I’m feeling good about my last two weeks of hiking. For the first time since last August I’m not injured and haven’t had any setbacks over a two week span. My current weekly schedule is to do a training hike (for the High Sierra Trail in late July) where I push myself, rest two days and then do an easy hike, rest one day and then play tennis, rest one day and repeat. This is now working well and I’m settling into having a routine. Of course I’ll need to break that up periodically with some backpacking, but it feels solid right now and I’m pain free!
It’s been frustrating how long it’s taken me to get going again. Recovery has been painstakingly slow. I really felt like I was back in 2011 just getting started. What last July would have been an easy warm up portion of a hike recently required a ridiculous amount of stops just to catch my breath. Five miles felt like fifteen. It was great to be back in the forest but also discouraging to see how out of shape I now was.
So, getting my last training hike up to 16.2 miles with 4,849′ of gain felt terrific. Finishing with that oddly refreshing tiredness that comes with appropriately pushing oneself, and with no knee pain or blisters was invigorating for me. I even felt great the next day.
Balancing training hikes with more leisurely strolls through the forest is working well, especially when family and/or friends join me on these easier ones. It’s extra special when my daughter joins me (like last Sunday on the Pacific Crest Trail), this being her last year before going away to college in August.