Training for a Stroll to Everest Base Camp – Theory vs Practice

I am a fraud!

A cartoon of an overweight woman joggingI have these fantastic visions of me being a super-fit individual with a trim, taut physique, but needless to say there is a vast gap between imagining and reality. The pressure is on though as it is only a few short weeks before we will be donning the down jackets and trekking to Everest Base Camp deep in Nepal’s Himalayas.

I need to transform this middle-age spread into a more compact form and dramatically reduce the number of blubbery kilograms that I must haul up endless mountains.

Have I left it too late?

In my defence I did start out in a rush of enthusiasm (or was that an early panic attack?) way back at the start of December last year. I methodically and analytically designed a training regime including weekly target distance, incline levels and weight loss goals, aiming to increase the former and decrease the latter over time.

And then that went clean out the window!

a person sleeping face down in bed with their feet sticking outEach night I would faithfully promise myself that tomorrow morning I would spring out of bed at 500am, tie on my hiking boots and tackle the hills surrounding our home. Every morning I would blearily open my eyes, stare unbelievingly at the alarm clock and beat it senseless until it stopped its uncivilised bleating.

So much for promises.

As well as this inexcusable apathy, I have faced some more credible training challenges:

  • Bushfire Smoke: Our home town has been suffocated by smoke from the region’s bushfires. Thankfully for us the bushfires have remained between 50-80km away, but the prevailing winds have meant it has been almost impossible to be outside, let alone exercise. The house remains closed up and I remain hidden inside thinking about the training I should be doing.
  • Heat: Yes, it is Summer in Australia which is proving to be a bit of climatic challenge to train for temperatures in Nepal currently hovering around -12°C. Our daytime temperatures have frequently nudged 42°C and overnight offers little respite. For someone who doesn’t enjoy the heat at the best of times, I struggle to summon the enthusiasm to slog up and down hills.

So now, only 35 sleeps until we depart, the sense of urgency has finally kicked in and I am trying to develop a renewed focus on the scales and the hills. The detailed and systematic training schedule has been tossed aside and the focus is now to just get out and get moving, especially moving UP!

People swimming in the early morning at Tuncurry Rock PoolA break away to the Coast to escape the smoke and heat proved to the perfect training ground:

  • Swimming: I had been told that swimming was a good training exercise as it expands your lung capacity. Who needs an excuse to dive into the sparkling salty water in a picturesque spot? Not me.
  • Hill Climbs: There is a large headland near where we stay and I tackled it like a demon – up, down, up, down, up, down. I am sure the other early morning exercisers thought I was something demented as I hit the bottom of the steps only to turn around and head back up again. It was excellent for getting the heart rate up and thankfully there was a water bubbler half way up. My very own Fountain of Youth? I doubt that I will find such conveniently-placed bubblers or stunning sea views when I am in Nepal.
Sea views at Tuncurry
Up and down with gorgeous views

Back home in the bush, we are ‘lucky’ to live on top of our very own Heartbreak Hill. I won’t bore you with my daily repetitions, but for the first time ever I have started walking with music plugged in my ears. Anything to take my mind off my burning lungs and drown out the screaming leg muscles. Even our old dog has given up walking with me and looks at me with a bewildered expression “you want me to do what?”

I had intentions of throwing some jogging into the training mix too, but that is yet to materialise. Maybe it will happen when I really start to panic!

Next week I will tackle the hills with my loaded day pack. Bless the porters who will carry our main packs and, no doubt, sprint up the mountains at the same time. My approach will be more one of survival than sprinting.

A dry and dusty hill climb
Dry and dusty hills to climb at home

This probably all sounds pretty drastic and negative, but I AM excited about this next challenge.

Nervous, anxious, uneasy, apprehensive AND excited!

Look at the time…Time to lace up the hiking boots, head out the door and avoid the scales for a bit longer.

When has your vision not matched your reality?

 

#travelinspo #everestbasecamp #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia #nepal #outdooradventure

How to eat an Elephant
My approach to walking to Everest Base Camp. With thanks to Red Tractor Designs

13 thoughts on “Training for a Stroll to Everest Base Camp – Theory vs Practice

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Neil. I am equal parts excited and nervous and I haven’t heard a bad thing about this trek, especially the views. Hopefully I can post along the way, but I understand internet is not widely available. Totally understandable and maybe this trek will be enhanced in I disconnect and just absorb everything around me. Have a good day, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I will try to blog along the way, however I suspect that the availability of WIFI will decrease in direct proportion to the increase in altitude!! So expect some silence from me…although you will be able to hear my huffing, puffing and groans of a slow death even in the US! And I’m hearin’ you and the battle of the waist line…it is monotonously consistent! Have a good day, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

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