Sunday, March 26, 2017

And so, the Great Adventure begins....

Well, here we go!

I boarded a late flight tonight for LA and will land there early tomorrow, Monday the 27th.  Hopefully I'll collect the 96 pounds of stuff that is checked in my two big 150L expedition bags and head over to Anders' house in Santa Monica.  He'll be asleep since he's coming off a 45-mile, 13,000+ vertical weekend session--plus his friends are throwing him a going away party tonight.

I can't believe it.  But us two posers are soon to be on our way to Nepal, where if all goes to plan, Anders will attempt to climb the highest mountain on our planet.

I've spent the last week, since Judy and I returned from our six-week residence in Santa Monica, unpacking, repacking and driving up to New York to deliver Kara's more fragile stuff to help complete her move to NYC (she loves her new job).  We had a nice visit with her and Alex and Rachel and then Judy and i attended to our various work tasks.  On top of that I spent my time in final prep for Anders' and my journey to Nepal and the great Himalayan mountains.

We had a nice visit with friends on Friday night and Judy and I had a wonderful dinner with Jen and her boyfriend Jim on Saturday night.  Then finally the time came for me to head off on this latest adventure....

And so it really does begin now.

Here's the plan:

I get into LA early Monday and Monday-Thursday, Anders and I will be going through all of our pre-game rituals making sure we have any and every thing we need to be successful in Nepal.  I plan to do 3 pretty significant hikes/climbs and if Anders' taper/training schedule allows we'll probably do some or maybe all together.  In any event, i want to top off my training as I've had a bit of a interruption with our migration across the country.  No worries though as i was able to hike/climb/trek/run for 31 of the 42 days we spent in LA so I feel like I'm very good to go.  I actually feel stronger than I was last year for Kili (which was very strong for me) and definitely prepared for the journey in front of us.    I'm a bit heavier, in part by design, as I'm sitting at 179 pounds this morning vs. the 168 that I left for Kili.  However, with a month + in the mountains, I think this will be to my advantage.  

Anders is in phenom shape, and he'll certainly need to be to go after the arduous agenda in front of us.

And what is that agenda?  Well, it's very fluid by its nature but here is roughly the plan ahead:

3/27-3/30  Anders and I final prep and training in LA

3/31-4/1  Travel to Kathmandu

4/2-4/10-14  Settle in.  Trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC).

Mid April:  Anders and I head to Lobouche East and hopefully to climb that 20,000+ mountain near Everest, Nupste and Lhoste, the later being the fourth highest mountain in the world.  Our climb on Lobouche, while paling in comparison to Everest, is a very significant challenge (at least for me) given its modest technical nature and significant exposure.  It was first climbed in 1984 and recently has become a somewhat "popular" acclimitazation option vs. another rotation through the Khumbu Icefall, for those seeking to climb Everest.

We would then return to EBC and Anders would turn his complete focus to scaling Everest.  I'll hang with him and probably tag along on some of the ice climbing/training he'll do in the lower icefall--should make for some great pictures!

Towards the later part of April, Anders will begin the necessary rotational climbs ever higher up Everest and eventually, I'll say goodbye and head down.  I hope to climb a second 6,000 meter peak--Island Peak--on the way down from EBC, but that will be a game time call as logistics may not allow it.

From there I head back home and Anders heads ever upward, hoping to to attempt climbing to the summit of Everest around the 3rd week of May.  He also is maintaining the option, after a successful Everest summit, of upon returning to the South Col, leaving for the Everest/Lhotse double, the same evening as summiting Everest.  I'm decidedly against this, but Anders will ultimately make the call.  As an aside, just 5 Western climbers have ever done this--climbing the 1st and 4th highest mountain in one more or less continuous push.

All of this is a bit overwhelming as you might expect but I'm sure the journey will be amazing.  I invite you to stop back here over the next couple of months to experience it with us....

Monday, March 6, 2017

Training totals

This past week saw me sharply curtail my training as my Mom came out and visited for most of the week.  Here are the last two week totals:

Week ending 2/26

Swim: 3500 yards
Bike: 198 miles
Run/Hike: 41 miles
Time: 24:18

Last week

Swim: 2000 yards
Bike: 147 miles
Run/Hike: 27 miles
Time: 16:26

Here is February's comparison to January

 -Jan:  8,000 yards
 -Feb: 11,500 yards

 -Jan: 661 miles
 -Feb: 668 miles

 -Jan: 138 miles
 -Feb: 188 miles

 -Jan: 88 hours
 -Feb: 98 hours

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cali training life

Ok gang, three full weeks under my belt--trying to get ready for Nepal and also keeping an eye on the triathlon season to follow.  I had two big weeks the first two and took it a bit easier this last week, especially because we had guests all week.  Here are the three weeks:

-Swim: 4500 yards
-Bike: 141 miles
-Run/Hike: 62 miles
-Total Training Time: 25:59

-Swim: 3000 yards
-Bike: 171 miles
-Run/Hike: 53 miles
-Total Training Time: 24:39

-Swim: 3000 yards
-Bike: 163 miles
-Run/Hike: 34 miles
-Total Training Time: 19:11

Monday, February 6, 2017

Getting in tune!

We have successfully relocated to Cali and I am beginning to hit my stride training wise.  Since we leave for Nepal on 3/31 and I have a lot of trekking/climbing in front of me, my training has shifted towards a climb first/triathlon second focus.  when i return from Nepal in early May, I'll shift over to a Triathlon/Ironman focus.

January totals:

Swim: 8,000 yards
Bike: 661 miles
Run/climb: 137.5 miles
Other: 11:06
Total Time: 88:01

For the past week--my first full one in Cali:

Swim: 4,500 yards
Bike: 140.6 miles
Run/climb: 62.3 miles
Other: 0
Total Time: 25:59

Onward and upward!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First two week 2017 training totals

Here's a quick summary of the start two 2017:

Week 1:

Swim: 0 yards
Bike: 147 miles
Run/Hike/Climb: 39.5 miles
Other: 3:45
Total time: 22:42

Week 2:

Swim: 2500 yards
Bike: 160 miles
Run/Hike/Climb: 14.0 miles
Other: 4:48
Total time: 18:33

Just starting to ramp up swim again--will have pretty big swim months in Feb/Mar in Santa Monica

I'm combining the Run with all the Hiking and climbing stuff as it is mostly focused on Nepal at this point.

the other stuff is principally wights/stretching and physical therapy for my left fore arm...

onward and upward!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Little Devils Stairs Scramble

OK, just to update my second day down in Shenandoah to kick off the new year...I had a really nice day.  First off, it wasn't raining cats and dogs and 35 degrees like on Tuesday the 3rd.  It was raining, which was not expected but it was periodic and light and not a concern in any way.

I had elected to take the Keyser Run fire road (MP 19.3) down past the old Bolen cemetery to start this trek.  I felt pretty darned good given how stiff I was the prior night and that morning.  The Bolen cemetery for those who don't know, is the finest tribute to that lost way of life here in Shenandoah.  I made great time all the way down to the cemetery with all of my mile splits under 20 minutes...

Continuing on past the Bolen Cemetery I traced the edge of the park boundary and finally came upon the start of my main objective for this training exercise.  I was looking for a very steep, moderately technical climb to begin to reformat my bod for Anders and my coming Nepal trip.  I was surprised (although I should not have been) by the number of stream crossings I had to navigate--really steep ravines and a lot of rain typically equal a lot of water flowing down hill!:

In quite a few places that technical challenges were such that I would grade several pitches as true Class 3 rock scrambles.  It was wet, slippery, and definitely a place you could hurt yourself.  One of the things I love about being on my own in these situations is that it demands that you don't mess up. All of a sudden, I found myself at the top of the scramble and realized it had taken me a good 90 minutes that seemed like just 9....

I had contemplated doing another relatively easy 4-mile loop but elected to declare victory and try to get home before it got dark (which I was successful at).  In total I did over 21 miles on these two days and this is a good chunk of the 200 mile true-on hiking/climbing goal I have set for myself as part of my preparation for Nepal.  

I'll take it!  Here is the data from this climb:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Training Totals

Ok, so i finally was able to get my data out of Slowtwitch--here is how 2016 stacked up against 2014--my last "normal" triathlon training year (I did Kona that year):


I did 90 swims (once every four days) for a total of 144,355 yards or about 1603 yards/session.  In 2014 I did 311,688 yards so i was at about 46% of my "normal" total.  This is not surprising as fairly early in the year I decided to focus principally on climbing (Kilimanjaro and Elbrus) and not do the Roth IM.  Still I did enough to get back into triathlon.  (I'll cover my plans for 2017 in a post in the next few days.)


320 rides for a total of 8,141 miles or about 25.4 miles/ride.  In 2014 I did 8,412 miles so pretty much the same overall effort.  I would say I did more rides this year but far less long rides as i did not pursue an Ironman this year.


1,510 runs/hikes in 201 sessions (7.5 mile/average).  These numbers are very much influenced by all of the hiking/climbing I did.  I would guess my actual run mileage was closer to 700 miles or so.  In 2014 I did 1,483 miles but the vast majority of that was running.


103 hours vs. 32 in 2014--this reflects all the alternative/cross training and PT work I do now, especially to prepare me for mountain climbing.

Total Time

1,028 hours vs. 905 in 2014.  This is the first year that I've recorded more than 1,000 hours of working out/training.  While my training has moved away from being tri-specific and it's also become less intense, I still was pretty committed to training this year, and for sure, a great bounce back from my "off-year" of 2015 with my major back and leg problems.

More to come....