This was my self-inflicted, vacation taking, ‘gaining perspective’, cross training week; I was spending the first half of it trekking through the wilderness. But I figured any time on my feet would count toward the end goal, and seeing some amazing stuff along the way – well that was pretty cool.
Monday June 22: 16 mile hike with 5500 feet of elevation gain, topping out around 8500. We won the lottery to get a permit allowing us to climb the cables at Half Dome in Yosemite. It was pretty epic. Over 8 miles to the top – the first four are pretty much all stone stairs as you make your way up, up, up (you get the idea) two staggeringly tall waterfalls. Its a pretty quick awakening that this is no ordinary walk in the woods. And then you just hit switchback after switchback. Oh and then, THEN you get to haul yourself up a set of shaky cables on the steep side of a rock face. But – WOW- worth it. Possibly the only thing that topped the view, was the shower after the hike. It cost me $5, but no doubt, I would have paid three times that.
Tuesday June 23: We had moved to the High Sierra Camps late Monday, so now in addition to the beginnings of general fatigue, we had 8000 feet of altitude to deal with. We put in about 10 miles today, walks to beautiful Dog Lake and a sunset trip to Lambert Dome. Plus some extra miles when we realized the camera battery was blinking red, and the need to capture the moment meant extra miles back and forth to our stash.
Wednesday June 24: 12 miles. We hiked out to Mono Pass, actually trekking beyond the park boundaries, on an old Indian trading path. Past old cabins and more breathtaking views. Through streams and over boulders. We gained elevation to about 10500 feet. But the air was so cool and crisp and the wildlife abundant. Its hard to be tired when around every bend is something out of one of those coffee table books.
*Side note: if you have the chance – please visit any one of our nation’s national parks. they are budget friendly, easy to access and just beautiful beyond words. i have had the pleasure of about a dozen of them, and i bet you will never regret it. ok – PSA over…*
Thursday June 25: Travel Day. More specifically 18 hours of travel. I took a bus to a train to the metro to a plane. I try to walk as much as possible, around the depot and the airport, but it never ceases to amaze me how much sitting on your arse all day can truly make you tired!
Friday June 26: 8.5 miles – RUNNING! I had to coach my cross country team’s summer practice that morning, it came very early! Managed to do about 2.5 with the team before I hollered uncle. Later in the day I outran a thunderstorm and logged another 6. Solid day, knowing that the vacation fatigue was starting to take over.
Saturday June 27: Hour bike ride. Not my usual spin class. The weight of 12 days away came crashing down and, as a coach used to tell me, ‘respect the travel’. I knew it would be stupid to push myself today, that I needed rest and recovery more than I needed to add miles. Also, being in cooler temps and low humidity for a while – to all of a sudden be thrown back into the oven I call home.. Whew. that takes some readjustment!
Sunday June 28: 10 miles, progressive – dropping the pace each mile. I wasnt sure what I was up for today, so this run kind of just happened. ended the last miles at sub 7:30 pace, so maybe all that walking at altitude helped out with the lungs a little!
Totals for the week:
38 (give or take) miles hiking –
18.5 miles running
one hour spin