You know what they say –
third fourth what-number-again time’s the charm. I don’t know how many blogs I’ve started and abandoned over the years (two WordPress’s, a Tumblr, my own websites) but I’m going to make an effort this time for the foreseeable future. Why? Well, because Dad has a bucket list. On that list: Half Dome.
14-16 miles, 4800 ft gain, and those cables. Yep, the cables.
Guess who gets to climb it with dear old Dad?
I’ve set my little countdown widget to the right on this page >>
This is my concerted effort, my dedicated mission, to get in shape enough so as not to suffer a horrible painful demise or be unable to haul my body weight up to the top of that rather iconic granite rock formation.
I’ve been better these last couple years about exercising, going out for weekend hikes, trying to eat healthy (why yes, I voluntarily eat low-sugar oatmeal for breakfast now – my 13 year old self would never have imagined). But I’m still out of shape. I’ve never hiked more than 10 miles at once, I can’t run more than 1.5 miles without stopping, and I absolutely struggle when it comes to severe elevation gain. I also don’t have much upper body strength. On the flip side, I did manage to hike up to Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) in January, and I managed to keep myself from being swept downriver in the middle of the Hawaiian jungle by clinging to slippery wet boulders last July. So really, I’m probably approximately average in terms of fitness. Maybe below average.
Half Dome survival = Outdoor hikes + HIIT + runs + body weight/upper body
Outdoor hikes – nothing beats real life practice. The idea is to break in my boots, and work up my mileage to around 10+ miles. I only have so many weekends left to do this, so I’ve looked up hikes around the Bay Area that I want to tackle over the next 7+ weeks. I have a bum right ankle sometimes, so I’ll need to be careful. In order:
Castle Rock State Park – 5.5 mi, 1000 ft gain
Mission Peak – 5.6 mi, 2200 ft gain
Mitchell Canyon-Eagle Peak Loop, Mount Diablo – 7.8 mi, 2200 ft gain
Black Mountain – 9.4 mi, 2300 ft gain
Waterfall Loop @ Big Basin – 11 mi, 2000xx ft gain
+1-2 easier trail-run types if my body can handle it (maybe)
HIIT – for the first time in my life, I spent money on a workout training plan thing. After watching a friend complete it via Instagram posts, I decided to try the PIIT28 workouts to get my HIITs in. This should serve to up my heart rate, overall body strength, and help keep me on a schedule. I probably won’t stick to it for 28 straight days, but I’ll try.
Runs – instead of doing the PIIT28 stretch warm-ups, I’ll probably substitute a mile run at least half the time to keep some sort of low-intensity movement on the day-to-day.
Body weight / upper body – for days when PIIT doesn’t focus on upper body strength, I’ll add in some weights, push-ups, tricep exercises, and whatever will help make sure I make it up that rock.
I’ll document thoughts, progress, feelings, and failures over the next 50 or so days in this spot. Day 1 starts tomorrow.
Wish me luck! I definitely need it.