I used to climb a lot of mountain peaks on Oahu and Maui, but I was more climbing them for fun and at a fairly relaxed pace most of the time. There were times I pushed it – but, pushing it moderately up a 3,500 foot climb is different than pushing hard up a 1,500 foot climb like I did today.
There is a race up this same mountain in about 10 days. I wanted to see if it made sense to race it or not. I’ve been up this hike about 50 times maybe over the years. I’m sure I know it better than anyone else racing up it, very few people climb it at all.
It’s 500 meters vertical. The first half is where the major climbing takes place – then a couple more spots where it gets steep, then you’re home. I once went up this at a fast walking pace of 1 hour with a friend, Joe, from the UK.I just wanted to beat the 1 hour pace and see how it went.
I started out with fast walking up the slow incline and then sped up where the hills were. When it went flat – I ran that part. Let’s say shuffled it. There are thousands of roots and vines – all of which are aiming for feet, on the climb – and I’ve fallen, oh about a dozen times already in 5 years.
I wanted to test these new shoes too. Lunar Lites (Nike Lunar Trainers). They are obviously NOT made for climbing a mountain, they’re speed trainers for fast runs. However, they have a VERY wide profile for forefoot and heel – just what I need so I don’t twist my ankles on the roots – like I have so many times.
I went up as fast as humanly possible, stopping to suck wind about 4 different times. I brought a 1/2 liter water bottle and a “Shark” – which is actually Red Bull from Austria. I carried both in a plastic baggie – cuz this was a training run and I appreciated them at the top. For the race – no drinks will make the trip with me.
When I hit the top rock – I was at 46:15. I think that’s a good time, but no idea if any runners that do the race could do better. Guess we’ll see. I am 45, so I have no illusions of winning the race – but, my climbing is better than anyone entering – I can almost be sure of that. There are long stretches to run though – and this will be where I’m slower than others – if they have any energy left from climbing!
The horizontal distance is 3.7 km. The top gives the best view in southern Thailand that I’m aware of.
Pre-Race Food intake – 300 ml vegetarian soy milk (is there any other kind? Thailand…); Red Bull. Instant Nestle offee (12 oz.).
Top of hill – one more Red Bull, and 1/2 liter water.
Bottom of hill – one 22 ounce Gatorade.
At home – 1 dragon fruit, 2.5 tangerines. 1 forkful of noodles to keep grandma happy – she made a whole plate! About 250 calories of pretzels. Berocca.
Anyway, tomorrow – a rest day. Next day – a trip up the stairs. Another trip or two up the stairs before the race and race day is March 3.
Wish me luck!