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  1. #21
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    • phoenix arizona seminar date
    • texas seminar date
    Fri 03-02

    SQ
    45x5x2
    70x5x2
    85x5x3 -- Woohoo! Finally got 85 for 3 sets of 5.
    BN
    45x5x2
    53x5x2
    60x5x3
    DL
    65x3x5
    85x5
    105x5
    120x5, 120x3
    LAT
    65x12x3

    I don't remember now, why I decided to keep the DL weight the same - I made the plan 2 days ago! I think since I had stalled on SQ I was in doubt as to whether I could still make 5-lb jumps on the DL. After my 1st work set of 5 I did the set of 3 just for fun. I think the grip is getting close to being a "limiting factor" on the DL, so maybe next time I'll do a 125 work set and also practice hook grip, on the last warmup and the work set. My original goal was 125, so that's pretty exciting.

    I ate some Bel Vita biscuits (230 cals mostly carb) and had 10 oz 2% milk in the car, on the way to the gym. That may have helped, since normally 4-5 hours have elapsed between breakfast and my workout.

    Now that March has arrived I need to start some long-distance hiking with weight in a pack, to get ready for summer. Think I'll keep the 3X/week schedule of lifting next week, but may have to do some 2-session weeks after that, to free up time for going out-of-town to hike. If I can make 2.5-lb jumps on SQ for 3 workouts next week, I'll be close to the 100-lb goal on that lift, plus by the end of next week I should have surpassed goal on DL.
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-12-2018 at 05:34 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy-in-PHX View Post

    Now that March has arrived I need to start some long-distance hiking with weight in a pack, to get ready for summer. Think I'll keep the 3X/week schedule of lifting next week, but may have to do some 2-session weeks after that, to free up time for going out-of-town to hike.
    Too much snow around here for much hiking. But I'm feeling your need! The snow has beat down the underbrush in the woods behind my house (I can walk 19.5 miles from my front door tot he base of Mt. St. Helens through deep timber), making it easier hiking once the snow melts back. The high alpine backcountry that I love to hike won't be open enough for hiking until July, which I'll spent my time up there from then until late November.

    What sorts of places do you hike around Phoenix? Is there a good trail system? I'm not familiar with the area and any mountains.

  3. #23
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    In the city we have the "Phoenix Mountains Preserve," which has many trails. The main hiker highway across the biggest section of the preserve (trail 100) is about 10 miles, end-to-end, has several trailheads, and follows all the lowest places between hills. It passes through a couple tunnels below some major streets that were built before the mtn preserve was created. The so-called mountains are not really very tall. The one I do most is Shaw Butte, a 5.5 mile loop with 850' net elevation gain (more like 900 total since there's one place where you cross over a col and then drop down a bunch, before climbing again). For about half the hike you are in a place where you can't see or hear road traffic. I bought my house in the place where I did, because I can get to the Mtn Preserve in a 5-minute walk without crossing any major streets. Tallest peak in the city is Piestewa, and the elevation gain of the summit trail is 1180'. I haven't done that one in many years, though, because it's so popular with the spandex crowds. Many of them want to RUN up and down the mountain, and they expect you to jump off the trail to get out of their way, and they YELL at you to do so. Some even hike/run the mountain carrying mountain bikes on their shoulders (though the trail is off-limits to cycle riding because too crowded with pedestrians for it to be safe). Anyway, the Phx mountains are great for keeping in shape through the winter, because we don't get snow.

    Within a couple hours' drive we also have mountains you can hike in summer, that are snow-covered now. (Flagstaff even has courses in avalanche safety you can take, if you want to do winter stuff in the mountains up there.) In between here and Flag are some places with in-between weather -- highs in the 50s at the trailheads at this time of year, so no snow or ice until you get to the very highest points of the ridges or peaks. Example, the Mazatzal Mountains, where the most popular trail is the Barnhardt (12.4 mi roundtrip; 1912' EC). That's where I'm thinking I'll do a longer day hike this Tuesday. Just a bit farther away from Phx is the Mogollon Rim (near the town of Payson). That's an escarpment about 1500' - 2000' high that cuts across about 200 miles of the NE part of Arizona -- it's the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. (Mogollon Rim - Wikipedia) The plateau at the top of that climb - elevation about 8000' - slopes gently down to the N, and all the drainage goes toward Flagstaff, while at the base of the cliff everything drains generally S. The plateau will be covered in snow drifts now, but I can hike from the base up to the top of the cliff, and/or use a portion of the Highline Trail that runs for 50+ miles along the base of the cliff (elevation about 6000') to connect up a couple of the more vertical trails into a loop, if the plateau snow does not prevent it. (Mar, Apr, Sept and Oct are the preferred season for the Highline, due to summer heat and thunderstorms.) The Superstitions are another relatively well-known collection of mountains (and designated a Wilderness), but I don't go there much because it's to the SE from my house and I'd have to cross a bunch of the urban jungle to get there, whereas when I go N it's easier driving.

    The mountains up by Flagstaff have Arizona's highest peak, Mt. Humphreys. The main summit trail there is about 10 miles RT and 3300' EC. June and late Sept-Oct are the best times to do it, because from July - early Sept is the monsoon season here and there are dangerous thunderstorms, when you don't want to go above treeline. OR, you can get up at zero-dark-30, eat, and be on the trail before sunup, to get off the peak before noon, and be reasonably safe, in summer. Humphreys is part of a ring of peaks that formed from ancient volcano activity, like Mt St Helens. But ours have not been active for a long time. It's gorgeous up there in fall, when the aspens change.

    We have a hiker forum, Hiking trail index since 1996! [Hm, it's called Hikearizona-dot-com, but the name got changed in the process of making the url into a link], where people can find descriptions of trails they haven't done yet, connect up with other hikers, etc. And despite the name, there are hikes written up that are in other states, too, because members are welcome to write up whatever they've hiked. I looked to see if Mt St Helens is in there, but not yet!

    I have a bit of urgency connected to the hiking, because I've applied to go on a Sierra Club national outing in summer, and it requires trip leader approval. Because of my low back history, the leader is not convinced by my Starting Strength program and wants me to get out and hike for a few long days with a 45-lb pack, and see whether my back holds up, before granting approval for my participation on the trip. Otherwise, I'd finish the novice LP before diverting recovery resources to endurance work -- but that's life, you don't always get to do the ideal thing!
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-03-2018 at 09:41 AM.

  4. #24
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    A useful article about correcting thoracic flexion in the squat (no printable pdf available):
    Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat | Bill Hannon

  5. #25
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    Mon 03-05-18

    SQ
    45x5, 3
    60x5
    74x5
    88x5x3
    A 3-lb jump this time, compared to previous work sets. Seemed to work out better than 5 lbs jump. Also, I narrowed my grip -- instead of placing the line on the bar between my 4th & 5th finger bones, I placed the line outside my 5th finger bone, with just a bit of hand meat covering the line on the bar. That helped me keep the upper back tighter, I think. Remember PROUD CHEST.
    PR
    33x5
    37x5
    42x5
    47.5x5x3
    Bless those microplates. Slow-ish bar speed on work sets, but I got them done.
    DL
    65x3x5
    85x5
    105x5
    125x5, 2 - GOAL! And two extra reps, just for fun.
    LAT 70x10x3 -- couldn't get bar all the way to chest on last few reps.
    Face pulls 20x20x2
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-12-2018 at 05:29 PM.

  6. #26
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    Wow, more hiking area's than I might have imagined. It also sounds like you have a great motivating factor keeping you working hard in the weight room. Good deal. I love to see folks getting out and putting on the miles on long hikes. I love those lasting two or three weeks.

    I've been from Flagstaff south and off the Mogollon Rim to Payson, once. As a hunter I was excited to see all the turkey's in March. Didn't see any elk there, although my buddy (passed now) used to hunt there when he lived in Tucson. We hunted Javelina out of Tucson, but that was thirty years ago and I don't remember the places--just out in the desert. Super hot that spring, breaking all sort of records and we went home empty handed. Not actually empty handed, I brought home a cooler of rattle snakes for the dinner table. I need to add a shudder here, don't know how anyone can live around those critters. Sure tasted good, though!

    Although I live in an area with more trails than I'll ever hike in a lifetime, one of my favorite places to hike is in the Middle Fork of the Salmon, in Idaho. Hiked and hunted in there for over 30 years. Its easy to set up a basecamp on the river at around 2800' to 4400' and hike up to 10,000' peaks. Lots of trails up there and lakes everywhere. Many of them planted with fish back in the 'thirties by Elmer Keith. I've always been drawn to the steep country because so few others hike it. Fish are hungrier in lakes that don't see many anglers. Once (okay, more than once) it was below zero with three feet of snow where I was on a peak around 9800'. No tent, just a good sleeping bag and I would kick a long trough into the top of a snowbank each night big enough to fit me and my gear. I'll never forget how hard my boots froze once and I couldn't get them on the next day until I built a fire! After that they always stayed under my bag.

    Around home I hike near Mt. Adams. Huge amount of trails, although I rarely use them. I've hiked and hunted the area over forty years. Up in the Goat Rocks and William O'Douglas I'll stay on trails because I don't often hike the area due to the number of other hikers. I'm a solitary traveler in the mountains, preferring to be silent and watch the animals. Although I used to have a pygmy goat of all things, and he loved to go on long trip with me. He was a hiking fool and curled up against me all through the night. Once he was with me when I had to cut through Mt. Rainier NP to catch another trail. We ran into a group and they were thrilled to see a goat. Although he was a pet, they had been looking for wild goats to photograph, so they started taking pictures of me and my little feller. Somewhere across Europe are photos of us hanging on walls!

  7. #27
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    LOL - tourists taking photos of you and your goat! That's priceless. I've yet to see a bighorn sheep in the wild, and that's something I'd love to catch sight of. But a tame goat would not be the same experience to me, at all. My dog would never share body heat with me -- he'd just curl up on his own. I'll have to think about hiking with a goat, if I decide to have another animal. (For now I don't, since my mom is 86 and I don't want to leave an animal alone, if it should happen that my mom should need me to provide care for her at some point.)

    I love solo hiking, too, for the quiet and the chance to see animals, hike off-trail, and camp in small spaces that have not been beaten to death. For a group trip, I'd prefer to hike with just one or a few other people, actually, but since I'm just now getting back into backpacking after a multi-year layoff I hope the group trip will help me meet some new people to hike with. Larger groups have some entertainment advantages, too. One disadvantage to Sierra Club national outings is that they tend to be heavy -- the cooking is all done via "central commissary," so you can't lighten your load by using the lightest cooking gear. A week is about as much food as I'd like to carry, even on a solo trip, so to stay out 2 weeks I'd need a food cache or stop at a re-supply place. But for this summer I've actually applied for 2 trips that originate within a few miles of each other, and I'll have 4 days in town (or a campsite, depending on how much money I want to spend) in between the backpacks, to do laundry and rest up. I'm also planning to hike Grand Canyon in October this year, so the CA trip is kind of training for the canyon.

    Idaho is on my bucket list, actually. Thanks for writing about it -- whets my appetite for 2019. Or if I don't get "leader approval" for the Sierra Club trips this year, maybe I'll fly up to Idaho on my own . . . I have a new compass and nav skills, so I need to try them out.

    Rattlesnakes always seem to let you know where they are, so I have no problem with them. Scorpions are the big pain in the ass, and probably not very good to eat, either. The snakes seem smarter, to me -- like they know I'm not food for them, so they'd just as soon not make contact with me, and they warn me off. (If I were deaf I don't think I'd risk hiking in rattler territory.) I got rattled at 4 times in one 2-hour hike once, near Tucson in Saguaro National Monument (now Park). That was Memorial Day weekend of some year a long time ago. But apart from that one time, I don't encounter snakes too often, even in AZ.

  8. #28
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    Idaho is hiker friendly, for sure. Don't forget the incredible trail system off highway 12 between Syringa, Idaho and Missoula, Montana, reaching far back into the Bitterroots. I know the area pretty well because my wife and I almost moved to Syringa about 30 years ago. Suspension bridges allow crossing the Locksa river, they were built for horses and hikers. My wife and I once hiked back on the Moose Point trailhead. We made it up a few miles where there is a hotsprings--we were just stretching our legs on a long drive to Glacier NP. We got to our destination and there it was, full of naked people! Since both sexes were equally represented, I was all for staying and chatting. My wife, unfortunately, thought we needed to continue on our trip...

    If you like the idea of hiking around wolves, much of Idaho is a big wolf haven. If you enjoy seeing other animals, they are few and far between. Wolves will howl day and night in both the Middle Fork and the Bitterroots. Both elk herds have been decimated, although I don't have stats for the Middle Fork, the Bitterroot elk herd dropped from about 25,000 to now less than 1,500. Wolves don't bother you, anytime I hunt Idaho with a wolf tag, they seem to stay far away! But to listen to their howls late at night lying in your sleeping bag is the most awesome sound on the face of the earth.

  9. #29
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    A friend (now passed on) showed me around the Mono Lake area in CA 20+ years ago, and there was a hot spring/swimming hole there where nude was the de rigeur costume. It was quite nice, after a long hike, to soak the muscles! Not sure I'd participate nowadays, unless there was at least one person older than me already there.

    In Indiana (near where I grew up) they were keeping a wolf pack for a while - some people from Purdue Univ were studying them. (Might still have wolves there, for all I know.) They offered the public a chance to come one evening a month, to experience a "wolf howl." My dad thought that would be cool, so the whole family went one time. They also had some coyotes, and the people could inspire the coyotes to do their style of howling by imitating a coyote, and the coyotes' howling would then get the wolves started. It was truly awesome, even in that tame setting. I'd love to hear it out in the mountains, lying in a sleeping bag!

    We still have plenty of elk in AZ - plus antelope and deer. YouTube On my first long hike last spring up at the Mogollon Rim, there had been a rain just a couple days before, so there were multiple elk tracks on the trail, but I didn't see the elk themselves. I imagine they avoid the trail in non-rainy weather, to avoid the people.

  10. #30
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    Wed 03-07-18

    SQ
    45x5x2
    63x5
    78x5
    90x5x2, 90x3x3
    Hm, I expected to be able to do 3 sets of 5 @90, since I did that many @88 two days ago. Maybe the Y's plates were heavier ones this time. (Definitely not calibrated!) I was on short sleep and little food, so that probably contributed. (Too many carbs yesterday/no appetite for breakfast.) There was some ugly form crap in my first 2 work sets - weight shifting onto toes, don't remember what that indicates just now, but will read about it. I decided since I've reached a point where 5-lb jumps are no longer working for me on squat, that it might be time to do sets of 3 instead of 5. I actually did quite a bit better with those -- together with using sets of 3, I also rested more between sets. (About 8 minutes before the first set of 3, and 6 minutes in between each subsequent set of 3.) Might be time to get a belt??
    BN
    45x5x2
    53x5
    58x5
    62.5x5x3
    A bit slow and wobbly on work sets, but still progressing 2.5 lbs at a time.
    DL
    65x3, 65x5x2
    85x5, 85x3
    105x5
    125x5, 3
    LAT
    70x12x3
    Still not hitting chest on last few reps.

    Hey, Oldster, do you pay any attention to, or calculate, your "tonnage?"
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-12-2018 at 05:28 PM.

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