Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is summer finally on the way?

Winter has had a tight grip on the weather here in Colorado and it appears it does not want spring to appear anytime soon. However, this weekend spring got the upper hand and we finally saw a beautiful, Colorado weekend; sunny and warm! Thank god for that, I was beginning to get depressed with all the gloomy weather we have been having.

With a nice weekend coming I, of course, planned a lot of outdoor activities. I'm already longing for the freedom I had last summer, when I could take off at a moment's notice with no worries. Not anymore, I have to plan for the weekends like all the rest of you mere mortals out there.

Friday night I saw "Ironman" (awesome movie!) then Saturday the plan was to run in the morning then help mom with her garage sale. My social plans the night before had me out kind of late so I bailed on the run and instead did what every good daughter should do and spent the day helping mom.

Sunday was my 'big workout day' - I planned a brick workout, which is a training session that involves two or more different disciplines (ie trail running, hiking, mountain biking, etc), one after another. I was planning on doing 15 miles on the bike, then spend three hours hiking Eagles Peak at the Air Force Academy. You know what they say about best laid plans?

I woke up and was not motivated AT ALL to get out there, so I dragged my feet for a couple of hours. I finally got my butt in gear and headed to the Santa Fe Trail with my bike, only to be derailed by a problem with my gears - I could only get into 3 gears; low, medium and high. I suppose it was kind of funny to see me pedaling like speedracer on crack - I even ran into a fence during one of my 'changing the gear' phases. At that point I was sincerely wishing the trail was somewhere else and not next to a highway - I got lots of honks during that little incident.

Because of my mechanical failure I turned around early and only did about 6 miles. I then headed to the Air Force Academy, one of the most beautiful places in the world and an outdoor paradise. It's one of my favorite places - I grew up not too far from it and have wonderful memories of attending football and basketball games and various other events.

I was meeting my friend Tori to hike Eagles Peak on the grounds of the Academy (see pic above)- we had been trying to get together to do this hike for months and our schedules had finally converged to make it work!

Let me just start by saying that I have found the perfect trail for training - this trail had everything; boulders, scree, icy climbing, incredible views, all in a very steep climb (2000 vertical feet in 1.25 miles). I figure if cadets use this for their training then I should definitely add it to my list.

Tori has climbed this thing numerous times and knew all the ins and outs of the trail, which was good because there were times when the trail wasn't visible and without her I would of been hopelessly lost on my way to the summit. It started fairly mellow but then proceeded to a relentless climb - it just never ended. It took us 2 hours to get to the top (mostly because I kept stopping - I have got to get my hiking legs back!) and from the top we were rewarded with an amazing view of the Academy and the front range. It made the climb worth it.

Coming down was fun - scree on a steep slope is pretty hard to navigate when you have forgotten your trekking poles (what a dolt I am). There was a lot of sliding on my butt and of course the day wouldn't of been complete if there wasn't a fall (there was) and blood coming from some part of my body.

This was a great trail and one I would recommend if you want a challenge, but the best part of the day was spending it with Tori. We haven't been able to spend much time together due to crazy schedules and I loved spending time with her. Thanks for a great time hon!

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