For those of you who aren't familiar with the Central Oregon, I live at ~3,500 feet. For a lot of my exercise ventures, my lungs give out before my muscles do (at about two minutes in). I recently joined a running program (officially training for a 5k, which I may or may not show up for--I joined to lose weight, not to run races), and my ventures in uphill "running" (pronounced PLOD-ding) have resulted in much gasping and wheezing. I have, however, learned, that running a nice gentle downgrade isn't so bad, though.
Anyway, so yeah, high elevation--the trailhead was over 4,000 feet, and it went up from there. And to get to Tumalo Falls, you drive to the end of a long road, first paved then gravel, and then you have to hike a little ways (maybe 1/4 mile?) up a rather steep hill to get to the viewpoint for the falls. It's UP. A LOT. The other times I've gone there, it's taken me quite a while to make it up the hill, and a lot of resting along the way.
This time, though, I powered up it. I was about halfway up when I realized I hadn't stopped yet. And didn't really need to, though my thighs were burning. Yep, my legs were giving out BEFORE my lungs for once. I think all this "running" is actually helping!
I got to the viewpoint and just kept on going. The trail levels out quite a bit at that point, but there are still steep spots interspersed with the flatter spots and even a few downhill spots. I jogged the downhills and a few of the flats where I was feeling less worn out, but walked most of the way. I kept going, without stopping for a break, for 1.27 miles!
|Tumalo Falls. This photo is from my return trip. Sorry it's blurry, it was getting dark by that point.|