And Already We're Off
There are typically four things that will throw off plans for an outdoor adventure: weather, family, work/travel or illness. I managed to encounter all of these soon after my last post.
Weather: The morning we were scheduled to finish the five-peak challenge in Mission Trails Regional Park, it rained. A lot, by SoCal standards. These trails don't have switchbacks, which makes the descents more difficult than the climbs. I initially didn’t worry about a rain date, but since then. . .
Family: I’ve done some last-minute babysitting for my grandson that I honestly didn’t mind doing because I thought I could soon be back on the trails and then. . .
Work/Travel: I had to fly up to San Francisco, where I definitely got in a good glute workout climbing the 16thStreet Mosaic Steps (see photo). But this was a work trip and it meant long hours on less sleep and no time to even get in some early morning runs (my ferry left Larkspur, a 20-minute drive, at 6:35 a.m.). I figured I’d just wait until I was back home and resume plans when. . .
Illness: I came home with the flu. A bad case of it, I’m afraid. Naturally, I self-diagnosed myself as having COVID-19 (the latest coronavirus that has everyone worldwide wringing their hands—with soaps and hand sanitizers!). I was down for three full days and still am far from “safe to be around.” Not to mention other family members have the bug I brought back with me.
Two full weeks have now passed since I’ve done any formal exercise, and now I'm experiencing regret creep. I really wanted to finish the mountain peak challenge before venturing on to my next outdoor adventure. And I wanted to do a decent job (for me) at this month’s Carlsbad 5000.
I’ve given a lot of thought, in between fever dreams, to when it makes sense to push toward a self-appointed goal, and when it doesn’t. It’s quite common for runners to suffer setbacks, usually musculoskeletal injuries from rushing to make up miles or respiratory illnesses from running while the immune system is compromised. It’s the same for people who are training for any endurance event—apparently as short as a 5k.
But my goals for this year are far from lofty. And still here I am less than a quarter of the way in and I’m feeling disappointment seep in. It probably doesn’t help that everyone around me with fewer responsibilities and more favorable lung capacity is staying the course—injury- and illness-free.
I will get back on track. And these inconveniences are trivial compared to those in the past. I just thought by now my post would be about what it’s like for a bunch of senior citizens (by Denny's menu standards, at least) to complete a tough hiking challenge.
Instead, I'll give myself partial credit for climbing all those stairs in San Francisco without breaking a sweat. Mainly because it was too crowded to go at a decent clip.