This morning I went for my last long walk before I leave. It was cold, snowy, and they had not plowed the sidewalks yet. We were walking in several feet of snow at some points! We went for about 2.5 hours, and over 12 km. Our pace was slower, due to the crazy snow.
At this point, I can just hope that I have done enough training and will be ready to conquer the mountain – I have run out of time to do much more.
If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you will know that part of my challenge in preparing for this trip was to improve my upper body and core strength. It needed work. I started my fitness challenge unable to complete 1 military style, nose to the ground push-up. This morning I did 10! I will admit, they were slow, but I did it. Thanks to Cindy for the encouragement and drive to make it happen!
Today, my husband and I joined other Kili 2014 team members and mountaineer Angus Murray on a training hike on the Bruce Trail. The purpose of the hike was to try out our gear in conditions typical to the Summit of Kili, assess our fitness level and have fun! Angus has climbed Kilimanjaro seven times and he taught us techniques we will use for high altitude climbing, (the rest step, power breathing, pole use), and tips on packing and organizing our gear. We discussed nutrition on the mountain and what chocolate bars are still edible in -20 weather (Wunderbar and Bounty), where to store snacks in your parka to still access them with your gloves on, and the etiquette of voiding in the bush when wearing multiple layers.
I am happy to report that I had a great day! I was warm (which is an accomplishment – it was -21 with the wind chill, and we were outside from 10-3:30). My feet didn’t hurt. I had no problems keeping up with the group and was not tired or sore the next day. We left the day sharing big hugs with my future climbing partners – looking forward to seeing them in less than a month, at the airport!!!
In May, I started my training and it was hot, humid and I had to consider how to keep myself cool. Today I had a 13 km walk around Midland. It was freezing rain, snowy, slushy damp and cold. In Midland it has taken 6 months to experience the dramatic weather shift. On Kilimanjaro it will take 5 days to transition from tropical to polar climate!
I first learned about the opportunity of this adventure in November, 2012. I submitted my application video in April, 2013. It became a reality that I will be going to Tanzania in May, 2013. It seemed like a long way away…..
Two months from today – I start my adventure.
The reality is setting in. I feel like the majority of my preparations are falling into place – medical, fund raising, fitness training, gear, etc. However, the thought of being away from my family for 12 days is not getting any easier.
Today, Cindy & I enjoyed a beautiful 2.5 hour hike at Awenda Park. The fall leaves are starting, and the view from the beach was amazing! Hopefully I can make a habit of long walks on sunny Wednesdays.
I took the advice of CTG OT Lindsay Amey and hiked up Blue Mountain a couple times. Wore the pack with 20lb weight and enjoyed my first hike with my poles. My friend, Cindy Thor, joined me and our best time up Cascade Trail was 19 minutes.
My training continues to progress. This week I took 10 minutes off the “long, hilly walk”. I held a plank for just over 2 minutes. And, this morning I did 11 push-ups (admittedly, they were not consecutive – but 5+3+3=11!)
My strength work-out has been shaken up – and includes a plank (to exhaustion). Lisa Longman (CTG CSA) said her best plank time is 1 minute – and challenged me to beat it. What’s your best plank time – post in the comments! 🙂