Monday, 27 April 2009


Shruti and I had a fantastic day on Sunday shopping for kit. We went round about 4 different camp/trek shops and got loads of advice, tried on lots of boots, learnt lacing techniques and started to get geeky about socks (x-socks - rah). It's very easy to get carried away with this stuff and the totals rack up pretty quickly even for basic kit but it's justifiable. Specialist footwear is something I rarely baulk at paying out for because the comfort and health of your feet is mega important.

We ended up getting fitted at two places (kudos to the lad in Cotswold who had to contend with both of us at once) and although I bought a pair of boots, I'll be taking back at the weekend because it turns out the mens fit is better for me and I ordered those online last night along with a headtorch, towel, mat, softshell trousers, and fleece sleeping bag liner, taking advantage of a 20% discount. On these sums it really helps!

So I currently own a camelbak, pair of zip off trousers and a pair of x-socks. I'll pick up a water bottle, rucksack and maybe another pair of socks at the weekend. I still need a duffle and to check I've got other suitable clothing but I'm pretty much set. The "nice to have" stuff will be going on the birthday list.

Signed myself up for a 10k run at Bluewater on 14th June. It only cost £20 to sign up and you get discount vouchers, a technical t-shirt and some other useful bits and bobs so not only will it give me a training goal but I get kit too :) In a similar theme I'm getting a proper training plan drawn up at the gym tonight. Shruti has a personal trainer so I think she's set there. I'd love to get a new bike and cycle more (mine has the potential to fall apart any moment and isn't worth repairing) but even at £88 from Halfords that's money I probably shouldn't be spending at the mo'.

The saga of changing charity continues and updates are expected tomorrow...

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Bad news

Cancer Research have announced that they no longer take part in these open challenges. In real terms that means I can no longer fundraise for them unless I stump up about £1600 to go to Kilimanjaro in the first place. I simply can't afford this so I'm going to have to change my charity. I'll probably support Breakthrough Breast Cancer but will confirm next week some time.

I will have to close my fundraising page and set up a new one. I'm arranging for the money you've donated so far to be refunded and I really hope everyone who supported me so far will donate again when this is all resolved.

It makes me sick to think that we're getting messed around like this. We're trying to do something great and the charity aren't supportive. Ok we hadn't got very far into our fundraising, maybe 7% but I was so excited and it all feels for nothing now. I'm still keen to do the climb so hopefully I'll be back to the same place in a week or so. Good job I didn't send out my fundraiser email to my work colleagues...

Training will continue and kit will be bought (cos I'm going camping anyway). I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

It's all good

Was almost persuaded to go to the pub after work today instead of to the gym but I was good and went and then went for a 45 minute bike ride when I got home! Well it was the perfect evening for it. Could have ridden longer but had other things to do. I feel so energetic, which is just as well as I've got dance classes tomorrow and I've said I'll go to the gym again on Thursday lunchtime!

I've raised £200 already (thank you so much!) and have started to price up the kit I'm going to need. I'm definitely going to get my boots at the weekend following some recommendations and start building up the rest slowly. I suppose the rucksack is the next thing so I can get used to walking with it...

Fingers crossed I can blag some stuff but thank you to everyone who's helped so far, with money, recommendations or kit!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Let's start fundraising...

I'm not the best at asking people to part with their hard earned cash, espeically so far in advance of the actual event but Shruti started so I thought I mustn't get left behind. Friends and family are the first targets, colleagues after pay day ;) Only £30 so far but I'm so happy to have even that because it means I'm on the way. You can keep up with how the fund raising's going by checking that box over to the right. 1% of the way... 99% to go.

Printed off the event manual today and discovered I'm going to have to do a fair bit of shopping. Hiking boots on Saturday! The queen of discount that she is, Shruti's found some excellent websites for good value kit so I'll probably be getting a few bits off there.

Went to the gym tonight and will do again tomorrow. Need to start building up leg muscle which is the opposite of what I usually try and achieve, lacking in upper body strength as I do (I just want to be able to beat a boy at arm wrestling one day ;) ). Dance classes will help with flexibility a bit but spare time yoga at home will also help. We're probably going to join a ramblers club too, just to get out on some long walks.

I'm slightly less scared now I've started to raise the money.

Friday, 17 April 2009


Oh. My. God. We're actually going to do this. Insurance, visas, training, fundraising... it all starts in earnest right here, right now.

I'm a little bit shaky.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Awaiting confirmation

So the forms got posted last night. All terribly exciting. I may have jumped up and down at the kerbside and made some funny squealing sounds. Can't wait to hear back about whether or not we've got our places. My folks go on holiday middle of next week so hopefully I'll hear just after they've gone, so that I know but I don't make mum worry throughout her entire trip.

Told some very good friends of mine about the plans last night. Their 8 year old got very concerned and gave me a huge hug before I left, uttering the words "Please don't die". That sort of brings it home.

So we had a chat about fund raising last night and are going to start putting out feelers for things today. Got some pretty good ideas which is just as well given the sums we have to raise. There's likely to be an auction, wine tasting, film night, various stalls at various places at various times and we'll be doing things like bag packing at the local supermarkets and running errands. I suspect I'll be making lots of biscuits and cakes to sell and making use of some of my other "talents" for making cards, jewelry and so on. My partner in crime is much more talented at nagging people to give us stuff so we make a good team.

We've set ourselves some targets. By the end of July we want to have reached £1k each, £2k by end of October, £3k by end of December and the last £400 by the time we go or shortly after we get back.

Gym session tonight!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

More of the same

Well after a particularly indulgent weekend I was persuaded back into the gym after work. I felt good for it although I've a long long way to go. It's far better going with someone as there's an element of competition involved then; I push myself much harder. I suspect that in the coming weeks, when I'm not training outside, I'll employ a team of "gym buddies" to take it in turns to accompany me :)

18 minutes on the treadmill, 6 walking, 7 running, 5 walking at incline of 7 (walking pace 7, running pace 11)
1000m on the rower (4.48)
5 mins on the cross trainer
Lat pull down 3 x 10 @ 50kg
Seated chest press 2 x 10 @ 45kg
Leg press 8 @ 170kg
Bicep curls 3 x 10 @ 4kg per arm
Triceps 3 x 10 @ 6kg

As I said, a long way to go. I probably won't post very thing I do but in the beginning it will help me to see some progress. Will almost certainly go again on Thursday and might even get talked into a quick half hour at lunch tomorrow. Well i suppose I've got to work off the biscuits I made and may eat this evening.

Tomorrow I have my brainstorming fund raising session with my accomplice and the forms go in the post. I've told a couple of my friends and my dad that I'm going for this but not my mum yet... I'm waiting until it's confirmed ;)

Friday, 10 April 2009

First step

Ok well the plan to send off our forms last night sort of fell through due to trains not tunring up when they were meant to but we're still confident that we'll get a place if we post them off next week. We've got plans to meet up on Wednesday and have a bit of a brain storming session for our fundraising. I'm only concerned that we'll try to do too much too soon but that's where we work quite well as a duo. I think I end up being the voice of reason!

So last night I went to the gym. First bit of scheduled exercise I'd done in about 3 weeks. I usually have two 45 minute dance classes a week, play badminton and go for a run or a bike ride but none of that's been happening lately for a variety of reasons I don't need to go into here. Anyway I was impressed that I managed to run for about 8 minutes solid on the treadmill. May not sound like much but it gave me some confidence.

My new gym buddy and I are going to go again on Tuesday and I have a whole weekend of wandering around Oxford ahead of me. Even if I didn't have something to train for, I enjoy being active again.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

It started one bored afternoon...

When Shruti and I are bored, we seem to get loads of mad ideas. Admittedly she has more than I do and for what is going to follow in the next 10 months or so, I blame here entirely :)

Her ideas are usually along the lines of setting up various businesses and mine usually involve something that could get me injured like learning to skateboard or getting my motorbike license. So mother, be thankful we chose this one to go ahead with... though I can't vouch the others won't happen at somepoint. In this instance the idea is to trek up Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. It's on the very brink of becoming a reality. We thought about it for approximately a week and now the paperwork's almost all filled out and will go in the post on Thursday.

This is a huge thing and I'm actually quite scared. Not so much about the climb itself, I'm sure I can achieve a level of fitness that allows me to make it but the fundraising has me nervous. We're booking through Action Challenge and need to raise a minimum of £3,400. Each. I think this is almost more of a challenge than the actual climb.

Anyway I've been in touch with the organisers and my chosen charity, Cancer Research, and everyone's really helpful and enthusiastic. It's not in their interests for us to fail.

I've created a Just Giving page and am going to keep this blog so you can keep an eye on my progress etc. I'll share info, training progress, details of what I'm doing in terms of fundraising, donation updates, photos, videos clips and anything else I can think of.

If you fancy donating alreadyjust hop on over to

So this is it:
Event: Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Why: Do something amazing for myself and achieve something fantastic for the greater good
When: 26th February 2010 (subject to the booking being accepted)
How much?!: a minimum of £3,400

Oh and if anyone fancies booking me a foot massage and pedicure for around mid March 2010, you may be my best friend forever ;)