Last week I managed to meet my mileage goal of 10 miles with 12 miles. This week so far, I’m up to 5.8 miles of a 12 mile goal. I’ll be running 3 miles tonight and half a mile Thursday, leaving a mere 2.7 miles to get to this week’s goal of 12. Which I’ll probably exceed, depending on what I do on Saturday and when.

My body is feeling the exhaustion of adding all of this physical activity into my routine. My mind is tired and fuzzy by the end of the work day. I really want to institute nap time.

But I know that this will pass. My body will adjust. I just need to get through these first few weeks of change.

I had been hoping to take the Lucky Peak trail for training starting in April. It’s a nice 11 mile round trip with nearly 3000 feet of gain. Perfect for spring training, except for the fact that the Boise River Wildlife Management Area remains closed to protect the deer and elk still wintering in the foothills.

Okay, okay, I support keeping the deer and elk safe and unstressed by the presence of humans. But it does mean that I’ll have to figure out a different training route. I’ll probably head over to 8th street and make a route out of the foothills trails up there. I’ve hiked there before, and as long as the trails aren’t too muddy, they’ll do. They just lack the simplicity and challenge of the Lucky Peak trail.

Worst case scenario I’ll be at the gym wearing a full pack and walking on the incline treadmill. Possibly alternating with the stair climber – not the step machine, but the one that’s like an escalator. Heck, I might even try the Jacob’s Ladder with a pack, just to see how it feels. That’s not actually a bad worst case scenario.

This is going to be the first time that I’m starting out my hiking season with a solo hike, and a long challenging one to boot. Sure, the elevation profile isn’t too bad; I’ll start around 6000 feet and descend for most of the journey. But I’m going to be pushing my pace each day and the water situation is not guaranteed to be reliable. I’ll have about 14 hours of daylight each day, so a pace of 2 miles per hour should be fine, even with breaks and time to break and make camp.

I’m working on researching the route and Ambrose is preparing the gps with the route (fingers crossed that works). I haven’t started on food prep yet, though I’ll be going no-cook again. I can handle not having hot food. Though now that I write that, I’m reconsidering because instead of traveling in late summer I’ll be traveling in early May when the temperatures will tend towards the chilly side. Maybe I will want to have a stove and some drink mix for warmth and comfort.

There’s still a lot of work to do, preparation physical, mental and logistical. I’m excited.

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