human choroinic gonadotropin

Archive for October, 2017


Training on Treadmills

   Posted by: admin    in Training

On January 14th, four of the Wayfarers got together at LA Fitness for a training walk. Dan has a membership at the gym, and they were kind enough to allow the rest of us to go inside on a trial membership.

The goal was for everyone to walk about 27km: an average day on the Quest for the Cure.

The treadmills had a maximum time of 60 minutes per use, so the idea of a small break every hour worked quite well with the equipment we had to use. It was my first time walking an extended period on a treadmill, and turned out to be quite enlightening.

I am a man of numbers, so I used my phone to track the distance I walked every time I got on the treadmill. Our plan was to walk about 5 km/h, in order to attain our goal in 5 hours and 24 minutes of walking.

After a couple kilometres, I could really feel the lactic acid building up in my legs. I could walk 5 km/h, but doing so at such an exact pace was something I had probably never done before. I did my best to ignore the feeling, and before I knew, it was easy to walk again. After the first hour, I was right on pace with 5.02km walked.

I stepped off the treadmill for our 5 minute break, and experienced a very odd dizzying feeling. Walking for an hour without the world moving around you and then stopping led me to feeling like things were moving that were not. I began to walk, and then it felt like the world was moving around me while I wasn’t – though I knew that I was clearly walking. Within the break, the feeling passed, and each time I got off the treadmill as the day passed, the feeling was less and less pronounced.

The second hour, I kept the same pace up. I tried to play a game on my phone while walking, but after a few minutes realized it was more trouble than it was worth. I walked 5.03km. We took a bit of a longer break at this point, and agreed that after the next hour, we would stop for lunch.

About 40 minutes into the third hour, I was growing bored with walking and checked the settings of the treadmill. I found a rolling hills option that changed the elevation of the treadmill as I walked. I turned it on to level 1 just to give it a try and even increased the speed a tiny bit. I walked 5.16km.

Lunch consisted of a Subway Club at the sandwich shop and a break of at least one hour. We returned to the gym with only 12km to go out of our original 27km.

While at lunch I decided that I would continue with the rolling hills, and turned those on for the entirety of the fourth hour, and yet again, slightly increased my speed. I walked 5.34km.

My man for numbers came out in me during that last hour, and I decided that while turning rolling hills on made for a better workout, they wouldn’t increase my total distance walked, which I was tracking. With just one hour and 24 minutes to go, I decided to up my speed instead. During the 5th hour, I walked exactly 6.00km.

I still felt great so with 24 minutes to go, I wanted to push my limits. I set the treadmill for 6.4km/h and periodically brought it up to as high as 8km/h (as fast as I could walk without being forced to jog) and managed to walk another 2.52km.

The total I walked on treadmills that day amounted to 29.07km.

While I was able to do these distances in these times on a treadmill, I do not believe that the Wayfarers will be able to walk at nearly these speeds in the real world. I was surprised that I was never more tired than at the 2-3km mark on my walk and was proud of myself to simply push through that phase. I suffered for my pushing the next day, as my calves were extremely sore. I figured this was a good sign, as my pushing lead to gaining some strength in my legs. I’ll need to gain plenty more in order to be able to walk this distance every day for a month.

As a reminder to those who read this blog, there are still tickets available for Robbie Burns night this coming Monday. Even if you have prior engagement or are coming that day, please pass on the message and let your friends and family know of the event. We are going to have some great items up for auction, and you’ll go home with a full belly and some great parting gifts, while having supported a great cause.

The Wayfarers are looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday!


Lions and Tigers and Bears!

   Posted by: admin    in Research

Oh, my!

What do these three animals have in common? Well, among other things, all are much larger than any wild animals that we’re likely to encounter in Scotland, thankfully. We’ll have a blog post later about the larger and perhaps more interesting animals, but for now I’d like to go smaller:

A Highland Midge

Much smaller.


This is a highland midge, a small mosquito-like insect that apparently will swarm around us as we walk, regaling us with insightful comments and beautiful ballads of our progress (unfortunately, these will be in Midge, which none of us speak).

Oh, and drinking our blood.

Much like North America’s mosquitoes, midges are annoying pests that need a meal of blood to properly incubate their eggs, and so the females will bite mammals that travel near their nests. Anywhere forested (such as a large portion of our route) is fair game — but no worries! With modern conveniences such as DEET and mosquito netting, we’ll be perfectly…

…wait, did I say “modern conveniences”? Shoot.

Okay, next thought — when I was a kid, to keep the mosquitoes away we always had citronella/lemongrass candles; mosquitoes don’t like the smell of the oil, so they stay away. And the lemongrass article on Wikipedia says that it’s from the Old World — which includes Europe! We’re golden!

Lemongrass, growing in its native habitat: Malaysia. Sigh.

… Or not, apparently. It’s native to southeast Asia, specifically, among other places, which unfortunately do not include Europe. Double-shoot. (I didn’t even look at Eucalyptus.)

So — what was next? Adam’s suggestion was to, and I quote, “man up”, and while that may be the end result I’m hoping to find a better alternative that results in fewer itchy spots (and I’ll just let Adam test his theory)!

We’ll hopefully be testing these theories next summer, on our own mosquitoes (which are similar enough that most commercial products are suggested for both) – the most likely candidates are cinnamon oil, castor oil, made from the castor bean (which is apparently the most poisonous plant on Earth — only four seeds is enough to kill people!), and peppermint oil.

What would you rather smell like? Or would you, in our place, go with Adam’s suggestion and just grin and bear it?


Long Nights by the Fire

   Posted by: admin    in Training

This weekend, I went camping for the first time in years, although we ended up being able to fit everyone in the nearby (heated) cottage. We were only a few hours out of Toronto, near Durham, but we still could barely tell there was anyone else for miles – and the highlight of the night (after dinner, at least) was the campfire. I ended up volunteering to watch it alone for a while, while the others went inside for dessert, and I realized that I was kind of getting a glimpse into how next year will be:

It was cold. The half of me that wasn’t facing the fire, despite being wrapped in warm clothing, was freezing (we woke up with a layer of frost on the grass).
I was exhausted, despite not doing much that day, because I wasn’t bathed in artificial light and attached to the internet.
It was extremely dark – if I faced away from the cottage I could see nothing but the fire.
I was completely alone outside – and I had nothing to really think about. Next year, we’re going to be doing rotating watches, so more often than not I’ll be spending two hours a night doing exactly that – but I had a hard time with the ten minutes I spent on Saturday night. This should be interesting.

What would you think about, sitting alone staring at the fire for two hours in the middle if the night? How would you resist falling asleep?


Base Camping

   Posted by: admin    in Research

When you think camping, what comes to mind?

For many people it’s bonfires with roasting marshmallows, big nylon tents, swimming in a lake and maybe some hiking.  Some people make it relaxing with a good book; some people portage with a canoe through lake- and river-filled regions and come back home pleasantly exhausted.  Some bring air mattresses and some think it’s not camping if you don’t wake up with the impressions of branches on your back.

I am, personally, not much of a camper – I prefer beds to the ground, showers in the morning, and a hot breakfasts and cold drinks.  I thoroughly enjoy my creature comforts.  But as soon as we decided to do the Quest as, well, a quest, I knew that my usual requirements for a good camp weekend – regular runs to the corner store, for instance – would be impossible.

And so I started to think about what we would be using to camp.  Certainly not the easy-to-build, easy-to-carry tents that we can buy at any major outdoor store; no air mattresses, no propane stoves, no coolers full of ice.  We would have to balance old-school materials like canvas or leather with considerations for weight, since we will be carrying everything everywhere distributed over the six of us.


Walking Scotland Legally Part 2

   Posted by: admin    in Research

So after trying to make time between my classes, my work, and admittedly my overall laziness I can finally say I have some results. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code answered a lot of my questions. Walking the trip as we’d hoped should be doable. The access code is long and lists a few restrictions for safety and non forest fire starting reasons, but much to my surprise it looks like we’ll even be able to build campfires in most of the out of the way places.

Hunting is an entirely different matter. Bow hunting and crossbow hunting is illegal in the United Kingdom. If I were being honest, I would say I found this to be a bit of a relief. It was something we had considered, but remains something that most of us aren’t very inclined to do.

Fishing surprisingly doesn’t seem to actually require a license. However some of us are skeptical about whether we’ll be staying anywhere long enough to be able to do it. Also, when factoring conservation laws and obtaining permits it starts getting a little confusing in terms of when and where we can fish for what. For now this is being put aside since it seems unlikely that we’ll even want to have to carry the equipment around. If we change our minds, we’ll either have to make a detailed fishing map or have our fishing spots planned out before hand.

For now this mostly just leaves questions about equipment. I’m very confident that we’ll be able to stay true to our theme (even if it means toiletries will be accompanied with leaves…) however our equipment lists remain to fully sorted out. Once we have that figured out, I’ll be able to determine what we can get across the boarder and what we can get onto a plane.

Another bit of news: this weekend is a two day training walk for us. We’re headed a bit north to get our first taste of what it’s like to walk all day, camp, and than get up in the morning and do it again. I’m looking forward to it, even if it is like to be cold.


Walking Scotland Legally Part 1.

   Posted by: admin    in Research

The path we’d take during this walk was something that we mulled over and altered a few times.  Admittedly planning a walking trip across a landmass you’ve yet to even visit is tricky at best.  In truth, it had been our hope to across cross much of Ireland in our pursuit of the cure.  However a small amount of research proved that camping on foot across Ireland would be difficult, for the same reason that it would be in many countries.  That reason being the illegality of wild camping.  If we were bringing vehicles or simply backpacking, this might not have been a concern.  However planning to travel from one legal campsite to the next on foot seemed a lot less practical, or at the very least logistically a lot more difficult.

Wild camping in Scotland however seemed to be a different story.  At least the The Land Reform Act 2003 has lead me to believe so.  One of my primary concerns with our trip was the extent of which we could stuck to our fantasy/medieval theme, while still being both ethical and law abiding campers.  As such, my next few series of posts will be dedicated to answering questions such as the following:

-Do wild camping laws apply to tourists?
-Where can we construct fires?
-Can we carry torches or oil lamps?
-Bow hunting is illegal, however do such laws apply to crossbows?
-If crossbow hunting is legal, what kind of license would we need?
-What can we hunt?
-How can we obtain fishing licenses?
-What of our equipment might not be legal to bring across the boarder?
-How easily can we stay to our theme, while still adhering to proper camping etiquette?  This question primarily referring to camp construction, fire building, and of course toiletries.

This list is likely to expand as research is preformed. However this remains for now our starting point.


These Shoes Were Made For Walkin’

   Posted by: admin    in Research

Last week I realized that I needed new shoes.

My running shoes I got very gently-used second-hand back in August. They lasted a surprisingly long time – the extra weight on my frame tends to wreak havoc on my poor footwear and it almost never lasts this long. They’re even still good, if slowly degrading; I can feel my feet aching a little more on longer walks than they used to, and on one of my long walks in July I hurt the arch of my right foot.

Looking through dozens of articles on marathon running and walking online in the days leading up to a Payless sale that Andrew told me about, I found some great points that I thought it would be relevant to share here.

First and foremost, how a shoe is actually supposed to fit. Half an inch of room in the toe. Snug enough that the heel doesn’t slide around and cause blisters. Things that I knew on some level but didn’t pay enough conscious attention to when shoe-shopping before.

I also learned that walking shoes and running shoes are made differently. Walking shoes have softer heels, usually even curved upwards, because walking is a very different motion than running and you usually step down on your heel first, unlike in running where the balls of your feet are the highest-impact areas.

But the thing that made the most impact (ba-dum ching!) was a simple number that I read on several websites: that the lifespan of a pair of good shoes tends to be between 300 and 500 miles of walking. They’ll stay together after that, but that’s when they start degrading.

To me that’s a hell of a sign. But it also means that the shoes I bought last week will only last me about half of the year between now and the Quest, and that’s if I don’t walk quite as much as I want to… but I’m going to keep a tally of how many kilometres I walk in this pair and see how it goes.


Keeping Wayfarers Fed, Part One

   Posted by: admin    in Research

Among the first things that we did at our meetings was to divy up the responsibilities between us; because Dan has this image of me as a ‘great cook’, I’ve ended up in charge of figuring out what, exactly will be keeping us going – physically, at least – for our weeks in Scotland. (Note that I’m not disputing this image of me. He said it, not me.)

In keeping with our theme, the standard array of high-tech superfoods was out. I haven’t even looked into them, because I just know that I’ll find something that would be just perfect for our trip, except that it’s entirely too modern.

So instead, I Googled things like “crusades food” and “how did travellers eat medieval times” and “native flora scotland”. There were a lot of things that piqued my interest – and as I’m able to do some more research on them, I’ll be posting more – but one food was repeated time and time again: Hard tack, also known as hardtack, pilot’s bread, molar breakers, dog biscuits, and other wonderful and unfortunately descriptive names. Realizing that this was going to be one of the things we ate a lot for our trip was one of the first signs that this was, in fact, going to be a difficult journey, regardless of the distance.

For those who don’t want to look at the link above, here’s a basic recipe for hardtack:

2 cups flour
3/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt

…and that’s it. No fat (as it would spoil eventually), no sugar (ditto). No flavouring at all, probably to reduce cost. You mix those ingredients, push it on a cookie sheet, and throw it in the oven. Then you cut it into squares, turn it over, and bake it again.

The result is a hard, tasteless brick of carbs – that will last for years before spoiling. And if it’s baked another two times, it’ll last even longer! It’s designed to be dipped in some sort of liquid before you eat it, mostly because those who skip this step are those who gave it the nickname “molar breakers”.

So, I made some. I had flour in my cupboard, and we had a training walk planned a few days after I discovered this, last weekend. I brought them along, and despite the abuse they took in my backpack over the course of six hours’ walking, we pulled them out and  dipped them in my iced coffee when we sat down at a Tim Horton’s. We all bit down, attempted to chew what we could, and unanimously decided that, without some changes, there was no way we’d be able to eat it. Luckily, I have some ideas already – I have a list of herbs native to Scotland, and the recipe linked above includes a note that you can add shortening to make it softer, but it cuts down on the length of time before it starts to spoil.

It’s going to be interesting, definitely. I’m not sure if it’s going to be good-interesting or bad-interesting, but interesting is a sure thing.



   Posted by: admin    in Questions

Hullo Hullo,

First of all let me start by apologizing that this is two days late.  I looked everywhere for these blasted questions, thinking that they were being forwarded to the email account that I check daily.  I was of course wrong and when I found them in the wee hours of the morning I decided that I had best put off in favour of sleep.  But now that I’ve found them I can actually do something about them.  Round 1, Fight!

Question the first!

From Alex in Toronto, she asks, Why Ireland and Scotland?

Good question!  Why?  Because I didn’t even ask it when Daniel first brought this idea screaming and kicking into the real world.  I’m so taken by the British Isles that I didn’t blink twice upon hearing.  I believe my only thought was BOOYA!  But that might have been the drink talking.  In answer though, Scotland and a quick start in Ireland was decided on because of their historical relation to the Medieval Epic idea.  And I believe more importantly that the language of the natives being our language was also a strong deciding factor.  After all I’d hate to get to our first stop in town and have to speak very s..lo..wly… and LOUDLY to everyone I meet.  I mean, duh.

Question two!

Why are we dressing in costumes?

Didn’t understand this one at first.  When I asked Daniel his response was “Yeaahh, I knew you didn’t read the site so I figured I could keep it a secret until we got out there and handed you your outfit.”  In other news Paul will now be leading our quest!  Daniels has gone on…um…vacation.  Yeah.  Yeah that’ll do.

Seriously though we figured what can we do to stand out and make this walk something unique.  Daniels idea of recreating heroes walking from one point to another on their mission to save the Realm was perfect.  Not to mention we’re all rather nerdy and keen to dress up like certified BadAs*#@!  Aww come on I can’t say RADIO EDIT!

Question three!

Will you be doing this again if it goes well?

I picked this question because it does relate back to the first two questions about location and costumes.  The answer is, while knocking on wood, a hopeful yes.  Without being too premature we would probably endeavour to do this kind of fundraising again.  But on second and subsequent times doing it in different locations and with different themes.

Question four!

What part of modern living will be hardest to live without?

This question also comes from Alex.  My first response was to laugh in my computers face.  Rudely.  The honest answer would be ‘every damn thing’.  That or the Internets.  Honestly though I think it will come down to something simple or small.  Like always reaching for my watch or my cell that I’ll never find no matter how much I reach there.  I’ll probably be feeling phantom rings the entire time we’re out there.  Other than that though I would have to say a book.  I’m always reading something and the idea of not having a book to unwind with at the end of a day sounds bloody dreadful.  Maybe I’ll smuggle one through in Daniels luggage.  Perfect.

Question five!

What are you looking forward to most during this trip?

The hotel in Edinburgh.  Without a shadow of a doubt.  Oh.  Oh you definitely said during the trip didn’t you?  Right.  Never mind then.  In that case I would have to say all of the new experiences and sights.  I’m sorry if that’s an obvious answer.  I’ve never been across the pond so actually being where my family is from (Ireland) is going to be incredible.  I’m also excited to see how the watch system works and what it will be like to stand guard and tend the fire all night.  I’ll probably suck at it and read the book I’m smuggling out there.

Thanks very much to everyone who took the time to read this and hopefully enjoy it.  I actually enjoyed writing it.  I know, I’m as surprised as you are.  Please feel free to write in this week and I’ll have some fresh questions and answers up by the Friday after.  See you in fourteen days!





Questions? We’ve got answers.

   Posted by: admin    in Questions

So far, we’ve had questions from all over the country (and other countries) coming our way about the trip.  Most of them boil down to the same half-dozen queries, and the answers to those can all be found on this site… but spread out rather a lot.

Not a very good questionnaire.

How often do you use stock photography on your website?

Because of this, Adam has offered to run a question-and-answer feature on the site every second Friday.  Starting this week we’re going to be doing “feature Fridays,” with my “Better Know Your Route” feature this week and his feature next week, and alternating thereafter.

We’re going to have a “features” category set up so that you can easily find all of these posts in the future – and maybe a FAQ page to have updated on occasion as well.  All manner of magical things are coming up!

So email Adam any questions you have about the group, about the walk, about anything – he will choose the five best and post them.  If he has more than five that he really wants to answer, I’m sure he’ll consider expanding that a bit.

Comments on our site are also going to be perused for questions – so feel free to drop us a line here, on our Facebook or via Twitter.

Happy asking!