Monday, March 14, 2011

Manitou Incline, Part Deux

Let's take a brief break from talking about how stupid I have been over the last couple of weeks and talk about something positive.  Yesterday, Niko and I went with the O'Dorisio clan to take on the Incline once again.  I was excited when I ran in to them at the club and they mentioned that they were going up to Manitou on Sunday morning.  I have been wanting to attempt it again and waiting for the weather to change.  But, despite knowing that the weekend weather was going to be decent, the Incline never crossed my mind.

Last time, I took quite a few breaks to let Lori and Kelly catch up.  Eventually, I decided to keep going and went alone for the last half.  When you get to the top, the most commonly heard conversations center around each individual's time to get to the top and how it compared to previous times.  Because I had stopped, I had no idea how long it would have taken me.  In addition, we had parked in the lot by Barr Trail and climbed up to a starting point that is a short distance closer to the top.  In my mind, I felt like I would have taken right around an hour and I was happy with that.  Add in five more minutes for the bottom portion that we skipped and call it 65 minutes or so.  I was bummed that I didn't have a time.  Not because I needed a number to go around telling people.  The reason I needed a number was that I needed something to beat the next time I tackled the Incline!

We set off and within only a couple of minutes it came back to me how hard the Incline really is.  I thought it would be easier.  Especially because of the cardio I have done since the last time, the weight I have lost, and the fact that I was now running at the club.  Not sure if it was because we were hiking every couple of weeks, but I think I might have felt better when I climbed it five months ago.  While this will offend you mothers out there reading this, I compare the Incline to pregnancy.  It's painful while you are going through it.  But, so incredibly rewarding when you are done.  Then you talk about it and show off the pictures and you remember all of the great things about it while forgetting the pain.  As soon as you do it again, you are quickly reminded of why you were so miserable the first time!  I wondered why I was doing it again... though I am ready to do it again next week. 

My goal was 45 minutes.  I realized rather early in the climb that I wasn't going to reach my goal.  But, I also realized that I could push through and possibly still break an hour.  I tried hard to push through my tired legs and heavy breathing as the 60 minute mark got closer.  In the end, I did it in 54 minutes... my new standard to measure myself against next time.  I was slightly bummed.  But then, instantly, I remembered that a year ago I weighed 305 pounds and would have died of a heart attack five minutes in.  When everyone got to the top, we took off running down the Barr Trail.  Twenty minutes later we were at the bottom again after covering three plus miles.  I felt great and, unlike the last time, I was able to run the entire time without resting. 

On the way back, my son turned to me and said that he was proud of me and proud of his mother and gave me a great big hug.  In the end, that's what all of this is about and far more important than my 54 minute time.  It was a nice moment after a great morning.  This morning I woke up to a soreness that wasn't quite as nice!  Here's to breaking 54...

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