January 1, 2007
In 2007 I am challenging myself to hike 1000 miles in a year. That’s almost 20 miles a week, or about 2.75 miles every day. Whenever I’ve mentioned this goal to friends during the last month, the reaction has ranged “Wow, that’s a lot!” to “No problem! That should be easy!” to “What, exactly, counts as a hike? How long?” to “Yea, but you should give yourself extra mileage for elevation gained” to “Does jogging/walking/biking count?”
So I thought I’d lay out my ground rules:
- No hike counts if it is shorter than 1 mile. Walking the dog around the block does not count; taking her to the open space dog park does.
- Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing count mile for mile. Anything involving a lift, like downhill skiing, or another kind of machine does not.
- Bicycling doesn’t count as it involves a machine, even though a human-powered one.
- Jogging and running don’t count. I don’t like to do them anyway–I’d rather hike at a high speed than jog any day. Nor does swimming count.
- Walking around town or a city is acceptable only if it is continuous and substantially similar to hiking–ie going a mile or more with only brief stops. Walking to the store from the car does not count.
- While multiplying by a difficulty factor for elevation gained, backpacking, breaking a trail in fresh snow and so on has some appeal, I’m going to go for it in terms of sheer numbers of miles, not some adjusted miles formula. Though I think it might be interesting to keep track of miles-adjusted-for-difficulty in another column of the spreadsheet.
Many of you know that the inspiration for this challenge stems from last year’s challenge. In 2006 my wife Randi challenged herself to see 100 movies in the theater in a year, based on a long standing contest she had had with a friend. I managed to see about 70 movies, which was almost everything worth seeing (in my snobbish opine) that came to the Boulder-Denver area, plus a few that perhaps shouldn’t have made the cut. But eating popcorn and watching movies wasn’t great for my fitness level, so I wanted to do something a little more physical this year.
Personally, I don’t feel like 1000 miles will be impossible–though it will be a challenge. Given how much I like to hike, 500 miles seemed too easy, though Randi says she thinks that is a more reasonable goal. And since I supported her in her goal last year of seeing 100 movies in the theater by going to about 70% of hers, she wants to try for 70% of my goal this year. Of course, to her that probably means 70% of 500 miles, not my crazy 1000.
What do you think? Is 1000 miles a reasonable goal? Or insane?