I have so many things going through my head and no time to process all of it. I decided to break this in to two blogs. I really want to post about the fun I had with SparkFriends, but I'm a chronological order kind of gal so first things first.
We went "camping" for the first time in quite a while. I say "camping" because we ended up using our tiny trailer as not much more than a tiny hotel room on wheels.
Friday afternoon we were lucky to be able to take off a bit early to drop off our trailer and head out to revisit my first mid-term goal from a year ago - a hike up a "rock" on the Columbia River. This was to be our third hike on this rock and I really wanted to do it twice if the weather was ok and if we felt like we had the legs for it. Depending on the source, it is something like 600 feet of elevation gain in .9 mile.
We arrived later than planned in the middle of pouring rain (and possible lightning as we heard the next day). We put on our rain coats and hiking shoes and headed up at a steady pace while half-expecting the park ranger to come by and kick us off. Who is silly (or is that stupid) enough to climb a monolith-rock with metal rails next to a river in a driving rainstorm (and apparently lightening). At that time I still wasn't sure if we were going to try to do it twice or we may have gone for speed. We barely spoke or glanced at the spectacular views while carefully planting each foot on the very slippery trail (parts of it are slick wood ramps). When we reached what I thought was the last couple switchbacks I sped up for a good time.
Time to top - 19 mins and 20 seconds
We stopped to enjoy the view and grab a quick snack while the rain subsided. Oops - I forgot our snacks in the trailer about an hour back. We each had a little bit of what was in the backpack, drank some water and slowly hiked down as the rain intensified.
Towards the bottom I started talking about going up again. I was something meaningful for me. We returned to the car to look for more food and discussed if we could do it. We found no more food but decided to give it a try. At the point I knew I would do it again but I was a little worried about hubby. He's not good at reading his body when it comes to running low on energy.
Up the trail we went (saying hi again to three trail-colored salamanders who barely moved from their resting spots in the middle of the trail). We started at a slower pace because my legs were a little jello-y and hubby was hungry. Once we got to the shorter switch backs hubby said he was dizzy and asked to slow down. We walked up two more switchbacks when I asked if we should go back. We decided for me to go on while he took it slow and see how far he could go. At that point we realized we didn't have my phone or our 2-way radios. I put my head down and made tracks at a steady pace until the last two switchbacks where I turned up the power again. I got to the top, stopped my watch, looked at my heart rate and headed back down.
Time to top #2 - 23 mins and 34 seconds (HR 170)
WOW! I didn't expect that with the slower pace and stopping with hubby for a bit. I think I could have matched the first time if I tried. I had expected it would take as much as 40 mins the second time on tired legs
I didn't stay at the top long because there was no view beyond the cloud that engulfed me and I knew hubby would be a little worried. As I walked down, I reflected on how proud I felt and how far I've come. "Proud" isn't quite the right word. It's an overwhelming sense of accomplishment - of living - such a strong sense of being me and doing what I like to do. I've been thinking about the possibility of doing this hike two times in a row for a few weeks and I wasn't sure my knees could take it. My knees were great. My legs were great! The first time I did this hike I first realized that I had been wheezing. That issue is pretty much gone! Prior to that first hike, I walked and walked a route not far from my house with what I termed "the terrible hill." I failed at that hill a few times. Now less than a year I cut the time by more than half on a steeper and longer hike than that terrible hill. I reflected about how much better I feel in general. How happier I am. How much more hope I have for the future. How much I feel like I can do almost anything I want to do. Now I know I can complete another mid-term hiking goal towards the end of this month. I realized that all of these things are so much more important than the number on the scale and I needed that reminder this weekend. That feeling that I got at the top of the rock the second time was so much more than just feeling great about doing this hike/reaching the top twice in a row. It was worth so much.
I found hubby a few switchback down, and we proceeded back the car to find fuel for both the car and ourselves. In the end we split a healthy best-ever-sandwich. (Oh how I love how good food tastes after a good workout/ physical labor!).
We returned to our little traveling hotel room and hit the bed for an early day with SparkFriends. I'll post about that later. I also had a great NSV (smaller pants) that I can't seem to reconcile in my brain that I'll share.
For the record, here are my previous hike times for this trail:
1) 45:00 (day 66) July, 2011
2) 29:00 (day 148) October, 2011
3) 19:20 (day 392) June, 2012
4) 23:34 (day 392) June, 2012