Saturday, 24 April 2010

Leaving Namche

Enjoying my last day at Namche Bazar and ending my 4 day training at this altitude. In the next 16-18 days I will be trekking in the higher areas of Gokyo and Khumbu Valley and I return for another week of training here before I finally set myself up for the marathon. It is so far ahead.
Yesterdat and today I managed to do about an 90min each with some walking (which is always a case). If you look at the picture you could see that everything is up or down..there is no easy run.
Just a few things ahead: I will be spending about 16 days over 4400m and try to ascend over 5000m about 6-7 times (walking up a few smaller peaks) to get closer to those famous and amazing places in this part of the Himalyas.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Namche Bazar

Another post from Sagarmatha National Park. I am still enjoying the luxury of Namche and working on my preparation. Yesterday I went for a a walk/run training and ended up moving in a fair pace, but had to slow down enjoying the scenery, which was unbelievable: Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Everest and many other peaks on the horizon. Plus managed to get out quick before the rush hour , so actually saw some wildlife: pheasants, eagles, vultures.
Today I tested my endurance and went for a 2hr 40min training towards west (Thame, small Hydro-electric station -supplying the area) and back. About 4-500m height gain (up to 3820m) and some tough ground. It was just enough with the food and water I had in my system. I might extend my stay here to get more acclimatized for higher areas, so I could start training there too.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Khumbu Valley

Believe or not I am sitting in an internet place in Namche Bazaar (3400m) and writing a new post. The last days went well as I had planned. I flew to Lukla(2800m) on 17 April and spend a day with restiing. Next day I went for a longer walk/run and actually ended up moving up to 3500m and ran down, tough workout - 2hrs 10minutes. Next day I was expecting a lot of pain in my quads from all the pounding I did to them, but I still went for a run..on easier terrain. This was a proper one with no stops and walks: 1 hour, down to 2600m and back with lots of small ups and downs (steps, rocks, dust). Some people looked at me with disgust some were just wondering: he probably needs help! Today I came up to Namche with all my gear (25kg) and I am ready to spend more time at this altitude before I move higher up towards Gokyo (4700m).
Weather is holding well and the visibility is great. More soon.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Ahead of the clouds

I managed to take one of the last flights from England, so I arrived Kathmandu yesterday. Few funny moments were along the journey, as it usauly happens if you make your way through India. I tried to fly lightway, so I ended up with only one check in bag (approx. 20kg, icncluding tent, sleeping bag and all clothes) and no hand luggage except a small digital camera and a money belt. Seemed like I will be quick through security..until I got to New Delhi transit. It took me about 15minutes to get through: they checked my money belt 4 times and my camera case twice..and finally put a massive handbag sticker on my "mouse size" camera case. Of course the sign said: Aeroflot (I was flying with Jet Airways). No worries. Nice temperature on the runway - around +40 Celsius and sunny. Flight was good andf arrived safely to Kathmandu Airport, where I was welcomed by 200 local taxi drivers..wanting a piece of me and my luggage- only charging 5 times as much as they would for a local (of course they never use taxis). After some entertaining moments I found a friend who was willing to have a nice 7km walk with me to Thamel (tourist part), where I invaded my prebooked accomodation and enjoyed an afternoon sleep. Today I spent my time joining the local walking program on the streets of Thamel. Lot of participants and some serious looking, hippy-hobo type, grass type and locals enjoyed the workout and of course we all contributed reducing the smog level by inhaling as much as we can.
Leaving for the mountains tomorrow..Training begins. More soon... (picture was taken on flight to Lukla)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Everest Marathon Preparation

It has been awhile I posted any notes here, I could say many reasons - why, but I just start a new chapter. I have been preparing myself for different disciplines for many years such as competitions, work, general fittness or some extreme ocasions. I am not sure where I should put this one. To me nature is a very special element especially when it comes to mountainous regions and environment. I have been thinking about completing an official marathon distance for a long time. Throughout my 20+ year running career I have done it many times for training, but never entered a real one. It is about time.
Last year I decided to enter this very special marathon which combines distance, mountains and altitude and in an amazing setup: Khumbu Valley
For this reason I changed my training slightly to fit the requirements. Having done some intense workouts such as running in deep snow for hours and skiing 30-40kms on low energy intake I believe I have got a solid foundation to build upon. In the next 6-7 weeks I try to keep you updated how things are going and how I actually prepare for this challenge in Nepal. You can follow me up to the Everest Region. I am not sure I would be available all time, but once in awhile I give some details of my progress and finally I tell you about the race itself.
Everest Marathon facts: official maraton distance, starting point at Everest Base Camp -5370m, finish line at Namche Bazaar -3600m, mainly downhill-but there are some energy sapping uphills, cold, snow, heat, rain, only 100 runners for all around the world and one of the most amazing surroundings-the highest peaks in the world.
One more week until I fly to Nepal until that I do my last workouts in the UK.