If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hittin' the Stairmaster

I love Mondays!  The office is closed so Monday is my play day.  It is also a day I try to "mix" it up with some variety in terms of workouts.  My intention, over the summer, is to get some Monday bricks in - a run followed by a ride.  The "mix" today started with one of my "quick" faves - a climb up the Manitou Incline. 
Smiling and ready to get the climb "on"!
There was a steady line of people all the way up.  I think it was the largest crowd I have ever seen on a Monday.  It was interesting - there were people in all shapes, sizes, ages, varying levels of fitness (and non-fitness!), and a number of different languages being spoken along the way.  Everyone seemed to be reveling in the beautiful day.  The Incline seems to be its own tourist attraction!
After weaving my way through the "sea of humanity" to the top, I paused to enjoy the expansive view looking down and east over the city.  It was fun to see several groups of people cheering their friends when they hit that last step and the satisfied looks of accomplishment on their faces.  I love watching people and I love seeing them smile.  It makes me smile.
I decided to forgo the "normal" way down to Barr Trail (a steep, washed out trail that everyone uses) and found the preferred and little used trail that drops out a little farther up Barr.  It continues climbing straight ahead from the top of the Incline for a quarter of a mile or so and then starts a gentle drop to Barr.  The wind had really whipped up and parts of this connector are a bit exposed.  The harsh wind unsettles me a bit, anyways, and combined with the very secluded feeling on the trail,  was feeling a little "creeped" out.  I was more comfortable once I hit Barr and started the descent.  If I would have had some company, I would have loved to continue up to Barr Camp.
The gravel seemed to be extra slippery today - like running on marbles - so I exercised a little extra caution running down - didn't really care to do a face plant.  Thankfully, the descent was uneventful.  The above photo is one of the many switchbacks that make up the section called "the W's".  At the conclusion of the run, I was happy to note that my legs hadn't turned to jello.  Got my 2000 feet of stairclimbing in a mile, climbed a little more, then descended about 2250ish in 3 miles and felt good!  I "wimped out" on the bike ride - I just didn't have the fortitude that Steve had last Saturday to venture out into the nasty wind.  So I called it all good for the day.
Happy Trails to everyone this week!


ajh said...

You may not use the word wimp after that climb! As usual gorgeous pictures. Looks like a great day to be out.

Jennifer said...

All I can say is, it looks hard! (But fun too!)

Slomohusky said...

I am really intrigued with these stairs. One of these days we will be there to try this out along with some of your trails. Plus, of course to visit with my favorite Trail Runners.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kathleen,
Sounds like a great day! I know exactly where you were, & I too have gotten "creeped" out.. being there alone :) My fear was mountain lion - as just a few days prior to my being there, one was spotted.
Idea - How about our "trail run" date when we can plan it - be to do the Incline and run to Barr Camp and back - Since I'm doing Pikes Peak Ascent in August, I was planning on doing this several or more times prior to as part of my training, and it is one of my most favorite things to do! Let me know.. I'm out of school June 4th, so Monday's in June are open for me :)

HappyTrails said...

You are on, Tammy! Who knows, maybe a little training on the mountain may lure me into trying the Ascent one of these years - OR - maybe it will convince me I don't ever want do it! :-) Hey Jill, are you up for some hill work down here now and then over the summer???!!!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

What a stair workout! It looks tough!

Jill said...

Ok, I'm IN next time you go!! Let's get a Monday together and do it, I have heard so much about the incline but have never done it (nor seen it!). I'd even maybe run up to Barr Camp with you :). Of course, I love all your adorable pink :). Awesome job, girl!!!

Meg said...

I never, ever see other people on "your" trails! Yikes, a crowd! It looks fun and challenging, though! By the way, I do get very bored on the track and the only reason I go is to be with my husband and other friends! It's purely social!
Have a FUN weekend, I can't wait to see what adventures you'll be taking on!

ajh said...

I am not keeping track of all those splits for my half. I just looked up what my fastest pace would have to be and I went YIKES! I need to look up the pace for goal #4. None of these goals are easy for me but 3+4 are doable. I am not so sure about 1+2. I am worried about the heat but I just need to do my best (do I sound like a primary teacher) and have fun!

Average A said...

Those stairs look tough -- BUT FUN!!! Great workout!

Anonymous said...

That would be great to have in the back yard, and just hammer every once in a while!

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