Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for improving education and literacy in Africa.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Had a good day today...

Met with Ben Luftman this morning. He is the guy from Columbus (was on 10TV) who climbed Kilimanjaro last year. Dwight and I chatted with him for nearly an hour. Here is a clip of him talking to the news reporter from 10TV. One of the most down to earth guy. He gave us really great advice...he even shared with us the things he should have taken with him (that he did not). I am sure we will be talking to him frequently.

This evening, ran 10.6 miles in 2 hours. That is an improvement of .6 miles in one week. Feels really good. Drank a bottle of water after 1 hour. At the end of my run my lips were dry. Will need to start hydrating much much more than I usually do. Wanted to try the Gu Gel today but did not. Probably will do it next Wednesday.

Looking forward to both... the Marathon and Kilimanjaro.   :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ok. So how 'high' is high-altitude?

Altitude is defined on the following scale:

  • High 8,000 - 12,000 feet OR 2,438 - 3,658 meters
  • Very High 12,000 - 18,000 feet OR 3,658 - 5,487 meters
  • Extremely High 18,000+ feet  OR 5,500+ meters

Some interesting comparisons:

  • Mt. Kilimanjaro is about 19,340 feet OR 5,895 meters. That makes it Extremely High.
  • I have jumped from planes at 11,000 feet high
  • Base Camp to Mt. Everest (SouthEast Ridge) is around 17,700 feet and Northeast Ridge is 16,990 feet.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Started training for High-Altitude

Last month we got bad news that Martina Navratilova had to abandon her journey half way to the summit of Kilimanjaro. So, Dwight (my friend with whom I am going to Kilimanjaro) and I were pretty concerned about the chances of our success. Seems like Martina suffered with something called Acute Mountain Sickness, also known as High Altitude Sickness. So, I figured out a way to prepare and train for this. Here is how we started training.

A few weeks back we purchased this "Training Mask" which is used specifically by the US Military for training for high altitude. It was launched for the general public end of Dec 2010. So we purchased this mask and are training using this mask. Dwight is far ahead of me in training with this mask. I have started but currently I can run just about 2 miles with a pace of about 12 minute/mile on a 0-5 degree incline. I am using the 'yellow' nozzle (starter).

This mask has become very popular in the last few weeks since it was launched. If you are planning on going for an high altitude expedition, I would strongly recommend that you have a look at this site. In the process I got to know Casey Danford who helped me with the purchase of the mask. Have a look at Casey's facebook and read the responses on the effectiveness of this mask and how popular it has become.

Here is an article that explains why is AMS caused. Bottom line being that due to reduced pressure at high altitude, the amount of oxygen you inhale is lesser than you normally do. This causes dizziness, nausea, short of breath etc.. So, here is how our "training mask" really works. It has 3 nozzles - yellow (three holes), orange (two holes) and red (one hole). The nozzles restrict the amount of air you can breath in, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen you can inhale. So, naturally you need to put in extra effort to inhale. We use this mask while we are training (running). It makes us tired really fast but that is the training. Very soon (Sept 2011) we will know if the mask really worked for us...  ;-)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Seven months to summit Kilimanjaro.... training in progress

Ran with a pace of 10 minute mile for 8 miles, then cool down for 45 minutes... preparing for a Half Marithon (May 7, 2011). Using the SmartCoach from runners world as my trainer. I am pretty certain that this training will help me in my overall training to make it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro on Sept 8th, 2011.

Today spent about 3 hours surfing the web for blogs written by various people who have made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Felt pretty intimidating. But I am determined and I will try my best to make it. This climb will be in dedication to my Uncle (आबासाहेब महाजन) who has always been my mentor and has encouraged me all along. He took me to the Himalayas for my first expedition to reach about 16,200ft. For more on my uncle see this photo album that I created when I recently went on a hiking trip with him.

While on these websites, I also created a spreadsheet to get me prepared with the things I need to purchase and the things I need to do in preparation for the Kili trip in Sept.

My knee is giving me some problems and so is my Achilles Tendonitis.  So, last week I bought some KT Tape to see if it helps me. I don't know if it is psychological or medical but it does help me in my training runs.