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[pct-l] 20 mile days

Hey Jeff:
We've talked before.  Hang in there buddy, I'll be 50 in a month.  I
am training for next years thru hike from a somewhat sedentary job,
COP.  I have been hiking 15-20 miles once a week  now for the past
two years.  My muscle tone has improved dramatically and since I've done
things gradually I have not had any problems with feet, knees, or other
areas.  I'm 510 and weigh about 188 right now.  I figure to lose an
additional 20 lbs. on the hike.
I did a "shakedown" hike two weeks ago on a section of the PCT near my
house section B California.  I hiked in 100 degree weather and carried about
33 lbs.  I figure this will be my heavy weight pack on the trail next year
for the Sierras.  I did 17 miles with about a 3,000 foot elevation gain.  I
definitely tired at the end but felt fine.  The next day I was a little
stiff but it
worked out pretty quick.
I'm retiring early next March.  I will then hike with my pack at about 30
3-4 times a week for a month or more.  I hope this will do it. You are right
though.  The difference between 30 and 40 was big.  The difference between
40 and 50 is huge.  Hope this helps some!    Eric
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Olson" <jjolson@uwyo.edu>
To: "pct-l" <pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 7:20 PM
Subject: [pct-l] 20 mile days

> This is for all the 50+ year olds who are thinking of hiking long
> at 20 mph a day average...
> The fellow who had done a lot of planning sounded like he was in the right
> frame of mind/body to successfully complete a thruhike.
> I spent 6 weeks taking care of my mom when she was in a
> bed this summer.  I went up into Annadelle State Park at the edge of Santa
> Rosa, CA almost every day and hiked off the sense of not having a life.  I
> made sure I pushed myself to climb at least 1000' four times a week.
> Usually, I hiked to the top of Bennett Mountain, 1700' of vertical.  It
> three hours to hike about eight miles.  Lots of poison oak...
> When it was time to leave I thought I'd hike th tahoe rim trail.  I did
> planning, pushed myself in the time department when I was up in Annadelle,
> and planned to hike the 165 mile trail in nine days.
> I hiked about 39 miles or so, from Tahoe City to Mt. Rose Hwy in two days.
> I lay in my tent above frog lake under relay peak and realized I wouldn't
> able to complete the hike in the time planned.  I'd hiked 4000' vertical
> that day and was beat.  I have chronic knee pain from tight hamstrings and
> gluteus muscles.  This is a problem now ten years old.  I have big, thick
> muscles that require elongation.
> I hadn't stretched enough in the weeks prior to the hike.  Even though I
> stretched ten times a day, or more, it wasn't enough to let me see my way
> through the weakness in the middle of my legs to complete the next seven
> days.  I had the cardio fitness.  My heartbeat seldom got above 130 beats
> minute, even at 10,000'.  I didn't have the muscle readiness.
> I lay in my tent on a beautiful, cloud free evening where the temp was 70
> degrees, watching the alpenglow, wondering if I had the where withal to
> REALLY  plan a trip lasting 2600 miles.  Sure I could spend the first
> weeks doing 12 to 15 miles a day, working myself into shape.  The first
> month.  Is this practical at 50?
> I'm 6'2", 240 pounds now, down 20 pounds from two months ago.  There's
> another 30 that needs to go away.  Maybe more.  I guess all this comes
> to a question.  How realistic is it to think that even in excellent cardio
> shape, I could move in a month to 20 mile days and be energized,
> high, and routinely going to sleep anticipating waking up and leaping into
> the day.  I lay in my tent above Frog Lake and realized I would probably
> through on ibuprophen, but pay a price in permanent damage to ligaments
> cushioning meniscus, etc.  I could have finished the TRT.  I chose not to.
> I've done all the tech things.  My base weight is 12 pounds, sans food and
> water.  Those aren't the suggestions I'm looking for.  Anyone under 40
> simply has to sit back and listen.  You can't imagine.  The guy that laid
> out his plan - an e-mail thatcame in the last week has the idea.  However,
> I'm more interested in stories of 50 plus persons who are coming from the
> sedentary, weekend warrior, discovering the effects of age frame...
> I have the vision.  I need to create a path.  I need to hear your stories.
> Please write about what you did and went through to start the trail.  I
> dont' care if you finished or not.  What did you do, and what worked, and
> what would you have done differently, if anything???
> Thanks for you support and input...
> Jeffrey Olson
> Laramie Wyoming
> I was rational.
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