Today I went hiking! Started at the winter lot of the Garfield trail, did a road walk for a little over a mile, then went up the G.T. to the G.R.T. (Not the other GRT) and stuck around on top for a few minutes before going back down the same way. Started at 7:10 and was done at the bottom by 12:10
Ok. So the motivation for hiking was twofold. First, I wanted to give winter hiking a shot. I do so much summer season hiking but I know that winter hiking is a totally different beast and it has for years come with the promise of extending the range of times I can hike. Since getting a snazzy new pair of snowshoes I've been looking for a window to see what it's like when you have a very complete set of equipment. Because it was so fun I look forward to having a car on campus as an upperclassmen and getting to drive up medium-frequently to hike.
The other thing I've been thinking about recently is the need to have an adventure. Like the feeling when you get in the car and know you have a long drive ahead of you, or a big run, or something you do alone that feels exciting to try. At Tufts that's been pretty absent. I've had adventures in the sense of going to places around Boston, or running a little, or doing new cool things with people, but that always felt like I couldn't escape all the other responsibilities around me.
This was different. It meant waking up super early to drive by myself for a few hours and then hike by myself for more hours and then drive home for a few hours. I am an introvert, and although I can muster a lot of energy and engagement with groups of people I was craving getting to be alone for a day like this. It was just me with myself, going on a trip and dealing with whatever cool or weird things happened.
Anyway, not many weird things happened. It was a very normal hike. I was moving well and passed people. Going uphill was delightful, I'd forgotten that feeling. Could definitely feel the aerobic motor engaging. My hips are a little sore from the snowshoes but that's about it.
I thought a little about climbing. I think I do uphills really well and I can't help but wonder why I was so comfy over the summer when my aerobic training load was so low. I think if you do a few of them and get used to the feeling of pushing for hours at a time at an uphill it becomes a learned skill rather than a physical ability. I will have to make sure to get some good uphill time in this spring and summer if I want to do fast things in NH.
It was super cold today on top. For the hike in the trees the wind was totally nonexistent, but on top the wind had blasted away most of the snow and it was just rock. Maybe like -15 degrees with wind chill. Other than that though, it was pretty warm and given the walking I was doing my two layers of fleece and a shell were enough. The puffy was along for the ride, but my mittens were not—they helped so much when my hands got really cold and started to hurt. Two more gear things—the upside down water bottles helps prevent freezing but I need an insulated cozy for them too if I want them to last more than 4 hours or so in 20 degrees. And lastly, my toes and heels in the Blizzards started to form hotspots after a while and I'll need to tape them the next time. But they were great shoes and were very comfy.
Overall this was fun and it got me in the mood for more big stuff. Cannot wait for when it all melts and the running can begin. And I am very lucky to have been able to do this, even if it meant waking up at 4:30 am.