Training camp for the NFL opened last week and that signals the start of training camp for us as well. Each year we pick up the exercise to get ready for the harvest season.
Last year turned out to be very tough on us. Harvest seson went very long, more than 14 weeks from first pick to last barrel filled. Most years we count on 8 or 9 weeks from first pick through last barrel and the second longest we’ve had was 11 weeks. Both of us were really worn out by mid December last year.
This year we’ve actually been training earlier. Stefania has been treadmilling and running since April. I’ve been walking 30-40 minutes every day and adding in jogging as well. We’ve been getting in a hike every week.
We’ve picked up the pace now and have been doing a hike every 3-4 days. We’re increasing the distance too and amount of climbing. The running, walking and treadmilling will continue also and I want to add some biking. Harvest this year looks like it will be early so I’m guesing we only have 5-6 more weeks to get ready.
Each summer we start a ‘training camp’ to get ready for harvest. Normally it’s more time at the gym and a regular hike schedule. It gets us ready for the long days up and down the hills in our vineyards that are coming up.
This year we’re starting with something new though and a little extra motivation. The picture above is the base of Communication Hill in San Jose. There are 56 steps and a 2 block walk up to the main stair case. The main run is 224 steps that cover about 180 foot climb. We’ve been on a schedule so far of about every other day and are up to 5 consecutive climbs. We’ll keep working towards being able to do the flight at least 10 times in a row.
We also have a training plan sent to us from a personal trainer in Colorado. The extra motivation is a plan for us to climb a 14,000 peak in Colorado next year. We’ve picked Mount Belford as our target climb and late July as the date.
I’ve added in some other local hikes that we’ll do over the next year to help get ready, including climbing Mission Peak here in Milpitas and the 10 mile Bald Peak trail at Calero Park. If all goes well we will also try and work our postponed Grand Canyon hike in either before or after Mount Belford (I want to try April, Stef wants to do it after in September around the time we’re usually in Las Vegas).
The hardest time for us will be November and December. In past years we have been in good shape going into harvest and then done well through October. By the middle of November though we’re exhausted from harvest work and just as we’re finishing up cellar work when Thanksgiving and then Christmas are on us. We might only get to the gym 2-3 times in those two months. This year we’ll have to stay on a schedule though to be ready for our 14,000 foot climb!
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