One month to go!
Everyone I’d spoken to who climbed Mount Kinabalu told me what an amazing experience it was…what they failed to tell me is that the experience is amazing at the summit…and at the bottom…everything in between is a mixture of exhaustion, denial, regret, a lot of sweat and occasional bouts of swearing.
I’ll fly to Saigon on New Year’s Day, and on to Kota Kinabalu via Kula Lumpur the next day. I know from experience that AirAsia seats don’t fit six-footers too well (during my last flight to KL, my knees were hard up against the seat in front of me) so I ponied up the extra to get a seat next to the emergency exit.
I haven’t booked a hotel in KK yet. After looking at all the booking options I thought it would be easier just to roll up on the day and check out the budget hotels in the central market area. I arrive at KK airport around five in the afternoon, so that gives me plenty of time to find digs before catching up with 2Stroke and the gang. They’ll arrive later the same evening.
So, where do I stand with my training now? Pretty damned well, I reckon. I’ve been logging my climbs and worked out that in the month of November I climbed just over 10,000 metres (6.2 miles) and hiked somewhere around 120 kilometres. I think I’m fitter now than I’ve ever been before.
My aim is not just to be able to reach Lowe’s Peak. I want to get there and down again without being absolutely shagged at the end. With that in mind, I still want to do ten laps of my training hill in one day: 2,000 metres of steps up and down and 16 kms of hiking. I reckon I can do it, since I’ve already managed seven laps in a day without too much difficulty.
I’ve learned a lot along the way. Rabbits might be able to beat tortoises, but the tortoise usually wins in the end. If I really push it I can do a lap of my training hill in about 30 minutes, but it’s exhausting. When I crawl up slowly and steadily, taking baby steps and a five-to-ten minute break each lap it takes a hour, but I can go all day.
I went to Nha Trang last weekend for their Christmas Run and 150th Run celebration. They generally do flat runs but this time threw in a 110 metre hill for something different. I haven’t done any running for the last ten weeks, but surprised myself with my endurance. I was about the tenth person in, but that was because I took the wrong trail when I was in the lead and ran an extra kilometre or two.
I also used the Nha Trang run to compare a few GPS apps on my phone. I’ll have a report on these up soon.