31 days to Kilimanjaro!

So, I’m reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I’ve already read Climbing High by Lene Gammelgaard, which is an account of the same disastrous 1996 Everest season. For some reason, this has me excited to go tackle Kilimanjaro. No, Kilimanjaro is not much like Everest, but it will be the biggest mountain in my personal history. At the summit, I’ll be 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level, which is definitely enough to get altitude sickness. Our expedition, with KE Adventure Travel, gives us a full day to acclimate. By their claims, this increases the chances of summiting from 50% to 90%. The problem with altitude sickness is there is really no way to fully predict or prevent it (though there are a few things you can do, like stay hydrated) , and the cure is to descend. It would be sad to travel that far and not reach the summit, but that is something out of my control, so I’m not going to worry about it.

This morning, I found out that I won Clif Shots from Running and Rambling! Happy Thursday to me! Judging by the “really?” comment next to my name,  Donald is either surprised or confused that a swimmer is interested in his blog. I am a swimmer, I’m pretty sure I’ll always be a swimmer… but I’m learning to like running, and I really like reading about running. I like learning that running for some people is like swimming for me: free, natural, fun, and stress-relieving – instead of stress-inducing! I’m considering buying his book, The Running Life, reading it, and passing it on to my crazy family of runners…

Speaking of running, I ran last night. I’m on track for Ragnar training! Resting for two days after my tri felt like an eternity. I did just over 5 miles, and couldn’t help but think about how hard I trained for the Navy 5 Miler a two years ago. I remember how 5 miles felt like an eternity. I remember my running buddy carrying me for the first 4.5 miles, then taking off! Don’t worry, I told him he could leave me and finish hard. I finished too, just not as hard. His ability to pace always amazed me. I’m getting better, but I’m still far from being as good at pacing.

I also had a humorous encounter with a little dog while running last night. First, let me clarify that I would have nothing against little dogs, but their owners generally do not train them well. This leads to truthful stereotypes like “ankle-biters”… anyway, A guy was sitting on a bench with his little dog on a retractable leash (it should be no more than 6′ long). The dog ran at me, barking aggressively as I was passing by. This unacceptable behavior was ignored by the owner… until the leash caught on a light post and the dog’s momentum sent him running right into a bush. The dog was fine, so I’m allowed to laugh. I did stew about this encounter for a while, and I’m glad the guy was gone when I ran back past that spot, or I would have given him a speech about controlling his dog, for the dog’s sake. My county is pretty strict, and I’d hate to see the dog punished because the owner didn’t properly train him.

Is it nap time yet?

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