Wednesday marked the day of my real reason for making the trip back to Colorado. That was the day I planned to beat The Incline.
The months leading up to my trip, I worked diligently to strengthen my legs and my stamina, knowing I’d have to overcome the altitude and lack of oxygen. I was also determined not to slow down Abby, who I know is an Incline expert, and who agreed to make the trek up with me. Heck, she went just the week before to test it out for us and beat her best time. So yeah, I was bound and determined to not look like a sloth.
The trail started out relatively flat, but got steep pretty quick. I was breathin’ heavy right away, but soon fell into a groove.
There wasn’t much talking going on, as I was saving my breath, but I managed to sputter out a few words. “What kind of time are we lookin’ at?” And “Ugh, I thought THAT was the top.”
Every once in a while, I picked my head up to look around and admire the view, but mostly, my head was down and I trudged along.
At times, the people in front of me would “pull over” for a drink and a rest. I just kept on going. I basked in the glory of passing someone, even though it seemed to take a great deal more effort. Abby would say good morning to each person we went by. I barely managed a grunt. Hopefully she was polite enough for the both of us.
As I took my last step, I turned to face Abby only a few steps behind me. 34:05 she stated with a smile and a high 5.
34:05! WAY better than the 50 minutes I had set as a reasonable goal for a flat lander. And only two minutes slower than her best time. My chest swelled, and not just from trying to suck in the thin air. I was proud of myself.
We wandered around the top of the incline a while. Abby pointed out the guys who were lifting a barbell over their heads. We questioned how they got it up there, but then got our answer when they took it apart, split up the pieces, and ran down the mountain. We just stood out of the way. Best to let them go first. They were making me look bad anyway.
We made our way down the 3 mile trail, occasionally having to get out of the way of runners. I could barely keep from skidding while walking. No way was I gonna run. Besides, I remember how painful it is to run down a steep hill. And I t was nice chattin’ with Abby. I didn’t want to ruin it by panting through it all.
By the time we got down, I was starving. We went to a place known for their big portions, and they didn’t disappoint. I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t finish it all, but I gave it a great effort.
We went our separate ways for a little while to shower and rest up for our next set of stairs at Seven Falls.
Here’s where I was proud of Abby. She’s afraid of heights, and I know from watching my Hubby, that fear can be paralyzing. But she pushed her fears aside and climbed up the steep “ladder” where we were awarded with beautiful views.
I went first on the way back down, hoping to block her view. It’s really is a steep drop, and this is only from halfway up….
It was a great day. Everything I dreamed it would be and more. Abby, thanks for sharing the day with me. And get ready! I’ll be back for bigger and better things…..