So some of your readers may remember I set somethings in stone to motivate myself to start pushing it and really making progress. Both of the deadlines are still a ways away but I have been making progress and wanted to give you an update.
Goal 1; Lead climb 5c by May 31.
Summary; Technically speaking, this goal should be the easier of the two to accomplish, because I have started climbing 5c often now, and know how to lead climb, so this one was overcoming a psychological barrier more than anything. When I made the goal I was leading climbing 4b/c, so three full levels below the goal, but with two months it should be achievable.
Progress: This weekend we were climbing indoors because of the crappy Easter weather, and I lead a really cool and fun, overhanging 5b, after leading a super easy likely over rated 5a which went up a corner. That’s right, more than a month to go and I am already leading only one level below my goal and two levels higher than previous. This whole writing stuff down really works. The 5b was really awesome, I have climbed it before and it has nice holds, nice spacing, and makes you move back and forth a fair bit, the whole thing is generally overhanging but the last 4m are really quite overhanging. I was so proud last time I made it up it, because it showed how my strength and endurance are increasing, and I felt so powerful when I got to the top.
This time I tried to climb it in a different style. Saturday evening was a brush up on technique and skills, and I really wanted to apply them to the climbing Sunday and this was the perfect opportunity. As it is, lead climbing for me is a much more focused and processed thing, where is my weight, where is the next bolt, the next hold, so I also really emphasized thinking about countering forces, turning my hips in, and moving upwards with the least amount of effort. It felt smooth, maybe not effortless, but certainly several steps towards it. I didn’t weight the rope, and made calculated movements, having absolutely no problem topping out, and clipping that safety bolt at the top felt like victory. I climbed hard enough to even get some yells of encouragement near the top from the hard to impress German Boy, which were much appreciated. I lowered down thinking ‘ha, how smooth, how successful, damn I am climbing awesome’. I reach the ground, grinning, and turn for a congratulatory kiss (perks of climbing with the other half), who then says
‘hey awesome job, that was super cool, but you’re bleeding in three places, including your face. Did you clip it with your mouth’
Cue hilarious laughter, I somehow cracked my lip, though I think that was dryness since I definitely did NOT face plant into the wall, and the other two were small chunks out of knuckles. Apparently my sense of smoothness can use an upgrade, but everything about that climb was awesome.
Outlook: Definitely achievable, and likely sooner than the deadline. Just gotta trust in myself, and probably refresh my clipping technique.
Goal 2: Run 3.8 with 100Hm Sola track, on Sola day, in 25 minutes or less.
Summary: Rather self explanatory, SOLA is a 120km long relay race with teams of 14 covering legs from 3.8 to 14 km over the course of a day. Up to 800 teams so around 10,000 people participate, and it is a blast. Achieving my goal would put me in around 600-700 out of 800. And yet it is still an ambitious goal, sigh. I started averaging about 45 minutes for 5 km.
Progress: Recently ran a close variant of my SOLA track, having got slightly lost, still matched distance and height meters for a total time of 28 minutes. Maybe this thing is achievable. Last week I ran a total of 15 km, and in one way or another made my way up 800 height meters. I ran 6 km in 45 minutes which is progress, and am consistently running three times a week. I plan to ensure there are more height meters in my weekly totals, and managed to run almost a full KM at a 12 km/hr speed or 5 min per KM pace, which is significantly faster than my goal. I replaced my heart rate monitor, and have four weeks left to lose the last three minutes or possibly more.
Outlook: Reasonable but requiring daily, dedicated effort. Biking to work adds an extra hour and 12 km a day of cardio, with less impact, and 200 height meters total. Walking uphill is solid zone 2 training (we have big hills), which not only applies to running but also hiking and mountain climbing. Running easy and light on my joints three times a week will just start paying off. Going to get it, but going to earn every minute of that personal best!