tomales point

I had two goals for today – try an extra long hike just to get used to the mileage, and break in my hiking boots. They’re Ahnu Sugarpines, brand new, and probably the lightest boots I could find that didn’t look super ugly:


I dragged myself out of bed at 6am and made it up to the trailhead around 8:15, after circling back to take some pictures of the early morning fog settling over the bay:


So beautiful. Point Reyes has so much wildlife, it’s amazing. Bajillions of baby bunnies along the road, those little quail-ish birds, and I even saw a fox?dingo?something? driving in. Everyone comes for the elk of course – the hike itself isn’t particularly challenging. Just a little long. But the views at the end are totally worth it. I hauled along a Lou’s sandwich and it never tasted so good, sitting there watching the ocean.

PS I met Prongs.



mission peak


Hiked Mission Peak this morning. I woke up late and detoured to make a stop for chicken minis, so I didn’t start hiking until a little after 8:30. By then, the sun was already starting to beat down on the trail even though the air temperature wasn’t too warm. But any sustained amount of time under direct sunlight will eventually start to take it’s toll, that’s for sure. Note to self, stop snoozing your alarm.

I made it to the top in 1.5 hours, which isn’t bad considering it took me at least 40 minutes to do the last mile where it gets fairly steep and rocky. It was also sweltering by then. But there was a nice breeze going at the top.

I ran about a mile and a half of the way down before my knees started feeling the strain, so I made it back in under an hour. By then I was definitely ready for a nap.

Other notes:

– Skip the chicken minis for breakfast – it’s not good exercise fuel
– Fridge the water overnight so it stays even colder
– Get new sunscreen because now I have a weird rash on my face, sigh
– Dance metal/metalcore is good for hikes:

Tomorrow is Castle Rock, provided I don’t wake up too sore to move.


hello (again)

You know what they say – third fourth what-number-again time’s the charm. I don’t know how many blogs I’ve started and abandoned over the years (two WordPress’s, a Tumblr, my own websites) but I’m going to make an effort this time for the foreseeable future. Why? Well, because Dad has a bucket list. On that list: Half Dome.

14-16 miles, 4800 ft gain, and those cables. Yep, the cables.

Guess who gets to climb it with dear old Dad?

I’ve set my little countdown widget to the right on this page >>

This is my concerted effort, my dedicated mission, to get in shape enough so as not to suffer a horrible painful demise or be unable to haul my body weight up to the top of that rather iconic granite rock formation.

I’ve been better these last couple years about exercising, going out for weekend hikes, trying to eat healthy (why yes, I voluntarily eat low-sugar oatmeal for breakfast now – my 13 year old self would never have imagined). But I’m still out of shape. I’ve never hiked more than 10 miles at once, I can’t run more than 1.5 miles without stopping, and I absolutely struggle when it comes to severe elevation gain. I also don’t have much upper body strength. On the flip side, I did manage to hike up to Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) in January, and I managed to keep myself from being swept downriver in the middle of the  Hawaiian jungle by clinging to slippery wet boulders last July. So really, I’m probably approximately average in terms of fitness. Maybe below average.

yep, below average.

The Formula:

Half Dome survival = Outdoor hikes + HIIT + runs + body weight/upper body

The Plan:

Outdoor hikes – nothing beats real life practice. The idea is to break in my boots, and work up my mileage to around 10+ miles. I only have so many weekends left to do this, so I’ve looked up hikes around the Bay Area that I want to tackle over the next 7+ weeks. I have a bum right ankle sometimes, so I’ll need to be careful. In order:

Castle Rock State Park – 5.5 mi, 1000 ft gain
Mission Peak – 5.6 mi, 2200 ft gain
Mitchell Canyon-Eagle Peak Loop, Mount Diablo – 7.8 mi, 2200 ft gain
Black Mountain – 9.4 mi, 2300 ft gain
Waterfall Loop @ Big Basin – 11 mi, 2000xx ft gain

+1-2 easier trail-run types if my body can handle it (maybe)

HIIT – for the first time in my life, I spent money on a workout training plan thing. After watching a friend complete it via Instagram posts, I decided to try the PIIT28 workouts to get my HIITs in. This should serve to up my heart rate, overall body strength, and help keep me on a schedule. I probably won’t stick to it for 28 straight days, but I’ll try.

Runs – instead of doing the PIIT28 stretch warm-ups, I’ll probably substitute a mile run at least half the time to keep some sort of low-intensity movement on the day-to-day.

Body weight / upper body – for days when PIIT doesn’t focus on upper body strength, I’ll add in some weights, push-ups, tricep exercises, and whatever will help make sure I make it up that rock.

I’ll document thoughts, progress, feelings, and failures over the next 50 or so days in this spot. Day 1 starts tomorrow.

Wish me luck! I definitely need it.