Pep talk

With a month to go it’s time to kick the training up a notch. Actually just get more outdoor hours. Up to this point most of my training has been in the gym, with short hikes outside. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape now that I got my running back up to 4 miles. That’s 4 miles on the treadmill, I don’t run outdoors. I’ve tried, it’s not my thing.

So I got some extra weight in the ole backpack, blu and I are headed out for some 20 milers. (yes i just randomly named my backpack blu!) I have a really good training loop that has flat stretches, hills and I haven’t done the whole loop in awhile. San Diego has had quite the wet winter, which has kept me indoors. That and my favorite area tends to flood.

In other news I got my maps this weekend! They are huge 11×17 color maps. The bulk of it along with my other gear sent me into kind of a panic. Maps, resupply, gear….Oh my! The enormity of it all was a bit much for me yesterday. Reached out to some friends who reminded me… not about the WHOLE thing….it’s one step at a time.

So I took a break and spent the afternoon yesterday on the treadmill watching the Iowa State Cyclones win the Big 12 tournament title!!

“There is more story to write,” he said. “That’s what I told them in the locker room. Stay humble. Do the right thing, and let’s get ready for next week.” – Steve Prohm ISU coach

Great advice coach……thanks for the pep talk!  Go Cyclones!!! Go Me!!

Tumbles, Tents and Ticked off

So I took a tumble the other day. Yep sad face.

Ok, I’m being dramatic. I was on the trail, of course, coming down this very large hill. Totally slipped on some loose gravel, it was really rocky. Landed my bum right on a rock (bruise), slid a bit on my elbow (there was blood) and tweaked my knee. Oh and my pride hurt a little too. No really at least I know have matching bruises on both elbow (got the other one in cycling spill). The knee was my biggest concern, according to web MD I’ll be fine or I have ebola,

I got my new tent Six Moons Skyscape Scout! It packs all super tiny. Then I had to set it up…..I’ve set up tents 5 times the size of this one easier. I actually had to whip out the Youtube video (in the park) to figure it out. Ok, I just need more practice. But I am using my trekking poles as tent poles (saves weight). It’s kinda tricky getting those in the right spot. I wonder if people ever roll over bump the pole and knock the whole tent down. hmmmm Now I have to seal the seams. No, I have never done that. This should be interesting.


I had said I won’t mention my REI trip today, but I needed another T for my witty title. They kinda ticked me off. They are just not helpful at all. This guy working there was …….You know what nevermind. It’s all good.

Back on the trail

In December, because of the holidays, I didn’t hit the trail much. Then in January I was, well busy doing stuff so I didn’t get out on the trail for big miles hardly at all. So today when I went out for a 20 miler I was not sure how it was going to go. Good news! It went great!

I over slept and got a late start (10am), but I threw on my 25lb pack and I was off. The weather was great (it’s SoCal the weather is always great), did my ole favorite route over the mountains then out to the Penasquitos Waterfall. I was happy with my pace, made good time (i jogged a little because I did not want be in the mountains after dark). I only stopped once for a snack. I’m never really hungry when I’m moving like that, but I know what happens when I eat nothing…crash.

Anywho, ended up with 23 miles, boom! Yes, I was shocked too. That extra 3 came from me getting turned around on the mountain (see why I didn’t want to be out there in the dark). There are so many trails out there behind Sabre Springs it is easy to not know which direction you came from.

So even though I wasn’t on the trail I was training. In the gym. Hitting the treadmill and weights. Dropped another 5 pounds, surprisingly. Well I guess not really. I’ve dropped a lot of sugar, salt and meat from my diet. But I still feel like I eat not all that well and don’t even get me started on booze I been putting down. What, don’t judge, my social life has picked up lately.

Posting my gear list soon……….


Well I had to make some grown up decisions today. Boo. I had hoped to go on a week long 150 mile hike next week, as a training hike. I was really looking forward to it. Being able to test some gear, test myself, learn some things and have some fun. But unfortunately that is not going to happen.

See taking 5 months off work and hiking the PCT is not an inexpensive endeavor. Recently when I was chatting about doing the trail (it’s all I do now) a guy asked how can you afford that you must have a trust fund. Wouldn’t that be great but um, no. To take 5 months off work I’ve had to make some (many) sacrifices. Some have been harder than others.

Like that training, I was really pumped about it. For awhile there I was going hell or high-water. But then word priorities kept popping into my head. Right now the PCT is my priority. You know if it’s meant to be it’s up to me!!

Right now I just can’t afford to take a week off work. (Heck, I’m actually interviewing for a second job tomorrow.) 3 months, 4 days, 23 hours til the first step (well give or take, close enough to freak out a little) Time to start making the tough decisions. No more procrastinating and what not. I still haven’t decided what socks to take Injinji or Darn Tough!!! Agh! Wait….don’t panic….breathe…ok…Injinji it is, there that wasn’t so hard. Boy, soon the only decision I’ll need to make is start with the left foot or right foot!!!!!!!!!

Every ounce counts…..

Went out for my training day on Monday. 20 miles 25 lbs backpack! Last time I went out it was 17 lbs, man what difference. Started out pretty pumped up on caffeine, straight up the hill, thinking to myself ‘i eat mountains for breakfast’. I love taking on the mountain right out of the gate. Then I cruised down to the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve pass the horse stables and out to the waterfall.

Right at the hwy 15 underpass was a bridge out sign. I almost turned around but then though heck I’d go check it out. Yep it was out alright. I decided to try to cross anyway. Spent a good ten minutes debated how to do that. I haven’t had the best of luck crossing water. Happy to say I made across (only got one shoe wet). On the upside I’ve learned that my trail runners and socks dry rather quickly! Oh did I mention it wasn’t just one bridge out…..there were two! The second one was much easier to get across. All that rain last week really left a mark.

WP_20141208_001                             WP_20141208_002

At the waterfall I turned right around and headed back. I was feeling good and making good time so skipped my planned lunch/rest break. Bad idea #1…….I so hit the wall not long after that.

All of a sudden my legs were just barely moving and my pack felt like a small car. With my pack pulling on my right shoulder I decided to loosen my straps for some relief. Bad Idea #2. By now I’m thinking just keep moving. Meanwhile I forced myself to eat a granola bar and sipped some Gatorade. To get all my miles in I had to stick to my initial plan and climb to the top of the Sabre Springs open space trail……

Long story short…..I made it but it was not entirely pretty. I’ve gotten myself to drink more water over time. Now I have to work on getting nutrition right. Oh and I got a lovely little blister from loosening my straps!  Some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

Hiking relieves stress…….

So what’s been going on with me? Well short story October was freaking awesome; November, crap. Not even gonna get into it’s just been, well crap. The only thing keeping me from losing it is, well, hiking. When I’m hiking it all just stops (for awhile) the noise, sadness, anger, disappointment, hurt…….That being said my training miles are coming along quite swimmingly!!

I recently went back to tackle El Cajon (El Capitan) mountain over in Lakeside. Last time was not pretty at all (didn’t even make the summit). It was actually a fun hike this time, carried a gallon of water (drank half), no leg cramps and finished in under 6 hrs! Amazing what a little prep & training will do. One of the websites about the hike says “for experienced hikers”; guess that’s me now.  It’s a 12 mile out and back (elevation gain:4300). It was that thing I just had to do, can’t let the mountain shut you down. So yea me.


If I haven’t mentioned it I got in my first full 20 miler! That was back in October so yeah….

Anyway I decided it was time to stop dinking around carrying that daypack, as if. So today I filled up the ULA with my sleeping bag, water, food and some other trinkets, pack weighed in at 17 lbs! I was kinda shocked, it didn’t seem like there was that much in there, whoa. Headed out over the Poway hills, then down to the South Poway Trans-County trail, then onto the Los Penasquitos Canyon out to the Penasquitos Falls. Honestly, I really hadn’t planned to go that far, but I just kept going. The Poway Hills are my new fav, there is very few people up there, and the views are great! There are even a couple of lawn chairs and a budda statue at the top, in case it need to hang out for a bit and I guess meditate or whatever. It was a beautiful hike, all 18.34 miles of it (average speed 2.57) guess I was in the zone.


When I haven’t been able to get out on the trail I’ve been at the gym, did 9 miles last night on the treadmill. I started this thing where I hike at a incline while I’m watching TV, on commercials I run (downhill). Man sometime the commercials go on foreva! Ever other day I throw in some leg press, bicep curls, planks whatever I feeling like at the time.

I want to be in at least decent shape come January. Plans are to hike the San Diego Trans-County Trail (140 Miles in 7 days), fingers crossed I can pull this off. It would be a great shake down for me. We shall see….


Stay tuned I’ll be (attempting) to tackle my resupply plan soon…..oh dear, maybe I’ll wait till December!

Time to Burn

Hey there readers…..crickets…..i know it’s been a bit but I’ve been busy and my internet is sketchy. So while I have been training more in the gym my hiking miles have declined. Did my training hike over the Poway mountain about two weeks ago and did a long stroll with my hiking buddy last weekend, but that about it. Been working out in the gym 3-4 times a week, sometimes twice a day. The weight hasn’t fallen off the way I had hoped, but then I eat crap. (must-eat-better) I can feel my muscles getting firmer and stronger, I can run longer and faster, best of all I feel good.

I’ve had to put most of my PCT training on temporary hold because…….agh!…the man burns in 17 days!!!! Headed to the burn in one week! I am so not ready, not even packed kinda.

Feeling weird about the burn this year, excited then not excited, unfortunately the not excited periods are longer than the excited ones. Oh well ten days to get my head in the game and my sh** together. There are so many things to be excited about this year. First time I am driving myself, ohh, road trip with as many stops as I want! Ranger training, fingers crossed that goes off without a hitch. I have so many friends coming this year that are first time burners! Just got the camp layout and I am tucked back in a nice little corner with some fun people. (agh , they better not change it).

I had written the burn off completely for next year…..however….as I see people on the trail this year are finishing up pretty early (ie before September).. I know that it is a wild fantastical dream but what an epic way to cap off a PCT hike but with the man burn!! A girl can dream……

Happy 4th from the PCT

Hope everyone is having a great 4th of July weekend! I decided at the last minute to…..go hiking, surprise! Well when I checked online all the camp sites were reserved, but Friday morning I called and they guy says “well we have a few that are first come first served.” Ok then I say I’m on my way, so I hopped in the car and headed over to Mt. Laguna. Now what he failed to mention was it was a cash only camp site, agh. (there is not a single ATM on the mountain, can-not-believe) So I had to run back down to Pine Valley for cash. The whole while people are passing me going up the mountain. I’m kinda freaking out because I’m thinking there will not be a single site when I get back. But a little fancy driving (read:speeding)I made it back and yeah got one of the last 2!!

After quickly setting up my tent I grabbed my day pack and trekked back to pay my camp fee. (again they should mention you will need your license plate number, whatever I just wrote gray cube and shoved it the box, seriously). I couldn’t figure out the ‘back way’ to get to the trail so I just started walking down the road. Glad I did, ended up stopping at Laguna Mountain Sports & Supply. What was right there when I opened the door….my ULA backpack! It was a sign!!!

Working there (on the 4th no less) was Dave, great guy. He sized me up and got me fitted with the right belt. It is so awesome (wish it were pink but purple will do), man it feels like a day pack compared to my other one. I went with the ULA Circuit, wanted the CDT but base weight is a concern. On the upside it came with all the stuff hand grips, loops for my poles, straps (lot of straps) for my bottles.

I’ll be going back to Laguna Mountain Sports & Supply they have all the stuff and then some. Plus Dave said he would do a shakedown (basically where he goes through my stuff and cut unnecessary weight).

Anywho, through my day pack in my new backpack and hit the trail. I headed north on the PCT for about 7 miles then headed back. Found the ‘backway’ into my campsite had few beers and watched the kiddos play. Man kids love camping.

mt laguna                      pct imon                                 mypak

The next morning I tossed all my stuff in the car then headed out on the trail again, this time south. Got in 8 miles! What a great area to hike in, the views a awesome! At one point everything was just right, I was feeling good, high energy, music was flowing….and I thought man I could hike for hours like this! That’s a good feeling!

2 a day

Been getting back out there!! Mostly doing a lot of walking around the hood. There are tons of hills just of the front door. Love the looks I get when decide to take my backpack instead of the day pack. Managed to figure out a few 3- 4 miles loops. Trying to get myself up to 4 miles in the morning and at least 4 after work. I’m not much of a morning person so the morning routes are tough. The after work routes are working out good now that I found a nice trail near work, the South Poway Trans County Trail!

What can I say it’s time to tone this body up, there is a very busy summer coming up! Just scheduled BRC Ranger training for July in Napa! Oh the man burns in 105 days!

WBC Reunion

I got me a patch! A wilderness basics patch! This past weekend was the WBC Reunion at Lake Moreno Campgrounds. I got there Saturday morning went to send a text and remembered there is zero signal. Really Verizon.  So I wasn’t sure when the Liz or Betsy were gonna get there. Turns out Liz (and Mark ) were pretty much right behind me. They pulled up as I was whipping together my tent. (Betsy wasn’t feeling well so didn’t make it. Feel better girl!!!)

The first hour was kinda chaotic; we were trying to get our tents set up prior to the Land Navigation hike and for some reason our camp site was hot and treeless. Yes, exactly last week I was freezing my butt off a week later l’m roasting, cray, cray. We ran back and forth to the registration table, the ranger’s office, and then moved all our stuff to the shade only to move it back into the sun. Finally we gave up and went hiking.

Jim and Diane did a swell job with the Land Nav/Scavenger Hunt.  Whenever we finally found a spot there was a cache box with candy, toys (even Hot Wheels), and a clue to the next spot. We sorta worked as a group, but Mark was like a bloodhound finding those things.  It was a great hike, a little rock climbing, the lake is very very low. But not totally dry, one wrong step and you could sink pretty deep in the mud.

Me, Mark and Michelle! Thanks for the pic Liz!

Afterwards (ie after beer run) we realized that we had set up our tents basically where we were supposed to park the cars! Oh well. Later, there was a PCT presentation and a  great potluck dinner. I was so full from dinner only had room for one smore at the campfire.

But before the smores there was a graduation certificate and PATCHES!!!


There was also a astronomy presentation complete with two super telescopes so we got an up close look at the moon! After chatting around the camp fire we turned in. I slept like a baby.

Sunday morning instead of hiking after breakfast we opted for sitting around camp soaking up the sunshine and chatting. Sometimes you just need to sit and connect. So glad we did. A friend told me to take the wilderness basics course you’ll meet some cool people that will end up being your long time hiking buddies …..he was right!