Monday, May 30, 2011

Nature Trail Nightmare

May 29, 2011
So it’s 9 o’clock in the morning.  My sister and I are having coffee.  She mentions the hike.  “Are we doing it?” I ask. 
“Do you want to do it?” she asks.
“No!!” I respond with much emphasis and my brow furrowed.
“We don’t have to!” she retorts.
“I KNOW!!” I respond.
We’re doing the hike.  There’s no reason not to.  I’m here, and I know I can do it and survive.  It sucks, and I don’t like it at all; but it is a challenge that I cannot let defeat me.
My brother-in-law packed up Camelbaks for us, and we drove down to the start of the trail.  I took a deep breath, and off we go.  The first 7/10 of a mile isn’t so bad. It’s really more my cup of tea.  Kind of flat, nice scenery.  I was already dripping from my head and had a wet spot on my shirt, so I know I’m working.  Then the stairs start to come.  And come.  And come.  This go round, I gave myself a break.  I allowed myself to stop and let my heart rate come back down from 165 or 170 to 145 or 150 before moving forward, even if that meant I had to stop in the middle of an ascent. 
We were a little over a mile and around 35 minutes into it when my sister asked me if I wanted to turn around.  We could just turn around and it would be a great workout, too.  We didn’t have to keep going if I didn’t want to.
“YES! LET’S DO THAT!” I shouted (In my head).  I wanted so badly to say yes.  What I actually said was, “No, let’s go.”  So onward and upward we went.  I didn’t allow myself to look at the emergency exits, not that they look very inviting anyway.  They actually look more like a dare.  If you choose to take an emergency exit, you have to trek down jagged loose rocks down what looks like a dried up creek.  The only thing missing is cobwebs and rain clouds. 
Allowing the breaks rather than just pushing and pushing made a big difference.  Toward the end, I knew where my mistake had been the last time when I had messed up my calf.  On the downward flights, I had not been able to control my steps.  Rather than stepping, I was basically just throwing my feet around to get through it.  Now I had more control and more strength to make it through.  I recognized part of the trail now, so I knew when to start listening for cars to know we were close.  There are a few more small flights of stairs right at the end, so I kept thinking it was the last one.  So I booked it on the steps.  Then there was another one, so I thought that was the last one, so I booked it again. Then there was another set, and I was shouting “You’ve got to be kidding me!!!”  And then it really was over.   Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes, total elevation: 806 feet, pulse: present!
When we got back to my sisters place, I crash onto the floor to stretch.  And then my sister says, “Ab Ripper X, let’s do it!”   Well, I was already on the floor.  So she puts in the P90X video, and we do 16 minutes of nightmarish ab exercises.  I have to confess, I completely skipped the leg climbs.  The rest of the exercises, I at least attempted to complete them.  THEN we were done.
After showering, we went to Rudy’s for barbeque.  While we were standing in line, my daughter asked me if I was okay.  She said I looked so sad and worried.  No, not sad, just exhausted!  After wolfing down approximately 750 calories of meat and sides, I felt ever so much better.   Since I had burned at least a thousand on the trail and the ab video, I didn’t feel too bad about the calorie consumption.
While on the trail, my sister told me for my birthday, she would help me buy a pair of running shoes.  So we went to a store called Texas Running Company where they put me on a treadmill to watch me run and record my stride. Then they showed me how I was not supinating, I was overpronating.  She recommended a light stability shoe and brought out several.  Once I had one pair on, she put me back on the treadmill, and you could see on the video how it corrected my stride!  I was so impressed!   After trying on four pair, I ended up with a Brooks shoe.  I am very excited, although I probably won’t break them in until Tuesday.
It was a great day. When it’s all said and done,  I’m  glad we decided to do the hike from hell.  I wonder if there will ever come a day when it’s not a nightmare.  Right now, all I can do is dream of a day when I’ll look forward to it.


  1. It WAS a great day and I'm so glad you were here to do the hike with me. We certainly motivated each other to make it because I could have easily been convinced not to. But half way through and certainly after, I was SO glad that we did. As always, you rocked it and I'm so proud of you. Go WP! :-)

  2. Can't wait to hear how fsat you are in your new shoes!!!

  3. Way to go Candi!!! I'm so proud of you for completing the hike. I knew how much you didn't want to do this, but you conquered it. Can't wait to see you passing me up in your new shoes.