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My training for 2015, so far.

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Appalachian Trail Diary:
Why do I want to hike the AT? Well first of all, I know it is there. I decided to do the AT because I lived by part of the trail in NJ and always was intrigued by the mystique. My motivation now is since I started walking a year ago to lose weight. I was at 240 and now around 200. Still want to lose about 15 more. I have walked around 2,800,000 steps so far. Admittedly I have not been completely dedicated to daily walking. I also want to do it in memory of my beautiful wife who was so active and full of life until MS took it away. She was a singer, actor, dancer, personal trainer and professional body builder. She set me on the path of fitness and healthy lifestyle. Just a week before she passed away, and was barely able to breathe on her own, she was giving the doctors and nurses workout assignments. Even with the MS she never gave up. I also get bored walking the same neighborhood route day after day or around the mall. One of my Bucket list items is to climb Kilimanjaro, so I need to get in shape.

Training Day 1:

My Horoscope for May 16, 2014; Libra 9/23-10/22

Exploration suits you just fine today -- so get out there and take in new sights and sounds! You are likely to discover the next big thing, or at least your next new obsession.

Today I decided to walk to the grocery store. The nearest one to my house, it is only 7.5 miles each way. After all I have been walking an average of about 4 miles a day for the last year and I am in decent shape. I put on what I thought were my best walking shoes and set out. Start time 1:45 PM. Starting temp 69 degrees. I just got back home 7:35 PM. Present temp 45 degrees. OK it is Colorado. Along the way I encountered 5’ deep snow drifts across the trail, ankle deep mud in a couple of spots and some really cute Alpacas that walked along their field beside me. When I got to the store I bought some lunch and considered calling my neighbor to come pick me up. Then I thought about the commitment required to hike 2100 miles and the commitment I made today to walk to the store and back. I set out for home at 4:10 PM. I should mention that the trail/road to the store is downhill most of the way which means the trail home is mostly up hill. Not a bad day all in all. No blisters, bites, scrapes or cuts and not broken bones. Time now for Epsom Salts and the whirlpool bath then some dinner, Alive and bed.
Training Day 2 Monday May 19:

Second training day hike. Beautiful day, temp 80. No snow drifts on the trail today. Carried a small day pack about 10 pounds. Distance today 29256 steps about 13.8 miles. I Wore better shoes today. Old good shoes are better than new bad shoes. Walked to the regional open space park. Soaked my feet in the pond, ate my lunch and walked home. Today I felt much better while walking. I also used trekking poles which seem to help, especially on steep trails. My emotional self is so excited to be trail ready. It just wants to get a pack and load it up and go. My rational self knows that you can’t just pick up a 35 pound pack and walk 15 miles without any preparation.
For now I think a long hike every 4 days is a good training routine. I will increase the weight of the pack a little each time. I will still walk my regular daily 10560 steps (5 miles) on the in-between days.

Training Day 3 Wednesday May 21:

Today a former AT survivor advised me that part of my training for the AT should be to experience as much adversity as possible. Walk every day just like the Postman, through rain, and sleet and dark of night. I started my walk about 2:15 pm. I stopped to chat with a neighbor who said to keep a eye on the sky, because there were some huge thunderheads forming. I told him I would and that I had my rain gear with me. I did watch the sky as it got darker and darker. About 2 miles from home on my return it started to sprinkle a little rain so I put on my rain pants and jacket. Then the sun came back out and I didn’t want to stop to take the rain gear off. I was about ¾ mile from home when it really started to rain and hail. As Gollum would say, “them big ones smarts when thy hits my pretty’s heads”.

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I also had some walking buddies again today. A herd of cattle followed me for about ½ a mile. They were funny. They were all around a water hole in the middle of a field. When they saw me walking along the road, they all ran over to the fence and watched a little while and then started walking along with me. One little female just walked beside me at my pace the rest would run ahead and wait for me to catch up.

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