Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hardest Run Ever...

We went camping in the Wichita Mountains Friday night. It was a camping trip planned around a little running.

After no sleep, I got up at the crack of dawn and put my running shoes that Penny either peed on or right next to in the middle of the night and we headed out to run to the top of Mount Scott. I didn't know until we got down there Friday night what the running plan was. I thought we were running trails, and I was a little relieved that we were not. I had not run for five days to give my previously sprained, rolled on the trails left ankle. After being swollen for two days I self prescribed five full days of no running.

I was a little relieved to not be running on trails, the road up Mount Scott was paved, and it was not open to traffic until 9am, so we got there at about 6:30 to begin our adventure.

This is what it looked like at 6:30 in the morning. The weekend was all about learning from our mistakes. Our major mistake before tackling this monster was that we didn't get ay warm-up miles in first. It was, after all, only three miles to the top. Only three miles, just a 5k, that's not even worth the dirty clothes. It's a good thing we had to run back down.

Right from the start we were going straight up. I thought I had done hills before, but this was different. It was amazingly hard. I love the feeling of running up a hill, right when you get to the top and you can feel gravity shift from behind you to in front of you when you start the downhill. Well that didn't happen for three whole miles. For the first half, we managed to run a half mile at a time before we needed a break and took some picture. The walk breaks after that were a little more frequent, and would sometimes only be a few steps.

Did I mention that there were people on bikes riding up and flying down as well? You know that sound, when you are riding up a tough hill, when you are using your granny gear, and you only have one gear left? When you switch to it, your chain makes a sound that could either be switching gears, or could be the chain giving up all toghether? We heard that sound a few times. There are not enough gears on my bike to get me up that hill. If I ever managed to get up on a bike, someone would have to drive to the top to pick me up because I would never get up the courage to actually ride my bike down the mountain. I am not exaggerating at all when I say they were flying.

We made it to the top and ran into our friend Julie. She had to give us a minute before she took this picture. I told her I didn't want to look like I was dying. The top was the only flat part of the route, after that it was ALL downhill.

Rochelle loves the downhill. I do not. My body doesn't handle the downhill very well, and I have to focus alot on standing up straight, shortening my stride and being careful to not make my IT band angry. Rochelle would run ahead and then run back up to meet me. She can be such a showoff. :-)

It really was a beautiful morning. Perfect temps and beautiful views. To bad it was complete torture to get them.

We did take time to get some pictures.

This was not too close to the side of the mountain, but we had to climb out to the rocks we were standing on.

Do we look like we were having a good time?
Six miles in about an hour and nine minutes. I will let you do the math to figure out the average pace. This was the hardest run I have ever done. I think it was harder than the last six miles of Cowtown, and those miles were unspeakably hard. There was another runner out there that was going to run this three times. Three! We did go back up for about a quarter mile after we got to the bottom, because we are crazy like that, and because we hate leaving our Garmins on a not round number. I told Ro that if she wanted to run it again I would wait for her in the car. Maybe we will do that next time, and I will be sure to not have two dogs in my tent that keep me awake the night before.
Oh yes, there will be a next time. That's the thing about runners, we love a good story. I would love to be able to run to the top of the mountain and not feel like it was killing me for three miles. Hills do make us stronger.


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