Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The 10 Mile Mark!

School is out for the summer, so I want to take advantage of the time that I have to get this training underway. My summer job and grad school classes will be here before I know it. Today was an outing by myself since others are working. I packed my backpack and headed to see how many miles I could tackle.

My pack was about 2 pounds. I know that some of you are thinking "big deal"; but I don't normally go around with a heavy pack everywhere I go. This is going to take time to build myself up to a full pack's weight (who knows when that I will be because I am going to be spending about 99.9% of my time finishing grad school this summer). 

I was able to tackle about 10 miles!! I surprised myself!!

 There are various different trails that people can take in this state park, so I thought that it would be a great idea to try one I have never done before, the "blue" trail. Wouldn't call it a mistake, but it wasn't the smartest decision. Anyway....the "blue" trail has a VERY narrow walking path with all sorts of plants going onto the trail. I thought that it would be a good idea to keep my eyes pealed for snakes because we all know that they are everywhere in Alabama. There were countless times that I mistakenly taken this little critter for a snake:

It's silly I know, but they blend in with their surroundings and don't move until you're right up on them. Goodness! They scared the mess out of me about 7 times!! Then I thought I was just about back to my car when I realized I was on the wrong trail!!! I guess I should not have taken the "red" trail so far...Thankfully there was a "green" trail connector to take me to my car. I passed a group of people that probably thought that I was looking pretty rough. Well, by that point I just wanted to get to my car to go home.

SO much work to do if I am going to be walking/hiking at least twice what I did today with a full pack on. Got to get where I am not begging God to please help me make it to my car in one piece after 10 miles, ha ha ha. It'll hopefully happen....

Several times along my hiking adventure, I did take the opportunity to pray a little and admire God's creation. I did enjoy those parts very much!

Before calling it a day, I did notice a couple of things....first, I believe I was starting to get a blister. What?!? This CANNOT be happening! I am going to have to find out some ways to prevent these little buggers from getting on my feet. Secondly, my hands were so swollen. Normally that doesn't bother me, but I don't want them to be that way during my entire trip. I wonder if there is a way from preventing this from happening...Any suggestions????

Sunday, May 19, 2013

First Day of Real Training

After church and lunch with some friends, Candy asked if I wanted to go hiking today. I told her that I was going to start next week once school/work was out for the summer, but I thought "what the hay". This could be the first day to my "real" training this pilgrimage.

I found out real quick that I am an old bird out of shape. After about 20 minutes of hiking, I broke out in a BIG sweat. Really?? Something must be done about this. Now the transition from spring to summer in Alabama can be rough at times. Like today...it was humid, muggy, and hot! This doesn't make the adventure any easier for this sad, out-of-shape person.

Climbs like this one were frequent today....no pain, no gain.

Candy and I did have a new hiking companion...Hailey

Even through all the pain climbing, we got to walk through some great parts of nature on this little adventure.

The best part was seeing all the waterfalls and flowing creeks. You can really tell that we have been having some rain down here in the south.

On the way back from practically rock climbing, we see this sign.
"Peavine Falls Area: <<CAUTION>> Rocky, Steep, Rocky VERY DANGEROUS AREA. Enter at YOUR OWN RISK"

 Maybe this is why Candy cut her leg...
No matter what Candy says, I did NOT push her! She tripped and fell on a rock. 

We ended up hiking for a little over 2 hours. I forgot about the pedometer app on my phone, so I don't know how far we went (maybe next time). It doesn't really matter at this point. What does matters is that I was hot, sweaty, and tired. There was an unintentional nap on the ride home. Great way to start the first day of my heavy duty training.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Getting a Training Plan Together

         I can not believe that around this time next year, I will be getting my things together to leave for France/Spain! It will be here before I know--oh, I'm so excited!!
Training hasn't been happening lately since I been having a lot do during the last few weekends. I know that with only about 11 months left, I have got to get crackin' on my training. Hopefully I will be able to start getting it together in the next few weeks since so school is almost out. This will mean that I can do the yard work and other projects during the week too!

         Since I will have a lot of school work to do during my LAST semester of grad school, I had to come up with some way to train and get my work done. Here's the plan: The days that I want to go hiking, I am going to load up my pack with my school stuff. After hiking for a little bit, I will stop and get some work done while out in the great out doors. Hopefully this will work. Most of my work will be reading and reflections so it shouldn't be a problem. Doing it this way gives me a chance to get used to having a loaded pack during my hikes (Maybe by the time school starts again all I will have to do is maintain my training from the summer). Sound like a plan???

        The only things that I have left to gather for the trip are things that can wait closer to time. I don't want to buy clothes and things too far in advance. You never know what might happen between now and then, ha ha ha. Every time that I buy something for this trip, I get excited all over again.

         I do have a confession-->I am getting a little addicted to the Camino message boards. I got the app for my phone and I am reading posts ALL the time! "I just have to know what is going on. What are people bringing? How are people training? How are they getting there? What advice are the veteran pilgrims giving?" These are just a few of the questions that I want answered. Also it reminds me off all the things that  I still have to do in order to be prepared.