At the beginning of this year I made out a list of goals I wanted to achieve. Other than eating fish once a week (which is improving, but not nearly consistant enough) I had one last goal to reach.
About an hour from my house is a place called Grouse Mountain. Up the side of this mountain is a trail that was built and is now known as the Grouse Grind. It is relatively short, 2.9 km / 1.8 miles ... however, it also has an elevation gain of 853 meters / 2800 feet with 2,830 stairs with an AVERAGE grade of 28%, often steeper.
2 minutes in you are already gasping for air and wondering why the heck you even started. 10 min in you're sure you are going to die, and soon, but the sheer volume of people following you up keeps you going and refusing to turn around.
It is an INTENSE workout. Not really what you'd call a hike. It is referred to as nature's stairmaster for good reason. You just climb, and climb, and climb (many of these steps I took TWO at a time). And on a nice, sunny weekend you do it with probably thousands of people.
I did this "hike" in May 2007 and it took me 1 hour & 32 minutes. That was pre-weight loss. Then Last August 2008, I did it again. I'd lost weight and was in much better shape so was looking for a big improvement in my time. However I was sadly mistaken and it still took me 1 hour and 25 minutes! I was very disappointed.
I knew I'd improve on that time. But I didn't realize until I checked back today how MUCH I had improved. As I approached the top, my son was waiting and he said "you're going to be under an hour - RUN!!!!" My personal trainer, he's tough and definitely is great for pushing me at the end. I did it in 58 minutes & 42 seconds. That's over 26 minutes better than last year, and 33 minutes better than 2007! WOW, that's all I can say!
My son finished in 46 minutes. When we got there he looked up from the parking lot and said "Crap, I forgot how high it is".
Feeling OK today, but my hips can definitely feel I did something different.
My goal was to do this climb in under 50 minutes, but I think now I can see that that was way too lofty. I may reach that one day, but not right now. I'm very happy with my time.
3 more days of shredding left! I had to miss 2 days at the end of the week but it was for very good reason and I don't feel at all guilty. Sometimes other things are just more important, and I more than make up for it.