Is it Exhaustion, or is it Something Else?: Day 4

I am tired and rummy right now.  I didn’t sleep well last night and have been on the go all day.  I had hoped to take a nap as I do many work days.  But I went to the lake just down the road from me and walked for 40 minutes instead.  That helped me get through my evening class, but right after dinner, I lost all my energy.  That is normally okay.  My work day is done after dinner.  But today, I am packing to take my grandkids to Disneyland.  So I have three girls to wrangle and get off to bed all while I am trying to pack my bag, put together my purse and money, and think of something to write.  This is the last thing that I am doing before going off to bed.

The exercising is going well.  I don’t feel like I have to force myself to hike or do any of the other things that I do to try to get fit.  I just find a space of time that is 30 minutes or longer to get after it.  I feel better, but I really do like to exercise anyway.  I just often think that I am too tired or too busy to exercise.  I have begun wondering if I am tired because I say I am, or if I am tired and something is going on.  This short week, I haven’t felt the same tiredness I had been dealing with for quite a while.  In fact, today is the first to feel this way. So now I think that it is because I’m not active enough, and I am sluggish.  I have often felt the rejuvenation effects and even the runners high from exercising, especially if it is fun or with someone I enjoy spending time with.

Today I am experiencing true tiredness.  I am not focusing well and my body and mind are done for the day.  I know that I had an active day and that I will sleep well. This is the way I would like to feel at the end of the day.  This is a good tired.  This is how I feel at the end of a long day of hiking.


*On a side note, I will be hand writing my posts for the next several days because I am going on vacation, and that to me means device free.  I will type and post what I write when I get back.  I am keeping to my 100 day challenge. Thanks for your support.


Foot Problems: Day 3

Feet are so important to our comfort and walking ability, but they are often mistreated and under supported.  I buy cheap shoes all the time because I like to change up my shoes.  Because of that, I wear out a lot of shoes, and my feet pay for it.  That wimg_20170228_171150772.jpgas okay for many years.  I’d buy cute flats and sandals.  I’d stand or walk all day to go home with tired achy feet.  I could deal with that in my 20s and 30s, but when they hurt to stand up or get out of bed, throb as I walked through the parking lot on my way into work, and snapped at the littlest shift, I knew I had taken it too far.  I saw my doctor and was told it was gout, and then another told me it was plantar fasciitis.  I did the diet and exercise they told me and the pain went away for a while.  But each time the pain went away, it would come back quicker.  I didn’t know what to do.  So I bought insoles and thicker soled shoes.  That helped for a while.

When the fixes stopped working, my toes in one foot started going and staying numb.  Then it began to feel like I had something under the balls of my feet.  Hiking seemed to make this worse.  But, I loved hiking, and it was making the rest of me feel better.  So I started buying different and more expensive shoes. My feet still hurt.

I had Nevados which I loved, but didn’t hold up to my weight long. I still have them for yard work and am considering getting new inserts to see if I can hike in them again.  I replaced those with Hi Tec and always got blisters from them.  On my long hike, I pounded the insoles through within a few days.  That wasn’t going to work.  Upon throwing those away, I studied what other hikers with falling arches were buying and suggested.  I had a list of shoes to try when I went to REI and fell in love with Oboz.  They were comfortable, had a roomy toe box, and my feet didn’t slide in them.  I wore them for more than just hiking and liked the support and feel.  I thought this was it. That is until I went on a backpacking trip with them.  The first thing that threw me off was that they didn’t have the grip on rocks that I had with other shoes.  The hike turned into longer days than anticipated and my feet were very tired.  Well that was expected, hiking with a 35 pound pack for 12 hours does tend to wear out the feet, legs, and knees.  I didn’t think about my shoes being a problem until my feet hurt even when I’d wear them for short hikes.  The pain became regular no matter what shoes I was wearing.

I finally had to go see a podiatrist.  I was worried what the diagnosis would be and that the doctor would want me to have surgery.  I didn’t want to have my feet operated on because I was afraid that it would be the end of my hiking.  It seems all the people I know who had foot surgery had problems afterwards.  It turns out that the bones in my feet are so close together that they are pinching the nerves going between them.  The heightened pain is because the casing around the nerves is wearing away.  New shoes and a shot to help the nerves rebuild the casing is the solution.

For the shoes, I was told to go to Reno Running Company so they could watch my gait on the treadmill and get shoes with a large toe box.  No more squeezing my toes together, no heal at all, and some arch support were also suggested.  The salesman was great.  We spent an hour looking aIMG_20180925_215817896nd talking about shoes.  I tried on several sizes and styles before I settled on a pair that caused no pain walking around the store and standing in place.  My feet felt like they were on cloud nine the rest of that day in the shoes.  When I take them off there is no extra feeling at the ball of my foot.  I even found that the company, Altra, makes trail runners and trail shoes that are quite popular.  If these shoes turn out to be good for the long hauls, I’ll try new hiking shoes.  But I have a lot of money in other pairs to see if I can deal with it a little longer.  Although, there is nothing like having my feet feel good after a day of teaching or walking.


Training Day 2

Training to me means mixing up how I use my body.  One day, I may work in the yard doing a lot of bending or twisting moves.  The next day, I will hike or dance or practice yoga.  Today, I chose to hike.  There is a great place for me to hike right between where I work and live.  It is a grefish cavesat place to decompress or rehash things as I hike.  There are hills and flat areas.  I can do a short loop or a long loop.  I can climb several hills or no hills.  But the best thing about this area is that I am usually alone, and I can be comfortable doing whatever I need or want to.  This becomes meditative to me.  I can really focus on thoughts or I can let my mind.  If there is something I need to work out, my mind has the reins and is off and going.  If I need to relax and distress, I can let the thoughts in and brush them away.  As I was hiking, I realized that I was doing this with stuff that was bothering me.  I thought whatever thoughts came to my mind.  If I could do something about a thought, I would pay attention and figure something out.  When a thought came into my mind about something I had no control or impact on, I could acknowledge it and let it go.  Now I realize how zen the hike is to me and why I come back feeling so much better.  Even my husband notices and suggests that I go hiking when school is stressing me out.

Getting Started (Again) Day 1

Hello, I’m back.  It’s been awhile I know, but I am planning on making this blog a priority again.  When I finished my Mt Hood trip last year, subconsciously I was done.  My training was done, my dieting was done (I didn’t even know I was dieting), my goal was done.  Unfortunately, I had (have) more trips planned.  It didn’t affect me right away, but slowly I put on more weight and couldn’t walk as far.  Then my trips I had planned for this year came along.  I was so under prepared it was embarrassing.  I should have improved over the course of the year, instead I back slid.  My three day 30 mile hike with my daughter mercifully was changed to a two day twenty mile hike.  It was tough.  I struggled with so much of it.  Then I was supposed to take a three week hike with my cousin and my granddaughter.   Again mercifully it was reduced to a four day hike that we turned into a weekend hike.  We were not ready and hurting on the first day.  So with only three weekend backpacking trips under my belt for this summer, I know that there is no way I am going to take on the PCT next spring.  Plans have been rearranged and put into place to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail next summer with my cousin coming to my house for elevation training two weeks before we tackle Tahoe again.  We will hike daily.  But to get there, we are also going to take on a shorter easier backpacking trip earlier in the summer.

Still there is much work to be done before we even get to that.  I must go back into training (a training that has no end).  I am going to take on a hundred day challenge to jump-start this training starting today.  For the challenge, I am going to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes every day and write in this blog daily.  I hope that the two combined brings some excitement back to the training.  I will be looking for new things to write about and to learn.  I will also be writing about previous trips.  Taking on a personal trainer when I get a few things taken care of is also in the plan. index

I chose a 100 day challenge for two reasons.  When I am looking for a lifestyle change, I need to have something that has duration to it so that I get it into my mind that this change will be permanent.  When taking on a short challenge, I often give up or make modifications, and they are for short term change.  I want exercise and writing to be in my life long term.  So a long challenge will help me see it in that manner.  Also I want to be able to start the new year with a bang ending this year knowing that I completed something of consequence.  Exercising and writing daily is no small feat.  It is easy to get in a slump and also to get bored with things.  But if I can finish it, the feeling of accomplishment will be so big, I will want to continue.

I had planned on starting the 100 day challenge yesterday so I would end on the last day of the year.  However, as often happens, I was delayed and side tracked by many things yesterday, and before I knew it, it was midnight.  Today, I had thought of doing double because I didn’t want to start putting things off.  But, I realized that it was just making changes to the challenge instead of taking it on properly.  I am not going to modify my challenge.  I am starting today and ending on January 1, 2019.  This has some significance in it as well as I will be finishing the year strong and getting a start on the new year at the same time.

This morning I got right out to my yard and did some fall clean up.  It is not vigorous exercise, but it is more than I usually get.  I worked out in the yard for more than three hours.  I have the back cleaned up, the entry way weeded, and I cleared dead weeds and trash that have blown in.  I feel good about how I started the first day.  Tomorrow, I will be working, so between jobs, I’ll take a hike.  I am looking forward to this.  I want to be sure that I hike several times each week varying the difficulty and length.

So, I’ll be back with an update and some interesting discussion for you tomorrow.