Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb – Week 20: The countdown begins…and lots more training!

Sorry for the delayed blog post! The last 8 days have been a total blur! I’ll try to keep this week’s post short as I’ll have more stories to tell for next week!

The Countdown

Here we are – down to the last few weeks….less than 30 days to go before I hop on a series of flights to make my way down to Tanzania! The last 5 months have flown by so quickly I really don’t know where time has gone! Will I be ready? I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Stay tuned as I’ll have some announcements to make over the next 2 weeks/blogs….so be prepared!

Training

Danger Jeff

We completed a few dangerous trails

As I mentioned above, the past week was a very fast blur! I’m not sure what happened. It has been so busy not only at work, but at home too. The moment I leave the office I head over to the gym to complete a 2-3hrs cardio/weight training workout. To add to the fun, this past weekend I attempted to simulate a portion of the climb by completing two back to back hikes.

Outlined in my week 5 recap, I’ll need to trek/climb about 7-10hrs per day for 8 days straight, with summit day requiring me to trek 15 hours! By doing two back to back hikes, I tested my muscle strength and endurance and was pleasantly surprised. On Sunday I completed a 7.5hr hike while carrying my backpack weighing 25lbs. I couldn’t have done it without my good friend Jade. She kept my mind off the distance and weight while we both covered about 25-30K in hot and humid conditions – and both had a great time! She was a super trooper and was up to try anything that day. There were a few times we deviated off course and took the on a challenging hidden (perhaps dangerous) route through rough terrain and managed to survive!

Jeff crosses

Jeff crosses very wet and slippery terrain

The following day I hit the trails again (sans Jade – as she had a few blisters to take care of), with my 25lb pack and my shoulders hated me for it. I’m not going to lie – I was hoping to complete another 5-6 hours, but only managed a meagre 4hrs. Having a partner to chat with and challenge yourself along the way really makes a difference and without Jade, the walk just wasn’t the same. Not only that, but around the 3hr mark, I was getting pretty tired. It probably didn’t help that I was hosting a few ‘long weekend’ parties for friends during the weekend and we had a few late nights.

I’m happy to report that my awesome  Salomon Quest 4D GTX Hiking Boots kept my feet dry and secure during the hikes. Walking through streams, river beds, large rocks, mud, and even the basic paved road, my feet were cozy the entire time. I’m very impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of the boots. I’m also happy to report that I haven’t developed any blisters 🙂 

When I arrived home, I was pretty tired and sore…and decided to take a quick break before heading out to complete a 6K run with another friend Daniel. Being able to have enough energy to run 6K after the hike was surprising – but I think it also helped using different leg muscles for the run (and reduce the stress on my shoulders). Thanks to Daniel for kicking it into high gear during the run to help change up the routine.

This coming week will be harder but I’m ready for the challenge! I just need to ensure I have enough time for sleep!  (Photo Credits: Jade)

Last week I completed the following:
August 26 – September 2
Monday: Arm strengthening exercises (1.5hrs)
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: Back strengthening exercises (1.5hrs)
Thursday: Cardio (45mins) and Chest strengthening exercises (1.5hrs)
Friday: Cardio – Stair climbing with Elevation Mask set at 10K ft (45mins) and Arm strengthening exercises (1.5hrs)
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Outdoor hike (7.5hrs)
Monday: Outdoor hike (4hrs) and 6K run (35mins)

Fundraising Update

As of today’s date, I’ve raised $6,929 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation! I’ve almost hit the $7,000 mark! If you haven’t already made a donation, please pledge your support by clicking here. Remember – The funds you donate go directly to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, which support breast cancer research, education, and diagnosis initiatives – not me.  I’ll be paying out of my own pocket to participate in this climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (including flight, climb costs & equipment).

Hoping everyone has a busy (but good!) week,
Jeff

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