hiking · Uncategorized

Training, Working Out and More

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, Kirk and I have been working out for the past 9 weeks. Outside of high school where I took a weight class to finish up my PE requirements….well, I have avoided any use of the words “training” and “working out” like a plague.  I spent my 20’s and early 30’s figuring I could hike all I wanted – even if I wasn’t in the best of shape.I had a delusional belief that hiking 3 days a week would keep me in shape.

This past year as I increased my mileage on hikes I noticed something – my knees were killing me. They hurt going up and down. My back injury never healed from a couple years back. I was getting old and that didn’t sit so well. If I crossed 3,000 ft of gain or 14 miles I could barely walk the next day. So how do you get where you want to be? I did a 20 miler last fall and while I crawled for days afterward, that is what I wanted to be able to do, day after day. Often, it was my pride that kept me going on hikes – that I would finish no matter what. Enjoyment often was low and as my saying went “Death marches are fun later, when you tell the tales of them”.

Then I injured my foot in late fall and spent the start of winter in pain.

Kirk and I then made the decision – we had to start working out. I felt like I was in an alien world entering a gym in January. We picked one that had opened up only 2 or so weeks before. Clean, modern and welcoming to both women and men. Yes, I felt overwhelmed. We started going at first every other day at first. I hid upstairs in the cardio area. A treadmill I could understand – they were not scary. But….those treadmills were making my plantar fasiictis even worse.

Kirk decided to go for training and got a personal trainer. Watching him got me wondering – maybe time with one would be good as well. Kirk was teaching me what he learned but I am not one to press myself to exhaustion. So I went for it. They let us share use of the trainer. Suddenly I found myself doing core body workouts, working on my balance and well, frankly, finding out I had NO shape. It hurt so bad. I could do one pushup before I would collapse, I had no upper body strength.

The weeks have blended and it is awesome – you know, it does get easier after awhile. This week I realized during my training session that I could do 45 pushups total. From 1 to 45? Not bad in my world. When we started I could hold a plank position for maybe 5 seconds, now Kirk has me doing side planks.

We work out 5 days a week now, some times I do a 6th. It gave me foot time to heal. My blood pressure meds are now 1/3rd less a day. I crave working out 😀 And that shape? Yeah, it is starting to show! But most of all? As I have mentioned before, my back pain is nearly gone. Most days I have no pain anymore. From daily pain to almost gone is worth every step taken!

In week 2 I was walking on the treadmill – behind the treadmills is a line of Precor Crossramp machines:


I wondered how anyone could use that thing – it looked painful. Now I spend at least 2 days a week on it, for 65 minutes each session. For cardio it is about the best machine around – it works those hiking legs like nothing else. It doesn’t hurt my foot (low impact) so often you might see me on it 5 days a week for the cardio part of our workouts.

My knees don’t hurt like they used to either. On my last hike I noticed I stood tall, I moved easier and I wasn’t out of breath, red faced on the way up.

So maybe training isn’t a bad word? Yeah, I can take long in learning that lesson!

As well, I finally pulled out my copy of Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness: A Comprehensive Training Guide
and dusted it off.


I was reading it yesterday and realized that for the most part we are doing a higher intensity version of their workouts. A bit dry of a book, but an excellent book to read if one needs a boost. It covers training for hiking and backpacking as well.

They brought a newer version of the book out a couple years ago as well: Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness

So looking forward to further workouts – it has been awesome to see my body change, to feel so much better. Spring is here…..that means 3 months till the good backpacking starts. Start now and those hills won’t hurt so bad! 😀


PS: And as a side benefit I am down 19 lbs this morning. Yay!

2 thoughts on “Training, Working Out and More

  1. Wooo weee!! That is wonderful! I hired a personal trainer in January and have been thrilled with the results. Sadly, I’ve hurt my knee again and everything is on hold pending whatever they are going to do to fix it. I’m so glad you’ve had a good experience.

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