“But ………… many of us need to pick up the pace.”
The case for ramping up your foot speed–>
What do you think?
“But ………… many of us need to pick up the pace.”
The case for ramping up your foot speed–>
What do you think?
Lengthen your life by four years with 30 minutes of exercise daily. Appears to be true !
Take a look at this elevation profile. We’re not out west any more. Here in New England it’s steep going, up or down. I rode my Santa Cruz Tallboy today with a bunch of Bubbas, with my knees and thighs feeling damn sore, as I bite my nails on the couch, hoping the Patriots can pull out another win tonight.
My fitness in the area of backpacking definitely did not transfer to mountain biking today. I was last in completing the grinding climb up Mount Pleasant. It did not help that I was not aware that both my front and rear suspension were locked out. I only noticed it about 100 feet below the summit. I also smacked my knees on the bars a few times, when leaping off before the bike tumbled onto the ledges.
I was talking to my son, Lincoln, who bikes and hikes. He feels that mountain biking often puts significantly more demands on the cardiovascular system that results in a shift into anerobic functioning. That was my experience today. I was pushing into a level of hurt that I didn’t reach backpacking the CDT.
The good news is that while descending, I found traveling through the autumn forest intoxicating. It was so much fun ripping along the trail, watching the colorful leaves and deep green mosses pass through my visual field.
Big shout out to Rigger, who cleared his way through all the tricky, sketchy, and slippery traps that often stop forward progress pon the way up. It’s quite remarkable- his steady, precise, manner. He makes it look easy, but it is not easy, at all.
The day was dry, but the footing was often wet, but I made it up and around with nothing more than wet feet on today’s training hike.
The mandatory picture from the top of Mt. Megunticook shows the remains of snow along the edge of the plowed Mt. Battie Road.
Two miles of trail from Ocean Lookout back to the top of Megunticook and then down the Ridge Trail to Jack Williams Trail (JWT) is still covered with appreciable snow, and even ice floes on the descent to the connector to JWT. I didn’t have traction devices with me and had to switchback along the untrodden snow to get down from the ridge.
It’s a mixed blessing to be walking in the Park this week, with more snow predicted tonight, April 12.
Super pleased with walking 11 miles today over snow and/or ice. It’s now been 4 weeks since my hernia surgery and I still am under wraps, with two more weeks of restricted activity before I’m cleared to add significant weight to my backpack. I had 10 pounds in my pack today, and a couple of extra pounds under my belt, after the Polish food fest that the three Jamrogs and V8 put on last night. Here’s the main course, cooked on the wood stove, of course. Serious kielbasa, sauerkraut, and 4 types of pierogis in action:
Seven of us spent last night at the Ski Shelter, which is located between the words Brook and Valley at the bottom of the map photo.
My brother Roy, and my traveling partners Tenzing and Pat left the shelter at 9 AM and did the toughest stuff first.
Here’s where we went.
There were numerous sections of trail that were solid ice, and there’s just no use taking chances on a fall. Hiking poles helped. It was cold all day, never breaking freezing, and in the afternoon, a northerly breeze felt like someone left the refrigerator door ajar. I feel fortunate to be living in an area where I get to walk over refrozen snow, and also to do a bit of afternoon postholing. Why?
There is a piece of the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado that has a couple hundred miles of walking up over 12,000 feet, and I expect to be on snow for all of that section. This Maine trail is nearly constantly treacherous, with refrozen pits and holes from previous travelers scattered all over the path. It’s a great workout for strengthening the ankles, if you don’t sprain or break one yourself. Here’s a picture of Roy on the Sky Blue Trail, where we encountered an ancient fieldstone wall, one probably set up from 1830-1850, when the trees had been harvested
and the land was likely populated by sheep.
Everyone member of this group pitched in to make the whole weekend a non-stop party. The hiker kind of deal.
“A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I return
I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?”
-Walk, Foo Fighters
I celebrated the first sunny day in over a week by walking 8 miles around town today. I’m still healing up from hernia surgery three weeks ago and am restricted from carrying a backpack, but plan for fewer miles and to begin carrying light weight on my back this week.
I’ve been nervous about being able to keep up with MeGaTex when I start walking the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico in 33 days. After today, I am more confident that I can hit the trail with a full pack and start putting in those 15 to 20 mile days.
I’ll start backpacking on flat terrain in the Chichuahan Desert. We’ll be caching water for the first five days, and there will be a motel stop in Deming, NM after the first 68 miles. That means 3 nights out, camping in the desert. I’ll be in my Moment tent. No sharing my sleeping bag with rattlesnakes, scorpions, or tarantulas, thank you!
With food and cached water, I’ll be shouldering a relatively light 25 pound pack.
I have charted out 16 actual conditioning days, alternating each training hike with a rest day, gradually increasing miles, ruggedness of terrain, and the weight on my back. My goal is to walk 12 miles with 35 pounds on my back two days before my flight to El Paso on 4/16. I follow Ray Jardine’s conditioning program, which he details in Trail Life
My surgeon advised me to wait 6 weeks before I can resume unrestricted loads, a plan that just leaves me just 8 training days with my base pack weight of 18 pounds. Base weight is my gear without food and water.
Today was a glorious experience. The first picture above is the long downhill into Lincolnville Center. While most of the walk was along paved roads, I hike on the gravel shoulder. I do this to reduce the pounding from walking on pavement. I also aim foot placement on irregularities and sideways slopes off the road in order to strengthen my ankles.
Part of the hike was along the unplowed Martin Corner Road, which gave me more opportunities to strengthen my ankles as I postholed over snow for a mile and a quarter.
I averaged 3.8 mph over the up and downs of 676 feet of elevation gain. I’m freakin’ elated with feeling good again. Listening to music helped today, especially Dave Grohl’s roaring voice encouraging me to learn to walk again.
I’ve recently spoken to two of my friends who have bemoaned the fact that they can’t exercise every day like they used to, and that they feel the need for a rest day in between sessions. I agree.
Here’s encouraging news that suggests we might be doing the right thing in backing off.
It’s happening again.
I am headed into an unplanned surgery this coming Friday to repair a hernia. Bummer. I will be on a much reduced program of healing for as long as 6 weeks. I have a plane ticket already purchased for a flight from Maine to El Paso on April 16, when I cobble together rides to reach the Mexico border at Chihuahua , then turn around and start a 3,000 backpacking walk to Canada, over the Continental Divide Trail.
How did I get into this situation? I even had a physical at the beginning of December when I asked to be checked for a hernia on my left side. My physician did the deed, I coughed, and she told me that I did not have a hernia.
I’m sort of an expert in this questionable skills area, as I have already experienced three hernias on my right side. I told her that I had been feeling fatigue in my lower abdomen for some time- not pain, but an awareness that that part of my body begins to ache when I hike all day.
Thankfully, she was not defensive, and suggested that I contact a surgeon to get a second opinion. Enter Dr. Paine. He was booked solid for many weeks, so I requested to be put on the wait list for a call. This past week, I was home working at my desk when that call came in at 10:20 AM for an 11:00 opening. It took Dr. Paine all of 1 second to tell me I had a hernia. When I explained about my hiking plans, he assisted the secretaries in bumping people around to fit me in for the surgery this week. Good man.
I have several physical concerns that are a part of my life. Granted, I’m healthy, with no known diseases that require prescription medication. I do have a chronic Vitamin D deficiency that has not improved after three years of various D3 treatments, including 50,000 unit capsules. Other than that, I’m the picture of vigor.
However, not all is rosy. I’m wearing out!
Here’s a graphic representation of what’s going on (as of today):
1- Repair chronic shoulder impingement syndrome, including trim of collarbone- date @ 1986
2-Surgery to remove arthritis and repair suspected torn rotator cuff ( 2006)- cuff was fine, “You have the shoulder of a man in his 80’s” Complete shoulder replacement predicted to be necessary between 2011- 2014.
3-Three right side hernias ( same location)- 1966, 1972, 1982. OK now.
4-Hernia repair scheduled for 2/15/13 ( Friday!).
5-Bone on bone situation in wrist, w/ chronic pain in 2001. Surgery recommended to cut and remove section of my forearm bone, and install metal plate with screws holding it in to alter wrist function, trim arthritis from wrist. Declined.
6-Right knee- traditional surgery to remove torn meniscus- 2 large open incisions. No further issues. 1980’s?
7-Left knee- arthroscopic surgery to remove torn meniscus – good repair- 1994
8- Chronic inflammation of 2nd metatarsal in foot-> nerve damage- surgery suggested going in through the top of the foot- Declined. Orthotics prescribed and used. The damage was due to a biomechanical gait problem which I have worked to correct after two years.
So I plan to ask my doctor to give me highly specific directions of how far I can walk, when I can increase mileage, and what I can lift in the 6 weeks it will take me to heal. I have agreed to have my wife, Marcia, come in with me and hear what he tells me. I have NO interest in blowing this recovery. Even if I require the full 6 weeks to heal, I will have three weeks to fully train for the hike. In the past I have healed much sooner than expected, but I’m older now. Dr. Paine told me that I should be able to start backpacking in mid- April, and I plan to be a good patient and be in flight on April 16, and in decent shape. I’ve looked at the elevation profiles for the first week and it’s fairly flat, which should help.
Was it worth it? YUP!
#1- We may lose power here, with the possibility of very strong winds during the storm. The heat from our wood stoves are not dependent on electricity. There is also NO COMPARISON to the comfort of a stoked and glowing a wood stove to the meager blasts from the duct work of a hot air furnace.
#2- I did a quick bit of research this morning. Our furnace is fueled by propane. One half cord of dry hardwood is the equivalent of 80 gallons of propane. Since my last charge for a gallon was $3.00, that half cord on my porch is worth $240. Much of that load was free, as I harvested the trees here on on our property. But even if I paid the current cost of $200 a cord for split and delivered hardwood, which I do some years, I still would have saved $140.
#3- Core workout accomplished.
Since the last appreciable snow feel here on Halloween, the ground has been bare, until yesterday, when we had 6 inches blow in from the northeast. I spent the morning inside, with a package of fluorescent highlighters, plotting possible route for an upcoming hike through New Mexico, but that’s another upcoming story.
Snowshoeing started today. I decided to spend a couple of hours walking around the route just outside my door. Reading the data on the GPS, I was stunned to see that all of the walking I did was within one square mile. I wanted to listen to my iPhone while I walked, so I tracked my progress with my Garmin eTrex30 and this time, was able to successfully upload the file from my computer right into my Strava app to register my progress.
Here’s the map:
I’m still totally pleased with my MSR Lightening Axis snowshoes. They are still perfect after two seasons. The bindings are ” lightening fast”, and never need adjusting on the trail.
Most folks own large pieces of property here, ranging from 130 to over 1,000 acres. In fact, just three families own all the land on both sides of High Street for 1.3 miles heading up to Moody Mountain road. I have permission to walk all of it. I cut the “Uncle Tom ” trail that runs up to the summit of Moody Mountain on one of these tracts.
Once I got up to the ridge, my navigating was aided by a deer path.I had just a Patagonia Wool 2 long sleeve shirt on top under a soft shell, but 500 feet of elevation in a mile of snowshoeing had me sweating profusely. From the top, I bushwhacked down beside Moody Mountain road on an ancient road that probably is a couple of hundred years old. I heard that there were several families that used to live on the north side of this mountain, way back. I’ve not yet found old foundations where they lived.
Normally, I use High Street to walk home, but today I wanted a longer workout with the snowshoes, so I walked down hill and turned left onto the closed gravel Martin Corner Road where I followed fresh ski and snowshoe tracks around Moody Pond. The tracks eventually stopped and doubled back, so I broke fresh trail all the way back home.
I was exhausted when I reached the house, and still am. Snowshoeing is tougher than hiking, especially in powder. You have to widen your normal gait to account for the width of the shoes, and despite the claws underneath, you are not immune to sliding as you traverse sloped terrain.
I’m hearing the distressing, high-pitched whine of a snowmobile outside as I write this. Looks like the Pugsley has a freshly packed trail that will freeze up nicely overnight. I’m riding snow this weekend.