I completed my last long training hike on Saturday; 25 miles at Latta Nature Preserve. It was set up to be a sort of simulation of the real hike on the 19th, starting at the same time and with the rest stops at the assigned mileage marks. It went about as well as could be expected. Honestly, it was as much about confidence as it was about physical training. I needed some personal reassurance that I can actually hike for 11 hours. This was the first training hike in which I made extensive use of my iPod and it made a BIG difference. A change of socks at the 12 mile mark also seemed to help. Although my feet were very sore at the end of the day, they seemed a little less so than at the end of the 20 mile hike the previous week. Of course, that might also be due to the relatively easy terrain at Latta compared to Crowders Mountain. I will be hitting the gym on Monday and Wednesday this week, but will limit my time on my feet to a mile on the treadmill each session; just enough to keep loose. The Ultimate Hike has been an interesting experience, but I am ready for it to be over and to get my weekends back. Too many little jobs have been piling up around the house, and I haven’t been out on the water in over a month.
Ultimate Hike 2012: It’s All Over But the Hiking