Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 3 Update

Hike training has been steady, but not exciting enough to blog about... yet.

We haven't hiked since our Pocahontas SP excursion a couple of weeks ago.  Since then, our training has consisted of a steady 5-day-a-week diet of 45-minute to 1-hour walks with a little bit of x-training mixed in.  We've spent most of our time walking the hills at Deep Run Park, since the paved trails are perfect for our double-stroller.  Our neighborhood streets have been great for quick walks with the kids and dog, but they're incredibly flat and less-than-ideal for the mountainous terrain we'll be encountering.

The rest of the week will include four hour-long walks-- leading up to our first team hike on Saturday.  We'll be hiking Mount Pleasant, a moderately-easy 6-mile hike near Amherst, VA.  This should mark the official end of our training honeymoon period...

In related news, I think I have a solution to my pack "problem." I had been leaning towards the super-lightweight REI Flash 18 pack to carry our gear on the bigger hikes---but after trying it on in the store and adding a 10-pound weight, the Flash felt miserable.  No padding + no frame = NO FUN.  After trying on the Osprey Talon 22 with the 10lb weight, I fell in love-- it has the comfort and venting I'm looking for, BUT the price ($80-$100) is on the high side. (We've spent quite a bit on the hike in a short amount of time). So, I'm going to test out my old North Face Yavapai pack.  I bought the pack seven years ago before a trip to Colorado, and it's been my go-to-work laptop bag ever since.  I think the pack has seen one trail, and I had no idea the laptop sleeve could carry a hydration pack(!?)  It's a little heavy, so it'll encourage me to pack efficiently.

Old Faithful

I'm going to test the Yavapai this weekend, and if it fails... I'll splurge on the Osprey (it's a REAL nice pack that seems to be worth the money).  In the meantime, D will be sporting a small Camelbak Rogue, while I carry her stuff in the bigger pack.  She carried the girls for 18-months... this is the least I can do to repay her :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hikers 4 CF

Just came across a blog from a group of Xtreme Hikers who will be joining the trail with us.  Kathi Bezeredi has a son with cystic fibrosis, and she's hiking to raise money for research that will combat this terrible disease.  Her best friend and sister-in-law will be supporting her cause by hiking alongside her.  It looks like they've already started their training...and will probably smoke us on the trail :)
Please visit their site and follow their journey too:

Looking forward to meeting this group on our June 29 team hike!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hitting the Trail

Week One of Xtreme Hike training is officially in the books!

So far, we've raised over $1,500 for cystic fibrosis research!! Also, we've picked up a few 'corporate sponsors' along the way...but I'm keeping these companies a secret until the donations are official.   I'm very excited about the level of support we've received from our friends and family, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the news of our hike spreads to others over the next few months.  We have a long way to go!

The physical training is very similar to our fundraising-- it's been a small but surprisingly productive start.  We managed to get in a nice 3-mile hike at Pocahontas State Park (Chesterfield, VA) before a super-cell storm dumped 5.5" of rain in less than 2 hours.  We've had an abnormally wet spring and summer, and I'm hoping things dry out before September!

Week 1:
Day 1: Gym-- 3.1-miles (1hr)  on the treadmill, using inclines
Day 2: Gym-- 3.1-miles (1hr)  on the treadmill, using inclines
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Deep Run Park-- 3-miles (1hr) on the un-paved trail system
Day 5: Manakin Farms-- 2-miles (40m) of walking in the neighborhood across from my office
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Pocahontas State Park-- 3-miles (1hr) on Beaver Lake Trail.

Beaver Lake (@Pocahontas State Park)
Beaver Lake Trail (@Pocahontas State Park) was our first official practice hike, and it gave us a chance to test some of our new gear (boots, socks, & Camelbaks).  The trail was a little muddy due to our stormy weather, but it was a relatively easy hike-- and relatively boring too.  The highlight of the hike was the water coming over the top of the 'lake' spillway.  There wasn't any wildlife (unless you count ticks) or scenery to take in, but it felt good to get on an actual trail.  

The Spillway (aka: the highlight of the hike)

One thing I'm keeping an eye on:  D and I were planning to use a small CamelBak Rogue hydration system on our hikes.  The Rogue carries 2L of water, but the storage space is just big enough for a few cliff bars, a pair of socks, and a small first aid kit.  Ideally, I'd like to keep as much weight off my shoulders as possible-- I can't imagine carrying an unnecessarily heavy pack over 31 miles!  The idea was to buy small that would force us to carry only what's needed... but... I might need to supplement the hydration pack with a waist/lumbar pack that can carry a few more essentials (rain gear, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, camera).   Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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