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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