Sunday, January 19, 2014

Caledon State Park

This was by far the most difficult hike I've had so far.  Not because the trail was super difficult (it was correctly labeled as "moderate") but because I haven't hiked in three weeks.  In fact, I haven't even done a decent walk in two weeks.

Typically, I was getting sore/cranky after about 2.5 miles.  This time, it took about 0.25 mile before I was complaining about my calves and wanting to sit down.  At 2.4 miles in, I had a decision to make:  Loop around for just another mile or take our original trail for two more miles.  I decided to put on my "big-girl panties" and do the full hike EVEN THOUGH the trail map said that next mile was the most difficult in the park.  Here's a picture of my joy...  Yeah, that smile is fake.  What of it?

 As things always seem to happen with our walks, Mother Nature had other plans.  A fallen tree caused the destruction of a boardwalk on our selected trail, so we had to design a different trek.  At least we knew about it before we started out!  I was SO SURE that if we just connected the outside loop with the first half of our trip, it wouldn't add much distance.  As my father always says, "Often wrong, but never in doubt."  As I like to say, "Wrong again."  The walk went from four miles to 5.5.  Again, I was tired at 0.25 and truly over it at 2.5.  Then, I did the most difficult part of the hike and added on an additional mile and a half.  At least that last part was fairly easy.

How did I get through it?  I had to stop a lot, especially at the top of hills (and half-way up as well) to catch my breath and try not to vomit.  But, while gasping for any small bit of oxygen, I was able to look out over the ravines, creeks, and forest and be thankful.  I was thankful for the ability to feel the pain in my lungs, calves, etc. and to spend a beautiful day with my husband who supports every crazy thing I do.  I took a moment to be thankful for the people who read this blog, even though I can't seem to maintain a publishing schedule.  I was thankful for all of it, every painful breath and every extra step.

Tomorrow I go for eight miles.  It's my longest distance to date, but the weather is supposed to be fantastic and I need to stretch the calves that are still so tight.  Wish me luck!