The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Thursday, June 24, 2010


1 hour on the stairclimber, 748 floors, 7848 feet, and another episode of Spartacus is down. Somehow I don't think my wife would like this show! 620 calories burned for a total of 828 for the day.

Ralston Peak

In August, I plan to climb Mt. Shasta, but need training at elevation in order to do it well, and on Sunday, I had the luxury of hiking to the top of Ralston Peak in the Desolation Wilderness area of Lake Tahoe as part of the training. It's been quite a while since I've been able to call one of my hikes "epic", and I'm happy to say, this one qualified.

It started out pretty standard, at a decent incline to get the heart going. It didn't stray to much greater than a 10% grade for the first two miles or so.

There was a nice breeze, and it was quite a bit cooler than it was down in the valley, where it was in the 90s. I didn't check the thermometer, but I don't think it got over 80 degrees the whole day.

At the Desolation Wilderness sign, the trail started to get a bit steeper, and a bit rockier.

Patches of snow started to come into view, and in a few spots, I had to cross the patches in order to continue on. Not surprising, given the elevation of the hike. Then without warning, the trail just sort of disappeared into the snow.

At least I wasn't alone on the trail, others had been before me and left a nice trail of footprints along the snow. Tom, one of the other people in our hiking party, pointed the peak out to me, so I knew where to go regardless of footprints. Off I went.

After hiking on the snow for 45 minutes or so, I passed the snow and started climbing on the pile of rocks that defined the peak. On the summit, I started eating lunch with the others from our group who were there, and waited for those who hadn't arrived.

While it was a difficult hike, the peak offered a birds-eye view of Desolation Wilderness, and plenty of photographic opportunities. I hadn't brought the DSLR, but certainly wish I had.

The trip back was a complete blast. Coming down the snow was more of a run than a hike, since falling wasn't an issue, and provided plenty of padding. That isn't to say that I didn't fall, I did a few times, but it didn't matter. The ground was faster as well, with the steep incline now providing a quick way down.

Once back on the trail again, I hiked down the steep rocks quite a bit slower, but once in the last two miles again, I was able to jog the way back. I wasn't the only person who did this, I saw a woman quite a distance in front of me doing the same. When I finally caught up with her, she decided to stop jogging and let me pass.

Back at the car, I met up with the rest of the group, who had arrived a bit earlier. Round trip it was about 6.5 miles, and 2100' of elevation gain, ending at just over 10,000 feet.

See the activity on RunSaturday
Type:Walk - Mountains
Distance:6.51 mi

The rest of the photos can be found here. As it was part of the Sacramento Hiking Meetup Group, you can find the hike post here.

Weight Workout

Just one more workout left at The Gym. Still trying to decide on a local Yuba City/Marysville gym to replace it.

Warmup, 3 circuits of 5
Overhead Squat
Good Morning
Barbell Lunge
Romanian Deadlift
Bent-over Row

Drop Squat, 3x20
Underhand-grip Dumbell Row, 3x20x25lbs
Reverse Hyperextension, 3x20x70lbs
Pushups, 3x20
Side Bridge, 2x10 (both arms)
Side Lateral Raise & Rotation, 3x20x10lbs

35 minutes, 210 calories burned

From Twitter 06-23-2010

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