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A year of hiking continues...

Wilderness Peak

Let's start with a moment of Zen...



At the start of this year, I put together a little list; my Do. Have. Be. list.

This list is something I do every year. It keeps me on track so I don't get too complacent.

This year I created a site so that I could share some basic tips on manifesting your best life utilizing this simple list method.


One of the things on my list was to try to hike the local trails.

So in my typical over-do-it fashion I decided I would use it as an opportunity to train and get stronger as well as connect with nature. ;-). What? I know, I'm nuts.

I started with doing just 1-2 mile quickies. Very slow..up and down...using my hiking poles. Very leisurely.

But of course I got stronger, which led to me trying 3-4 mile hikes at a faster and faster pace.

About 5-6 weeks in, I decided to try 4 miles as fast as I could go. Very fast pace, partially running. I did it in about an hour.

Now I am not saying this to brag, I am demonstrating the insanity of my brain and how I default to over doing things. Thankfully, I didn't have any issues with my knees or ankles or feet. (I have been trying to rehab those areas after some goofy injuries).

Then last week, about 7 weeks in, I decided it was a good time to test how much I could do. I went 7+miles.


What I learned:

  1. Anything over 4 miles you need food. I started to feel muscle fatigue and got very close to getting muscle cramps because I didn't have enough food. Granola bars and stuff like that just didn't cut it.

  2. Need to bring a backpack and layers. You get hot, wet, thirsty. A lightweight backpack (maybe water-resistant) is a good idea.

  3. Band-aids or other first aid things would be helpful. Not absolutely necessary but if you have a bag anyway, why not?

  4. A light stretch before you set off is very helpful.

  5. A deeper stretch when you are done is very very helpful.

  6. Enjoy the journey. (I tend to get very goal oriented and focus on the end in mind). Ugh!


 

Wilderness Peak - Cougar Mountain, Issaquah Alps


My calf is sore. My knee is a little chirppy. I wonder how this is going to go.

I decide to wear a knee brace and tape my ankle...just in case.


It's early morning and none of my kids want to go on this hike with me so it's another week of hiking alone. I've actually gotten very used to it and enjoy the peacefulness. I don't put in headphones or anything because I want to be fully immersed in the wilderness. This is not a workout I am trying to get through. It's a workout I want to enjoy and experience and so the sounds, smells, views all matter. I love walking along and touching the trees. I especially like the old trees covered with moss. It's such a fuzzy, cozy feeling. These fuzzy guys are my "brothers" and I will ask them to take away my frustration and any discomfort I am feeling.

I know, it sounds crazy but a long time ago I was taught that trees will take your anger and frustration away from you if you ask.

Try it.

No guarantees but it sure is something to experience.


 

The Shoes


A while back I wanted to get a pair of shoes that were waterproof and comfortable that I could wear to my sons baseball games in the spring. Those of you who know, it is ridiculous cold and wet in March here in the Northwest. I had not intended to use them originally for hiking or trail running but boy do I love these shoes.


Positive traits:

  1. Waterproof

  2. Amazing shock absorption

  3. VERY light

  4. Breathable

  5. Overall stability

Negative:

Not really a negative but the treads could be more aggressive. However, I feel like it was too aggressive then the shoes would be too clunky.



Fun fact:

I like these shoes so much that I decided to get 2 more pairs. You know? Just in case.


Actually, I told my sister to buy them for me as an early birthday gift.

I know what you guys are thinking, it's exactly what my wife said-

"Why are you asking your sister to buy them for you?! You are a grown man!


Well....

A. That's the sort of relationship I have with my sister. She is 3 years older and has always been like that. What can I say, it brings her joy.


And B. Who am I to take away her opportunity for joy?! ;-p

 

The Hike


The trail is fun, sometimes challenging, and very well maintained. There is not much to say other than, go try it out.


Enjoy some photos: (click on photo for slideshow).



At the end of the day, I struggled some with the knee. I had to take a couple breaks and "reset" the muscles in my calf. But I made it down no worse for wear. I will just work out those muscles a little harder in the following weeks.


The worst part of my hike was actually my ridiculous jacket. I have had this jacket for over 10 years. It's orange. It's light. It's waterproof.

But apparently its not breathable!

So, I am getting hot and the inside of this jacket is...getting wet!

It was gross!

Can you believe that?

Who makes a technical jacket but doesn't make it breathable??!

Aargh!


If I am going to continue to do these hikes for the rest of the year, I am going to probably have to buy a new jacket.


My only problem is that I also made a commitment not to buy anything this year.

Hmmm...maybe I should ask my sister to buy me a new jacket? LOL!


I'm kidding, just kidding....maybe.

 





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