Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yet another good day

We walked 7.5 miles today. We thought we had done 9 but the mileage signs did not match up with our pedometers. Oh well, it was still a good walk. We felt stronger today and could have done more. No walking tomorrow, just gym time.

We are at the 2 week mark today, and the excitement is building. We've been reading the weather in Spain has been pretty rough lately. Hopefully the weather gods will allow for a good Spring so we can have a decent Camino. Our modus operandi is to let the Camino provide. This will be tough for me at least. I like to plan and have things set. Spontaneity is not my strong suit. I am already fretting our stay in SJPP, Palma pointed out that two of the places we wanted to stay, the Hostel L'Esprit du Chemin and Albergue Orisson don't open until April.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Good Training Hike

We walked nine miles with fully loaded packs today. It was sunny but a bit chilly, around 45F/7.3C. Today we drove down to the George Washington Parkway and parked near Reagen National Airport and walked to Alexandria. This was a much nicer walk than the other day, except we got some strange looks as we walked through Old Town. We felt good after five miles when we stopped for a bite to eat, but four miles later, we were bushed!! Other than being tired we are doing good. Tomorrow we go for ten!! Hard to believe we'll be walking 15 to 20 miles per day in a couple weeks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Finally! A decent Training Hike

We were able to hike 8 miles yesterday. We started at the Teddy Roosevelt Island and walked to Reagan National Airport, then made a U-turn back. There were a couple of snowy patches, and one section of the path led us through a gaggle of geese which was like an obstacle course of goose turds! I took my ipod shuffle along and listened to "Coffee Break Spanish" podcasts to assist in improving my Spanish language skills. I'm finding that the podcasts combined with the Rosetta Stone lessons are an effective way for me to learn (

By the time evening arrived I had a lot of aches. So, I did quite a bit of stretching and I woke up feeling a lot better than I did when I went to bed. We were going to walk another 8 miles today, but we have 50 mile an hour winds, so maybe not.

Another post-worthy quote from a veteran pilgrim on the Camino Forum:

"So keep up the good work with your preparations, but despite of it (in my experience on both my Camino's), the Camino will give you what you need, and not necessarily what you want or expect... And hopefully, you'll love every minute of it! "

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Miserable hike

It is suppoed to snow tonight, so Palma and I thought we'd try and get a hike in today. We normally hike the Fairfax County 's Cross County Trail. This trail is more than 40 miles in length, from the Potomac River in Great Falls Park in the north to the Occoquan River in Occoquan Regional Park in the south. We thought enough snow would have melted that we could walk it. NOPE! There is till anywhere from four to 10 inches of snow on the trail. We walked a little over a mile, turned around and walked back for a total of 2.17 miles. I felt exhausted. Palma did a bit better than me with only a few aches. One good thing we learned though.....our boots stayed dry!

After we got home I decided to drive down to the Potomac to see what condition the trail on the George Washington Parkway was in. To my surprise it looked clear so that is where we'll train tomorrow even if it snows.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lack of Preparation

Part of our Camino prep plan was to hike everyday after Palma retired. Palma retired on 1 February, then the Washington DC area got dumped by a 20+ inch snow storm. We had two days to try and recover - hah - when we got hit by another storm that dumped another 10 to 20 inches. So all we have been able to do is go to the gym and use the elliptical machine and do strength training. We've had good melting but the hiking trails are still a mess. Regardless tomorrow we plan a long hike with our true weight packs!! Then just a few minutes ago I heard more snow tomorrow, but at least it will be in the afternoon after we've done our hike. I used to love I don't know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I've been retired now for a little more than 2 weeks and training for the Camino is not going as we had planned. 2 significant snowfalls have put practice hikes out of the question, so we've been going to the gym just about everyday. I can't wait for the snow to disappear so we can get some good practice hikes in. We'll be departing the D.C. area on 10 March - 3 weeks from today! We have all of our gear and right now my pack weighs about 18 lbs. That's a little more than what veteran pilgrims recommend, but I feel like I'm really only bringing necessities. I've been working on my Spanish with the Rosetta Stone and I can say that progress is really slow. Thank goodness Cullen speaks the lingo!

There was a posting on the Camino Forum today which offered some advice to a first time pilgrim:

"put your faith in God, and keep your feet dry".

Simple and practical, just what I like.