Saturday, January 31, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Springer Saturday #4

The Springer Mountain Shelter. All along the trail these are placed roughly 8-15 miles apart (i.e. a day's hike) and can be used in lieu of a tent. 

Date: January 31, 2015
Current Week: 01/28/15 - 02/4/15
Days until Amicalola: 53
Pounds to next weight goal: 9.2 (+4.2)
Total Loss Last Week: 2.2
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 30
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 250
Minutes Exercised, Week: 111
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

One problem with keeping a daily journal is that can feel like a roller coaster. Today's weight recording is a good example of this problem. I'm a bit perplexed at the result's considerable reversal. It's not that I wasn't anticipating a bit of a reverse. I did have a bigger dinner after a typically big lunch yesterday, and I did break my 8:00 PM rule for a small late night snack. However, this shouldn't have resulted in that much of an increase.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Keeping the Streak Alive

This is along the Appalachian Trail near Roan Mountain. Contrary to the appearance these are not alpine meadows. The balds are maintained by using various methods, including cattle and goats. The only parts of the Appalachian Trail above the tree line are in New Hampshire and Maine.


Date: January 30, 2015
Current Week: 01/28/15 - 02/4/15
Days until Amicalola: 54
Pounds to next weight goal: 5.0 (-1.4)
Total Loss Last Week: 2.2
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 40
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 250
Minutes Exercised, Week: 81
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

This workweek began with disappointment, but its ended much better. Four straight days I've mostly stuck to my plan, and the results have shown the wisdom of that. I've still got some work to do, particularly adding a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to my meals, and cutting back on the greasy, salty lunches. However, I've made great strides in exercise and calorie management.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Keep on Truckin'

I believe this is on the Appalachian Trail looking NOBO not too far away from Newfound Gap in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If it isn't, it's doing a pretty good impression of the trail there.


Date: January 29, 2015
Current Week: 01/28/15 - 02/4/15
Days until Amicalola: 55
Pounds to next weight goal: 6.4 (-1.2)
Total Loss Last Week: 2.2
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 41
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 250
Minutes Exercised, Week: 41
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

Three days of keeping track of what I eat*, and three days of the scale going the right direction. You know, I make this same realization every three months or so. You'd think I would have caught on by now, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Eight Weeks and Counting

A tranquil pond at the base of some cliffs. Not pictured: The lethargic cottonmouth basking at the edge of the road not too far from here. 


Date: January 28, 2015
Current Week: 01/28/15 - 02/4/15
Days until Amicalola: 56
Pounds to next weight goal: 7.6 (-2.4)
Total Loss Last Week: 2.2
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 35
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 250
Minutes Exercised, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

It was a close run thing, but week three of my countdown ended up heading in the right direction. While not a major loss, it's still almost three times the previous week's tally. This, coupled with over an hour of additional exercise during the week, made it a very good start.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Bouncing Back

Where is this along the Appalachian Trail? Um, nowhere, as this is Garden of the Gods in southern Illinois.
Date: January 27, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 57
Pounds to next weight goal: 10 (-3.2)
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 35
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 215
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

Well that was a good bounce in the right direction. Clearly recording what I was eating (at least for breakfast and lunch) helped me limit my dinner. By easing off in the evening, and getting more than 30 minutes of exercise, I was able to cancel out most of the past weekend. As long as I can stick with this, I think I may be able to keep things going well.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Cooking the Books

This picture has nothing to do with this post or with the Appalachian Trail. Eh, I guess one those hedgehogs kind of look like me on the scale this morning.


Date: January 26, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 58
Pounds to next weight goal: 13.2 +2.2
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 180
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

So that seems to be going the wrong way, isn't it? At first, I have to admit I was perplexed by this result, but then I remembered that I had really splurged for lunch, going three courses at one of my favorite casual restaurants. It's quite possible that I went over my calorie limit on that one meal, and followed it up with a less ostentatious, but still calorie heavy dinner later in the evening. That, coupled with a relatively small amount of exercise, certainly didn't help my day. Had I been tracking what I ate, I probably could have avoided this mess.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Walking through Chicago

This Appalachian Trail marker is from a sidewalk in Hot Springs, NC. This is one of several places along the trail where it goes directly through a town.
Date: January 25, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 59
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.0 (0.0)
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 83
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 160
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

Although I didn't do any hiking yesterday, I did get two nice walks in walking from Union Station in downtown Chicago to the AMC River East 21 and back. It's the polar opposite of where we'll be hiking come March, although the tall buildings do occasionally look like mountains made of glass and steel, instead of granite and trees. This was good enough to cancel out a day full of crappy eating, leaving me this morning where I was on Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Springer Saturday #3

The Appalachian Trail on its way towards Katahdin. This is pretty close to the summit of Springer Mountain.


Date: January 24, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 60
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.0 +1.2
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 27
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 77
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

So I took it a bit too easy last night, got up early this morning, and that resulted in a not so good day. That's OK, these kind of days happen. I did end up walking for 27 minutes on Friday, so at least I got some exercise in. I still think this week is going to turn out fine, helped by over four miles of walking earlier today (more on that tomorrow).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Microspikes and the Mystery Box

One of the namesake rocks from Elephant Rocks state park. The place got its name from the rocks looking like a train of elephants walking single file.


Date: January 23, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 61
Pounds to next weight goal: 9.8 (0.0)
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 50
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

So another day standing still, which means one day less to make progress. The simple fact is I need to increase my exercise and eat better. I'm making it a goal to clean out my refrigerator this weekend, which will help encourage me to restock it with things that will help me in this effort.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Standing Still on Shaky Ground

Lighthouse at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I figured a picture taken while on a beach would go with the "shaky ground" theme of this post.

Date: January 21, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 62
Pounds to next weight goal: 9.8 (0.0)
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 30
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 30
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

Let's start with the positive. I didn't go up between yesterday morning and today, so that's not bad. I also bumped my exercise total up to 30 minutes, including a ten minute walk carrying my laptop in its bag and a full 32oz water bottle. It was a tenuous step towards exercise with additional weight carried by me. Continuing to ramp this up will help train my body for carrying a pack. I've yet to actually strap the pack on during exercise, but that will be coming at some point soon (no later than 62 days, I'd imagine).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Say Hello to Week Three

A bridge along the Limberlost Trail at Shenandoah National Park. Although the Appalachian Trail goes through the park, this is not part of it. Still, it's a nice easy trail through the woods.

Date: January 21, 2015
Current Week: 01/21/15 - 01/27/15
Days until Amicalola: 63
Pounds to next weight goal: 9.8 (N/A)
Total Loss Last Week: 0.8
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 179
Minutes Exercised, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

So that didn't turn out as bad as I had thought. Because of the long weekend and the bad result on Saturday morning, I was worried I was going to be up for the week. However, being down, even a little, is OK. It certainly could have been worse, although I'll need to do better than about 0.1 pounds per day if I'm going to be close to what I want to be by the time I start hiking.

Dispatches from the Popcorn Trail: Wild


Note: Normally this feature would be part of our other blog, Doctor Strangeblog, but due to this Wild being about a long distance hike, it seemed like a good opportunity for a cross-over post. In short, this is a very lazy way of creating two posts for the price of one!

In the film Wild, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) is not an exemplary long distance hiker. She heads off to start her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail with an overstuffed and oversized pack. She isn't the greatest at following "Leave No Trace", letting some of her trash just get carried away in the wind. She clearly did very little research or planning before her hike, buying shoes that were too small and purchasing the wrong kind of fuel for her camp stove. If her story as a hiker is useful, it's only as a cautionary tale to those who are considering a long distance hike.

Icefalls and Eagles: Winter Hike at Starved Rock

Icefall in French Canyon. Yes, I had to walk up the iced over stream into the canyon to take this picture.
This past Saturday I made my third hike in the past year at Starved Rock State Park near Utica, IL. Each hike has been in a different season. The first was last Spring, just as the plants were starting to come out of a long winter slumber. The second and longest hike, which took me from the Visitors Center to LaSalle Canyon and back, was in early fall. This most recent hike took place on a thawing winter day, after a long streak of cold and snowy weather.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Back in Schaumburg

A monument to the extinct passenger pigeon at Wyalusing State Park. The last recorded shooting of a wild one occurred near here.

Date: January 20, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 64
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.4 (N/A)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 24
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 159
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

After a long weekend, I'm back in town. Meanwhile, most of the snow that was here when I left has melted away. The result is some favorable weather for parking garage walking.

Tomorrow will be the end of the week, and also the first weigh in since Saturday. I can't say how it's going to turn out, I'm not too confident it's going to be good. This might be a lesson in taking the scale with me when heading out of town, even for a couple days.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Muddy Monday

This is one of the largest buckeye trees in Georgia. Taken along the Sosebee Cove Nature Trail in Chattahoochee National Forest.

Date: January 19, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 65
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.4 (N/A)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 0
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 135
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

Let's talk about mud. In it's own way, mud is almost as dangerous to hike on as ice if you aren't careful. Some mud will suck your shoes off if you aren't careful. You shouldn't have to worry, assuming your shoes are tightly laced and well tied. However, this kind of mud can still be annoying. Having grown up in downstate Illinois and walked through my share of muddy fields, I'm very familiar with this mud. It's bad, but not the worst type.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Hiking in January

Icefalls in French Canyon at Starved Rock State Park. Not sure how this effect ended up on this picture, this was not intentional.


Date: January 18, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 66
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.4 (N/A)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 66
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 135
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 1.5
Miles Hiked, Week: 1.5
Miles Hiked, 2015: 1.5

Yesterday was my first hike of the year, and although it was short, it was a good hike. Although most of it was flat, it included hiking to the top of Starved Rock. Because of it being the middle of January, the ground was covered in snow and ice, but a pair of Yak Trax over my shoes helped with all but the slickest of icy downhills. Not only was this the first hike of the year, it was also my first hike in full winter conditions since my Cades Cove Loop hike back in November 2010. Being able to hike without slipping and falling was a good exercise for me, as it helps build confidence for dealing with a potential winter conditions that we'll encounter on the Appalachian Trail.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Springer Saturday #2

Springer Saturday #2 is a sign pointing the way towards Springer Mountain. For SOBO hikers not hiking to Amicalola, it's 0.9 miles up, then 0.9 back down to the trailhead parking lot.

Date: January 17, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 67
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.4 (0.0)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 75
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

Writing this entry at 10:30 at night reveals the weird nature of this journal. Even though I spent much of this morning hiking at Starved Rock, this actually can't be counted until tomorrow's journal. Even considering that, the short yet important hike will also have its own post. So I suppose you'll have to wait until tomorrow (or Monday) for the details on that hike. The short version is that there are two big things to see at Starved Rock in the winter: icefalls and bald eagles. I saw both in my quick side trip to Illinois' most popular state park on they way to Central Illinois.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Fat Friday

Yes, I know I used this recently. However, it seems appropriate for today's post, however.

Date: January 16, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 68
Pounds to next weight goal: 11.4 (+1.6)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 25
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 55
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

Not every day can be a good day, and they have to be reported the same as the good ones. I'm happy a did a decent job of getting 25 minutes worth of exercise, but I wish I had eaten better. In part it was the stress of a looming deadline at work, but mostly it's just a matter of breaking some bad habits. Basically I made three poor choices, where even two probably would have kept me from this reversal.

Essential Hikes of the Midwest: River Ridge Backpack Trail

Sunset along the River Ridge Backpack Trail
Compared to the legendary trails through the mountains, deserts, and forests to our east and west, the Midwest gets a short shrift in the minds of many hikers. Despite a reputation for being flat, the north central region of our country has a wide variety of hiking opportunities that are quite scenic, and can be as challenging as much of what you see on the Appalachian or Pacific Crest trails (even if the challenge isn't quite as long or as quite as life threatening). This feature will be open ended and erratic as given to the standard you've come to expect from our blog. In essence, it's purpose is to share the hikes we've walked that would be tops on our list when someone asks "I'm in the area for a day/weekend/week/month/year. What should I hike?"

Hike: River Ridge Backpack Trail
Location: Forest Glen County Preserve
State: Illinois
Distance: 11 miles
Type: Long Day / Overnight
Elevation: Flat to Small Roller Coaster (50-100 foot ascents/descents are common)
Footing: Good to Poor (depending upon conditions and time of year)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Fees: $10 per group up to ten, than $1/person after that to hike with or without camping. Entrance to the park is free.


Were you to only walk the first mile and the last mile of the River Ridge Backpack Trail, you would wonder what the fuss is about. After all, it's only a mostly flat walk around a large pond and a mostly flat walk on the edge of a prairie. How exactly is this a backpack trail, and why do so many people like to hike it?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: January Thaw

The NOBO entrance of the Appalachian Trail to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Date: January 15, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 69
Pounds to next weight goal: 9.8 (-0.8)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 30
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 30
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

After a fairly long snap of cold weather, it appears to be thawing here in the northwest suburbs. That's a relative term, as it's barely above freezing. However, compared to last week's days where it struggled to get above the 0 mark, that's a drastic improvement.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: How to Lose Three Days at once

Shipwreck at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This is what happens when you forget how to count.

Date: January 14, 2015
Current Week: 01/14/15 - 01/20/15
Days until Amicalola: 70
Pounds to next weight goal: 10.6 (-2.0)
Total Loss Last Week: 5.6
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Last Week: 140
Minutes Exercised, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

So if you've been following this journal, you may have noticed that between yesterday and today there is a discrepancy between the days until Amicalola. This is because I made an error figuring up the days last Monday. Since today is Wednesday, and the day we start our hike is also a Wednesday, that means our number should be a multiple of seven (since March 25 will be Hike Day). As such, I dropped from 73 to 70. I won't go back and correct the previous posts, but from now on we'll be using the right numbers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Terrible Tuesday

The Appalachian Trail near Newfound Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Taken on a cold and muddy day.
Date: January 13, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 74
Pounds to next weight goal: 12.6 +2.4
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 30
Minutes Exercised, Week: 120
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

It was bound to happen sometime, that the planets wouldn't align right and I'd go up on a daily reading. This was a bit of a disappointment, considering I had gotten in 30 minutes of exercise, and had stopped eating by a little after 8:00 last night. It's quite possible that tomorrow morning the reverse will be stopped and I'll be heading the right way again. Such is the peril of daily weight measurements.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Holding the Line on the Weekend

View of the bridge in front of Amicalola Falls. This is part of the approach trail to Springer Mountain.


Date: January 12, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 75
Pounds to next weight goal: 10.2 (0.0)
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 0
Minutes Exercised, Week: 90
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

The sun's slowly rising earlier, and staying up later, but the weather's still cold. Meanwhile, I stayed in one place yesterday*, neither gaining nor losing weight. Provided I don't completely blow today and tomorrow, I'll finish this extended week down from the starting point of last Monday. As it is, a net decrease for Friday-Sunday is an encouraging sign for me, especially considering it included a late night of work on Friday and a day of work Saturday.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola, January 11, 2015

Blazes on a lamp post, at Harper's Ferry, WV. It was about 75 degrees warmer when this picture was taken.


Date: January 11, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 76
Pounds to next weight goal: 10.2 (-1.8)
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Week: 90
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

So the extra work day turned out to not be that detrimental, as I ended up having a pretty good day. It probably also helped that I didn't weigh in until around noon, as I slept in this morning. That being said, even if I didn't eat so well, I did get some good exercise in during the day.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: January 10, 2015

It's Springer Saturday! Every Saturday until we start our hike will have a picture from Springer Mountain. Here's the first blaze, and a plaque.


Date: January 10, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 77
Pounds to next weight goal: 12.0
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 10
Minutes Exercised, Week: 70
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

The good news is that I did keep up the streak of days of exercise. The bad news is that I was stagnant on the weight front for the second straight day. However, that is actually marginally good news when you factor in working late, and the pizza and junk that entails. I didn't go overboard, and I did avoid the dreaded late night snack, which would have certainly wrecked things for me.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: January 9, 2015

This is not on the Appalachian Trail, but it's a cool picture with snow in it. From Sequoia National Park.


Date: January 9, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 78
Pounds to next weight goal: 12.0
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 30
Minutes Exercised, Week: 60
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

My weight was unchanged this morning from yesterday, which marked the first time in three mornings that it didn't go down. However, this isn't too troublesome, as day to day fluctuations are bound to happen. As long as I end this period down from the first weigh in, I will consider it an incremental step towards where I am going.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: January 8, 2015

Looking Southbound along the AT across Newfound Gap Road (US 441) at Newfound Gap


Date: January 8, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 79
Pounds to next weight goal: 12.0
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 20
Minutes Exercised, Week: 30
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

For the second straight day I increased my daily amount of exercise, this time by braving the cold for a ten minute walk, and doing ten minutes of various exercises in my apartment. Once again, this appeared to pay off, as this is the third straight day I marked a net loss of weight. This is primarily a function of keeping myself from turning into a Gremlin* and the increased exercise. The third component, eating well, is something that I'm "easing" myself into. This is in large part because I was away for over two weeks, and I don't have groceries. I've yet to brave the cold to go to a grocery store to change that, but I'm hoping to get there sometime before next Monday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: Brrrr, it's Cold Out!

Snow covered landscape of Cade's Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Date: January 7, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 80
Pounds to next weight goal: 14.0
Weight Goals Met: 0
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 10
Minutes Exercised, Week: 10
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

Since this is a daily journal, there is a chance that some posts will be rather short. For example, today's. Nothing much to say, other than I did get some exercise in, got a decent night of sleep, and kept a slow yet steady pace downward to my next weight goal. All of this while the temperature and wind chill are both really nasty. I'm kind of missing the relatively mild weather of December right now. Heck, I'd take the unseasonably cold November over this.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola, January 6, 2015

Each day will have a picture from hikes and adventures past and present. Today is a frozen Lake Michigan, taken by Andrew last March. 


Date: January 6, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 81
Pounds to next weight goal: 14.8
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 0
Minutes Exercised, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

Yesterday was not a good day for exercise. I didn't have a chance in the morning because I was up before 5:00 to drive back from my holiday break downstate. The evening was spent at the movies. In between, the customary time I spend taking walks at work did not happen, because it is cold outside. Technically, I did get some exercise by walking down six flights of stairs to lunch, and did walk ~10 minutes to and from dinner.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Countdown to Amicalola: 82 Days To Go!

Date: January 5, 2015
Current Week: 01/05/15 - 01/13/15
Days until Amicalola: 82
Pounds to next weight goal: 16.2
Minutes Exercised, Yesterday: 0
Minutes Exercised, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, Yesterday: 0
Miles Hiked, Week: 0
Miles Hiked, 2015: 0

So it's 2015, the year of the Appalachian Trail hike. As such, it's time to dig in and focus on getting ready for the "Big Walk". As you few readers are well aware, my AT Hiking Training Plan posts tailed off after we did our shakedown hike last November. Part of this was a busy work schedule, but part of it was a lack of progress. Work, weather, and the holidays conspired to limit my ability to do much besides some walking at Forest Glen and in the parking garage at work.