I have approximately seven months till I take off from the Mexican border and I have some things to get done before that day arrives. Of course the food and resupplies will need planning, the gear refined and prepared but the most important thing I must do? Walk, walk and more walking. Walking in sun, wind, rain, cold, and mud. Walking with weight in my pack and in the clothes I intend to wear. Deal with the discomfort while training so the thought of being uncomfortable during the hike will be... ho hum, what else is new? Been there, done that. This is not only physical preparation but more importantly I think, psychological preparation for the trials ahead.
The plan is to walk, wearing a 10 pound pack, five miles, three days a week for one month. Each month thereafter I will increase the mileage by two miles and add 2.5 pounds to the pack. By late March I'll be carrying 25 pounds and walking 19 miles, three days a week. At the end of this training period I will have 1,027 miles under my feet. If this doesn't prepare me, nothing will. Fortunately I am only one week from upping my miles to seven so all is looking good on the mileage front. Hips are sore but my feet feel fine.
Here's an image of the weights I packaged in prep. It's simply play sand poured into old mailing envelopes and taped shut. There are lots of things about this kind of training that are out of my control but at least I can be clear about how much weight I am carrying.
One other piece of good news is that I've lost 16 pounds. My goal was to lose between 25 and 30 pounds so I am getting closer. Only 9 to go till I hit the sweet spot of 25. I could definitely live with this! Thirty would be even better but not necessary in the scheme of things.
So far, so good.