I was in last spring’s women’s clinic in the Panther group. I had sent you an “accountability” email during the first running phase of my life, and I wanted to send you a little update now as well. You see, I was inspired to do the clinic not because I wanted to become a runner so much as because I had a family vacation planned in Colorado. I wanted to be able to really hike the trails at Rocky Mountain National Park, and I knew that I needed to put some stress on my lungs to be ready for it. So, I signed up for the clinic. (Granted, I also have a morbid curiosity to see if I can do the things I think I cannot do feeding my inspiration as well… which applies mostly to running and some to hiking at high elevation)
That vacation was last week… I hiked 16+ miles on trails (mostly) ranked “moderate” -in four days and one hike being nine miles long! I was fatigued, but never sore. I bought the right size of boots because of the clinic… I kept my head looking up (in spite of the immense climb) to facilitate breathing- because of the clinic… I had my trigger point gear ready at the end of the day and I was NEVER sore, which also means that I effectively built those little capillaries up. I knew what food I should eat how much water to bring and why…All because of the clinic. Our hikes frequently started at 9,000 ft of elevation or more and several ended around 10,200+. Most of Oregon’s trails never end as high in elevation as those trails start. I saw seven lakes and several waterfalls. I have always loved that part of Colorado, and on this trip I got to see more of it than I ever have!
I am excited to sign up for clinic in July! I plan to be in the Panther group again to see if I can get from the back of the pack to the middle or more toward the front… When I signed up last spring, I planned on being able to use running as a “tool” to get ready for other priorities in my life. It never occurred to me that I would love running too!
The family wants to vacation in Colorado again next year, and I want to hike at least one trail ranked “strenuous.” I’ve got some running to do!!!!!
….In case you are wondering, I was in Estes Park when the wildfire started there. It was surreal to see the tanker planes with retardant and helicopters drawing water from the lake and dropping it less than two miles away. I am thankful that they could put that fire out! I could also see the High Park (Ft. Collins) Fire smoke from the vacation home we stayed in. Each time a plume of black smoke went up, we knew someone had lost their home. We were leaving Colorado earlier in the day on Wednesday when Colorado Springs was evacuated a few hours later. The fires are terrifying. I wish that there was a way to run or hike to help the families. Most of my closest friends and my significant other are firefighters. Some of them go to the wild land lines. As wonderful as my vacation was, it was taking place at a time when so many were losing so much. That weighs on me.