I’m still hard at work with my anticipatory training for the Appalachian Trail (November is inching closer to find out for sure!). My training has changed a lot since I last posted about it, so here is what I’m currently doing versus what I was doing back on June 19th:
|Monday||4.7-mile trail hike, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells|
|Tuesday||4.7-mile trail hike, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell, abdominal/core strengthening|
|Wednesday||4.7-mile trail hike, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells|
|Thursday||4.7-mile trail hike, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell, abdominal/core strengthening|
|Friday||4.7-mile trail hike, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells|
|Saturday||4.7-mile trail hike, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell, abdominal/core strengthening|
|Monday||2-mile road walk, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells|
|Tuesday||2-mile road walk, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell|
|Wednesday||2-mile road walk, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells|
|Thursday||2-mile road walk, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell|
|Friday||2-mile road walk, upper body w/two 10-lb. dumbbells|
|Saturday||2-mile road walk, lower body w/one 10-lb. dumbbell|
For the month of August, I started using my trekking poles and wearing my pack with 10 pounds of gear. I just added 10 more pounds for September, and when October comes I will add the final 10 pounds for a total of 30 pounds. I’ve lost approximately 14 pounds of body weight and am feeling really good, although pretty tired by the end of the day. Often, I want to head to bed at 8 PM, and those who know me well know I tend to lean toward being a bit of a night owl!
At times, I have to dig pretty deep for inspiration. When you decide you want…need…to do something like thru-hikng the Appalachian Trail, it can become daunting. Almost-2,200 miles is a long way to hike. A really long way. I have the additional challenges of medical issues. So, I dig deep. I remember how I discovered the Trail, why I decided I want to thru-hike it, and how I will feel if I don’t go down to Georgia next March and give it 100%. These are pretty normal feelings, from what I’ve read of many other thru-hikers’ journals. That’s why I have chosen to train six days a week, rain or shine (except downpours and lightning, of course). No amount of training will have me totally prepared for what the Trail will throw at me, but if I’m in the best possible physical shape that I can be in, I will at least stand a chance. It’s a domino effect: feeling physically adequate will give me the mental strength I will need. I also have a ton of support from family and friends, and people who don’t even know me (via social media). I am grateful.
I look forward to so much that the Trail has to offer: interesting places, history, random acts of kindness of strangers, the complete physical and mental challenge, and contemplations about my life’s direction. In November, my student loans will be the deciding factor as to whether the dream is actualized, or becomes dust in the wind.