With just 3-weeks to go until ice climbing training in Colorado and less than 5-months until Mt. Rainier, training is intensifying. I was planning to workout each day in February as a test to see where I am at. Of course, a couple of days have turned into “off” days. I try to make up the time on the other days. Overall the goal is 5-hours per week on a treadmill with varying speed and incline; 3 or 4 walk/runs with the dog (who is in heaven); and weights a couple of times. I think the most important change will be to start wearing a backpack while on the treadmill and gradually work up to 40 or 50 pounds in it to simulate some of the physical conditions of Mt. Rainier.
So far my back is holding up, with some resistance to getting out of bed in the morning, I figure that is a good test for summit day, to get up and out early despite the soreness, and push any limits further beyond anything I have been up against.
I have been reading more Zen texts, poetry, and the life of some masters. Reading Zen Master Ryokan has helped me to focus not only on the goal, but also beyond the pain and soreness. Sometimes it really is mind over matter, and if we just get over one of those humps or mountains, see what is waiting on the other side, we realize that we can push further and that it was worth it. From that we have more energy and a positive state of mind to reach and overcome the next obstacle.