Tuesday, April 19, 2011

71 days to departure

The result from the "Run for the Kids" was encouraging (http://tiktok.biz/runforthekids/2011/03874).
I know I will not run up to Mustagata but a general fitness level is good to support my objective of climbing the mountain. 10 weeks from departure is time to step up the preparation. My trainer has prepared a series of hard session to strengthen my shoulder and the muscles on my back and arms so that I will be able to swing my ice axe for hours. This morning we started at 5.30am and my body didn't want to kick into 1st gear. Hopefully the night session will be better. Hopefully I will still be able to lift my arms tomorrow morning. I know it may sound insane, but I am happy to put myself through the pain, if this is what it takes to get up that Mustagata and continue to chase the dream of climbing Everest by 2014.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The week before the trial run

The week before a race is always a bit different. I am not training and I sit here wondering if I have done enough to prepare my body for 60 minutes of pleasure (pleasure??). There is always the temptation to go out for an extra run, and I am almost forcing myself not to let it happen.

Sunday, on race day, I will hit the road and in within few kms I will know if I am having a good day or not. The more you push your body and the more you are likely to get to the point where you want to stop. That’s when I will dig dip into my mind, thinking about all the mornings that I woke up early to train, in the cold, with the rain, thinking about the reasons why I am running in the first place, and in particular I will be thinking about that reason called Mustagata which is only 76 days away. Up there, you cannot just give up when it gets hard and painful and I need to have the same attitude on Sunday. The result of this run is important to give me the confidence that I have reached a good fitness level, which allows me to move to the next stage of my training. With Monday I will start training on weights, on improving the strength of my upper body, back and shoulders in particular. I have scheduled a meeting with my trainer and hopefully he’ll target my preparation so that my peak will by early July.

The Gods of the mountain will decide if I am allowed to climb her, but I must do everything I can to be sure that I am ready for when the moment will come.

Friday, April 8, 2011

81 days to Mustagata

There is something magic about running at night along the Yarra river. During the day the road is busy of cyclists, commuters, runners and walkers but at night, everything is much more quiet. The lights of the city reflect on the water, and running on the floating platform along the river becomes magic. I find myself clocking 16.8km/h, and as the breathing gets harder my mind fly away, thousends miles away to Mustagata. The pain is numbing and after 18km the body start questioning the brain about how much longer it is supposed to work hard. But the brain is not responsing, it is still up there, somewhere between camp 3 and the summit, with the snow reaching the knees, with no more strength left, with the body cramping. That's when stopping is not an option because in the cold wind at 7,000m stopping mean serious consequences, sometime it could mean the end of the journey. And so that's when you put your head down and push even harder so that the pain will last for less, this is when you dig into your memories, thinking about how much time and effort you have put into the trip, thinking about all the days you woke up at 5am, in the cold, with the rain, with the body hurting and kept going, you think about all the people who believe in you and support you back home. One step at the time, hang in there one more minute and then one more again....

Suddenly, the view of Eureka tower indicates that the city is close. It's 6.58am, the sun is rising. The city is only 4km away. The stretch home is always so sweet if you have been able to complete your workout. A smile slowly materialise on my face because I know I am now one step closer to the summit, one day closer to the departure. Mustagata, I am ready, 81 days to go.

In case you wonder, let me spell it out for you: every single drop of sweat is worth because this is not simply about a man climbing a mountain, but it is about chasing a dream and make it come true, it is about the pursuit of happiness.

See you folks!