On Friday Warren and I both finished work at 1:00pm and headed to catch the ferry 3:00pm ferry off the island.
We decided to spend our first night of our vacation in North Vancouver so we could rise and shine and head off to hike Grouse Mountain. We have only hiked it once before and that was a few years ago before the start of a road trip as well.
We arrived at the base of the mountain at 7:30am and headed to the start. We did a few warm up drills like we would do before running a race. We were out to challenge ourselves and see how fast we could get to the top. We had done the same the first time too.
I had my phone ready with the stopwatch at 0:00 and as soon as my foot hit the first stair of the climb I started the timer. At first I could see Warren in front of me and I was keeping up with him. He then got a bit ahead of me but I ran the only flat part of the path and caught up. Phew!
Warren then just gradually pulled away and I didn’t try to catch up. I started to think about what I was doing. Why was I trying to keep up with him? I was out to hike this mountain for me and get myself to the top. I thought about the start of a race senerio and how everyone gets carried away with the crowd and they run faster than planned. Then by the time they reach a particular part of the race they have no legs left to finish and they slow down. I was doing the same thing. I needed to remember my favorite saying “run your run” but in this case “hike my hike”. I was out to do my best and push myself. It was MY legs and heavy breathing that were going to get me to the top. So, I kept going but set my pace to one that was more maintainable than how I started.
The trail is lots of stairs and big rocks to step on. Sometimes the distance between one stair is the equivalent of what would be two stairs. As I went along my thighs and lungs were burning but I felt good. I saw all the signs on the way up that let me know how much farther to the top. When I saw 3/4 way I was happy.
About mid way through the hike I heard a guy coming up behind me tell a girl that it was 3k to the top. I didn’t know how far it was to the top so that was nice to know.
As I reached the top I saw Warren and the guy who passed me. I was about to stop when Warren told me I was almost done. I huffed out “Where is the finish?” He said “At the top of those stairs.” Really. More. Stairs. I ran to get to the top of them and stopped my timer.
My heart was pounding, I was breathing heavy, my legs were shaky and I was happy because I left it all on the mountain. It was the perfect start to my morning.
I can’t remember the exact finish time I had 3-4 years ago but I know I finished in under 45 minutes. I completed the climb in 42:36 and Warren finished in a time of 40:30. He did tell me once I got to the top that he had to slow his pace down mid-way up because he realized it wasn’t maintainable. I’m proud of us both.
We are in Sun Peaks now and did some exploring yesterday.
Have you climbed Grouse Grind?