Friday, February 18, 2011

Intense Training

Recently, in a forum I enjoy participating in, the question was asked, "What is something you're proud of accomplishing?"  There are many ways to answer this, but the theme of the question dealt with overcoming something physical.  My response, participating in three 60 mile walks; hiking the Grand Canyon from rim to rim in a day, 3 times; and running a half marathon.  Those comments have been lingering in my mind ever since.  Not only did I participate, but I had to train in preparation.  Not just training and participating, but doing it all in a span of 40 months.  The events themselves total roughly 200 miles. 

Training for the 3 Day 60 Mile walks consisted of low mileage, frequent walks at the beginning, slowly building to higher mileage, less frequent walks as time passed.  I didn't keep actual training logs, but based on estimates I would have walked 1260 miles over a 36 week training period.  That's an average of 5 miles a day for 9 months. 

The Grand Canyon hikes took place in Fall of 2003, Spring of 2004 and Spring 2005.  We did  group training hikes that consisted of 15-20 mile hikes multiple times.  Toss in another 200 miles of training (including my own solitude hikes).  Also keep in mind that to hike the Grand Canyon means carrying all of the food and water needed, except for a water refill at Phantom ranch, plus temperature extremes of 60+ degrees from the 40* low at the beginning to the 100*+ at Phantom Ranch. 

Then I ran the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon in January of 2005, 3 months after my 2nd completion of The 3 Day.  Well, I ran the 1/2 marathon, have no interest in the full one!  I'm guessing another 250 miles in the 3 months from one event to the other.

While writing this I recalled yet another distance event-a duathalon in Feb 2004.  I ran a 10K and cycled 20 miles.  In this duathalon, the 10K is split up before and after the cycling.  I didn't train a whole lot for that, just made sure I could ride my bike for that many miles and then get off and run without falling down from rubber legs!  So maybe another 100 miles training for that.

Then there's the gym 3+ times per week, the occasional 5K, and hikes just for fun.

What's the grand total?  Over 1800 miles in 40 months, or 45 miles a month.  Broken down that way doesn't sound that extreme, but there were periods of no training-a whole year at one point, so it's more like 1800 miles in 28 months, or 65 miles a month!  That's still only 2 miles a day on average, but remember that it was more a matter of longer distances fewer times than a low, consistent average.  I think that was the precursor to pushing my body over the edge into extreme adrenal fatigue.  I think, based on symptoms that I've always had some level of it, and each training event made it worse.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!