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How will you get to Mordor?

While the original intent of this quest was to demonstrate that walking is as acceptable as running,  it could be said that running is as acceptable as walking.

There are many ways to travel, and really no wrong way to get to Mordor (as long as it is self-propelled and measurable). In today’s post, I will examine the many ways to get to Mt. Doom, and how they measure up.

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Gasp! Mixing franchises!

Walking

Pros: Low impact for anyone with bad joints. Can be done all day, everyday and counted with a pedometer. Option to sing while walking.

Cons: A bit slow. Strolling also has less impact on heart rate, although briskly walking can get you to a good clip.

AnaTolkienicities: None at all. Walking is what hobbits do and what taller folk must do with hobbits in order to maintain a fellowship.

Running

Pros: Much faster than walking. Easily accessible since it requires little equipment. Awesome for heart rate. Can still keep track of miles with a pedometer or any number of other apps.

Cons: Running with all that extra…erm…equipment can be hard on the untrained body. Breathing issues can prevent running from being an efficient option.

AnaTolkienicities: Hobbits aren’t really runners, and we all know dwarves are wasted on long distances. However, the whole party must run from orcs and Uruk Hai so there is plenty of justification.

Biking

Pros: Variety is the spice of life. Faster than both running and walking. Phone apps available to track miles.

Cons: Must have a bike. Heavy bikes make you move yourself and several extra pounds of metal. Breathing issues come into play again.

AnaTolkienicities: Okay, no one rode a bike to Mordor at any point in the story. However, they did ride horses at times. And Merry and Pippin rode Uruk Hai! Biking can’t be considered accurate, but for this challenge counts as both self-propelled and measurable.

Swimming

Pros: Your body only supports 10% of your weight in water activities, making swimming the lowest impact activity on this list.  Easy keep track of miles, just count your laps.

Cons: Must have a large source of water handy. Chlorine can also be a deterrent.

AnaTolkienicities: Sam went paddling while chasing Frodo, but that didn’t go so well. Aragorn was very unconscious when he took a dip. Submerged water travel doesn’t agree with the fellowship, but if it agrees with you it still qualifies for the challenge. Flippers, however, do not.

Canoeing

Pros: Speedy travels!

Cons: Equipment and water required.

AnaTolkienicities: Technically, none. I personally would like to canoe when I leave Lothlorien. However, canoeing isn’t a particularly strenuous activity so if you’d like to take advantage of this style, try to limit the miles.

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Walking Quote 1- Thomas Jefferson

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.”

-Thomas Jefferson

walking-feet

These socks increase speed.

WTM- Walk 1; Planet Fitness

Last night I learned a valuable rule: Do not go to Planet Fitness at 6:30pm if you do not want stimulation overload in T-5 seconds.

My partner (Purdy) and our friend Andy got memberships together in order to increase the probability that we will actually work out. We chose Planet Fitness because it was 10 bucks a month with no contract, and close to Andy’s work. Purdy and Andy like it because there are so many people, nobody notices you. I like it because they have numbered stations and symmetrical rows of machines. My organizational compulsion is appeased by that.

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Wait free zone. (Get it?)

Turns out people with normal jobs all get out of work at the same time. Smart people go to the gym after work so they can go home and rest. The result is that everyone in West Lansing was in the gym when we arrived to get our ID tags and free t-shirts.

Two very nice ladies moved over on the treadmill so that we could all walk together. (We never intended a strenuous workout, we just wanted to see the place and I wanted to get walkin’.)

My comfortable walking pace is about 3.2 mph. I hope to improve on that as my hips and hamstrings realize they’re being used for their intended purpose again.

Note on being a hobbit: Purdy (who is 6’2”…or okay, 5’10”) was walking next to me (5′ 2 3/4”). The treadmill readouts showed the same speed, but one of us was casually strolling and one of us was briskly hoofing it.

fellowship

Purdy is the one in the back on the far right. I’m the one in the front row with the short curly hair.

We walked for 23 minutes. I managed 1.13 miles. I am currently “leaving Bag End, heading west.”

We left the mass of gym bodies for Andy’s house where we played Arkham Horror until midnight.

Are you joining the walk? Reply to this post and share your plans!

Walking To Mordor- Day 1

So, I’m not a runner.  I walk faster than I can run due to my magnificent hips, and with my low center of gravity I’m better built to lift heavy things than to run a 5k. My asthma kicks in pretty quickly, and if there’s anything I like less than running, its running and not breathing.

Since I have come to accept my hobbit-like status (bestowed upon me by older brothers), I have decided to engage in hobbit-like activities by walking to Mordor.

Using this guide I will follow the path of Frodo and Sam from Hobbiton to Mt. Doom.

It is 1779 miles, but I have all the time in the world and only adipose to lose (as opposed to a ring made of pure evil). I plan to be in better shape than Frodo when I make it. Ie.) In possession of rational thought, able to stand up straight and without chapped lips.

I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather, so starting my journey in November means a treadmill. I plan to change the gradient as the terrain of my journey changes.

Thank goodness the mountains come later!

I hope to finish my journey in a year, but 1779 miles in 365 days means 5 miles a day. Will I manage that? Indisputably, no. The hobbits walked 18 miles their first day, but that was their only activity.

All day.

Just think of all the trees…

I have one or twenty other commitments at any given time, so we will see how far I get in a year.

My feet are one of the less hobbit-y things about me, so here are the walking shoes I purchased from Playmakers:

From Playmakers!

Poll: Does neon make you run faster?

Here is the spreadsheet I made to keep track of my progress. If you want to view it properly, you need to download the Kelt, Aniron and Ringbearer fonts (for when Cambria just won’t do).

Walking Spreadsheet

The first leg of the journey is 458 miles from Hobbinton to Rivendell.

I step outside my door today.