I have not been very active in the hiking world nor in the blogosphere since starting my MBA last September. I embarked on 1 year intensive program with Hult International Business School in London and the way I spent my time changed drastically.I could no longer spend my Saturday mornings on the Billy Goat Traill scrambling up the rocks Continue Reading
There are a group of trails along the C&O Canal in Maryland called the Billy Goat Trail. There are 3 different sections, A, B and C. A couple weeks ago I had the privilege to hike B and C. Part A of the trail tends to get closed pretty often because it gets flooded by the river. Part A is the most known of the trails because of a rock scramble it has. Sadly I have not been able to do Part A yet, but will let you know when I do!
Part B of the trail actually had a bit of a rock scramble section as well. I think that was my favorite part Continue Reading
Most of my time spent in the mountains has been in cabins with friends. I have not yet tried to hike in the mountains. The last two times I decided to head up in the elevation zones I have gotten pretty sick. At first I thought it was just a hangover, I was at a cabin with a bunch of friends after all. However, I know my hangovers well and the headache, fatigue and dizziness is not what my body usually does. My hangovers are usually all in my stomach.
After this past time I was in the mountains I decided to Google what might be happening and voila! Answers!
Apparently some bodies just need a little more time and care to adjust to the higher altitudes. The air is thinner which means less oxygen to the blood. This causes dehydration among other things. All of these conditions just affect the body and I have learned that I need to be mindful of it, especially if i add physical exertion on top of it.
There are certainly mountains along the PCT and physical exertion will be kind of necessary. I’ve been researching the best ways to both prevent and treat altitude sickness so that I can be prepared when I start my journey. Below are the recommendations that are common across most of the available resources:
- Acclimate – Give your body a day or two to acclimate to the new elevation and oxygen levels. So I will need to curb my impatience and just wait until my body says it is ok to hike.
- Hydrate – This part seems like it may be more difficult while doing a through hike seeing as there is not always a surplus of water to drink. I will need to be sure I have some back up ways to get water.
- Replenish – Your body needs electrolytes and nutrition to replace what it is using all the time. At high altitudes nutrients are used up faster and you need to replace them faster
There are also apparently some prescriptions that can help with the side effects. I don’t want to use them unless all the above fail, so I will not go into that option yet.
Some of the sites I used in this research are here:
The new year is upon us and I have made fitness for hiking part of my goals for 2016. I signed up for Class Pass so that I could do a variety of classes that will strengthen the muscles that I will need.
I’ve of course been reading up on which muscles will be important for the hike and why. I found that I will need to focus on my calves more than anything to help strengthen my ankles. There is a similar approach for the muscles around the knee to strengthen that area. In short, my legs are a high priority to start strengthening.
I tried a Barre class for the first time about 2 weeks ago now. I chose this class specifically because the internet informed me it was high intensity, low impact. This meant that I could strengthen my leg muscles without aggravating my ankles to knees.
Boy oh boy was the internet right! Barre classes are some of the hardest workouts I have done so far but in the best way possible. I worked muscles I did not realize I had and was sore for at least 2 days. The classes are going to do wonders for my leg muscles (as well as arms and abs). My goal currently is to go to at least 1 if not 2 Barre classes a week so I can continue this momentum. Stay tuned!
On a different note, I have also been going Pinterest crazy with my research. I have found some useful things, though, don’t worry. The best so far has got to be the Sea to Summit X pot. It is light weight and also collapsable! This makes it take up very little space and very little weight, perfect for a thru hike. The lid also has holes so it can double as a strainer. I can definitely be a great chef while on a thru hike with this pot.
As mentioned, I am not athletic in any way. The scene in Wild when Cheryl is fighting with her pack in the hotel room because it’s too big and heavy to get on is exactly what I would be doing. I do not know if I would win, though.
One of the first things that came up when I began researching this hike is fitness for thru hiking. I had actually never thought of this before, other than the obvious. Continue Reading
I very quickly jumped from lazily watching a movie to preparing for an insane hiking journey. Less than 12 hours after watching Wild I was googling hiking options close to me. There are a surprising amount of places to hike in the DC metro area!
I simply clicked on the first place on the list I hadn’t been to yet. It was a “moderate” hike of up to 4 miles. I say “up to” because there were connecting paths that led you back to the beginning instead of continuing the loop. The trail is called Scott’s run and it is part of the Potomac Heritage trail. The entire PHT runs 710 miles through Virginia, Maryland, DC and Pennsylvania.
Last night I decided to forgo social interaction to instead watch movies on my computer and enjoy a glass of wine. This is not as sad as it sounds, I promise. Sometimes a girl just needs a relaxing night to reflect and be inspired.
Wild, with Reese Witherspoon, was exactly the inspiration I needed. Watching this woman, who is close to my age, use a solo hiking trip to sort out the issues swirling through her head hit very close to home. Continue Reading