Week 14: Climb for Clean Air – Blessing

Plan for this week:

Monday:  Rest

Tuesday:  Strength Training with Weston

Wednesday:  Long Cardio

Thursday:  Strength Training with Weston

Friday:  Long Cardio

Saturday:  Muir Hike

Sunday:  Rest

I had a pretty good week.   I’m still recovering physically from last week pneumonia while I pushed myself really hard to keep with the training and the hike.   I know I’m getting stronger and I am able to do certain things I can’t do 14 weeks ago.   I’m able to run 5 miles straight, I’m able to do 4 (yes, FOUR) set of 3 different lunges, squat and step up with 20lbs weight on me.   I’m able to carry 45lbs pack and hike for 10 hours round trip, with 4500ft elevation gain.   I lost over 20lbs, drop 2 pants size, and feeling pretty awesome about myself.     In a nutshell –  I am awesome.   Yes, for the first time I actually able to say that out loud and pat myself in the back.  I think I earn that.   My good friend, Tim Ford (blog | twitter), wrote a post last week just dedicated to me.   How awesome is that?  On top of that, I am surrounding of a lot of awesome people who believe in me and my cause.

My awesome husband and me

Oh, did I mention my awesome husband, John (blog | twitter), who is going to climb with me in less than two weeks?   The one that train alongside with me and went to every training hike with me?   I’ve been so focus with my training that sometimes, I have my blinder on and didn’t really see awesome things around me.   I did know it, but didn’t really see it.  This week, things are very clear to me.   I am very blessed.   Very, very blessed.     To be where I am today consider not even a year ago I wasn’t sure how to go on with my day or know what tomorrow looks like with my challenging health, it’s a miracle.   I am grateful everyday for it.   Health, family and friends are the three things that people take it for granted.   I know I was guilty of that before, but not anymore.     My message to you – take the time to appreciate your health.   It’s precious.  Oh, and take a moment to hug your loved one.   Tell them how you appreciate them.   Send emails to your friends and tell them how awesome they are.   Thank them for being your friend.  I know it sounds corny, but trust me on this.

How it actually went down:


Rest.  It’s 4th of July and I just came back from Muir the day before.


Strength training with Weston and he meant business!  I did four set of step-up and balance with 18lbs of bar, squat with 15lbs of plate against the wall with ball on my back, lunges with one foot on the half-dome and 18lbs bar, follow by old-fashion lunges (still with the same bar) across the room.   Then I did one-legged bridge, push-up, lat pull down, assisted pull-up and bench dip.    It was a really, really good work out.


I was sore from the work out and decided to do light cardio by walking 4.5miles on my hilly neighborhood.   Surprisingly, my calves became really tight afterwards.  I guess long walk on a hard pavement totally different than hiking on a trail/snow.


Another strength training with Weston.   He focused on cores and upper body.   We did about five different cores routine follow by another five upper body routines.   Total 4 set on each of the routine.   Later on that night, my stomach muscles were so sore when I laughed!


Decided to rest.  We were heading to Paradise to spend the night there so we can be in the trail head early in the morning for our Muir Hike


Sunrise at Mount Rainier

I was up and ready to go by 6am.    The sky was clear and there were no single cloud in the sky.   The mountain look so majestic and mysterious.   It was very cold morning, even though sun was out.   I decided to only wear my base layer and vest since I knew the day would be pretty hot.    I felt good, since we spent the night there and my body acclimated with the altitude.    We started to walk at 6:30am.   The trail was on solid ice.   My hiking poles can’t even break the ices and I had a hard time to walk steady.   In hindsight, that would be a perfect time to put my crampon!    There something different about today’s hike.   I noticed my leg muscles cramp up from the get go.   I couldn’t understand it and kept going.   In result, my body had to work twice as hard and made my lung work extra hard as well.     We reached our first stop on the bottom of avalanche chute, a few hundred yards from where we stop the week before.   After 15 minutes break – we started to climb the chute.   My left hamstring started to cramp up more every time I took a step, but I pushed through.   We made it our second stop above Pebble Creek at 7,300ft about an hour later.    The trail still feel like a solid ice and it’s hard to walk on.   The sun was out but not enough to make this solid ice trail easy.


Me at 9,000ft

As we approached our third stop at 8,300ft, I felt a sharp pain on my left chest.   I knew exactly what it was.  It was my unhappy lung told me to slow down.   So I did.   At this time, my hamstring, quad and calves muscle felt cramp and I was exhausted.   It was the first time I ever felt cramp on every weeks of hike!   I couldn’t understand why and became very frustrated, top that with a little wheezing that I started to have, my good mood turn a complete 180.    We reached 9,000ft and I was about to cry.   I knew how far we were from Muir.   I knew how long it would take me to get there from where I was and with my pace today, we would have to turn around a few hundred feet before anyway since we had to be back at Paradise no later than 5pm.    So I made the grown up decision and told John that we need to turn around.   I was not happy but I knew that was the right thing to do.    As we walked down, I felt weaker and felt very, very thirsty.    I drank all of my water by the time we got back to Paradise (I carry three 32oz bottle).   Later on that night, John told me that must be why I felt the cramp.   I didn’t hydrate properly.   Usually, I drank 32oz of water the night before and since we had two hours drive from home to Paradise and I guzzled another 32oz water on the way to Ashford.   Then another 16oz from Ashford to Paradise.   Today, I had 8oz water prior the hike.  That’s all.    I was dehydrated!   Lesson learned!

Pictures from my hike can be viewed here




I have a new personal goal.  I want to hit $10k.   Do you think I can do that?   If so, please help me out by spreading the word (or donate to my climb, if you haven’t done so).   Any amount is greatly appreciated!!


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