Training for Mount Kilimanjaro: February Update

Shawn and I went to High Point State Park on the border of NJ and NY last week. It has an elevation of 1,800 ft, and is the highest point in NJ. We didn’t climb that high though, since at the car park we were already about 1,000 ft above sea level (the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,341). According to my iWatch, the elevation we hiked was 751ft. I had my 12lb weighted vest on plus another 5lb in my backpack.
It was a 4 mile loop around the park and it actually wasn’t that bad. This is the first hike we’ve been on together in years (maybe ever?).
My shoulders were aching with the weight of the vest and backpack, so that’s something I need to focus on, as well as building up core strength (and obviously quads).

When I tell friends I’m climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, here are some of the questions I get asked:

Where do you shower? There are no showers on the mountain. You get a basin of water to wash down with in the morning and after the hike in the evening.

How do you charge your phone to take photos and video? Not sure yet, obviously there’s no electrical outlets on the mountain, so Shawn is looking at some solar panel chargers for me.

Why?? Aside from the obvious, wanting to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease research, the other reasons are: adventure, challenging myself, new experiences, meeting new people, getting out of my comfort zone, to inspire others, to feel a sense of purpose and from a more spiritual side: developing myself, understanding what makes me tick. They say that climbing the mountain is a spiritual journey which will not only challenge you physically but also mentally. I’m looking forward to seeing how this experience changes me, my life and my perspective.

What are you doing to raise money?
So far I’ve been very lucky to have generous friends and family donating. I also connected with a different charity that was able to donate and I’ll be contacting local businesses to see how they can help. I’m also planning on doing some outreach to local bloggers to see if they will write a piece about the climb. I might be doing a raffle/auction - watch this space. I’m in the process of designing a mountain ring/pendant - not sure yet, which I will sell and the proceeds will go to the fundraiser. I’ve also been teaching jewelry making to an aspiring jeweler and I’ve been donating the money I get from teaching to the fundraiser. If you have more ideas, please let me know!

What will the weather be like?
I’m going in August which is technically winter in Tanzania, but because it’s so close to the equator, it’s usually around 80F (27C). It’s also dry season. As we start our elevation, it gets colder and at the top of the mountain it can be between 20F and -20F (-7 to -29C). There are 5 climate zones that we go through: Cultivation Zone, Forest Zone, Heath/Moorland Zone, Alpine/High Desert Zone and Arctic Zone.

What are you doing to train?
This is what my current training / working out schedule looks like, but each month it will change (for example, in March I’m going to add in running up and down stairs for 20 mins)

Personal Trainer: Focusing on building up leg strength, 30 mins
Cardio: trampoline exercise class

Cardio: trampoline exercise class

Cardio: trampoline exercise class

Cardio and strength: Rowing exercise class

Personal Trainer: Focusing on building up leg strength, 30 mins
Strength training exercise class

Sunday (alternate Sundays):
4 mile hike

I’m also cycling on the peloton to build up the quad muscles 6 miles scenic ride with a cadence of 65 and a resistance of 40 (I'll increase this throughout the next few months)

Each week is a little different, depending on my schedule and in the next few months I’ll substitute one of the trampoline classes with a strength training class. I’ll also need to add in a few more hikes in nature - not just walks.

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