When I first started this goal of training to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I thought I would make sure that I walked in all kinds of weather, to get used to it. Then last winter I decided that anything below 32 and I wasn’t going to go out because of safety. Not just because my face was getting really messed up from the wind and the dryness, but also because not all the sidewalks would be clear of ice and snow, and the roads could get slippery and I didn’t want any cars sliding on the ice into me or anything.
But then I hit the warmer weather and though okay, it’s outside every day until the winter again. But once the weather started hitting 85-90 degrees and an average of 60-75% humidity, I realized that I was really not feeling well while I walked. My heart rate was spiking far too high for the pace I was walking, I would feel nauseous and generally unwell, and so I made a new rule that 85 and above I don’t go outside. Which means that I’ve been doing a fair bit more treadmill walking lately, and pacing around inside. Then you add on top of that the fact that I live in an area that has frequent thunderstorms, and I basically didn’t walk outside for a few weeks.
So this weekend I had to force myself to go out again, because it’s amazing how much I fall into old habits. I dislike pacing inside, I don’t even like the treadmill that much, but both of those are things I can do in my own increments. If I get tired of pacing I can stop for a while. But if I’m out on a walking trail, no matter what I have to at least walk until I get home. Case in point, last week when I decided to go walking on a different route than usual. I got to a fork in the path, and I couldn’t remember which way I was supposed to go. I was tired, and wanted the shortest route home because I wasn’t feeling great, so I picked a direction, and walked until I recognized where I was. I ended up really far afield of where I meant to go, and the route I had to take back was all up hill and there was very little shade along that way. It was exhausting, and I had gone out super early when I hadn’t slept so I could beat the heat of the day. That makes me hesitate to go out because if I don’t feel well part of the way through my walk, I haven no recourse.
I need to get over that mental hump, but I’m not entirely sure how to do it. I suppose just making myself go out over and over?