Sunday, 30 January 2011
Monday, 24 January 2011
Labels: Mountain Equipment
Friday, 21 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
Sunday, 2 January 2011
With the crags looking drier I went out rock climbing for the first time in several weeks today, to my project next to Sky Pliot, Glen Nevis. I’ve totally enjoyed the past three weeks of focused training and writing. I feel like I already have a good base of strength for the coming year.
That project was ideal as a wee tester of how I was getting on after this little spell of uninterrupted training. At my strongest ever, in October 2009, I was getting up to the crux with difficulty, and could do the crux move in isolation a few times in a session. I had just done an intense month of training on my board then as well. But right as I was going my best I made a couple of training errors and got injured. I never went back to Sky Pilot, not feeling strong enough really.
I’m pretty sure the project is at least V14 and I know I need to be a few percentage points above that 2009 strength highpoint to be in with a chance. Most of 2010 was taken up with trad, partly because that just what I fancied doing, and partly because I was still struggling a bit with one or two injuries. I normally spent the whole autumn, winter and spring bouldering, but I only started in December this year.
But armed with the knowledge I’ve gained about elbow injuries from the past year of study and all the physio work I’ve done, I’m feeling able to train at full pace for the first time in over two years. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be limited by full body tiredness from training instead of going at the pace of injured tendons. It’s also great to be able to move with confidence too.
So today it was great to feel as strong as I’ve ever felt on the rock. On a few of the moves I maybe felt a little stronger than before. But nothing dramatic. I feel like I’ve just caught up my bouldering strength to where it was. More weeks on the board are needed. Days where you realise some real progress has been made are still the best.
Today I got up, drove a few hundred miles, saw the physio, then the doctor, dowloaded about 20 research papers and read various relevant chapters from the textbook tower. Stuff it. After the diagnosis I’m breaking open the Christmas biscuit tin from Marks and Spencers and necking a few cups of tea before I head into the wall for training.
As suspected over the last three weeks it seems likely I have annoyed/torn the aponeurosis of my external oblique. In other words a ‘sportsman’s hernia’. Damnit. Just a little niggling pain on cutting loose which disappears once warmed up. But I don’t want it getting any worse. And if the surgeon confirms it in a couple of weeks time I might need a wee bit of ‘invasive’ treatment involving knives, bits of polypropylene mesh and my abdominal wall. I’m going to bite the bullet and get a private consultation to make sure I get prompt treatment from the right person. They told me dourly on the phone to “bring my credit card” Gulp!
Causes? Who knows… Could have been the roof aiding mission in prep for the Great Climb. Could have been over energetic wood chopping, or heavy rucksacks, or training, or genes or whatever. Lessons for others - don’t let rectus abdominus (six pack) get too strong while neglecting the obliques. Don’t train when you’re knackered. Don’t carry three ropes and three racks up a mountain in one go. Chop wood like a samurai, not a caveman. Actually I’m sure even cavemen would be disgusted at my technical prowess with the splitting axe.
At least it’s still a small problem. I’m set on keeping it that way. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I felt stronger on my board than I’ve ever done last night. All I need to do is keep my feet on and all is fine!