Upcoming events –

Napa-Sonoma Half Marathon, July 20, 2014
Noble Canyon 50km Trail, September 20, 2014

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Yosemite Training

July 25--Yosemite National Park

Wow! It's hard to imagine a more beautiful place to get in a good workout. Sean Albert and I joined a few others from the Olympic Training Center for a long day of hiking that was capped by a breathtaking (literally) ascent of the cables on the side of Half Dome. If you have never been to Yosemite, go. Even if you never get out of your car, it will be well worth the trip. But you really should get out, see the falls, wander through the meadows in Yosemite valley or, better yet, the large glacier-swept Tuolamie Meadow to the north. It's no wonder that John Muir loved this place. The size and scale of the valley and the surrounding mountains is hard to believe.

Sean and I made the most of our trip by driving up on Saturday morning and staying in the luxurious Curry Village tent city. It had everything you could hope for when camping in the great outdoors: soft beds, downy pillows, warm blankets, hot showers, and neighbors who stayed up drinking late into the night, talking and banging pots and pans in your ear. Or perhaps it was the crying child who kept falling out of bed. 'Thump.... whaaaaa! whaaaa!' And then again an hour later, after the considerate parents had carried her screaming through all of the campsites to make sure we were all awake: 'Thump....whaaaaa! whaaaaa!'

Even with little sleep, we were energized for the 5:30am start by the splendor of the granite monoliths and towering ponderosa pines. Last year Sean and I made this same hike with 15-20 track and field athletes from the training center including Curt Clausen. The three of us quickly separated ourselves from the pack and made it to the top before anyone else that day. After some photos out on the 'diving board' we hustled back down before the hordes arrived. The cables are never fun because of the exposure, but with lots of other people on them ahead of you, they become pretty dicey. This year it took us a few hours longer: more time for photos and snack breaks.

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