Toughening up our feet

On some of the coldest days we opted to use Fair Oaks mall for our training hikes. 8.75 miles of back and forth in the mall makes for a messy looking map.

Tim and I are doing the C&O Canal One Day Hike again this year.  We just finished our final training hike, a 20-miler on the WO&D trail through Vienna.  All together we’ve done 6 training hikes (Tim snuck in a few extra), which is far fewer than we anticipated doing, but we were sidelined by poor weather, sickness, and sore feet.

This will be our fourth hike.  Ten years have passed since we last did this.  In 2001 we set off without a single training hike (or maybe we did one) and finished the 50k at a very late 9:05pm (I believe our start time was 10am).

Tim and I at the end of the 50k hike in 2005

Our most ambitious endeavor was in 2003 when we did the 80k hike.  We had for years heard of the time my uncle Bruce had attempted a 50 miler and he almost made it until a kindly neighbor offered a ride towards the end of his hike.  Sore feet and tired legs betrayed my uncle and he accepted the ride.  I completely understand this.  The 80k was brutal and I think the only reason I was able to complete it was I didn’t want to let Tim down and bail out.  The last 10 miles were pretty miserable, but we did finally complete the hike  at 8:10pm after 14 hours and 10 minutes averaging 3.51 mph.

Our last hike was in 2005.  Still scarred by the C&O death march of 2003 we opted for the much more reasonable 50k again.  We finished at 6:07pm averaging 3.83mph.

And now we’re just 2 weeks away from doing it again on Sat April 25.

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