Beth is training for the Pikes Peak Accent and is running in the Barr Trail Mountain Race this coming Sunday (from Cog 6miles up to Barr Camp and back down-12 miles total)...so she's gone up to Barr Camp the past 4 or 5 Sundays. I've been wanting to go up there for a long time and as she's been talking about it recently- I decided to finally bite the bullet. I was so excited to attempt this beast...and happy to be going up with such great company!
Didn't start off so good as when we got to the start of Barr, I realized I had forgotten my ipod shuffle...no music!!...For this long of a deal...not good. Oh well I thought...a true runner doesn't need music...I'll just enjoy the beautiful scenery in which I am surrounded. Well, that lasted about 15 minutes as I found myself annoyed by the continual sound of my panting breath. It was overcast with minimal sun (with the exception of the last 15 or so minutes on our way down)...so the lack of heat I think really helped. There were some super steep parts of the trail and I was quite annoyed at the amount of walking had to do...but once I accepted the fact, I was content jogging when I could. About 2 miles from Barr Camp...my brain went to a different place. I didn't feel like I was going to pass out or anything...I just felt like I really had to pay attention to what I was doing or I might just run off the side of the trail...I blame the lack of oxygen to the brain...oh, and a little fatigue too:). It took me about 2hrs 15 min to get to Barr Camp (about 7 miles from Soda Springs Park in Manitou where we started)...wow, that was long. There were loads of people up there...a pit stop for their hike up to Pikes Peak. It's so neat up there...a little log cabin...bathrooms, a stream & bridge...and lots of camping spots. All of these things just appear after miles of just mountain trail. After a bathroom break, water for Zena (Beth's german shepard- who continually checked on me the entire way up and down), and sport beans for Beth and I...we were on our way down.
So the way down was interesting. This was the first time I felt such a pain in my lower extremities. I mean it wasn't a "oh, my legs are tired and wobbly"...it was more like "holy crap, my legs are screaming at me and will they just buckle on this next step?" I was wishing the turn-off to the back side of Barr was on every switchback...when will it be here I thought...how much longer can I stay standing? Once we finally got to the bottom of Barr, while Zena got some much needed water, Beth and I took our shoes and socks off and stuck our swollen, dirty feet in the cool stream. Ahhh...felt so good! A short jog from the cog back down to Soda Springs Park and we were finished! It was, holy crap, a long work out...but so amazing and i'm glad I did it! Can't wait to tackle it again. Thanks for the support today Beth...you are so sweet and encouraging:).
Here is a map of what we did today...crazy to imagine! It's also a map of the Barr Trail Mnt Race that Beth will be racing next Sunday.
Above and to the right is a pick of the Barr Camp Cabin...so neat!
Below is another pic of Barr Camp...it's at 10,200 feet!
Here is the data from the Nike+ Sportband today. Because I calibrated the thing on flat concrete...I don't really trust some of the stats as my stride is WAY shortened going that uphill...but oh well...I'll just guesstimate!
UP TO BARR CAMP AND BACK FROM SODA SPRINGS PARK IN MANITOU
Total run/hike time - 3:30 min
To Barr Camp- 2:14 min
From Barr Camp back down to Soda Spgs- 1:16 min
UP TO BARR CAMP
Distance- 8.02 miles (prob more like 7)
Pace- 16:49 min mile (prob more like 18 min mile)
BARR CAMP DOWN TO SODA SPGS PARK
Distance- 8.23 miles (again, prob more like 7)
Pace- 9:12 min mile (prob close to reality...stride back down was various lengths)
Total Cals burned....I'm guessing 20,000...:). Pancakes afterwards never tasted so good...however, keeping my eyes open to get them to my mouth was quite the task.