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Pike’s training hike #2

It’s only a few weeks until we attempt the 13 mile hike up the face of Pike’s Peak in Colorado. After 3 years of driving or riding the Cog Railway to the summit, we’ve made a bet with the devil that we flatlanders can hike it like normal mountain people. All it takes is a ton of cardio and strength work, and some long distance hill work. We had our first training hike at Mt. Cheaha a few weeks ago and that was good, but the distance wasn’t near what we need it to be.

A week ago while I was off from spring break, we took an afternoon to go to the lake where I do my trail running, Lake Lurleen State Park. The trail I usually run is an out-and-back around one sided of the lake. For Twisted Ankle, I make this route about 3 times for a 12 mile distance hill workout. There is a trail going around the while lake with additional loops that can extend the distance to 19 miles including the mile from one trail head to the other. We decided to do just the main trail which wound up being about 13 miles.The day we went happened to be one of the first days with high heat and over the top humidity. Stupid us thought with all the tree cover that we would have shade. Well it’s hard to have shade when the trees are still BARE from the joke of a winter that we had.

All in all, it was a good training hike. We had to battle heat and humidity that we are not accustomed to in early March. We will battle elevation/oxygen challenges when we climb in June. It took us a while. I ran out of water  in my camelbak so we stopped every so often so I could drink off Stephen’s.  We had so much fun being miserable, we are going to do the 19 miles that includes the additional loops in April. I’ll have Twisted Ankle half marathon in May. Then it will be time to climb!

Just getting started. North trail head.


No leaves..just sun.


Ahaha. Finally some shade and relief from the heat.


What a tease. More of this.


The one good shady spot on the whole route. There was a little stream running underneath the boardwalk so we had good breeze coming under us.


Trail snacks for him. I had an orange but it was way too sweet and I was too hot.


April storm damage.


This might have been where I started singing show tunes.


Such a pretty lake.


More substantial snack break and share water.


We finally reached the dam! Only 5 more miles to go.


This is the dam.


Lunch! I devoured the sandwich. The orange went back home.


There is a time and a place for everything. I thought about that cold fizzy coke all through those last 5 miles. The coke-after-hard-trail-races tradition has now been extended into long hot hikes.

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