Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Getting Committed

Last year, my crossfit gym instituted something called Commitment Crew. Basically, it's an incentive program to encourage athletes to attend at least 20 classes per month. For the first few months, there were rewards like an extra class, but then it tapered off. Still, there are supposedly going to be rewards at the end of the year for folks who have made the crew for 6, 9 or 12 months.

If I am able to continue as planned, December will be my 9th month for the year. I missed April because I had a weird bout of back pain. I missed July (by 2 classes!) because I sprained my ankle (I really should have taken a rest day that Saturday). I missed August recovering from my sprained ankle. I might have been able to make August if I had gone to a doctor about my sprain, because then I would have had the confidence to go and do an adapted workout, but I was paranoid. I took a lot of rest that month so as not to take any risks before the backpacking trip over the eclipse.

I was sick and resting for five days early this month already, but I'm on track to get at least 20 for December, barring additional sick days and/or accidents.

The reward at the end, unknown though it is, does excite me. But the real win for me in the program is to have a goal and attain that goal. I have tried to get as many months as I could on the crew this year, and that means I attended a lot more classes than I have in previous years. I've been more consistent and more thoughtful in how I attend classes and how I rest (except in July).

When you make the crew, your name goes up on a board for the month, and when I make it, it encourages me to see my name up there. When I don't make it, it spurs me on to keep on track so I can get it next month.

It doesn't really matter what the reward is, because I can see a difference in my performance. Even though I've been ill, I've been able to get a good number of personal records this year. My capacity to lift has increased, and even though my weight has gone up, my pants still fit.

Yes, yes, I'm saying making the crew is its own reward. It may be cliched or trite, but it's true. I started my crossfit journey by doing 30 days, mostly in a row. Not entirely in a row, because there were no classes offered on Christmas Day that year, but I went every day there was a class in the month that I signed up for. After that, I saved up so I could start buying 10 class passes. With those, I went once or twice a week. When I finally had the budget to pay for unlimited classes, I tried to go three to four times a week, and even that seemed hard at the time. With the incentive of Commitment Crew, I've been going five to six times a week, and it makes a big difference.

Because of the backpacking season, I don't anticipate ever making the crew 12 months out of a year, but I'm aiming to set my bar at 9 of 12 and not fall below that now that I know I can.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Planning for 2018

With winter in full swing, my husband and I are planning next year's backpacking trips. We've got several Idaho trips in the works, including my next solo that will connect the segments of the Idaho Centennial Trail that I've hiked so far. We're also planning another trip to Washington's coast.

This time, my husband is determined not to cut the trip short. He wants to make it to Shi Shi and back from Rialto beach. I think that we'll be able to do it, now that we have an idea of what we'll need to be doing to get that done. But the biggest factor for that trip is going to be preparation. We both have to be physically ready to make the journey, and that means Ambrose is working on his walking speed.

I have no doubts that I could make that trip, because I managed a couple of 25 mile days this past spring. He needs to work on conditioning until he can do packless walks close to 3 miles per hour, and pack on walks at a nice consistent 2 mph. He's working on it, and it's my job to see that he sticks with it.

I've got to get him running, too, but first we need to get him some new running shoes. His birthday's coming up, so maybe we'll get them then. I hope so, because he needs the speed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

6125 2017 Day 3

One last look at the campsite before we hike to the car on the last trip of the season.

The sun was mostly up by the time we left. With less than two miles to the car, there was no need to hurry.

Left to the road and the car, right towards Sheep Mountain. 

Ambrose left before I did. He was hoping to beat me to the car, but he didn't get enough of a head start.

He did make a good go of it though. I didn't catch him right away.

It was nice to hike in the shade a bit.

But I'd catch the sun again soon enough.

But not before I caught Ambrose!

Probably would have caught him quicker if I hadn't stopped to take photos.

Now I'm in the lead, and almost to the road.

Time to start switchbacking down.

But not before taking one last look back. I hope we hike this area a bit more next season. 

But it was time for this season to end. 

I was glad that we pushed our comfort zone a bit with this mid-September trip. Next year, late September .

But for this year, it was time to pack it in and head home.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

6125 2017 Day 2

Since we were both taking our trekking poles, we used this plank to secure the tent while we went hiking.

We got started pretty early - but the sun was coming up.

It was chilly enough that even Ambrose was wearing a down jacket. 

So glad this bridge is here - I would not want to cross a cold creek so early.

No water flowing in this side stream in September.

I enjoyed getting a dose of full sun near the beginning of the hike - but it was still cold. 

And I ended up in shadow again as I entered the long slog uphill.

Not much to say about this portion of the trail. It goes up. 

And, eventually, it makes a few turns. 

Before proceeding to keep going up.

Yup. More up.

But the elevation does come with a nice view of Twin Springs. 

6125, a peak we call by its elevation designation, ahead and to the left.

Around here I started to hear strange noises across the valley. Rocks falling against rocks, and possibly animal sounds. I think it was a goat, but I never got definitive proof.

Pretty sure that's a raptor nest of some sort. 

I saw a speck racing away on the trail going away from 6125, but I couldn't get a picture close enough to determine what the speck was. I'm going to stick with goat.
Almost to the peak. Just a bit more up.

I call this collection of rocks the turnaround point. It's got a good view and is a nice place to sit and rest before heading back down. 

Time to head back.

I actually enjoy the up part more than the down part. 

Here comes Ambrose up the trail.

That's generally the direction I'm heading, though the trail isn't very visible.

See you tomorrow, Twin Springs.

I'm just not very good, still, at going downhill without getting pain in my knees.

Oh, and the state of the trail didn't help. There were several sections of trenches like this, which make it hard to walk as if your feet on are railroad tracks. 

The trees mean I'm getting closer to the bottom.

Hi, lizard!

The down part is almost over.

Al most.


Ah! No more downhill.

Sheep Creek had a good flow going.

The plank successfully guarded our tent. Good job!

Ambrose had warmed up by this point.

I spent a lot of the remainder of the afternoon elevating my ankle. A bug kept landing on my knee, but I was never fast enough with the camera to catch it.