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Grinding the winter away


TGP

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there is Not time for a more formal post right now.

 

lets just say that the focus remain in having adventures, walking alot, trying to keep a pretty big exercise program going strong, and keeping my chin up during this seemingly endless cold winter.

 

spring has a certain fleeting quality To it; and before I know it summer will be upon me.

 

at THAT point everything gets very real with big, big athletic challenges.   the foremost of them all; a 2 day 100mile along a hiking trail near here.

that challenge seems the most intense... and I have to wonder will I be ready?

 

i MUST ensure that I am.

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"Putting in the TIME [Hedgehog Hike 3/15]"  (part1)

 

one of the great ironies of hiking is that at its simplest; it is merely walking, sustained.  Nothing could be simpler right?  a small daypack- perhaps a pocketful of apples by a hobbit named 'nob'

 

On the other hand; when sustained for many hours; those long miles can mount and put a strain on one's body.  hills, even gentle ones, demand ever changing activity of tendons and ligaments and over a long hike even an athletic person can start to feel drained, sore, and unmotivated.

this last point is the most important; as often athletic types do not give hiking the respect it deserves... it mainly because they did not properly train for this and there body is unadapted for the challenge at hand.

instead of quick, epic feats of great strength or speed; long term hiking is all about stamina and a general toughness throughout the lower body.  even the upper body though is significant; as hoisting a meesley 15# day pack is not as always as it might seem; when it must be done for 40hours.

 

do enough theory.  specificity says that a person is best trained for a long hike BY making long hikes.  and the crux of my challenge is that the event will call for a sustained hike of 50hours (with 2 small bouts of sleep)  YET it is quite difficult in a normal married life to get IN any training approaching these times.  I must "put in the time"-- but How?

 

will an opportunity occured the other day and I took it; and while it was only 9hours thats significantly longer than most opportunities and the setting was positively hardcore.....

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Hi to a fellow traveler to Mordor! :) I see you're making serious mileage out there, already on your way to Lothlórien. And you actually made it in less time than the famed Fellowship (they were in your position on Day 93, while you're there on Day 75). That's remarkable!

 

Keep on, sir! Following.
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"Hardcore conditions [Hedgehog Hike 3/15]" (part 2)

 

the winter had been positively stuck; locked in place by Jet stream strait from the Canadian Plains.  that frequently breeds a snowstorm called 'lake effect' where a nearby lake snows all over us and the woods are full of freshly fallen snow.  My time for hiking was set and I set my sights on the Hedgehog valley (BTW there are No hedgehogs in Pennsylvania; how in heck did this valley get this name??).   

 

I picked it cause it was tough rugged terrain and I decided to find a few boulder piles that stuck out in Google.maps.  or at least they Looked like they were boulder piles.  It appeared a general survey of them would take something like 9-10 miles.

 

[Pics will be posted when I get the chance to get back in those woods]

 

anyways; the Challenge was accomplished and I got 8.5hours of good hard hiking.   the thick snow, steep hills, frequent downed trees, and unlucky, patches of thick brush ( a thick bushy plant called Mountain laurel is quite common in these woods)  made for Slow , rugged travel. 

chestnut-oak-mountain-laurel.jpg

 In the end; I averaged no faster than 1mile per hour which is shockingly slow ; even for bushwacking!

 

but the point was that I didn't got lost, I saw a lot of spectacular boulders and I got lots of athletic exercise.  

 

I "put in the time" and was sore, tired and demotivated by the end.

 

which means.... that this is EXACTLY the kind of hike/walk to repeat.  as my big hiking challenge will be harder yet.

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@MattSkywalker

welcome to the fellowship.  Yep I've prioritized walking- as my biggest summer event will be a hiking challenge.  I still hope to pick up the pace a little when I approach the event.

if I understand the theory; 2-3 weeks before a big event one should maximize training.  at that point I would like to see if I can make 100 miles of travel (at least) in a week.and Maybe; depending on how much walking I can squeeze into my schedule- that 100 miles should come from hiking walks themselves and not include the typical 5miles of steps per day I get out of normal life.    anyways that's all still ahead, in may.  at the moment I need to NOT procrastinate and work towards building myself up for the long time/distances involved....

 

and that will be the focus of this months challenge.

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"Walking the (longer) way [hedgehog Hike 3/15]" part 3

 

I wanted to add one More post, cuz as I see this is a very informative and important training hike and good indicator of where I stand in my training program (in regards to the 100mile hiking challenge)

 

* Distance;   I won't deny it.  I'm a bit dissapointed on this respect.  I picked an 8 mile loop and thought I might get 2-3 whole laps in an 8 hour hike.   as it turned out; I didn't even get one.   On one hand this was quite important.  my wife needed the car for my MIL's chemotherapy appointment so I HAD to be on time (always a bit tricky in the back country)..... the big Problem was the rough terrain; which was made rougher by the snow and by a challenging route that often took my up steep hills and sometimes in the midst of heavy brush.  

General training theory says I might have been better to sticking to a hiking trail.  OTOH; They were all full of snow too.  snow won't be a problem in June- but its everywhere today and its still falling as we speak.  alternately I could have walked a road and that would have surely increased my mileage by Alot.  the problem is that It Just isn't trail hiking and I'm Not convinced road walking train one's feet for the shifting rock and mud of a trail.

 

*Mental fatigue;   Mental fatigue is simply a reality on the longer walks and you really have to put in long hours to take the same joy from mile 31-40 as you did as mile 1-10.  as I see it; you simply MUST put in the time before these longer walks stop feeling so awful and endless.  In the light; I'm not conditioned enough ;)

cause that last little while was no fun at all.   OTOH when you know your NOT going to thoroughly enjoy something; but you CAN concentrate on not hating it.  I didn't hate my hike and I think I did a good job of adopting a hardcore attitude as the hour after hour passed on the trail.   you've got to obsess on what your accomplishing and I think these posts speak for themselves (in that regard)

 

*Soreness/ toughness;  Quite important in  a walk of this size; is that the body is able to quickly recover from it.   Keep in mind IN my big 100mile challenge; that it is actually broken up over three days and two nights.  that means effectively its not a 50hour hikes; its 3 hikes of 6, 18, 14 hours long.   as I write this its been just about a day now and I really feel only a touch of light DOMS.  more importantly I don't feel any ankle or knee pain as I do my normal thing today. and I am able to walk without pain.

often in a hard hike; unconditioned; I feel quite a bit of discomfort from my ankle and knee.  this is surely do to the ligaments/tendons being stressed.   But this year I think I've done much, much better than in the past at putting in the distance/mileage.

I can't stop here either.  the next challenge is to build my body up  such that these long walks are not only quickly recovered from; but also not quite as challenging.  the body adapts to what you repeatably do.  while 8hour walks must be sadly infrequent.  I CAN do stuff like a 4 hour walk in the night; sleep, then another 4 hour walk in the morning.  that kind of challenge also can be used to better prepare my body to peak hiking shape even after a short sleep.  just as I would surely have to do during the 100mile walk.

 

I will add pics in the coming days; so if your curious about what it all looked like. I'd be happy to show off the subtle beauty of wintry Pennsylvania.

 

despite it being at night; with a headlight and starlight I actually had a rather pretty view of the woods (at times).  amazingly in some ways I saw further when I turned my light off allowing the while snow to faintly shine with the ambient light.  OTOH; brush wasn't nearly as easy as that to see- so I had to keep turning on and off the light to avoid hurting myself.

 

and yes.  this was an actual "adventure" as I define adventures.  many other exercise programs/activities fall a little short of that word.  hopefully I have a chance at another adventure before this challenge is over. 

 

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4 hours ago, TGP said:

spring has a certain fleeting quality To it; and before I know it summer will be upon me.

 

Spring is being an elusive beast right here. Everytime it feel like it's poking its head in we get snow again :( Following friend. Let's see where this trail leads! 

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Wow, that sounds like a tough hike.Even though you didn't go as far as you wanted, it was very rough terrain so it was good conditioning. What is the terrain on the 100 milk hike like? That's great that your knee and ankle didn't hurt. When I go on a long all day hike, my knee starts to bother me , which is annoying.

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frankly... I'm tired right now

1am and I'm not even halfways done with my shift.

 

regarding the terrain: to "bushwack" off trail and potentially to get stuck in brush,etc is definitely harder (terrain-wise) than my 100mile hike.

 

however; I've done 50miles  of that trail (nonstop) before.  you do begin to curse every tree-root, patch of mud and loose rock.   the area around here are not quite mountainous but they are steep hills.  I figure overcoming aches and pain in the long 100mile hike means having them in shorter hikes; building my body up to take on the rough terrain. - in that respect my adventure was likely a solid 'win" for my conditioning.

 

On a long hike, if one is not a regular hiker; even a fit person will find himself/herself uncomfortable as times (and mileage!) wear on.

 

I'm at heart a hiker, @Elastigirl and I have a great belief that hiking is one of the best of exercises.  I highly recommend it.  I can tell you that more you hike the easier it becomes.  at some point the awesome beauty around you inspires your soul; if not... well it was a good workout anyways. :)

 

 

well, back to work.  I'll be sure to update you as things happen.

after work tonight , saturday morning I have a little race (running) I signed up for.  nearly forgot about it; I registered a long time ago....fortunately, its only 4 miles.  after that, surely I will be sleeping soundly on saturday.

 

if your curious- I'm pretty sure I'm going to be very slow.  my running program hasn't really gone so well.  I feel limited in both distance and speed.  my goal (the time to beat) is get it under 45minutes. thats something like 5miles an hour- I think.  or a little over 11minute-mile.  yep. that would be a pretty good result.  I'm not frankly sure I can do that.

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I think that during your training, time on your feet hiking is more important than the distance you cover. It's ok to cover less ground on more rugged terrain or in more difficult conditions. Being out for 8 hours is a serious legit effort. Keep up the training!

 

One thing that I've read (from ultrarunning training guides) is that a key workout is the back-to-back.

https://trailrunnermag.com/training/workouts/back-back-long-runs-workouts-next-level-training-done-right.html

I was a little concerned that I hadn't worked them in before my ultra last fall. Will try working on them this year.

 

You might also like the irunfar website.

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Gotta tell, this challenge looks super-exciting! In the future, I wish to become more of a hiker myself. There's nothing like enjoying the beauty of wilderness, removed from the noises of civilization. Following and wishing you best!

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ty; ty

I will feeling kind of gryfindor but the hat didn't listen. this is ok.

huffle's are some of the nicest folks in the castle!

 

so POST-race report.  as I saying; I kind of forgot about the 4miles "cabin fever run"... and then I ended up working on all night.

 

I SOOO considered skipping that race.  but I didn't and I'm glad I didn't.  I wanted about a 45minute time from that run- but that number wasn't a very studied number; it was a good round number that sounded fast to me and worked out to be 11ish minute mile.

from some experience I knew 11 minutemile is a challenge for me to hold and espacially cuz they took us over a 200' hill.

 

anyways about the 45minute time; I wasn't sure I could do it.  and I WISH I could say I did it too but the final time was quite accurately measured ; with a sensor around my ankle and everything

45:21

 

21 seconds quicker and I would have made my goal.  so Almost!

 

In reflection; thats remarkably close to my goal considering I really did just make up that number.  I also think it was a distinct win that

* I was there

* I had a little runners high (not too much but enough to make up for the hill and the tiredness)

* I ran the 4 miles without too much discomfort

* I ended with a good fast sprint; I didn't bonk or anything

 

OTOH

I was literally at the back of the field.  nearly 50 runners I would guess only 4-5 were behind me.  in fact; I was so far behind I couldn't even see the nearest runner ahead of me.

I guess in the world of racing;  11minutes and something is pretty friggin slow.

 

anyways I should have known that. there's rough round numbers for these kinds of runs and most of em work out to be around 10minute mile.

 

its easy to lose sight of the fact that I CAn clearly run 4miles.  that certainly was not true last fall.  my progress might seems slight... but running hasn't been even my biggest of obsessions.  in the big picture; this was a great accomplishment given the relative importance of running and given my summer events/goals.

 

(tldr)... so post race.  I'm glad I went.

but I have proved I'm not much of a runner. :)

... that ok I got a little runners high and enjoyed the event anyways.

 

 

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well sal.

you certainly CAN.  but what you shouldn't do is jump right into it.

its too easy to wear yourself out.

instead i'm a proud graduate of the C25k program; which prepares you for running by having you do run -walking in a vareity of ratios.

 

as time goes on you do More running and less walking.

 

but... don't get me wrong

 

Yogging?  (isn't that its nickname) isn't for everyone.  don't lose sight of the goal.  everyone needs good occasional exercise.  do whatever makes the most sense to you!

 

 

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Wait a minute

I realize i have a silly pic of me on this computer now.  a coworker just sent a pic of me heading to the finish line of my race.

:(

 

oh man. keep in mind I dressed for the weather; and not to get online notoriety

 

nevertheless the curiosity is .. understandable

 

this is me at 45:21 and after 4miles of jogging

2i6jd6s.jpg

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actually in a odd turn of events I did actually place....

I was the second fastest 40-49 runner.

 

Huh! what do you know?

 

I really wasn't sure there was more than one runner behind me.

 

 unless I was one of two 40-49 runners...  idk.  IN truth this changes very little.  it was personally fast enough, positively strong enough (to run the whole way), and many minutes behind most people.
-------------------------

oh and yesterday was championship game for volleyball.

 

I must really like 2nd place.  cuz thats where we placed within our division.

 

as I wrote during my last challenge; its been revealing- coming from a team that couldn't win a game to this team ; that had SO many extra people.

 

I really really want to try it again but I'll have to wait for next fall.

 

I was thinking of proposing for our team to split. if it reached out in the smallest way; there's easily enough people for 2 teams.

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21 hours ago, TGP said:

Wait a minute

I realize i have a silly pic of me on this computer now.  a coworker just sent a pic of me heading to the finish line of my race.

:(

 

oh man. keep in mind I dressed for the weather; and not to get online notoriety

Well, I actually love the outfit! :D And congrats on your race! Brave to go to an event that's not your specialty, and great to have a kick of it.

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23 hours ago, TGP said:

oh man. keep in mind I dressed for the weather; and not to get online notoriety

 

It's amazingly hard to get a decent race pic :D You wouldn't believe it but the majority of pictures that come from racing look appalling. Nonetheless you did pretty darn well in my opionion. Don't knock your pace. 4 miles at 11 minute miles is still running 4 miles and you did really well!

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feeling back in the swing of my program

 

I've had volleyball championships; a 6.5mile hike up a hillside road & now an energetic "intervals" run during today's lunch.  a tiny little 2.5 mile run.

 

spent a little time perusing advice for preparing for an Ultra and have come to the feeling that

 

I can relax now...

 

I'm Doing it!  i'm not sleeping on no couches or bing watching TV; I do Sit too much at work- but hey, work is work

and I'm putting in the time.  I simply HAVE TO HAVE FAITH in the process

 

its SO EASY to be anxious!  but where does that lead you?  nowhere good.  cue the churchill radio speeches. ram the throttle forward.

I WILL do the 100mile walk.

 

also... on the volleyball championship a guy on the opposing side had a tee shirt.  I asked, "did you do the A100".  "damn right!" he says

"how did it feel like?"

"hurt like hell- leg pain for months afterwards"

 

well.... here is the secret to all that... the harder it is the more magnificant and extraordinary is the Victory!

I also realize that I need to build the enthusiasm and reasons for my successes NOW.  the mind will wander over 100miles of waking agony.  I must remember This.  I must overcome it.

 

so have faith,

get confidence

and an unshaken reason for success and remember that so long as I can walk to the finish line; I want this- I want this to say something deep and insightful for me.  Even if I am forced off trail by some legit thing; I want it to say that I DON'T give up on my dreams.  thats a powerful thought for me.

 

the walks and runs were not in the best of weather today; everything feels chilly and windy.  Just south of us is a raging snowstorm.  (thank the maker; we are missing it)  getting out and going to end is a definite win no matter the distance.

-----------------------------------------------------------

One of the small problems I face is Dads mental attitude; he's struggling big time.  he's been fighting one small health issue after another.  recently he says his vision has badly changed and he feels a little dizzy occasionally.  I don't always know what to say... I think it would be extraordinary accomplishment in our relationship to this together- but...

he's 72.  its literally amazing that he can walk as he does.  he's walking double digit mileage and feeling aches/pain when others his age couldn't push their wheelchairs that far.

 

and ofc I don't want to see him hurt.

 

somewhere on the edge of extraordinary motivation you bump into a legit chance of injury.

 

I still think faith is key in this.  faith that things will turn out and a body, even an aged body will adapt.

 

 

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no prob

you know right after I had that great pep talk (to myself)?

I got a killer headache

 

2 steps forward and 1 step back. lol

-----

and just to say

 

part of that is that I'm trying to get off Diet Coke.  

 

oy

thats surprisingly hard.  

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