A hike on the Pacific Crest Trail
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Yesterday I went hiking with my very inspiring friend Leigh. After the death of her 21-year-old daughter, she gained about 40 pounds in her grief. Then she decided to survive the loss by getting strong. Three years later, she's dropped the weight and is an accomplished trail runner and obstacle course racer. At 50 years old, she's in incredible shape, with muscles, stamina and expertise I admire.
Leigh lives out in California's Antelope Valley. It's about an hour's drive with no traffic from my house. I headed out there yesterday and after asking her tons of questions about how to train for my upcoming race, I joined her in a hike.
Leigh took me to a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail near her home. The PCT runs all the way from Mexico to Canada. I'd love to hike the whole distance one day. But yesterday was about training for hills, so we tackled a 3.2 mile segment. The temperature was over 90 and there was minimal shade. We brought lots of water with us. I wish I'd had a visor. Otherwise, the hike was fantastic. The views were great. It was very challenging, especially the fifth mile on the return trip, which was mostly uphill and I was tired. I learned a lot about shoes for trail running, hydration packs, and the right clothing to train and do my Spartan obstacle course race in December.
Altogether, we hiked 6.3 miles round trip, with an ascent and descent of 933 ft, in 2.75 hours. I'm really proud of my effort. I was able to keep up with Leigh the whole way, and wasn't too winded to talk with her the whole time.
And this morning, my quads and hamstrings aren't even too sore! Woohoo!
(I didn't take this photo, but it's a good representation of the views we enjoyed yesterday)