Rachel and I are now eight weeks into training, and I speak for both of us when I say that we feel like we're ahead of our fitness goals. I think we're both more than prepared for our hike now, which is one month away.

I've been running for years, but I've never really used a treadmill. The great outdoors has always been my training ground, but the machine's soft, cushioned deck gives the impression that I'm running along a dirt path. And I've found the benefit in my TR 6.6's workout programs. I can feel how they're pushing me to workout new muscles and at rhythms that are entirely new to me. I feel like they provide just the right challenge I need during training to make sure that I'm at my best once I'm out in the real world.

She didn't know if it would be possible, but Rachel has lost all of the weight she had put on over the course of the pregnancy, a triumph that is much discussed among her friends. Her sister has had two kids, and she says that after each one she did about a million crunches, but could never quite get back to her old shape. I think that Rachel has had so much success thanks to the fact that her FS 5.4 provides a full body workout. It's biomechanically correct stride also delivers a maximum level of effectiveness with each step. There isn't an inch of her body that hasn't toned considerably since having the baby and getting back into a fitness routine.

Speaking of the baby, Jake's new favorite thing to do is sit on the floor and watch while mommy flails all her limbs frantically and pants her way through her French lessons. I wonder what he thinks is going on?