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Mt. Whitney Summit Bid in the middle of ultra training

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Mark B
Tim C
John Kilpatrick
Michele "1L" Keane
Julie
Jim Lentz
Mike MacLellan
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Post  Mike MacLellan Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:32 am

I realize that most responses will likely be as speculative as mine, so I'm looking for a "this is what I would do" just as much as any logical reasoning you can use to back it up.

My father wants to hike Mt. Whitney... again. This would be a 2 (maybe 2.5?) day trip, at elevation, with backpacks, etc. For those of you unfamiliar with the hike, it's 11mi each way, just over 6000' gain/loss. So, it's a good hike for ultra training, if you use hiking to train for ultras (I haven't yet).

My father is going to be slow. He's not in the shape he used to be in, so we're talking purely time on feet for me. Really, no aerobic effort at all, is my prediction. Some muscular gains, of course, given the elevation change. I plan on running an hour or so each morning before the hike begins.

Here is my proposed schedule from now until my goal race in Dec... The weekly totals may change slightly (and the 50k on Nov 12 is completely optional), but the purpose of each week (build or stepback) will remain:

Mt. Whitney Summit Bid in the middle of ultra training Plan9010

Questions:
1. Would you even consider deviating from "the plan" for this trip?
2. If so, which weekend? It can't be this weekend, nor can it be the weekend of Oct 28... Nor can it be the weekend of Nov 19, as those are both busy and are supposed to be stepback anyway.

Let the debate begin.
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Post  Jim Lentz Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:01 am

The weekend of October 15th.
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Post  Julie Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:09 am

I would say yes just because of the father-son time. I did the bike ride across Nebraska with my dad and I don't really bike but he's really into it and I didn't run at all that week thanks to biking all day but it was something I did to spend time with him and sometimes that's more important than a training program.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Frankly, I don't think it would hurt you one bit (I've spent a week skiing during many a Spring marathon training session and never felt any affects), and you can only gain by spending time with your Dad.
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Post  John Kilpatrick Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:19 pm

With the training that you have had and continue to have, I would have to say it's a pick-em. I know one thing. I would give back my entire year of training to have a weekend hiking with my Dad now that he is gone - do it anytime it works for your school schedule - your fitness isn't going to suffer. You are doing great and you deserve the family time - your Dad probably needs you as much as you need him too. Added bonus would be if you can sneak some running time in while hiking, but I agree with Michele and Julie - if your Dad is a priority you can't lose. Have fun!!!

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Post  Tim C Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:25 pm

John Kilpatrick wrote:With the training that you have had and continue to have, I would have to say it's a pick-em. I know one thing. I would give back my entire year of training to have a weekend hiking with my Dad now that he is gone - do it anytime it works for your school schedule - your fitness isn't going to suffer. You are doing great and you deserve the family time - your Dad probably needs you as much as you need him too. Added bonus would be if you can sneak some running time in while hiking, but I agree with Michele and Julie - if your Dad is a priority you can't lose. Have fun!!!

I couldn't have said it any better.
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Post  Mark B Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:48 pm

Tim C wrote:
John Kilpatrick wrote:With the training that you have had and continue to have, I would have to say it's a pick-em. I know one thing. I would give back my entire year of training to have a weekend hiking with my Dad now that he is gone - do it anytime it works for your school schedule - your fitness isn't going to suffer. You are doing great and you deserve the family time - your Dad probably needs you as much as you need him too. Added bonus would be if you can sneak some running time in while hiking, but I agree with Michele and Julie - if your Dad is a priority you can't lose. Have fun!!!

I couldn't have said it any better.

+1

Find the weekend that works best for him and you to have a good, pressure-free time. You think they're going to be around forever, but they're not.

(If you want a workout, go ahead and run mountain repeats while your dad is making breakfast.)
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Post  Mike MacLellan Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:31 pm

Called him up this morning and suggested the 15th. He said that should work, as we risk snow in November and he wants a couple more weeks to train (he's actually been running!). Appreciate all the level-headedness about what's REALLY important going on here. I needed it.
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Post  Julie Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:21 am

Yes, definitely spend the time with your dad. Our week long bike tour was in June, I got married in July, and in January my mom called and said my dad was in ICU with a heart attack. I was so scared. He had a really good recovery but there's nothing like your 58 yr old dad having a heart attack when he's active and at a healthy weight with no family history of heart disease to make you realize that we're not going to have our parents on this earth forever.


Last edited by Julie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spacing)
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Post  nkrichards Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:37 pm

I agree with everyone...do it and enjoy the time with your Dad.



Just watch your Achilles...I strained mine with all the elevation gain climbing Kilimanjaro and ended up injured. You are much younger and fitter so you'll probably be fine.
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Post  Liz R Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:42 pm

Sounds very cool! I hope you'll tell us how it goes.

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Post  Glenn Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:40 pm

2 days? Yes, I'd do it (for John's reasons above, if nothing else). But stick to your plan of training right up to and right after the hike. Reason being: in 2008 I did a week-long back-pack trip. I ran a 14 mile the day before we left. We hiked 50 miles that week, but I got in no more than 2 miles running a couple of times during the whole trip. I ran a 9-miler two days after I got back and felt like I had forgotten how to run. It certainly taught me something about specificity of training - Hiking ain't running.
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Post  Jerry Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:55 am

You ask what I would do?

"Dad, why don't you talk to my brothers?"

lol!
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