Finally, Some Momentum

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!

Mt. Wilson Trail (14 miles, 4,750' gain)

Mt. Wilson Trail (14 miles, 4,750′ gain)

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.

View toward the Channel Islands from the Jesusita Trail in Los Padres National Forest (7.4 miles, 1,350' gain).

View toward the Channel Islands from the Jesusita Trail in Los Padres National Forest (7.4 miles, 1,350′ gain).

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.

Idlehour Trail (16.2 miles, 4,849' gain).

Idlehour Trail (16.2 miles, 4,849′ gain).

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.

Pacific Crest Trail between Cloudburst Summit and Cooper Canyon Campground (5.2 miles, 1,400' gain).

Pacific Crest Trail between Cloudburst Summit and Cooper Canyon Campground (5.2 miles, 1,400′ gain).

8 thoughts on “Finally, Some Momentum

  1. Well, if you did 4,849 feet of elevation gain, the total climbing was probably a lot more. And if you did that with “some” momentum, remind me not to get in your way when you are at “full” momentum! 🙂 Nice going, though.

    A year and a half ago, I did 15 miles with 3,800 feet of gain and 4,100 feet of total climbing — after a three month layoff — and by the time I got back to my car I was almost crawling. But I’m an old guy now, so I had to cut myself some slack. 🙂

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    • A three month layoff from hiking and the first one back is going to be a little tough–especially if you’re traversing 15 miles and 4,000′ of climbing at any age 🙂 I’m getting up there myself having reached 50 this year.

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  2. i can so relate to the uphill (pardon the pun) battle re: getting back in shape after an injury! it’s hard, and discouraging. but you just have to persevere. looking forward to more of your great photos!

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  3. You’ve made great progress if you can hike 16 miles with 5000 foot elevation gain! I would love to be in that kind of shape. These are really beautiful landscapes, not a hint of air pollution!

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