Tumbleweed on the PCT and Beyond

A Journal

Chair to the 2014 Grand 2 Grand Ultra Marathon – HUH?

I started a blog last year, September 27th to be exact, because I had the bug. I called the blog, The Journey From Chair to The 2014 Grand 2 Grand, I’ve Got the Bug. To see how one can get that bug, here is the gist of the race from the g2g web site:

It is the first stage race to start from the awe inspiring north rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and finish on the summit of the Grand Staircase, one of the world’s most iconic geological formations. The course takes you through a desert landscape of sand dunes, red rock canyons, buttes, mesas and hoodoos. You will navigate compelling slot canyons and cross a tributary of the Virgin River. Experience the remotest part of continental America in the way of the earliest settlers, Navajo and Paiute Indian tribes. This is where Montezuma’s gold is still reputed to be buried.

Observe nature up close in an environment rich in flora and wildlife – from unusual and threatened cacti to big horn sheep to the endangered California Condor, the largest bird in America.

Challenge yourself in the company of an international group of participants who are all eager to complete a world class course, one which has been experienced by very few people.

Here is a video taken during the 2012 race. It’s awesome:


I was volunteering for seven days out in the wilderness with the race support team, I had the bug and I wanted to race in the 2014 g2g. So I started a private training blog. This is how it started:

In the Beginning

I’m 68 turning 69 in a few weeks.

Very top end of “normal” BMI and Body fat.
*Height 5’3
*Weight 137
*Body Fat 36.5%
That’s all up from last winter so I really feel pretty fat.
*In physical therapy for chronic back and knee issues.
*Doing Power of 10 workouts 2 times a week.
*Walk the dog twice a day adding up to 2 to 3 miles.

I intend in the first month to intensify weight training, add consistent yoga, bike, hike with run walk run time as well as continuing my walks with Benny. He will enjoy a bit of run time too. I also intend to get my weight down to 115 before spring so that when I add a 20 pound backpack to my workouts I won’t be loading my knees and hips with any more weight than I am loading them with right now!

All the crew and volunteers and racers had a kick off meal last night. It was scheduled for 6:30 but didn’t happen till 7:30 so I had time to do a workout at the gym. It’s amazing how much more intense I made the workout just by having a super high goal. That’s a big part of this whole thing.

This is what I am going to do with this next year – train.

It’s going to be great!

I had someone take my photo for the “Before” picture on day one as we set out. Here it is:

mebeforepicI really honestly think I look a lot better than that but I did want a sort of objective photo which I hoped would make it look like I’d come a long way in training for the g2g 2014. On a side note, They don’t make tec t’s to fit the girls. Not a look I love :P.

Anyway; A few days ago I noticed that I had this blog from the ancient history of my life so I took a look to see what was there. I posted a little update:

Well this is Strange!

I have just revisited this blog that has been left abandoned for what seems an eternity. Everything about this initial post is exactly what I am now doing with one BIG exception! The event has changed from the G2G to the PCT.

The volunteer experience on the G2G left me cold. I thought it was going to be a wonderful alignment of the best of humans with the awesome best of nature and it just wasn’t. It was all about the race. It was a marvelous production. There is no doubt the thing took an amazing amount of orginizational klout and it really was a tour de force in that respect. And the athlets were awesome. I met some AMAZING people. I got reved up to push my own limits. Just not in that venue. I want more of a “becoming nature” experience for myself.

SO. I decided I’d do the Pacific Crest Trail. I will be putting in 25 mile days for 6 months rather than 6 days and It WILL be self supported! They call the G2G a self supported race. They have to carry everything WITH THE HUGE EXCEPTIONS OF tent, water, stove. No one will be welcoming me at the end of my long days with cheers and cowbells and hot water and a tent to dive into. Nor will a medical team be there for me and I’m pretty sure Ray Zehab won’t be dropping by to lend his motivational support. Nope. My adventure will be entirely self supported, mentally, physically and emotionally.

So the PCT it is. The training remains the same. I have been following the training plan I outlined in my first post except for the yoga. The teacher and I just never made it to the same spot at the same time. The physical therepy has been a resounding success. I sold my car to pay for the UL equiptment I need to have a prayer of finishing the treck from Mexico to Canada and so I do walk a lot, bike a lot, run the dog, all I set out to do a few months ago when I started this blog.

I am feeling great. I weigh 133 with 33% body fat. I’m just now getting back to losing weight but still intend to get to 115 – 120 so that I have less weight on my feet and joints. I still have a long way to go with training but it is all coming together and I have no doubt that after starting the PCT with 10 miles a day and working my way up to better hiking fitness as I go, I will be able to stay the course.

So there is another story about what got me going on this current obsession. Many starts to the things we do till we just find ourselves living them out. Strange.


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2 thoughts on “Chair to the 2014 Grand 2 Grand Ultra Marathon – HUH?

  1. Thanks Marcia 🙂

  2. Thanks, Trish! I enjoyed this post so much that I am going back to read your entire blog.

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