Hail and floods; summer's here!!

16th Jun 2009

I had a good days coaching in North Wales at the weekend as part of a course organised by Rebecca Williams at www.smartclimbing.co.uk. A nice group of people with varied experiences, all keen to find out how to improve their climbing. It was good to be over in Wales too, as I hadn’t been for a while- although I was coaching indoors at the beacon- just in case!

I also had an interesting meeting with DMM on Friday, more of that soon.

Yesterday, Ruth Smitten (my new housemate) and I headed out to Cheedale. Unfortunately, floods and a hailstorm thwarted us! It was very strange. Driving through Litton, the road was covered in large hailstones and rivulets of water; it looked like a wintry scene in December. Kodo was quaking in the back, as she doesn’t like thunder and lightning. Understandably really, she’s never quite recovered from being caught out in a grim thunderstorm at Berry Head a few years ago and tries to bury herself in cupboards and shower cubicles at home!

So Ruth and I ended up bouldering at the Foundry, which I quite enjoyed. I was pretty rubbish and weak because I haven’t climbed for a fair old while now but it was good to pull on again, even though it was on plastic.

It’s very strange starting climb again after a longish layoff, things you take for granted just aren’t there anymore and it makes you realise just how adapted the body was to climbing. I had zero power (which to be honest is nothing new) but also no finger strength. It was very strange to try and hold holds that I would normally find easy and to just not be able to do it. And also, no endurance whatsoever, which for me feels very alien. I just had to pace myself differently and try not to overdo it, which I think worked. No aches and pains today.

I found it a little depressing but have managed to rationalise it in my head. I can’t expect to go bouldering (my weakest form of climbing) after a break and feel good; it just isn’t going to happen. But it has fired me up to try and go more regularly and work on my power; which had been one of my intentions anyway on returning from Spain.

I have booked a ferry for August, so will be heading to Ceuse probably and hopefully a few other places and then back to the UK for a month of trad with my friend Ali in September. He lives in Spain, so is keen to put some wires in and I am too. It’s been a long time since I went trad climbing, probably the longest break since I started climbing because I’ve been more psyched for sport recently. Although I did go to Staden Quarry on Sunday with Tim and Neil Mawson, to get some piccies for an article and it felt very strange climbing trad, although the routes were really quite nice. The climbing is so much easier physically but even though we were doing easy routes, something still feels tricky about it. It’s that whole mental thing, it’s very obvious when you’re not in the zone…

Anyway, I’m still running and almost enjoying it, which is a bonus. I don’t feel like it’s getting any easier but I might need to do a little less. I think I might have started a bit to enthusiastically (typical) and maybe need to allow my body a chance to get used to it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep the running going when I start climbing more again, as it would be nice to get running fit for a bit- quite a novelty.

Hoping to get the van back from the hospital this week, it should be as good as new (well relatively). It’s had the head gasket repaired and various other things, so it should be in fine fettle.

Last big news, I’m going to see Leonard Cohen again in July!! Can’t wait. His gig in November really was fantastic and I just couldn’t resist going to see him again, he really is a brilliant live performer.