Back on 26 January I wrote my first post, Exercise goals for 2015, that included Pilot Butte, our local cinder cone and State Park. Due to health issues I needed to get in better shape. It has been an assortment of struggles but I have managed.
As for walking, this is what I wrote in that post as my revised 2015 goals:
- 8 mi/week [till needs to go up]
- Pilot Butte 1x/week
- Make the Century Club by the end of 2015
Yesterday (Friday, 6 November) I completed my 100th lap of either up and down and/or around Pilot Butte. My second Century completed this year! This being week 45 means I have done it an average of 2.22 times per week. Or, as I’ll get to, those 100 laps happened over 88 actual trips, so let’s say an average of 1.95x/week.
There have been assorted delays, setbacks, etc. on the way to this achievement. I started the year pretty well broken physically and I am still working to correct that in some ways but have made great progress. My feet and legs were completely broken from bad shoes and too much walking in Portland during weeks 14 and 15.
Mentioning Portland, we’ve had several trips to Portland, Corvallis and Eugene that took away from my ability to do the Butte. Late in the evening of 14 June I spent several hours in the emergency room as every muscle in my neck and upper back was in complete spasm. That was another week or so I couldn’t do much physically. I have lately been doing physical therapy to correct that issue. Between 19-30 September it was too smoky out from forest fires. And so on.
I started out summiting the first four trips to the butte but my back was hurting too much so I started doing the base trail, which probably has more overall up and down but is less taxing since it isn’t mostly all up and then mostly all down. I didn’t summit again until 1 April. Then 10 May, 26 September (Pilot Butte Challenge), and 27 Sep for Super Blood Moon.
Being both inspired by the Pilot Butte Challenge [here and here] (which I volunteered at this year but want to do next) and by the fact that I summited again the very next day, carrying a folding chair and goodies, for the Super Blood Moon I decided to start trying to summit more often. I have done it another eight times since the end of September. And all of those have been doubles.
It turns out that since I have to take a good portion of the base trail around to get to the start of the nature trail to the top I have basically gone half way around just to get to the trail up. The other half of the base trail is only 0.17 mi longer. So I always now get two laps if I summit as I just go the rest of the way around the base trail on the way home. My first couple of doubles, though, were by doing the base trail twice around in the same trip. I first did that on 31 July, then 14 and 31 August. Since then, all of my doubles have been base and summit trips. Number of doubles by month: 1 July & September, 2 August, 5 October and 3 November (so far; as of 6th). The last four trips have all been doubles.
- Jan 6 laps for 6 trips
- Feb 9 laps for 9 trips
- Mar 10 laps for 10 trips
- Apr 5 laps for 5 trips
- May 7 laps for 7 trips
- Jun 7 laps for 7 trips
- Jul 10 laps for 9 trips : 1st x2
- Aug 9 laps for 7 trips : 2 x2
- Sep 12 laps for 11 trips : 1 x2
- Oct 19 laps for 14 trips : 5 x2
- Nov 6 laps for 3 trips : 3 x2
100 laps for 88 trips
I completed my first Century on 20 July and my second on 6 November, as I wrote earlier. So it took me until day 201 to complete the first and only until day 310 for the second (or 109 days); I almost cut the time in half.
Can I get 25 more trips by the end of the year?
I had several PRs (personal records) along the way but the main ones were 22 July, with an average of 13:00/mile (walking) over 3.03 mi, which I thought I could never beat, and a week later on 7 August with an average of 12:05/mile and a time of 36:41 over 3.04 mi. I truly do not see myself breaking that any time soon. I was really, really, really pissed off about something that morning so I was in some sense already warmed up. Seeing as I didn’t believe I was ever breaking the 13:00/mile record I just set out. Getting that first half mile split from MapMyRun/Hike I told myself to slow down. Then told myself I felt fine and probably told myself to shut the fuck up with the self-direction giving and walk. Pace continued to be blistering and I felt good—at least for a while—so I kept at it. Eventually it wasn’t really fun anymore but I was still cooking so I stubbornly kept at it. Somehow—I still do not believe it myself except that I “was there” and I heard the splits in my earbuds and MayMyRun got the whole thing recorded with no hiccups—I took another 55 seconds per mile off my PR. Craziness.
Amongst all this walking of Pilot Butte, I have increased my walking around town (most of downtown is from 1-1.25 mi from our house), I walked all around Portland, Corvallis and Eugene, and I went on several other hikes, including one in Eugene. On 26 April Sara and I went out and took the Flatiron Trail in the Oregon Badlands. I also went on all three of the BMBW ONDA Bend-area brewery hikes: 20 May at Scout Camp with Crux, 12 June at the Oregon Badlands (a different section) with Worthy, and 24 July at Black Canyon at Sutton Mountain with Deschutes. On 21 September I took myself out the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway and hiked up Tumalo Mountain.
I have recorded walks totally 510.2 miles so far this year; divided by 45 weeks give 11.33 mi/week so far. It seems that I have achieved all of my walking goals for the year. There were a total of 14 weeks where I had less than 8 miles in them but the last was 10 weeks ago, with the previous one 8 weeks before that. Thus, the vast majority were early on in the year or due to injuries and smoke-filled unhealthy air.
My other moan goals for the year didn’t work out anywhere near as well. I basically failed at all of them. Lots of extenuating circumstances, including aspects of my health and related issues, but I failed at them nonetheless. That was pretty devastating earlier in the year when it happened and, despite accepting it all, it is still fraught with repercussions for me.
This post and taking the time to look at these numbers and such to put it in perspective has helped mitigate those failures a lot. I nailed my walking goals for the year! More importantly, it has immensely improved my health and attitude.
Pilot Butte Challenge 2016 prep
Like I said above, volunteering at the Pilot Butte Challenge—a 1+ mi run mostly uphill—got me motivated for next year and I drafted an early training plan over the next couple of days. It has been modified a little since late September/early October and it will no doubt be modified in the coming months, especially as we see how my getting out during winter actually went and how soon I get started on serious training next year. Then there’s keeping healthy, needing smoke-free air and so on.
- Begin summiting more frequently [began Oct 2015]
- Get a base summit time (by self) early [did 4 Oct 2015 14:45.28 (watch) :: 7 Oct 2015 0.86 mi in 14:29 @16:46 (MapMyRun)]
- Keep hiking both base and summit, as can
- Start pushing through steeper sections, ‘resting’ on less steep. [aim for 15:30 through the middle uphill section (1.5 – 2.0 mi from home CCW). Did roughly 16:30 through there 28 Oct 2015]
- Start run/walking base trail concentrating on uphill sections
- Try jogging whole way to summit
- Run/walk summit concentrating on steeper sections
- Run summit for time
- Pilot Butte Challenge
DigiWriMo 2015 [mentioned as a writing project]
PRs and first Century. And another PR in the comments
Ran the base trail (once)
Atkeson – Oregon II [mentioned a photo most likely taken from the butte]
“Maybe I can complete two Centuries this year.”
“The Pilot Butte Challenge is barely a dream at this point.”
For the more pictorially-minded, I have a set of 74 photos from the January 1st sunrise hike in Flickr and have just uploaded another 255 photos I have taken of and from the butte since then. [Flickr is being extremely ignorant and some of the photos are clearly not in chronological order, although most are. Asses me up!]
All in all, my progress on these goals is very heartening. As I said earlier, in other areas I have had an often horrible year; a very demoralizing one.
This makes me happy.