Monday, February 25, 2008

Ever so slowly...

Not too much new to report.  I haven't been working out as much over the past week since I've been sick with the cold that seems to be going around.  I guess the going, going, going all the time does tend to catch up with a person.  Luckily it happened now and not two weeks from now when I have the half marathon.  Unfortunately, this means I've fallen behind in my training for that.  

I have been keeping my eyes out for gear lately though.  Trying to find the best deals on good equipment.  I do feel lucky for finding some crampons for half off online.  Since I'm not really familiar with this stuff, I'm having to rely on reviews.  Someone mentioned that they found these worked well on Mt. Rainier so hopefully that will be the case for me as well.

I'll likely look into doing some sort of hike this weekend.  Probably another one close to Seattle, so not likely anything major.  I would like to get over to Mt. Si soon since it's continually one that people recommend to train on.  

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Running, Climbing walls, and other things

Over the next few months I'll be looking for any kind of strength training possible.  Currently Rachel and I are training for the Mercer Island half marathon which takes place on March 9th.  I'd like to get a couple 10 mile runs in between now and then, along with the regular 6 mile run I've been doing weekly.  The half marathon will be the longest distance I've ever run.  I've been feeling really good with my running the last couple months so I'm looking forward to the challenge.  Just because I like the organized races, the next week I'll be running in the St. Patrick's day 5k run - it should be a piece of cake!

My friend Mihae, who will be coming on the Rainier trek, is a member of a climbing gym out in Ballard and invited me to come with her.  Rachel and my friend Dan (who is pictured in the hike from last weekend) and I all went.  Two other guys who will be coming on the Rainier trek (Bram and Thien Nan) were also there.  Even though climbing Rainier won't involve rock or ice climbing, it's still a great way to build upper body strength that just may be necessary for the trip.  I hadn't been on a climbing wall since I lived in New Zealand a few years ago.  I really enjoyed it back then, so I've actually been wanting to try it out again.  The personal challenge involved with it is amazing.  Luckily, due to my boxing fitness class, the only soreness I experienced was in my fingers.  I'll likely visit the climbing gym a few more times before the big climb.  

Gear:  The Patagonia store downtown is currently having a big sale.  I took advantage of this the other day to get my capilene base layer top.  Sometime when I have more time, I'd like to check out the sale again.  I already tried the capilene out on a long run and it definitely serves its purpose with "wicking" the sweat away.  My list of gear to buy is still really long!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting Started

Thursday of last week Rachel, Mihae (my coworker who's interested in coming up Rainier with us) and I met up with Mihae's friend Bram.  He and his friends have climbed Rainier before and have a lot of experience with climbing mountains in general.  We got a lot of good ideas from him on training we should do between now and then.  Also, having another personal account of the climb itself made me feel more confident that I will be able to successfully climb the mountain.  

A few of us decided to get together on Sunday to do a shorter hike to get started.  We did the West Tiger Mountain #3 trail just off I-90.  Other than slipping around a little on the snow and ice, we did a pretty good job of tackling the easier hike.  As the weather starts to improve and the snow melts off the Cascades, we'll have more options for good training hikes.  We've agreed that one of the best things about all the training will be all the neat areas we will get to discover between now and the end of June.  

As for gear, I'd like to save I've acquired more stuff I'll need for the climb than I actually have already.  I did order some gaitors from the REI outlet, but I'd like to find a good backpack, boots and a nice gore-tex shell jacket for the training I'll be doing over the next few months.  

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Snowshoeing and other stuff

This winter has provided plenty of snow for the Northwest (just ask my parents in North Idaho).   Yesterday I took advantage of the snow by heading out toward Skykomish on Highway 2 to do some snowshoeing with some geocaching friends.  I figure every little bit of training will help for Rainier.  When you're sinking down to your knees on snowshoes you get a really great leg workout!  I had pretty bad insomnia the night before, so I wasn't 100% on my game for this trek.  That got me thinking about Rainier.  The way I'm planning to do the climb would be to camp at Camp Muir and then get up at 12am to head toward the top.  Being that it's not really natural for me to go to sleep around 4 or 5pm I have a feeling that I'll be pretty tired when I start the major part of the trek.  Makes me think that I better not use being tired as an excuse not to exercise over the next few months so I'm fully prepared.

I ordered the Mount Rainier training guide today so I'm excited to read that when it arrives.  I also got a good tip on a Rainier prep course at REI later this month from a fellow geocacher.  I'll try to make it to that, as well as start to look into mountaineering training classes in the area.   

I've recently found a few other people who are interested in going with my group.  My goal is to have at least one person who's summited Rainier with us.  Luckily a coworker of mine knows someone who is interested in going who just summited last year.  It'll make me feel more comfortable to have people along who have experienced the mountain.