Tuesday, June 10, 2014

AT's AT Hiking Training Plan, Week Ten

Rock Formation atop East Bluff at Devil's Lake State Park

Week: June 2 - June 8 (7 Days)
Miles Hiked (Week): 11.40
Miles Hiked (June): 12.50
Miles Hiked, (June Goal): 40
Miles Hiked (Yearly Total): 70.00
Pounds Lost: 1.0
Percentage to Next Milestone: 28.30%
Pounds Lost (Total):  3.0
Weekly Goal Met: Yes
Nights Camped (Week): 0
Nights Camped (Total): 2
Nights Camped (Backpacking): 0

OK, now we can call it a positive trend. For the third measured period in a row (and second week in a row), I've gone the right direction on the scale. On top of that, I hit my first weekend with more than 10 miles of hiking, and finally hit an eight mile day. It truly was a good week.

What's even better is that the eight mile day on Sunday was not on a relatively flat and easy trail, like the 3.4 miles at Moraine Hills State Park near McHenry, IL was on Saturday. The two hikes I did on Sunday, one at about 5.25 miles in Devil's Lake State Park and the other at 2.75 miles at Blue Mound State Park, were on trails that could be at times quite steep, going both down and up. Much of the trail at Devil's Lake was crushed rock, which isn't always the most fun to go up on (and even less fun going down). When it wasn't crushed rock, it was root and rock trail that is quite similar to what you'd find on the Appalachian Trail. All told I made at least three climbs of over 100 feet, and one that was probably 400 feet (or more). For the first time in a while I felt the unmistakable stiffness that follows a day of heavy hiking.

Of course, there is still room for improvement. I'm happy I was down a pound for the week, but I should have been down a bit more than that, considering the amount of hiking I got in. I can't always rely upon my hiking weekends to bail me out from a less than stellar week. Unfortunately, this is just the case of bad habits dying hard. There really isn't much I can do here but keep at it and improve where I can improve. Now that I seem to be over the latest cold of mine (which inhibited last week's hiking total and dampened efforts during the week to exercise), I hope things will go better.

I'm glad I was able to get those miles in, because the next two weeks don't look like they will be as fruitful. I'm hoping I can get about 4-5 miles in each weekend, leaving an ambitious final weekend to hit my goal for the month. These next two weeks will be a test of how committed to my plan I am, as there will be considerable pressure for me to just ignore the alarm clock and go back to sleep. I'm confident I'll be able to get myself up for some morning hiking.

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