Kicking off #CouchTo14er — Can you help?

PikesPeak[dropcap custom_class="normal"] I[/dropcap]ncluded in my #40before41 list is climbing to the top of Pikes Peak, a 12.6-mile trail with an elevation gain of 7,510 feet. It's definitely the biggest physical challenge on the list, and intentionally so. I tend to pick something to push my body each year, and that knocks me a little off-center: a few years back it was training for a half-marathon. After that, it was completing the Colorado Spartan Military Race.

And I've realized that in order to check Pikes Peak off my list before I turn 41 next April, it's gotta happen this summer. So training has to start now, with a goal of hiking it by August.

While a lot of my midwest friends think I'm crazy, many of my Colorado friends have already accomplished this task.  So I'm coming to those of you who hike 14ers (or similar long treks) like a stroll through the park. As I begin this journey, what do I need to know? Should I be weirded out by the fact that Backpacker magazine has named it one of America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes?

And for those of you who want to follow along, I'm labeling this journey #CouchTo14er. ("Couch" may be a tad bit misleading; I do walk my dog regularly.)