As this will be my fourth Camino, part of me feels like getting ready is old hat. But then this morning as I was going through my backpack and assessing what I’ve stuffed in it so far, I found myself thinking “Oh yeah, I can’t forget that…and that!” I know when it comes close to leaving, I’ll go through my past packing lists and make sure I have what I need. And trying to see what I haven’t needed and can remove from my past packing lists.
Today, as I’m writing this, I’m walking through my neighborhood. This is the start of what I hope to be at least a 10 mile training walk. I need to return something to a store that’s a 4 mile walk away, so that’s the initial goal and then we’ll see where I wander to after that.
As far as preparations go, I recently received my credencial in the mail.
I ordered my credencial from the American Pilgrims on the Camino group, but you can acquire one from a variety of places – including some churches as you start your journey. I’ll be taking this credencial with me and adding stamps to it from cafes, albergues, cathedrals/churches, etc along the way. To earn my Compostela (the certificate to show I completed the Camino) I’ll need to have stamps added from two stops each day of the last 100km to Santiago – though I’ll collect them every day of the journey For me, I love collecting the stamps in my credencial the same as I love getting new stamps in my passport.
More important than making sure I have everything I’ll be stuffing into my backpack, is to ensure I’ve trained enough for the walk. While I call it a walk, the Camino Primitivo has a lot of elevation gain and loss, making it a bit more challenging than a casual stroll. I also won’t have the luxury of time on my journey, so I’ll be averaging 15 miles a day. One major way I train is through urban walks in Seattle. Luckily this means I have access to training on lots of hills. Last weekend, I turned my transportation to and from the Sounders FC match into a pilgrimage I like to call the “Camino de Sounders.” This gave me a good 11-12 mile walk on a beautiful Saturday in Seattle.
The next day, I headed out with a friend on a hike on the outskirts of Seattle. With another walk in the evening, I ended up with about 22 miles walked over the weekend. This is a few miles shy of what I like to do in a weekend leading up to the Camino. Usually I’ll try for a 25 mile weekend between hiking and urban walking over two days sometime within a month or leaving for my walk. I feel like this is a great way to warn my body of what’s to come and test out my sock/shoe combination.
Like my three previous Caminos, I’ll be using Brooks trail runners (this time the Cascadia), and Smartwool or Darn Tough hiking socks. This combination has worked very well for me in the past, so why mess with a good thing?! So far today, the combination is keeping my feet happy.
There’s still a lot more prep and a lot more training to do over the next and a half before starting my journey. But to me, that’s part of the fun.
2 thoughts on “Training and getting prepped.”
This your cousin Barb in Phoenix . Mary Watland shared your story with me. Sounds like an incredible journey. I look forward to reading your posts.
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Hi Barb! Glad to hear you’ll be following along!