Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17th, 2014: Things are starting to take shape in my plans


I am in the middle of my full week off after 15 weeks of training.  Since starting, I only slipped off schedule three times in those first three weeks.  It was tough to get started back again and I think I needed a few more weeks of beer drinking and weight gain.  Now I am a healthy 175 lbs. and aim to keep all that weight throughout the next few months.  Here is where I stand today....

1.  Rest.  The one huge advantage of having a clear, proven plan for training is that I have several times I really look forward to during the process.  I increase my workload in 3-week increments.  Each week progresses by 10% from the previous week but stops every 3 weeks to drop down by 10% back to the middle week level.  Thus, the load progression looks like a sawtooth shape that increases over 15 weeks.  The past 15 weeks had 5, 3-week cycles where the plan was to progress from 10 hours up to 30 hours using this method.  I really look forward to week 16 when I completely shut down, rest, sleep at normoxia, and eat to my heart's (perhaps more my brain's) delight.  Even after each 3-week cycle, I look forward to dropping back to a lower workload.  Increasing the workload in this systematic fashion keeps me fresh and excited about more training.  Gotta keep it fun but sprinkle in plenty of rest.

2.  Permit situation settled.  Sam and Alex forwarded Dan Mazur's post about the Nepali government honoring our permits for 2015.  I am extremely excited that we have some clue about the permits.  Here is the letter (in Nepali) just in case you want to see how we learn about these things:


Subject: Climbing Mountaineering forwarding.

To: SummitClimb Pvt. Ltd.

As per your agency requested letter, This is to inform you on dated 2071 – 03 - 05 that SummitClimb Everest Expedition 2014, permit no 60/Spring, led by Mr. Mazur Daniel Lee (P.P. No 710848024), including 10 climbing members permit is extended to next spring season 2015 as per law 2059 – sub law – 5. 

Depender Paudel

Department Head

3.  Aconcagua plans shaping up.  We have four confirmed climbers for our trip to Argentina in December.  I leave on December 6th, my family leaves on the 17th, and Brendan Madden joins us on the 20th.  I hope to have three climbs on Aconcagua or other peaks in the area before I depart on January 12th.  Should be a great time.  Flights booked, equipment checked, and details sorted out; next step, plan for food and domestic travel.  I'm practically jumping out of my chair with excitement.  

4.  Hypoxico Tour.  Speaking of jumping out of my seat, I'm heading up the New York City - my home town - to get one of my units checked out.  It was making some strange noises so Brian Oestrike suggested I get it checked out.  No better time than the present (Friday actually) where my week-off gives me the ultimate luxury to make the 4-hour drive from Fairfax to NYC without missing a workout or any meetings.  I intend to take in a few conference calls during the drive up (from 4am-8:30am) and then a few on the way back (from 7pm-11pm).  The folks at Hypoxico were extremely inviting and even offered me the use of one of their machines/setups to workout.  I told them that this week was devoted to rest (#1 above) and I planned to just walk around the city and get some good food.  Remember, this week I focus on eating too - no better place to eat than NYC.  Pizza I come!  With any luck, I roll out of the city after a few hearty meals and about 10 lbs of additional heft.  Wish me luck on Friday.

Speaking of Hypoxico, Sam & Alex as well as Brendan both ordered units.  Should be fun comparing notes as we all prepare for some big climbs ahead.

5.  Early to bed and early to rise makes me tired.  Apologies to Ben Franklin but healthy, wealthy and wise do not match my experience.  My son returned to his morning schedule.  He has swim practice from 4:30am to 6:30am on the weekdays so Kathy and I take turns shuttling him the 20 minutes to/from practice.  I think I found my groove where getting up at 4am is far better than stirring at 4 and then waking at 6am.  Often, I return from dropping him off and drift back to sleep - no matter what I am doing.  Even if I go to sleep at 8pm I still wake up exhausted when I change the routine.  My current sleep/wake cycle might take a while to absorb into my system but I assure you it will work.  Soon, I plan to get in a few extra workouts from 4:45am (when I return) to 9am when I typically head to campus.  Nothing like a good 4-hour workout to start the day.  Good thing I have a couch in my office for that inevitable mid-day nap.

6.  Summit Saturdays.  I changed my training routine a bit to accommodate the rest of my week's schedule.  Sundays worked for me last time when I was training for Everest 2014; those days do not work any longer for Everest 2015.  I found that Sundays really needed to be easier or else I risked getting sick and not recovering sufficiently for the next week.  Wednesdays came too soon after Sunday and I often found Fridays to be less useful training days.  So, after careful consideration and several trials, I found that Saturday was the perfect day to simulate my climbs.  The past 7 weeks had some intense simulated climbs where I would try to mimic a climb - approach, summit, and descent.  These days started out rather easy and slowly progressed to two peak summits and almost 10 hours of hypoxic training.  I felt and feel great during and afterwards.  It might be a little early to get too acclimatized to high altitude but I figured this time was an excellent opportunity for me to test out different routines.  Success!  I tested out a new routine and now my week is much more manageable.  

Thanks for following along.  

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