(You might have to click on this pic to see it)
Yesterday, my running posse and I (shout out to Lori, Sherri, Liz and Carly the border collie!) climbed a mountain. Mt. Si is a smallish mountain when you compare it to it's snow-capped, volcanic neighbors, Mt. Rainier, Mr. Adams, Mt. Baker....That said, my sore, ibuprofen pumped body is today telling me that there is no such thing as a small mountain.
Until yesterday, I had never hiked up an entire mountain so, I expected it to be easy. Well, easy-ish. I did expect to sweat a little. My posse and I train for races together, we do long runs (upwards of 12 miles) together every Monday morning. So, I thought we'd take it in a stride. There's nothing like swallowing your pride.
After getting our combined 9 kids off to school, we drove to the mountain with our CamelPaks, hiking poles, and boots, anxious to conquer the mountain. I started our hike near the front of our small pack but, by mile 1 was trailing behind, quads burning, searching for excuses to stop and catch my breath. The other ladies seemed to be having no problems, however. For the next three miles, I huffed and puffed, but managed to keep my eyes on my friends, who were leading the way, a few hundred feet ahead.
I don't love being last. I am the oldest sibling in my family and have enough of a competitive spirit to really not enjoy getting smoked. But, on this day, on this hike, I had no choice. So, instead of lavishing great heaps of shame on my head, I pushed myself as hard as I could and decided to enjoy the hike. I tried hard to notice the landscape, the trees, shrubs, to really BE on the mountain. My friends unintentionally became a magnet that drew me upward, onward, even when the lactic acid in my legs threatened to wash me away.
We made it to the top, reveled in our accomplishment and had some snacks (snacks are essential....I'll do just about anything for food!). We hiked back down (By the way, this is equally painful but less demanding cardiovascularly), chatting about our families, past jobs, past races. Then, we rushed home to pick up kids from school.
Now that I've climbed a mountain, I guess I'll have to go to REI more often.