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!
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