25 Days! That's all I have left to wait now! In 25 days I will be at Heathrow Airport ready to go to Africa. I have been pushing myself really hard over the last couple of weeks. Most of my work has been on my strength and fitness. The unusual but very welcome Sunshine and high temperatures have not really stopped me. On cool days I have been out running, mainly up and down hills to increase my leg strength and my overall fitness. There have been days where I have timed my runs well to get home just as the temperature rises.
On really warm days I have sought refuge in an air conditioned Gym. Putting the miles in on the treadmill and exercise bike, and then doing some weight training. I am happy with the level of fitness I have now. It's really comforting and encouraging to see my improved performances on my runs.
My kit list is almost checked off. The last one or two things I will have very shortly. I will then have the task of packing it. The weight limit for my holdall will be 20KG on the aeroplane. But, it will be a maximum of 15KG when I get to Kilimanjaro. At the moment I seem to be comfortably under the 15kg limit, even though I still have things to pack I don't think weight will be the problem, its room. My first couple of attempts to pack have been quite comical. The bag seems ready to burst at the seems. I am sure it will be fine, I keep telling myself.
The nerves and the excitement are really building now. Part of me can't wait to get cracking, the other part can wait. I still can't quite believe what I am doing, and how far I have come in the last 8 months. It might sound like a cliche but I have learnt so much about myself while I have been training. I have discovered a real enthusiasm for walking. I have also discovered a real self motivation and self determination. All those horrible winter days, the thought of not going for a walk because it was too cold never entered my head. There have been days when I have found training hard, but I have always had one not so secret weapon to drive me on. I just remind myself exactly why I am doing this. It is all to help a fantastic cause-Greyhound Rescue West of England.
I had the pleasure a few weeks ago of attending a GRWE fun dog show. I got to meet many of the volunteers who give so much of their time and effort to helping these amazing dogs. I also got to meet lots of GRWE dogs looking for homes. It's these dogs that all the sponsorship money that I have raised is going to help.
All of the support I have had so far to raise a stunning amount for GRWE makes me feel very proud. The good wishes and moral support I have been given is just amazing. For that, to everyone who has been backing me I offer my heartfelt thanks.
The last few weeks, I plan to make as stress free as possible. I aim to finish all my training a week prior to going. I have taken advice on this and getting a good weeks rest before it's 'Go time' seems to be highly recommended. If I do anything in the last week, it will only be a light bit of jogging to stay loose.
It seems like only yesterday that I stumbled across that video on youtube of the celebrities making their journey to the Summit of Kilimanjaro. In just a few short weeks I will be following in their footsteps. I don't expect it will be a walk in the park. I know it will be the toughest thing I have ever done in my life. But I am ready, and I am looking forward to the challenge.