OK, you see this lovely picture of my tulips last spring?
Do you also notice the thing in the background that looks suprisingly like a 14,000+ foot mountain?
That would be Pikes Peak.
And tomorrow . . .
. . . I'm supposed to climb it.
It all started with a phone call last February-ish. My friend Evelyn, aka Mother Superior, thought it might be cool to train for the Pikes Peak Ascent. Well sure, I said. We've got, like, 7 months to get into shape . . . no problem!
We started walking almost every day, increasing our distance and choosing challenging elevation-changing courses. Our only goal was to make it to the checkpoints before the cut-off times so we could keep going. It would give us 6 hours to make it to the top. We weren't going for any kind of speed records - just the endurance to finish.
But then her husband got deployed to Iraq. And suddenly she was a single mom to 4-year-old twins without much free time for walking. So we stopped. Her husband came home a few months later, safe and sound and, side note, thank-you very much for serving our country, but did we start training again?
My sources say no.
When I got home from Oregon my first order of business was to call up Evelyn and explain in no uncertain terms that my body had not miraculously transformed itself into mountain-climbing shape by sitting on the couch, and so therefore it was futile, borderline dangerous, and most definitely embarrassing to show up to the race.
"We have to at least try," she said. WHY?! Why do we have to try?! Why can't we sleep in and eat some bacon and watch the highlights on the 6 o'clock news after popping some popcorn and settling in for some rigorous channel surfing? Maybe "Legaly Blonde" will be on TBS and during the commercials we can switch to "White Chicks". This, THIS, sounds like my kind of Saturday . . .
. . . but Mother Superior can be very persuasive. Especially when she's singing about climbing mountains, fording streams, following rainbows and finding dreams. *&^%$^#@ ambitious people!
Evelyn is very active in the local twins club. I'm not a member, despite meeting the requirements and crashing a lot of their events. The requirements luckily do not include being in mountain-climbing shape although most of the women are, which is a whole other grumble that I'll just let go for now. But anyway, a few of the members are also doing the Ascent tomorrow, so we met at Noodles & Co. for dinner. (Must have those carbs, you know!)
Wendy, who flew in from California after training for this event for, like, a year, was sitting with Evelyn and me. She's a serious runner - has done marathons (although not for the last 13 years, she said, as though that was supposed to make her any less impressive to me, a sloth, who couldn't run around the block, even 13 years ago), half-marathons, and perhaps is a super-hero in her spare time, when she's not busy feeding the homeless, volunteering at the childrens hospital, or teaching the English language to immigrants. OK, I'm not sure if she does any of those things, but she has run several MARATHONS and that qualifies as impressive!
Anyway, she doesn't know us, which is why we tried really hard not to laugh hysterically when she predicted that as walkers we would pass up several runners who started out too fast and didn't pace themselves.
"You'll be surprised how many people you'll be passing on the trail!" she said, confidently and encouragingly.
"Oh yes," I replied, "If I can pass at least two wheelchairs and maybe a kid or two, I'll be satisfied!"
The sarcasm, so good at the sarcasm!
Anyway, I've got to toddle off to bed, trying not to get winded from two flights of stairs. If I live through tomorrow, I'll post about it. I told Evelyn I'm only agreeing to try this crazy stunt because of the sheer blog-worthiness of it. We've changed our goal to making the first checkpoint and then, most likely, we'll turn back. We're stupid, but not crazy!
RMQOTD (I see dead people!)