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Friday, August 29, 2008

HealthQuest 2008: August - Hikefest

Sov and I plan to hike the Mt. Olympus Trailhead the first weekend of October. That'll put us roughly 4,500 ft above the Salt Lake Valley, on top of this lovely peak:


The Olympus trail is only about 3.5 miles long, so it will be a very very vertical climb. I don't do so well with vertical. I was never particularly skilled at breathing well while exercising, and I don't have very good cardiovascular strength. These are things I need to work on before taking on this challenge. So since I only have about a month left to prepare my body for this obscene amount of verticalness, I committed last Sunday to giving up sugary foods and alcohol until the hike is complete, in the hopes that doing so will make my training go more smoothly.

Even though I sometimes come across as a bit of a lush, giving up alcohol is no big deal. I'm only sad that I won't be able to use alcohol to soothe the pain of being in Wyoming this weekend for the Fort Bridger Indian Rendezvous (oh god how I loathe Wyoming). Maybe I can find some peyote instead.

Giving up sugar, on the other hand, is a horrific ordeal for me. I have a very sweet tooth, and I've never been good at even moderating my sugar intake, let alone abstaining from sugar altogether. I had just barely purchased a box of delicious organic Oreo-like sandwich cremes before I made my commitment to cut out the sweets, and now I have to sit in the corner and rock myself while I watch Ian eat them for me. It brings a tear to my eye.

But I've managed to be a very good girl, and I haven't touched the sweets or the gin all week. Much to my surprise, I think this abstinence is curbing my snacking cravings, particularly at night. And that's great, because I have a really easy time monitoring what I eat at work, but I just snack mindlessly at home. Now that I'm being more conscious about what I can't eat, I'm less likely to snack.

As for the fitness training, Sov and I have a weekly hiking plan. Two weeks ago we did a short .75 mile trail with a couple of my friends up to a little "lake" (probably known as a puddle to the rest of the country), followed by a sunset climb to Ensign Peak. Then last week we did a 3 mile trail to Dog Lake (aka "Pond") starting at the Butler Fork Trailhead. This is a very beautiful trail, but the meadow sections are very overgrown at this time of year, and Sov and I were both wearing short pants, which was a little irritating.

In addition to the weekend hikes, I've been dragging Ian to the field house with me to use the bikes and the stair climbers. I've also signed up for a weekly yoga class at the field house which will start next week. That will hopefully help my breathing and flexibility.

So HealthQuest2008 continues. Maybe this new concrete goal of conquering Mt. Olympus will inspire some actual results in my body over the month of September. Stay tuned.

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18 comments:

natabird said...

I've heard that Mt. Olympus is quite a hike.

Giving up sugar is tough. I've done it a few times for a couple months at a time. It's amazing how the cravings go away with time. Hopefully Ian will finish off those cookies soon so they will quit tempting you.

Good Luck.

tauns said...

Good luck on the hike! That sounds fun.

As for the Mountain Man Rendezvous in Wyoming, my parents are trying to convince us to go to it...the kids would probably like it but not me and the hubby. I think we will just stay at the hotel and swim instead. Have fun! :)

Trovan said...

I've never done the Mt. Olympus hike. It sounds fun.

The back side of Timpanogos up to the peak is a killer hike. That should be your ultimate goal. It's something like 20 miles round trip.

The Over-Thinker said...

Hope the hike goes well!

I'm doing really well on my diet but I absolutely hate actual work-outs so I don't do them. I think I need to implement a "fun" (or at least different) type of physical training into my regime. What about doing arm curls with bottles of gin? No?

P.S.
I hear you about the sweet tooth. I swear to God..the other day, I asked my co-worker if I could just SMELL her cupcake. PATHETIC.

Sra said...

I hope the hike goes well as well. I'm actually pretty nervous about trying it knowing myself. I love hiking, but I'm not terribly good at it. If I can tackle Olympus, maybe then I can THINK about Timpanogos.

To O-T: Ian and I were at the Real Salt Lake soccer game tonight, and they had these mini donuts with chocolate dipping sauce, and someone three rows below me got them. The smell was so deliciously tempting. I may have shed a tear.

The Over-Thinker said...

Okay. Mini donuts by themselves are enough to make me swoon. But you're telling me these had CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE?? Yup. I would've passed right out.

Ben Sloan said...

Never wear shorts hiking! You're insane! INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!

That looks like a cool place, though.

amyeliz said...

I'm insanely jealous, but pleased that you take advantage of the beautiful moutains in the Salt Lake Valley. The highlight of my summer was spending a week hiking in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons.

So many people in Utah, dont take advantage of the great outdoors. I shouldn't talk, since I'm the loser who lives about 90 steps away from a gorgeous beach, which I rarely go to.

Claire said...

Good luck with the hike! I'm getting ready to head over to one of our State Parks next weekend for a hike of my own...we don't have mountains, but we do have forests and hills...I need to start getting myself ready if I'm going to be expected to tackle anything like Mt. Olympus.

Say hi to Zeus for me!

Claire said...

Oh, yeah - and before I forget, you're both in my Blog Day list AND nominated by me for one of those blog-tastic award dealies that announce to the world "Hey, this blog is awesome." So, you know, swing by casa de Claire for details.

Sra said...

Not so that one should never hike in shorts. In southern Utah, for instance, if you hike in long pants, it's probably because you secretly wish to die from heat stroke.

The problem with the Dog Lake trail was the immense overgrowth of the vegetation at this time of year. Last time I was on that trail it was springtime and there wasn't much vegetation at all.

The best thing is to (a) know your trail; or if (a) fails, then (b) be prepared for anything. So I probably should have been wearing some zip-off cargos. I'll make sure I have some for Olympus.

Trollpop Janglestein said...

Thy correction of my grammar is of unspeakable value to me. Few, if any, Nielson commentators take care to notice these minor, purposeful mistakes which I insert for poetic affect. That you esteem me so highly to read such Nominative vs Possessive variations in my speech, is of more worth to me than gold!

Sra said...

Presumably you mean no more gold than that in a shot of Goldschlaeger.

Trollpop Janglestein said...

Deeply disappointed that you did not notice the "affect/effect" mistake which I so willfully meant to test you with. Perhaps you are not as I had hoped :-(

Sra said...

Mmm hmm, if you were to have seen this comment from this post, you would know that my fellow Nippers and I have already discussed the effect/affect distinction, and specifically that I said:

"I now have a headache about these words and don't want to talk about them anymore.

(Of course, that shouldn't preclude anyone else from commenting on them if they want to.)"

So, though test this issue you did, ignore it I did. Perhaps you are not as clever as you had hoped.

Sra said...

Presumably you mean no more gold than that in a shot of Goldschlaeger.

The Over-Thinker said...

Okay. Mini donuts by themselves are enough to make me swoon. But you're telling me these had CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE?? Yup. I would've passed right out.

natabird said...

I've heard that Mt. Olympus is quite a hike.

Giving up sugar is tough. I've done it a few times for a couple months at a time. It's amazing how the cravings go away with time. Hopefully Ian will finish off those cookies soon so they will quit tempting you.

Good Luck.

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