Inca Trail Update: Day -300

Since several people have asked, here’s a quick Inca Trail update for you. As of today (November 1, 2016), it is exactly 300 days until we start our trek. That’s 9 months and 27 days of preparation left.

Let’s go to the numbers!

We are in our 81st day of training. We passed a big threshold over the weekend, clearing the 500 mile mark on our exercise walks. As of this afternoon, we are at 514 miles and counting. We have only missed three days, the last on September 5th, when we spent the day in Guayaquil. Otherwise we have managed at least one exercise walk per day, usually two, and once in a while three. Our main schedule is to walk a measured 3.24 miles (remember, no FBBS!) in the morning and repeat after dinner. A few times a week we replace the morning walk with a 6-8 mile hike to La Puntilla, or if the weather is nice, we may do a 3 mile beach walk in the early afternoon.

When we began on August 13th, I weighed 272.3 pounds. This morning I made my November 1st goal (barely), weighing in at 239.8, for a loss of 32.5 pounds. Rita was in the normal weight range when we started, but she has lost the 10 or so pounds she wanted to lose as well, and kept them off.

We’ve also started to add some new stuff to the program. On our walks at La Puntilla, we’ve added the trail up to El Morro. This is a lookout point that is 269 feet above sea level. When we take that hike, we cover between 7 and 8 miles, and most of that altitude gain is on a very steep path and some even steeper stairs. We’ve done this at least a half a dozen times now, and have gone from needing to take about 6 breaks on the climb the first day, to just one break halfway up on the most recent trip.

Stairs are also a big factor of the Inca Trek, so we have also started a few times a week going to the P1 parking garage level of our condo building, walking up the 408 stairs to the water tanks just under the roof 23 floors up, and then walking back down again. Last week we added the twist of sometimes using the stairs when we leave and return from our “short walks” (only 3.24).

One sad discovery we made recently – walking with a full pack is a bitch! We had planned a hike into the rain forest in Ayampe, but fortunately did a test hike at home carrying the water, snacks, spare shoes, and rain gear we thought we might need. This came to about 16 pounds each, which sounds like no big deal.

Turns out, it is a big deal. At the end of just our short walk, we could feel it in our arms, legs and backs. Needless to say we have postponed that walk in the woods until we can build up some strength by adding a little weight at a time to our packs.

Other than that, things have been going remarkably well. We continue to really enjoy our time outdoors, we both feel better and healthier, and we are still excited about the coming trip.

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