Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AT's AT Hiking Training Plan, Weeks Thirty, Thirty-One, and Thirty-Two

Weeks: October 20 - November 11 (22 Days)
Miles Hiked (Total Period): 20.25
Miles Hiked (October): 5.25
Miles Hiked (November): 15.00
Miked Hiked (October Goal): 30
Miked Hiked (November Goal): 30
Miles Hiked (Yearly Total): 188.20
Pounds Lost: 0.2
Percentage to Next Milestone: 46%
Pounds Lost (Total):  19.8
Weekly Goal Met: No
Nights Camped (Weeks): 1
Nights Camped (Total): 6
Nights Camped (Backpacking): 1

Honestly, I swear this isn't turning into a "every three weeks" kind of thing. That's how it has worked out the past two times, I know, but I have every intention to be back next week. Hopefully with a better weight loss total than a scant 0.2 pounds. I suppose a small loss is better than no loss (or a gain).

However, the big story of these three weeks isn't the weight loss, but rather the shakedown hike Erin and I did out at Forest Glen. For the first (and almost surely last) time this year I camped outdoors using only what I could carry on my back. Personally I think it went pretty well, despite the fact that I'm still sore in places from the hike. I was able to prove that I could go multiple miles in one hike with the pack on my back. I had trouble sleeping, but it wasn't because I was too cold. My bag, liner, and marmot vest kept me plenty warm overnight. All in all I'm still a bit too tentative going down hills (particularly hills with slick leaves and slick clay mud), but I'm feeling better about my ability to endure the awfulness of those first weeks on the trail next Spring.

The big shakedown hike took up over half of my total hiking for the period. The rest was split between a few places. The biggest hike of note was at Marengo Ridge, where I completed the full hike from my hiking book now that the snow and ice were gone. I was happy that every hill on that trail, plus the 100 or so steps at Apple River Canyon that I hiked later in the day, were done without stopping until the top.

A cold front has settled in across the United States, and things feel like winter here in northern Illinois. We haven't had any appreciable snow yet, so there's still some time for hiking that doesn't involve being prepared for the white stuff. This weekend looks like it will be cold, but at least without too much of a chance for precipitation. Hopefully I'll be able to wipe out the other 15 miles in my monthly goal, and actually hit that monthly goal for once.

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