Tag Archives: manitou incline

Spring Break Successes: Manitou Incline and an Injury Diagnosis

Guess who’s on Spring Break right now?

Did you guess me? You’re right! Of course, break is flying, but so has the school year thus far. I’m sure it’ll all be over before I know it.

Jordan and I are in different school districts now, which means we have different breaks. His was two weeks ago. That’s lame, but I’ve managed to have some fun without him. On Monday, some colleagues and I headed down to Manitou Springs to climb the infamous Manitou Incline.

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At the bottom… hopefully my co-workers don’t mind my posting their picture on the Internet…

If you’re not familiar with the Incline: It’s a popular trail/staircase that literally goes straight up a mountain. It was once a cable car track, and when the cable car was damaged and removed, but the railroad ties stayed and looked like a staircase, someone thought, “Hey, we should walk up that.” And ever since, it’s been a quintessential Colorado workout. Because what’s more Colorado than going up 2000 feet in just under a mile?

This video from Out There Colorado gives you an awesome overview, if you can spare two minutes to watch:

The hike burns, that’s for sure. But  the view from the top is well worth it. It took me 38 minutes to get to the top. Yes, that’s 38 minutes for a 0.8-mile hike. And I was the fastest in our group (was I proud of myself for beating the 20-something Crossfit coaches in our group? Yes, yes I was).
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Once everyone made it to the top and we snapped a picture (“pics or it didn’t happen,” right?), we headed back down Barr Trail, which is a longer but much less scary way to get down (I would NOT want to go down the Incline). I ran down with my boss, which was fun. She and I haven’t spent much time together this year, and I was pleased at how well we got along. Also, this was my first trail run of 2017. I hope there are many more to come!

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We all made it!

That hope of trail runs to come brings me to my next topic: this hamstring injury that just won’t go away. I was pretty nervous about climbing the Incline, especially since the injury had flared back up again last week, causing me to skip my long run. But it held out well, and while I was certainly aware of it, it didn’t hurt badly enough to concern me.

And then, today, I finally ventured to a physical therapist (yes, nine months after this injury originally occurred. I am an idiot). She told me that it’s not actually a hamstring injury, but rather bursitis. The bursa sac where my leg joins my body is inflamed, which then irritates the hamstring. BUT here’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time: she thinks I can be better in just a few weeks. We have to get my pelvis realigned and improve some flexibility in my hamstrings, and then the bursa sac should stop being irritated and I’ll be okay again. AND, she said that running won’t cause any major damage — it’ll make me sore, but it’s not dangerous. Soreness I can handle. Bring on the training and the health!

I’m so relieved to finally have an answer… and regretful that I didn’t go see a PT sooner. But, live and learn, and soon I hope I’ll be healthy and enjoying more Incline-esque adventures!

 

Have you hiked the Incline? What did you think?

What’s a quintessential “your state” thing to do?

Ever had bursitis? Please tell me it’s easy to fix once you know what it is…

 

 

 

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Colorado Fall Classic Marathon Training, Week 4

I can’t believe I’m already four weeks into this training cycle.  This was an interesting week of training, seriously lacking in strength training, stretching and foam rolling. J and I sanded and re-stained our deck, which turned out to be one of those jobs that you think will take a day or two and takes an entire week, so most of my afternoons were filled with deck work and not strength training. By the time we finished each evening, we were hot, tired, and filthy, and I just wanted a shower, not another workout. Oh well. I got all my running in, at least.

Monday:

AM: 11 miles. My schedule said 80-90 minutes with the last 20 minutes getting progressively faster. I was cruising a little quicker than 5k pace, 30 seconds from being done with the fast part… and my foot slipped on some mud (or probably on nothing, but mud at least sounds like an excuse) and I fell. Sidewalks are evil.
photo (10)I gimped through enough of a cool-down to make it 11 miles and called it good. I was thankful that my only wound was a knee scab and not any real injury.

PM: 45 minutes of strength training. And thus ended my only double day this week.

Tuesday:
9.1 miles easy and a quick core workout

Wednesday: 
16 x 400m repeats with equal recoveries, 11 miles total with warm-up and cool-down. I did half the repeats on a downhill slope, but I got sick of running up and down the same street, so I moved to the flat. Not the best training decision, probably, but a better sanity decision.

Thursday: 
9 miles “easy” that didn’t feel easy at all, quick core work.

Friday: 7 miles slow and easy, then some core work

Saturday:
This was our anniversary (6 years! Hooray!). We wanted to get away for the weekend but didn’t want to spend a bunch of money, so we spent it in Colorado Springs. J’s aunt and uncle live there and are always happy to have us stay, and we hadn’t seen them in quite a while, so visiting them on our anniversary weekend was perfect.

I’d asked Aimee, who lives in Springs, to recommend a downhill run for me so I could start prepping for this marathon. She recommended the Santa Fe Trail, a rail trail that runs parallel to the mountains. It was a fantastic recommendation, as the trail was beautiful and the elevation profile was very similar to the marathon’s. I started way too fast for a long run, so the last few miles were a slog. I know I’m at risk of doing that in the race, too, so I’m hoping I learned my lesson here and will pace myself better next time.My iPhone doesn't come close to doing justice to the beauty of these mountains.

My iPhone doesn’t come close to doing justice to the beauty of these mountains.

J is an awesome husband; he got up super early, drove me to the trailhead at Palmer Lake, killed a couple of hours, and picked up my gross sweatiness 17.3 miles later. That is love, folks.

After my run, I cleaned up in a Panera bathroom (classy, right?), ate some food, and rehydrated, and then we headed to Garden of the Gods. I hadn’t been since I was a kid, and J hadn’t ever been, so it was a new experience for both of us. We had a great time. Garden of the Gods is stunning.

No filter needed for that Colorado sky.
No filter needed for that Colorado sky.

We didn’t want to fight the crowds in the main part of the park for very long, so we ventured off on some side trails — fantastic choice. We saw just a handful of other people but plenty of scenery on our 4.5-mile hike.
photo 3 (5) photo 4 (2) After Garden of the Gods, we grabbed some lunch and spent the afternoon wandering around Old Colorado City (a fun little tourist trap near Garden of the Gods) before heading back to clean up for real (as opposed to Panera-bathroom style) and go out for a nice dinner. And then we went to bed early because I was friggin’ tired. Not a bad way to spend an anniversary!

Sunday:
J’s aunt and I have talked about doing the infamous Manitou Incline together for years, but we had never done it. We decided Sunday was the day, and since J is a good sport, he agreed to do it, too. And then he saw this, and questioned his sanity (and his love for us):
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The Incline is that little line going up that mountain: a trail that climbs 2050 feet in .92 miles. The whole trail is made of steps like these:Aunt Jan reaching the summit!

Aunt Jan reaching the summit!

It was definitely a challenge. Some people run the thing, which is insane to me. Today was supposed to be my rest day, so I didn’t even try to run. The view from the top is definitely worth the hike… it’s gorgeous! You can see the entire city.
photo 1 (5)The trail back down is longer but considerably less steep (and less treacherous), but I still didn’t run because of the whole “rest day” thing. The whole hike made for another fun morning in the great outdoors. If I lived in Colorado Springs, I’d definitely be a regular up here… it’s a great challenge, and I’d want to see how fast I could eventually do it.

So the week ended up with 64.4 miles of running, minimal strength training, and a whole lot of outdoor fun. Overall, I’m okay with that, but I definitely need to get my strength training, foam rolling, etc., back on track this week.

Ever fallen like an idiot on a run? Please tell me about it so I know I’m not the only one.

What’s the weirdest place you’ve cleaned up post-workout?

Have you ever (or would you ever) done the Incline?