The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's been a little while, and I do apologize for not blogging for so long. The long and short of it is that I had severe bronchitis and didn't exercise AT ALL for almost six weeks. Since exercise was most of what I was blogging about, I just didn't have the heart to do it. After I recovered (and ran an 8k), getting back into the swing of blogging again has just been tough.

That said, I plan to be doing it regularly once again. This is a good time to start, what with all the training for Mt. Whitney, which is going to be just about 4 weeks from now. So without further hesitation, yesterday I returned from backpacking in the Warren Lake/Castle Peak area.

If you guys know how to read one, here's the topo of the weekend. Click the image to get to the Flickr page, and the full sized topo.

Most of the pictures won't be mine, btw. I haven't gotten the pictures from my pastor yet, but as with the other trips I did map them onto Google Earth...

Friday was 7.2 miles, Saturday was 8.1 miles. On the way in we accidentally took a use trail and veered off the main Warren Lake trail. We saw the errors of our ways pretty quick, but decided to make our own route down. Our first adventure!

The trail was pretty major. It came down off that ridge down about 1000 feet into a sort of bowl, then came back up again, then down to Warren Lake. As we got closer to the lake, we kept waiting for the elevation to go down again, but it wouldn't. Then finally when we got to 1/2 mile from the lake, the descent started. That's right, 1000 feet in a half mile.

Before we even set up camp, we jumped into the lake. :p One thing about backpacking and such heavy duty exercise is you can pretty much eat what you want. I must say, the Mountain House stroganoff was amazingly good, in part because we worked so hard getting to camp. The next morning, as I mentioned earlier, I had two of the Weight Loss Oatmeal packets.

After loading back up, we made it back up the hill in about half the time it took to come down! As we headed up, Bob commented that there was no doubt about it, we were all fit enough for Whitney. Ya think?

On the way to Castle Peak (9100ft), we took a little side trip and bagged Basin Peak (9017ft) as well.

Following the use trail along the ridge, we ran into my usual hiking group, whose destination was Basin Peak! I knew they were going to be in the area but didn't realize they'd be in this particular spot. We exchanged cameras and took pictures of each other.

On Castle Peak, Bob and I crossed from one peak to another. I took the chance and climbed the 2nd rock, which Rob flat-out refused to do. Back where Rob was, I snapped a picture with my Treo.

Finally, it was back down. The use trail between Castle Peak & the Pacific Crest Trail was AWFUL! Can you say scree? I knew you could. Slipping and sliding the whole way. Once on the PCT though, it was smooth sailing. At the end of the trail I zigged instead of zagged and ended up at the Donner Pass rest stop instead of the sno-park where the truck was. I called Bob and they came to pick me up.

So in the end it was a total of 15.3 miles, with a total elevation gain of 4355 feet. Calories burned: 5529.

Food for today, I'll give full disclosure. I figured I could get away with eating this way for the day. If I gain, you guys can explain how eating this way can be disastrous.

Breakfast: Atkins bar
Snack: Atkins bar
Lunch: 4 BBQ chicken wings, 1 chicken thigh, lettuce, ranch dressing
Snack: Big 100 Chocolate Chip Cookie bar
Snack: movie theater Peanut M&M's (translation: two regular packages)
Dinner(if you can call it that): Blue Bunny No Sugar Added Crunch Ice Cream Bar
Snack: 1 oz trail mix (leftover from the trip basically)

I estimate I ate well over 2000 calories today.

Anyway, thanks for letting me indulge myself, guys. Back to normal tomorrow! Next Saturday: 19 miles on the TRT.


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