Wednesday 31 October 2012

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Week 1 (as far as this is concerned)

:::::::::::::::::::: I will be updating this post daily with edits ::::::::::::::::::::

Monday :

Craggy session with Pete again.
I dayflashed past my previous highpoint, and made some sketchy clips.
Sadly I then pumped out had to do it in two.

My second attempt was then awful!
I forgot my sequence, clipped poorly, foot movements were all wrong and in short I jug hauled to the top and gave up.

I'm primarily blaming the temperature in Craggy. 
It is just ridiculous. I dont know how they get the customers.
Indeed, I shall seriously be considering going back to SSP or elsewhere for future lead sessions (much as I enjoy climbing with Pete)

I think I will need to find a new time to go there, because 5 o'clock on Monday evening is apparently the worst time in the world heat wise. That said - I am a fan of super cool temps.

Tuesday :

Early start then drove to Milton Keynes to spend a day (paid) setting in their boulder wall.
8.5 hours later, I started climbing on some of their other boulders.

Basically I'm a little knackered now.

I think we set about 20 boulders, from Font 4 to Font 7B/C(?), and extensively tested the top end problems.
Naturally, this results in a lot of climbing on hard moves.

I stuck around after we finished setting and hang around with some of (what appeared to be) regulars, some of whom were pretty strong. It was nice to try and be a bit more competitive with climbing again in terms of beating other people to doing problems..

My fingers are pretty sore now, I'm looking forward to a day or two off climbing now so I can heal up in time for the Peak.

I will do a light run tomorrow, and maybe do some stretching /core afterwards, I'll listen to 'Answer me this' While I run and it'll be great.

Wednesday :

Very lazy day,
Legs were ruined after the setting yesterday
Did my run for around 20 minutes then came back and had a bath to soothe the muscles.

Considered going to the movies, but couldnt be arsed.
Watched a couple of games from my SC2 league and played some games with friends.

Basically - didnt do a great deal.

Stretching tomorrow, then driving to the Peak District in the evening.

Thursday :

Lazy day in the morning, woke up, had a bit of lunch and then drove to Sheffield.

After about 5 hours in the car (stupid traffic jams) I arrived at the works and tried to call either of the two people I was supposed to be staying with that weekend. Neither of them responded, so I ended up climbing for about an hour on the new Yellow Circuit. No idea what grade they were, but it was a nice level for onsighting at, I ran around and did most of the yellows and then got kicked out of the centre and went to the pub.

Friday :

Got up at about 08:30 and headed out to the grit.

Perfect conditions, breezy, sunny and bitter cold.

Great training for Swizerland really :-)

After running a few laps on the Green traverse to warm up, I headed over to get on Brass Monkeys.
Brass Monkeys has been on my ticklist for quite a while now, ever since I walked over to it on a blazing hot day a few trips back.

I hadnt tried it before this trip, but I am pleased to say that I managed to do it in a single session to tick not only my first Gritstone 7C, but my first 7C in a session.

Brass Monkeys is definitely a problem that is a bit easier for those with a decent arm span, as the slaps are large to say the least.
After the first two slaps, you are left with a big cutloose and then some easier moves and a topout to contend with. The first time I did the top out from standing, I stood on the lip for about 2 minutes before committing to start stepping up the super green face above.

When I eventually held the cut from the start of the problem, I walked up the top with no hesitation, took in the view, and then rapidly descended to put on my downy.

In the afternoon, I met up with Ben Norman, who is now at uni in Sheffield (the lucky bastard) and went to Burbage to try West Side Story.

While WSS might continue to elude me, I managed to get one move higher than I have done before, and I think that I actually stand a chance of doing it, which in the past has felt a long way off. Psyche is still high for this, the most difficult of the 7B+ boulders in the world.

After we gave up on WSS, we headed over to the other side of the Burbage valley to get on 'The Terrace'. Again, this is the first time I have tried the problem, and boy is it a good'un. As far as I am concerned, I think this will be the next 7C that I try to complete. Only failed to do one move, and that was after an entire days climbing already. Eventually the dusk started to come in and it started to snow so we decided to call it a day.

Saturday :

I tried to do an early start at about 08:00, but when it actually came time to get up and go out, the draw of bed, and the grimy nature of Ben's Student accommodation kept me firmly in bed till about 10ish when we finally made a beeline to the rock.

The plan for the morning was to get on Brad Pitt and the Storm. Unfortunately, both were beyond me once again, and I was forced to retreat to Zippy's Traverse with Laurie. I did it a couple of times in the good conditions, just so I could do it in good style. Happy to lay this one nicely to rest.

After flashing 'The Hourglass' We headed back over to Brass Monkeys, and Ben got on it and sent it fairly quickly and easily.

I was losing skin, power and psyche by this point, so we did a runner back to Ben's house and I drove back to the South.

Unfortunately, I was a bit of a twat, and forgot to charge my batteries before heading up. I also forgot my charger, so when it came to getting footage and photos, I am a little bare on the ground.
I have video of the BM ascent, and some of Green Traverse, but that is all :-/

Sunday :

Today has been very lazy so far, bought some food and done some editing from the weekend for the new video I am making to document the end of this season, and into the coming one.

Tomorrow is Craggy for routes and Tuesday is Craggy to take a family friend's daughter for a climb. Should be interesting.

Monday 22 October 2012

Last Week:

Routes session at Craggy, climbed with Polish Pete for the first time.
Good session considering how much of a routes punter I am, I now have a 7b+ project on the front wall to attack. Did a little fingerboarding at the end of the session, but stopped when some bellend came along with his girlfriend and pushed in to use 'the climbing coach' to time his ridiculously punterish hangs on the sinker jugs...


Went to Eton again to play the fives match that was cancelled the week before, started at 7:30ish. We lost quite quickly in a lousy fashion. I took painkillers before the match to combat a slight knee twinge, and ate before I got there. These things combined with the odd court dimensions lead to me being utterly shite and thoroughly disliking the evening.


I was supposed to go to Evo, but my knee hurt a bit too much from the night before to justify the drive over.
Instead, I shot some video in the lab and went to the school wall for a light climb and some pullups.
I didnt do a great deal of pullups before my shoulder (also effected by the night before) started making sad noises.


I had to run the Junior House Fives competition, 
came home and edited some of the video from previous days.


Last day of term, busy day of making sure everything was in its place for the holiday.
Came home and edited.


Blocfest was today. I didn't go.
Instead, I waited for my skin to come back in time for a day trip to the Peak on Sunday.


I did not go to the peak - Omar texted late on Saturday to cancel.

Days Climbing : 1.5
Hangboard sessions : FML 0.5
Yoga : None
Evo Sessions : 0
Power Endurance (routes) : 1 (at least I did something on the list)

I have also been pathetic about the diet, if anything I feel worse now than I did before.

I really wish I had someone to train with/be driven 


Personal Therapy session below - Stop here if you don't want to hear me talking the problems out of my head.

I feel like I should stop playing fives.
But I enjoy playing fives...
I think that a lot of my psyche comes from feeling good about myself, and lately I feel like I have been doing pretty rubbish at everything I claim to be good at. I think with climbing, I can blame the rock, I can blame conditions, and in the end I can just say that the boulder has beaten me.
There is no shame in being worse than a boulder.

But when I lose in Fives, or football, or Starcraft or whatever sport pits people against one another it seems far more real.
I lost, so someone is better than me.
I know I havent played competitive fives for about a month now, and I am still thrown into a state when I lose against the first pair from the Eton and Windsor team. I'm pretty certain that if anyone told me about the same situation happening to themselves, I would give them a fairly short answer.
I suppose the real reason for feeling down about it, is that I didn't play as well as I have in the past. I struggle to play things 'for fun'.

I was thinking this while I drove back from climbing today. 

I enjoy climbing, 
but I dont climb for fun.
I climb for achievement.
So if I am not climbing well, I have a hard time enjoying it.

What doesnt help is that when I feel a bit crap, I dont care about training.
The diet goes to shit and I stop caring about putting in the reps.
Then my performance wanes and the cycle continues.

I suppose what I need to do, is break the cycle somehow:

If I stop playing fives fixtures and screwing up my shoulders and legs, then I will be able to climb well, and have an uninterrupted training schedule.
If I stop giving a shit about what I think other people think I should be able to do on a fingerboard, and instead just do my best, then I will actually be able to work up to what other people think I should be able to do (which I dont care about - remember?...confusing that...)
I think I should read Macleod's book again, I think he covers this stupid mental game in some detail.

Giving up the Ego will be hard. 

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Tired of being a Lardarse - Introducing the Targets!






I'm not really sure on the difference between 'Attainable' and 'Realistic' but what can you do?

I'm shocked.
I'm 80kg again!

80 freaking kg!
That is waaaaaay too heavy.

I was 75kg just before going to Rocklands!

Basically I am starting to feel like a bit of a lardarse.
I mean, I am technically down on my weight from a year or two ago, but I was really starting to see some gains from climbing.

What is interesting to note, is that my hardest boulder ascent and my hardest route ascent have actually both come at this increased weight.

I dont really know what to think about this coincidence, but I think I can confidently say that if I was lighter I would see benefits in my climbing.

This is Target Number One!

I will return to 75kg before our trip in December.

This means losing about 2.5kg a month over October and November.
In real terms:
2.5kg = 2.5 x 7700cal
=19250cal over 2 months

2 months = 8 weeks = 56 days

19250÷56 = 343cal/day

If I need 2000 cals to maintain my weight each day then somewhere near 1700 calories will work out well with extra cardio.


Target number 2 is related to my climbing performance.

Initially, I was pretty psyched on the competition scene this season, but after spending a bit of time outside, I am suddenly a bit more interested in doing well on the rock.

I mean, I will still go to the competitions, but I think that at the moment I am going to prioritise the winter season on the grit.

Last weekend I managed to do Zippy's traverse - Tough 7B in a short session in sub-optimal conditions (still pretty good conditions.

I then failed on Brad Pit and The Storm.

I think that I am not unreasonable in proposing that I should attempt to do:

At least one 7C on each of Grit, Fontainerock, and Gneiss 
over the winter season

I think this is an achievable goal, especially given that I seem capable of 7B in a session.
I need to choose appropriate problems,

I think The Terrace at Burbage is a good choice for the grit
Dr Crimp on the gneiss would be a good tick, but perhaps not quite my style. 
I think 'Birds' is a better shout.
In Fontainebleau I really haven't got a project in mind.
Bigboss, Fourmis Rouges, Eclipse, or Deux faux plis en plats reĆ©ls come to mind

I suppose that will come down to who else wants to get on these things.

I will do at least one fingerboard session a week

Mainly focussed on locking off on small holds. I imagine that once I lose some weight, and gain some more strength then I will be able to do one arm lockoffs on some of the beastmaker holds, which will no doubt lead to even quicker gains!

I will do at least one yoga session a week

We have a really good sequence of yoga at the school wall which is pretty killer, we did a couple of reps of it a week or two ago but haven't done any since, probably because no one wants to. I will force myself to, it will help with stretching and core strength.

I will try to get to Evolution climbing centre on Wednesday Evenings

I have been finding it a bit hard to train at the school/craggy, and I think that if I can get down to Evo - home of the super strong - I will be able to get at least one solid training session a week.

I will try to do one session of cardio a week.

Be this a run, fives game, swim, cycle, gym. Whatever, this is an important part of the weight loss program and therefore (unwillingly) needs to be done.

I will try to fit in a session of power endurance training

In reality this just means doing some hard route climbing somewhere, although it can also mean some on the minute training for boulders. Ideally it will involve some tough onsight sport climbing indoors.

I cant think of anything else to say right now, and it is pretty late so I am going to go to bed.

G'night all.

Let the starvation commence!

Monday 1 October 2012

Dandelion Mind

I saw the video of David Jones climbing Dandelion Mind (V14) on UKC today

and the name of the problem caught my imagination.

I understand it is the name of Bill Bailey's newest DVD offering, but nevertheless I decided to write something about it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't decide what it meant most, so now you have to suffer through two bad poems instead of just one!


We used to be so happy,
we lived without a care.
But what has happened since that time
has left my heart stripped bare

My dandelion mind,
began to fall away
what once was full, and round and whole
somehow went astray.

Your bitter words blow through me now,
and chill me to the core.
I wish my head would fill again,
and guard my heart once more.


My dandelion mind
is flighty, bright and free
the thoughts that float around my head
remind me of a bee.

A bee that flies through summer fields,
of grasses gold and green,
of flowers yellow, blue and red
as if they're in a dream.

A dream that lasts from day to day,
filling life with glee,
I'm really quite delighted that my mind belongs to me.


In other news, I went to Cheddar yesterday with Anthony and did my first ever 7c route!

I had previously tried it back in May with Tris but, despite getting the moves, I knew I would never be able to link them together.

Clearly there has been some sort of improvement, because I dogged up, cleaned the route, rested, then sent it within a few redpoints. It felt quite easy really, a little pumped at the end but otherwise pretty relaxed.

The fact that I was then hopelessly by the 7b across the road clearly doesn't mean anything...