra slice of pie by getting in a few miles before the family gathers together.

As it turns out, There are several Turkey Trots that will take place on Thanksgiving morning all over the state. Check these out below for information on the one or ones in your area.

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Recently, we couldn’t help but notice that everyone around us seemed to be wearing cozy long-sleeve t shirts that bore the name of some race that the person wearing the shirt had presumably run. Honestly, we got a little jealous. Heck, we even ran a 5k in Irving a couple of weeks ago. Good fun. The shirt was horribly ugly though, which was a bummer, to say the least.

For those of you who may have also recently caught yourself feeling a slight ping of jealousy over someone else’s racing shirt, there are tons of options available to you. Perhaps you might want to give one of  these upcoming runs a look and see if your up for running, even of the shirt turns put to be hideously unwearable …..

- The Undy Run (White Rock Lake – Dallas): This Saturday, run in your boxers and support the search for a cure for Colon Cancer.

- The Hill Country Pumpkin Run (Kerville): Another run on this busy 5k weekend.

- Cowboys and Kids 5k (Mesquite): Help the teachers out by running a couple of miles, why don’t ‘ya?

- The San Antonio Rock & Roll Half Marathon: Get a serious run in while you seriously rock out. this is one of the bigger running events in the state, these days.

Edible Austin’s Eat Drink Local Week is full of cool events that give everyone even more examples of why Austin is such a great and unique place to be. Perhaps the coolest event is the one that kicks it all off on the morning of December 3rd.

For starters, The Urban Farm Bicycle Tour just sounds cool, doesn’t it? Second of all, it is a cool event. Austin has always been a great biking town, and now, add pit-stops that include food from the best local farms and chefs in town and you have the best bike ride scenario this side of the French Alps.

For this, the fourth edition of the Bike tour, there will be 20 participating farms providing goodies at the various optional stops for this self-guided bike tour. Depending on where you start your tour, the ride can be up to 20 miles. So, yeah, that averages out to at least one local farm per mile. A pretty sweet ration, I’d say.

Yes, you will benefit greatly from a fun ride and great food, but even better, a couple of worthy organizations will also see some of the benefits from the Tour. the Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots, two groups that look to get the word out about the advantages of living a more sustainable lifestyle, make for completely appropriate beneficiaries.

So, check those bike chains and get ready to raid Austin’s Urban Farms.

You might not be able to tell by the way I write or the things that I write about, but I am a big fan of yoga. Began practicing 15 years ago. I was tired of wearing ankle braces when I played basketball and had grown weary of going to sleep with an ice bag under my butt. So I took a class, and at the end of it, I couldn’t take a step without a tingly sensation shooting up my ankle, through my groin and out my shoulder blades. I was in too much pain to cry , and when I caught a refelction of my face in the elevator door, I was almost smiling. And at that moment, I knew I was hooked and I would be back. And I was.

I am not a big fan of headstands. Or handstands. The reason is, and I’m going to ask you to focus for a moment, the reason is that I am afraid of heights and to me, being upside down is exactly like standing at the edge of a rooftop looking straight down. And I bring this up because if my teacher announces at the beginning of class that we will be doing those poses, any thought of reaching weekend nirvana or achieving a dollop of zen goes bye-bye in the car-car. I start thinking of ways I can sneak out. Maybe I can mentally make my phone ring and then I can excuse myself because it is a very important call that I must simply take. That would probably work, except my phone is  in my car-car because phones are frowned upon in yoga class. Because yoga knows that I hate headstands. And handstands.

And I don’t do the hot yoga, as I am certain that my downward dog would come down with a case of e-coli. I sweat in the shower, so trust me, I am doing everyone a favor by not showing up. Heating up internally and externally may turn you on and flip your switch and loosen your reins, but I am not into bringing a squeegee to a yoga class. I also don’t like to listen to music. I don’t need Beyonce singing to help me feel the pose. Or dumbbells. Yoga is not about multi-tasking. I’ve got a great idea: why don’t we just practice an art that’s been around for thousands of years and just leave it alone. We don’t need to update it. Put our spin on it. Americanize it. Unless that means getting rid of headstands. And handstands. Then I’m all in.

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Dave Little is a Dallas-based stand-up comedian, writer, musician and actor. He’s funny for Best of Texas twice a month, but he’s funny all the time on his website www.lovedavelittle.com.

I know that the thought of running in the current heat isn’t exactly up the alley of many folks. Thankfully, most decent 5-10k’s, half and full marathons and other assorted races (see last week’s post about the Tough Mudder) take place in either the spring or the fall.

DFW RUNS seems to be a pretty unique marketing organization that hosts all sorts of really cool races throughout not only our state, but throughout the country.  Don’t let the D/FW in their name fool you. Races in Colorado, Minnesota and Utah, among other locales are on the group’s agenda for the next few weeks.

Not only does the group have a flair for variety in terms of race locations, but in the actual type of race as well. Whether it’s you seemingly typical 5k for charity, a Brewery sponsored race where everyone gets a commemorative pint glass to go with the standard t-shirt or an 6 mile, obstacle-filled “Mud Run,” DFW RUNS has a full agenda that should make choosing something for runners of any skill level easy to manage.

Below are some upcoming Texas events, hosted by DFW RUNS:

5k’s and 10k’s are great. Marathons are downright scary. The Tough Mudder, though, is what the Iron Man wants to be when it grows up and can have a few drinks.

Billing itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet,” the event which takes place all over the world year-round is certainly one of the craziest events on the planet. Which, by the way, makes it pretty darn cool in our book. Created by a British counter-terrorism specialist, this is far more than a muddy obstacle course for weekend warriors.

In each city the Mudder takes place in, a 10-12 mile course filled with mud-soaked obstacles that will test stamina, overall toughness and according to the event’s site, “mental grit”.

Over the course of the next 8 months, three Tough Mudders will take place in our great state, actually. Coming up really soon, Central Texas will host a Mudder in Paige, nestled in Bastrop Country. That event will take place on October 8 and 9. Soon after that one, the Gulf Coastal region will get a taste of mud and sweat in January of 2012. then, in the Spring of 2012, North Texas will see a Mudder come their way when Dallas will be covered in Mud for a weekend.

Crazy costumes, boisterous after-parties and what has to be a serious sense of accomplishment are to be enjoyed by all when it comes to the Mudders. As it turns out, this writer is planning on mudding it up himself (along with his brother), so you can be sure I’ll have a few stories of training gone wrong and a recap of how things all go down when my body becomes one with pain and mud.

While Europe has long been considered the home of “Major League Football” and South America has often hosted teams that were nothing short of Futbol dynasties, The Great 48 has been picking up steam when up it comes to not only the quality of play we can display here, but in the enthusiasm of the supporters (aka “fans” for the uninitiated) that loyally follow the clubs they often will to victory.

In recent years, Texas has been the home to two of the MLS’s best teams. The Dynamo of Houstonhave been perennial contenders that took home the MLS Cup as the league’s champion in both 2006 and 2007 (after entering the league in 2005, which makes the back-to-back titles even more impressive). As for the Frisco-based FC Dallas (formerly the Dallas Burn), they were a sad, “own-goal” away from being crowned champions this past season when they lost a heart-breaker to the Colorado Rapids.

Perhaps even more impressive than the on-field credentials that each team has built is the devotion and organization of the folks that support each team for each home-game (not to mention many road-games). Whether it’s the Texian Army in support of The Dynamo, or The Inferno in support of FC Dallas, each group makes clear their intentions to any who may wonder: To fully and vocally encourage their team at all times throughout the 90 minutes of each game.

By organizing pre-game tailgate parties that often end with a coordinated group “march to the match,” these fans are showing all others what it’s like to really be a supporter in far more than name only.

Chants? Check. Group Songs? Check. Coordinated color clothing? Check.

Such details are common-place in Europe and other soccer hotbeds, but here in the states, outside of a few college football-crazy spots, such obvious fanaticism has withered away from our professional sports landscape as many of the prices to attend events have made it so that the average fan is unable to attend regularly. With both Houston and Dallas, strides are made to include fans of all tax-brackets. Cheap to free parking, regular ticket-discounting programs and even drink specials make it easier for people to come equipped and ready to support their favorite squad.

For information on both the teams and the official supporter groups, see below:

Houston Dynamo:

FC Dallas:

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how I really want to hit the Disc Golf course soon. It’s something I haven’t done before and Texas provides many an opportunity to do so. Well, here’s something else I want to do, but haven’t yet. Hit Marfa!

The dry, West Texas town not too far from Big Bend National Park has obviously become quite the trendy locale in the past few years, and from what I can tell, that trendiness is for good reason, really. It’s often referred to as a sort of artist’s retreat of hideaway; a bohemian enclave deep in the heat of our state, away from the typical artistic areas of the Hill Country or even certain parts of the Gulf Coast. In recent years, the town famously provided the backdrop for the Oscar-winning Coen Brothers film, No Country For Old Men.

Something even more than all of that recently caught my eye and really made me understand what I’ve been missing by not having visited Marfa before. Back in April, Mumford & Sons, along with a few other bands condcted a tour where they were carried by train and performed at various, funky spots along the way. Marfa was one of the stops and word of the show that resulted is that it was one heck of an event.

Mumford & Sons about to perform in Marfa

The concert took place at El Cosmico, a spot that seems to only be possible in the arid environs of the west. Run by Liz Lambert, who is responsible for the always in-demand Hotel San jose in Austin, El Cosmico’s website describes itself as “part vintage trailer, yurt and teepee hotel and campground, part creative lab, greenhouse and amphitheatre – a community space that fosters and agitates artistic and intellectual exchange.”

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Look, I’m sure there are tons of cool bars and foodie spots in Marfa, and I’m sure the lights are cool and all, but I think I’d be fine figuring all of that out once I got my teepee all set up, first…you?

You know, so many wait until Thursday or Friday to get their weekend plans in order. We thought we’d just go ahead and help you out with that now, though.

Obviously, Texas is blesssed with many a worthy destination for a day-trip or weekend excursion. Some of those destinations, however, are locales that seem to be slow on some weekends, and crammed on others. One hot-spot that is always sizzling with activity, almopst regardless of when one chooses to go is Fredericksburg.

The lovely, German, hilly town has more than it’s fair share of calling cards – hello, Beds and Brekafasts – but we’re not here to talk about that. We’re not here to send you there when one of th large wine festivals or city-wide celebrations are taking place. Anyone can do that. We’re just going to look at this coming weekend specifically and point you into the direction of a few understated, but cool, events and a few of the key attractions that makes this place a choice destination almost any weekend on the calendar…

  • Friday 6/24: Thomas Michael Riley at Hondo’s on Main ~ The tree-covered, outdoor patio stage and dining area is pretty much the definition of the Hill Country music expecrience. Cold Beer, entrees that involve salty corn chips and chili, and stars lighting the gazebo stage from which the bands play. Shoot, whether it’s before TMR’s set or after, head across the street to The Auslander for some schnitzel and live tunes in a real-deal biergarten.

 

  • Saturday 6/25: Get All you Need or Get Rid of It! ~ On Saturday, at the Holy Ghost Lutheran Fellowship Hall, you can learn more about green living. It’s like a free community garage sale. Whether you’re looking to discard or acquire an item, this is the place to do it! Even if you don’t have something to give, come by and find items you can use.

 

  • Saturday 6/25: Roots Music Night Series - Americana Rock ~ In the evening, pre-order a chicken-fried steak and graba  couple of lawn chairs to enjoy this well-produced concert series on the lawn of the Pioneer Museum. Each edition has a theme, ranging from Zydeco to Blues. Celebrating the hard-to-define Americana sound, music fans will be able to enjoy a 7pm performance from buzzed-about girl band, the Trishas.

 

  • Anytime, Any Weekend: Becker Vinyards ~ We typically arent fond of wines that are too sweet, but darn it if the last time we enjoyed a few glasses of vino from the patio of the beautiful, lavender-scented Becker environs wasnt their too-good-to-be-true Reisling. They often have special events, but that’s a bit misleading, really. To paraphrase a line from the Merlot-hating flick, Sideways, every trip to Becker is a special occasion.

 

  • Anytime, Any Weekend: National Museum of the Pacific War ~ Basically attached to the impressive Admiral Nimitz Museum, this relatively new, multi-media gem is a gripping and often-times goosebump-inducing trip through a memory lane filled with incomprehensible pain, agony and triumph. This is still a hidden gem, and is a historical center not to be missed when traveling through the area.

 

  • Anytime, Any Weekend: Lincoln Street ~ We ahd to go back to wine, right? This cozy wine bar is just about the prefect place to sink into a glass of wine, nibble on a cheese plate and maybe even enjoy a cigar. Lincoln Street manages to feel like a neighborhood joint in the middle of a throbbing tourist mecca.

This past Sunday night had to be one of the more exciting night’s in Dallas’ history. Getting sweet vindication in Miami was more than any loyal, longsuffering Mavs fan could’ve ever hoped for. Want to help the team celebrate? Want to party with possibly hundreds of thousands of other Mavs Maniacs? The details for the parade are below (from press release)…

When: Thursday, June 16, 10 a.m.

Where: Parade will start at Dallas Convention Center

More Info: The Dallas Mavericks and the City of Dallas will host the Mavs Championship Celebration on Thursday, June 16 at 10 a.m. The parade will feature Mavs owner Mark Cuban, founding owner Don Carter, Mavs President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson, Mavs President/CEO Terdema Ussery, Head Coach Rick Carlisle and all of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks players, coaches, support staff and their families. Also taking part in the celebration will be the Budweiser Clydesdales, which have been an American Institution for over 75 years.

The parade will start at the Dallas Convention Center at the intersection of Griffin and Young Streets and head west on Young Street, turning north onto Houston Street, west on Continental and north onto Victory Ave., ending at the corner of Victory Ave. and Olive Street.  Click here for map.

Fans may line up on the sidewalks behind the barricades starting at 7 a.m. All streets along the parade route will close at 8 a.m. Fans should bring plenty of water with them and wear sunscreen. DART Light Rail and Buses will be in service for fans.

The Mavs Fan Shop at American Airlines Center will also be open.

At the conclusion of the parade, a special season ticket holder-only event will be held inside American Airlines Center. The event will be broadcast on the HD big-screen TV on the AT&T Plaza

FOX Sports Southwest will broadcast the parade live.  Additional coverage will be on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM.

At noon CT on FOX Sports Southwest, “Mavs Live Championship Celebration” coverage will shift to KDFW FOX 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth and FOX Sports Southwest Plus for a special season ticket holder-only event that will be held inside American Airlines Center.

Fans can go to mavs.com for more Championship Celebration information.