Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hunter Creek Humble Pie

I was out hiking with Kurt last night, we had decided to hike Hunter Creek to Smuggler Mountain rather than our original plan of heading out to the Conundrum Hot Springs in the full moon, because of the intermittent downpours which had been happening all day.

I'd packed my bag for the hike out to Conundrum, a 17 mile round trip which Kurt was hoping to make in 8 hours, including time to socialize and soak with the hoards of people that were like minded full moon hot springs lemurs.

And so the evening found us, me in my heavy capris and a couple of layers with a big backpack and plenty of water, jogging behind Kurt in his light weight distance running gear, tiny fanny pack, and the smallest water bottle known to man strapped to his hips.

Acoustomed as I am to looking like a total goober, I wasn't that concerned about it. Besides, the weight of the pack and the weight of the water could only be good for training, right?

Well, yes, except for when you are chasing someone who is insanely fit. Here's the thing. Even when Kurt isn't in training, even when he's been "relatively lazy" as he puts it (I'm not sure five days straight of backbreaking trail building work on the back of Aspen Mountain counts as lazy, but whatever...) he's still ridiculously fast, lean and strong.

And while I am slowly, agonizingly slowly, getting faster and leaner, I'm still leagues behind being able to keep up. We jogged all the flat bits, sprinted the bridges, and did plyometric exercises up all the cut steps and boulders along Hunter Creek.

"Fierce conversation, Kate?" he asked.

I nodded, eagerly. This is when I learn!

"Yes, please." I said.

"Its a good thing we didn't go up to Conundrum, it would have taken us 12 hours at least."

What? Are you kidding? Now I don't have any illusions about how fast or in shape I am, I mean, I can go all day for days on end at my regular comfortable pace, but its true, when I put speed on it, I tire quickly. I know this must change. I'm not sure how to make it happen other than just put my head down and suffer through it.

It seems to be in direct opposition to the edict, "Find a pace you can go at without stopping, and don't change that pace no matter the pitch change." My thinking here is just to get stronger, and leaner, and keep pushing faster on the trail.

Anyhow, I knew that I could hike Baldy in four or five hours in Bozeman, that's a 10 mile round trip up very steep terrain. Does that mean I couldn't do 20 miles in 8 hours? Maybe so.

"Here is what I know. When you go uphill, you breathe harder and you slow down a lot." This was not a criticism, this was an observation. Now I, myself had observed something similar, so I guess its time to work even harder at building some base with some speed. I think I might have to start jogging. Oh I had REALLY hoped it wouldn't come to that.

Regardless, it was great to get out and get some good exercise, its always good to see just how far I have to go in fitness to be as strong as I'd like to be. And as Kurt so aptly reminded me last night as we came down into town in the dark, "The wanting is the easy part, Kate."

1 comment:

Liat said...

I hate jogging! Better you than me. But I must say: how amazing it is that you have a training partner willing and ready to point out and work on your weaknesses, and not just telling you that you are great. One leads to improvement, the other doesn't. Way to go!