Monday, August 18, 2008

Back To Practice

After missing 2 Sundays in a row of a long training session, the dogs and I put in a full week of daily practice out on the trail. Monday we hiked 6 miles south of Carnation and back for a total of 12 miles. Tuesday we walked 6 miles on Redmond Ridge, 5 miles back on the SVT, on Wednesday evening (half of it a run), 4.5 to 5 miles on Thursday and Friday and then back up to 6 miles Saturday morning.

Harley and I finally returned to our long training session together yesterday. Our goal was to start between 6 - 7 am and to hike 10 miles. At 5:30 am it looked a little dark yet and we did not get going early enough so we started the hike at 7 am.

My pedometer watch was providing an accurate reading so we traveled a little further than intended. Luckily the trail is lined with mileage markers in the portion where we were hiking so we went by the markers instead. We ended up going further than 10 miles because we had walked at least a half mile before we reached the first marker from where we parked.

Once I hit the 5 mile marker to turn around I wanted to put in a good pace to see how long it would take me to walk 5 miles. I have already forgotten my speed but with 3 stops (one to water the dogs, one to go to the bathroom, and one to pick and eat blackberries) I had exceeded the 3 mph pace I was shooting for.

Since Harley was not within sight behind me, I crossed the road when I got back to the trail head to see how much further the next mileage marker was. It was about a quarter of a mile I figure. I turned around and headed back to the truck to complete 12 miles. With 7 stops, I still completely the distance in under a 3 mph pace. That is slower than when I walked the 2006 Seattle marathon but I am contending with many more issues. First, I need to stop every hour to give the dogs a water break. Second, it is hotter out so I am drinking more water which means I have to go to the bathroom more often. Third, The trail is not a paved road like it is for the marathon course. It is crushed gravel, rock, or dirt substrate. Thus, the terrain slows me down and is more challenging for my gait. Fourth, due to the gravel surface and my occasional habit to drag my feet due to my disorder, I often kick tiny pebbles or debris into my shoes that I have to stop and empty. Finally, I have to carry more water for both the dogs and I so I have extra weight that I am lugging with me.

We have hit some unusually hot weather this past week which Harley and I find more difficult for us. We seem to tire faster, our muscles get sore quicker, we dehydrate faster, and I find it harder to breath. Yesterday was harder on him than our 15 and 18 mile hikes. Afterward, he took a "real" ice bath (meaning I put a huge block of ice in the tub) and later that afternoon he napped while my relatives and I hiked to the bottom of Snoqualmie falls and back. Today I am slightly tired but it is also a grey, raining day. My feet are well adjusted to the hikes and this level of usage so I have only gotton one tiny blister after our 15 or 18 mile hike that I did not even notice for a few days. Harley on the other hand, has virgin feet for this kind of endurance sport. Therefore, even with proper and good quality shoes and socks, he has suffered many more blisters.

Only 19 days now before the big hike! That is 2 weeks and 4 days!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for Harley (and of course you too Rebecca)!!!! -Jane