Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:16 pm

Lovebird wrote:
I for one love those tidbits! Very Happy As well as your signature: "Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
- Robert A. Heinlein cat

Thanks, LB. T came across this quote 10-12 years ago, wrote it out beautifully in script and presented it to me. I think he was feeling a little overwhelmed at the time as the only male in our household of 2 female cats and me and it was sort of a peace offering. I've always loved the quote.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:31 pm

Been away for a bit, but all is well.  

Our hike was a delight. The Sonoran desert is not looking its best at the moment because there hasn't been a drop of rain in months so the plants are conserving, yet the Black Canyon trail is still spectacular for the giant saguaro, cholla varieties, barrels and hedgehog cacti, and other desert trees - palo verde, mesquite, acacia, and ocotillos.

We hiked out over rolling terrain to the Agua Fria riverbed, about 11.5 miles, had a snack, then turned and hiked back to the vehicle.  Total elevation gain was 2560 feet (780.3m) and 23 miles/37km.

It was a treat to be in shorts and a t-shirt!  I was a little disappointed to end with sore spots on the ball of each foot - that doesn't bode well for Across the Years. Maybe I can figure out an effective taping scheme, otherwise I am headed for some whopper blisters.  We talked a little about strategy for ATY in terms of maximizing time walking on the course. I've never managed to go the whole 24 hours and it is hard to plan to pause every few hours with the idea that it might then be possible to go longer. I'm afraid I won't get back up and go again.  Still mulling.

Anyway, this pic was taken at the turnaround spot after we had a snack.



And this was shortly before we reached the trailhead at the end of the day. We finished just before dark.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:39 pm

I was off work on Monday as I was to have had a core needle biopsy. I was not happy about it and even less so as the tech explained what they were going to do. Happily, as she did some imaging, and then went and got the radiologist who did more imaging, they said, "No biopsy for you because we don't see anything and have no where to stick our needle." Yippee!!! alien Laughing Very Happy

I do have to have an MRI as follow-up and do not understand why this wasn't the next step before something invasive. The next time this comes up (and it will), I'm fighting to stay away from the biopsy as I do not want that titanium clip they plan to leave behind.

Anyway, since I was scheduled off for the day and now had no discomfort, we went to the rock gym and played. Had the place to ourselves which was fun, and climbed well. Did a little shopping afterwards, then went home and ate shrimpies and veggies. Nice day with my guy.

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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:44 pm

Spent yesterday at a Cybersecurity meeting. Somewhat interesting, a few things that we likely need to address, and I ate terribly. Slept badly when I finally got home last night.

Today was our planned weekly climbing gym date. Nice walk there and back. It was a little weird to get there and find a former climbing partner of T's there. They stopped going out together because the guy got weird... it was a tad awkward at first, but then we all got over it and chatted a bit.

Good day climbing - easy warm-up, then 4 leads (2 with a nice degree of improvement over my last attempts on Monday), and a very technical and challenging route to finish.

All is well in my world!
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Annieh on Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:57 pm

Hey M2M, I love your hiking pix, such different scenery than
i experience and great to see you looking fit and well. thanks for sharing.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Narrowminded on Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:45 pm

Love the hike pix. Beautiful scenery.

Happy to hear no biopsy. That’s awesome news.

Sounds like some nice days for you.

With the feet, maybe try different socks? Sometimes that can make a difference, but I’m sure you already know that Smile
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by perennialpam on Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:56 am

Like the additional quote M2M.  Smile

Such a hard life those cactii live and they do live such a long time.  75+ years?  Me thinks.  

My longer hikes with the hiking crew are half of what you do.

Like seeing you too!  So trim and fit you are.  You really work hard for that and it shows.


Last edited by perennialpam on Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Heuristicfireflower on Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:31 am

Hurray for ditching of biopsy.   I hope this clears up for you in the least invasive way.

Love the photos. How cool to hike among saguaros, although I have walked among joshua trees. And you look great! As PPam stated you work hard and it shows.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Lovebird on Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:11 am

Great pics M2M! Looking very healthy!
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:04 pm

Thanks all.  

You are correct, NM, socks are crucial, but... I just have a weak spot on the ball of each foot from past damage.  When I get the taping right, it makes a huge difference, so I'm cautiously optimistic. I hadn't taped at all as our planned distance was below my "threshold" for needing it.  

I'm hoping to go about 65 miles at ATY and at that distance, a number of things are apt to go wrong, so whats a blister?  

DVD workout this morning because one of the things that can go wrong is that my core gets really tired/weak feeling. Going to do what I can to shore that up over the next week.

Did something stupid this morning, we have a gate made of old skis. When the wind blows (it was ferocious last night) the gate can swing loose. I failed to notice it had done so and was backing up using my driver's side mirror instead of the central rearview and so didn't see the gate... CRUNCH!  Gah! Broke the thing in half and put big dings/scratches into the tailgate and side fender of my truck.  First stop of the day - autobody repair to get an estimate.  Insurance is a good thing.  

Office lunch today, good to visit with some of them that I don't talk with as much, and to see the various departments interact a little.  There isn't a great deal of crossover.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Narrowminded on Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:33 pm

Happy to hear taping generally fixes the foot issues.

So sorry about your gate and your truck, hope the estimate isn’t too much.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Heuristicfireflower on Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:35 am

Aagh,

I remember driving my beloved purple Camaro past a rose bush and like in the movies - All went in slow motion as I heard the scratches form on the side and door. NNNOOOOooooo.........I kept going because I saw that either going back or continuing there was no helping it and the scratches were going to happen.
: /

Glad your insurance covers it. Aaw, too bad for your ski gate. Can it be rebuilt?
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by perennialpam on Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:59 am

On no, the ski gate sounds cool.

My mom's town has a guy who takes pictures and posts to the local website for that purpose. He get pictures of canoes that have been arranged in an arc (half of the canoe) and does so often. The winter pictures are the neatest.

I am horrible backing up....
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:50 pm

T was remarkably OK about the gate, I don't break stuff often. He was less thrilled about the repair estimate, but our deductible is reasonable, now we are just waiting to hear from the shop about when the parts come in.

I likely won't be online until I return from winter break on January 2. If all goes well, I will have walked/hiked well over 100 miles between now and then. We'll either do a longish training walk in town at Buffalo Park on Sunday or better yet, resume our old tradition of a Grand Canyon hike on Christmas day. Maybe both but that might be a bit much...

Best wishes to you and yours for healthy and happy holidays and a fabulous new year!
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Narrowminded on Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:16 pm

Have a very Merry Christmas M2M and a wonderful New Year. Can't wait to hear about the miles when you get back.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Annieh on Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:17 pm

Happy hiking M2m! see you in the new year Smile
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by perennialpam on Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:16 am

Must be difficult to dress for your long hikes. I have been tracking AZ weather (my Tucson friend) to compare with my own. It gets darn cold during the evening!

Have a great time and Happy Holidays to both of you and fat cat.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Heuristicfireflower on Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:10 pm

Have a great year end adventure!!!!
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by The Walrus on Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:56 pm

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Can't wait to hear about your adventures!
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Greensprout on Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:00 pm

Happy trails and best wishes for the New Year, M2M.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Meant2Move on Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:13 pm

Hey all,
Thank you so much for all the good wishes!

In the hotel, night before we start the 24 hour event. Not nervous, just kind of excited. Should be fun and I have some good audio books lined up for listening. It will be totally decadent to just walk all day listening to a good audiobook. Will be a bit warm during the day, but nice temps overnight if I can just keep going... I have a taping plan for my feet than I'm cautiously hopeful about.

Details (likely more than you care to read) next week.
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Lovebird on Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:20 am

Sounds like fun! Well, not my kind of fun obviously, but when prepared like the two of you, it should be. Have a great time! Looking forward to the details, as you take us with you on the event. The more the better. Wink
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by perennialpam on Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:28 am

^^ What she said! ^^
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Re: Still on the move... Meant2Move's journal

Post by Narrowminded on Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:35 am

Me 3. Have fun
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2017 Across the Years 24 hour Event: December 29 – 30 2017

Post by Meant2Move on Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:29 pm

2017 Across the Years 24 hour Event: December 29 – 30 2017

This year we opted to do our 24 hour event a bit earlier. We usually start on December 31 and actually walk in the New Year while on the course. Given I was to return to work on January 2nd, I decided I needed more recovery time than a 12/31 start would allow. A nice feature was that the course was less crowded. Across the Years (ATY) is actually multiple events that happen simultaneously across a 6 day period.  The 6 day race (yes, people walk/run for 6 days straight!) goes on the entire time, in this case from December 28 through January 3. Each day a 24 hour event starts, and there are 48 hour and 72 hour events starting throughout the 6 day period. All events finish at 9:00 am on January 3rd.

I posted on Facebook that I was excited, had the same longstanding goal of 70 miles, and that this would not be the year I attained it, expecting instead to finish in the mid 60’s.  We’ve been walking well, but not getting in a lot of long distance training. We did a 10 mile hike on December 23 and 14 miles on December 24 along with a few shorter hikes and a climbing gym date leading up to the event.
As we were packing to drive to Phoenix, I reviewed old journal entries, looking for things I needed, but also checking notes I had made about what has worked in the past and what I thought I should do differently.  What I came up with was:
1. Move my upper body more – arm swings, shoulder stretches, some gentle twisting
2. Hamstring stretches – do as often as possible
3. Don’t be afraid to take a little break here and there
4. Tape the balls of my feet really carefully and address foot problems early
5. Don’t over-hydate!

The other big endurance thing that I do is the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) each October. The thing with it is that once started, there isn’t really any way to stop. One must get oneself out of the Canyon, so whether that means turning back early, catching a very expensive shuttle ride from the North rim (half way), or slogging it out for as long as needed, one must complete the trek. With a timed event on a short course such as ATY, one can stop anytime. If one starts, there is no dreaded DNF (did not finish). You reach your goal or you don’t, but the requirement to “complete the race” doesn’t exist.  A timed event is much more about individual willpower and determination than a set distance event.

We arrived at the event site, Camelback Ranch, a spring baseball training venue in the late afternoon on Thursday the 28th. We found a spot and set up our tent and stowed some gear inside. We set up a small table and lawn chairs near the course, then headed off to our hotel. Along with a hot shower and some very careful tape application (3 layers cut and shaped to fit the ball of my feet and just meet the base of my toes), I had some tech responsibilities as I needed to load up our iPods and MP3 players with a good selection of audiobooks.

There is an MMA saying: “embrace the grind” – likely other sports have it too.  Basically, accept and dive into the very hard work of training and working out.  The thing is, if one gets too deep into the grind and starts in on a litany of what hurts at any given moment, it can magnify the pain or discomfort and with enough head games, you can talk yourself into quitting well before it is necessary to quit to prevent injury.  I am not an advocate of doing great harm – no point in creating an injury!  But, it is all too easy to sit down at an event such as ATY and talk yourself out of continuing. Especially when it gets dark and/or cold, and you are tired from having been moving for 16 hours or more… Anyway, my strategy for combating all of these mental games was to forego the ‘grind’, forget willpower and determination, and instead immerse myself in the happy oblivion and denial of a mindless brain candy audio book. Or 2 or 3 as needed to get through the event.

This year we had the added goal of completing the Around the Clock challenge.  So not only were we trying to go as far as possible during a 24 hour period, but, we needed to complete at least 1 lap during each hour of the event.  This challenge has the effect of limiting the time one can rest.  The course is about 1.05 miles in length, so at worst, takes 20-25 minutes to do a lap when tired.  If we rested, we had to ensure we had time to complete a lap within the hour. T, who is a far more strategic thinker than I am figured out that if one finished a lap early in the hour and needed a longer rest, then one could actually rest for the remainder of the hour and through half of the next hour and still reasonably complete a lap each hour.

We set off at the 9:00 am start feeling good.  I wore the same shoes and socks as I did the previous year, they had served me well and I hadn’t worn them much since so they were not worn out.  Shorts with built in panty, a tech-shirt, hat and sunglasses.  Actually, to start I wore a long sleeved shirt on top along with little fleece gloves and that lasted about 3 laps. After dropping the long sleeved shirt, I did a few more laps before deciding that I needed to have something in my hands as they were starting to swell in the heat and with the constant swinging.  I picked up my little fleece gloves which were the right size, but not the right texture. I wanted something smooth, but didn’t figure out a good alternative (empty plastic pill bottles) for many hours.
As far as technology and gadgets, I had my Fitbit One, my Garmin Vivosmart3 watch in workout mode, and the Strava app running on my phone. In hopes of ensuring that the phone battery would last, I turned off mobile data and Bluetooth so only the GPS was running. Aside from checking it a few times to be sure it was still running, I did not mess with the phone at all.  

The race has a bib and an ankle bracelet for lap counting.  There is a nice display as you walk across the line each lap that shows your current status – lap, last lap time, miles, KM, and total elapsed time. All my gadgetry was unnecessary, but I can’t resist it, and like having my own bits of data.  On past hikes, I’ve been well pleased at how well the Garmin matched the GPS in terms of distance since my Garmin calculates distance based on steps, not GPS.  Something was off and it was racking up steps at an accelerated rate all day long. In the end, I had 10 miles more than I should have had based on actual race results and my GPS.  I suspect the steps came from my extra hip swing. I was trying to keep my back and hips mobile by having a bit more movement than I sometimes do when walking fast/steady for long periods.

T and I walked about 10 laps together to start the race. We were moving at a roughly 15 minute/mile pace, talking with each other and participants that we knew from prior years. We determined a particular spot on the course where we said we would do some upper body movements – arm swings, shoulder rolls, whatever, each time we passed by.  That plan worked well and while walking together, we set the habit.  We also paused for a hamstring stretch every few laps, and made some swings through the aid station tent to scope out the food and drinks.  We had a few things with us, but mostly planned to use the aid station.  When he was ready to pick up the pace, T moved off and I plugged in my headphones and settled into brain candy oblivion.

The race changes direction on the course every 4 hours and this presents an opportunity to switch things up.  A fun thing for me was that dancing across the line is encouraged and cheered. It felt really good to switch things up with some wild gyrations. Sometimes depending on the tunes being played at the moment and who was standing at the line, I indulged in more dancing – an old favorite song? Yep, gonna dance to it.

It got pretty warm midday, but I wasn’t having any issues, so I just kept moving. Drinking, eating as needed, and moving. This can be a fairly social event, it is easy to talk with folks who are moving along, but I rarely do this. Massive introvert that I am, I find it hard to talk to people that I don’t know, so unless the person is a chatterbox and I can mostly listen, I don’t talk much.  I try not to be anti-social, but probably just barely manage politely pleasant.  

At the 5 pm turnaround, it was starting to get cool so I peeled off my well-used t-shirt and went back to the long sleeve.  A few more laps and I was ready for more, ditch the cap in favor of a fleece hat, adding gloves, then eventually switched out the shorts for tights.  This required that I take off my shoes and I always worry about doing that, but I added more powder over my socks and put the shoes back on, feet still mostly happy.  There is enough lighting on the course that there is no need to carry a flashlight or headlamp although some people do.  I simply switched to a new book when one ran out and kept going, adding my big down parka when I got colder.  The temperature was not that cold, above freezing, but after a day of activity, I was chilled and really bundled up to stay comfortable.

I was holding together well. This event mostly takes a toll on the feet, legs, hips and sometimes lower back.  But as one gets tired, everything gets that little bit iffy. If I sensed a need to pee, I made a beeline for a portajohn – do not try and hold it.  Sense a need to poop – make a dash for the bathroom because you cannot count on the sphincters to hold. By following these simple guidelines, I did fine, but when trying to tune the body out with a book, one must allow certain messages a high priority.

I had done about 50 laps (something over 52 miles) by midnight and was feeling good except that I was starting to crave some actual meat.  Everything in the aid station was very carby – burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches, boiled potatoes, chips, candy, cookies, fruit. There had been tamales with beans in the evening which were tasty and had a little meat, but mostly I wanted to sink my teeth into meat. This is a rare feeling for me, I’m a carnivore, but a minimalist carnivore.  I had brought some Boost high protein drinks with me and so had them to fall back on, but they are not super satisfying. Still, better than nothing. I eventually drank all 3 that I had along.  

As I reached the 100 KM/62 mile mark I sort of gave myself permission to stop, it was really all I expected to accomplish, but then I talked myself out of it, figuring nothing really hurt so why stop. I told myself I’d finish the book I was listening to and then decide.  T took a little break around 2 AM and asked me to pop in and wake him up after I did 2 more laps. I did so. He didn’t get up right away and said check back in on him after another lap to be sure he got up.  He must have gotten moving part way through. I took his place and after he did 2 laps, he came and poked at me to move. After dozing for about 30 minutes it was a little hard to shift back into gear, but I did – got the book going and started walking.  

Once I had it in my head that I was going to keep going until the book ran out and then decide, it was easy to keep moving.  I’ve never made it past the 5 AM turn around, but when it came, I just did a little dance to some good tunes and started walking in the other direction.  I watched the moon set and then dawn started to break.  Keep walking…  eat when the urge takes me, pause now and then, stretch, pee as needed, keep walking. My book ran out around 7 AM and I switched to music. By then I knew I could keep going into the 8:00 hour which would give me the Around the Clock award.  I crossed the timing line around 7:45 so knew that my next lap would give me a completed lap in the 8 AM hour which was all I needed.  I finished that lap and then saw that if I did 1 more I’d hit 70 laps – even better than the 70 mile goal. I did the lap and was back at the line around 8:25 AM. I had time for another lap, but decided I didn’t need it. Nothing was screaming in pain, but I felt accomplished and done.  I had some oatmeal and hot chocolate and sat down to watch.  T finished his lap and came over about 10 minutes later and said that maybe his last lap had been 1 too many, so he was done too.  He completed 75 laps to my 70, so about 78.75 miles to my 73.5. We both earned the Around the Clock award.

The balls of my feet were fine, a bit tender, but not blistered. They will likely peel in a week or 2.  The nails on my second toes are tender, I was already growing out new nails under the old from the R2R2R in early October.  I don’t think I’ll lose the new nails, but the old ones will pop sooner than they might have. I did have a nasty painful blister on the side of one heel, I put a pad over it when it developed, but it kept growing. Happily, it didn’t really bother me that much until after I stopped. Legs are tired, hamstrings tight, particularly where they connect to my glutes or bones or whatever it is they connect too.  And I’ve a little hip soreness, again, connections, not actual joint pain.

We took a shower and then napped in the tent for about 90 minutes. Got up, had a bite to eat (more carbs – ugh!) then packed up.  I told T I wanted to stop somewhere on the way home and get some meat.  He was surprised at this, it is a rare request from me. We ended up at a Wendy’s – not quality meat, but it met the need.  We stopped in town for some groceries, then headed home to feed and pet the cat and go to bed.
Sunday was a pretty lazy day, but, I had not yet done my monthly Snowcone climb and had to (December 31st, I was out of time!), so we got dressed, put on our big mountaineering boots so we had a great excuse for going slow, and hiked up the hill. 2 miles and 500 feet climbed the day after finishing more than 70 miles isn’t bad!

Monday we did a Shoe Hill Loop. This 3.3 mile hike is a standard for us. It has small hills, 230 feet of elevation total. We noticed the hills!  Also, as I told T, my Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) was much higher than my actual heartrate, indicating deep fatigue.
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