Hiking The Inca Trail
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Dead Woman's Pass
Look - no huge drops!
Week 2 - Getting Started
Written by Tina Sibley in January 2019

So the decision is pretty much made - although I'm still waiting for final details to book it - so I could still chicken out!!!  

When I see pictures like this one on the left, I have to say it does freak me out - what happened to those reassurances that there were no steep drop offs?  Although I gather there are several trails and ruins and I was advised to stay away from HP (Huayna Picchu) - so maybe this picture is of that?!  

The good news is that I've discovered you can 'hike' the trail on Google Maps!!  So that's something I'm going to do when I get time.  I want to know what I'm facing.

Monday 7th January

A really good day preparation wise

I did my meditation, stretching and yoga this morning – Yay! I watched a brilliant mindset video – mindset in regard to health and fitness. And I’ve been for a hilly walk – up the hill from my apartment towards the top of Alcaidesa – heading for the entrance barrier.

I wasn’t aiming for anywhere near the top – I was aiming to see how far I would get in 30 minutes, then come back for a total of an hour’s walk. I figured I would turn round after 35 minutes as expected to be quicker coming back downhill. I got much further than expected, went for an extra 5 minutes to 40 minutes and reached a good milestone.  The lovely pictures on the left below the picture of Machu Picchu are from my walk.  Don't you love those red hot pokers? :-)

Steps after the walk 10159 Heart rate went up to 116 and was back down to 77 about 10-15 minutes after stopping. An hour later after being at PC it’s 69. Climbed elevation equivalent to 20 floors.

Trouble is…. It’s now 6pm and I’ve barely done anything else today at all. How on earth am I going to fit in work and running errands and stuff as well.
I have about 3 hours between now and when I go out dancing to have something to eat, do a bit of work and get myself ready to go out.

Update: I drove to the dancing place and they were shut :-(

Total steps for the day 13,034 up 21 floors.

Tuesday 8th January

Oh man!  What have I done to my body??!!

So yesterday, I went full out on a walk almost to the top of the hill and I felt great.  I was so pleased.....

Today I couldn't get out of bed :-O   

I felt like I'd been run over by a truck - every bit of me ached and I was SO VERY TIRED.  

I'm going to confess I started off having a bad day - I skipped my yoga, but did do some stretching.  I skipped my meditation, so my mindset was weak.  

And the walking - I felt I could barely put one foot in front of the other - after yesterday's total of 13034 steps climbing the equivalent of 21 floors, I only managed 4115 steps and up 2 floors today!  

But the worst????   Around mid afternoon, I got the munchies...   Boy did I get the munchies!  I started with a ginger biscuit, which turned into half a packet of ginger biscuits, followed by a WHOLE CHOCOLATE ORANGE!!!  

WTF??  WHY?  WHY?  WHY?  WHY?   WHY?  !!!!! 

And after all that 'mindset training' I did.

But I promised to share with you the bad days as well as the good so you're going to see the 'warts and all' of my journey - not just the good highlights. 

I felt annoyed with myself and a bit depressed.  I'm wondering if my fear of heights is perhaps sabotaging me so that I give up?

But  I'm not going to let it and have booked some EFT therapy to help me conquer the fear of heights.

And hmmmm - this is typical - I get all fired up, over-do it and then crash and burn.  So I need to learn how to build up gradually.  

I did redeem myself by going dancing so that limbered me up a bit and that lifted my mood. 

Tomorrow is another day :-) 

Wednesday 9th January

I woke this morning to the news that my step-daughter who I love dearly had a house fire.  The whole family got out safely, but their poor cat died and they lost all their belongings. 

This shook me up and derailed me a bit - the thought that I could have lost them was horrific and I was devastated for them for their trauma and loss.  

But it reminded me that we have to make the most out of every single day, and cherish everyone and everything that's dear to us. 

So I got back to my routine.  I meditated, did my yoga and stretching and went for a walk - but a more sensible one this time.  

I achieved my target of 6,000 steps per day (I decided to go with the health app recommendation for me - I can increase it as I get fitter).  I did 6,638 steps and climbed 7 floors.  I walked along the beach which was great for my mood and the final bit back to my apartment has a steep incline which I attacked at a good pace. 

I was happy with today. 

Thursday 10th January

Man this is a real pendulum.  Good day... Bad day... good day.... bad day!

I woke up this morning with a really sore throat, a bit of a cough and my chest doesn't feel great.  

I really need to get the balance right here. 

So I've meditated, stretched and done yoga but decided to stay in, give walking a miss and write this blog up from my notes instead.  I've also reluctantly decided to give dancing a miss tonight :-(

But I'm mentally inspiring myself to take the long view, create a plan and get people involved - partially to keep me on track and partially to inspire others. 

I would love it if you helped me by commenting each week in the comments post below :-) 

Friday 11th January

Kept up during the night with that cough and still feeling very tight chested and unwell today :-(   

It's SO frustrating, having got all fired up.  But I'm keeping warm, drinking fluids and I'm determined that this will only last a very short while. 

Also - I'm having a really mentally bad day today.  Suddenly, I'm seeing pictures of scary drop-offs and freaking out.  I can't help imagining myself hugging a cliff edge on a narrow path with a big drop, feeling my legs turn to jelly and feeling total panic in my chest to the point that I'm frozen, sobbing and the only way off is being air-lifted by helicopter!  I know - totally drama queen :-O  Maybe the cold is my unconscious sabotaging my fitness so I don't have to face those heights?  

Today the idea of a nice beach holiday instead feels much more sensible!

But I still know that if I don't give this a try, then I AM going to regret it.  

Those images might be from other treks - like the peak behind MP.  And the camera often lies.  And if I get to something that I really can't handle, I don't have to get to the point of cliff hugging in hysterics - I can simply say 'no' and turn round and go back the way I came, getting the train another day instead. 

Saturday 12th January

A much better sleep last night and I'm feeling better today, but still got a cough and tight chest, so I'm training indoors - stretching and yoga and meditation.  Plus I'm doing some organisation on training routines, and meal planning - and when I'm going to fit all of this into my schedule. 

Time management is going to be a huge thing for me.  As well as getting fit and building up to long walks uphill, I'm also needing to find time to learn Spanish plus of course run my business!  

So maybe the time spent organising that is time well spent - I need to remind myself that I have over 6 months so build up at a sensible pace.  

I'm also feeling more positive about the greater mental challenge.  

And I'm realising that this is the bigger beast for me to take on.  The physical aspect is simply training - and I've done that in the past.  I had to reach a level of fitness in the TA and I actually got to the top of Ben Nevis without any specific training for it at all.  

Sunday 13th January

Continuing to improve although the cough and tight chest are still lingering.  Kept up with the yoga and stretching and a short walk in the fresh air. 

I'm also working on how I feel about the trek in terms of the heights thing.  I got stuck into a large part of the trail on Google maps and found that most of it looks no problem at all, even Dead Woman's Pass, which is a huge relief.  Obviously very physically challenging - but maybe not as mentally challenging as I feared. 

There are some hairy looking parts on the last day - approaching the Sun Gate and then descending to Machu Picchu - but I'm sure I can overcome this.  I'm looking forward to an EFT session tomorrow to help me overcome my fear of heights. 

Decided that I felt well enough to go dancing and that it would be a great way to get me moving again.  It was a good decision - I had a great time, danced lots and took my daily steps total up to 9084 steps - only over 4 floors though.  

Health Overview
I've lost 1.75lbs which is a bit of a miracle since I haven't done as much exercise as usual (let alone more) and after my ginger biscuits and chocolate orange pig-out!  Weight now 190.75 lbs

Blood pressure went up a bit midweek - maybe because of the shock of hearing about the fire, plus having a chesty cough?  It seems to be coming back down now. 

Preparation This Week 

Frustrating that a chesty cough stopped me in my tracks just as soon as I got out of the starting blocks.
But this has been common for me in the past! When will I ever learn? Trouble is, I get all enthusiastic and then over-do it before I'm ready.
On the upside, I'm getting more flexible with my stretching and the yoga isn't feeling quite so alien.

So this week has been organising my admin tasks and my time management.  

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