Get ready to go
It's the beginning of April in Minnesota. Last week, the last snow just melted and yesterday was a beautiful, clear day. A perfect day for a hike! And that's great because my first big hiking/backpacking trip of the season is in two months.
But, I've been nearly sedentary for the past 3 months, barely getting outside due to snow, super cold temps, short days, ... and a myriad of other excuses that are way too easy to come up with. The worst thing I could possibly do would be charge out the door on a 5 mile hike down the local regional trail. After that, my shins would be killing me and I would be stuck inside for at least 3 days. I know this because I've done it before. Fortunately, being the older and wiser hiking dude that I am now, I understand some of the limits of my body.
This year, I just went on a short hike of 1 mile after warming up for about 10 minutes. It felt good. I felt fine the next day so I went on a 2.5 mile hike. The next day, my son and I hiked 2 miles to the store, got ice cream, then hiked home - 4 miles in 80 minutes. We repeated that yesterday, but comparing prices for ice cream at a different store. I ramped back up much faster than I had expected and my legs are feeling fine.