21 weeks to go.

Well, not quite, but 21 is significant because that is the remaining time I have for training, allowing me some downtime before my departure.

As I previously mentioned, I have not been on a walk for six days (6 days). I did, however, make it out for an afternoon walk yesterday. 3 miles, 2×25 air squats and 2×25 single-leg box step up. I’m still a little sore.

As I was about halfway through my walk, I was worried I may have committed to too much, but alas, I had to walk home. I took a different route, which doesn’t double up on areas; it’s an actual loop. So, I continued because that’s all I could do. But my legs were barking at me.

Speaking of barking…. I think the Hoka’s aren’t a good match for the orthotics. I believe the midsole deteriorates so that my foot receives more arch pain as the shoes wear out, which is terrible. I’ll wear the Topo Ultraventures with the orthotics for a few days for direct comparison. Then, I will switch to the Superfeet carbon insoles I bought last week. These are the same Superfeet insoles I wore in August, and they did cause heel edge blisters. So while training may be completely fine, I may experience issues on longer hikes, especially back-to-back days. I digress.

As I got closer to home, I devised a reward system for myself. There are two products that I really want to get, but they’re only upgrades, and they are quite expensive. So, naturally, I use them as carrots. Here’s the plan.

  1. 5 weeks of walking: 5 days per week with a pack on. No more than two days can be skipped in a row. Reward: Coros Pacer 3 smartwatch

    Why it matters to me: The watch will allow me to create a more accurate GPS track and monitor other stats. Something my phone isn’t capable of.
  2. 5 (additional) weeks of walking: Everything in #1, plus 10 walks per week, one additional day (6 total), one 5-mile session, one 10-mile plus day hike per month. Reward: Anker Battery Bank and Charger

    Why it matters to me: much faster recharge time for the battery bank; 1.5 hours from empty to full, and faster to charge other devices; the battery bank I have now is fairly fast, but it will still take 6-8 hours to charge and won’t charge other devices that fast. The charger is required to achieve that fast recharge time.
  3. 10 weeks of walking: Everything in #2 plus, two 5-mile sessions per week and one 15-mile plus day hike per month. Reward: Ubiquiti gear

    This isn’t backpacking related, but it is something that I would love to upgrade. Is my current system fine? Yes, but like the rewards, this will provide some feature improvement over my current setup.


For the discerning reader, you have already noticed that I didn’t put mileage requirements and used ‘days.’ You’re correct, and I did that on purpose to not box me into one, and only one, chance per day to meet the requirement. I feel like it’s more important that I do SOMETHING than nothing. I also have two daily opportunities to walk; in the morning before everyone wakes up and during my lunch hour. Lunch hour can be dicey because I usually must leave a little before noon, so I am not rushing back to my desk for a 1 pm meeting. The reverse can also be true.

For #2, I must make both opportunities per day of work. The challenge becomes greater, a distance requirement, and a day hike neither afford much if any flexibility. I can squeeze in the 5-mile session on any of the days, but the day hike requires a weekend day (challenges: family obligations, weather, motivation).

#3 seems crazy but should be attainable. The hardest part is keeping the momentum for 10 weeks! It also has more inflexible requirements.