Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jenny is ready to climb

Today I head to Ashford Washington so ths is the last entry prior to the climb. The last two weeks have seen an increase in the amount of leg strengthening and stair climbing in preparation for the climb. I began hiking to work with a laden backpack, as well as engaging in focused sessions in my apartment building- creeping up and down from the ground to 5th floor in reps of ten, trying not to wake my neighbours at 6am! Then toss in a couple of gym sessions and a surprisingly energetic hip hop dance class. I have full respect for how fit dancers are!

I just spent 4 days in beautiful San Francisco visiting family and taking advantage of the hills! Running up and down the 45 degree slopes was a brilliant reminder of what a difference real inclines make in your training. I managed to find a particularly steep section of taylor street just on the edge of downtown where they have had to put steps in the footpath to scale the 7 floors between cross roads which I ran up and down and up and down and up and get the jist. I was actually quite surprised to find many others doing the same thing and taking advantage of the natural geography as an outdoor gym. There is also nothing quite like topping a hill and seeing the majestic view down to fishermans warf, the bay and the golden gate bridge. Breathtaking.

So that concludes the preparation. I can only hope it was enough to ensure I really enjoy it on the mountain. I am now looking forward to finally beginning the next phase of ths adventure, wish me luck!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Update from Jenny

God bless the gym. If I hadn't joined, I think I would be in a lot of trouble regarding my fitness preparations for this trip given my workload. Added to this I just discovered the best class - kickboxing! Ignore that a lot of the moves are designed to take out an opponent in what is essentially a grotesquely violent manner - elbow to the head, side of foot to the knee cap etc- it is quite the well rounded workout that uses most of the muscles of the body, develops coordination, balance, and is very high in aerobic exercise at the same time. And bonus, there is a little self defense training in there as well! Being a passivist though (make love not war!), I try not to see the punching bag as anything other than a big black blob.

With only two and a half weeks to go, time seems to have crept up on me quite quickly. I recognize that however fit I am at sea level here in New York, adding altitude to the exercise will be establishing a whole new playing field for when up at the mountain. For the next two weeks, I will be looking to increase the resistance level on the gym equipment, and frequency of my workouts to really squeeze the most out of the time I have left. I finally got hold of a backpack from a friend (what, you say- an Australian who doesn't own a back back??? I know, crazy!) and will begin hiking to work. There are not a lot of (or any actually) hills in downtown Manhattan, but it will be good to get used to having the pack on my back. And there are enough really strange people in the city that I shouldn't really look that odd doing so.

I recently spent some time googling images of Mt Rainier, and I am keeping some shots taken of the spectacular view from the bare rim of the crater at the summit in front of me as my carrot to give it all I can. Lets hope I get to take my own similar shots in just a couple of weeks!