My Pilot Butte story

Carol Smith asked folks to share their Pilot Butte stories if so inspired. Here’s my still ongoing story:

I don’t have a Pilot Butte story but I do consider myself to be working on one.

After moving to Bend in August 2012 we climbed Pilot Butte but then gave it little thought. On January 1st 2014 we had hiked to the summit with an acquaintance for sunrise in 6°F weather and snow on the ground. We attempted another sunrise hike on January 1st 2015 but our timing was a bit late so we stopped part way up and watched the sunrise from an east-facing bench. We tried to do it this year but a temperature inversion had kept a good bit of pollution in so we (reluctantly) passed.

In mid-2014 I had some fully unexpected health issues arise. After almost 9 months and no real answers from doctors as to what the issue was I decided to try eating healthier and to try to get back to exercising.

In the past I was primarily a runner, even if any extremely fair weather one. Along with being an on-and-off one over the years. I knew my frame was not strong enough for running so decided I could use the butte since it is so handy. We live 0.65 mi from the the backside Lafayette Street park entrance. I tried doing the summit once or twice but that almost completely broke me so I switched to the base trail, which I fell in love with.

I got so good at it that last year my times just kept dropping and dropping. Eventually in later summer, I walked the 3.03 mi, from home to the base trail around and back home, in an average of 12:00 miles. This includes a fair bit of up and down. Yes, the down helps lower the uphill times but there’s still a lot of uphill.

Early this year, after some physical therapy for structural issues last fall, I began summiting. Now most of my hikes include both the base trail and the summit. I have even now worked up to twice around the base trail and once to the summit and back for three laps, and once so far I managed a 2×2 with a base, summit, base, summit hike for endurance.

I have ran/walked the base trail a couple times over last fall and this year so far. A couple weeks ago I ran/walked the summit and earlier today I ran/walked the Pilot Butte Challenge course. It was still far tougher than I would like but I also know I have a long, long way to go to be in good shape.

Clearly I have to do other things than hike to get there but Pilot Butte has been a major instrument in getting me there. It is full of an ever-cycling profusion of wildlife, be it plants or animals. The views are incredible and inspiring, be it the gorgeous Cascades to the west, the hills on the way, Newberry Caldera in the south, the austere beauty of eastern Oregon, or the grandeur of Smith Rock and Mount Hood to the north.

I now have 442 miles in the Pilot Butte Century Club since ~March 2014. Some people summit 4-5 times a day, almost every day. I would like to be able to do that too, although it would only be a once in a while thing for me, I think. If I can do that hike then I would probably prefer to get out and do more of the amazing hikes in and around Bend than I have so far.

I will keep hiking Pilot Butte whether it is the base trail or the base and summit. In the winter I will take the road when I have to.

Maybe Pilot Butte isn’t fully responsible for saving my life but it has been a major factor in my renewal. I am so very thankful that it is as close as it is to us so I can walk to it and back. It is a massive inspiration and I love its trails. The butte is there. Has been and will be for a long, long time. Perhaps it’s that love that has saved me.


My other 10 or so Pilot Butte posts can be found here.

 

Delavier’s Core Training Anatomy

Delavier’s Core Training Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier and Michael Gundill

Date read: 01-07 March 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc

Cover image of Delavier's Core Training Anatomy book

Paperback, 144 pages
Published 2010 by Human Kinetics (“This book is a revised edition of Des Abdos D’Enfer, published in 2010 by Éditions Vigot.” — Half t.p. verso)
Source: Own

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Part 1 20 Steps to Creating the Perfect Core workout Program
  • Part 2 Increase the Visibility of Your Abs
  • Part 3 Basic Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs
  • Part 4 Advanced Exercises and Techniques
  • Part 5 Exercises Using Machines and Accessories
    Part 6 Workout Programs for Abdominal and Core Muscles
  • Exercise Index

While the title of this book claims to be focused on core anatomy I am a bit disappointed in that coverage. It does cover the abs quite well. Of course, the abs are part of the core, and a few of the exercises also strengthen other core muscles, but there is otherwise absolutely no coverage of the other core muscles, or even a discussion of balancing the entire core. That seems odd for a book titled “core.” Perhaps the American publisher hosed the title; in French it is Abs of Hell.

Considering this as a book about the abdominal muscles and their care and keeping, it is quite good.

Part 1 considers 20 questions/factors so that you can either build and focus your own training plans, along with verifying theirs for yourself. Some of these factors are: Set your goals, how many workouts each week, how many sets, how many exercises for each muscle, how many reps per set, rest time between sets, choosing exercises that work for you, and so on. Many of these are pulled apart based on the four possible main goals that are elucidated: strengthening core, losing inches off waist, using as a cardio workout, and improving athletic performance.

Part 2 is a short section focusing on exactly what it says, Increase the Visibility of Your Abs. Not my concern so am happy that the coverage—while good—was short.

Part 3 Basic Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs goes through 17 exercises covering the rectus abdominis, obliques, stability, breathing exercises, stretching the abdominal muscles, the hip flexors, and the low back. Anatomical drawings showing the muscles in use, along with photos of the exercise being performed, really help to understand what is going on. Variations are provided for each exercise, some to make it easier and some to make it more difficult.

Part 4 Advanced Exercises and Techniques discusses isolating the upper from the lower abs and provides 7 exercises for the upper abdominals, lower abdominals, and the obliques.

Part 5 Exercises Using Machines and Accessories discusses home and professional machines and again provides 7 exercises for the upper abdominals, lower abdominals, and the obliques.

Part 6 Workout Programs for Abdominal and Core Muscles provides 8 programs under Six-Pack Programs, 4 under Programs for Well-Being, and 4* under Sport-Specific Core Programs. I put an * for sport-specific because there are actually 19 specific sport programs after 3 more general athletic-enhancing ones. Along with those, most of the programs I listed have a beginning and an advanced version, and sometimes even more. So quite a few programs are provided for the novice or anyone who simply doesn’t want to bother with making their own programs, at least starting out.

An Exercise Index is also provided.

The book is easy to understand and does a good job pointing out dangerous practices and how to do these exercises properly.

Most of the exercises require no equipment as that is where they chose to focus. They do bring a a few bits using hanging bars, stability balls, and a few ab machines but the vast majority are equipment free.

Highly recommended.

I previously reviewed Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy and have been meaning to get around to reading some others.

This is the 16th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Pilot Butte Update 5: Goals attained

Intro

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

Second Century

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.

PB2ndCentury

I grabbed a blank Century Club Mileage Log on my way round the base for my 3rd.

Issues

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.

Summiting

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.

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

Centuries Completed

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?

PRs

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.

Other Walking

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.

2015 Goals

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.

October 2015

  • 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)]
Screen snap from MayMyRun site of my baseline hike up Pilot Butte

Screen snap from MayMyRun site of my baseline hike up Pilot Butte. Not the Challenge course but a known entity for me to train over, Besides, the rest of the Challenge course is flat. I simply cut out the flat parts at the top and bottom.

Winter 2015-16

  • Keep hiking both base and summit, as can

March 2016

  • 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]

April 2016

  • Start run/walking base trail concentrating on uphill sections

May

  • Try jogging whole way to summit

June

  • Run/walk summit concentrating on steeper sections

Mid-July

  • Run summit for time

Late September

  • Pilot Butte Challenge

Previous posts

Previous posts about or mentioning Pilot Butte:

DigiWriMo 2015 [mentioned as a writing project]

Pilot Butte Update 4

PRs and first Century. And another PR in the comments

Pilot Butte Update 3

Ran the base trail (once)

Atkeson – Oregon II [mentioned a photo most likely taken from the butte]

Pilot Butte Update 2

“Maybe I can complete two Centuries this year.”

Pilot Butte Inspiration

“The Pilot Butte Challenge is barely a dream at this point.”

Exercise goals for 2015

Pictures

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!]

Wrap-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.

This makes me happy.

Pilot Butte Update 4

Wow. The last update was 24 March: Pilot Butte Update 3.

I left off in week 13 and now we’re in week 30. ::sigh:: I guess I could say there have been a lot of ups and downs in between but that’s too easy of a gag. And, sadly, the metaphoric use would more honestly be mostly downs.

There was one awesome high point though. I was walking really well in late April and throughout most of May. On 5 May I set a personal record (PR) of 14:17 min/mile averages with nice negative splits.

On the morning of 18 May I set out with no particular goal. When I got the first half mile split of around a 14:30 min/mile I told myself I had best slow down. I listened for a second or two and then said, “But I feel great” to myself and just walked. At mile 1 I got that 14:34 split [see below] and decided I still felt great and if that kept up I could set a PR. Things felt awesome all the way through so I went for it.

13:32 min/miles. Walking. Up and down.

Pilot Butte walking PR set 18 May 2015

Pilot Butte walking PR set 18 May 2015

Here’s the [rough] elevation change for this hike, in case you don’t know it [some of these numbers are silly but the consensus seems to be ~260 feet change from top to bottom, but there are a lot of ups and downs between those limits. And the elevation under Max and Min is far closer to our elevation above sea level]:

PB_PR_18052015_Elev

This was definitely a high point. Not just in my walking but period. For the year so far. I was definitely stoked.

After that my health, mental and physical, went to shit for various reasons and in various ways. I spent a few hours in the emergency room one Sunday evening/Monday morning. I injured myself a couple times. And so on.

My hiking was, again, impacted. I have mostly gotten back to it; at a reduced pace, to say the least. Other changes are afoot. Trying to do some yoga and stretching, to practice mindfulness and meditate, and our diet is under revision towards an anti-inflammatory one. None of it can hurt and I sure hope it helps, especially the diet.

And now for the news that prompted this update. I completed my first Century Club this past Monday, 20 July.

My 1st full Pilot Butte Century Club card

My 1st full Pilot Butte Century Club card

I was unable to get to multiple circumferences in one trip yet—I was hoping for running to easily enable that but it looks like I won’t be running for a good while unless my health really improves. Hiking will do.

I picked up my next blank Century Club card that morning and hope to add my first entry to it in an hour or so. My goal is to fill it before 2015 is out. If I can just get back to doing it a little more frequently AND keep that up, I can do it.

One other “high point.” Sara and I hiked up on 1 July for sunrise exactly half a year after our 1 January sunrise summit. Our timing was off a bit and we would’ve been around the West side when the sun rose and not quite to the top so we climbed back down a little way, sat on a bench, and watched the sun rise. Good enough.

Pilot Butte Update 3

My last Pilot Butte update was in Pilot Butte Update 2 on March 1st. We left off in week 9; here we are in week 13. The last 3 weeks have all been less mileage than week 7 or 9 but they are over 8 miles, which is my target.

  • Week 7     16.19 mi
  • Week 8     8.96 mi
  • Week 9     13.77 mi
  • Week 10    9.71 mi
  • Week 11    9.74 mi
  • Week 12*    11.42 mi

* See below for why week 12 has an asterisk.

Century Club

All of this walking has led from being 30% done with my 1st Century Club in the last update to today’s 50%!

Photo of my Pilot Butte Century Card half full 24 March 2015

It is only March 24th and I have already completed half of the 50 trips around to “equal” 100 miles. 😀

Running

On the 18th of March (* week 12) I set out to do some easy intervals; that is, do some jogging for short stretches alternating with longer walking. I had done that once back a week or so previously.

I wore my new tights, strapped on my running shoes and CamelBak and headed out. I did use Map My Run and recorded it only within the park, which is where I ran. I walked to/from the park.

I ended up running the entire way. Just under 1.8 mi. Seriously kicked my rear end, especially that back half, and somehow I even ended up with a negative split.

I mentioned it on Twitter and got congrats from, and had a short conversation with, two women runners and friends who inspire me. Means a lot to me that they noticed and commented.

Here are a couple images from May My Run; two are from the mobile app and one is from the website.

Screenshot from Map My Run of trail run at Pilot Butte 18 March 2015

From Map My run app

Screenshot from Map My Run of trail run at Pilot Butte 18 March 2015

From Map My run app

The same is shown in another format. And the website [sorry, only a screenshot of one part] has this nifty thing that moves the marker, in sync, around the route both on the map and on the elevation and pace graph.

Screenshot from Map My Run website of trail run at Pilot Butte 18 March 2015

From the Map My Run website (Can be embiggened by clicking.)

Anyway, I am quite pleased with myself and look forward to when I can go running again. Also to finishing my 1st Century Club. Can I do the back half even faster than the first? A negative split, in effect. I bet I can.

I’m not looking for congratulations or kudos of any kind but I documented some of my Pilot Butte exploits here already, and I want to do a better job commenting some on the changes moving to Bend entailed. I have not done a good job of that at all. By meeting both those needs and posting it here I can be reminded of how damn good this felt. To me.

Pilot Butte Update 2

In which I give an update to my hiking of Pilot Butte and more general walking and other exericse.

I first addressed Pilot Butte in my Exercise goals for 2015 post and again in the Pilot Butte Inspiration post of 10 February, which makes this update 2.

The gist was that I was going to climb Pilot Butte a minimum of 1x/week but that was causing my back to hurt too much so I decided to hike the base trail around, which really is as much up and down but in shorter more frequent doses. I also started working toward the Century Club.

In the last update I had hiked the butte 9 times by the end of week 7. Week 9 just ended—also ending month 2—and I have have hiked it now 15 times. That is 30% of the way to the Century Club with only 16.7% of the year gone by. Maybe I can complete two Centuries this year.

a photo of my Century Club card filled out to date

Times are still quite good (for me, and in my opinion) and I do not detect any kind of overuse issues beginning. I do need to get new walking/hiking shoes soon though. Should be good for running shoes but got cold again so that’ll wait.

Tights update: new tights are boring black. ::sad face:: Seems fashion moves on. Colorful tights are only available in 3/4 length tights currently; at least at the local store I went to. Maybe elsewhere the situation is different … but 3/4 length are nowhere near my radar currently. I have tights though. Of course, as soon as I got them the weather turned cold again and we even got snow and ice. It is winter after all. 😀

And thank you, Mom, seriously, for helping me with the tights. They may be boring but they should be effective. That’s what truly matters. You know me, though. Loud and flashy.

At work yesterday I went through the current version (Oct 2012) of US Army FM 7-22 Army Physical Readiness Training [PDF ~24 MB) and got a lot of good info to start doing other things besides walk/hike and pull-/chin-ups.

As for weekly mileage, in the last update we were still in week 7:

  • Week 7     16.19 mi
  • Week 8     8.96 mi
  • Week 9     13.77 mi
So despite week 6 being crap I have been over 8 mi/wk since. This pleases me greatly.
I think that’s it for now.

Pilot Butte Inspiration

I walked to, around and back home from Pilot Butte again this morning. Early in the trip, as I started to swing around the south side from the west to the east the low morning sun was directly in my eyes and casting long shadows all the way around to the northeast side. The assorted high desert grasses were glistening in the sun from the frozen dew still clinging to them.

The various playing of the light, amongst other wonderful things, was very inspiring this morning. I started thinking about how I was looking forward to when I can finally say I ran the base trail. I also decided I was looking forward to my next summiting, and especially—more long-term, of course—my first summit running the entire way. The Pilot Butte Challenge is barely a dream at this point.

On the way home I started thinking I ought try and make a small observation of my hike—kind of like Dave Bonta does from his porch each morning. I focused on the sunlight and glistening grasses from earlier. I had a couple thoughts and wrote them down as soon as I got home, quickly hashed them out and then tweeted my 1st #PilotButte observation:

Blistering low morning sun casting lengthy shadows : the high desert grasses wear glistening mantles. #PilotButte

https://twitter.com/mrlindner/status/565184974928609280 ]

I may try and keep that up. I do want to pay attention also as I get exercise. The spiritual may be as important as the physical right now.

Clearly the inspiration was evident in my next tweet:

Hey #inBend runners, I haven’t bought a pair of tights since the last century. What do I need to know about 21st-c running tights?

https://twitter.com/mrlindner/status/565205249808281600 ]

While I was walking I realized that if I wasn’t going to wait until high summer to run outdoors I will need tights. I may have a pair still but, if so, they are at least 20 years old and worn out. A nice colorful new pair sounds like just the thing to provide a little inspiration of their own.

As I stated previously, I am attempting to walk around (or up and down) Pilot Butte an average of 1x/week this year. So far, I have accomplished this 9 times and we’re only in week 7. I am also attempting to complete the Century Club this year but if I meet (or exceed) my average then I will have.

I am also attempting to walk a minimum of 8 mi/week knowing I still need to get my average up to that point. To this point my averages have been:

  • Week 1*: 3.2 mi
  • Week 2: 7.4 mi
  • Week 3: 5.27 mi
  • Week 4: 10.85 mi
  • Week 5: 7.83 mi
  • Week 6: 2.98 mi
  • Week 7: 6.25 mi^
  • * Week 1 was only 1-3 Jan (Thu-Sat)
  • ^ This week still has four days and I will be walking a decent bit, I hope, in Astoria Friday through Sunday.

So last week was a bust. Oh well. It happens. The weather was somewhat unpleasant for a while but not sure what was the real issue.

Back at home this morning, after a delicious homemade 2nd breakfast, I realized I should look at Runkeeper to see what kind of elevation change I face on this walk.

Screen capture from Runkeeper showing my pace and elevation change across my hike this morning

My pace and elevation change across my hike this morning. I love that the pace is still dropping at that elevation spike between 1.9-2.3 mi.

Looking at those numbers I decided to screen shot it and tweet it:

I may be seriously out of shape but Pilot Butte & I are coming to terms. (Home to base trail around to home.) pic.twitter.com/HY79LGB4or

https://twitter.com/mrlindner/status/565242435283214336 ]

My time just keeps improving and I wasn’t even particularly working it this morning. I am not sure what is making me unhappy lately but this—all of it—I am very happy about.

Exercise goals for 2015

Back in December when I saw the endocrinologist we had no real leads so I brought up that I needed to get back “in shape” so we could help ascertain what are “real” symptoms of whatever is the health issue and the those of the larger health issue of absolutely poor fitness.

I have always been a “fair weather” exerciser. Motivation is my personal downfall. I have the education and knowledge (and personal library) and was even once certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Fitness Trainer and am a US Army Master Fitness Trainer.

So. This year. I am trying to build on the motivation I grasped at at the doctor’s office. I do NOT like how I feel and how my illness makes me so I am currently highly motivated (for me).

For annual review at the start of the year I grabbed some numbers I had written down at least a year ago, maybe closer to two, for a “goal.” I was to walk a minimum of 4 mi/week and run (once I started) a min. of 15 mi/week. Surgery and forest fires and a move and selling the treadmill all added up to zilch running and pretty much the same for walking. Since Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café was about the only place to walk from our previous place and it involved a big hill it was hard to get in 4 mi/week.

Where we live now we can do all kinds of walking, although I would do a LOT more if Bend would do something about being a pedestrian here. You know, like they actually want them. Starting with some freaking sidewalks, everywhere. And then enforcing clearing of sidewalks, etc.

Anyway … we live quite near Pilot Butte State Park so I decided I wanted to walk a minimum of 4 mi/wk AND climb Pilot Butte an average of once/week.

We began the new year with a pre-dawn climb with a new friend. There was a couple day fresh pack of snow on the trails and we crested four minutes before sun up. Good thing too as it was in the single digits temperature-wise. Quite glorious actually.

Picture of the sun peaking over the eastern hills from the summit of Pilot Butte, Bend, OR

Sun up (7:41 am) 1 January 2015 from the crest of Pilot Butte

I managed to climb it again with Sara six days later and then by myself six days after that. I treated that one as sort of a “fitness test” and it almost killed me despite a strong start. My back really tried to completely break me during and for a couple days after. My next climb was about eight or nine days later (but still making average) and I took it much slower. I also took the road up that day and the trail down, instead of trail for both. My back still hurt a fair bit but began much later and did not last as long.

Picture from the summit of Pilot Butte on 7 January 2015 just a few minutes past sunup but looking west to the Cascades.

The summit of Pilot Butte on 7 January 2015 just a few minutes past sunup but looking west to the Cascades.

Another issue with climbing the butte is that from our house, if I take the most likely way and then the trail up and down, it is a 4.5 mi walk. So achieving my Pilot Butte climb gives me more mileage than I had as a goal. Silly, boy.

Nonetheless, I decided that maybe I am not yet in the shape necessary for climbing the butte. I could always take the base trail around and get in a lot of up and down and several miles but not the mostly up and mostly down of trying to crest.

With that in mind, this morning I tried to find the base trail from our way in and got off to the wrong start and was doing way too much climbing pretty much straight up the side. NOT what I had in mind. I retraced and re-found my way to the base trail and took it the whole way around. My back was not happy early on but after my mis-taken route it only made sense.

I have decided that taking the base trail around or some even longer version can count as “doing” Pilot Butte for now. When I got to the trailhead I also found the poster and cards for the Century Club.

Picture of Century Club tracking postcard

Postcard to track your Century Club progress. Available at the signpost for the Club near the trailhead.

Basically, for them, up and down once or around the base trail once is “2 miles” and 50 times gets you in the Century Club and a certificate. Some of those folks have clearly been doing it for decades as they have thousands of “laps”.

So my revised goals are:

Walking

  • 8 mi/week [till needs to go up]
  • Pilot Butte 1x/week
  • Make the Century Club by the end of 2015

Running

  • That is flexible as I have no idea if I will be in good enough shape to try running soon but I hope to, especially if the weather stays anything like this. Ha ha ha.

I am also building myself a pull-up bar from galvanized steel piping. I have an over-the-door one but I can’t make it work in this house. I am hoping that by having it there and handy I will treat it as a exercise of opportunity.

I am also doing (too infrequently) a little hopping around aerobic/calisthenic/strength routine that takes about 5 minutes to do.

There is also a Pilot Butte Challenge in September that I would like to do perhaps in 2016 if I can get in much better shape. But that is another day. I may go to registration on 7 February to see about volunteering. That way I can easily learn more about how it is run; managed, that is.

When I got home today Runkeeper joyously announced that I had achieved the most elevation gain in a month, 3488 ft. I’m guessing that’ll get broken soon.

My main goals are: to build cardiovascular endurance, gain strength, sleep better, be in far less pain, be able to determine a pain is indicative of an actual short-term problem versus arising from gross structural inadequacy, and those sorts of larger-scale more important things than simply tracking miles or reps.

Speaking of more important things, I leave you with one of my favorite junipers on Pilot Butte:

Picture of a juniper tree on Pilot Butte at Pilot Butte State Park, Bend, OR