Tag Archives: Walking

Walking, Walking And More Walking

“Breathe in, Breathe Out, Move On.” -Jimmy Buffett

“Don’t me why I walk. Ask yourself why you don’t.-Anonymous

This weeks goal was to get at least a couple of longer days in even if it was just 15 minutes more to make at least an hour. The closest I got was 55 minutes and I was happy with that. Every day I felt good and on a couple of days, I was able to do some hill work by experimenting with the incline. I’ll keep playing around with that to get some harder workouts in. I was able to walk for a period of time at around 3.3 miles per hour and for the time that I did, it was faster than I ever move when I am hiking!!!

For what it’s worth, I like walking on the treadmill as much as I liked riding the stationary bike. The good thing with the treadmill is no knee pain. I am walking in my backpacking boots and that may be helping. Each of the treadmills also has a tv attached to it which makes the time fly by.

Needless to say, I will keep walking so when fall finally arrives and the colors on the leaves are at their peak, I can head back out into the woods.

It’s all good.

Total Minutes-

9/9/19-50-365 (The Thumper was right next to me, the horror)

9/10/19-45-410  (No Thumper)

9/11/19-Rest Day

9/12/19-45-455 (Thumper two treadmills down)

9/13/19-55-510 (No Thumper but a dude older than me who smelled like he just crawled out of a dumpster got on the one next to me.)

9/14/19-50-560 (No Thumper) 

9/15/19-50-610 (No Thumper)

245 minutes for the week.

The Thumper

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Walking brings me back to myself.” – Laurette Mortimer

As I mentioned in my last post, even though I would much rather be outside,  time does not permit it. To be totally honest with you, I have found walking on the treadmill to be a pleasant change from hiking in the woods.

For one thing, I am able to control the speed that I walk and also walking on an incline has been interesting. The best thing, however, has been the people watching. For instance, no matter what time of the morning or afternoon that I have been there, I have seen a man running on a treadmill two spaces away from me. Usually, this wouldn’t be an issue, but this man runs with a sense of purpose that is truly frightening.

What I mean by this is his feet hit the treadmill so hard that it makes a thumping sound. A loud and rather annoying thumping sound. On Thursday I walked in the front door and I could hear the telltale boom, boom, boom of this mystery man running. I can’t believe that he hasn’t wrecked his knees running like this. If I didn’t know better, I would think he is stalking me.

Since I am going to the gym to train exclusively for hiking, I wear my backpacking boots on the treadmill and I don’t make half the noise that this guy does.

Anyway, I like walking on the treadmill. I don’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes, I don’t have to worry about the weather, dogs or other human beings (for the most part), and I can adjust my workout depending on how I feel. Plus, every treadmill has a small tv on it. You can’t beat that with a stick.

So here are the days that I have walked and the time that I did. Of course, at various times I adjusted the speed and the incline only to test things out for the time being. When I get more adjusted to walking this way I’ll use some of the workouts that they have on the treadmill.  So far, so good.

Total Minutes:

9/3/19-45.0-180.0

9/5/19-45.0-225.0

9/7/19-45.0-270.0

9/8/19-45.0-315.0

Change Is In The Air…

nysc_logo

If you know me, I’m not a big fan of change and I like things the way I like them. So this summer when I injured my knee riding my stationary bike, I knew that I would have to make some changes. Now, mind you, I could still walk and hiking was not an issue, just riding that stupid bike. So I decided to join a gym so I could have access to a treadmill and a stairclimber during the colder months instead of relying on just the stationary bike.

Especially with school starting again, it’s going to be difficult to get out hiking after school so I figured since a NYSC is 2 miles away, this would be the easiest way to get a good walking workout in and then hopefully still be able to get out on days off and on the weekends.

Signing up was easy online and when I went for the first time this morning, the people at the front desk were really friendly. Since I had never used a treadmill before, I did ask one of the trainers to show me how to use one of them. I know, how hard could it be? I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t end up on one of those video shows where the person on the treadmill wipes out and goes flying. So I swallowed my pride and asked the trainer to explain it to me like I was a 5 year old.

Thankfully she took pity on me and did just that. And thankfully again, I actually figured it out on the first try. It wasn’t that difficult.

One thing that I did find strange was that at first, I found it more difficult to walk on the treadmill than on the trail. Maybe it is just something that I have to get used to. We’ll see. But since it was the first time on a treadmill, I decided that I would take it relatively easy just to get used to it. I started just to warm up at 1.5 mph and gradually increased the MPH until I was walking at 3 MPH. My entire work out time? 45 minutes.

I also used the incline on the treadmill and walked for a while on 1.0. It appears as though they have different workouts on these things so I will experiment with that as the days go by.

So, for a first impression, I give them a 5 out of 5.

As I do with my hiking, I’ll keep track of my workouts on the blog. Instead of miles, however, I’ll keep track of my minutes walked every day.

8/30/19-45.0-45.0

8/31/19-45.0-90.0

9/1/19-45.0-135.0

***I decided to include the minutes of the workouts from 8/30-9/1 in this first post. Since I can’t really post many pictures of views in a gym, I was thinking of posting a once a week entry to explain what I did for that previous week.

Now It Feels Like Mid August

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.”

– Albert Einstein

Wow…at 6:30 am this morning it was 71 degrees with humidity that could have chocked a cat. Since it was so humid, I knew that I was going to take it much slower than I usually do. And believe me, I’m pretty slow on a normal day!

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The trail heading into a curve.

Obviously, since it was so humid, I started sweating immediately. Every step that I took just meant more and more sweat covering me as the gnats circled my head and did their best to infiltrate the liquid defense system I had sprayed on myself prior to the start of the hike. Thankfully they proved to be more of a nuisance than anything else.

As they have been so many times in the past, the woods were almost perfectly silent with the exception of an occasional bird letting me know that I wasn’t alone. It was beautiful! The video below is a minute and five seconds of serenity. This is what it sounded like for the entire hike. You can’t ask for more than this.

On my way out of the woods, I did encounter a group of hikers. They struck me as kind of odd based on a few observations. First, not one of the group (10 people and 3 dogs) had a pack. Second, with the absence of packs was also the absence of water. And third, they were all dressed as if it was late October. The first thing that I thought was if they were wearing jeans and jackets and had no water, how could they hike for any distance? With the warm temperatures and high humidity, it could make for a potentially dangerous situation.

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I have no idea why I took a photo of my boots. I was sitting on a rock, taking a break when it struck me to just take a picture of my boots. Hmmm……

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HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #27-8/17/19-4.6-120.0

The Humidity Is Here To Stay

We are wind, we are wind
And we can’t hold on
Hold on to anything we see that’s gone
We’re gone in a heartbeat, fleeting, it’s gone
We are wind, we are wind
We crumble into nothing, we are wind
Two parts me, folded together
For one brief moment everything fits
The sun

-Trey Anastasio

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A shelter not too far from the start of the trail. You could easily bring small children for an overnight at this shelter.

Today was an interesting day at Ward Pound Ridge. I did a really nice 4.3-mile loop and I actually saw two people trail running. I almost never see anyone when I’m out hiking early in the morning but today I saw two people. That is almost unheard of! The first guy would have scared the hell out of me but he had the common courtesy to yell, “good morning” when he was about 20 yards behind me. Good thing that he did because I was in a good rhythm and had no idea he was there.

The news said last night that it was supposed to be less humid this morning than it has been. I really didn’t find that to be the truth and ended up sweating like it was going out of style. With that said, it was still nice enough out and the promise is that the humidity is going to stay with us for the next three or four days. I can’t wait.

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A connector trail on today’s loop. 

So even with the promise of really high humidity in the morning, I’m already planning tomorrows hike. If you have noticed, I have kept the hikes at just around four to four and a half miles. I think it would be a good idea to keep it at that for a little while longer.

When the weather gets cooler I’ll probably think about some longer hikes but with the weather the way it is, hydration has to be my main concern. Gatorade Zero before, during and after the hike as well as 96 ounces of water. Of course, then the rest of the day will be spent getting rehydrated.

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One of the more interesting rock formations on the hike,. 

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #26-8/15/19-4.3-115.4

Back On My Feet, Again

“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey.”

“Injuries are our best teachers.”

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The view at the start of the hike an hour later than usual.

Being injured sucks. Not being able to hike sucks. Even if it’s only for a few days. Last year I couldn’t hike for half of the year because of the surgery on my ankle, and over the course of the last couple of weeks, my left knee has been bothering me. Bothering me to the point where I haven’t been able to hike or ride the stationary bike.

Is my injury a result of getting older? Overuse? Could it be genetic? I know that many in my family have bad knees and maybe it’s now my turn. I certainly hope not. Some of my family members can’t walk a straight line these days. The fact that I have been very, very careful with what I have been doing the last few months has me thinking really hard about what could have caused it. With that said, the bottom line is I need to get back out into the woods.

I am going stir crazy. Utterly crazy.  If you follow my blog, you know that hiking is my refuge, the thing that I do when I need to think or blow off steam. When I can’t hike, I get really cranky.  As it stands right now, I am in super cranky mode.

So today to I headed out into my sanctuary to see how the knee feels.

I actually picked a decent day to head back out. I ended up starting about an hour later than I am used to, but that’s ok. When I got up at 5, there was no way I could get out of bed so I waited until 5:30 and pretty much walked out the door. When I got to Ward Pound Ridge, it was a crisp 59 degrees with a slight breeze. This is not typical weather in our area for mid-August. At this time of year, we are usually looking at a great deal of heat and humidity, even at 5 or 6 am.

Needless to say, my knee didn’t feel that bad. I did make sure to keep the pace relatively slow and I avoided any rocks that looked sketchy. I know that sounds kind of wimpy, but I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore than I already was (or had been).

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More huge rocks at Ward Pound Ridge.

The picture below represents parts of the Leatherman’s Loop. As with most of the trails at Ward Pound Ridge, they are made of soft earth and tend to be rolling rather than steep ups and downs.

Overall I would call this hike a success. It was nice out and even though I started later than I have been, I didn’t see a single person. Pure bliss!!!!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #25-8/12/19-4.5-111.1

Heat And Humidity Be Damned

“You can make a step and touch the earth in such a way that you establish yourself in the present moment, and you will arrive in the here and the now. You don’t need to make any effort at all. Your foot touches the earth mindfully, fully, and you arrive firmly in the here and the now. And suddenly you are free-free from all projects, all worries, all expectations. You are fully present, fully alive, and you are touching the earth.”

***A quick note-When I arrived Ward Pound Ridge this morning, the sun was just rising and it looked magnificent. So I pulled over and went to take my camera out to get a photo and of course I had left it at home. Needless to say, this post will not have any photos.

And just like that, the humidity is back. I decided once again to hold off on hiking yesterday because of the heat and humidity, a wise choice by my estimation. But today I did get out, humidity be damned. As I fully expected, the bugs were insane, even with bug spray. Listening to them buzz and watching them dive bomb me brought back many fond memories.

But that’s ok. I have said in the last couple of weeks that the only thing that I could hear on my hikes have been my hiking sticks and boots hitting the earth. Despite sweating from the very start of the hike, the simple fact that I was out hiking was awesome.

Since the humidity was as high as it was (at 5:15 am), I took more water than I usually would and also had an extra Gatorade to keep myself hydrated. Even as I sit here writing this post, I am drinking a nice cold bottle of water.

I can’t think of anything else I would rather have been doing this morning or even at this moment.

The quote above talks about being in the “here and now.” As I make my way around the various loops in Ward Pound Ridge, I try to focus on everything that is going on around me. Unfortunately, the last couple of hikes have had a glaring absence in the number of chipmunks, squirrels, and birds. Although they do provide an excellent distraction as I hike, the silence is beautiful, especially when I take breaks.

Hiking provides a cleansing of the mind, a mental enema if you will. Be in the moment, no matter how long or short it may be. It is your moment, your time to not be burdened with the pressures of your life. Enjoy the solitude and the silence.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #24-7/31/19-4.0-106.6