I have not been blogging. I've been thinking. I've been re-inventing myself.
I have not been running. I started returning to it but got tired of it.
I have not been biking. I started returning to that, too.... but got tired of it.
Lord knows I haven't been swimming.
I had registered for a triathlon which took place today in Maine, but my manager forgot to giveme the day off. I said, that's OK, I didn't want to go anyway.
What I want to do is hike. And learn to backpack and wilderness-camp, and be ready to start the Appalachian Trail next spring. I'll probably only do half, or a little more, from its start in Georgia to the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line. Although we're more or less "retired," I still can't take 6 months out of my life and everyone else's to hike the whole trail. Steve is talking about spending the summer back "home" at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland; on the way there from wherever we spend the winter (south), he can drop me off in Georgia and I'll just walk home.
I have to learn to live out there first, though. To manage with next to nothing, and learn to rely on myself. Which, actually, is one of my reasons for wanting to hike the Trail, learning self-relliance, but I'll have to learn a little of it before I start.
Today I made myself a little stove out of one of those teeny aluminum cups that hold tea candles. I filled it with 15mL (a tablespoonful) of 91% isopropyl alcohol (the stronger variety of rubbing alcohol), put a few stones around it as a pot stand, flicked my Bic and it burned for 17 minutes. I got the idea from this site about ultralight backpacking. On this creation I cooked a package of Ramen noodles (an AT-hiker staple). I wasn't hungry but I was so pleased with my accomplishment that I ate them anyway. Denatured alcohol is recommended, but I didn't have any. I could probably actually get the water to boil on a candle-cup full of that! Even without boiling, though, the noodles cooked. I was so happy!!
The Vermont City Marathon was 4 weeks ago. I posted a few hopeful thoughts about a PR this fall, if not a BQ, but then I lost interest as I tried running and just didn't enjoy it, and started thinking that I want to spend my long-"run" days doing long hikes, not marathon-training. I guess I'm recovered physically, but mentally -- either I haven't recovered, or I emerged from that marathon a changed person. Because I am not interested in doing another marathon. Not for a long, long time. I will not be trying for Boston this year. I will be hiking.
I think this blog is, starting now, the story of a runner-triathlete-turned-hiker.
I don't want to run. I want to hike. I want to walk and walk until I get to the end of the earth. Or to Pennsylvania. I wish I could go all the way to Maine.