Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vacation in West Virginia

Wow, I haven't done much posting this week! Besides putting up my weekly finds and what I made last week, I've really left you hanging.

Last weekend, Joey and I went on a mini vacation! We went to a bed and breakfast in West Virginia that we had been to once before. We originally found it on Living Social and went because it was a great deal and sounded really nice. The deal included a two night stay, horseback riding, a wine and hor d'oeuvres reception, and two vouchers for their restaurant. The restaurant was fantastic - they had the best gazpacho I've ever tasted. Everything is located in Lost River, and there is a state park down the road. This is where we did the horseback riding, and we also went on a hike and sat out by their pool. Just down the road is George Washington National Forest, with a pond and manmade beach. We did so much that weekend, and really enjoyed the trip.

When I saw this spring that there was another Living Social deal, I jumped on it. This time it didn't include horseback riding, but I was okay with that since that part was scary for me! We had a really nice time our second time there. No gazpacho this time :( But the rest of the food was really great. We got a bottle of wine on arrival (had them switch out the merlot they gave us for a nice sauvignon blanc - we don't like red!)

This time we did a much bigger hike, since we had the whole day. I slept until 9:30 - seriously, I don't know the last time I slept that late! Had a nice leisurely breakfast, and got our hike started around 11. It was an 8.5 mile hike, so we didn't know how long it would take. We always trust the recommendations on hikingupward.com, but know that their estimates for hiking times are on the conservative side. We usually finish a bit earlier than they say, which makes sense, since their times are for the general population. This hike said 5 hours plus a half hour for lunch. I put on my heart rate monitor, to get an idea of how hard I was working, and we set off. We were excited - it was rated pretty high for both difficulty and views.

The first part of the hike was the  most difficult - it took us a little while to find the trail at one point, and then we were going up up up for a long time. After that, everything was pretty easy. I think that it was rated high for difficulty just because of the steep part. When we got to the overlooks, we were a little disappointed. There were a lot of trees in the way, so it was difficult to see much. We definitely couldn't get any great pictures. I think it would be a lot easier to see in late fall or winter, once the leaves have fallen. I did think that it should have been rated higher for solitude, however. We only saw four people while hiking, and two of them worked there. There is a lake at the beginning/end of the hike with lots of people, but that's it.

What I did find out on this hike was that Joey is in much better shape than I am! We both had our heart rate monitors on, and I burned so many more calories than he did. Considering that he has 50 lbs on me, that shows that my heart rate was so much higher than his, because I was working harder. It's interesting, thinking that a measure of my fitness would be to do this hike again in 6 months and burn fewer calories doing it. Also, I really shouldn't be surprised that Joey is in great shape. He's been working out hard, consistently, for several years now. I've just been doing it for 7 months, and not at the same level as him. I do know that I'm in the best shape I've ever been in, so I'm still pretty happy about it.

Heart Rate Monitor:
Duration: 03:39:00
Calories Burned: 1107
Average Heart Rate: 110 (57% of max)
Maximum Heart Rate: 154 (80% of max)
Time in Zone: 0:40:07

Also one thing to mention - I twisted my ankle on the trail. It was on one of the downhill portions, where I just have a harder time finding my footing. I was mostly okay for the rest of it, just every once in a while my ankle would bend in the way it did when it twisted, and I would get a big twinge of pain. It was aching a bit by the end of the hike, but completely fine the next day. I think I really need to get some good hiking shoes. Right now I have running shoes, and cross training shoes, but no hiking shoes. I used the cross training shoes on the hike, but I'm sure they weren't completely suited for the rough terrain.

Workout Lessons Learned:

#6 Having the proper equipment for your activities is really important. The expense is always worth it. Some things are multi-purpose, but most likely your running shoes will not double as hiking shoes, and definitely not vice-versa. Also make sure you replace your equipment regularly. Whether this is by just using one pair consistently, then getting a new one; or by having 2-3 pairs that you rotate through. Joey will typically buy a couple pairs of cross-training shoes that he'll rotate through, so he isn't completely screwed if one pair falls apart. Once it's time to get rid of one, he'll buy another, so he always has a backup.