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Building Endurance! (And West Coast Trail Recap #2)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Of course , a good training plan to prepare for a emoticon or a emoticon is to gradually build the distance and allow some rest and shorter runs in between to avoid injuries...

Back to West Coast Trail... Waking up Day 2. I had my longest sleep in weeks (9 hours) - I guess I really need to recover from the intensity of our day 1! The only problem was - I felt like I could not move and bend anymore! All my muscles (especially my core) were sore! Our recovery period was short considering that we still had 60 km to make it to the finish line! On the positive, the weather was nice - no rain!

As I am packing our gear and getting ready to start the hike again, I took every opportunity I had to stretch! Outside, Jeff was preparing breakfast - oatmeal and a clif bar. Yes!!! emoticon Chocolate! "I am def not tracking food - I am sure I am burning way more than I am eating... "

It was pretty early but we gotta get going because we had more than 20k to cover today - as Jeff said "it is just a half marathon, you do that in lest than 2hrs!"... Well not this time... Day 2 took us almost 10 hours with only snacks and water break... (as I said, if you visit most site about the West Coast Trail, this portion is usually broken down in two days... ) As soon as we started, we hit a series of ladders ...

Did I mention that my hiking boots were still wet and I was now walking in my running shoes! Yeah, not so good. Very slippery and the stability is not the same. I would not recommend it! My boots were hanging on Jeff backpack hoping that they will dry a bit, but the humidity iwas very thick... my only hope was to dry them tonight, if we manage to have a fire going.

We were progressing at a good pace, considering that the elevation change is ... I would say intense... but spectacular!

The first 15k were inland, meaning roots and rocks climbing and ladders... the trees were really impressive and some like this one are still wearing the signs of the past (notice the telegraph post)... My mental resilience was not as strong as I would have like it to be, I was finding this adventure very challenging!

To cross over ravines (some very deep!), you have to maneuver log walking sections made up of falling trees that criss-cross each other... and the tops are cut to make a flat surface ... falling is not an option here! To make it more exciting, some logs bounce and the rebound, if you are lucky, is a mud pit! Looking at it this way, at least the ladders are fixed!

Two of the ravines and creeks have cable cars like this one...
They are not as easy to get over as it seems. Once you reach mid-point, you have to pull yourself to the other side!

The last 5 km were on the beach... I don't think I would ever say that "I don't like the beach! " This was so difficult!!! I was walking so slow I felt like I was on a treadmill... My feet were sinking in the sand and because of the weight of my backpack I could not stay straight... I had to walk staring at my feet.

We saw an eagle, a porpoise (stinky), sea lions (they were laying on a big rock and they were loud! and lots of piece of boat... but I just wanted it to be over!

The reward was "Chez Monique"... She was not there when we made our stop at her restaurant but two exchange students greeted us... We had a big burger (mine was veggie) with a couscous salad and a coffee! Now only one more km before camp.

That was my longest half-marathon ever! For sure, on a long run that I thought difficult after this hike, I could not help but thinking "this is not that bad after all, it won't take 10 hours!"...

** Some pictures are from Trimble Outdoors Website...
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