Last week I was all about hiking in Rock Creek Park. It's got a lot going for it ... close to my house, good elevation mix (not straight up hill for long periods), and not too crowded - but just crowded enough that you feel safe. There's one looped trail in particular that I like to hike. I generally prefer loops so you don't have to backtrack over what you've already done, and a short-ish loop like this one makes it easy to extend your hike by just going around the loop again. It gives you a nice stop by your car if you want to grab water or a snack, but doesn't force you to bring everything with you. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly how long my trail is, only that it consistently takes me 50 minutes to go once around the loop - so maybe 2.5 miles?
Last week's workouts:
Monday - 1 hour and 40 minute hike in Rock Creek Park (two times around the loop)
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - 45 minutes on the exercise bike at level 6 manual
Thursday - off
Friday - 30 minutes on the elliptical at level 5 manual plus 30 minutes on the exercise bike at level 6 manual
Saturday - 50 minute hike at Rock Creek Park (once around the loop) plus 2 mile walk to library
Sunday - 50 min hike at Rock Creek Park (once around the loop)
I love hiking as opposed to hitting the gym for a lot of reasons. For one, I get a little sunshine (hello, vitamin D!). I also genuinely love experiencing a bit of nature - smelling flowers, watching birds and squirrels run around (some days I even spot a chipmunk or a deer), and feeling like I'm breathing fresh air (even if that's just an illusion and I'm still breathing smoggy DC air). A lot of times I hike by myself and don't listen to music or a book and just take it all in. But if I do listen to anything, I prefer to listen to audiobooks rather than music. Hiking alone with basically no one around and few distractions, you can really get into an audiobook and sort of melt into that world. Last week I took "Frankenstein" on all of my hikes, which was a particularly good book to lose oneself in while out in nature. It might be too creepy to take on a night hike, but for broad daylight it was just perfect.
Do you ever listen to audiobooks? What book would you recommend listening to on a hike?