Monday, February 1, 2010

Can you say HILL?

Our adventure on Sunday was....grueling. Full of hills, hills, hills, hills and hills. Kevin, the grand master of pain put the course route together with the theory in mind, what kills you kills you. No wait, that wasn't it. Train harder then the race will be. Our route took us up Tumamoc "Hill". Let me clarify that this wasn't a hill, it was a flipping mountain. We walked, climbed, crawled up to the top. My legs were on fire, my shoulders were burning, I was dripping with sweat and we were only at the beginning of this march....

Who was there this time. The usual suspects, Will, Kevin, Ryan, Scott and me. I thought more would show up, but, to no avail. I can only hope they are putting in the mileage and the weight in the pack. We went half the distance of Bataan, 12.82 miles, but, I call it 13 miles!! Our route took us up/down Tumamoc through the city to the backside of A Mountain (which is smaller then Tumamoc "Hill"), cut across to Tumamoc-go up/down it to the car. It took us 4 hours and about 15 minutes. I cut out the 25 minutes we took to rearrange Will's pack. Here is Will after we arranged everything better. We were worried he was going to have a heart attack...

So here is our journey. We all met up across from a hospital-just in case. Not really, the parking was better there. We needed to wait for some time for Will to arrive, such a girl, always late. While we were waiting, Scott got his pack out and rice was leaking everywhere. Ploy to make bag lighter....I think so....we fixed his rice bag and we were good to go. I should mention, I have already bust a bag of beans. This made us giggle a lot at work. This is the view of A Mountain from Tumamoc.

Will arrives and off we go into the path to our death. We were the usual jovial talking about the weather, the view, work, the people and surroundings. Then it just kept getting steeper and steeper. Will was struggling some. Kept grabbing at his heart, said he had heart burn. I was concerned he would have a heart attack. His pack was bothering him too. We realized we didn't adjust his pack to the new centralized weight thing. I said, we can readjust when we get to the bottom, hang in there. Everyone gives me a hard time about being Mother Hen, but, you can ask Will how many times my little tricks and tools have saved us. I used one of the cable ties to make an adjustment to my pack. It was Kevin's idea of the cable ties and rubber bands. I will add duct tape to the list next time. I looked back at one point and saw Scott and Ryan discussing something and I got a ninja pic of Scott talking about his boot. Pretty funny.

We got to the top of the mountain, not a damn hill, the mountain and the views were spectacular. We had made it, now came going back down. The dynamics of going down hill are of mixed emotions. Great because you aren't climbing anymore, but, grueling on muscles not known existed before. My feet felt as though they would slide out the end of my boots. At one point I asked, is there smoke coming off of my boots? My feet are on fire. Did I mention that we were only on the first time coming up this thing and going back down? Will said, maybe we should just do the last time we come up without our packs... here is the view from the top.

So we made our trek through town to get to the back side of A Mountain. We walked past some seedy homes in a part of town you don't want to be in after 9pm or you may get shot. We also went past some college apartments where we saw the epitome of party pad. The beer bongs and the poor looking hung over dog.

Along the roadside we saw a lot of interesting things, I saw a discarded note that had PAIN on it. Hmm, how did they know? There was that dead skunk. The various doggy doo, beer bottles, bolts and discarded super gulp cups. It got me thinking of how many people at this moment may be doing the same thing-training for Bataan. So I said, hey, just think of all the people across the nation and further that are training for the same thing and Scott said, I wonder if they have to pee too. It was funny. We were walking by a school at the time-not really the place to take a whiz. I did see this sign that defined what will keep us going in the race and in our training.

Then we made the turn to go up the backside of A Mountain. Something to note, A Mountain used to be a volcano, it is an inactive one now. Not sure when it erupted before but, it became a topic of discussion in Cecilia's school and Matthew loves volcanoes. So I found a couple of lava rocks for them that I carried in my pocket. Like I needed more weight, but, they deserved it. I should mention that the going wasn't easy, thought I would fall to my death again and take out the people behind me.

So we made our way to the road. I should note, this is the second time I have been up A Mountain. The first time was on a bike, now with a 50lb back pack on. What is next Kevin, a pogo stick...just kidding. We made our way to the top and rewarded again with achievement and wonderful views. We had some great photo ops. One of which is my favorite of Kevin and I. Sunday was a difficult day for him with a very difficult memory of Benjamin. This helped ease the darkness for a little while.

Here is Scott and Ryan

Then we were back on our trek down A-Mountain. It was along this route that Scott was telling me the problems he was having with his feet. The blistering was bad on his heels, his ankle was feeling rough. So we knew we would lose them before going up Tumamoc again. But, before we lost them-we still had to get to Tumamoc. It wasn't easy. We had some rough terrain to cover.

Scott had to pee in the bushes.

Plus there was that fence. Do you have any idea of the lack of grace a person has with 50 lbs on their back? I ripped my pants getting over the barbed wire...

Not to mention Kevin's belly button went on overdrive in the sweating....okay, so it was his water tube-but, still funny.

We made the trek up the hill back onto the road up Tumamoc. Scott and Ryan rode together and went down the road to their car and the three amigos-at it again made our way up. The second time up was really tough. It was beyond tough. I didn't come to tears and say I want to quit, but, I could have sat down a number of times. Will said, so do you think you could do push-ups with this pack on? Kevin and I said no that would be crazy and we kept walking. I turned around and we lost Will. I guess, this is up for speculation, he did 20 push-ups. Kevin and I didn't witness it...he did show us his hands and they looked bad like he did...jury is still out.

Then suddenly, I saw them. I saw some deer. Kevin said I was hallucinating. Earlier Will thought he saw a javelina and it was a dog. So, I said no, in between Then he saw one run across the road. Thank God for these deer. They were a perfect distraction from the Hill that was killing us.

We made it to the top again.

Coming back down was a whole new beast. It took us at least twice as long to get back down. The pain was ridiculous. I thought my sausage toes would pop off. Will and I noticed our hands were all swollen like jimmy dean sausages.

There was a lot of giggling on the way down. Deliriousness took hold. Kevin decided to lay down on the ground. I tried to save him and almost fell over. I think Will was falling when he took the picture.

Then sweet sassy molassy-we made it to the end. We went to Eegee's and got some lunch. I have never been so sore in my life. There is a legitimate concern I won't be able to stand up. I have been in this position way too long. Maybe Bessie, my beloved pack is why I can't lift my left arm all the way...

Do I think we can make the full 26.2....jury is out. I think we can if we continue to train hard with the heavier weight. Any less then the level we are training and we could be in trouble. This will be one of the hardest things I have ever trained for. I know I won't be able to walk right for days following the race. I went half the distance and I am really sore.

We are recruiting is Matthew with one of my boots and one of Kevin's boots on.

Until the next Bataan Journey....