Saturday, March 14, 2009

Peak Performance

8:00am: It felt pretty good to sleep in! I actually woke up at 7 to do my treatments before the walk and hike this morning, but that extra hour of sleep was refreshing. When I woke up I was coughing up a decent amount of mucus that was dark yellow in color, so I'm thinking that is stuff that has worked it's way up. By the time I took off for the walk my flem was clear. It was a very leisurely stroll this morning and shorter than usual. Mandi and I walked to the store to pick up some bananas, apples, and granola bars for our hike later. As of right now, I don't know where we're going to hike, but there are plenty of options here in the valley. Which ever peak we choose better have ambulance access cause this could be interesting.Total Distance: 1.0 mile

9:30am: We decided to hike today and I would go to the gym tomorrow. I think I need to stay away from the gym once a week and hike the day I don't go. Today we decided to hike Squaw Peak. Squaw peak starts at 1400 feet and ends at 2860 feet. Driving there I was planning on making it to the summit which is a 1.2 mile hike (2.4 miles round trip). One hiking website said that it was a strenuous hike and did not recommend children. I'm not a child, so I figured I could do it. The peak was extremely busy which was nice to see. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this great weather. We pulled up to the parking area and I took a look at the peak and thought to myself, "This doesn't look too bad". I was really looking forward to see what I could do.

Then I actually started the hike. About 100 yards into it my legs burned and felt dead and my lungs seemed very small. I was going to be in trouble. After a little while my legs kinda went numb but my lungs were hurting and my heart was pounding. Many parts of the trail are just like climbing flights of stairs. The only difference is that they are rocks and usually jagged and odd shaped. When we hit the .75 mile marker we had already stopped about 20 times so I could catch my breath and get my heart rate down. At some points my heart rate reached 160bpm but was generally in the 150 range while hiking. When we would stop, I would get a drink of water and get my heart rate back down to under 130bpm. At the .75 mile marker Mandi and I were negotiating on how far we would end up going. We reached the marker in 45 mins so we were thinking about just taking it to one mile. As we hiked a little further and around a bend, we were able to see the summit. Mandi asked if I wanted to turn around and go back to the car. There was no way. There was no way that I was going to turn around and go back to the car when I could see people hanging out at the place I wanted to be.

The only problem was at that moment, the hardest part of the hike began. It was more straight up with huge rock steps. I wasn't sure I was going to make it but I figured that the worst that could happen is that I die trying. Mandi picked out a mother and daughter who were slightly behind us and said that we had to beat them. I'm always up for a challenge. It was a classic race to the finish. They passed us at one point because I had to take a break. My pulse was racing and I couldn't pull any air in. We kept truckin' and eventually passed them when they tuckered out. After passing them, I was always looking over my shoulder to make sure that we would finish first.After 1 hour and 45 mins we reached the summit. You could see every part of the valley and the view was breath-taking (I just don't know if it was really the view or the fact the I had just climbed 1.2 miles of mountain stairs). We rested at the summit and ate a granola bar. On the way back down, Mandi set a goal of getting back down in under an hour. We actually managed to get back down in 40 mins. There were parts of the trail back down that I actually ran because it was flat enough (granted, my longest stretch of running was about 30 yards).

The car was .3 miles away and I really wanted to run to it. Uh, yeah, didn't happen. Nice try slick. My legs felt like they weighed 600 pounds each and I almost fell over trying to tie my shoe they were shaking so bad.We finally got back to the car and headed to our other weekend tradition. Good ol' Dunkin' Donuts.

I know one thing, I certainly run on Dunkin'....I think I took that a bit too far. Sorry.

Total Distance of Hike and to the Car: 3.0 miles

Total Distance Run/Walk/Hike: 4.0 miles