Manitou Incline X 2

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My intent this morning was to hike the incline twice:  one to see the sunrise, and again for the exercise.

I woke up at 5am, got a cup of coffee, and opened my front door to look at the mountains:  fog/clouds were covering them.  I couldn’t even see the light atop Pikes Peak.  That settled it:  I was going back to bed.

I woke up briefly again at 6:50 am to get the kids off to school, then snoozed until the cats woke me up at 11:10am.  I looked outside:  no serious clouds over the area I intended to hike.

I quickly made a quesadilla and downed it with a glass of milk (those of you who know me know what that means) and made it to the incline in record time.  As I was driving up Ruxton Ave I saw someone I’d met at the 14er Happy Hour, offered him a ride the rest of the way, but he declined (presumable because he was on a date).

It was frosty but not too cold (around 30 degrees) when I started.  I began at 12 noon and decided to take it slow, mainly because I intended to do this twice today.

I trudged along, leap frogging with Eric for a bit, and then finally hiking on my own for the last quarter mile or so.  I summited in 40 minutes, which was slow for me but reasonable since I’d intentionally paced myself.  I took a summit selfie to prove I’d made it, and continued back down (after chatting with the girl hiking with Eric:  she and I made it at about the same time… he was a bit behind).

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The entire 3 miles back down the Barr Trail I debated if I should actually hike the incline again?  I wanted to, but I was worried I was short on time. I needed to be back for cookie appointments, and a shower was essential beforehand.  I could just go home and run for 40 minutes or so on the treadmill, but wasn’t that why I was out here today?  Because I didn’t WANT to run the treadmill?  I wanted to hike outside…

The trail was covered in snow… I was wearing microspikes and kind of walk/jogging my way down.  (Note to self:  get tighter pants, my yoga pants kept falling down as I tried to jog).

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The last part of the Barr trail has a very small incline up about 15 steps.  I hiked up them and thought: “Nope, I’m done for the day, this hurts” and continued towards the parking lot.

I made it to my truck, realized it was only 1:30pm, and knew I had PLENTY of time to do it again.  So I did.  Why run on a treadmill when I could hike in the mountains?  I told myself I wouldn’t worry about time:  I’d just trudge on and see how long it took me.  I kept a slow and steady pace, and it was actually easier the second time.  Maybe because I’d warmed up?  Or maybe because I wasn’t worried about my time.  I met lots of fun people along the way, and summited in 42.57 minutes (we’ll go with 43 minutes).  Not too bad, considering it was my second time up today!

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I again took the Barr Trail down, and when I was about a mile from my truck started texting my kids about pick-up, after school clubs, etc.  Emily actually wanted to stay an extra hour and a half, so I had plenty of time.  I mentally congratulated myself for making the right choice and hiking the incline twice.  All in all, today I did 4200’ of elevation gain, and just under 8 miles in 3 hours.  Woot!

I’m thinking this would be a proper 14er comparison if I could bump it up to 4 rotations.  Next time maybe I’ll try 3…

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Author: Laura M Clark

Mom, Solo Colorado 14er Finisher, Outdoor Enthusiast, Traveler, and Girl Scout Leader with an MBA in International Business and Marketing. I work in Software. I value adventure, growth, courage, wisdom, integrity, accountability, and family. I enjoy yoga, wine, traveling, reading, and the outdoors (especially hiking, backpacking, fishing, and camping). I strive to be the person who inspires and motivates myself and others to succeed.

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