Snowy Mountain

16 Jul

5 years ago, we started taking our annual trip to Indian Lake (with a 1 year hiatus in 2012 while I student taught…lame).  It was one of my first “real” camping trips with Eric–prior to this, we’d done lots of car camping, but nothing with no bathrooms and no easily accessible vehicle to get us to and from the things we wanted.


The first time we went, I woke up after our paddle to the site (just over 1 mile) super sore–my shoulders, arms and neck were all aching from the paddle.  We paddled back anyway, and drove to Snowy Mountain.  At this point, we were still relatively new runners and I had really not been running on trails at all, but I thought I was in decent shape anyway.


We hit the trailhead at 7 am.  It was 90 degrees and 90% humidity already (that whole week our first year was like that–we’d hike, then spend the rest of the day either swimming or sitting in our chairs in the lake–hot as blazes).  The trail was listed as 3.4 miles (it’s actually longer…) and I figured we’d make it to the top in an hour.


Almost three hours later, I’d stopped to use my inhaler about 10 times and had found a giant rock and planted myself on it, insisting that I was done for the day.  Chris was at the top of the mountain, calling down, saying we only had another 20 feet to go.  Eric tried to convince me to keep going.  But I was in a mood.  I told Eric to go without me, but he didn’t–he stayed by my side, and we ate our sandwiches and waited for Chris to come back down.  I was miserable.


Afterwards, I was really disappointed in myself.  I am not a quitter.  I actually can’t think of anything else that I quit in the middle.  I have obviously given things up in my lifetime, but not before I’d seen it through to a logical stopping point (i.e. the end of a sports season or something).  I was sad that I’d made it so far and then given up, and really disappointed to have disappointed Eric and have caused him to miss out on the summit, too.  In short, it bothered me (and still does) a great deal.


Even though I didn’t summit the mountain, I woke up the next day and could hardly move–in addition to my arms and back, now my legs and butt were sore, too.  Everything hurt.  I was miserable.


The next year, I had an agenda–revenge on that stupid mountain.  Every year since, we have summited the mountain.  Every year I get razzed by Eric and Chris as we get closer and then go past my melt-down rock.


And every year the mountain has gotten easier.


no pics of me climbing this year, but this is 2010...the final big push

no pics of me climbing this year, but this is 2010…the final big push

more of the final hike up

more of the final hike up

picasso got too hot and actually just laid down and refused to get up.  we ran out of water multiple times (and had to filter) and it was bad news...

2010–picasso got too hot and actually just laid down and refused to get up. we ran out of water multiple times (and had to filter) and it was bad news…

Snowy Mountain 2011

Snowy Mountain 2011

snowy mountain 2013

snowy mountain 2013

enjoying some champagne to celebrate 5 years! 2014

enjoying some champagne to celebrate 5 years! 2014

easy peasy this year! 2014

easy peasy this year! 2014


Sometimes it’s really hard to see progress in yourself.  I don’t think that I’m in much better shape than I used to be.  But then I think about how easy Snowy felt this year, our 4th time climbing it.  The first 2.5 miles, I felt great.  It was nothing.  The next half mile was tough, but manageable.  The last half mile was super tough, but I only stopped a couple of times and for very short periods of time.  Because of those shorter stops (and being in better shape), I didn’t use my inhaler at all.  And there was minimal bitching on this mountain (I am a big time complainer when I am physically uncomfortable).  All signs of progress.


AND one of the best signs: The next day, my legs felt great–no soreness at all.  And no soreness from paddling, either!


2 marathons, an ultra, daily gym trips and lots of trail running and hiking.  That’s what I attribute this year’s relative ease of Snowy to.  I was not so happy on Giant this summer, but I wasn’t sore afterwards and we hiked an awful lot of mountains after.  Sometimes it’s hard to see progress in your fitness and your body, but I am happy to say that I can see the years of  hard work paying off.  Here’s to many more years of conquering Snowy Mountain!  🙂

snowy 2014...ain't no thang!

snowy 2014…ain’t no thang!




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