30 Days until departure

There are now exactly 30 days left until I leave for Nepal. I’m uping my work-outs accordingly. Today’s WOD (workout of the day)

4 Rounds of:

  • 4 rounds lateral shuffle w/ 24 lbs weight
  • 20 box jumps (24 inches)
  • 15 kettle bell swings w/ 35 lb kb
  • 10 squat thrusters with 24 lbs
  • Overhead lunges w/ 2-16 lb dumbells
  • 50 situps

The pug is tired from watching :).

I’m happy to report donations continue to increase thanks in large part to the excellent exposure this is getting. KPIX Channel 5 interviewed me yesterday and the feature segment is scheduled to air on the 6:00 PM News, Wednesday Oct 19 during the Sports Report.



100 Push Ups & good press

This has been a day of gifts. The most important by any measure is the birth of my second grandchild, a little girl unnamed as of right now (although I am hoping for Charlotte). The second was to have a well written article about the marathon on the front page of our local paper. The third was to kick-ass in my morning work-out: 100 push-ups, 6 rounds of Pagoda Lane’s heinous stairs carrying 40 lbs of weights!

To all of you who “like” and “comment” on my usually hokey postings on Facebook, to my friends all over the world who indulge me with words of encouragement, to Mary-Alice who gives up her own work-out so she can meet me in the dark at 6 AM to train, to my AMAZING team of colleagues at Pacific Union International who offer me so many words of support even when they must wonder WTF some of the time, to everyone who is now “following” me, to the news agencies and websites who have picked up this story and given it exposure, to the strangers I have met who are not strangers any more, to everyone who has opened their wallet for this worthy cause or forwarded this website or story in one form or another to others so that they too may donate, my heartfelt thanks.


What to wear?

My typical Saturday outfit consists of a combination of the above. Hydration pack or handheld water bottles? Gels or “food”? Brew or plain water? Salt sticks or salty nuts? Usually it’s water and a couple of Block Shots. This past Saturday was probably my last long run before I leave on Nov. 12. It was a beautiful day and 20 miles went by in about 5 hours. I felt strong but my left knee is starting to feel the impact of what could be described as “over training”. I’m icing and using a roller 2x/ day on my IT bands. I didn’t know anything could be so painful! A harmless foam roller that looks like a cheap pool toy digs and tears into the iliotibial band, a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh.

Tell me this does not look painful? Rest, ice, blah blah blah. Every article on treatment ends with “use a foam roller” so I am.

I have been talking to various companies whose products I’d like to have to see if they would be willing to donate equipment. Top of my list is GoPro HD Video Cameras. They responded to my request with a 40% sponsorship discount. I can attach it to the chest strap on my pack and record a lot of the run as well as the trek to Gorak Shep. I appreciate their generosity.

“Fun is a by-product, not a goal.”

As I am preparing for this next trip to Nepal and the first-time experience of running a marathon at high altitude, I find myself constantly thinking about the similarities between training for a goal that will test me at every level and that of my day job, guiding a team of high powered professionals in a constantly changing environment. Never claiming to have all the answers I look for wisdom and inspiration from those who have faced similar situations, succeeded or failed, but learned important lessons nonetheless. High altitude mountaineering attracts a different breed of person – no surprise there. The ability to feel fear and acknowledge that death is your constant companion does two important things: it focuses you with an intensity rarely experienced in our day-to-day, and it enables you to get comfortable with changing what you are doing. There is no comfort in staying the wrong course. In these environments success equals survival. Once you realize you are able to clear the space around you of all “noise” including that created by ego, you are no longer frozen in fear but able to move forward.

I am reading “HIGH ALTITUDE LEADERSHIP” by Chris Warner and Don Schmincke and I highly recommend it. Leadership is tested every day in large and small ways. Team dynamics are enhanced or destroyed by fear, ego, lack of leadership etc be it at 26,000 ft or in a conference room at sea level. There are so many great passages in this book that it’s hard to pick one as an example. One that is more relevant to the business side:
“Comfort promotes politeness.
But politeness eats truth.
And lack of truth eats profits.”

Another just as relevant in extreme conditions as in those deemed more civilized:
“There is nothing pleasureable, sexy, or exciting
about taking just one more step
when your body is totally aching and exhausted,
but on the climb, it makes the critical difference
between success and failure.”

Don’t conquer the peak; Conquer yourself.

High Altitude Leadership



Workout in the dark as more information on the run comes to light

Monday and Friday I workout with Mary-Alice at 6 AM. It’s dark and only going to get darker. No matter, my eyes adjust quickly and I see the free weights have moved from 12lbs to 20lbs each. As with any goal as it becomes closer your preparation and focus have to increase. With 71 days to go we are bumping up my workouts and the intensity with which I train. I can see the results of the strength training and it’s positive impact on my running. The hardest thing for me is to take those “rest days” off. That is a real challenge for me.

The race organizers finally sent out the roster of runners and their home countries. I was somewhat surprised to learn there are 27 women registered – more than I expected. Out of the 75 entrants 2 have had to drop out for medical reasons. I’m sure they are disappointed and I hope things go well for them. I feel a sense of camaraderie with these “strangers” based on the singular fact that we have all chosen to participate in this adventure, to put our bodies and minds through some tough extremes. When I’m training at this level I know there are 72 other people in 15 other countries around the world working just as hard (maybe harder?) in anticipation of Dec 2.

Vanity is out the window!


20 Kettle bell swings w/35lbs
12 lateral jumps over bar
12 squats w/overhead thrusters w/40 lbs
8 50 yard lateral runs w/24 lbs
20 dead lifts w/40 lbs
20 presses balancing on a roller, alternating leg raises (my personal favorite :()
24 lunges w/24lb overhead weights

As horrible as it sounds (and looks!) this stuff works. The whole workout takes about 35-40 min. So with warm-up and coach Mary-Alice stretching you out at the end you are done in an hour.www.maryalicefittnes.com