I thought it would be interesting to assemble a summary of hikes and walks for the year 2012. I started the year in rehab for my hip fracture, so my activities were initially limited, but they gradually returned to normal during the spring. The activities I want to focus on are hikes and fitness walks.
I routinely record my mileage and elevation data, and most of the time I also record steps. I’ve separated my activities into 3 categories: rehab walks, training walks, and hikes. My last appointment with my surgeon was on April 25, exactly 6 months after the fracture, when he released me to (carefully) return to normal activity levels. I have used this date as a somewhat arbitrary dividing line between rehab walks and training walks. I did 6 hikes during the rehab period and lots more afterward. For simplicity, I have categorized any “walking event” in my database that was not a hike as either a rehab walk or a training walk based only on the date. Here is the summary:
In some ways I’m surprised that my rehab walking actually represents nearly 1/3 of my walk miles for the year, since the rehab time was about 1/3 of the year. You might expect that I walked less during the rehab period. On the other hand, by January 1 I had already progressed to nearly an hour a day of walking, and I was not taking any days off! In fact, in mid-January I cut my walking in half for three months on the recommendation of my surgeon, in order to avoid overuse issues.
As the year progressed I was able to push my fitness walking to faster speeds and longer per-walk distances. And of course I added more, longer, and more strenuous hikes.
It’s a little difficult to put the elevation gain into perspective, other than to note that, since my hikes and walks are out-and-back or loops (rather than point-to-point), there was an equal amount of elevation loss that I achieved. Though I didn’t do a breakdown between hikes and walks, the average slope was certainly steeper for hikes than for walks.
Another statistic that I often track is number of steps. Since my data were both incomplete and difficult to aggregate, I scanned through my spreadsheet and came up with the following estimates: around 2200 steps/mile for rehab walks, 2050 steps/mile for fitness walks, and 2350 steps/mile for hikes. The grand total (estimate) is nearly 3 million steps for the year. At first that seems almost incomprehensible. However, if I break down the totals into a daily average, it’s only about 8150 steps and 3.75 miles per day! While this is actually less than the current recommendation for fitness maintenance, I simply note that it doesn’t count any normal, non-fitness (or hike)-related walking.
Finally, I want to recognize the most notable events of 2012, related to hikes and walks.
Rehab: Completing a 10k event less than 4 months post-surgery, and getting released by my surgeon to return to normal activity levels at 6 months. These represent a successful rehabilitation.
Fitness walking: Not just completing a half marathon, but achieving a new personal best time, 11½ months post-surgery. Though event times depend on a number of factors, this was a way to quantify full recovery from my hip fracture – a major milestone.
Hiking: Completing 50% of the Bay Area Ridge Trail in mid-October. This has been a wonderful experience so far, and I look forward to experiencing the rest of the segments soon. Also, completing a very strenuous hike including summiting 3 of the highest peaks in the Lake Tahoe Basin. What a glorious and memorable day that was!
I can hardly wait to find out what happens during 2013!