Today's workout: climbing gym laps with a weighted pack. I enjoy these workouts because I like to think about my movement and balance on the wall. Wearing even a light pack adds a level of difficulty and helps to build both my strength and confidence that I can move efficiently in the mountains.
Mt. Rainier is one of my favorite mountains to climb, maybe because it is usually shrouded in clouds and therefore elusive to Seattlites. My goal today was not to reach the summit, but to hike to camp Muir at 10,000 feet with a heavy pack.
It felt good to move on the snow and I was thankful from intermittent clouds which (almost) sheltered be from sunburn.
During my hypoxic training, I've been reading ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life by Stacy T. Sims, PhD. At least I think I'm reading it, it's difficult to tell since I'm hypoxic the whole time. But one thing did stick with me today:
Yay for that piece of data!
I've just begun reading, but so far Stacy's look into how women's bodies respond differently than mens is fascinating. Check it out!
The forecast wasn't great when we headed out to Guye Peak, but sometimes you just have to head out anyway and see how it goes. We made it to the first pitch of rock when the clouds started to look menacing. So, we made the wise choice to descend. In the rain. Still a fun day in the mountains :)
It's difficult for me to resist sharing data ;)
Today Scott at UpHill Athlete and I reviewed my workload over the past few weeks, and the data doesn't lie, unfortunately. The Morton's neuroma in my left foot has had a negative impact in the amount and intensity of training that I have been able to maintain. The good news is that things are trending in the right direction and I am committed to getting back on track.
6,636 feet of elevation gain (and loss) in two days was enough for little Chevy. After today's hike he promptly laid in a stream in protest and shot me his best sad puppy face.
Thankfully my foot seems to be handling back-to-back days of hiking with a heavy pack well (yay cortisone!) and my legs and lungs feel strong, too.
I'm looking forward to starting the muscular endurance phase of training soon :)
Since my foot didn't feel great during Wednesday's hike, I've been trying different cardio exercises and shoes with the intention identifying a combination that will provide a sufficient workout, but not aggravate my foot. The stair master didn't work, hiking shoes on the treadmill didn't work, but with the guidance of Scott at UpHill Athlete, I think that we found the right combo: stiff mountaineering boots with a light pack on the treadmill.
Hopefully my foot will feel as good while hiking tomorrow, if I have to spend more time training on the treadmill and not in the mountains, Chevy is going to find a new person:
Less than two months (yikes!) until I depart for Pakistan, so it's time to begin some hypoxic training. The idea is that by training while breathing air with a lower oxygen concentration than ambient air, my body will begin the acclimatization process now, thereby making my transition to altitude easier on the mountain. There are many opinions about whether hypoxic training is effective for climbing a big mountain like K2 or Everest. I believe that it has helped me acclimitize in the past; however, I am always cautious of compromising recovery. Daily training requires daily recovery, usually in the form of sleep (yay, sleep!). My experience is that sleeping in a hypoxic tent lessens my body's ability to recover sufficiently when I am training hard. So, a good compromise for me is to run on the treadmill while breathing hypoxic air and monitoring my oxygen saturation. Hello, Hypoxico!