Mount Whitney

I just had my first shower in 3.5 days, and it was heavenly 😉

We returned from Mount Whitney (the tallest mountain in the continental United States, standing about 14,508 feet) this afternoon!  I ran an easy 5 miles on Monday before driving up to the mountains, and it felt pretty good, but my right foot/ankle still hurt.

We left around 11 and stopped for lunch at In-N-Out Burger.  When you’re in California, you have to get In-N-Out!

IMG_6538We picked up our permit in Lone Pine and headed up the Whitney Portal Road to the campsite.

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Dinosaur Rock

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Campsite with Grandpa’s motorhome

My grandpa adores fishing, so we went fishing pretty much as soon as we got there.  Don’t worry, I got a fishing license before I went (although the guy was like, “Are you even old enough to drive?” and didn’t believe me when I said I was eighteen and had had my license for over a year 😦 ).

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The pond at Whitney Portal

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Can we just appreciate my fish’s petrified face

On Tuesday, my brother and I woke up at 5 am and drove down the mountain so that I could do my first college workout.

purple mountains majesty

purple mountains majesty

I ran on Horseshoe Meadows Road, at about 4600 feet elevation, with my brother biking behind me.  My workout was 1.5 miles warm-up, 6 x 3:00 hard, :90 easy/rest, and a cool down until I reached seven miles.  My coach told me not to pay attention to pace or distance, so I just went off of effort.  It wasn’t too bad, I didn’t kill myself, although after 2.5 miles the road just went straight up a mountain!  I think I was between 6:20 to 6:40 mile pace for most of them and then the last one was mostly downhill, so it was around 6:00 pace.  The worst part of this workout was the fact that altitude = caked spit and bloody snot (sorry, TMI).

gotta get those insta pics ;)

gotta get those insta pics 😉 with Mount Whitney in the back!

I summited Mount Whitney when I was twelve years old and my brother was nine, back when its elevation was only 14,497 feet 😉 but unfortunately we didn’t get the permit this year, so we could only go up to Lone Pine Lake.  After my run, we drove back up to the campsite, ate breakfast, and then hiked 3.5 miles up from the campsite (about 8,000 feet) to Lone Pine Lake, which resides at a little over 9,000 feet.  The lake reflects a blue sky beautifully, but the sky was overcast the day we were up there.  My brothers and I decided to do a little polar bear plunge into the lake, which is comprised completely of snow run-off.  It was pretty cold!
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40 degree water is cold!

IMG_6817IMG_6822 IMG_6824 I twisted my ankle on a switchback as we were making our way down the trail and bellowing John Mayer songs, and it really fucking hurt.  Once we got back to the campsite, I was so exhausted from 7 miles of altitude running and 7 miles of altitude hiking that I couldn’t keep my eyes open…it was 6 pm.

We took a break from hiking on Wednesday and just hung around the campsite and the portal.  I walked down the stream and meditated on some rocks, read two books, enjoyed the scenery, and ate some spaghetti and s’mores.

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This morning, my brother and I got up at 5 again and drove down to run, this time on Movie Road.  Fun fact: the Alabama Hills (off of Movie Road) have been used as scenery in several movies!  I did 6 easy miles, partially on asphalt but mostly on the windy, hilly, rutted dirt part of the road.

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sunrise

We drove back up, bought the infamous enormous pancake at the portal store, and packed up and left after breakfast.

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Chowed down on basil mozzarella pizza for dinner.  Tomorrow, I have a nine-mile run with a tempo in the middle!

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