This year’s backpacking season is going to start much earlier for me than usual. With a planned hike from the Nevada border about 100 miles north on the Idaho Centennial trail taking place in the first week of May, I need to have my legs and my mind prepared.

March is going to be all about running and planning. I actually hadn’t run at all from mid-December until the beginning of February. It used to be that if I didn’t run once a week, my right hip would get all gimpy. But one week and then two and three passed and it didn’t get bad. So I just let the running slide – partly because of the weather, and, I’ll admit, partly out of laziness.

With the return of relatively temperate weather, someone at my crossfit box started up Saturday running, and I did a nice little 2 mile run in 40 degree weather in the rain to kick off my running training on 3/4. Maybe I should place some of the blame for my subsequent cold on that run, but I’m glad I did it. I wanted to get 8 miles that week, but I only managed 4.7, all of which happened last Saturday (3/11), but in two chunks. I would have run more, but my old ITB/hip issues reared up.

I’ve learned by now though that the best way to get past that pain is to make sure my running form is good and run through the pain. I ran another 3 miles the next day, which was painful, but do-able. I even wore my hydration backpack with 5 pounds of weight in it, just for that little extra something. And yesterday, I ran half a mile, just a little warm up before doing my pull up workout. That didn’t impact the hip at all.

Based on my previous solo trips, where I tend to go much faster/harder than when I’m with my husband on backpacking trips, I know that the hip pain can hide. I might not have any issues hauling a 30 pound pack at an easy 1 mile an hour pace, but try 35 pounds at 3 miles per hour and I discover the hip pain.

My plan as I ramp up my activity for the May hike is to delve and discover that hidden hip pain and work it out before I start the trip. I will push myself to run fast in this month of March. I will do back to back, long distance, weighted hikes on weekends in April. I will research and prepare as much as I can for this journey, because 100 miles in 5 days through a desert isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

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