January down, miles to go…
When I decided to make a running/hiking goal for the year, I didn’t have much to base it off. 1,500 miles seemed like a good, round number. It averages out to about 4 miles/day. That seemed doable, but still enough to keep me working. But after a month, I’ve decided that it’s not a lofty enough goal to get me in the shape I want to be in. So, while I was on a run last week I decided I’m upping my goal to a familiar number in The Trek’s circle: 2,189.1 miles, or the length of the AT the year I hiked it (2016). The total elevation gain is around 460,000’, which I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cover, but I’m raising that goal too. So my new daily average is around 6 miles and 1,200’ per day.
Am I on track?
Technically, no, but I was planning on a slower start. It’s January; the days are short and the weather isn’t great. Most of last week I was running on roads (I hate road running) because of how snowy, icy, or slushy the trails were. I also upped my goal halfway through the month, so I’m playing a little bit of catch-up. I’m especially banking on upping my climbing goal as the weather warms up. I have a lot of summer weekend hikes that will take big chunks out of the elevation at a time. I made a chart to show how far behind I am.
Standout run of the month
My first beer mile! On the 20th my run club held a beer mile. It’s an easy concept: you drink a beer (12 ounces, at least 5% abv) then run a lap around the track. When you finish the lap, you drink another beer and then run another lap. The cycle happens four times, so by the end of your 4 laps you will have consumed 4 beers and ran 1 mile, with the clock ticking the whole time. This race is known worldwide and has its own website (www.beermile.com) with rules, a leaderboard, and event list. The fastest official time is held by a Canadian and is 4:33. For my specific race, it wasn’t sanctioned and was just for fun. But that didn’t stop me from killing it! I ran it in 8:35, very proud. I’ve still got some work to do before I hit any leaderboards, but it was a fun morning.
Standout hike of the month
After a long week of road runs, I finally had a chance to get some hiking in this past Saturday. So I went with a friend up to Mount Sanitas to catch the sunrise. We ended up stopping a bit short of the summit, but WOWSERS it was beautiful. To top it off, my friend brought mimosas! After we got down from Mt. Sanitas we decided to take another hike up to Bear Peak, my favorite spot in the Front Range. All in all, the day held about 10 miles of hikes and 4,000 feet of elevation climb – not bad for being on call and having to stay close to home.
What happened on the AT when I was around mile 137?
Franklin (~mile 110) was my first hitchhike on trail! The day started at Rock Gap Shelter, when I woke up to see Mountain Goat sleeping ON TOP of his tent. The overnight winds kept blowing his tent down, so he gave up and slept on top of it to keep it from blowing away. Then we hitchhiked into Franklin to check out the Lazy Hiker Brewery, a great spot to grab a good beer and meet up with hikers. Moonshine met a section hiker from Atlanta, Emily, who bought us all a round. Luckily we were only there for a beer because apparently all of the south closes down on Sunday mornings. All of Franklin was a ghost town until about noon. We hitched back to the trail and put in a few drunk miles until we got to Siler Bald. The Bald gave us a beautiful 360° view, complete with a perfect sunset and sunrise.
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