Curiosity Conditioning Program: Four Week Update.

I’ve completed four whole weeks of my conditioning program for “PCT 2023? ” and wanted to share my results thus far!

Harken back to > this post < for more info.

Sooooo, I’ve failed. Kind of.

I was supposed to hike 5 miles, three days a week and see how that felt before moving my miles up to 6. Take it slow and easy BUT somehow I ended up hiking six miles, some of the time anyway! Here are my stats:

Week 1. 4.61 miles @ 1 hr and 35 mins. . 5.23 miles @ 1 hr and 36 mins. . 5.08 miles @ 1 hr and 58 mins.

Week 2. 6.24 miles @ 2 hrs. 5.35 @ 1 hr and 52 mins. 6.17 miles @ 2 hrs 4 mins.

Week 3. 4.23 miles @ 2 hrs 36 mins. 5.87 miles @ 1 hr and 57 mins. 5.76 miles @ 2 hrs and 4 mins.

Week 4. 4.36 miles @ 1 hr and 38 mins. 6.31 miles @ 2 hrs and 18 mins. 8.18 miles @ 2 hrs and 38 mins! ( So proud of this one!)

It’s just the way it worked out! I wasn’t trying to go over 5 miles and I was especially not trying to go EIGHT MILES but somehow my curiosity led me down a street or two and the miles just added up.

How do I feel?

Great! STRONG! My body is hardening up. I’m recovered nicely by the next day. Not hobbling around. I haven’t injured myself and my normal pace is on par with the average person at 2 miles an hour. So not as out of shape as I thought I was. On my last walk I was playing around with speed and managed to walk @ 3 miles an hour which is FAST! But not really sustainable in the long term at this point. I’d be super happy to even out at 2.5 miles an hour with a full pack.

What have I learned these past four weeks?

  1. A mile is a hell of a lot longer than a kilometre, ha! BUT 6.2 miles is 10 KM which sounds really rad.
  2. Food is your friend. A simple snack at around 3 miles can really perk a person up.
  3. You MUST stretch both BEFORE and AFTER. Stretching makes such a huge difference in both performance and recovery. Here is a link to the stretches I’ve found most helpful.
  4. Try and lay down with your feet up above your heart for 10 mins after your hikes, especially if you have circulation problems. This will help with leg heaviness.
  5. Train with a pack. In the beginning it doesn’t have to be your full pack. Just throw in your water, a jacket and some snacks for now. I learned that training with my pack encourages me to be more mindful of my posture which in turn helps to prevent injury and ensures I’m hiking efficiently. For more tips on posture check out the book – Chi Walking– by Katherine and Danny Dreyer. An excellent resource. I use their tips ALL the time with much comfort and success.
  6. You’re not just training your body you’re training your mind and your mind can be the trickiest bastard of them all. Watch your thoughts. Listen to what they have to say and them pick the best ones that will help you meet your goal. Be consistent with this, you’re building resiliency. When I hiked the Inka Trail, I was so surprised to find the real challenge of the hike was mostly mental!
  7. A person can use every condition, be it weather, a shitty attitude, your own forgetfulness, navigation mistakes etc. etc. as a training tool. Forgot your water in your rush out the door? Guess now you get to experience what it’s like to hike in the heat, thirsty! Turned the wrong way and now you have to backtrack 2 miles? This will happen to you on the trail, how are you going to react and how are you going to manage this problem? Cold and pouring rain? Are you going to stay home or are you going to get out there discover how it feels to hike in the wet and cold?! Use every opportunity as a training tool. I’m SO excited for the ice and the cold and the snow this year! Crazy right, especially considering this is ME talking. I’m just so curious to see how I do because this will give me better insight into how I will manage hiking through the scary Sierra Nevada. Put yourself out there in these situations while you have the privilege of comfort in your everyday life!
  8. Reward yourself! Celebrate your successes! Bring snacks you LOVE to eat and use them as encouragement for miles completed. Give yourself a treat for meeting your goals once you complete them. I’m going to enjoy some sushi and tempura today to celebrate the end of week four. Have some fun with your training.

What’s next? I’m upping my miles to 6 officially. I’m going to hit up different terrain ( if I can avoid the sexual assailant in the river valley) and I’m going to keep working on my attitude as we move into the colder, wetter weather. OH, I’m going to add some weight too. I’m thinking 5lbs.

I’m no closer to deciding whether or not I’m actually going to hike the PCT in 2023 but I am feeling very hopeful and relieved that thus far, this body and mind are working well. Plus, after a year and 5 months of not working, it feels GREAT to have a purpose and focus again ❤

How about you? Do you have anything you’re looking toward?

Do you have any training and conditioning tips you’d add to these?

I’m all ears! ❤

Monday Cleanse, Music, Essential Oil.

Happy Monday!

It’s raining here today but I don’t mind. The garden needs my attention something FIERCE but now I don’t feel guilty about ignoring it, ha!

Besides, the slugs and cabbage worms own it now. Going out there is like living in a squidgy horror film. EW!

What did you get up to this weekend? I ran errands and lazed about on Saturday and then on Sunday, I went for a walk in the river valley with a friend and out for breaky after! It was a great way to spend a Sunday.

I came home and fucked up the baby blanket I finally got on my needles *sigh* so I’ll be starting THAT all over again. I added stitches and created holes because I was tired and wasn’t paying attention. The colour is SO pretty though and the yarn is SO soft. I was too eager to get it on… That’ll learn me!

We had a meteor zoom by us last week! So cool! I was a little sad that it didn’t completely wipe out humanity but alas life is full of little disappointments. We must bravely soldier on!

I feel ya Sir, I feel ya.

This is right up there with coconut oil!

Lavender is nice too…

My neighbour kids are torturing us learning an instrument this year:

Wouldn’t harmonicas be WAY cooler?!

I hope this day finds you hale and hearty. I hope your week is a good one too.

I really appreciate all of you. Thanks so much for reading.

Love and squishy hugs!

It’s a Girl!

I hinted awhile back that I was going to be a Grandma again and now I can finally say the words out loud, woot woot!

My daughter is having baby #2 and she’s a girl. We’re having lots and lots of fun with names but don’t have one as of yet. If you have any unique girl names you LOVE, please feel free to share them. We’re open to all suggestions!

I do have ultrasound images though:

Look at that little foot!! ❤ ❤ ❤

My daughter is 20 weeks and baby is already head down. She’s not yet even one pound but she’s right on track with her growing. The tech predicts she’ll be a high 6 or low 7 lb baby. SO SMALL! My son was 10lbs 1 oz and my daughter was almost 9 lbs! What do you even do with a little sprite like that? Hee hee. OV was wee too but then grew into one of those chonky babes with delicious rolls and pudges. ❤

I have this feeling that she’ll be early…like early, early. OV was 2 weeks early, I’m thinking this bebe will be 3 or 4. Its just a feeling I have and of course I hope I’m wrong. That’s a bit too early.

PLUS, I haven’t even started knitting her blanket yet. I need all the time I can get, eek!

Simple Pleasures: Coffee Walk

It’s a rainy day, which is a bit of a surprise because the weather seems to have calmed it shit. I’ve gotten quite used to these mild and sunny days. No more daily storms. No more strange and exciting cloud formations. Days like this bring about a whole other set of simple pleasures: Netflix. Tea. Books and blankets. I guess I’ll be enjoying a lot more of that as we fully transition out of the warm. But for now, on the warm days we do get, I’m enjoying my neighbourhood coffee walks.

I grab a latte from 7-11 (no Pumpkin Spice just yet. Their Chai is really good) and take myself on a slow wander through the neighbourhood. It’s an interesting place with tree lined streets and cute houses. It can also be a bit scary because it’s right at the edge of the inner city and has its share of social problems. I’ve lived in places like that my whole life, walking through troubled streets feels strangely homey and familiar. Plus it keeps my street skills sharp 😁 Nobody bothers me much though. It’s mostly just my anxiety, barking dogs and friendly cats.

I pass by people reading books in their yards – high five fellow bibliophiles!- and dads doing yard work. I delight in kids climbing fences and trees, testing their skills and becoming braver by the second. Sometimes I accidently catch snippets of intense conversations, like a young girl crying to her boyfriend about family pressures or the two gents sitting on their big front porch discussing philosophy accompanied by a very large bottle of vodka. 😐

When the leaves turn and fall, the fun really starts because as I walk the sun shines dappled through the trees and the ground is all crunchy. So satisfying! Sometimes the wind picks up and I’m caught a swirling leaf tornado, laughing as the wind whips up my hair and flings Goddess know what else up at me. 🍃🍁🕷🦗🐜🍁🍃

The sweet warm sips of coffee are a special pleasure reserved for these walks and it’s one of my most beloved Autumn rituals. I swear, if it could stay Autumn forever, I’d be a happy gal.

I so appreciate these simple pleasures ☕

Do you have a favourite fall ritual?

Dream Your Own Death.

One of the possible side effects of taking melatonin are vivid dreams. Since I started micro-dosing myself I’ve had a few but because I knew to expect them AND because I know that vivid dreams mean I’m in that lovely restorative REM state, this is A-OK with me! I’m not overly bothered by them.

Well, except this one.

On the very first night of micro dosing, I dreamt I was in a room full of people, perhaps 15 of us all together.

The room was white and sterile, with overhead lights that flickered and buzzed. The general mood was somber. There was a woman and she was not having a time! She was really carrying on, crying and wailing. Pulling at her hair…a staff member sat beside her and was trying to calm and console the poor dear. My curiosity got the better of me and I rudely interrupted them to ask”What’s her problem!?” in the snottiest voice ever!

“Oh, she’s just learned how she’s about to die” the staff member says, nonchalantly.

I openly scoff at this poor women’s distress but quickly realize that I have also been collected and made to gather in this room… I’m starting to catch on but still, I’m full of cheek ” How am I going to die?”

Staff lady turns to me, looks me dead straight in the eyes and says with a steely glint ” YOU, are going to have a medical event.”

My heart pounds! Pressure in my head builds and builds as I stare at her in horror. I start to hyperventilate as my head explodes in pain and then I wake up.

In.a.panic!

“I’m dying! I’m dying! ” are the most coherent of the many jumbled thoughts racing through my head. “What about my grandbabies? What about my garden!? MY JOURNALS!!” I’m sputtering. Actually sputtering! ” I haven’t done all the things I want to do!” I wail in my head.

That last thought clears the fog because I actually have done the things I want to do…this must be a dream…Holy crap! Some dream!

Gradually my heart stops racing and the stroke pain in my head clears. I get up to pee and have a laugh.

I am an end of life care doula! I read about death every single day. I live and breathe death and help people with theirs…and yet here I am, dreaming about my own and freaking out! Too bloody funny.

I know it’s just a dream and dreams aren’t reality but the whole thing made me wonder this- If I’m not lucky enough to die in my sleep, if I am made aware of the details of my death, is this how I’m going to react? Goddess, I hope not. Who wants to spend their last moments in a panic?!

This is just like the time I dreamed of spiders and had to remind myself that I wasn’t actually afraid of spiders. And I’m not, under most circumstances, ha ha. I’m only afraid of them when they move quickly.

It seems I’m only afraid of death when it moves quickly too.

Monday Ramble – Weekend Recap, PCT ? Funnies.

Hello! Happy Monday!

Did you enjoy your 5th LAST weekend of Summer?

I’m already in Fall mode because it’s Fall. I don’t care what the calendar says. I think I’m going to start decorating for Halloween soon!

I hiked 10 km yesterday and on Saturday the Hubs and I celebrated our 25th wedded year with dinner out at Pampa. A Brazilian steak house. The food was good but my guts are STILL dealing with the consequences of my gluttony, ha ha!

I think I’ll eat like a vegan this week.

Lately I’ve become obsessed with the PCT- Pacific Crest Trail.

The PCT is a route from the Mexican border, through California, Oregon and Washington , all the way to the Canadian border, in Manning Park, BC.

It’s a trail that takes months to complete if a person wanted to hike it all at once.

I am one of these people! Crazy. I know.

It’s been calling to me. Every once in a while I go through these phases and then ultimately I decide – nah, that’s not for me. It’s too dangerous. Too long. I’m not skilled enough. I don’t have the guts. How am I going to sleep outside by myself? What about those passes?

And so on and so on!

But the damn thing keeps coming back! This time in the form of one lovely human – Mary Mansfield. She’s through hiking RIGHT NOW and documenting the whole thing on her YOUTUBE channel. You can find her HERE. She’s the perfect person to re introduce me to the trail because she’s cheery and positive like I can be (mostly!) , and she’s a bad ass in a quiet way that I respect and admire. It’s like through her, I can see myself there.

So…I’m thinking, instead of going to Europe for my 50th birthday: maybe I’ll hike the PCT.

Maybe.

I do have inflammatory arthritis so it all depends on what the bod decides. BUT I’ve started doing training walks to see how it reacts to constant miles. I’m on week two of 5 miles, 3 times a week and it’s going well! My aim is to get to 20 miles, 5 days a week comfortably in all conditions and then we’ll decide from there.

I’m excited! It’s super fun to have a goal in mind, with a laundry list of things to learn and achieve. I think it’s just the thing to get me through the Fall and Winter too. I might even appreciate the brutal Edmonton Winters because they are just the thing to use as a training tool for the High Sierras!

Ha! If only I could stop eating fries.

This made me snort laugh!
Right?! I think I’m going to leave the Kale for the nine thousand slugs in my garden. Note to self: don’t plant 6 kale plants for 2 people.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here and I’m so grateful to have it before me.

Have you ever hiked a great distance? Do you have any training advice for a newbie?

Love and squishy hugs on this glorious Monday! ❤

Matzo Ball Soup Mix Review.

You might remember, way back in Lune, that I bought myself some soup as part of my 30 day present extravaganza.

In the past I’ve bought the Matzo Ball mix but never with the soup. I like to make my soup myself. Soup from a mix didn’t seem all that appetizing.

Well, obviously I am dumb Dumb with a capital D because this mix was AMAZING. No. Seriously. Read on.

This is what it looked like:

I got the mix at Save on Foods in their World Foods section. (Don’t we live in the world too? ) Right next to the East Coast stuff ( Aren’t the Maritimes a part of this country?)

You mix up the matzo meal with two eggs, some oil and water according to these directions:

Give it a chill and roll them into balls.

You cook the balls in the soup mix until they puff up like this:

And enjoy!

The whole process couldn’t have been easier. I enjoyed them on a wet and dreary day and they were just the thing. They are economical too. This one package which cost me 6 dollaroonies or so, fed me for 3 meals.

How did they taste? Divine!

That soup mix was SO good. Perfectly seasoned without being salty. So clear and clean tasting with a very nice celery flavour. I didn’t end up using all the soup and I thought nothing of adding the remainder to my precious master stock. The matzo balls were weighty and satisfying without being too dense. They were creamy and flavourful. I do believe, this is my favourite soup of all time. It’s well worth the try.

What’s your favourite soup? Is it from a can or mix, or homemade?