The Chris Davis Project:  Week 13

This week – Chris came back from Atlanta and we find out if he gained weight as he hikes Killington Mountain, home of the Ultra Beast.

READ Chris’s other blogs: http://blog.spartanrace.com/tag/chris-davis-project/

Chris Davis started out at almost 700lbs. He’s lost over 300lbs so far. Follow his Spartan journey as he attempts to get below 200lbs and complete the Spartan Ultra Beast in September.

7/12/2012

I arrived at Burlington Airport a little after 12:30 am on Saturday morning, where I was met by my good friend Tara.   It was so good to see her again as it has been several weeks since I had last seen her because she had been out of town before I left for Atlanta.  I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to have a good friend pick me up after leaving so many friends behind in Atlanta.   We headed out from the airport for our 1 ½ hour drive to Pittsfield and I had flashbacks to a few months ago when I arrived for the first time.  By the time we got home I was so exhausted I could no longer see straight.   So I went straight to bed and it did not take long for me to fall asleep.

The next thing I know I find myself waking up to Joe saying “Chris lets go…”   I grab my phone, and its 4am.  So I stagger out of bed and head out the door.   When I get to the car I ask where are we going and that is when Joe drops the second bomb of the morning on me.  We are climbing up Killington Mountain today.   All I can think is great, I have had less than two hours of sleep, and now we’re climbing Killington… Welcome Back Chris!  So down the road with Joe Desena, Jason Jaksetic, Steve Halstead, and I head!

We stop and pull over at the KMS school about 2 miles from the from the resort entrance.  So off we headed in the dark.    It is funny how you can walk down an the center of the road at this time of the morning and no one even cares.   By the time we got to the entrance to the mountain I was exhausted and slightly delirious from the lack of sleep- but I kept walking.  Around 6:30 am we arrived at Skye Peak and I was so happy because we had made it!   That is when Joe dropped bomb number 3 on me for the day!  We look at the map and tried to figure out how to get to Killington Peak.  So being the only one that could read a map in the group, we head off around the peak and head down a bike trail to Killington Peak.

By the time we started to head towards Killington Peak my brain had basically shutdown and I was nothing more than a walking zombie.   It took us another hour or so to reach the peak.  It was an incredible view,  Killington Peak is one of the tallest mountains in the area and you can see forever from there.   After I took a few minutes to regroup we headed back down.   We broke up into two group, Steve and I in one group everyone else in the other group.  We followed the access road down, because my legs were starting to give me a lot of problems.  My knees were buckling, and my hips were so sore I was having a problem standing.

As we walked down, I went from zombie more to survival mode, and everything just started to shutdown.  All I could do is focus on putting one foot in front of another.  That works on flat trails really well but anyone that has been on Killington Mountain knows those are few and far between.   I keep finding myself tripping over rocks and rolling my ankles time after time.  About half way down I hit a patch of loose rocks and down I went.  Unlike the last time I fell before the Death Race, I went down hard, using my elbow to take the impact of the fall.   I ended up with scrapes and cuts, and that was it.   I am so lucky that it was not any worse than that.

After my little fall I got a second boost of energy and we continued down the mountain.   As we got closer to the K1 lodge, I could not help but think “Are we there yet?” and every time I would think that a little voice in my head would say “NO”.  So we keep walking, and walking, and walking  finally we made it down.

I cannot tell you how happy I was to be off the mountain;  Now all I had to do was make it back to the car.  As it would turn out we were so slow coming down the mountain that Joe had send someone to pick us up instead of waiting for us.  By the time our ride arrived I had walked over 9.6 miles and had reached 2 peaks at the Killington Ski Resort.   Not too bad for having less than 2 hours of sleep.

On Sunday morning Joe wanted us to go back to the peak of Killington Mountain again, so once again at 4:30 am we headed out.  But this time instead of parking 2 miles out he had us park at Pizza Jerks, a little restaurant about a mile down the Access Road from where we parked the day before.

The plan was to skip Skye Peak and head straight up Killington Peak.   There was one big problem- my body had not recovered from yesterday.  I was only able to make it up about ⅓ of the way before my body started to completely shutdown, and this time I said enough.   I told Joe that I was done and headed back to the car.  He and the rest of the group continued up the mountain and I headed back alone.  This was a very long walk back to the car because I knew that I had failed to make it to the peak and that really bothered me.  But I knew it was the right decision at the time because I was only waiting at the car for about 15 minutes before Joe and Chris Zhu showed up.

But in true Joe style, he did not let me get in the car, but he wanted me to continue down the Access Road while Chris took the rest of the group back to the other car.  By the time Chris showed back up we had finished walking down the Access Road.  So I may not have made it up the mountain, but I did make it to the end of the Access Road, giving me over 9.6 miles for the second day in a row.

On Thursday, once again we got up at 4am and headed back to Killington Mountain.  This time with Jessica Pineault and Marion Abrams, “The film crew” from Mad Motion joined us for the hike.   This time it all went a lot better.  I was still fighting some hip and knee soreness from my other walks in the week, but I was able to work through it.   This time it took us about one hour and 45 minutes to reach the K1 lodge, and we did not stop at the ski lift either, we continued up all the way to the actual peak where the ranger station is located.

This was a really cool addition to the hike. After doing our interviews, we headed down the mountain.   I find that I tend to hurt myself more walking down more than walking up mountains, because once again, I took a tumble coming down the mountain.  I am just grateful that I did not end up hurting myself other than rolling my ankle a little.  I was so happy when we arrived back in the parking lot because I had completed my second trip to the top of Killington Mountain in under one week!    That is a truly wonder feeling!

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