Thursday 17 September 2009

a new found love

Sport climbing. Maybe it isn’t so bad after all.

On Tuesday I managed to red-point my first 6c, an absolutely cracking limestone route called ‘Traction Control’ at Trevor, Llangollen. I’d first tried this route with Patrick at the end of on Saturday’s easy sport climbing, where we’d just done loads of routes in the 5 – 6b region, I decided I wanted to have a go at this 3 star 6c, as seeing as it was easy to get a top-rope on it (as the lower-off was right next to the lower off for another route Patrick climbed), we had a crack.

The start sequence took a while to fathom, but once that was sorted the rest of the route just sort of fell into place. I didn’t try leading it that day, because by the end of the session I was shattered and my fingers were just crying for a rest.

So, a couple of weeks later I headed back with Mick (and his clip-stick – oh my goodness what an amazing invention. I want one.) Had a couple of goes on a top-rope then just decided to get on with it. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I cruuuuuuuuiiiiiised it. Awesome!

P1000073So, on to a new bolt-clipping challenge. Having never even attempted a route harder than 6b before this one, and having found this lovely 6c actually quite straight forward (all the moves were fine, it was just the working of the sequence that proved a challenge), me thinks it is time to actually find a 7a to work on (and yes, I know I’m missing the grade of 6c+ out completely there). Could my goal of climbing 7a sport actually be achievable before the end of the year? We shall see…

Meanwhile, I still need to get my trad head in gear. Maybe this weekend will see a return to some kind of form? Again…we shall see…

Tuesday 8 September 2009

running out


I've contemplated doing some serious distances but I just find it all too tedious. Went for a run this morning  - did 7.1miles (11.4km) in 1hr12mins or so, which is pretty slow really (but my circuit laps are incredibly hilly- I used to be much much faster when I was running on flatter surfaces, and I guess I still would be). It’s the first time I've pushed that kind of distance in a while and boy did I feel it towards the end.

Have you ever had a weird sensation of cold when running? Like you've just crossed that barrier of having used all your readily available calories and your metabolism doesn't seem to know what to do, so you feel cold and almost shivery, even though you're running just as hard as you were before? This morning was the third time I've felt like that, it's almost like an extreme fatigue where mentally you just can't imagine being able to finish the route - you've given everything and now you're running out, but you keep going anyway, one step at a time, you grit your teeth and keep going, swallowing the pain and the nausea until eventually you're done - and you hadn't even realised...

I’m not sure if I’m really cut out to be a runner, it’s just not my ‘thing’. Part of me wishes that I could suck it up, train and go run a marathon (a friend of mine got me thinking about this – he’s been a real inspiration to keep me going of late so thank you Anders), it seems like one of those things that you should do at least once in your life and what’s more, it would make my Dad proud. So maybe I should – I’d love to see the look on his face as he stood at the finish line waiting for me. He used to run and compete alot, he ran marathons – running WAS his ‘thing’. I’m sure he is proud of me, and of all the things I’ve achieved so far, but it doesn’t stop me wanting to make him smile and feel that warm glow inside, the one you get when someone you love does something amazing and you feel good to be a part of their small circle. So yeah, a marathon…I’m going to have to think on that one…

So anyway, this week is [hopefully] going to be a turning point for me – I’ve decided that because I still don’t have to go to work, and the main reason I left the world of the employed was so that I could train harder, get fit and become a better climber (well that and so that I wouldn’t end up killing my bosses), I am actually going to get my act together and start training properly. Too little effort, too much time spent reading, watching DVDs, cooking, eating cake, and just generally being lazy of late has not been helping me in my quest – so this week that all changes. I just need to resist the calling of the scones…

Tuesday 1 September 2009

flying with family

Flying with Lauren 033

Just a cool picture my niece sent me from the day I took her flying (and my mum for a brief if nerve-wracking spell"!)