Happy, happy, happy! We went ultra-light, with backpacks that Tom and I (mostly Tom, mind you) made ourselves a few years ago. Fully loaded, water, food and everything else, my pack weighed in at 24# and Tom had 28#. Not too bad for 2 nights and 3 full days.
What kind of posts do you find on a running blog authored by a chick who hasn't been running much? NO posts, apparently. At least, that's what you'd find here. If you looked. If you're still here (which, apparently, you still ARE, because I have something like 90 subscribers in Google reader, even though it's been months). That's amazing. Who ARE you tenacious people?
I've really been taking it easy on the running lately. Like, waaay easy. No races, no training plans, no goals, not even much running. I still just don't feel like it. So there. I've been quite active nonetheless, with some big ol' bike rides, some scattered running. And Crossfit. Oh yeah, Crossfit. I think THAT's where my physicality has gone lately, and I am eating. it. up. I've been going regularly since April, and have noticed changes in my strength. I'm developing some guns! Well, more like little teeny-tiny pistols, maybe, but still. It's toning me way more, all over, than running ever did, or maybe has added a LOT to the tone that running has given me. I go, I hate the class while I'm doing it, as soon as it's over I'm all THAT WAS AWESOME, I love this! And then I'm all, I'm a fking bad-ass! Et cetera, et cetera.
Not that much of a bad-ass, really. My goal here? I want to be able to do one, I repeat, ONE, unassisted pull-up by the end of the year. December 31. ONE. This is not the goal of a true bad-ass (who could probably do 10, 50 at least), but one of a wannabe bad-ass. That's ok. I'm happy as a wannabe.
I'm also happy as a hiker, and that's why Tom and I found ourselves backpacking 40 miles of the PCT over 3 days this weekend.
This light pack, and my general awesome bad-assitude (hah!) allowed my to try something I've never done backpacking before . . . I ran! Well, it was more of a shuffling-kinda-trot thing, faster than a walk, not a full on jog. 24 pounds does add up! I was unable to run the uphills, I just lacked the power, but was able to move along relatively quickly on the flats and downhills. Over the three days, we gained around 7600' and lost around 5000'. In retrospect, there wasn't much flat.
I also added another new thingy to my running inventory . . . a stick. I've used it for about a month now, and only on really technical stuff. I fall down - a lot - and this thing has helped with that. I'm using the Black Diamond Z Pole, pictured here:
They come in pairs, but I only use one (I think two would trip me up). Tap, tap, tap down the trail I go. The thing is super light (9.8 oz for the 120 cm size. I am 5'7, and in hindsight should have bought the 110 cm length. Next time. The 120 does work, but I find I want to not swing my arm much, and with a shorter stick it would be easier, if that makes any sense). It folds and unfolds super quick and snappy. For a while I dithered about trying to figure out where to stow when I was running and didn't want it (previous to this trip) -- hold it? put it on the side of my Nathan running pack? It was awkward. I ended up just tucking it into the bottom of both straps, length-wise across the small of my back. Sounds uncomfortable but isn't, and worked really well, even with my backpacking pack.
This stick thing has been awesome, and sure made running this weekend easier on my feet and knees. I used to kinda snicker at all the walkers with their funny ski-poles, tapping around and looking foolish, but now I am a convert. I have yet to fall over with the stick, and this from a runner who falls down nearly every time I go out. This weekend it was indispensable.
Anyhow, we walked and hiked and ran. We saw tons of wildflowers (soooo late this year, they're usually all gone by July or early August, but all the snow we had . . . ), oh and we saw snow (still out there in these mountains, for sure), got chewed on by mosquitoes, ate reasonably tasty homemade dehydrated morsels, had lots of great views, laughs and sore body bits. Here's a couple of pics. (I left out the one of my poor, mosquito-bitten legs.)