|Resting at Moore's Knob in Hanging Rock State Park|
When I last left you, my longest hike to date was 11.5 miles and I had just finished a chilly, wet short hike of 6 miles. Over the next 8 weeks I managed to get in one long hike each weekend with progressively longer mileage each week. The one notable exception was that I missed our team's longest training hike of 20 miles because I can down with a bad sinus infection and cold. As a result, my longest training hike was 17 miles (which was followed by another 5 miles on each of the next 2 consecutive days). I'll find out tomorrow whether that's going to be enough to get through the 28.3 mile Ultimate Hike. There are options for shorter distances if that becomes necessary. My plan is to push on through being tired and sore, but stop short of getting injured.
Here are a few highlights from some of those training hikes.
These pictures are from a 14 mile out-and-back which included a couple of miles of off-trail hiking each way. The bare feet held up well even off trail on the way out. On the way back I was with a small group that had gotten a little bit lost and I opted to put on my light sandals for the off-trail part so I didn't slow down the group as we tried to find our way back. Once we made it back to the trail I went back to bare feet.
These pictures are from my longest training hike -- 17 miles.
This final group of pictures are from the beautiful elevation hike we did at Hanging Rock. The picture at the start of this blog post was also from that hike. It was 14 miles with quite a bit of climbing. I did fine on the uphill. I found the downhill very challenging. I am told tomorrow's hike won't have any elevation changes of this magnitude. Thank goodness for that!