Saturday, September 29, 2012

The time we hiked Manitou Incline

So I just wanted to go back and do a review on an awesome hike we did this summer. We took a road trip out to Colorado Springs to see my son and daughter in law and of course my gorgeous granddaughter. 

We happened to be there during the horrible fire. So many people were evacuated and so many things were closed. We had wanted to go to Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods both of which were closed most of the time we were there. At the end of our trip we went to Manitou Springs (the whole town had been evacuated) and we spent the day shopping and had lunch. Manitou Springs is a cute little town nestled right at the base of Pike's Peak. We also noticed the Manitou Incline going straight up towards Pikes Peak.  We weren't able to go up Pikes Peak either by car or the train the whole trip because of the fire so this incline hike was very intriguing. 

What is the Manitou Incline? It was originally a cable car to for materials and I think people right up the base of Pikes Peak. It eventually fell into ruins and wasn't used but locals used it for a crazy workout. Part of it is on private property so my research kept warning that it was illegal to hike up it. But I think it's legal now. 

It basically goes 1 mile straight up the mountain. Elevation gain is 2000 ft with an average grade of 40% but the max grade is 68%!!!!!  It was crazy! I turned on my running app and here is the chart:

Apparently some of the Olympic athletes run up it for training. Apollo Ohno ran up it unofficailly in 17 minutes. I was going to hike it with my husband and son andallthe girls chose to sit this one out. I was thinking it would take about an hour. They are in great shape and I felt like I was in pretty good shape. We had been running alot for training and I thought by then I was used to the elevation. Everything I read said an hour would be a pretty good time. My husband and son basically hit the trail and took off. This is what I saw of them:

I was left gasping for air. I was shocked at how I still wasn't used to the altitude. When we toured the Olympic training center they said it takes about 3-6 weeks to acclimate and I believe it. The most steep parts I was stopping about every 10 steps. I finally joined a family and their 8 and 10 year old daughters were very encouraging to me. It was very sweet. I think I could have passed them but it was nice to have some company. And at the steepest parts I was getting dizzy and so scared I was going to fall. Yikes. Some parts of the trail were pretty torn up and hard to maneuver up.

I think I saw 2 or 3 people running down but most people take the alternative hike down which I think is 4 miles. It took my husband and son 1 hour to make it to the top. Then they came back to get me and I made it at about 1:10. It was definately a hike of a life time and the view was incredible.

Me and my husband 

And with my handsome son.

The trail we took down (NOT the incline) is also the trail they use for the Pike's Peak Marathon. You basically run 13.1 miles up the trail and 13.1 miles down the trail. We saw alot of people running up and down. It was awesome and I'm so glad I did it. You never know if you'll ever have the opportunity again so you might as well. Carpe 
Diem, yolo, and all that:)

One crazy thing I read about the Manitou Incline was they have an Incline Beer Mile as well. No light beer. Every 400 meters you drink a beer. Don't puke or you're disqualified.
Winner did it in 25:45. Here's the video to inspire you. 

So if you find yourself in Colorado Springs you really should hike up the Inclune. Take your time, enjoy the view and don't forget your water ....or beer;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Running and random pictures

Had to share this first off because I thought it was so funny. Saturday Night Live did a slit on The Real Housewives of Disney. Super funny;)
So...CIM training continues. Last week I ran 12 on Sunday before church. I had just the beginning if a scratchy throat and low and behold I got a cold later that day. I knew something was brewing and was glad I snuck in that long run before it hit. Luckily, it really limited itself to just being congested and only lasted a couple of days. But I was still feeling out of whack this weekend so I only did 10 for my long run ( I was supposed to run 13 but swapped it on my plan). 

So reading all thes blogs with everyone running 18-20 miles already for the CIM is throwing me off. I'm trying to just stick to my plan as this is my first marathon and my goal is simply to finish. I need to remind myself that those fancy schmancy bloggers are super fast and trying to BQ. Soo...I'll just keep to my plan thank you very much.

I started this running nonsense about a year and a half ago. My sister had run a 5K and I thought "well if she can do so can I." I got the Couch To 5K app on my IPhone and started off slowly. So slowly in fact that my husband kept teasing me. The program really starts super easy. Running only for 1 min increments walking 1.5 min for 8 reps. I could have jumped forward but I really just followed the program. 

I had also just purchased an editing app for pictures (Camera +) and so I would often snap pictures during the walk part, run again then edit the picture the next time I walked. Obviously I wasn't pushing myself at all if I could do all that on a "run"!! I'd come home and show my husband and kids my pictures and they would laugh at my little training program. Here are some of the pics during that time:

So maybe I was slacking off! Hehe
I don't take pictures anymore but I think about it all the time. In fact I just saw some new cows down the street I want to get a picture. ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Training stalled then jump started

Well, I feel like a dropped off the face of the earth for awhile. But....I'm back!! Here's what happened. This whole past year all I can think about is finishing a marathon. I'm obsessing about a marathon. Can I do it? How can I train? Will I get injured? Which one should I sign up for? You get the picture. So, I finally gear up and after I finished the Salinas Valley Half, I signed up for the California International Marathon.

It seemed like the perfect race. Not too far from home (yes, a hotel room but not too far to drive to). I studied the weather patterns :

During the CIM's history, the vast majority of the races have had perfect running conditions - no rain, very light winds and temperatures that range in the low 40s (F) at the start to the upper 50s/low 60s (F) at the finish.  There were less than a handful of CIMs with noticeable rain (15%) and two of those rain days (7%) were described as storm conditions with gusting winds. CIM

The elevation seems ideal. Starting at 366 feet and ending at 26 feet. 

Perfect. Ideal. Awesome. Amazing. 

But as soon as I signed up I suddenly felt blah. Nothing. Not excited. Dreaded running. Ugh. What happened?!?!?! That lasted for a couple of weeks and I was seriously wondering what the heck happened. Even an easy 3-5 mile run was dreadery. But, thankfully, things have turned around. I did that nice 10 miles on the treadmill. It wasn't fun but I did it. Then I did some short runs. One I did with my husband and it sucked. It was only about 5 miles but I had no motivation. Then I did an awesome 8 miles alone. Was supposed to do 7 but did an extra mile because everything felt great.  so things are feeling better and I'm getting more motivated. 

This  past weekend we went to Paso Robles with some friends and had a great time. Did some wine tasting and water park with the kids. My friend and I even got in a 6 mile run. Was supposed to run 5 but once again it was another great run. We ran along the vineyards past a couple of wineries and it was very pretty. 

So now I'm back on track. Things are feeling good. I'm trying to go to Crossfit for a few more weeks then I might switch to just cross training on my own. I really don't want to get injured so I might step back from it for a bit. 

Well, that's about it with me. Wanted to post this great Crock Pot Chili recipe we made over the weekend. So yummy and it makes alot so plenty of leftovers. 
Here is the recipe.

And finally I got a new app for my phone. (just what I needed. Ha!) just so I can obsess some more. Here's a look :

Short run tonight after my daughter's water polo game, Crossfit tomorrow and then 12 mile long run this weekend. 

Any advise in staying focused? Motivated?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Day in Leavenworth

Ah....home sweet home. We just flew home this afternoon. Learned alot this weekend about traveling with someone with Alzheimer's. Traveling with my mom was like traveling with a child and I felt like I had to be right there by her side. I could tell she was a bit nervous...maybe a little overwhelmed at times. But I'm so glad we went. We had a wonderful visit with my sister and it was heartwarming to see my mom  meet her new great grand baby. 
Yesterday we drove to Leavenworth, Washington and it was awesome!  

Leavenworth is a cute little Bavarian themed town located about 2.5 hours east of Seattle. It is a beautiful drive along Hwy 2 with steep mountains, lush green trees and runs along a river. Beautiful. 

Leavenworth was established in the early 1900s but was a struggling town until about 1960 when Owen and Pauline Watson, local business owners visited Solvang, California. They had a vision that Leavenworth could be a themed town and boy did it help the local economy. Now it a thriving tourist destination with year round activities.  In the summer they have kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, outdoor theater! Oktoberfest inthe fall! Winter has skiing, dog sledding!  In the little town square they had a little polka band and art festival.

My sister had rented a wheelchair for my mom and we spent the afternoon walking around looking in little shops. 

A shop full of nutcrackers. (Very expensive nutcrackers. Yikes! Like $600!)

The mouse king was only $250. 

Cuckoo clock anyone?  

Even checked out the hat shop.  We all tried on hats until my sister said it was elder abuse.

Little Jenny was just the sweetest little tourist there. Such a sweet baby. 

So the day was pretty fun. I'd love to go back with my family and I think my kids would love it. The outdoor theater this summer was doing Sound of Music and Annie get your Gun. And the river looked really pretty. My husband would have lived where we had lunch- the Leavenworth Sausage Garten by Cured. 

Bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad and a beer. Yup...his kind of lunch ;)
(the beer wasn't quite this dark. It was a local IPA and was good.)

Did I mention the glorious weather was in the mid 70's!?  I love Washington in the summer! Glorious! After checking out the shops we headed back. 

I decided to split up my long run because I didn't want to leave my mom too long by herself in the room. It was like leaving a child alone- worried she would wander out. Ugh. It was a bit nervewracking. So I did 6 miles in the morning and 4  in the evening. The hotel treadmill was miserable with no tv, no music, no view. Ugh. Just look at the pool. Oh was done. 

Anyone ever visit a themed town? 

Anyone love cuckoo clocks? Nutcrackers? ( I have some cheap Nutcrackers from Target but no authentic ones from Germany)