Back in February, Carey Kish laid down a challenge that I decided to embrace- walking 1,000 miles in Maine in a calendar year.
Here’s Carey’s original article about that idea. As Kish notes, ” Consider the enormous health and fitness benefits of such a sustained challenge. Regular hiking and walking are proven to help decrease the risk of all kinds of nasty stuff, like coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon and breast cancers. You’ll lose weight, and reduce stress and anxiety levels. And you might just establish a new exercise pattern for years to come.”
Carey’s right in that you do it mostly by regularly walking a 3-5 mile sessions from your home. In my case, I added close to a hundred miles in Baxter State Park this season. I added another 50 in the Hundred Mile Wilderness, hiking with the Jocomotive and G-Man. Camden Hills State Park got a fair number of sessions. I thought I was going to add up another 42 miles via the Grafton Loop Trail up off Route 26 above Newry, but that will have to wait until 2015. I logged a few longer days of hiking with my pal Guthook in Acadia National Park this fall.
I was thrilled to pick up 7 more miles yesterday in Acadia doing the South Ridge Trail to the summit of Cadillac Mountain ( 1,528′). I had the pure pleasure on cranking out a fast pace with my son Lincoln and his fiancee Stephanie.
It was one of my best Holiday presents.
Did you know that Cadillac is the highest mountain on the Atlantic Coast north of Brazil (another cool fact from Carey Kish’s Maine Mountain Guide) ?
The 2014 numbers primarily came from data that I was tracking via the Strava app. I have hit 1,094 miles to date. Strava only aggregates miles for runs, bike rides, and swims. You have to enter backpacking and walking mileages as runs. I usually gather my data from my iPhone 5S, but sometimes log exercise using my Garmin eTex 30 GPS to gather .gpx tracks that I then download into my Macbook air and upload to Strava.
My iPhone 5s also allows me to run the free Fitbit app, without requiring the $99 wrist band. With the launch of the M7 motion coprocessor in the iPhone 5s, Fitbit has decided to offer “basic” tracking from the phone itself. Fitbit is fun to use, automatically counts daily steps, and also allows me to enter my daily food intake, and log body weight.
Goals are a big part of what keeps me going. I plan trips this way- think of things I want to do and then jot them down on the calendar and they take place, as the time nears. I tell others , and goals take firmer form- finally as actions. Carey’s 1,000 mile goal is a welcome addition to my life.
This is also the first winter that I have dropped under 200 pounds at this time of year. I think that hiking more miles has made the difference- that and cutting out french fries. Normally, I’ve run about 212-215 at the end of December. This is good!
I plan to take on the 1,000 mile walking-in-Maine challenge again for 2015.
Who’s in with me for the ride, err…. the walks?