1.12.2015

Worth The Climb

"We should go hiking sometime."  I said that a really long time ago and I don't know what we were waiting for considering there are tons of amazing hiking trails in San Diego.

Miles to go
Two weekends ago the conditions were perfect.  The air was crisp and the sky was blue so off we went for our first hike of the new year at Cowles Mountain.  It took us 1 hour and 10 minutes to hike to the top and back.  The way up was a serious work out.  I had to spend a lot of time looking at the ground to avoid any missteps.  The way down was more enjoyable.  It's easier and I got to look around more.  My body was really tired afterwards but I was not sore at all the next day.  4.7 miles was challenging but not extremely difficult.  

So what happens if we double the miles?

We decided to tackle Mt. Woodson at Lake Poway next.  We're talking 8.4 miles round trip.  When I went downstairs MJ was packing snacks.  Is this hike so hard and long that we going to have to stop for a lunch break?  Maybe I have no idea what I'm getting myself into.  It was another perfect day for hiking.   70 degrees at 12 noon with blue skies and a perfect touch of chill in the air.  It was beautiful and this is just one of the reasons I love San Diego so much.  You can do almost anything you want here any time you want to. 

This is one tough hike.  Some areas are steeper than others but there are some serious inclines.   Again, I had to keep my eyes on the ground a lot to avoid taking a wrong step.  It's actually best not to look too far ahead.  It's beautiful, but when you see all the little ants marching along the mountain which are actually people way ahead of you who still haven't made it to the top you realize how far you have to go.  I knew we'd get there, but when your legs are already on fire and you know you aren't even half way there it's just a tiny bit discouraging. 
The edge of the world
We took one break on the way up at the halfway point.  This trail has gigantic boulders everywhere at many points along the way so it's not too hard to find a rock and make it your own little spot to chill out and enjoy the view.
We spent about 30 minutes at the top snacking, checking out the view and resting our legs.   Then it was time to make the trek down.  Eight miles of crazy mountain inclines is no joke and going down is not as hard but it's still really challenging.  I got a new pain in my instep but kept on trucking. We did a lot of running  because it was easier to allow the momentum to push your legs into a jog than trying to resist it.  If gravity made us run we ran and there were times when my body was going so fast that my legs could barely keep up.   The whole thing took us 2 hours and 40 minutes.   I was a dusty, filthy mess but I didn't mind it because sometimes it just feels really good to be dirty.  It means I conquered a mountain and felt the wind on my face.  I also felt dirt blow on my face and tasted it, but it goes with the territory.  By the time we made it to the car my body was so beat down and my legs were kind of numb but that didn't last.  By the time we made it home they hurt so bad I could barely get out of the car and by the time we hobbled to dinner that night I felt like I had been hit by a bus.

The view from the top is worth the climb and so are the food shenanigans that are likely to occur afterwards.  I burned 1,257 calories and MJ burned even more.  We had breakfast and mountain top snacks but we were at an extreme calorie deficit that required burgers and beer at Nicky Rotten's.  This burger was so big that when it landed in front of me I wasn't sure how to handle it.  If you've ever eaten blue cheese you know how strong the flavor is and they are so generous with toppings I had to scrape off chunks to tone down the flavor.  It was so delicious.  I got draft instead of a bottle just so I could drink out of a frosty glass and it was seriously the best tasting Coors Light I've ever had in my life.

Las Vegas // Lake Tahoe
And we weren't the only ones in my family hiking that Saturday.  While we were hiking in San Diego my parents were exploring a trail in their new home Las Vegas while my little sister was out doing a little hike in Lake Tahoe.  Great minds think alike.

So this is how it feels to burn 1,200 calories in one workout.  It hurts, but I had a lot of fun.  Even with the pain; I loved the challenge and I definitely want to do it again.  Not right away.  There are plenty of other trails to explore in the meantime while I let the memory of the suffering part of Mt. Woodson go away.

We saw an older man with white hair at the top of the mountain.  Amidst the crowds of spandex clad young people he stood out the most and it had nothing to do with his high rise white polyester pants with the elastic waistband or the giant fanny pack he was wearing.   He stood out because it's a tough hike even for the young hard bodies with bare midriffs and even at his age he was out there just like the rest of us getting it done.  I am so inspired by active old people because that's how I hope to be.  If my body feels this much pain now I can only imagine how it will feel 15-20 years from now.  That old guy is a rock star in my book.  Maybe I won't go as fast and maybe it'll take me longer to recover but I want us to be out there together hiking mountains for a long time to come.

16 comments :

Ameena said...

I love hiking...it's one of the few things I miss about LA. I'm sure there are trails here but hiking during winter doesn't seem so appealing!

You look great. :)

Shannon Q. said...

The terrain of your hike reminds me of one we have here where I live. You're making me think I need a hiking partner and to get my butt out there...it's been forever since I've hiked!

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

What a view!! WE have not been hiking at all since we moved. I've told P I want to go sometime. Torrey Pines is on the list and I wouldn't mind trying one of the trials towards Julian. I will have to add Woodson on the list but when I feel like we are in shape for it :)

LaToya LouisvilleSlugger said...

This is a beautiful view! I have NEVER gone hiking, I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl. :)

LaToya LouisvilleSlugger said...

When I think outdoors, I think bugs and spiders and I'm terrified of the spiders.

Miss MP said...

So beautiful at the top! That's my favorite part of a hike. Even if parts of the incline test me.

jackie jade said...

what a gorgeous view. i've only hiked a few times and it is definitely tough! what a great accomplishment and my legs would be shaking after that hike too!

Pegster said...

I am not a hiker but I love that pic of you at the top of the mountain, such a beautiful view. I love that you guys do lots of fun things together

Jenny said...

I used love hiking, granted it was nothing that crazy but loved it nonetheless. Haven't done it in a while but your photos are definitely making me want to start up again. And that burger, DAAAAMN!!! yum!!

Law_Fal said...

Such pretty scenery. I wish we had y'all's weather and that Houston had so many gorgeous areas to hike and be outside. It's cold and ugly here. The sun just came out after it being gray for five days straight!

The Lady Okie said...

So, these views are awesome. I really enjoy hiking, but I don't get to do it very often. Plus, Jordan really doesn't like hiking, so that's a big bummer for me.

SuperLux said...

Hiking is something I've never tried yet. I can see that you had a really great time. I bet it's that fulfilling.

Ashley R said...

I think I would hike just to get some of that awesome food!!!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

the view is definitely worth the climb...so pretty!

Whitney Cypert said...

This is AWESOME! Way to go Cece!! I have never hiked anything that long or difficult. In Denver there are so many nice trails and Garrett and I have decided we are going to take more advantage of them, I'm excited!

Dinka Milašin said...

Cool

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