A lot of people settling the West in the 1800s probably said Pikes Peak or Bust. I am kind of saying it, kind of asking it. Why? Well, I am an avid hiker, even though I won't get a chance to hike very much this summer with gas prices. Also, I enjoy the DC area thus far, but while there are places to hike nearby, 1700-2000 foot vertical gains 30 minutes from the city there ain't.
Therefore, to train for a hike I plan on doing in September, 4 months from today in fact, I am going to need to get really creative in my workouts. Last year, I summitted Pikes Peak for the first time as part of the Pikes Peak Challenge to benefit the Brain Injury Association of Colorado and Memorial Hospital's Think First For Kids Head & Spinal Cord Injury Prevention programs. This gives me an opportunity to accomplish several things of interest to me: raise money for a great cause, get outdoors in one of the most scenic places on earth, hike, and get my butt kicked while hiking. 14 miles, over 7,000 feet of vertical gain, and a summit over 14,000 feet, and I have a great challenge ahead of me. However, after listening to stories last year of what brain injury survivors have to deal with, I ain't complaining, especially not on the last 2 or 3 miles, the only time I really struggled with the hike last year.
What will I do to train for this? I've begun by putting in 20 minutes on a stair climber each time I go to a gym or my apartment tower's fitness center. I increase the level of workout nearly every time, and will soon start adding minutes to each climbing session. Tonight I put in 18-20 miles on side roads and the Mount Vernon Bike Trail. This trail goes to George Washington's Estate, but you have to earn the views of Mount Vernon. The last 3/4 of a mile features a fairly steep climb that rises out of nowhere. Both times I've ridden down this far, I've gotten my butt kicked. That's why I ask if it's Pikes Peak or Bust. But if I take advantage of the long days and make the bike ride a couple days a week and increase the intensity of my stairs workouts, I should be good to go. On top of that, I'll walk even more places than I already do. Every little bit helps.
I have the vacation time, the motivation, and have a free flight available to me (although I may save it for ski season), so why not? I'm going for it. By the way, click on the above link to Pikes Peak then click on photo gallery. I'm in photo 9.