My intent this morning was to hike the incline twice: one to see the sunrise, and again for the exercise.
I woke up at 5am, got a cup of coffee, and opened my front door to look at the mountains: fog/clouds were covering them. I couldn’t even see the light atop Pikes Peak. That settled it: I was going back to bed.
I woke up briefly again at 6:50 am to get the kids off to school, then snoozed until the cats woke me up at 11:10am. I looked outside: no serious clouds over the area I intended to hike.
I quickly made a quesadilla and downed it with a glass of milk (those of you who know me know what that means) and made it to the incline in record time. As I was driving up Ruxton Ave I saw someone I’d met at the 14er Happy Hour, offered him a ride the rest of the way, but he declined (presumable because he was on a date).
It was frosty but not too cold (around 30 degrees) when I started. I began at 12 noon and decided to take it slow, mainly because I intended to do this twice today.
I trudged along, leap frogging with Eric for a bit, and then finally hiking on my own for the last quarter mile or so. I summited in 40 minutes, which was slow for me but reasonable since I’d intentionally paced myself. I took a summit selfie to prove I’d made it, and continued back down (after chatting with the girl hiking with Eric: she and I made it at about the same time… he was a bit behind).
The entire 3 miles back down the Barr Trail I debated if I should actually hike the incline again? I wanted to, but I was worried I was short on time. I needed to be back for cookie appointments, and a shower was essential beforehand. I could just go home and run for 40 minutes or so on the treadmill, but wasn’t that why I was out here today? Because I didn’t WANT to run the treadmill? I wanted to hike outside…
The trail was covered in snow… I was wearing microspikes and kind of walk/jogging my way down. (Note to self: get tighter pants, my yoga pants kept falling down as I tried to jog).
The last part of the Barr trail has a very small incline up about 15 steps. I hiked up them and thought: “Nope, I’m done for the day, this hurts” and continued towards the parking lot.
I made it to my truck, realized it was only 1:30pm, and knew I had PLENTY of time to do it again. So I did. Why run on a treadmill when I could hike in the mountains? I told myself I wouldn’t worry about time: I’d just trudge on and see how long it took me. I kept a slow and steady pace, and it was actually easier the second time. Maybe because I’d warmed up? Or maybe because I wasn’t worried about my time. I met lots of fun people along the way, and summited in 42.57 minutes (we’ll go with 43 minutes). Not too bad, considering it was my second time up today!
I again took the Barr Trail down, and when I was about a mile from my truck started texting my kids about pick-up, after school clubs, etc. Emily actually wanted to stay an extra hour and a half, so I had plenty of time. I mentally congratulated myself for making the right choice and hiking the incline twice. All in all, today I did 4200’ of elevation gain, and just under 8 miles in 3 hours. Woot!
I’m thinking this would be a proper 14er comparison if I could bump it up to 4 rotations. Next time maybe I’ll try 3…