Mini-Goals - Completed the Rachel Carson Homestead Challenge!!

06-23-2013, 12:54 PM
I successfully completed the Rachel Carson Homestead Challenge yesterday! It is a hiking challenge, although some people run it (crazy!). It is 17.5 miles with some of the most intense hills I've ever seen. Like you come to some of these hills (both uphill and down) and think to yourself that humans aren't able to traverse this path, at least not without the aid of ropes and mountain climbing gear (which you do not have)! Climbing elevation was 4552 ft, descending elevation was 4390 ft.

It was in the mid to high 80s and very sunny, which made this hike particularly difficult. I have never done this challenge before, and only hiked on this trail once in my life, so I was aiming to finish in the allotted time of 7 hrs and 32 mins. Well, I finished in 6:31:48!! I'm so excited to have finished this challenge!

The Homestead Challenge is actually the HALF challenge. The FULL challenge is a 35 mile hike (we started halfway through the course). Those folks have from sun up to sun down to finish the hike...which is about 15hrs and 4 mins. The reason why they have it in June is to try to have it on the longest day of the year (or as close as they can). Maybe next year I'll try the full!

06-23-2013, 01:03 PM
What an accomplishment!! Woot woot!! And only 8 lbs to go...woohoo. You go girl.

06-24-2013, 02:23 AM
Woah! That's a really, really, really cool bucket-list-level achievement. That's awesome you're not just slimming down, you're like, athletic. Jesus God, I did a 5 mile hike last year and wanted to cry like a little baby.

Were there a lot of people? How did you get down the steep hills? I think I would have sat on my butt then scooted downhill. Did you have to wear special hiking boots?

Anyway, your post is awesomeness.

06-24-2013, 10:16 AM
That's AWESOME! :D I'm always impressed by people who not only are trying to lose weight, but also become fit/athletic in the process. The hiking challenge sounds like something I'd like to work towards - maybe something like that will be my next goal, after this beginner triathlon I'm doing.

06-24-2013, 02:22 PM

06-24-2013, 04:07 PM
I am in complete and total awe. Seriously. What a freaking ACCOMPLISHMENT!!

Way to go!

06-26-2013, 12:05 AM
Thanks so much guys!! I'm still in a strange headspace about the physical challenges I've been setting/accomlishing for myself. I mean, logically I think 17.5 miles is pretty cool and I know I finished as the 23rd woman.... but there's still a part of me that thinks of myself as the fat girl showing up to the start line with everyone wondering what the **** I think I'm doing there. When I watch marathons, or look at the other hikers on this challenge, I really do appreciate that there are SO many body types successfully doing these races - big people, fit people, frail-looking people, etc. But I have a hard time extending that appreciation to myself sometimes. Working on it... :)

Neenee- your post cracked me up! There were a decent amount of people there, most of the trail is single file size, so you can't flood it with thousands of folks. I think there were about 600 people doing the full, and about 200 doing the half. I got a pair of hiking poles which REALLY helped me get down (and up) the hills. Because my other strategy of trying to grab blades of grass to keep me from falling down didn't work so well. And yes, some people definitely do employ the "slide on your butt" method, no judgement on that!!! When I did a training hike, I used hiking boots. But they were sorta new and gave me blisters, not to mention that they started feeling heavier as the mileage went on... So I ended up getting some trail running shoes. They were lighter, but still had a bit of grip to the bottom of them. I was very pleased with all of my gear choices!

Chrono - how is your triathalon training going?? I'd LOVE to do one of those one day, that just seems to be a lot to put on my plate in the near future. I think THAT'S an amazingly cool accomplishment to have!

Newleaf - Woo hoo, fellow Pittsburgher! I've been on some hiking meetups in North Park. Have you seen that new ropes course they just opened there? I'd love to give that a try sometime. Do you kayak a lot? I also want to try that. There's that group down on the river by PNC Park (Venture Outdoors?) that rents kayaks.

Did you also happen to see the article that came out today that claims Pittsburgh as the smartest city in the country?? Something to do with the amount of universities, libraries, museums, and people with degrees... and it was done by a real estate group? Sooooo... really doesn't sound scientifically valid, but folks here seem to be happy about it :)