Friday, May 28, 2010

David summits Mt. Rose!

Beshears Journal Entry 6 - May 27

David takes his training to the hills! Keep up the hard work David!

May 27, 2010

This week I finally made the climb up to the summit of Mt. Rose, near Lake Cushman. It’s about 4200 ft to the top, and it is all uphill; every step. There is no down, there is no level. It is all up.

I was told that with a light pack it should take 3 to 4 hours to make it to the top. I decided to go a little heavier, about 40lbs, and set off from the trailhead at 8:40AM. I came up on some deep snow about two thirds of the way up, much deeper than I had been told. It must have recently snowed. This slowed me down quite a bit, but I still made the summit at about 11:30. I sat through snow flurries while eating my lunch.

While the climb was fairly steep most of the way, and I did push myself, I didn’t have any problems physically. However, I did find myself a bit short of breath throughout much of the 3 hour ascent. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t speak in normal conversation (if there had been anyone to talk to), but it is still something I need to work on.

Now for the bad news… my climbing boots (not what I will be wearing on the Rainier climb) have always done me right. Not on this climb… perhaps because it was all uphill, or perhaps I had laced them up differently, or… I don’t know. But about two hours into the climb I felt blisters forming on the back of my heels. I was starting into deep snow by now, and I chose to ignore the forming blisters, planning on dealing with them once I made the summit. I had only taken two very brief breaks for a swallow of water up to that point and wanted to keep pushing. Big mistake. I should have dealt with it as soon as I felt them forming. Because I waited, they are now much worse. Sitting at the summit, I took out my first aid kit (one of the ten essentials), and treated the wounds.

The descent down the mountain was fine so far as the blisters were concerned. As it was all downhill, so the pressure was off the back of my heels. As with the ascent, I pushed hard going down. Again I was a little short of breath, but not too bad. It wasn’t until I got close to the trailhead at the bottom that I began to feel the muscles on the front of my legs, and I was glad that I had spent so much time pushing myself on the stairs (up and down). Getting back to the car, I took some time to stretch before leaving. That evening and the following day I put a little extra effort into my Yoga. Feeling fine…

Unfortunately, I have the blisters on the back of my heels to deal with. I won’t be able to do any serious work on the treadmill or the stairs for a few days, and I may push out my next conditioning climb (planning on Camp Muir next). I have been able to work on the exercise bike and the Bowflex, but I really need to get back out on the trails and push hard on the treadmill. Very frustrating, and I’m angry with myself.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lindsay keeps on training for Rainier!

Okay, so I have already skipped a resistance workout...but I have a good excuse. I ran the Track and Field meet at my elementary school so I was unable to make it to the gym. But, it is a new week so I am right back into the training sessions. My run on Sunday was only 6 Km, but it felt good. I’m still really feeling my muscles from last Tuesday’s workout. Those resistance exercises really seem to be working if they are able to isolate my core muscles that well. Had an unfortunate mishap on Wednesday’s bike ride; an unmarked pot hole that extended most of the way across two lanes was something I could not avoid while in the middle of an interval. I made it to the next intersection before I realized that I had a flat...a really good 15 minute ride and a 50 minute walk home, but at least the weather was good! Can’t wait for some good training sessions this week – weather is supposed to be good and I just realized that there’s only 4 more weeks until my husband and I hit the mountains for some much needed hiking and scrambling! I’ll keep everyone updated on how the day 2 exercises go – see if they are as good as the day 1 exercises I mentioned in my last post. My birthday gift today was a cook book – gotta love being married to a dietician. I have gone through the book and some of the carb and protein dishes look awesome. The book is Jamie’s Food Revolution – will let everyone know if I find some good recipes. Happy training!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monica keeps it consistent...

It's getting closer to Monica's climb! Stay tuned to see how she changes her training as she gets closer to climbing McKinley!

This week's training was a bit like groundhog week in that it was very similar to last week. Sunday was a 3.25 hour hike with 66 pounds, repeating a few more hills than usual. Saturday was pouring rain, so I was on the Stairmaster for 90 minutes with 70 pounds, at a quick pace. I was so soaked with sweat that when I went to the grocery store after, they asked if I got caught in the rain. Monday, Wednesday and Friday were Crossfit days, and were typically grueling. Other than that I've been fiddling with my gear endlessly, and got all my food figured out. In general, I'm going to be slowing down a bit physically. Next week will be the last week of CrossFit, and I also plan to get some more hikes in. The first week and a half of June I will just hike, then I will rest for a week before I'm on my way!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Laura hits the trail...

Week #8


With rising temperatures this past week it was back to the alpine boots and the pack. A pal and I got out for some hiking in Mt. Rainier National Park. We hit the Rampart Ridge Trail out of Longmire two days in a row. This is a 4.6 mile loop with 1420 feet of elevation gain. It was nice to do this with a heavy pack and boots a couple days in a row. I also did some more P90X abs and an arm workout tape. Finally, back to yoga on Monday evening.

The trip is coming up quickly…I can hardly believe we are a good portion of the way through May. I have mostly everything in order for the climb, so now it is down to coming up with some good lunch food ideas and other small preparations. Exciting times to come soon!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

David's training hits the trail...

RE: Beshears Journal Entry 5 - May 21

As David's climb dates approach, he's switching up his training routine...

May 21, 2010

Worked the treadmill 3 times this week, worked the stairs 3 times this week, went on my outdoor hike one day. The treadmill work is about an hour at a brisk walk and set to incline, and I put blocks under the front in order to increase the incline. The stair work continues to be 20 flights three times a day at a very brisk pace, and I’m carrying my computer backpack filled with heavy books (I’m in my office building after all…). The hike is about two hours on uneven terrain while carrying a pack with the 10 essentials and a couple of free weights.

I managed to use the Bowflex twice this week, focusing on upper body and some abdominal, and even got on the exercise bike once for about half an hour. I did a little free weight work several evenings, as well as stomach crunches and some pull-ups.

I’m feeling very good physically and mentally, but there are two things I would really like to include in my routine over the next weeks. One is to really push at my limits while out on my weekly hikes, and the other is to get out on that full day uphill climb that I’ve yet to do.

So first up I’m going to focus on one section of that weekly outdoor hike. While there are a lot of ups and downs and twists and switchbacks on the trail, there is one stretch that is steeper and a more rugged grade than most. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t take me that long to make it up to the top. So from now on, when I get to that section of the hike I’m going to take half an hour and round-trip the slope a half a dozen times before moving on. That should put some oomph into the morning.

And I am I’m really looking forward to the two full-day climbs that I have coming up. I have my Mt. Rose climb this weekend and the Camp Muir climb that I’m hoping to get in June 12th or 13th.

I’ll let you know how all this goes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monica tests herself...

With a month to go until Monica heads to McKinley, she's rounding out her physical training with some knot and prusik practice...

This week was another good week, devoid of aches, pains or pathological exhaustion. Sunday and Saturday were nice 3 hour hikes with 70 pounds. During the week I was back to CrossFit, thus back to "fire breather" status. For these 6AM classes I was the only one showing up, so basically I had all the attention from the trainer, meaning I couldn't cheat and shave any reps, couldn't take any breaks without him noticing. The week involved a lot of running, high jumping, rowing, lifting, pushing, throwing, pulling and squatting. I finished all the workouts with respectable times and loads.
On Saturday I also reviewed knot tying, which is not an intuitive task for me. About a month ago I had reviewed them and thought I had them down, but now it was like I'd never learned them at all. So, I committed them to memory again and will have to do some everyday, since in case of emergency it would be inappropriate to pull out a laminated instruction sheet. I also rigged some cordellettes into prusik loops on a rope hanging from a tree branch, and practiced ascending the rope, simulating climbing out of the crevasse. It worked great and I was having a blast except I then realized I had no way to get down! The prusiks were under tension so I couldn't ease them down, and my harness was under tension, so I couldn't clip out from my carabiner. I really wasn't too far off the ground, but for a few minutes I hung there, thinking this would be a really absurd way to go. I had no cell phone, no ladder nearby, and none of my neighbors were around. After much sweat and effort, I untied my harness and unclipped my leg loops and fell to the ground with no grace or dignity whatsoever. The good thing is now I know my harness and prusiks will hold me no matter what, so if I fall in a crevasse I am confident I won't fall off the rope and can get myself out. One month to go! Woohoo!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lindsay kicks it up a notch!

Lindsay is using other ambitious goals, like a triathlon and a 100 mile race for training for Rainier! What a great way to stay motivated!

My first triathlon under my belt and now the K-100 is the next race on my list. The tri went pretty well and is certainly something I will continue to do. I have a 16 km leg of a relay race that I have to prepare for in the next month so I have adjusted my training schedule so it accommodates for this race. I also took some time this weekend with my husband to put together a training schedule that specifically targets muscle groups we will need for the climb.

Using some information off of the Whittaker Mountaineering Training and Conditioning webpage, we were able to come up with a schedule that would work best for each of our requirements based on our current fitness level. My schedule essentially looks like the following: Mondays is an optional swim (I enjoy it so I chose to keep it in my schedule), Tuesdays I do resistance training (Day 1 exercises) and a 4-6 Km tempo run, Wednesdays are my bike days, Thursdays are resistance training (Day 2 exercises) and I play softball in the evening, Fridays are my off day, Saturdays are steady runs (4-6 Km), and Sundays are Long Slow Distance runs, usually 10 + Km. Any days where the weather is bad or I just feel like I can’t get my workouts in, I have a back-up called EA Sports Active, for the Wii. It will at least allow me to tailor my workout to upper body, lower body, or whole body depending on what workout I am missing. I might add that it is fun and surprisingly allows me to work up a pretty good sweat.

Today was my first try at the Day 1 resistance exercises and they were not as cumbersome as I thought they would be (I am not a fan of working out in the gym, especially near the free weights). My day 1 exercises are the following: overhead barbell squats, medicine ball torso twists, medicine ball slant board curls, hip flexor slant board curls with a free weight between the legs for added resistance, and planks (any variation)(all of the descriptions can be found under Training and Conditioning). Most require 2-3 sets, with 12-15 reps. I have started with 10 torso twists per side and will adjust this as it becomes easy for me. I’ll provide details on the day 2 exercises after I have had a chance to try them out. Happy training!

Thanks, Lindsay! Keep up the awesome training and congratulations on your first triathlon!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

David keeps going and going!

Here's more of David's training for Rainier...

May 14, 2010

I’m just about back up to speed this week after being a bit down last week. I did the stair climbing three days, did the treadmill three days. I also got out for a hike one day. Didn’t get to the Bowflex as much as I’d like, but I’ll soon get that back into my routine. Life can be a blur, and it’s so easy for things to not get done.

I’m getting more comfortable with the Yoga. I’m not really all that skilled at it yet, but I do feel good. After some trial and error with several DVDs on Netflix, I found what I think to be the right program and right instructor for me.

Because of my recent down-time, I’m a little off schedule and still haven’t taken my first full-day conditioning climb. I’d like to know where I am on the endurance scale, and a full day climbing a mountain should be a good indicator, and should help me target what I need to work on. So… I’m hoping for Mount Rose in the next couple of weeks and Camp Muir in late June.

In the meantime, I’ll continue with the nearby hiking trails. Several in the area are rugged enough to keep it interesting, and when I put some weight in my pack and get out there and push myself, I feel like I’m accomplishing something. And to be honest, the hiking trails are easy to get to. Twenty minutes and I’m there. No planning, just go…

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monica, recovered.

Monica is back on track this week! And she's got some really great advice on food choices! Thanks, Monica!

This week felt great! It was kind of a "recovery" week, in that I didn't do CrossFit. I caught up on much needed sleep and loaded up on calories. I hiked Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, for 2-4 hours, varying weights of 63-70 pounds.
On the hikes I always go through the same process. The first 10 minutes are undeniably miserable. My gluteals, hamstrings and calves are screaming, I can't catch my breath, and my balance is quite goofy. This is when I start bargaining with myself. Thoughts like "I've been working really hard, if I just do an hour that will be fine." Or "If I don't do any hills but keep it as flat as possible, that will be fine". Self affirmations always seem really trite and shallow, and I tend to respond better to self humiliation. So telling myself "don't be such a weenie" or "man up" usually gets me out of it. This is also when self doubt sets in and I question my abilities. Such as "I'm the only female on this trip" (=weak), or "I'm in my mid forties, what am I thinking?" (=weak). However, invariably after the first hill, my breathing gets rhythmic, my muscles are warmed up, the pack feels like a part of my back, and I'm able to look around me. This is when I realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place and that there's really nothing else I'd rather be doing. I start to feel really strong, especially when I remember several years ago training for my first Mt. Rainier climb, using about half the weight and feeling worse. I also seem to have found my fifteen minutes of fame, as several times people I've never met cheer me on or ask when my big day is. I guess anyone hauling a huge pack sticks out, and I'm up here enough that I'm pretty recognizable.
These hikes are when I test out the different foods that will come with me. As with all my climbs, the biggest winners are Corn Nuts, Gummi Bears, Heath Bars, Lara Bars and Beef Jerky. Questionable are the Rice Krispie treats. I love that they're so light, but unfortunately they give a sudden blast of sugar and such a rapid crash that I'm not sure they'll make the cut, unless I eat something slower burning with them. What most definitely did not make the cut were Sardines, Kippered Herrings and Smoked Oysters. Yuck. After opening the tins, trying a few bites and dry heaving, I was then left with oily, stinky tins of nastiness and no plastic bag to store them in. Luckily my canine garbage disposal was more than happy to take care of that problem. I also try out different drink mixes. Coming with me will be Cytomax, Emergen-C, Propel and Kool-Aid. Gatorade and Crystal Light did not make the cut for me. The relationship between food and performance has become very clear. If I'm not eating enough or well enough, I definitely feel sluggish. Those break time refuelings are so important, and I hope I can keep that in mind on the mountain when my appetite is typically zero and even a Toblerone bar sounds disgusting.

David incorporates yoga into his training!

Beshears Journal Entry 3 - May 7

David is continuing to prepare for Rainier...He's changing up his routine with some yoga!

May 7th.

I was at a two day TBI conference this past week and decided to take advantage of a yoga workshop at the end of the last day. As this was a tbi conference, there was some focus on those with disabilities, tbi in particular, and I thought this might be something that I could do with my son.

Hatha is a very relaxed form of yoga, focuses a lot on alignment, stretching and breathing, and is something you can do while seated; perfect for my son and me, as hes still in the wheelchair. Since taking the workshop, I have begun to integrate this into my own daily workouts, and I’m already feeling a difference. A few minutes of Hatha before any other routine, and a few minutes afterward, and my body just feels better, takes the exercises better. I have also been trying to develop a habit of doing some of these moves while sitting in front of a computer, but I seem to get lost in my work for hours at a time. I should put an hourly reminder on my calendar, but I’m afraid that having it continually popping up would just bug me. Maybe just a low-tech sticky note on the monitor… I’ll do that right now.

I came down with some sort of flu bug the other day, but I found that I was still able to at least take an easy walk on the treadmill. I set it to slow, turned on the television, and just walked… Dawn of the Dead style

Feeling better now, need to get back into it. I plan to go out on a long hike this weekend, dressed out in a lot of the gear.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lindsay's training for Rainier!

Here's a look at another climber's training... Lindsay is training for a 4-day Rainier climb in August.

Climbing Mount Rainier is the latest adventure to preoccupy my busy life. Why would I do this? My answer to that would be "who wouldn't!" After reading Ed Viestur's book "No Shortcuts to the Top", both my husband and I realized that climbing Mount Rainier had to be on our list of things to do. Now that it is May, I am starting to get the itch to get out and climb. The only problem with this is I live in Edmonton. Not exactly a hilly place so training can be a challenge. I find I have always needed some kind of external motivation to keep me focused. As I am writing this blog, I realize that I need a lot of the first step to committing to climbing Rainier has been to hook up with the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. My husband and I are raising money to support the organization which certainly gives me an added incentive to want to train and be prepared for the climb. Friends and family are following our progress so I have to make sure I am ready!

So, how do I train? Right now, I'm gearing up for my first triathlon next weekend. In the summer, I set a goal of doing my first triathlon this spring and thought it would be perfect training for the climb. One thing I have to work on is getting enough resistance training into my schedule. I'm not a fan of weights, but I know they are really important for being prepared for climbs. I bike at least twice a week, swim twice a week and run twice a week. Softball just started on Thursday, so a little cross-training helps too! Last Sunday I was able to get out for a 35 min bike ride, Monday was a 500m swim, Tuesday was a brick workout (40 min bike/25 min run) (which I did at the gym because it was snowing out – yes, it is May), Wednesday was 30 min on the bike, Thursday I played softball, Friday was an off day, Saturday amounted to an arms and core resistance training session and Sunday will be a long run (usually over 10 Km). Most of my workouts I do solo, but I like to change it up by training with my husband. I guess we will see how training goes this week as I prepare for my race. Cheers!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Laura Earns Some Turns

Week #7 Training Blog

May 8, 2010

Sorry alpine boots, but it snowed quite a bit here on Mt. Rainier this past week so it was time to get back on skis. A couple friends and I headed into Mt. Rainier National Park to do some skiing in the Tatoosh on Tuesday. The conditions were great so we did a couple hours of touring overall to gain a couple laps on the apron portion of Lane Peak, then moving on to ski a feature called The Fly. The next day we headed back into the park to head up a bit past Camp Muir to ski a couloir feature to the side of Cathedral Gap. This was a nice long day of touring and skiing for impeccable conditions. Even the regularly wind-scoured sections coming down the normal route from Camp Muir were perfectly powdery. Perhaps a few pictures to come!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More of Monica's Denali Training...

This week started out great, and ended with a crash. Sunday the 18th I got up very early, and my dog and I set out into the Boise foothills for 3 hours and ten minutes, with 70 lbs on my back. It was a gorgeous day, and I saw very few people. It ended up being 80 degrees, so I was glad I started early. Monday was CrossFit. The workout was called “Tabata something else”. Tabatas are basically intervals, and it was as many repetitions as possible in 8 rounds of pull-ups, push ups, sit ups and air squats. We do as many as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. 8 rounds of each. Surprisingly challenging.
Tuesday I got back outside with 70 pounds for 2 hours. Felt great!
Wednesday CrossFit was “Burp and Row”. For rowing we use the Concept 2 Rower. Great little piece of equipment!! Burpees consist of jumping down into a squat, thrusting your legs into a push up position, doing a push up, jumping back into a squat and jumping up at least 10 inches. Form gets really poor as you get tired. We rowed 1000 meters, did 20 burpees. Rowed 750 meters, 40 burpees. Rowed 500 meters, did 60 burpees. Rowed 250 meters, did 80 burpees. This is, of course, timed. Despite cussing at my trainer at around repetition 68 of the last round, I finished in 29:36.
Thursday was my day off. I had scheduled a Gyrotonics session, which I try to do about every 6 weeks. Some people call it yoga for dancers, and it is one of these mind-body forms of exercise kind of like Pilates. Unlike Pilates, it uses 3-dimensional, circular and rotational movements. I love this, especially now, since all this hiking has me in a repetitively linear, sagittal movement pattern. I left feeling so relaxed, lithe and graceful.
Friday was back to CrossFit. The workout was: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 repetitions of Deadlifts, Bench Press and Cleans. I kept it on the lighter side, since my goal is to get up that mountain, not be a CrossFit queen. So, my deadlifts were 160 pounds, bench presses 70 pounds, cleans 75 pounds. I tried to be very careful with my form, since Deadlifts in particular are great for blowing out lumbar discs.
Saturday was training hike. It was miserable. My poor back was so sore I could barely stand up straight. So, I loaded up 70 pounds and kept at it for just under 3 hours, but covered very little ground. It was not good. Tomorrow I will see how I feel and either go lighter or take the day off and heal up. Woohoo!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Laura Test-Hauls a Sled!

Week #6 McKinley Training
April 30, 2010

This week brought a few new exercises into the mix. Given that there was a bit of snow left on the Mount Tahoma Trails just outside of town, I decided to try adding a sled to the training weight. I used my boots with the snowshoes for practice, finding that the heel-raiser bar is definitely key when hauling a fair bit of weight. I filled the sled with a bunch of snow so that I could ditch the weight on the way down. I figure with the pack and the sled filled with snow I likely had about 100lbs total. Needless to say, my hike in the direction of High Hut was a slow one. This was definitely helpful so that I could get used to the different ways that the sled pulled on the hips.

I also got in a standard trip to the gym equipped with elliptical training, weights, abs, and a few episodes of one of my favorite tv shows on dvd. I was sure to do a bit of yoga as well.

Thanks to a tip from a friend, I found another long and steady trail out of town to take the pack and boots up for a tour. I have been trying either short and quick hikes on it if I don’t have much time, or long and more moderate pacing if I do have a bit more time to work with.

At the suggestion of another pal, I tried a new ab routine to switch up my old moves. It was the P 90 X ab ripper series…comes with a high recommendation. I had never done any of those P 90 X workouts but this one was great. Well, happy weekend to all!

More of David's Training

April 30

My exercise room training went fine this week, got in my workout each day that I was home. One day I turned on the baseball game and spent a couple of hours in there; an hour on the treadmill, an hour on the Bowflex, some free weights and cool down.

I’m off Mondays. I always make it a point to go into the exercise room at 2:00 and watch MSNBC while doing a few miles on the treadmill. I got that in. Fridays I work at home. I try to do half an hour in the exercise room in the morning and another half hour in the afternoon. This week I got the morning in, spent it on the Bowflex, but didn’t get the afternoon. That happens a lot.

Most evenings I do free weights while watching the news, and every night I do stomach crunches. I got these in all but two nights.

On the three days a week I work in Olympia I do stair climbing (currently 20 flights three times a day). I missed two days this week because I was at a training seminar. Fortunately the facility we stayed in had an exercise room and I did get some time on a treadmill. I went for a walk in the morning before breakfast.

Now for the weird thing that happened this week… For months I’ve been going on outdoor hikes once or twice a month. There are some rugged trails nearby. I wear a pack loaded with the ten essentials and some weights and I get a really good workout.

This past weekend I was scheduled instead for my first full day conditioning climb up a nearby mountain. How would I handle seven hours?

But this also meant unpredictable weather, and because of recent snowfall some white stuff up near the top. On my half-day excursions, if the weather is bad I simply work out in the exercise room. And in any event I’m never that far from the car. Not so here. In this instance, “conditioning climb” would also mean wet weather and seeing how equipment holds up. It’s like a full field test.

There’s the problem…

I’ve been accumulating gear the last few months. I have my base layer, trekking poles, sleeping bag, socks, gaiters, all three sets of gloves, all the head gear, and the ten essentials. But a lot of that other stuff? The expensive stuff that I figured I would only use on the Rainier climb? That’s what rent lists are for. I hadn’t thought I would need the parka, shell jacket, shell pant, insulating layer pant, any of that…

But if you’re going on a hike like the one this had turned into, you’re going to need an outer layer beyond simple raingear, not the rubberized stuff. And no cotton clothes. No jeans and a sweatshirt. This is like the Rainier climb.

I have to make a choice. I can go on as before, and extend my half-day hikes to full day and test my endurance that way. This is what I had initially planned to do. But if I want to really turn a conditioning climb into field tests, I’ll need to transfer some of the items on the rent list over to the buy list.

Well, I want take another shot at Mt. Rose in a couple of weeks. And I want to hike up to Camp Muir next month. So… I’m going to buy the outer layer stuff. And maybe I’ll start dressing the part even on my half-days, lose the jeans and sweatshirt, go with the synthetic stuff for all my hikes.