Things that I’ve learned from going up the same tough trail once a week for the past four weeks:
Stamina can improve really quickly. The first week that I went up this trail, which climbs about 800 feet in 0.9 miles of nearly nonstop ascent, I had to stop more than seven times. Truth be told, I lost count. I was in a flop sweat a by the time that I got to the top and my leg felt wobbly. Phew! It was tough. Yesterday, I ascended the trail the fastest that I ever have! I only had to stop four times and felt great when I got to the top.
Food is fuel. It is SUPER important what I eat and when I eat it in relation to doing such a tough workout like this hike. I had a super delicious smoothie for breakfast within an hour of getting up and ate cottage cheese and a mango as a post-rowing snack (yes! I even had enough energy to do my hike after a 20 minute erg machine workout) and was good to go about 90 minutes later for my hike.
Hydration is essential. This should have been so obvious to me on the first hike. I mean, it used to be that I didn’t drink a ton of water, so I would have had coffee and maybe a glass of agua before attempting the hike. Today, I drank two quarts of water before attempting my hike. Boom fist!
Don’t forget that when you hike, even in the city, you’re going to nature. Yesterday, I had my first encounter with an aggressive rattlesnake. You read that right. You should’ve seen me running like a crazy person down that trail when I heard that snake’s unforgettable and utterly threatening rattle less than two feet from my left foot. OMG, I just about lost my mind! I cursed dirtier than a ship of drunken sailors who haven’t taken a bath in a year, too.