Sunday, January 3, 2010

Life's Mountains

My husband Mac has transformed himself from a soft teddy bear to a svelte guy who's 40 pounds lighter. In the process he became a runner. He's been chronicling his efforts at Get Fit Slowly, both to motivate himself and others. Not only is it great to share our running interests, but every now and then we even get to run together! This was originally a guest post on his site after we ran 7.5 miles together on Dec. 27th.

Today I had the pleasure of running with my husband. It is not something we do often as we have different training goals, different schedules, and different running paces. Not to mention we've got two kids that need to be taken care of and who wants to pay a babysitter just so we can run??

But this week we were down in Southern California visiting Mac's family, aka Free Babysitting Services. So we decided to go for a run. Or rather, I decided, and then I pestered Mac and called him a loser (all in good fun) until he agreed to go.

We headed up to Chantry Flats, a nearby recreation area with miles of trails in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains (aka mile 74.5 of AC100). We started up a gradual climb on the Upper Winter Creek Trail, with Mac playfully whining about not liking to run uphill. After three miles, we had a little downhill stretch and then we started up an out and back section to the top of Mt. Zion. That's when the real uphill started! It is only a mile and a quarter from the trail junction to the summit, but it gains nearly a thousand feet to summit at 3,575 feet. Check out this elevation profile I found:

About half way up that section, Mac says,"How come you always want to climb a mountain just for the sake of climbing a mountain?!?"

But I didn't even have to think to come up with a whole list of retorts: "We aren't climbing a mountain just for the sake of climbing a mountain!! We are climbing to be fit, to be out in nature, to do things you never did with your family while you were growing up, to take a break from the chaos of modern life, to spend quality time together, and to see new things."

At the summit we took a look around the valley below us and then headed back down the way we came. Shortly after starting down, Mac rolled his ankle. He wasn't badly hurt but acknowledged that he would have gone down hard and been pretty bad off if he had been carrying his previous extra pounds.

"Well, you've come a long way way since then." I tell him.

"Yeah, I know that." He answers back.

Now doesn't that seem like there was more than just climbing for the sake of climbing a mountain??

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