I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Sunday, July 12, 2015

TRT - getting focused

Last Fall I had decided I want to backpack Tahoe Rim Trail. It is longer than Wonderland (172 miles vs 96 miles), but it is somewhat more benign with elevation change (approximately 25,000 feet of gain for TRT vs 33,000 feet of gain for Rainier circle, and spread out more too, yet somewhat higher the whole time).

Larry couldn't commit this summer for a 10-days away from work/kid duty, so I offered my good friend Lori B. to join me. She agreed, and I began dreaming. Unfortunately, some life's demands prevented Lori from coming to the trip, and as of last 2 weeks, I had to make some changes and wrap my mind around a new thought: in about 5 weeks I am embarking on a solo circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe, all 172 miles of it, bears, lack of water, beating sun and the whole shebang.

Big p.s.: I will have a help from my friend Gretchen to spend night before/after, shop, do a couple water drops, and to get to and from a trail head - thank you!!!

My plan (which I meticulously figured out by reading the best book out there on TRT, purchasing a detailed map, and then ending up buying a smaller booklet with map-per-section AND elevation profile, which, by the way, below is wrong, but best I found to steal online) looks like this: start at Tahoe City, go clockwise in 22-26 miles a day increments and complete in 7 days (spending 6 nights with creatures).

I had done backpacking as long as I remember myself (well, since 10 years old, and no, not with parents, always with friends or short trips by myself, and later with my first husband and kids, then Larry, lucky for me, is in love with it), and I had done a week-long trips on numerous occasions, with alone backpacking outings occasionally - but never in combination, let's be honest. So, this is going to be a blast! I am not taking it lightly, but I am so looking forward to it, and the challenges and solitude fuel me incredibly.

So, since the time I came back from Oregon in mid-May, including our Pikes Peak/Incline combo in CO on 4th of July weekend, and this last week, things had escalated where my training is concerned.

Just of note, I am getting fitter in many ways, what reflects in the way I look too, loosing 4% of body fat and gaining muscle too. I am sitting at just a touch above 133 lbs (from 140 past winter) with 15% fat measured at the end of June (and counting), and finally fitting in to my running shorts from 2 years ago (not very comfortable yet, but I can wear them to the gym).

Here is an example of my week: I am now running 5 days a week, and cross-train on a Stairclimber once (30-45 min). My highlights of the runs were a Hill Loop in 10:02 (vs 1:06 2 weeks ago, but still a far cry from sub-54 min PR in 2013), and a 10 milers on flatter roads in 1:41 (with first mile in 11:15, all others were 10 low and sub, what almost freaked me out, as normally I average 11's). Good stuff.
Post-6M hill run

10 miler tempo

4 days at the gym with weight lifting, and 1 Vinyasa yoga class.
This week in training.

Speaking of yoga, I had a falling out with the studio I used to practice at and took training due to some small yet important enough reasons for me, and in June I only took 3 classes, 2 of which were in some random studio I wasn't particularity happy with. This week I tried Yoga-Yoga NW and while it was much slower (and easier) than I am used to, with an open mind I was able to enjoy it enough to buy a 8-class card, and will see where it will take me, at least it's a close-by place to do it once a week. (p.s. if anyone cares/interested where my yoga teaching stands, I've been so busy I haven't even began putting resume together, yet along applying for positions, but I am thinking I'd like to be at the general gym, helping regular Joe's and Jane's see benefits of yoga, not be afraid of the word and elitists status of some of the studios and that one does not need to be folding in a pretzel to be a yoga practitioner).

This Sunday I also added a power-walk with a backpack. I put 20 lbs to start with and took a very mildly rolling loop of 6.3 miles, where I averaged just sub-15 min/mile, and it felt like not enough weight. Next week, 25 lbs and more hills! It felt good to know I am in better shape than last year when I did same thing prior Wonderland.

Miles 0-3-6
With that, on another news, Larry signed up for my favorite gym - Pure Austin! After a 2.5 years break from gym membership, he is back, as he is NOT going to miss out the backpacking trip that is planned for next year - John Muir Trail 220 miles in Yosemity, CA!!

With my health slowly, but now with more certainty, improving, we are back to having more precise goals and plans, running, backpacking and life.


Alicia Hudelson said...

I'm really happy for you that you're feeling better! My husband is also doing the TRT this year, sometime in late August/first few days of September, maybe you guys will run into each other out there? Be on the lookout for a very tall, very skinny Indian guy:)

Olga King said...

Wow, too bad I am going to be done by then, that would be a coincidence! What about you?

Kirstin C said...

Exciting, Olga!! Hope it's an amazing trip.

Gunhild Swanson said...

I'm so excited for you, your positive attitude and the re-gaining of your health and fitness. And I look forward to the pictures and story of your upcoming adventure. You're awesome my friend!

Alicia Hudelson said...

I'm doing the Long Trail in early August so no TRT for me. But it does sound pretty good so hopefully some time in the future.

Helen Scotch said...

You're an inspiration Olga. I hope to be enjoying some of those improvements and comparisons to the old me around this time next year!! For now, happy to be running more often. Enjoy TRT and stay hydrated out there.

Steve Pero said...

Wow, quite the adventure! Be safe out there!

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