Friday, 26 February 2010

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Today's the day. I'm off. Bags are packed, meds taken, parents on standby to take me to the airport. There's no more prep I can do. I just have to hope that I've done enough to get me through.

I will admit my training has been patchy at times. I'd like to think I'm dedicated but it's been really hard at times to keep up the motivation over the past 9 months or so. I've not done as many long walks as perhaps I could have done. Maybe not enough weights. My fitness level has definitely improved but there's no more time for fretting. This is it.

I won't be able to update this blog while I'm away but I will Tweet when I'm able to (VikkiRoberts) and may even be able to upload a couple of pics to Facebook. There will be full reports when I'm back, supplemented with any photos and video footage I've managed to take. I'm looking forward to meeting Claire and Donna at the airport and comparing frantic notes about what we've packed, getting kit envy and scaring each other silly with expectations and stories we've heard from someone's cousin's sister who climbed Kili three years back.

Thanks to all once again. See you on the other side!

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Final Countdown

"We're heading for Venus". Well ok, Tanzania...

It's the final week and it's all horribly real. I'm thinking about it every minute I'm not doing something that completely absorbs me, such as baking. The office will be getting another cake tomorrow... I've had good luck cards from my family and a fabulous poem from my Aunt which I laughed at so much I almost cried. Thank you so much, you have shown me such support and I really wouldn't be where I am without you. Extra special thanks as follows...

Thank you to my Aunt for the poem and for trapsing around the village collecting on my behalf, it means so much to me. Thank you to Richard for climbing Ben Nevis with me. I'm glad we were able to share the experience. To my grandparents for their generous donations and to their circle of friends. Thank you to Anita and Gordon for your kind words and sponsorship. To Jo and Brendon for offering refuge and sensible words. To Shruti for making me do this in the first place and for being so encouraging and a great friend. To Dave for keeping me smiling. To everyone who's sponsored me, wished me luck and offered advice. And biggest thanks of all go to my parents who have given me more support in more ways than anyone else, despite their fears for my well being, safety and probably sanity. I can't begin to thank you enough but I will try. I hope I do everyone proud.

I've raised a total of £4,344 but this isn't all with the Charity yet. Some people wanted to wait until I actually got back before giving me the money... I guess that's ok. I tried to arrange something last minute for this weekend but the store was rather uncharitable. I'm not giving up on that £4,500 target though. I'll get there by hook or by crook, even if it's a little bit after the event.

There's really not a lot left to do now. I'm packed, all but the last minute things. I've got Friday off work and I'm coming home Thursday lunchtime to work from home so that I can get a last minute B12 jab. I have a deficiency that can make me tired and lethargic which is the last thing I need. I've done only minor exercise the past week or so but I intend to do a lot of stretching out so that my muscles don't start off really tight.

I realised I've not done much in the way of video diaries or photos of late so I'll be doing one before I go and do some more while I'm away ready for posting when I get back. I don't intend to stop writing this blog after Kili. I'm going to use it to document all my other adventures and efforts. There's plenty more where this came from!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Can I stand the heat?

I realised that although I've got together all my trekking clothing, I've not thought much about what I'll wear at the hotel. This led me to wonder what the weather was doing out there so I looked up the weather report for Kilimanjaro. Looks pretty rubbish right now, 22 and rainy but last week it was a balmy 33 degrees and sunny. Scorchio!

And then I thought it might be nice to share with you my itinerary. But I haven't got webspace to upload it and it looks rubbish as a picture so you'll just have to go without... for now at least.

Just over a week to go now. I'm pretty much packed and I've not done much in the way of exercising in the last week or so. Partly because I've been on a course with work and partly because I'm now terrified of getting an injury. Let's save those for the a more impressive situation ;)

Monday, 8 February 2010

Last legs

The weekend was very productive. I went out for a 9 mile walk in Swinley Forest on Saturday with my very lovely friend Dave after a suitably stodgy lunch, followed by a suitably stodgy dinner. It was the first time I got to use my Garmin properly so that was fun. It was a pleasant day, we didn't get mown down by any mountain bikers and narrowly missed getting splattered by film crew lorries. I fell asleep in front of the rugby afterwards but woke up in time to see England thrash Wales so that was nice.

Sunday was a 9 mile run. If only my legs were involved I feel as though I could run almost indefinitely but shoulders, lungs and other vital parts come into play too and so it wasn't easy but I did it. I didn't eat properly afterwards so effectively wiped myself out for the rest of the day. I was forced, yes, *forced* to lie on the sofa watching back-to-back QI all afternoon. Shame.

Getting out of bed on Monday morning was fun, as my legs gave out and I almost toppled head first into the wardrobe. If that's after two days of "stuff" what's it going to be like after 6?! I think I shall try and do something similar this coming weekend. I'll have to do lots more stretching too before I ramp down the training.

All medications and snacks are now bought. Just need to pack it all. Oh and in related news Shruti will now be doing her trek in June. She's climbing Snowdon this coming weekend so I'll be thinking of her, not least because I'd rather like to be doing it with her :)

Monday, 1 February 2010

All by myself

25 days to go! Back into the gym tonight and a long walk planned for the weekend (route and destination unknown as yet). I'm really looking forward to a run later.

Was chatting to a friend of mine at the weekend who has signed up to do the Reading half marathon with his brother and sister. Just so happens I'm signed up too so I'll know a couple of people running which will be great... more people to get competative with provided I don't get injured on the mountain. Definitely want to get some longer runs in now. I'm hoping to get a time of sub 2 hours. If I can get 1:45 that'd be totally brilliant.

And now the reason for the title of this post. Unfortunately Shruti will not be joining me in Tanzania. There's been some fundraising issues and so she's been told she won't be able to participate. It's not completely unexpected but it's still a real shame, especially as all this was her idea to start with! Don't get me wrong, I in no way shape or form wish that I hadn't signed up to this, it's going to be a crazy and wonderful thing. I was just looking forward to sharing the experience with her and having her enthusiasm to help get me up there. I sort of know a couple of other girls but it won't be quite the same.

So I'll need even more encouragement and cheering on now!