Another week and another 40 + miles in the bag 🙂 getting closer! It has been a great week from a training perspective, managed to get 6 sessions done of varying types and feeling really strong as a result.  From an emotional perspective it has been a bit of an up and down week.

I have now been able to sign up for my permit to climb Aconcagua – this felt like a real step forward, an emotional boost and a big deal.  On the emotional down side, the stark reality of the temperatures we will face was brought to bear from a great local website. For example, this week Friday looks like the chilliest day – at Base Camp min / max temperatures were -8/-13 and at the summit that dropped to -22/-25.  I couldn’t help but smile at Carol Kirkwood on BBC weather saying it was going to be a chilly start to the week in the North!

Another great ‘up’ was the support and interest from people who have heard about the trip and responded to the various blogs and emails I have sent out, there have been some lovely words of encouragement.   People I have not seen or chatted to for ages ringing me or emailing out of the blue for a chat – that has been fab! 🙂 Or sometimes it is people I don’t know who have engaged with me when out training, there was a chap on the moor asking me about the big boots and what was I doing? But my biggest smile of the week was for the couple walking their dog around Entwistle Reservoir on Saturday – I had done a circuit and said hello once. Then I go on to do the “steps of doom” – well, the steep steps up the dam wall which make for a great sprint / recovery session.  I run up, walk back down recovering then repeat! By the time the couple had walked around to the dam wall, I was just getting to the top step on my second set, about to keel over at maximum heart rate and beyond.  The chap said “What you up to lad?” Unable to speak I just shook my head and tried to smile, eventually able to say “running up the steps” as I started to make my way down. “Making me feel tired just watching you!” the lady added. Well the lovely thing was they stayed there and watched, and cheered me on!  🙂 Possibly they had masochistic tendencies, but I like to think they were part of ‘team me’ just for a bit! In between running and grabbing lungfuls of air we had a chat about what I was doing and why, they wished me luck and tottered off! Those last 2 sets of steps flew by! Thank you to whoever you are and I look forward to seeing you in February and letting you know how I got on.

I am certainly appreciating the opportunities to be grateful, because the challenging moments are always just around pad-and-ithe corner. Sunday proved to be one of those, out on the moor as the sun was setting, temperature dropping I had a little ‘moment’, reflecting on the solitude that I have endured pretty well throughout my training and got myself into a bit of a tearful state – “nobody cares and nobody is bothered” which is blatantly not true. A quiet word with myself and a stroke of Pad and I was back on track – ‘team me’ is bigger and stronger than just me by a long way and I am very grateful that family, friends and passing strangers all have a part to play! We all need a ‘team me’!

Addendum:  just returned from the chemist to get various emergency prescriptions and the ladies were ace! Questions, laughter and micky taking, they asked for the blog site and I left with a huge smile and an even greater sense of ‘team me!’ Thank you!