Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mountain Man

Saturday, I decided to try a more challenging running course. There is this trail up to the top of the hill/mountain in front of my house. The high school cross country team calls it "radar" because of the radio and tv transmitters up at the top. It is very steep. I have hiked it several times and it is a steep hike. But anyway, I figured if the high school kids run it just for training, I should be able to have at least some shot at getting to the top.

Well, not so much. I did get almost to the top. I went up (what I afterward figured out was) 2.5 miles and was within sight of the top, but time ran out. I allowed myself 40 minutes going up in order to have half that time to get back down within an hour, before my wife called 911. The climb was about 1,400 ft, starting at my house at about elev. 1,250 or so. The top is about elev, 2,900, so I was probably about 250 below the summit, and maybe another half mile. If I had more time, I would have gone all the way. Someday.

I also could not truly say that I "ran" the whole distance, as I had to walk up most of the steep parts, and more and more of them the farther up I went.

Still, I thought it was a huge accomplishment. My wife thought I was crazy to even try it. I got back and said to her that I am not in good shape, as I was not able to run the whole way. She really went off on me for saying that, as she said it was incredible just to do it at all, and that I was in great shape. I guess "shape" is all relative.

It wasn't the fastest five miles I have ever run, but it was the hardest. My calves were sore for several days. I don't know if the soreness was due to going up the hill or going back down.

I'm not sure if I really should have done that run, but I'm proud of myself for trying. It was a lot harder than I expected. I knew it was a lot of up hill, but I had not remembered just how steep it gets. I really don't know how the high school cross country team does it, or if they actually run it. It is so steep, with loose sandy areas on the road, that truly running the whole thing hardly seems possible for most mere mortals like me. My wife asked why I would do it, and the reason is that I think I need to keep challenging myself to go beyond my comfort zone and push myself. One way is by trying for more speed. One way is with trying longer distances. And one way is with steeper and higher mountains. And raising 203 pounds 1,400 feet must use up quite a few kilocalories. I'm going to have figure out the conversion.

OK, I figured out the conversion. Shucks. Raising 203 lbs 1,400 feet only burns 92 calories. Oh, well, it was still a good workout.

1 comment:

InTheFastLane said...

I used to be able to run the whole thing. But, the last time I was there I was dying to get 20 minutes up. I don't know how far that was, but that was starting from your house so that includes the hill to get to the beginning of the trail. I would consider myself in decent shape, but hill type shape in a whole different thing. And as you know, I don't get a lot of hills here. Although my last long run had hills and it felt great. I think I am made for hill running. So, I need to run well on Sunday and get to Boston :)