Monday, 25 November 2013

Altitude Training

When I research how altitude can affect you, I often read it’s like your worst hangover and you have to climb a mountain. So a few of us thought it would be a good idea to try this out. Tommy, Jack, Tim, Lee and I took part in a night of Wine Tasting at Kingston Country Courtyard - a fantastic and funny night which went on into the early hours. I decided I liked the champagne which is odd as I normally don’t like it at all! There was a Sancerre to try and on first thoughts I was not overly impressed.. I didn’t dislike it but it was nothing special. I think I said…‘I’ve had more exciting things on my palette!’ Anyway after trying everything else I went back to the Sancerre and decided it was actually rather lovely! The port was pretty special too! So as you can imagine after a few hours of these lovely wines and some cheeses, we were definitely set for some altitude training the next day!

8.30 was time for breakfast and I woke at 8.10 which for me is a lovely long lie in. I woke up raring to go. I was actually quite well behaved on the wine tasting and skipped most of the reds so wasn’t feeling very hung over. Lee was also rather spritely! There was a loud knock on the door and there stood Jack looking a bit like death! Our call for Breakfast. Yummy. Lee and I headed over to meet the others but there was no Tommy...apparently he wasn’t feeling very well! Jack struggled with his breakfast although managed it in the end after a lot of complaining about being ill!.Then there he was...Tommy. Oh my I have never seen such a sight. He was very white and not looking very good at all. He attempted breakfast but failed, couldn’t face it. So we got our boots on and set off! 

It was a gorgeous walk and very much needed to blow the cobwebs away. The first hill was almost the last for Tommy! Him and Jack were struggling with 'altitude' sickness and it almost became too much. We supplied Tommy with Lucozade and a banana to try and keep him going. If you know Tommy you will know he is always chipper and full of banter. There was none of this, he was quiet and kept his head down. He used every inch of will power he had to get round the walk. It was tough! 

At one stage we decided to leave Tommy in peace and let him take his own pace while Tim, Lee Jack and I walked on ahead. He needed some time to focus! And focus he did as after about 20 minutes we looked back to see where the others were and were surprised to see Tommy had picked up some pace. When he got to us he said that he had given himself a good talking to and snapped out of it. He was ready to go! So we all picked up pace and ran past the car park to beat all the other walkers back to Kingston to get a shower before lunch. In fact we even decided to run the last bit up the road. After the state they were in first thing Tommy and Jack managed it back. Tim didn’t seem to affected by the altitude training method.

After a quick shower and change we sat down for dinner. Well some of us did...the place was manic and Jack ended up helping out in the kitchen and serving, so he didn’t get to sit down and eat his dinner. We left at 4pm and he then started on the washing up! So thank you Jack for allowing us to sit on our bums and enjoy a lovely meal. 

So all in all a fantastic weekend. Our altitude training method did work and gave us a taste of how hard its going to be. The hills that we normally run up could hardly be walked up! Legs were like jelly and overall feeling very sick. So you see its not a walk in the park this Kilimanjaro stuff and for 7 days we are going to be hurting, but do you know what will get us through it? Knowing that we have raised money for a great charity, helping out families likes Rian's. He will certainly be on my mind and helping me focus to get through it. Now we have a leaving bash at Durnovaria on the 6th January so it would be good to see some people there supporting us and giving us a bit of a send off.

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