Sunday, August 30, 2015

WEEK SEVEN–Still want to hike the Arizona National Scenic Trail (Aug. 23-29th, 2015)

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!

Goal: Hike The Arizona Trail.  It is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people.   (From:  http://www.aztrail.org/at_about.html).

I have been very excited about the idea of doing this as a solo hike, but after studying the book on the trail, and coming to understand more fully just how big a challenge this would be, I am having second thoughts BUT a possible solution would be to skip the section by the Mexican Border and begin at the 2nd section.  Still thinking about it.  Anyone interested in hiking the first section of the trail with me??? 

Previous post.  

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My sunset last night (Sat. 8/29/15) from atop a mountain above Raton.  It has just stormed a little with wet sloshy hail, and then this wonderful view.

Training Days Forty-two to Forty-eight (8/23-29, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?

BETTER news.  I’m getting past the depression and am off the meds that were suppose to be helping me.  My energy level is improving.  Sometimes  medication has the wrong effect.

1) Get fit, food wise.  I did much better this week with sodas and coffee popsicles, because I spent time in the wilderness away from the temptations of fast foods and grocery stores.  I have felt hungry a lot, odd for me as I am usually loaded up with carbs and sugars,  but I worked on accepting these feelings as a good sign.  Monday I had a small coke and some snack crackers.  That’s the only bad thing I ate all week.  It seems my body is going through some major metabolic changes.

2) Get fit, fitness wise.  

Day 42 (Sun).  I pretty much just rested.  I planned to change this up… and do something on Sundays, walk or do a strength training routine, but I did nothing but escape into genealogy research.

Day 43 (Mon).   Overslept this morning.  Ate the bad snacks.  Still lurking too much in the family tree but have about decided there is no solution to the broken branch I have been trying to fix.

Day 44 (Tue). Feeling very lazy today… and gave in to it.   Pout!!!  Just blew 3 whole days without any exercise.  Pout!!!   I hate myself.

Day 45 (Weds). GREAT news.  Today, I swam a mile in 1 hour and 30 min, using a kick board to strengthen my legs, which increased my time.  I was very proud of myself and felt highly motivated, until the next morning?

Day 46 (Thurs). Feeling depressed and needing to get out of town.  My joints hurt from swimming and I have not been taking Ibuprofen this week.  Drove up the road that goes behind Goat Hill (the hill with the flag on it), and found a place to park.  Feels good to be in the wild again and be able to hear crickets, birds, and the wind.  Lightening off in the distance.  I have missed being in nature.

Day 47 (Fri.).  Found the motivation to drive back to the pool this morning, and swam 1 mile in 1 hour and 20 min., 10 min less than Weds.  Used a kickboard for part of that and my legs are feeling stronger.  Drove right back up the hill after without going to town.  It’s 2.7 miles to my parking spot. 

Day 48 (Sat).  Have enjoyed just being in nature.  Walking the area a bit.  Got out my bag of gym items, weights, bands, etc. and am working out a strength-training routine to do beside the van.  No one has bothered me in this location and I seem to have the world to myself.  Most of the time I have good wifi signal as well.

Still having trouble in the mornings,  I wake up, plan to go swim, go back to bed and just sleep… enjoying the fresh cool air here.  OMG, it is so relaxing.  I am feeling more refreshed and less depressed and I believe when that medication finally gets out of my system, I will feel even better.

That first segment of the AZ Trail worries me because of the way it is written up in the book re: illegal immigrants coming across the border.  I am now considering skipping that part of the trail, unless I get someone to hike that segment with me.  I now plan to begin at the 2nd segment of the trail.

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   SAME. There just are not many bugs here!!!  I’m keeping a notebook of ideas for future reference.

4) Get the equipment I need.  SAME.  Backpack donated.  No other progress made on equipment needs this week.  I have not yet made a list.

DEPRESSING news.  Budget still stinks, but I have managed to partially pay back some of the friends who helped me out this summer.  It has really strapped me financially and the only solution I see is NOT to go onto LTVA when I get to Quartzsite.  I am just not going to have $180 to pay for that up front.  Besides, if I begin to hike the AZ Trail in the spring, I won’t be on LTVA all the way to the end of the season.  The alternative is not too appealing either, as I will have to move around every two weeks, which  means I will not have the comfort of setting up my permanent camp.  But all that is doable.  I can pay $40 for two weeks in LTVA, and the go camp on free land for 2 weeks, and repeat.  So cost will be $10 average a week for camping.  That I can manage regardless of how annoying it will be to have to move every two weeks.

Weight?   Last week: 225 pounds       This week:  227 pounds    Weekly Loss/Gain = +2.  UGH!   Total Loss/Gain (since July 13) = -13 pounds.   Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.  And although weight loss is not the goal, it makes me feel disappointed in myself that I gained this week.

Please click on the blue bar at the top to “Join this site” and follow me.  You will get a e-mail notice when there is a new blog post.  Thank you.

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Working on the sketches now instead of getting lost in my genealogy research.

Also, I am creating a set of notecards of southwestern images to sell in order to raise money for equipment or to help pay back my friends.  Please have a look at what they may look like.  I hope to have them finished and ready to mail out by Thanksgiving.  You can reserve your set of note cards now by sending a PayPal donation of $25 to charlene.swankie@gmail.com.  Note Cards will be sent out before Dec. 1, 2015, or delivered to you are the Winter RTR Rendezvous.

Sample Southwest Notecards


Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the hike.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below.


Contribute to Equipment for the Trail Hike or for the Note Cards:

 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

WEEK SIX–Rethinking the Hike of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (Aug. 16-22, 2015)

Goal: Hike The Arizona Trail.  It is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people.   (From:  http://www.aztrail.org/at_about.html).

I have been very excited about the idea of doing this as a solo hike, but after studying the book on the trail, and coming to understand more fully just how big a challenge this would be, I am having second thoughts.

Previous post.  

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Darn, I have not even taken any photos this week.  Here’s an old one, just west of town.

Training Days Thirty-five to Forty-one (8/16-22, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?

DEPRESSING news.  I’ve accomplished very little, that’s what.  Still suffering from depression and being back on meds has not helped me even though I am back up to full strength this week.  Still depressed, in fact I think I am worse.  I am too relaxed and too lazy.  I’m not use to such a mood… and am usually always high energy.  I am cutting the pills in half and will see if my  mood improves over this coming week, and if it does, I am weaning myself off this medication.

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Darn, how I love those popsicles.  They are too good.

1) Get fit, food wise.  I did WORSE this week with sodas and coffee popsicles, and still guess what????   I lost weight????  In fact, some of that junk made me really sick, adding to my depression.

That is part of what made me begin to re-evaluate my goal of hiking the trail.  If I can not even control my daily habits in order to get in shape, how the heck will I manage my health in the wild?

2) Get fit, fitness wise.  

Day 35 (Sun).  I pretty much just rested.  I planned to change this up… and do something on Sundays, walk or do a strength training routine, but I did nothing but escape into genealogy research.  And I ate 1 sm pack of cookies and 3 popsicles.  Geez.  What is wrong with me?

Day 36 (Mon).   Still lurking in the family tree and have gotten tangled up in it.  Had a chicken sandwich and a coke and it made me ill.  Later I had a healthy omelet.  But no exercise????  WTF?

Day 37 (Tue). GREAT news.  Today, I swam a mile in 1 hour and 14 min, six minutes less than six days ago.  I was very proud of myself and felt highly motivated, until the next morning?

Day 38-41 (Weds-Sat).  Where did my mojo go???   I lost it someplace since Tuesday when I swam that mile in record time.  Each morning I wake up, plan to go swim, go back to bed and just sleep… enjoying the fresh cool air here.  OMG, it is so relaxing.  But it’s depressing that I can’t fight it off and stick to my guns.  That’s when I began to question my sanity.  Also reading about the first segment of the AZ Trail where it is highly recommended you hike with a partner, due to the illegals coming across the border at that point.  And that segment is also one of the more strenuous parts of the trail. I have begun feeling like it is more than I can do logistically and physically.  I have not given up totally on the dream, but I am having second thoughts.  It’s good to listen to that still small voice inside.  All I did the rest of the week was genealogy, until Ancestry.com when down yesterday, Fri. Aug. 21. (secretly that is a good thing for me).

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Back to the pool next week to swim with the whales.

More GREAT news.  My lungs are 100% back to normal… and that I am very happy about.  Part of the reason I am so relaxed is because breathing is so easy now.

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   SAME. There just are not many bugs here!!!  I’m keeping a notebook of ideas for future reference.

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My whole rear end looked like that last summer in the southeastern states, and I ended up in the ER.  Pine Itch Mites that crawled out of a box of pine needles I collected, up the back of my chair and onto my naked butt…. it was hot and I was doing email with fans blowing on me… and the buggers got me.  I can’t do that again.

4) Get the equipment I need.  Backpack donated.  No other progress made on equipment needs this week.  I have not yet made a list.

DEPRESSING news.  This summer when I was so sick from bug bites, had all four of my tires fail within a couple weeks, and was stuck in the southeast, a lot of people pitched in to help me out financially.  Now it’s time to repay them, in fact I should have already done so… and it’s adding to my depression that I am still so broke.  Out of my August paycheck, my auto ins, my auto tabs, and my fees for camping in LTVA in Quartzsite will have to come along with my phone/internet bill, and regular other bills.  There is just not enough $ to do all that, which only adds to my depression.  I’m making it a new policy not to accept any more loans from people.  I’m bad about keeping track of all that.  But I am reviewing all my notes and trying to do right about all my friends.

GREATEST news.  On a positive note:

Weight?   Last week: 232 pounds       This week:  225 pounds    Weekly Loss/Gain = -7, more than I expected, for sure.   Total Loss/Gain (since July 13) = -15 pounds.  WOW!   Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.

Forgive me for not having a more positive post, but at least give me credit for having an honest post.  Thank you.

Please click on the blue bar at the top to “Join this site” and follow me.  You will get a e-mail notice when there is a new blog post.  Thank you.

Also, I am creating a set of notecards of southwestern images to sell in order to raise money for equipment or to help pay back my friends.  Please have a look at what they may look like.  I hope to have them finished and ready to mail out by Thanksgiving.  You can reserve your set of note cards now by sending a PayPal donation of $25 to charlene.swankie@gmail.com.  Note Cards will be sent out before Dec. 1, 2015, or delivered to you are the Winter RTR Rendezvous.

Sample Southwest Notecards


Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the hike.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below.


Contribute to Equipment for the Trail Hike or for the Note Cards:

 


Saturday, August 15, 2015

WEEK FIVE–Arizona National Scenic Trail Hike Training--- (August 9-25, 2015)

Goal: Hike The Arizona Trail.  It is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people.   (From:  http://www.aztrail.org/at_about.html) I will be doing this as a solo hike. 

I would also like to raise money for some worthy cause at the same time, but have not yet selected a cause.  I am open to suggestions.  Email your ideas to me at:  charlene.swankie@gmail.com.   Right now I am thinking American Osteopathic Association???  Specifically, I’d like to help someone else get new knees and a new lease on life.  Would like to have your ideas.

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View looking out my front window, at the back gate into Ted Turner’s property.  Nice quiet place to park, except a lot of people drive out here and then have to turn around as you can’t get through.  Off to the right of the big tree is a Country Club and Golf Course.

Previous post.  

I have decided on writing a weekly post rather than a daily one.

Training Days Twenty-eight to Thirty-four (8/9-8/15, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?

Last week’s update …suffering from depression.  Being back on meds has helped me and will be back up to full strength this week.  Still depressed.

1) Get fit, food wise.  I did better this week in giving up sodas and Ice Cream, one 7 UP, one payday candy, and one ice cream. 

There is this giant fake ice cream cone on the road by Dairy Queen… very hard to drive by it without stopping.

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Broke down and got a large chocolate covered cone.  Gave me a loose stool the next day.  Mistake.  Ate pretty good the rest of the time, and my appetite is decreasing.

I used to get 20 pc chicken nuggets and eat all 20 at once but on 8/9 could not eat 1/3 of them…. and it took me 3 days to eat these.  Also had a small coke. Always get a large coke.  I began recording on the calendar below, each fast food item I buy, including any sodas or junk food.  That is helping me be more accountable.

Also I keep a spreadsheet of my expenses …. working on it… years behind on this, but when I get it done, I’m going to chart out how much I spent on junk foods the last few years and see if I can’t put that money to better uses.

2) Get fit, fitness wise.  

Day 28 (Sun).  I pretty much just rested.  Maybe I should change this up… and do something, walk or do a strength training routine.  I’ll work on this idea.

Day 29 (Mon). Did not swim today because when I got out of bed I could not step down on my right foot.  It has been hurting all night and I didn’t get much sleep.  So went to ER today and turns out I have a bone spur in my heel and Plantar Fasciitis.  She gave me some scripts and recommended physical therapy.  Wants me to follow up with my PCP and he is in California and it’s been more than a year since I saw him.   Well I didn’t get the meds and am not going to go to CA to see my doctor.  I had to get online and look at other feet… to compare… and mine doesn’t look so bad.  My O2 level is fluctuating from 95% down to 84%…   In the ER Monday, it was about 90% and doctor didn’t say anything. 

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Day 30 (Tue). Today, it was like my foot never hurt.  All I did was keep it warmer at night and make sure it was not cramped in an odd position.   Today I Swam 3/4 mi in 53 min  and it actually seemed to help my foot.  My breathing is much better and I didn’t cough.  I think I lost track of a couple laps, so may have actually swam a bit farther than 3/4 mile but didn’t feel up to going for a mile.  Hopefully by the end of the week I will be doing a mile.

Day 31 (Weds).   I did it.  I swam 1 mile in 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Now to begin working on reducing that time.  I have noticed I have less pain in my right shoulder, a chronic problem for me (car accident, and a couple of surgeries).  Pretty proud to get back up to a mile.

Day 32 (Thurs).  Woke with stiff neck from the swim and decided to cross train.  Nibbled on a Payday candy bar… and begin a walking component… walked through Raton and also visited the Raton Museum.  Walked about a mile up and down hill.

Day 33 (Fri).  Woke with a migraine.  Took meds and went back to bed. When I woke again, I drove out to the edge of town.  Had a sweet potato for breakfast and then spent the day entering receipts into the spreadsheet.  Had a zucchini and eggs for supper.  Got a lot of sleep.

Day 34 (Sat).  Wrote blog.  May walk later today.

My lungs are bothering me less… almost at 100% back to normal…. what it’s like when I don’t expose myself to allergens (i.e. houses, pets, smokers, cities).  Yes, I believe DEPRESSION is my biggest problem.  I am trying to eliminate things from my life and my thoughts that feed the depression… and that is very hard.

Strength Training:  A trainer has recommended I add strength training  one or two days a week.   I’ll work on that for this coming week.

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Using the calendar is working out very well for me.  The # circled on the left edge is the WEEK of training.  The # in the upper left corner of each day is the day # of training.  I wrote in the word Swim on the weekdays... and will fill in the distance and time each day.  On Sat. I have put down my current weight in black and my goal weight in pen (though weight loss is not my goal).  If I loose a safe 2 pounds a week, I will reach my ideal weight of 190 by the end of the year. 

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   There just are not many bugs here!!!  I’m keeping a notebook of ideas for future reference.

4) Get the equipment I need.  Backpack donated.  No other progress made on equipment needs this week.  I should make a list soon.

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View from the side door of  my van, this morning.

My Weight?   Last week: 233 pounds       This week:  232 pounds    Weekly Loss/Gain = -1, less than I expected, but then I believe I am also building more muscle, so have probably lost fat weight this week… and gained some muscle weight.   Total Loss/Gain (since July 13) = -8 pounds.   Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.

Please click on the blue bar at the top “Join this site” to follow me.  You will get a notice when there is a new blog post.  Thank you.

Also, I am creating a set of notecards of southwestern images to sell in order to raise money for equipment.  Please have a look at what they may look like.  I hope to have them finished and ready to mail out by Thanksgiving.  You can reserve your set of note cards now by sending a PayPal donation of $25 to charlene.swankie@gmail.com.  Note Cards will be sent out before Dec. 1, 2015, or delivered to you are the Winter RTR Rendezvous.

Sample Southwest Notecards


Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the hike.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below.


Contribute to Equipment for the Trail Hike or for the Note Cards:

 


Saturday, August 8, 2015

WEEK FOUR—Arizona National Scenic Trail Hike Training—(August 2-8, 2015)

Goal: Hike The Arizona Trail.  It is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people.   (From:  http://www.aztrail.org/at_about.html) I will be doing this as a solo hike. 

I would also like to raise money for some worthy cause at the same time, but have not yet selected a cause.  I am open to suggestions.  Email your ideas to me at:  charlene.swankie@gmail.com.   Right now I am thinking American Osteopathic Association???  Specifically, I’d like to help someone else get new knees and a new lease on life.  Would like to have your ideas.

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Kayaking at Sugarite Canyon Park, NM.

Previous post.  

I have decided on writing a weekly post rather than a daily one.

Training Days Twenty-one to Twenty-seven (8/2-8/8, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?

Last week’s update was not very inspiring or uplifting and I don’t feel this one will be either.  I am suffering from depression.  Hopefully that will change next week.

This week has been discouraging for me and I have gone back on meds that might help me. 

1) Get fit, food wise.  I did better this week in giving up sodas and Ice Cream, only two sodas, no candy, 1 pc of cake, and one ice cream.  There is this giant fake ice cream cone on the road by Dairy Queen… and it is very hard to drive past it.  But I resisted.  I did not keep track daily of food, but noted that my bowels are acting better and I have begun to get hungry when exercising.  That is very unusual for me.  Maybe it means I am loosing weight?  I did eat much better this week.

Next week, I am going to record on the calendar below, each fast food item I buy, including any sodas or junk food.  Also I keep a spreadsheet of my expenses and have a category for Fast Foods and junk.  I think I will take a look at what I spent the last few weeks and compare it to what I spend this next week.  Might help motivate me.

2) Get fit, fitness wise.  

Day 21 (Sun), I pretty much just rested. 

Day 22 (Mon) , Sick at my stomach, so no exercise. 

Day 23 (Tue),  Decided I needed a break from town so drove to Sugarite Canyon State Park and kayaked four hours.  Felt marvelous.

Day 24 (Weds), swam  3/4 mile, minus 2 laps due to a cramp in my right shoulder (probably from kayaking) in 55 minutes.

Day 25 (Thurs), swam 3/4 mile in 51 minutes, reducing my time by 4 min… the difference being that my cough has improved.  On exhaling, I would get a cough that often made me stop swimming.  I am controlling breathing better now, and if I don’t exhale quite as deeply, I don’t trigger the cough.  

Day 26 (Fri), No exercise.  Feel tired and depressed.  Slept all day thinking tomorrow was Friday and I could swim then.  I flubbed up.  Darn it.

Day 27 (Sat), Got no confirmation that I could join Folsom Archaeological Tour, so I decided not to use the gasoline to get there and back in hopes of getting in on the tour.  Still 11 days til payday and I have only 1/2 tank of gas left.

My lungs were bothering me less and less this week and I don’t feel the need to go to see a doctor.  I expelled some kind of clump of mucus or something and after that, my cough lessened.  I will swim more next week.  I almost have my breathing rhythm back… and can do full laps breathing only every other stroke.  This is huge.  Thursday, I swam almost the whole distance non-stop… but not with 100% perfect rhythm.  This is very good.

Yes, DEPRESSION is my biggest problem and I need to address that if my meds don’t help soon.  Half dose this week and full dose every other day next week.  I don’t know what resources there are in this community for such a problem but I am going to check it out this week.

Walking: Have not yet added a walking component, as just walking a couple blocks uphill to my van from the library gets me huffing and puffing.  It’s 6,680 ft in elevation here in Raton.  Didn’t know it would be so hard and maybe it won’t be when the cough stops.   My O2 level is fluctuating from 95% down to 84%… and that concerns me.  It does not stay that low very long, but it might be something I should check out.  Just part of the COPD issues.

Strength Training:  A trainer has recommended I add strength training  one or two days a week, and I have reviewed a couple videos on that and made notes and sketches of the various exercises.  I have elastic bands and will get that added in this week.   I asked this trainer and her spouse to be my “official” trainers, via email suggestions and comments, but they have declined as they are too busy.  I think I need a trainer cracking a whip behind me.

OK, I got my  calendar and will write out what my fitness plan is for each week, on the calendar.  Then I will just get up in the morning and DO IT without thinking or having to decide each day.  I will alternate my swimming plan, and add in a walking/running plan.  Soon I am going to add in an uphill walk.

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The # circled on the left edge is the WEEK of training.  The # in the upper left corner of each day is the day # of training.  I wrote in the word Swim on the weekdays... and will fill in the distance and time each day.  On Sat. I have put down my current weight in black and my goal weight in pen (though weight loss is not my goal).  If I loose a safe 2 pounds a week, I will reach my ideal weight of 190 by the end of the year.  Yes, at 190 I am about a skinny size 12... my bone and muscle mass are very dense compared to an average size woman.

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Weight 190.  1967

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   Have not begun experimenting with different repellants, as there just aren’t many bugs here.  But for future reference, I’m going to  make a list of ideas.   Did get an alert from my health insurance on the subject… with this recommendation: 

There are many different kinds of insect repellent, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends products that have at least one of the following active ingredients:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • IR 3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus

For more details see this link http://www.tricare.mil/Summerbugs080515 .

4) Get the equipment I need.  Backpack donated.  No other progress made on equipment needs this week.

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Kink in my plans – RESOLVED.  My van was acting up but with better gas all is right with SwankieWheels again. 

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My Weight?   Last week: 235 pounds       This week:  233 pounds    Weekly Loss/Gain = -2, Perfect.   Total Loss/Gain (since July 13) = -7 pounds.   Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.

Please click on the blue bar at the top “Join this site” to follow me.  You will get a notice when there is a new blog post.  Thank you.


Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the hike.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below.


Contribute to Equipment for the Trail Hike or for the Note Cards:

 


Saturday, August 1, 2015

WEEK THREE–Arizona National Scenic Trail Hike Training–(July 26-Aug 1, 2015)

Goal: Hike The Arizona Trail.  It is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people.   (From:  http://www.aztrail.org/at_about.html) I will be doing this as a solo hike.  I would also like to raise money for some worthy cause at the same time, but have not yet selected a cause.  I am open to suggestions.  Email your ideas to me at:  charlene.swankie@gmail.com.

IMGA0602

Storming in Raton, NM.

Previous post.

I have decided on writing a weekly post rather than a daily one.

Training Days Fourteen – Twenty (7/26-8/1, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?

This week has been discouraging for me.   I was contacted by a local photographer/writer who wanted to interview me for a possible article for the news.  I thought “That should be interesting.”  Then got nervous about how I would look, how the van would look, etc.  But when I asked if I could preview the article and photo, he changed his mind. Said I had to trust him – a stranger?  I think I will decline future requests for interviews and just tell them, no more free-bees, as I will be SELLING my story in the future.

1) Get fit, food wise.  Found a gas station/convenience store that has a place called Alfredos, that makes good Mexican food.  They also have the Mexican popsicles in CafĂ©’ flavor.  Hard to find them.  Better for me than a pint of Hag Daz Coffee Ice Cream.  Also can get a large soda with lots of ice for $1.59.   One of the fast food places charged me over $3 for one half this size.  So I got the popsicle and the BIG Pepsi for less than it cost me for that coke alone yesterday.  Been sipping it all day long and still have 1/3 left.   And YES, I realize I need to give all that up.

Monday: drove out of town and parked (ha… at back entrance to Ted Turner’s property – there is a gate closed off on both these roads….  https://www.google.com/maps/place/36%C2%B053%2708.9%22N+104%C2%B028%2701.6%22W/@36.8858461,-104.4681863,93m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en)… and cooked my lunch… a steak some greens, and a couple of zucchinis.   Lots of folks drive down this road and then have to turn around and go back to town.  But otherwise, it was a nice stop.

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On the one gate was a sign… and a keypad for entrance.  On the other road was a gate with a chain and padlock.  I think Mr. Turner must own both of these canyons?  Following the canyon on Google Maps, I think I have found Mr. Turner’s home???   https://www.google.com/maps/place/36%C2%B053%2708.9%22N+104%C2%B028%2701.6%22W/@36.9734097,-104.5831128,221m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en   Needless to say, I won’t be a guest there….  http://www.vermejoparkranch.com/_summerrates.

I took a ride later in the week out Highway 555, and the land on both sides of the highway, for the 20 miles I drove, belongs to Ted Turner.  Lovely drive.  More locked gated with his No Trespassing signs.  Never saw a public gate to the Vermejo Park Ranch.  Never saw a sign for the Ranch other than the No Trespassing signs.

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This is one gate that goes up into that valley, and has the most used road I saw.  I’m thinking it must be nice to own such a grand piece of land and be able to allow it to return to a more pristine state.  Coal-mining operations have gone on there in the past (and maybe present?) and timbering operations were in progress as well.  There is a big lumber mill on the West edge of Raton, on Rt. 555.  I saw a big logging truck coming from the west toward town.

Tuesday: I bought no FAST food.  Fruit smoothie for breakfast, hamburger patty, fresh greens and pita bread for lunch, plus yam/apples mix.

Remainder of week:  More fruit smoothies for breakfast.  Ate more greens this week and NO Candy bars.  Still a battle with sodas and ice cream.  Is this hopeless?

Friday: Depressed.  Accidentally took two days worth of meds and by Sat. morning had the runs.  In spite of that, I lost no weight this week.

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The pool is lovely and the climbing wall is neat.  I tried to pull myself up on it… talk about hard.  The entire pool has strong water jets all around it… and so water is always choppy, making just walking in it a workout.

2) Get fit, fitness wise.   Day 14, I pretty much just rested.  Day 15, no exercise.  Day 16,  I  swam 1/2 mile, didn’t note time.  Coughing.  Day 17, swam  3/4 mile in 60 minutes.  Coughing is still a problem.  Day 18, swam 3/4 mile in 55 minutes.   Days 19 & 20… no swimming.  Can’t swim on weekends.

My lungs were bothering me some over last weekend, without swimming.  But didn’t feel well Monday morning, so drove to get some gas, then visited a local gym to see what the cost was, then did online research about the Silver Sneakers program and learned my insurance does not cover the program, whereas many insurance companies do.  I can not afford that gym.  May see a doctor next week if cough hasn’t gone away.  I feel depressed and in need of a support group.

Sleep is important in good fitness.  Monday, July 27, I packed my DVD Player and DVDs away so that I am not tempted to stay up for hours and hours every night watching them.  I will take my health books, and my hiking books to bed with me.  Reading always puts me to sleep.  Then I will be refreshed and ready to work out in the morning.  Toward the end of the week I noticed I was more refreshed and feeling like I was getting too much sleep.  Still when I wake in the morning, I feel depressed and it’s a real effort to get up.  Last night, Friday, I got it out again and watched a bunch of House episodes.  I am now thinking DEPRESSION is my biggest problem and think I need to address that.  I have been on meds in the past for that and may go back on them.

Walking: Read up on how to begin walking/jogging at http://www.thefitrv.com/fitness-tips/how-to-start-running-later-in-life/ .   This guy’s wife is a personal trainer and has a set of videos geared for RVers on how to keep fit on the road.  I’ll be studying them and adapting them for my own program.  Have a look - http://www.thefitrv.com/category/workouts/ .  The gal’s name is Stef.  I got an email back from her today.

Hi Charlene!

Wow, what adventures you have had! I love hearing from readers like you, it's so inspiring for me. Your hike next year sounds amazing. What a great way to spend your retirement, challenging your body and tapping into your potential. Very few of us attempt that. I hope to be like you when I officially retire. Thanks for role modeling and inspiring a fit lifestyle for retirees!

I lived in New Mexico for a good decade. I was a teacher in the Albuquerque public school system! I know of Raton, and I'm very fond of the state. Such a unique place. 

James and I are actually in the market for some kayaks right now. We are leaning towards Jackson kayaks, but if you have any tips and suggestions, let me know! There's a family that writes for Winnebago GoLife: the Holcombe's, have you read any of their blogs? They are full-time RVers, professional kayakers, amazing photographers, and they have an 11-year-old daughter who is also a talented kayaker. We went kayaking with them recently and realized how much we have to learn!

I will definitely go and check out your blog, I want to follow along as you take on this challenge next year. Perhaps we will cross paths and be RVing somewhere near you and we can meet up on your journey.

And just remember, fitness and exercise has got to be nonnegotiable to age well. So get those walks in, get that exercise in, and keep yourself well so you can kick butt on your hike next year!

Sending good vibes for a successful journey,

Stefany

OK, I am going to buy a calendar I can carry with me… and write out what my fitness plan is for each week, on the calendar.  Then I will just get up in the morning and DO IT without thinking or having to decide each day.  I will alternate my swimming plan, and add in a  walking/running plan.  Soon I am going to add in an uphill walk.

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   … this coming week and will begin experimenting with different things.  No progress yet, but a misquote fogging truck drove past my parking spot yesterday (Friday).

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4) Get the equipment I need.  Exciting to get an email from someone who is offering to GIVE me a good backpack.  I looked it up online and wrote back with a few questions.  Also tried to research the pack I bought from Wal-Mart a couple years ago and could not find it online so it is difficult to compare the two.  However, I feel the one I have is inadequate for a long hike.  Will follow-up.  Now reading through a book on the Pacific Crest Trail (which was useless as it is ONLY a trail guide… nothing about prep, or food, or equipment).  Communicated more with the person willing to donate a good backpack to me. She was also willing to give me a tent, but it pretty much sounds like what I have now.  Tuesday, got more details on the backpack and am waiting photos of it.  Have since seen the photos and accepted this backpack.  I will be picking it up in person in Mesa, AZ when I head to Quartzsite, AZ.

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It seems to rain a lot here.

Kink in my plans.  My van is acting up and it turns out the fuse for the cig. lighter is also a fuse for the computer.  Pulled the fuse, it was blow, replaced it, and walla… the computer works.  Got some codes on possible problems, swapped out a couple more fuses for the Oxygen Sensors… and darned if the van isn’t running better!  Another code might have been thrown due to cheap grade gas.  Going to fill up with GOOD gas and see how that effects things.  Guys at Auto Zone thought my Catalytic Converters were clogged… and guess what, my van has four of them.  Not accepting that diagnosis, and still hoping for a less expensive fix.  Here is what I don’t understand, the van seems to be running better now, and the fuses and better gas is all I changed.  Then the next day it seems sluggish again.  If anyone has thoughts please share them.  I just don’t have the funds for major mechanical work right now.  I don’t have any funds right now, for anything.  So very tired of being broke.

My Weight?   Last week: 235 pounds       This week:  235 pounds    Loss/Gain = 0   Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.

My apologies to my readers that this Update is not very inspiring or uplifting.  Hopefully that will change next week.


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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.

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