I lost something near and dear to me last week.
Or thereabouts. See – at work we are doing a “biggest loser” competition. I’m a fat slob and I know it, or at least feel that way. Most people seem to say “You don’t need to lose weight!” But my pants feel tight and I don’t look so great in a mirror, plus when I hike I’m usually winding up at the back after the first few miles. So, I’m working on losing weight and getting in better shape. But those two pounds must be near and dear to me, because they are so reluctant to leave. I hate the treadmill, I hate situps and I REALLY hate pushups. I also strongly dislike SlimFast and Bananas for lunch, but I think I like those MORE than plain water and dry Special K cereal for lunch.
My last hiking trip was a big eye-opener for me. Three days huffing and puffing through the woods was tough on my out-of shape form. Sure, I could blame my pack, maybe I could drop three pounds from it, but in reality, removing the equivalent of a half bag of sugar shouldn’t have that much of an impact on my hiking ability. Maybe next time I’ll just TAKE the half bag of sugar and eat it while I hike. That might help me speed up. My friends from that trek finished the Foothills Trail over the weekend, doing 44 miles in four days. Alas, I could not get permission to attend, however I was left wondering in my current state, would I have enjoyed it as much as some of my more lean and muscular group members. There’s nothing like the “Heartbreak Ridge” to really punish you, I doubt even olympians would go up and down that damn thing without saying “whew, what a workout!”
I’ve signed myself up for a Mountain Marathon in June, 26 miles up and down and around Caesar’s Head, from 7am until 6pm. I know it sounds like a long time for a marathon, but we aren’t wimping it out and running along flat pavement*. We’re doing this in the mountains – no bathrooms, no one handing us water (we have to collect and purify our own), and no one but the bears to offer us motivation on the sidelines. So, I have to get my flabby butt in shape for that.
In the biggest loser competition I lost 7 pounds in the first two weeks, of course one of those weeks was my hiking weekend where I walked 35 miles. Then I went on a cruise and found two pounds, which I think I subsequently lost. My belt feels less tight, anyway. I don’t own a scale, but I know when I can cinch my belt down a notch.
Unfortunately, as nice as hiking is for weight loss (you can only eat so much Idahoan Instant Potatoes and water), This month is busy, so I can’t even practice hike until the marathon. It’s just me and the treadmill. The nicest thing about the treadmill is regaining consciousness after I finish. I’m kind of tough on myself on that thing. Then I have to do sit-ups and pushups afterwards, just to practice getting ready for our next physical at work.
But, my biggest test of fitness will be getting back to hiking again when I can. After June, the summer is wide open for me, and I’m hoping that I can get my permission slip signed and go on a few more hikes. My ultimate goal is to finish the foothills trail before the end of the year, but It would likely be in November. Fall Hiking, as pretty as it is, doesn’t appeal to me as much now that I’ve learned how pissed bees are in the fall.Winter, Spring, and Summer, those are my favorite times to go now.
Unfortunately I have been a little disheartened missing out on the whole end-of-the-foothills trail hike. I haven’t really looked at my stuff. I repacked some things after my last trip, but I’m pretty disorganized at the moment. I know Mike would get a thrill out of this, but I think I do want to try a hiking kilt. My rain version was so comfortable and easy to use, having a real one would be pretty awesome. Less stuff pulling on the legs and all. I suffered some chafing on my thighs last trip, and some looser clothing may help that. Plus, I’m from Scottish descent, so it would just be right.
Someone has finally given me a trail name – I’m called “Taco”, just because I like exclusively using a hammock tent, which they say makes me a “bear taco”. Interesting choice of names, but I’ll accept it.
*Okay – before a bunch of runners get pissed and say “Wimping it out! How dare you! How many marathons have YOU run?”, I have previously stated how much I dislike running the treadmill. Running in the street interests me even less. Heat, rocks, other runners… no thanks. So no, I wouldn’t run one even if I thought there was a remote chance I could. Going slow and steady is how I roll. I’m not even sure I can finish this mountain version, but I hiked 18 miles last spring with a full pack. Surely 26 with a little day pack can’t be that bad, after all, we have almost 12 hours.