The Hillary Trail: Week 3 – Planning

So it seems that I am starting to get my groove when it is coming to my training. Over the weekend, I ended up doing over 20kms, half in the Bush, and half in town and my energy levels were definitely on track. So I am pretty happy with my progress there.

Looking ahead, I want to be able to step up my game a bit, but also start relaxing into the tramping experience. Instead of seeing this as training and exercise, I want to make sure I am not focusing on the wrong things.

But then again, I do love the pushing my boundaries and pushing my body as hard as I can. So, I need to have a balance between the two. I also want to make sure I don’t burn myself out between now and January. I love the tramping, but I don’t want it to become a chore. So I will be careful about overdoing it.

In the feet department, my blisters have been healing nicely. On both my Saturday and Sunday walks, I wore two layers of socks, and it seemed to do the trick in protecting my feet. I think those, along with the Blister pads, will keep my feet safe for now. This has really driven home how important I need to keep my feet in good shape.

I am starting to plan for my Labour Day weekend trip. I am tossing up a couple of options. Either I will try and camp out near the West Coast, getting a feel for the area, or I will head down to the Hunua Ranges and have a walk and a camp down there. I am still divided on how to approach it, mostly because I am trying to avoid the Hillary trails so that I don’t get used to them (and I want to experience them for the first time when I do the full trail). I think both areas would be good, so it really just comes down to my final decision.

Another thing about the Labour Day weekend trip… I will likely do it alone. For me, I feel very comfortable with going alone in the woods. Even at night. Growing up in the American Midwest, and being a lover of the dark sky, I have always felt home int he dark. Couple that with the fact that New Zealand doesn’t really have *any* predators in forests, makes things very safe and easy. Of course, going alone freaks some people out, so I will need to make sure that even if I travel alone, I will be safe. But, I will say there is a perverse pleasure about just disappearing in the woods for two days and just being on my own.

The Labour Day trip will also test my food intake. One thing I am starting to increasingly worry about it what food I will take. Since I will likely not have too much in the way of cooking ability. I mean I could make a fire, but really… not sure if that is the best thing to do, and my default is to take a lot of nuts and maybe some MREs that you can make with just some water. This is the area I am most concerned about, with regards to having enough food… since I don’t know how much food I should take given my body’s needs. I think some research is in order.

But before I get to the trip (which is like 4 weeks away), I am now looking ahead to this weekend, and where I should go and do. This weekend will be a “push weekend” I suspect, and what I plan to do is at least a Medium difficulty walk.

This week, I plan on doing the Inland Piha Tramping Loop (with a couple of changes). This Tramp combines the following trails:

I am not doing the Pole Line Track to Anawhata Road because I would rather not spend time walking along the side of the road. Instead, I will take a slightly different course. I suspect that I will lose some distance, but I figured that the challenge would be in the walking. Also, there is a lookout, which I suspect will be nice to see.

This could be a full day walk, but I will see how I go, and see how quickly I can pull it off. The following week, I will look at doing an easier track.

Despite the rain forecasted, it doesn’t look to be consistent… but I think the mud will make it a better challenge.

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