Way to go, Chad! Thanks for sharing.
I just returned from two weeks in Colorado and Wyoming, figured I’d throw out an update. While there I did three things of note:
7/11 – Wilson Peak: I hiked Wilson Peak in the San Juans. 9 hours total time, about 7 moving, 4:45 on the ascent. Total distance 8.8 miles, total gain ~3,600 feet. We weren’t pushing ourselves, just going at the pace that felt comfortable. Also, there’s a fair amount of scrambling involved, so it was a bit more time consuming (at least for me). We took some nice breaks on the way up, on the summit, and the way down. It was a gorgeous day. I had a light pack on (~10 lbs). I felt really good, the hiking was a little rough on the feet between the talus and the scree. Miami doesn’t prepare you for that. Also, for anyone who is familiar I learned the story of Boskoff and Fowler Peaks. Pretty interesting (and sad), but if you are into mountain history and you don’t know the story it’s worth a look. Subsequently I read a good book about it, “Edge of the Map”.
7/15 – Ballard Mountain: After a conversation with someone who claimed to have the third fastest time on Strava, I decided to push myself up Ballard. The trail starts from downtown Telluride and ascends about 3,800 feet over 3.75 miles. I did this one alone with just a hydration vest on, so no real weight on the back. The weather was a little sketchy, and between that and my “enthusiasm” I basically top ended Z3 the entire time on the way up. It took me 2:15 up and about 1:45 down. Total time 4hrs, total distance 7 miles.
7/19 and 7/20 – The Grand Teton: This was one of my big objectives for the summer, and the reason I signed up for this program. To celebrate a friend’s 40th we went up the Grand via Upper Exum. It was an amazing hike and climb. I won’t go into the details on the stats, but they’re easy to look up. Also, I turned the watch off for this, I wanted to enjoy the moment. My friend (also training with UA, not in this group) and I felt like we were very well prepared. We used Exum as our guide service and we were easily the fastest moving group over the two days. This wasn’t a goal mind you, I just note it because most of the other groups were struggling to varying degrees and we felt really good and moved well the entire time. Our fitness allowed us to really enjoy the moment and that was awesome. There was one poor guy up there who kept referring to this being “harder than the half marathon he ran” and I felt pretty bad for him, he looked beat up.
Thoughts on the training: My endurance is definitely better than when I started. I guess this is to be expected, but I never imagined I’d feel this good. My strength is better than it has ever been, full stop. Previously this has been a real weakness for me and I’ve struggled to find something that worked for me. Cham Fit has been the largest difference maker for me in this program. Recovery…this is the most noticeable aspect of my fitness right now. 1 – 24 hours after a hard workout (hike, climb etc.) I feel 1,000% better than I used to feel. Last summer I did a few 14ers and I basically couldn’t walk the next day. Now I feel like I could do 3 -4 in a week pretty easily. This is huge for me as I had been feeling very old prior to this (sad for a 42 year old) and now I’d say I feel like I’m somewhere in my 20s again (in some ways better). Big thank yous to the program and the coaches for all of this.
I’m headed to Mt. Baker in 4 weeks, my last objective before ski season. I am really looking forward to three days in the mountains again, and with no reservations about how I am going to feel.
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