Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Hike From Hell

I'm so proud of myself - I was so good about fitting in a workout every single day last week!  Last week was also a great example about how you can always do something even if you really don't feel like working out.  A couple days I read on the exercise bike in my building's gym and one day I just walked on an errand.  But making sure you get up and move every day is so important for not just your physical health but your mental health too.  This time of year it's great to get some fresh air, see a little sunshine (I have no windows in my office at work), and just stretch those muscles - even if you're not pushing them to their limit. 
Monday  - 45 minutes on the elliptical

Tuesday - 40 minutes on the exercise bike
Wednesday - short walk to library (about 2 miles).  You may have noticed I walk to the library quite a lot.  I have a long commute to work, during which I like to listen to audiobooks - usually CD books - plus I like to listen to playaway books when I workout and I also sometimes like to sit down with an old fashioned paper book and lose myself for a bit.  All this means I find myself going to the library pretty often.  And since it's relatively close to my house, it's a great excuse to combine an errand with a bit of exercise. 

Thursday - 30 minutes on the exercise bike plus 10 minutes of free weight exercise
Friday - 3 mile run from my place to Takoma Park (soooo uphill on the way home that I walked several times) plus a 4 minute plank tabata (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off - 8 rounds)
Saturday - 3 mile run along Sligo Creek
Sunday - 7 mile hike at Sugarloaf Mountain.  This time I hit the yellow trail, also known as the Saddleback Horse Trail.  Unfortunately, figuring out the hike was a bit tricky because this trail doesn't actually follow a precise loop, and it doesn't start or finish at any of the parking areas - not helpful!  I went backward-to-forward on the trail, connecting to it from the white trail, then hitting marker Y14 to start and looping around towards Y1.  Then I had to follow along the road to get back to my parking spot, which was pretty scary with no sidewalk and with cars flying around blind curves. 
I put together my own trail mix to bring for a snack, which turned out to be pretty critical along the way.  The seven miles ended up taking me almost three hours and I was starving only a little more than half way through.  I mixed together sliced almonds, walnuts, craisins, and mini chocolate chips for a satisfying snack. 
So, seven miles on a pleasant day with a tasty trail mix snack ... what's not to love, right?  The reason the hike ended up taking me so long was that I spent literally almost the entire time trudging through mud, water running like a river down the trail, or trying to figure out how to get around huge ponds that had formed in the path.  It may not be obvious from the picture at left, but that's the path.  And those little brown dots?  Hundreds of tadpoles. 
At one point I came up on a river with no obvious means to cross.  The water looked pretty clear, so figured I would just suck it up and bound across, letting my shoes dry over the next few miles.  Unfortunately, though the water was clear enough, the bottom was still a squishy mess.  I ended up with mud streaked all over my legs.  Needless to say, by the end of my hike, my shoes and socks were completely soaked and caked in mud.  At least I didn't slip and fall on my butt in the middle of the muck.  That would have been a fun drive home ...

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