Sunday, January 17, 2010

Group March #1--Holy Climbing Batman

Today was a good test of, can we do this...can we finish the race alive and in the upright position....

This pic is of Ryan, Scott and Kevin.

First, some facts: the course is a trail, an out and back 8 mile course. There were 4 of us. Ryan, Scott, Kevin and I. Ryan had 48 lbs, Scott had 25 lbs, Kevin had 48 lbs, I had 45 lbs. The weather was a little chilly-perfect for what we were about to do. We had some snacks and plenty of water with us on board too. Which-add at least 5 pounds to each of us just for that.

This pic is of Scott, Ryan and I.

We started out all jovial-talking. Laughing. Talking about the weather, the march, people and whatnot. Then came the hill. The hill by any other standards would require climbing ropes I am sure of it. I was leading the way and the steepness of the hill and climbing up the rock steps was plain grueling. You keep stepping up, up, up, up. I tried alternating the leg I was leading with to even the burden out. Didn't help much. I was worried with each step that I was getting weaker and weaker that the 50 pounds on my back would pull me backwards and I would be the catalyst to take us all out on the hill-like a domino or snowball falling down a hill. Our trek was literally 4 miles uphill to the turn around and 4 miles downhill home to the car. Both-intensely demanding. As we were going up the hill, I was breathing like I had asthma. I mean it was tough. Sweat was pouring off of me. I couldn't drink the water quick enough-plus, quicker to lighten the load. We pulled over to the side several times for a breather, to bend forward and have the weight of the pack off of the shoulders. Even for a second-it makes a difference.

This pic is of Scott and Ryan taking a break.

At one point, I saw a big bunny rabbit and said to Kevin if he had seen it. He said I was hallucinating....I swear it was there. We saw a few other hikers-one guy was running-show off. Oh wait, he wasn't toting 50 lbs-wimp. Finally, we made it to the turn around point. I should note that Kevin brought the GPS to keep us on track. I was walking along listening to "My Humps"..."What you gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside yo trunk" I adapted it to my pack, whatcha gonna do with all that rice all that rice in your pack...then Kevin starts yelling out, Stop, Stop, Stop. Apparently, at that exact spot in the middle of yet another hill, it was time to turn around. Hurray.

Here is the pic of Kevin consulting the GPS...

Going down was just as hard. Fear of falling was high. Fear of turning an ankle was high. Scott was sort of running at times. How he ended up in front, the guy with the lighter pack. He led off like he was in the Olympics. Kevin and Ryan said they would throw rocks at him to slow him down. I said I would take a prickly pear cactus and smack him in the face. He slowed down.

This is a pic of the packs taking a break, Ryan's, Scott's, Mine and Kevin's.

I should note that Scott wasn't being a wimp or anything by having 25 lbs. My original training plan called to have that weight for this march, Kevin, Ryan and I are just crazy and thought going big would be the way to go. I am seriously considering dropping to 5 lbs-since I can barely lift my glass of wine while I type this.

A view from the hike.

Last night Kevin asked if I would adjust the weight distribution in his pack. He had originally various bottles of fluid, Gatorade, Pedialite, V-8 and some rice. So I fixed it with beans, rice and a few Gatorade bottles and evened it out. He came back from putting Matthew to bed and I said, I evened it out and it weighs 48 pounds. He didn't find that amusing. Guess he thought it would be lighter....

I am on top of the world...or a hill picture.

My daughter asked me if I would be putting any more weight in mine. The answer was not no, but, hell no. Mine is all rice and beans.

In Ryan's pack, he has a tow chain and some rice. Scott has free weights. Will had bird seed and free weights. Whatever works.

I digressed...the weight of the pack is intense and encompasses your brain all the time...

So, we were heading down the mountain/hill and the fear of falling was pretty intense. We passed a lot of day walkers with their little packs of camera, granola bars and water. With their walking sticks. One guy wasn't at the point where he needed his stick and nearly speared Scott.

Okay, this is soo distracting. We are watching a show with the top 100 Chowdown Countdown. Such awesome food, a cheese steak with nacho sauce. Chocolate fountain. Garbage plate. BBQ, sausages. OMG...the food. Pulled pork sandwiches. Sundaes. Pies. The Cherry Cricket in Colorado-burger joint with a choice of 23 toppings. Holy burger. They have a dart board you throw a dart at if you can't decide. Amazing idea. Frozen custard in Milwaukee. Warning-none of this is fat free. The 2400 calories burned today allow you at least a stop at one of these places.

Where was I. T.V. food network. I want a slice of pie now. So, we are going to Fuddruckers tomorrow for burgers. Focus....

A slice of Kevin's Birthday Pie.

We were coming down the hill and we were passed by a lot of folks coming up. They smelled nice, looked happy-if only they had a pack on their back-what did we look like to them? A couple of larger folks passed us, which I thought-good for them-they are out there doing something. Then it got me thinking. I have the weight they have on their body as fat, on my back. How hard it must be to lug that around all the time. Makes you think about the strain on the body of people overweight.

Our car was at the end of the road you see in the distance.

We got to the truck and Kevin said, we aren't quite at 8 miles, we need to walk .15 of a mile still. So, we walked that extra bit to this sign for the .15.

Back at the truck we compared injuries and soreness. I tried to do a high five, I could only get my hand half way up to like a mid-five. The rest of the day, I felt like I ran a half marathon or more. I am more drained then sore. My shoulders hurt, I have some pain in my knee and have soreness-like when you get the flu and you ache.

Question remains-can we make it the whole way, upright. Yes. Today's terrain was steeper and harder. The weight in the pack was heavier. We can make it...with a lot of aleve and Motrin!! Until the next update-marching along with my asshole....the pack of course.

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