Marathon training.

This morning, inpired by a book I just finished, stolen from Billi Bierling‘s tent, called ‘Survival of the fittest’ by (forgotten his name) I tried to run 10km from Gorak Shep to Lobuche and back.

Going was just about ok. There is a drop in height of just over 200m (from 5100m). It was snowing a little. I stopped and had two cups of hot lemon in a lodge in Lobuche and spent a while gazing at the photos on the poster of the Croatian Women’s 2009 Everest Expedition. Then it was time to return. Going out took 35 minutes and the return took a painful 50 minutes.

It seems the legs are fine, it was just a short run after all. What did I learn then about running at altitude?

– Arms are surprisingly heavy things to carry.
– Running anything remotely uphill ‘crashes’ the heart
– Having conversations with people is hard when breathless but necessary
– snow in eyes makes keeping feet on level ground doubly hard while eyes are wobbling in their sockets
– Running at altitude gives you a big headache
– It feels a bit pathetic to feel so pathetic when a guy walks past, albeit slowly, carrying 4 large, empty gas cylinders on his back.

7 days to go until this Everest Marathon but I fear that boredom will kill me first. There is little entertainment here in artificial Gorak Shep and not much to keep busy with apart from reading and making the hour long trip over to base camp. While it remains misty it is cold and the spectacular views can only be seen on the postcards behind the desk in the lodge.

Tomorrow I will go and visit basecamp as Billi returns from summitting yesterday. Looking forward to see her and hear her story. And then I think I will go and visit the Croatian Everest Women’s team camp and say hello.

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