The First Trip
My first time up was with a fellow newbie. She was very apprehensive, but I was super confident that we could do this thing NO PROBLEM. I bumped into an old friend at the base and he gave us a couple tips. In the first ten minutes, the super-ness part of my confidence was gone.
In twenty minutes, my lungs were on FIRE and I had serious doubts about the climb. My wimpy heart was beating so fast that even my TEETH hurt. It didn’t help that my partner was vocalizing the negative things I was thinking in my head. Oddly, while my chest was exploding from the cardio demand, I was still having a great time chatting with other newbs, pushing each other on. 2 hours and 3 minutes later, we reached the top! We were pretty stoked to even finish.
THEN, I bumped into a former instructor of mine from college. You should have seen her face when we told her our time. She LAUGHED! She had just finished her worst time EVER on the Grind at 1hr 40mins. Thanks, Danielle. GRRR.
Three weeks later, I went back up on a Tuesday after work. My strategy for this round was to go at my own pace, to block out external distractions, and to see what my desk jockey body could do.
The after work crowd is MUCH different from the day. It’s filled with the SERIOUS hikers. The ones with timing chips, hydration packs, and funky hiking shoes. It was hard to keep up my morale when EVERYONE was passing me and I passed NO ONE. However, this time, there was much less chest pain and I felt like I was making better time. That was until I ran out of water a little past the halfway mark. My progress slowed dramatically. I had to rest every two minutes.
Finally, I made it to the top in 1 hour 43 minutes. Damn you, Danielle. I still haven’t made your worst time! I went out and bought a hydration pack that week.
My Grouse Grind Goal
I don’t know if it’s really realistic or not, but my goal is to do the Grind in 50 minutes by the end of August. Just in case the zombie apocalypse brings the fast “rage”-type zombies.