Just wrapped up end of my 4 week countdown of the 2023 Scotland Trifecta and things are getting really, real!
First, let’s get the skinny of what was on the training list since my last post Living La Vida Local – 6 Weeks To Go. As we get closer to departure the training ramps up but in a couple weeks it will also ramp down to ensure I am for ready for and also rested for this 400km challenge.
Here is 5 Weeks To Go training looks like on my tried and tested 20 Week Training Plan:
- 1x 6km Hills (with 15lb pack)
- 3x 7km (with 15lb pack and poles)
- 2x this week let’s get some muscle on:
- 50 squats
- 25 lunges
- 40 calf raises
- 20 fire hydrants
- 10 donkey kicks
- 15 cat/cow
- 35 double Ds
- 60 second plank
- 1x slow flow yoga for flexibility
Last week, at 4 Weeks To Go, there are a couple of subtle differences as this is a ramp it up week:
- 1x 15km (with 15lb pack and poles)
- 4x 7km (with 15lb pack, poles optional)
- 3x this week let’s top up the muscle:
- 50 squats
- 25 lunges
- 40 call raises
- 30 fire hydrants
- 10 donkey kicks
- 15 cat / cow
- 40 double Ds
- 60 sec plank
- 1x flexibility session (stretching, yoga)
Of course, for each hike there should be some gentle stretching as your warm up, and some post hiking stretching too. And to be clear that means more stretching than just the reaching my arm across the bar for a cold pint – add in a calf stretch with your toes on the leg of the bar stool while you do it for extra pints .. I mean points!
My bestie was visiting a couple weekends ago and we had to chance to get in a few of my training sessions with local walks or hikes on a little weekend adventure to Vancouver Island .. hence the local-ISH.
The Westsong Walkway is fantastic, flat and easy walk along the Victoria inner harbor!
A mix of paved path, some boardwalk and a few rock trails that gives you fantastic views of the water, float planes landing and taking off and, if you plan it right even offers a chance to quench your thirst at a fantastic local watering hole, Spinnakers.
We walked about 5km. You can add some additional kilometers if you walk from Johnson Street to Esquimalt and back around the harbour over to Fisherman’s Wharf. Basically, it’s beautiful Victoria and walking all the places is just a total joy!
We also had the chance to hit one of my favourite hikes from when I lived in Victoria – Thetis Lake! Instead of the regular (busy but beautiful) lower and upper Thetis lake trails we did some meandering on Phelps Trail, Trillium Trail and more on the outskirts of the park. We were able to cobble together about 12km. It’s been a while since I have been to Thetis and I am still amazed at just how beautiful a hike surrounded by city can be!
Pre-hike energy loading may have been a most fabulous, delicious, amazing Pork Belly Eggs Benedict from Six Mile Pub and post-hike celebration may have been a refreshing flight .. or two … from Herald Street Brewing in Victoria. All the yumminess! This day was pretty close to the daily activities I will be experiencing over in Scotland. In Alba, the day will start with a Full Scottish Breakfast transition into a hike then transition into pints. They do say your training at home should be as close to the real deal abroad! I am just following great advice 😉
Juan de Fuca Trail, Mystic Beach
Completing the entire Juan de Fuca Trail is on my to-do list but not on this trip. This trip was more around getting some kilometers on the training dashboard and ensuring my bestie from land locked Alberta got some max ocean views in! Hello Mystic Beach.
After a great drive from Victoria to Shirley, BC and a stop for breaky at Shirley Delicious (which was most surely delicious) …
… and a quick waltz down to the Sheringham Point Lighthouse, which was so picturesque and barely a soul around …
… headed to the China Beach trailhead / parking lot and walked the well marked 2km trail down to Mystic Beach. This short trail had all the things we love – suspension bridge (Lana loves those not me), boardwalks, bridges, some up and some down, and enough people to keep the bears away! We saw a bear on the road just before starting our hike so we may or may not have been on high alert!
We spent a good amount of time down at the beach just taking it all in. The sound of the waves, hot sun and views you cannot even believe are in front of you makes it easy to stay a while.
Once we tore ourselves away from the view, and humped the 2km back to the car – where we may or may not have discovered just how bad my misbehaving knee / leg / foot / is feeling (more on that later) – we made our way back to Victoria. Well, not before a quick post hike refresh at Sooke Brewing Company! Yum!
Back in Victoria, we parked the car and accidentally headed to a couple more local breweries. You sensing a theme here? Including Whistle Buoy Brewing in Market Square – so delicious! That pretty blue one on the end was a perfectly sour Gose to cleans the flight-pallet!
That’s a wrap on our weekend all about training and filled to the brim with pints and laughs and more laughs!
Stay tuned for Week 3 and 2 To Go training updates – we are in the the final stretch to departure now folks!