Friday, June 15, 2012

Hill Climb 2012

   June 14, 2012.  The day I almost died.  See this "hill"?? Well, every year during FIBArk, there is a race to see who can get top, tag the doorframe of the white house and run back down.  The starting/finishing line is about a quarter to half a mile from the base of the mountain.
      Those "ants"?? Yeah, they're people.  Well, I have been wanting to try this for the past two years, but wasn't able to due to pregnancy & not running and all.  For the past year I have been training (not hard core, but enough) for this run, and last night was my chance to prove myself.  After a brief contest on facebook, I showed up as "BlondieChell".

      When the announcer dude said, "Go!" we took off.  I passed the people in front of me and started running harder.  Faster.  Look at me! I'm running! I'm passing people! I thought. I felt like I was flying through the air.  The crowds on either side of F Street were cheering us on, making us believe we were unstoppable.  After leaping over the railroad tracks, I reached the base of the mountain.
      I can do this! I thought.  I started to follow the half-naked guy, because I remember that a tall half-naked man won last year.  Surely he knows a good path.  As I started to climb, I realized there was no "real path" and the "paths" people were taking consisted of slippery dirt and loose rocks.  After about two minutes, I was winded.  Climbing up rocks is way harder than it looks.  I climb a few more feet upwards and started to panic-I couldn't see anyone else around me!  I must be the last one!  Oh, no!!!  I moved sideways a few feet and saw a line of people slowly following a path upwards.  "Yes!" I shouted, "I'm not last!"  Which, I was technically last, but at least I wasn't that far behind.
     I ended up keeping pace with a couple that hadn't done the Hill Climb before, either.  I dry heaved a few times.  My sports-induced asthma (also called EIB) kicked in and I was struggling to breathe.  I did come to a point where I thought I might die.... But I was determined.  Each time I stopped to grab a few deep breaths, I wondered what the spectators thought about the stalled cape on the hill.
     About halfway up, the trail that spirals up the mountain (aka Spiral Drive) intersected our path.  I took it.  Sure, it was longer mileage-wise, but I could run easier than I could climb (although by this point, I could barely run.  It was more like an awkward slow jog.), so I ran.  I made it to the top, hauled myself up the stairs to the house, tagged the door frame, posed for some pics, and went back down...the stairs...then I grabbed a cup of water from the table and half slid, half climbed back down.  Since the dirt was fine like silt, I decided to just go with it and slide as i I was on a snowboard. or skis.  But I've never skied, and sharp poles aren't my thing.  when I was two thirds down, I stopped to grab a breath of air.  My leg started to shake.  This was not good.  I didn't have my phone and my cries for help would probably go unheard.  So I pressed on.  I knew that if I stopped again, I would probably pass out.
     I jumped back over the railroad tracks, careful to make sure that I didn't get my tired feet caught.  My family was waiting by the fence at the bottom of the hill, and I waved and ran past them to the finish line.  The crowd was still there, waiting for the last few to make it down.  Their enthusiasm spurred me on for another block.  People called out my name.  I have no idea who they were since my only focus was the finish line.  I feared I would pass out if I took my gaze off my goal.  I did, however, notice one of my friends, because I was looking for her.  She told me she'd come watch and she did.  I high-five her mid-stride and complimented her clothes.  Yes, BlondieChell does it all.
      I made high-fived a bunch of kids and finished the last block.  Crossing the finish line, I reached out to grab a blue ribbon from one of the girls waiting there.  I missed.  I stopped briefly so the woman chasing me with scissors could cut my timing chip off.  Then one of the girls handed me the blue participator's ribbon I had missed.  I went and sat on the curb, unable to move, barely able to breathe.  I tried coughing, because I felt as if I had swallowed some dirt.  I sat there.  And sat there.  Finally hubby and the kids found me, and I had him pound on my back to help break up the phlegm and what I perceived to be dust particles.  My voice seemed to have disappeared.  (It may have been due to me vigorously screaming "Woohoo!" every time I slid on the dirt down the mountain.)  He handed me my water bottle and after a few minutes, we made our way back to the van.  Before we reached it, we ran into some friends and hung out with them for a while.  By the time we were ready to leave, it was pitch dark.  I was still wearing my cape because I was too wore out to take it off.
         Driving home, hubby had the driver's side window down because he doesn't believe in using the air conditioner.  However, we live in Colorado, the land of ten thousand bugs.  Thwack!  An insect had flown into the van, and bounced off my shoulder, then ricocheted into the black hole between my seat and the center console.  When I drew hubby's attention to this, he laughed, because he heard it come in, but didn't realize it hit me.  He turned the interior light on (I don't know why.  Bugs are best left alone) and pulled the van over to the side of the road.  Next thing I know, he opened my door and was yelling at me to "get out".  When he had turned the light on, I thought I had seen something yellow on the shoulder of my cape, but I thought it was dead.  Apparently not.  As he was urging me to "GET OUT", I was frantically trying to unpin my cape.  I got one side off (not the side the bug was on), and started to work on the other.  It was stuck.  Hubby yelled at me to unbuckle myself and I replied, "I can't!  I'm stuck!"
        "You have to unhook your seat belt and get out!" he said.
        "Meeeeeeh!" I replied.
        I reached under my cape and unhooked my seat belt.  I'm pretty sure he half yanked me out of the van as I was still trying to unhook the other side of the cape.
        "Run!" he shouted.  I ran.  "Stop running!" he yelled.  Okay.  I had only ran a few feet.  He rushed over, and apparently the insect was still a threat, because he was still panicked.  He to help me unhook it.  I'm not sure why the safety pin wasn't cooperating, but it wasn't.  So, he yanked the fabric off my shoulder, tearing a small hole in my shirt.
        I spun around.  He spun around.  Then, he started to violently shake the cape.  It finally flew off.....Then a vehicle pulled up behind us-it was our friends!  You know, the ones we end up having crazy "adventures" delivering babies.....  They happened to be driving by and saw the spectacle...and decided to see what was going on... ;)
     BlondieChell....Aren't you glad you know me??
     *My time was 41minutes and 2seconds....a bit slow considering the winners did it in less than 15, and my goal was 20, but I did it... to check my time for youself, here's the link:


  1. You have the best adventures! I would have died on the way up. Sometimes the stairs are too much for me-LOL!

  2. Thanks, Milena!!!
    Youtube vids are up! there's also a link to my channel on the right side of this page!