The Hike That Did Us In

For those of us from Colorado, “fourteener” is a common term.  In fact, there’s likely one or even a few of those fourteeners on our Summer bucket list each year.

A fourteener is just a peak that is over fourteen thousand feet {go figure, right?}.   In Colorado, there are 53 of these peaks.  I just so happen to be married to a man that wants to climb all of them.  A true Coloradan at heart, that boy.

Yesterday we set out to the mountains  to tackle of first fourteener of the Summer this morning{we’ve been busy, late start}.   To put things into perspective, last year we did three summits in one day:  Democrat, Cameron and Bross.   This is one example of the few peaks in the Colorado area that you can summit multiple peaks in one day.  The only peak we didn’t hit that day in the range was Lincoln.   From our views on those summits, we could see that Lincoln seemed like a mean man.  {Spoiler alert: we were correct}.  We never put  much more thought into Lincoln and went along our merry way.

Until a few weeks ago, when Zach and I started talking about potential summits we could hit before the season got completely away from us.  To seal the deal, I have a friend who was kind enough to let us stay in her cabin in the small town of Fairplay, which was less than a 20 minute drive from the trailhead of Lincoln.

Zach did research, as he always does, and found that Lincoln was somewhere around a 5mile trip, which gives you around 3400 feet of elevation gain.  Five mile seems short, right?

That should have been a sign.  3400 feet of elevation in 2.5 miles?

The Hike

Zach and I were on the road from our cabin in Fairplay before 8 AM and hiking before 830.   While that isn’t super early, we’ve been in a cooler trend this Summer and the mornings are COLD at high elevation.  At this point it was still in the 40’s, so I wasn’t rushing to get out of the warm car.  With that said, we could have probably used to get on the mountain a little earlier.

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Let me tell you a little something about me and hiking.  I’m the kind of person that prefers going up to coming down, and often think about the descent as I’m still ascending.   Within the first tenth of a mile on this hike, I was already anxious.  Within a quarter of a mile, we hit portions that Zach was already having to lift Gus over because they were too tall for him to climb.

Now don’t get me wrong, climbing this is fun, coming down is not.  Within less than a half mile, we hit a point that Gus could literally not get over, and that Zach could not boost him over.  This was the first moment that we began to think we may not make the summit.  Conditions were very washed out due to the monsoon rain we’ve been having, and the trail IS THIN.  Very little room for error.  With that said, we kept trucking along, finding a route that Gus could navigate.

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The hike was gorgeous.  Both Zach and I can agree that the views offered on this hike were some of the best that we’ve ever seen.  Worth the struggle, but don’t be fooled they come at a cost.

One way or another Zach and I managed to keep moving.  Within about an hour and a half, and probably a little over a mile into the hike, we saw what we thought was the summit.  Within our sights.  This kept our spirits a little high that, even though we were moving much slower than we would normally, we could make it.

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After about 1.5 hours, we reached what is called the Amphitheater.  An amazing and beautiful section of the hike that is very clearly mapped out how to navigate in directions due to it’s difficulty.   “Loose dangerous rocks” was mentioned on multiple occasions so we did our best to slowly treck through the area as it isn’t clearly marked by a trail of any kind.

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I’ve done a lot of hiking in my day, and this hike was like nothing I have ever done before.  It wasn’t really scaling, it was more like rock climbing at points, except in very loose, shale rock (not exaggerating, you’ll find out why it felt this way soon).

At about 2.5 hours in, we really started to question ourselves.  We were both suckin’ wind, and felt like we had just scaled an entire cliff without gear.  At this point we could see what looked to be the road that got us to the last 400 feet of elevation (right at 13,800 ft) about 500 feet higher than the point we were at, so we decided to go for it.  And go for it we did. It was also at this point that we noticed what we had THOUGHT was the summit was in fact, a false summit.

Somehow, the two of us made it to the road that leads you to the REAL summit (road is a term used loosely, still very big rocks but finally something that at least resembles a trail again).   By this point it was nearing 1130 and we were both moving way slower than we’ve ever moved on a hike.  We began our treck up the road, but knew we’d be moving slow and saw that the rain cloud that was over us was NOT moving slow.

As we felt a few raindrops, our decision was made for us.  Less than 400 feet from the summit, we had to turn around.

Now if you know Zach and I, you know this was NOT an easy decision for either of us.  We are stubborn as hell and do NOT give up.  But safety was a legitimate concern at this point.  You never want to be stuck on a mountain in a storm, and definitely not a fourteener like Lincoln.

To make matters worse:  We found the trail for the hike coming down.  Come to find out, Zach and I had completely missed the trail coming up through the amphitheater and literally scaled the wall that the directions told us directly NOT TO DO.   In true Jara style, we had made what would already been a challenging hike nearly impossible by blazing our own trail (at least for us).

Thankfully, this made the entire situation even easier for the two of us to laugh at.  We both agreed that had we done the actual hike as trailed, we would have been able to summit, but with the looming rain storms and shot legs due to scaling, it wasn’t worth it.

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Let’s just say I’m glad we didn’t push it.  The hike down was still over 2 hours of (at times) tear educing terrain.  By the time we made it to our car at about 130, I could have burst into song I was so happy to be down.

I’ve never had an experience hiking that I did today, and am completely humbled but proud that the three of us made it through.   Today was a reminder that activities like hiking a fourtneener are NEVER to be taken lightly, and sometimes your stubborn nature needs to get put to the wayside.

Don’t be fooled though, Zach and I have plans to attack it again  :).  This time, without our four legged friend and sticking to the trail.  But Lincoln, know that you haven’t seen the last of us!


What My Week Will Look Like

Woof!  Just creating this image made me exhausted today

PicMonkey Collage

Heavy focus on the poor legs this week, which is why I’m cuttin’ them a break today and Thursday.  Lots of fun and exciting things planned though, so I’m looking forward to it!


AM Arms


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Click for the routine

Lunch stretch/walk

PM Arms


AM Yoga for Runners

PM 5 miler



AM stretch

PM 4 miler



Hot Power Fusion Class






Dirty DASH!




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Plan to sleep until my eyes can’t stay closed anymore 🙂

What’s your week look like?

A Busy Weekend and Exciting DIRTY Deal For YOU!

I’VE GOT SOME BIG NEWS FOR YOU GUYS AT THE END OF THE POST, but first let’s get through normal business

Another Summer weekend in the books.


Did everyone enjoy their weekend?  Ours was very busy by our standards, but the perfect mix of fun and activity.  Let’s backtrack 🙂

Friday Night

I left you all Saturday morning mentioning that I followed up a half day of work with a nice short hike up in the front range in Golden, CO.


I did the Chimney Gulch trail which was just over 3 miles and a nice prep for a much longer weekend hike on Sunday.


I celebrated the weekend with a donut from Whole Foods


{totally worth the potential stomach ache at the moment}

While Zach wrapped up work.  Around 430 we headed out to walk to a happy hour at a new bar a few blocks from our house, The Matedor.


I started off the night with a Cucumber Jalapeno margarita and enjoyed every spicy sip.


Zach and I split some stuffed jalapenos  while we tried to decide whether we wanted to extend our happy hour.


Ultimately, we decided we were having too much fun and I enjoyed a glass of white wine and good conversation until we headed off to our dinner spot for the evening.

Sushi Bay

We had planned to go to one of our favorite and affordable sushi spots int he Tennyson neighborhood of Denver, Sushi Bay.  Never dissapoints.


We started with two good size rolls to judge our hunger.


Which we followed up with two more — one of which continued the jalepeno theme of the evening (and was VERY hot.  We actually ended up not finishing it, ha).

Just looking at all these rolls is making me want to go back.  Like now.  Maybe I can talk Zach into basically repeating this date night this week.  What do you think babe?


I sipped another glass of white wine with my dinner but at this point in the evening I was reaching my alcohol limit.  We stretched out dinner for quite some time and I had no trouble savoring this drink the entire time.

Saturday Morning

Neither Zach nor I spelt particularly well Friday night, so we were slow to roll outta bed around 730 or 8 AM.  We knew we wanted to get a run in, so I snacked on an easy-to-digest tummy friendly snack before hitting the road.

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 We didn’t get out the door until almost 9 AM, so it was already getting hot and muggy.  Never a good sign.  I managed to truck it out with him over the hills until about 4.5 miles, where we stopped for a water and bathroom break.  Zach still felt great while I was feeling the mix of heat plus drinks from the night before…

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Zach ended up going a couple extra miles while I just trucked it back home.  I made it a little over 5 miles before I just walked it out.  A nice slow start to the morning, nothing wrong with that.

We got a few things done around the house (including my hubby finally hanging back up our rearview mirror that literally just dropped from the windshield awhile go.  Oddest thing) before our hunger stopped us in our tracks.

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Eggs with some goat cheese, garden tomatoes and fresh basil on a corn tortilla.  DELISH.  I WILL Be making this meal again.  ASAP.

We had a friend stop by for a little while to pick up a few things, and before we knew it, it was time to head to our first part of the evening.

A 50th Celebration

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One of Zach’s cousins who live in Colorado was celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend, so we headed out to celebrate and spend time with family.

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The night was a blast, full of family, good food and fun.

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I enjoyed a Qudoba bar with greens, chicken and salsa

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plus a peanut butter chocolate gluten free cupcake.  YUM

After a couple hours we headed to our second part of the evening, but by this point I guess my camera wasn’t in my thoughts because I didn’t snap any pictures.  Either way we were celebrating a friend going back to school and had a BLAST with some old work friends.

We were home around 11, to be sure we got enough rest for a tough hike the next morning.

Sunday Morning Hike

Zach and I were up and at em early — out of the house before 715 with Gus in hand for a birthday hike 🙂


Gusman and the two of us made it over twelve miles for an exhausting but fun way to wrap up our weekend.





We finished our hike right before 1 PM, and were HUNGRY.   All we had eaten were snacks, including trail mix, fruit and pb pretzels.  Food was needed.


A gluten free pizza and beer from a golden brewery right off the main street.  And dog friendly WITH Yahtzee, perfect.


I was dog tired by the time we got home, so I showered then settled in for a chick flick while Zach got some work done outside.

The evening slipped away and before I knew it, it was almost 8 PM.  Time for some grub before passing out.

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A salad with  a mix of fresh veggie and salad bar topping from Sprouts.

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All topped off with a DELICIOUS gluten free cupcake.  I will have to share the brand with you guys, because these are AMAZING.


Over the weekend I got some EXCITING news!  As a part of my connection with Fitfluential, I have been selected to be a sponsor for The Dirty Dash!


click for link to The Dirty Dash Website to check it out and SIGN UP!

From their website

Have you ever said to yourself, “Marathons are too easy, and Triathlons are for sissies?”

We haven’t either…those races are really hard. Think about it…the first person to run a marathon actually died. HE DIED!…and he probably didn’t even have fun along the way! Well, welcome to a new kind of race: THE DIRTY DASH. This race that puts all other races to shame. The Dirty Dash is a mud run obstacle course where a military boot camp meets your inner five-year-old’s fantasy and subsequently converts boy to man and then man to swine. You’ll need endurance to trudge up mountains of sludge, courage to overcome uncompromising obstacles, a complete lack of shame to wallow in pits of mud and a smile to show through at the end! So let this mud run obstacle course become your new guilty pleasure. Go solo or with some of your dirtiest, filthiest, & uncouth friends. Either way, you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am a Dirty Dasher!”… and then proceed to clean yourself off.

I’m planning on running my first race with The Dirty Dash in Colorado Springs THIS WEEKEND!!!!!

First off, if any of you are thinking about doing the same and want to run with me, SIGN UP NOW!

I HAVE A DISCOUNT CODE TO SAVE YOU 20% off your entry free! When you register: just type MEDALS when prompted for your discount code and save that 20%!

It also doesn’t JUST have to be Colorado Springs — the Dirty Dash has tons of locations, and using that code will save you 20 percent on all of their upcoming races:

  • August 16 – Colorado Springs
  • August 23 New Mexico
  • September 6 – Missoula 
  • September 13 – Utah
  • September 23 – Virginia Beach

I am beyond stoked about this opportunity and can’t wait to share my experience with you all.   Follow me this weekend at #TheDirtyDash for all the dirty details during the event 🙂

Have you ever run an obstacle race?  Do you want to?