oooh pretty!

I can’t tell you how awesome it felt to wake up in the dark, run around the house searching for a whole new kind of gear, eat my whole wheat muffin with peanut butter, and drive over to meet my carpool (my workout buddy for this season is my friend Jon). It all felt so giddily familiar and yet new at the same time. Man, I have missed my team workouts! Has it only been two weeks?

I remarked to Jon that one thing I LOVE about what TNT does to/for me is that it gets me to do way more than I would normally do on my own. Take this morning. It was early. There was a threat of rain. But TNT workouts happen “rain or shine” and I was excited about this. If I were just, say, meeting up with a friend (sans team) for a hike, we’d probably cancel or postpone because “it’s probably going to rain.” In fact, a couple of people were going to join me since it was “bring a friend” day but they passed on the experience for various reasons. It’s harder to pass when you’re on the team. Or, you’re just not gonna make that choice.

We got out to the trailhead parking lot in PLENTY of time and I got to re-unite with my Walk coach from 11 years ago (!!) and to meet my new mentor, Randy. Randy was sporting a brand new Camelbak, and new hiking poles and I think a new jacket, too. She had store tags hanging on all of it still. LOL.

Randy with her new duds, and coach Carolyn

After the requisite pre-workout speech and announcements (no matter what team, these always take forever while we freeeeeeeeeze) we set off into the Briones Park trail. It was beee-yoooo-tiful, but super muddy. In no time we had added about ten pounds of mud to each foot, which significantly increased the level of intensity of workout. Man! It was a huge effort to take each step.

East Bay MUD

The thing that is very awesome about the hike team is that we get to explore incredibly beautiful spots near where we live (where I have never been!) and we can literally stop and smell the roses. Or the mud. Or see the cormorants. Coach Carolyn’s husband, Steve, is the Nature Guy and he stopped to explain to us what a “watershed” is and also to point out some birds. Whose name I can’t remember anymore, other than cormorants.

Nature Guy

Overall, it was a great hike, even after it started to rain. It just felt great to be out there. Especially with the mud and a few hills, it was a pretty kick-ass workout, especially since I’ve done basically nothing in two weeks. We went for two and a half hours, which was quite respectable. Another thing I liked was getting to TALK to other team members, which doesn’t happen so much if you’re in a pool or on the bike. A lot of the hike team are alums from other sports, like Century (100 mile bike ride) or various marathons. One woman has done something like 15 marathons and 9 halfs? What? So that was pretty awesome.

Bottom line: It felt JUST RIGHT for where I am right now. Good choice, good decision. Yay hike team! GO TEAM!

Hiking! I like it!

And my ankle/foot? It held up pretty well. I could feel it, meaning it didn’t feel PERFECT, but it wasn’t like killing me and I didn’t feel like I’d overdone it afterward. So that was good. All in all, a great day, and it felt so good to be OUT there again. Yay!