Rainier: I've had a love for the Adirondack Mountains since I was in boy scouts. Later into my 20's, I became very close to a patient of mine who had leukemia. He was an Adirondack 46er, and when he passed away he left me his ADK 46er belt buckle to inspire me to complete my own 46. I have endeavored to complete them, but have found myself restarting the list with different friends and family at least 3 times in the last 20 years. During my 20's I also had alpine dreams, setting my sites on Denali and maybe, just maybe, some international peaks. But that dream faded, and here in my mid 40's I find myself with only 16 of the 46 Adirondack high peaks under my belt.
My stepson took a job in Seattle out of college, and within a few years living out there he had climbed Rainier. His pictures and story really inspired me and made it seem reasonably possible as long as I got myself in decent shape. So, my plan for the mountain part of my goal:
- Complete the ADK 46 in the next 3 years. that's 10 peaks a year. If I'm in reasonable shape, then the only limiting factor will be finding enough free days off for hikes.
- A winter ascent of Mount Washington within the next 5 years. During this time I would also like to work on my winter 46 to get accustomed to winter mountaineering.
- 5-10 years out: finish winter 46 and climb Rainier.
So, why not, right? Despite having a blown L4-5 disc and a slightly nicked left medial meniscus, there's nothing about myself that can't be changed. I used to be able to run 5-6 minute miles at 6+ miles at a time while I smoked 2 PPD. granted that was 20 years ago, but why couldn't I get myself back up to a decent level of fitness and train for such a challenge? So the plan for the Ironman part of the goal:
- 2013: Tough Mudder Northeast, August 17th.
- 2014: Will look for a local 1/2 marathon and a sprint triathlon. If my team has a good time at TM Northeast, I might look for a Spartan Beast race for 2014.
- 2015: looking for a local full marathon, and Olympic length triathlon for that year.
- 2016: Syracuse, NY 70.3 Ironman event.
- 2017: Ironman Lake Placid.
Ultimately, my goal is to finish everything by my 50th birthday, but schedules, injuries, and finances all play a part. A more feasible reality is to complete everything except the Rainier climb by my 50th, but we'll see.
Anyway, more to come...