Thursday, February 28, 2008
No pain, no gain
Lately I have been feeling lazy. With my back issues and shin splints my training has been off and on. I also haven't been out in the mountains much. So on Wednesday to celebrate my first full day of being 32 and to honor my dads birthday I did something different this morning before work. I started my spring peak training.
When I was growing up my dad had a favorite phrase to get us through a hard time when training for any sport. I would complain that my knee hurt after a softball game or that I didn't want to run and he would say these four words, "No pain, no gain." These four words either pissed me off or motivated me depending on what kind of mood I was in. But now that I am older and wiser, it kind of makes sense. And I find these words running through my head a lot since I have moved to Alaska.
Climbing peaks is an unequivocal demonstration of this phrase. During every difficult hike to the summit I have thoughts of turning back. Sometimes it is hard to keep pushing yourself to go up when down is right there, and so easy. Those four words run through my head continuously as I push through the most difficult, most painful sections of a climb. My legs and my lungs burn and gravity seems to be pushing me farther and farther away from the goal. But the prize at the top is almost always worth the suffering. Especially in Alaska. There are great views of the Chugach Mountains from town. But the sight from the tops of any of the peaks on the front range open up a view into the unlimited possibilities for climbing peaks in these mountains, and not to mention it is beautiful.
Even a tiny one that is not even considered a peak, like Little O'Malley. Brian and woke up this morning and headed out with Niko to go climb this little bump before lunchtime. I have to admit we struggled a bit even with this short hike. Questions about why I decided this was a good idea, ran through my head with the usual curses. We haven't been hiking much this winter so we are pretty weak. But when we arrived at the top the questions of why we were doing this faded away to questions about which one we would do next. I started a list in my head for the summer.
Regardless if I qualify for the Crow Pass race this summer, I still have Mount Marathon and I plan on doing most if not all of the other Grand Prix mountain races. So I started training for elevation this week. I'm going to try and keep track of my full elevation gain from now until the end of the summer, so here goes.
Wednesday we climbed little O'Malley peak, elevation gain of about 1200. Starting very small, but I will work my way taller and faster as the spring goes on. Thinking about this makes my back ache, but then I remember those four words...