I climbed up Grandchild Ridge today. I didn't run my GPS, because I'm starting to burn through a lot of batteries as it is. But the ridge starts rolling at about 3,500 feet, and that's where I went, buffeted by cold wind and wheezing, not because 3,500 feet is particularly high, but because I was particularly tired.
OK, OK. It's easy to say. Aren't you bored of this stuff yet? Why not just take a day off? But look at that sky. I can't. Can't you see? I can't. I have the time. I have this perfect weather window that just won't quit. The only thing I don't have much of anymore is energy. These mountains lift my soul, every time, but my body is starting to wear down.
October Consecutive Bluebird Day Number Four. I woke up to my 7:30 a.m. alarm and debated it. I really did. I slumped out of bed, only to realize that the coffee beans I just purchased were decaf. Decaf! How am I supposed to survive like this? But pink hints of sunlight poured in through the window, and, well, I've been through this decision-making process before.
Everything was coated in a thick layer of frost, but at least the muddy trail was solid. I rode the Road Monkey to the trailhead and hoofed it from there. About four and a half hours time total. Slower than I should have been. I had to stop and catch my breath, somewhat frequently. Pull on my face mask in the wind and then take it off in the lulls. Rub that left quad muscle that is now in a perpetual state of soreness. Of course I know I'm overtrained. Of course I know that. But do you see that sky? That sun-bathed, nearly-snow-free ridgeline? That isn't going to last forever.
Or is it?
I wish I could say rest was coming my way, but I anticipated one more day - perhaps just a half day - of possibility and scheduled an epic tomorrow. It's a little late for me to back out of it, although a lot of it is dependent on weather and snow conditions and of course whether or not I can get these legs and lungs to rally. It seems unlikely that all will fall into place, but if it works out, it could become the culmination of what has been a very good fall. But to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what I want to see out my window when I crawl out of bed early Thursday morning.