There are only 3 weeks to go before I head to Nepal, so though I’d give a quick training update.
The last few weeks were psychologically difficult. As a test I did a training run up Mt Tamalpais, a mountain just outside of San Francisco, with a vertical climb of 1,800ft on that route. The first half is steep and rocky, the second half is flatter, smoother and longer.
I had benchmarked against professional speed climbers and some data around other world-class climbers. My estimate was that world record pace would be a time of 19-20 mins, a pro speed climber time would be 23-24 minutes. My time? 36 mins. Sure, it was at the end of a hard 2 week training block. Yes, it’s a tough trail probably not conducive to fast times. And I don’t train for speed. But that pace difference was still a shock to my confidence.
All kind of doubts started going through my mind. I wondered how I could be ‘so bad’ after averaging almost 2 hours training a day for 7 months? This is why I don’t train for most things – it avoids this kind of stress!
Speaking to a good friend who’s been up on Everest multiple times and to the summit really helped get me back on track. Success will depend on how well I acclimatize and how mentally strong I am, not the speed I run. Ultimately I’m much better at endurance, so hopefully that quality gets it done.
So last week I did another workout, this time 40 laps of the Lyon St stairs carrying 70lb, a 6,600ft vertical gain in 5 hours 20 mins. That’s a climbing rate of about 2,300ft an hour, which is good, especially as I forgot to bring most of my water and food. I lost 6.0lb in under 6 hours. Talk about a weight loss crash course! But I felt fine at the end and not even that tired – a good sign!
This week has been a recovery week so this weekend I’m going to try to attempt the ‘Quad Dipsea’, a 32 mile trail run with 8,400ft of vertical gain. Should be another interesting benchmark – let’s see if those endurances qualities of mine shine through this time…