Saturday, March 29, 2014

Got My Goods Together!

After months of research and shopping, I have purchased everything that I need! It feels good knowing that all my items are now ready to go into my backpack. Man, I never thought that I would need this much stuff just to go on a trip. After all of my packages came in the mail, I made sure that I weighed everything and put the information into my fancy Excel spread sheet that I made to do all of my calculations for me.

(Click on the picture to make it bigger)
This may seem a little much for some people, but when you have to carry all of your belongings on your back for 6 weeks, every gram counts! If my calculations are correct, I should not be carrying any more than 15 pounds/6.8 kg when I have food and water in my pack. That's about 13% to 14% of my body weight. The recommended is 10%, but I can't see that happening.

 I was already trying to find ways to shed some extra weight. I even took apart my book of maps in order to save a few grams (It worked! I saved 50 grams). Traded my Keen sandals for those ugly Crocs. That saved my over 200 grams alone! Also, I had my hand towel cut into smaller pieces (only needed wash cloth size anyway) to help save me 30 grams. The one thing that did disappoint me was not being able to take my St. Thomas's My Way of Life that Mom got me for my birthday. Although it is light, I don't have any extra weight that I am able to spare. On the brighter side, I am going to be able to take the Anglican prayer beads that she got me! I have already started learning some of the prayers that go along with them.

I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do about communication. I do know that I am taking my phone, so relax people. However, I have to talk with the people at Verizon to see what is the best option for me. Texting and emailing is all that I will need to do. Mom already has said that she will only require a text or email every now and then, which I understand. So, an international plan might not be necessary, but I'll check all that out when I talk with Verizon soon. Not sure what plans Candy has in the communication department, and I don't think she doesn't either since she keeps asking me what I plan on doing.

Dad gave me an old iPod that I will be using for video and pictures. It is set up with the Blogger app, this way I can update my blog when I have wifi, and email. Don't worry, I have created a separate email address to use while in Spain. Just let me know if you want it, and I'll get it to you.

Candy and I have been trying to use our weekends wisely. Meaning that each Saturday is devoted to hiking with our fully loaded packs for 10 miles or more. During the week, however, I do try to go running at least every other day. I am able to comfortably run about 5 miles. **Note to self: don't try to run right after it finishes raining because it just might start raining again. Then you will have to stop by your friend's house on a Saturday morning begging for covering. Thank you Ms. Janet and Joy!!

As I am typing all this out, it just hits me on how real this trip really is. In less than 2 months I will be half way around the world doing something that I would never thought I would be possible. Mom said that she is sure that this is only the beginning for me. I told her that most people say that once you do the Camino, you'll be coming back for more. I am sure that this will be true. I am getting more and more excited about the spiritual side of this trip, about what God has planned for me in Spain. I know that I have said this before, but there is just a burning desire and passion to see what God has waiting for me that I just can't wait to experience it. Even that means suffering is part of it (well, I KNOW there will be suffering, ha ha ha).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Getting Close!

Seeing my count down on below 60 days is exciting!! I can't help being super excited and wishing that time would just fly by. Right now, I am having these crazy dreams about all things that can go wrong. The last one I had was about how I missed my plane by 1 whole day! I was NOT a happy "hiker" in my dream.

Took my first hiking adventure with a mostly loaded pack (I have little things to get yet) on Saturday. There were several things that I had to do in order to make sure that I was ready:

1) Look at what I had, weight each piece, and put it into my spread sheet that I made to calculate the totals

2) Find out how to pack everything, and actually pack it.

3) Get snacks and water for the "wonderful" adventure.

1.....Even though I weighed everything already, I wanted to do it again to make sure that I accurate the first time. Well, I wasn't. I put the weight into my spread sheet that calculated everything. I'm not doing too bad. I only have few little things to get. There will enough weight left for food and water. There is about 1.5 kilos left to my "weight limit". 

Here is what I am taking so far...

2....YouTube was a great help to know how I should pack everything. It wasn't too difficult really. Sleeping bag on the bottom, heavy things towards my back, lighter things away from my back, and frequently used things on the very top. I did find out that my pack is way too big. It is barely half full! I don't know if you can tell it from the picture, but there it is. 

I ordered a new pack...a Gregory J38 to be exact. This one should be a better fit in the torso, and it's smaller in liters (38L vs. 45L) The best part is that it's purple.  While I was ordering, I went ahead and got a couple of "dry sacks" to keep my clothes and sleeping bag dry and clean. 

3....Candy and I had a great time hiking Saturday. We made it 8 miles with our packs! Whoot Whoot!! The creeks were flowing beautifully. It seems that my running has paid off. 

I was able to do the 8 miles without being "spent". However, I did notice some "hot spots" on my feet. Maybe tapping the problem areas each day will help prevent blisters. From everything that I am reading, taking care of my feet should be the number one priority.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spartan Race Complete!

Well, I went and conquered the Spartan Race. It wasn't as nearly as bad as I thought it would be. All I know is that I didn't have the strength that I thought that I did. Trying to get over some of those walls and pull the sandbag was hard. The running wasn't that bad. Although, it was NOT a 5k! The race was 4.5 miles! It was fun though and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The hardest part was crawling under the barbed wire with gritty and stone filled mud. I have so many cuts from that part. the burpees were not that bad. No one was watching over you to make sure that you did them by the book. This was to my benefit, hehehe.

Injuries: lots of scraps and cuts from the horrible gritty mud crawl, very sore muscles, and some bruising.

Total Number of Burpees: 5x30 = 150

How did this prepare me for my pilgrimage?? Maybe it gave me the boost to get into shape otherwise I'm not too sure. 

Don't worry, I didn't forget about the they are: 
Before. Look how clean we look :)

Coming down from a rope climb and pool of mud. 

My buddy was tired and ready to be finished.

This was an easy obstacle.

The "lovely" barb wire and mud pit. Here is where 80% of my injuries occurred. 

We finished! Yay! 

Now bring on the Camino! I'm ready!