Friday, I check a huge thing off my Cville bucket list.
I hiked Old Rag. Fihhhnally.
Ever since I moved here almost 3 years ago [what?!] I have been wanting to hike Old Rag. It’s a 9 mile hike that is pretty strenuous and takes pretty much all day, which is why it’s taken me so long to do it.
It involves planning and I’m not really into planning.
But gosh, it was so worth it.
Originally, my friend Adam and my little brother were suppose to go too, but both of them bailed on us last minute for inexcusable reasons [I kid, I kid] so it was Kelli and I hiking up the mountain on Friday!
It took us about 2 1/2 hours to make it up to the top and we met some fun people on our way up too. The first three miles were an uphill hike, steep but nothing super hard. Then the last mile and a half up to the top took us over an hour as we scrambled up rocks, maneuvered through crevices and climbed over what seemed like boulders. I didn’t expect the last mile to be so tricky [and hard] but it was so fun!
We made it to the top and basked in these beautiful view. Seriously, I love this place.
Then we lunched on PB & J on flatbread for me + hummus & veg for Kelli plus veggies and pretzels and unpictured chocolate chip granola bars.
We sat up there talking about life, all the gorgeousness of this mountain top, and chatted with new friends.
And then we began the 2 hour hike back down the mountain. Round trip with a lunch break it took up about 5 1/2 hours, not too bad for first timers. But baby, were my legs tired. On the way home we picked up a couple bottles of wine and invited our friend Johannah over for Thai takeout. Perfection, I’d say.
On the way up the mountain Kelli and I got to talking about exercise and how we love this form of “exercise” that seems so passive. You’re just out in nature and it doesn’t feel like exercise at all really. And it got me thinking about how much my “exercise routine” has changed over the past 6 months.
After the Richmond marathon my body was tired. Like exhausted. If I’m honest with myself, I pushed too hard through training last fall with all the other things going on. When I look back I cannot believe I thought doing all those things was okay. It was way too much and I’ve learned a good, hard lesson on rest and saying no. I’ve learned that I don’t have to do all the things and that’s okay.
I knew my body needed rest after the marathon, so I took about 6 weeks off of any sort of cardio except walking and was doing yoga instead and that felt really good. But then after those 6 weeks, I kind of just lost my passion for running. I had been running pretty consistently since 1 was 12 years old and for the past 10 years, since I was freshman in high school, my body as barely gotten a long hiatus from running. And I was feeling it. My passion had dwindled for running and I didn’t want to do it anymore. So I didn’t.
Since the Richmond marathon in November, I’m doing the work-out-how-I-want-and-when-I-want training plan and it feels awesome.
About 4 days a week I’ll do some sort of strength training. It varies week to week from BodyPump to Kettlebells to Barre and yoga. And I’ve been walking, a lot. Lots of friend walking dates now that’s it getting warm and sunny down at Riverview Park or the Monticello Trail and I’m loving it. I feel rested. My body feels stronger. And my stress levels are way, way down.
Much of my identity use to be wrapped up in running. At least 5 months out of the year I was training for a marathon or I had other races on tap. And I absolutely loved it. But now just isn’t the season for running and my time has been spent doing other things. There was a time when I loved the structure of a running plan and training with my running buddies and having a coach, but now is not that time. I love the freedom of sleeping in and just doing what feels good. And I’ve learned that having no routine is okay too.
Who knows, maybe I’ll pick up running again. I’ve started to yearn for early morning runs and really miss my running buddies. But for now, I’m enjoying a bit more rest and a lot less structure.