The Taper

28 May

Hiking in the Rincon Mountains.

Emily and I have talked quite a bit about our physical training getting ready for the trail.  Some weeks have gone way better than others, but we have consistently put in 35-60 miles of training a week, mostly running and hiking.  We have pushed ourselves hard, hoping that by putting in the work now we can start the trail doing  higher mileages.  On tough days we talked about how much easier those climbs in the Whites will be after training on these huge rocky mountains.

All of this training unexpectedly culminated on our hike this past Saturday.  Friday we had gotten up at 6am to bike 26.2 miles with a friend (in 35mph winds), then napped, and then knocked out 10.5miles of trail running in the evening.  So when we woke up Saturday morning and hit the trail for our 20 mile training hike we were (maybe) a little tired.   According to the locals, it was the last “cool” day before summer- the high was only 87degrees and there was a beautiful crisp wind.   We had packed tons of snacks and a good amount of water (which, as always in the desert, wasn’t enough).   Our hike was basically 11 miles up to a peak and then 9 miles down, with lots of rollers in between.  We climbed almost 5,000ft, with a good chunk of it in the last 2 miles of the climb.    Besides the usual water stress (not having enough), we did a good job of taking breaks, snacking and hydrating as best we could.

Our favorite desert plant which was have named the “Seusser” because it looks like it is from a Dr. Seuss book.

It was on the way back down when we started talking about our next day’s training (another 20 mile hike).  Emily brought it up, and I agreed, that we were done with this type of training.  Even on tired legs, we had rocked out 20 miles without any heroic efforts.  The fact that we will be doing these hikes every day for 4+ months starting in a few weeks makes it hard to put in so many miles that aren’t getting us any closer to Springer.   We feel ready.  So we talked to our coach and she came up with a great “Taper” plan to get us through these next few weeks without losing everything we have worked for.  We will still run and hike, just not as much and not as far.   The hope is that when we get to Baxter State Park we will be fresh again, both mentally and physically.

One Response to “The Taper”

  1. Jim Wentzel June 8, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Hard to believe your dream is getting so close. Don’t get too tired to post on the trail! Your readers will be rapt. And when you get out there remember no detail is insignificant: sunrises, butterflies landing on your shoulder, Georgy farting.

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