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: 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:   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.


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.


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.


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 .

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


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


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.

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


Who is Swankie?

My photo
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.