Monday, 30 November 2009

More New Kit (how much does a girl need?)

Finally got my new winter running kit last week which consisted of black running tights and a bright pink longsleeved top with reflective bits, plus matching gloves and beanie. I took them out for a trial on Saturday in the wind, just for a half hour or so, and am glad to report that they kept me toasty warm and made me feel very conspicuous, both of which they were meant to do so that was good. Running in the wind was hard work though.

I've also got my new Berhaus waterproof jacket with "interactive" fleece which is really just as much for life in Wales as for Kili. Yet to give it an outing but I'm sure it'll start bucketing down again in Wales this week and I'm planning a walk at the weekend so that'll be a good trial too. I decided to order a down jacket too, mainly due to a nice 20% discount offer at my favourite store, Howies. It arrived at my parents today so I'll get that at the weekend. I may decide to send it back but it was too good an offer to miss out on.

All my jabs are now booked up for next Friday but there seems to be some sort of issue with my Visa which I need to sort out... And I want to sort out all my kit and weigh it soon, just to reassure myself I'm not over doing things. Which I undoubtedly am.

Gym session tonight! And at least twice more this week. At least.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Latest efforts

Gosh it's been a while since I posted. I feel as though I've been pretty slack lately with the whole fitness and training thing. It hasn't helped, splitting my time between two homes and trying to maintain a new social life. That might have to be sacrificed a bit. One of my fellow trekkers emailed me today and we had a bit of a chat about the upcomming briefings, fundraising and training. The plan that someone's given her, and the amount she seems to do day to day is impressive and scares me. I know I've done a few mountains and runs and so on but I think I really need to start upping the anti now.

Whilst I was living in hotels I was working on my swimming a bit, learning how to do crawl again. This is all the fault of the triathlon mags I've started reading. Helps with all over cardio though. I missed out on entry to the Pine Ridge 10k which I was disappointed about but I'm not going to enter any more races until next year.

My plan for next week is to start making more use of the new gym facilities where I'm living. I want to go at least 3 times during the week, with a bit more emphasis on weights than I've been giving, and for a long run or very long walk at the weekend. I'm not sure whether there are any really nice walks near my parents but maybe just time on my feet is what I need. I ordered some new winter running kit which I'll be getting next Tuesday so that's incentive to get out and do something. This weekend I'm planning a run or a bike ride on Sunday, get those cobwebs out!

Following the discovery that my waterproof jacket was not, in fact, waterproof enough and that the hood is useless in a breeze, I've also ordered a new Berghaus jacket with zip in fleece. I'm very excited about this. I'm also considering a down jacket as some people have recommended them but I'm not sure. Thoughts? I don't think I need any more clothing apart from that.

I've sent off for my visa and booked up my yellow fever jab. Last one I need to do is the third and final Hep B jab which I'll get booked up next week. All systems go! The last thing I need to do before Christmas is pester everyone in the office to sponsor me!

Royal Parks... The Movie

Bit over due but here's my video of the half marathon I did a few weeks back.

Ben Nevis... The Movie

As promised here are a few photos and a video diary of the event.

Lovely view part way up Ben Nevis.

My cousin Rich at the top. Very proud of him cos it was his first ever mountain.

Me at the summit. Very wet and rather cold.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Ben Nevis - Conquered!

The weekend just gone was the long awaited Ben Nevis weekend. Three of us went up to Scotland on Friday morning, the rain starting the moment we stepped out of the airport to claim our hire car. A two and a half hour drive through stunning scenery, broken up only by a very spooky and Scottish lunch break at Drovers Inn, brought us to the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel handily situated at the foot of the route we would be taking up the mountain.

After unpacking and discovering the showers and kitchen we took a stroll to the Ben Nevis Inn where we cosied up with a few pints and probably annoyed the staff quite a bit by ordering our food a course at a time. Very good Inn indeed, also comes with a bunkhouse so would consider staying there next time. Getting back in the dark, talking about ghosties was great fun and after a good night's sleep we were up and out at around 8:15 Saturday morning.

We weren't the only ones trying to scale the mountain before the storms hit. There was a group in mild fancy dress and several family groups. The path had its tricky points but some sheltered areas for snacks and breaks. Once we got into the clouds the drizzle started and the winds got stronger. I was nervous at being blown off the top at some points and as we reached more and more false peaks (probably not real false peaks but for the last half house I kept thinking "it surely must only be up this next little bit") we were all feeling a bit disheartened but we made it, took a couple of photos, caught our breath and started to make our way back.

The wind and rain really took their toll and we were hoping to take a break below cloud cover to lunch and change out of our water proofs but it wasn't to be. The rain started to come down harder than ever, making the path slippery and the small waterfalls we'd had to cross on the way up into raging torrents. Nevertheless we made it without injury, just rather wet and tired. If we'd left much later in the day there's a very good chance we wouldn't have made it to the summit at all. Pints and a hearty meal back in the Ben Nevis Inn (we drove this time) were well deserved.

Photos and vidoe will follow at the end of the week but for now I'm just glad we managed to escape Scotland before the floods took hold in earnest!