Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb – Week 15: Injury, Training, and Shopping

Injury

So I experienced a minor setback in my training regimen due to an injury sustained during a game of beach dodgeball earlier in the week (yes – dodgeball is that dangerous! LOL!). Some of you may know, I’m the captain of a dodgeball Team in the Toronto Sports and Social Club league…and have been playing in the league since 2010. Over the years we’ve seen minor and major injuries on the court. One of the craziest happened back in 2010 when one of our teammates dislocated his shoulder after a powerful throw. Two weeks ago another teammate jammed his middle finger, rupturing a tendon in his finger; the injury is known as mallet finger. Thankfully he wont require surgery, but he’ll be out for the rest of the season.

Jeff's Leg Injury

Jeff’s Leg Injury

Unfortunately, I experienced my own injury on Monday night, which frightened me to the point where I thought I possibly jeopardized my climb. During our game play, I dodged a quad ball throw, completing what some figure skaters call a Salchow. Yes, it sounds very funny, and awesome at the same time (right? hahaha!). In my move, I was able to dodge all 4 balls, but during my jump spin, my right heel hit my left shin at a very fast speed and blunt force, damaging blood vessels causing an immediate lump the size of a large apple.

At first, we didn’t know what had happened or why my leg swelled up so quickly, so we iced it and after the game, went to the hospital to rule out any damaged ligaments or muscles. The doctor informed me it was a hematoma and explained the swelling should go down over the next week or so, and I’ll experience pain and very bad bruising over the next few weeks. He advised not to conduct any leg exercise (including running) for at least a week or two, until the swelling reduced, or I could cause a blood clot, which would require surgery to repair.

I’ve been resting, icing, compressing, and elevating my leg as much as I can during the day. Exciting right? Not really. I’ve been bummed I can’t run – especially with the cooler weather we’ve been experiencing the last week. I’m hoping later this week I’ll be able to hit the pavement running…but will definitely monitor the leg. At the moment, the swelling has reduced significantly (but still present) and it’s a nice dark blueish-purple colour with green overtones, the size of two cheque books side by side. Needless to say, I will no longer be playing dodgeball until after the climb – just to be safe no other injuries occur.

Training

Thankfully, I’ve been cleared by the doctor to continue with upper body strengthening exercises as long as I don’t experience any pain in my leg. So this past week I’ve been able to complete the below. I was really happy with my running progress on Monday before the injury! I was able to run with the altitude mask for 45mins set at 9,000ft above sea level without any problems.

Jeff wearing the mask at home

Jeff wearing the mask at home

July 22 – 28
Monday: Run 10K  (45 mins with the altitude mask and 15min without) + Beach Dodgeball (1hr)
Tuesday: Rest day due to injury
Wednesday: Shoulder strengthening exercises (1.5hrs), altitude mask breathing 9K ft @home (30mins)
Thursday: Arm strengthening exercises (1.5hrs)
Friday: Back & core strengthening exercises (2hrs)
Saturday: Rest, altitude mask breathing 9K ft @home (30mins)
Sunday: 9K walk (1.5hr) + Shoulder & core strengthening exercises (1.5hrs)

This upcoming week I’ll continue with my upper body & core strengthening exercises, and perhaps near the end of the week, I might go for a short run to test how well my leg feels.

Shopping

Over the next week or two I’ll be in the market for a few items to bring along with me to Tanzania for the climb. I’ll be hitting up all of the major sports in the downtown core to check out sleeping bags, sleeping mats, hiking bags, hiking poles, and a few other items that will help me get to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. To help reduce my expenses, if any of my readers have any items they’d be willing to allow me to borrow, please let me know! Or if you happen to know of any sport store sales, or anyone who works for an organization that could assist in any way, please let me know! I’ve been doing some online research and expect to spend about $300-500 on gear. I do have the ability to rent some gear while I’m in Africa such as the sleeping bag and poles (which I may end up doing as it’ll cut my costs down by almost 1/2), but I’ll be required to bring some items along with me (such as the hiking bags).

As soon as my leg has healed, I’ll need to practice wearing/carrying all of my gear while training to simulate what it’ll be like while climbing. So even if I could just borrow some pieces a day at a time, that would be great! In the meantime I’ll be checking out the local stores to see what fun things I can find!

Icing the leg,
Jeff

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