On my way home yesterday I got a message "your OH is sick, so is mine, fancy going for a hike in the Alps this weekend?". This guy is super fit, cycling over the Alps and marathon fit (well, in younger years anyway). But after persuading him that hiking was OK, but I was not going to be rock-climbing, hauling myself up vertical rock-faces by rope or racing up 4 summits in a day, we agreed to leave our sniffling, coughing spouses behind (with their agreement) and I was duly picked up at 07:15 am.
I was still a bit apprehensive. 765 metres and 2 summits it said on the map he sent me in advance. Not normally a problem at the end of the hiking season, but I haven't been to the mountains much this year and my running has been mostly on the flat. Plus he has been known to choose "challenging" routes in the past. Just at the point you think the track is wide, easy and generally manageable, he tends to head off into the forest along a narrow trail, where you're clambering over rocks and tree roots, having to watch your every step, slipping on scree and sometimes even sitting down to manouvre over some horrible stones which are blocking the way.
I loved it. And although I will be stiff tomorrow it was just right. Fantastic views, weather just perfect (slightly overcast, but not cold). I got a good workout but my heart rate never got into zone 5. 4 hours of hiking (plus one hour in a beer garden😎) was absolutely no problem. Even though I did have to sit down once to scramble over some rocks that were blocking the way.