Last Training Hike before Grand Canyon

I’m ready. Really. I’ve done things before where I wasn’t sure if I was ready or not. The 2012 AMBA Ride comes to mind. That’s was 500 miles of cycling over 7 days including back-to-back centuries. Due to my schedule, I only had about two weeks to get in shape. That’s not the way to do it, but it turned out fine anyway. I’ve also done things where I had confidence in my level of conditioning. Our Emerald Coast Bikepacking Tour last year was an example of that.

I’ve really been pushing hard over the last ten days with hiking and running. I’ve been sticking to my run-commute on Fridays, which gives me 8 miles and I’ve been very faithful in running from the gym everyday at lunch. And I’ve been able to fit in several training hikes over the last four weekends. In the past few days it was 1) 8 mile run-commute 2) 9 mile run and 3) another 7, strenuous miles on Rainbow “Mountain” this morning in a full pack. (My pack is 26 pounds, by the way, and will probably end up at 27-28. This is about 4 pounds more than I was hoping.)

So, it’s time for a rest day. Except for my bike commute, which I will take slow, I don’t plan on doing anything athletic. We will be traveling to the Canyon most of the day on Wednesday so that will be a rest day as well. I don’t know that I need three rest days so I’ll leave open the option of a short run on Tuesday. But it really isn’t necessary since I’m quite sure I’m ready to tackle this hike.

I’m very near my target body weight also. My target weight is nothing crazy as it is the same weight I aim for every summer. It’s my century cyclist weight and it serves me well. I think I’ve been 1.4 pounds over the past two mornings. I was actually a pound under after my run yesterday, but that doesn’t count as it was because I didn’t drink enough water.

I think I’ve got my food all in order. I feel pretty good about that although it sure is a lot of weight. I’ve got 7 pounds of food for 4 days. I think the rule-of-thumb is 1.5 to 2 pounds per day so I guess I’m in the neighborhood.

I’m not 100% confident about my gear. The 45-50F night in the Walls of Jericho valley left me pretty cold due to the combination of a 45F bag and the tiny Klymit sleeping pad. The 10-day forecast for the Canyon looks like mid-30s for lows on both of the rims and that is shaking my confidence a bit. I tried packing my bag with my Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker, but it’s just too, too bulky. I’ve got full Under Armour ColdGear that I break out for the really cold bike commutes. I’ll definitely pack them to take out there, but I’ll make the last minute decision to include them in my pack based on the weather forecast as we leave. I just cannot imagine being cold in those.

Well, this will post tomorrow and, at that time, only two days to go. But… I’m ready.

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