Pemi Loop Prep Part 1: Endurance
When a friend asked me to hike the Pemi Loop a few weeks ago my initial reaction was, “Hell yes I want to hike the Pemi!” The option of bagging nine or ten 4000 footers in three days was really exciting! But the more I researched, the more I realized that I was definitely not prepared to hike almost 35 miles and over 10,000 feet in elevation. I had about a month to prepare and get all of the necessary gear in order for a three-day backpacking trip and it was a bit overwhelming.
The first thing I thought about was how I would build the endurance for 15 mile days on the trail. I had a few hikes planned at that point, but after Lucy’s experience on Zealand most of them are fairly short. Last weekend we did Tecumseh, but that hike seemed to be negligible compared to the kind of hiking I’m doing next month.
I ended up filling my pack with all of the stuff I had for the trip, and hiking Tecumseh with that. The weight definitely made it more of a challenge, but I knew one hike wasn’t going to make a huge difference when it came down to it. Since then, I’ve been a little bit stressed because it’s looking like I’ll only be able to squeeze in four more hikes before the Pemi. A few of these are longer, but none of them are super difficult. To make up for my lack of time in the mountains, I’ve resorted to stadium running.
Every morning and evening on my way to and from work, I pass by Harvard Stadium. My good friend Betsy has been running the stadium all the time, and the other day my boss mentioned that many people do it to train for hiking. What better way to prepare for a crazy three-day climb than running up and down a bunch of stairs?
So that’s exactly what I did! Yesterday morning I stopped at Harvard Stadium before work and ran (well at some points walked) about half of the sections. I had my full pack plus a 10lb dumbbell to make up for the stuff I don’t have yet and my hiking boots on. They’re new so I’m trying to break them in before I leave. It was absolutely exhausting but I know it will help me prepare in the coming few weeks. Also, shoutout to Betsy who not only motivated me but also got me a birthday cupcake as a post workout reward! I’m so excited for the Pemi loop, and I’m hoping that the training I’m doing will help prepare me for the challenge!