When I awoke the house was frigid. I got up and walked to the laundry room. The rain was coming down softly, but the puddles were large enough so that I could see huge drops falling in rapid succession. I had scheduled this week off to do a full week of hiking as a test run for Kilimanjaro, but I did not have the desire to hike all weekend in the rain. Granted when I head to Tanzania I may have to hike in the rain, but then again that is Africa. So why risk anything on Mt. Washington.
So, instead I decided to do Faux hikes this weekend. I used my Gold’s Gym treadmill on the highest incline and decided to do in place hikes in my home gym. Now this would at first seem easy and senseless but in the end it is a good test of endurance. For example, use your treadmill, set it to an incline of 9.0 and set the speed between 2.5 and 3.0. At this setting both run and walk. Take your first break after three hours (lunch) and then finish after six hours. I promise you it will be a workout. However, this will not help you work on balance at all, nothing replaces actual hiking. On Saturday, using this method, I did a little over six hours – matching what I expect on day one of Kilimanjaro. Today, Sunday, I did about five hours and twenty minutes – this is about one hour more than would be required on day two of the trek. So this is working out fine for me.
Tomorrow, I will do another four to five hours with eight hours of actual hiking in the White Mountains or in the gym on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday will be four-hour days. I am so excited that my test hike will be over by then (six total days.) But I will get to hike up Black Mountain on the weekend and this real hike will be great fun. With six weeks left I am feeling confident as to my being in the “hiking” shape that I planned for myself. I go to the Travel Clinic tomorrow to get a review of my shot record, any required updates, and of course my scripts for Malaria and whatever else might be required. If it is not raining I may go to Vermont for a short hike after my visit to the clinic. So this weekend I did nothing, and it was both good and helpful.