It’s really dark and cold again where I live in Midcoast Maine. Ice and snow coat the fields, forests, and roads. Grrrrr.
My response is to get outdoors as much as possible. That will mean hiking, fat tire biking, cutting up/hauling trees into firewood from my woodlot, shoveling snow back and forth across the driveway, digging out lost, buried stuff, etc.
My Oct. 16, 2016 (bike dismount) shoulder injury has finally settled down and healed up as much as it can. When I last had surgery on it in 2006, a complete shoulder replacement was the only “cure”, predicted to be done in some 5-8 years. I’ve netted 10 years of restricted use since then, with yearly X-rays showing the inevitable progression of bone disease. Major shoulder surgery is inevitable, though.
I truly missed riding in the October and November forests this season, due to my shoulder injury and then deer hunting season. I don’t go out during the deer hunt, and it’s not just me who stays out of the woods in November. I live in a two acre hay field, surrounded by forest and swamps, where deer are plentiful. High power bullets travel a log distance.
For the past couple of years I have set personal fitness goals. The first goal I set was due to Carey Kish’s “Maineiac Outdoors” blog post . Check it out: The 1,000 Mile Challenge.
I reached the 1,000 miles of without too much trouble. I also put 740 miles on my bicycles that year.
Next, my neighbor Matt encouraged me to read Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You’re 80 and Beyond. The core premise of that book is, “Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.” Yeah but… I made one critical modifications. I don’t push on days when I am tired. How do I know I am tired? I now use a technology known as heart rate variability, but that is a longer story for anther time.
A conversation with my oldest son, Lincoln encouraged me to think about ramping up my walking and biking to a 1 hour-a day-average, yielding 365 hours of moderate exercise in a calendar year. I decided to try for 1,000 miles on foot and 1,000 miles on the mountain bikes in 2016. I should have done more biking when the weather was better.
How am I doing? Check my treasured data for 2016. I’ve been much more active in hiking and biking since I gave up my gym membership. I walk out the door of the house and walk or bike rather than drive 20 miles to walk or sit on a stationary bike at the YMCA.
As of today, I have logged 2,095 miles: 912 on bikes and 1,177.6 miles on foot. I am past the finish line for hiking goals this year, but I still have to log 88 more biking miles with 14 days left to log that.
It started snowing early this December. Rain doesn’t help either. Picture 4 inches of snow piled up before 5 hours of rain saturates the snow to make it stupidly heavy to push around. Thank God for my plow guy, Sam, who shows up year after year and does the job, unannounced.
It’s just starting to creep up from subzero conditions yesterday, accompanied by a killer wind chill during the day. If I can’t ride due to ice and snow at least I can walk. Here is a pic taken yesterday afternoon from atop Mt. Battie overlooking Penobscot Bay at -4 degrees.
Yes, I had mukluks on my feet and chemical hand warmers inside my mittens.
A few more miles……to go before 2017 ticks over and shows up for a while. It’s snowing lightly right now at 7:41 am and there is talk about squeezing some ride in through the Rockland Bog before the snow pack warm up and gets saturated with tomorrow’s cold rains. Stay tuned for the finish…