Thursday, 15 April 2010

Yes - I'm ill !

A strange sentiment to be expressing but it gives me a possible reason as to my horrendous performance yesterday, but more of that later.

The Easter holidays saw me abandoned by my professor boffin wife and left with the kids for a week while she went to Oxford to boffin with other boffins; yes, boffin is a noun and a verb.

I got pretty much nil done other than an experiment. Not quite Dr Jekyll testing things on himself but i did want to see what the results of really dieting could be. I soon found out when i dropped to 1500 cals a day from a usual of around 2750. Two 10k runs on consecutive days in the mix led to.........complete depletion of glycogen stores and a distinct lack of energy. What a surprise. I feel a right goon reading what i've just written. Talk about obvious, but i was so wrapped up in the losing weight issue it got a bit scary there for a while. 3 days of eating everything in sight saw me with a full tank again and a lesson learned.

I've learned a lot about nutrition over the last few weeks and now know without writing everything down what's in and what's not, so it's back to long-term sensible weight loss.

Malham was looming and I'd only been climbing once in 2 weeks, a poor ARC session at the wall. I headed to Bees on Tuesday for a few hours of easy bouldering to get the groove back. It was frustratingly bad. Flailing about on V1+2's that i know. No flow, no fluidity, no ability to read/remember a sequence.

My eye caught a V5 i had tried last year and got nowhere on. I don't know why i tried it. As a 4 move V5 it had some hard moves on it - including 2 of my weaknesses, sit starts and a pinch. Well i cracked it off in 4 or 5 goes. I even looked down when i latched the crimp to see if my foot had come off and gone on the floor without me noticing. No one was more surprised than me when i topped it.

Feeling a bit over excited i scoped out the moves on a V4 lip traverse and did it first go. It wasn't pretty, in fact it got a bit ugly for a while, but a flash at that level was new to me so i finished the session happier than when i started - apart from dropping my camera in a rock pool, no photos for a while :0(

The next day I woke feeling battered and empty. Elbows were grumbling, left hand middle two were certainly sore and i felt very empty again. I didn't get to eat until 9pm the night before and had broken my promise of not doing anything over V2. Was i going to regret it ? The clue is in the title of the post really. I had to take 2 rests on a 6a+ warm up. Getting the clips in on Puddlejumper felt like it was Raindogs. My feet appeared to belong to someone else, and that someone else had never climbed before, holds that were bomber last time felt sketchy. Pete kindly remarked i appeared to have all the climbing ability of a goldfish and i binned it for the day. Taking the clips out in a huff Pete persuaded me to leave the rope in - thanks Pete.

I settled down to belay duties and watched Pete despatch a 7a+ after a quick trip up to put the clips in and then a 7b after 1 top rope. Sterling stuff.

After this break, and a lot of food, i started to feel a bit more like it. I had another go and it felt good again. WTF ? Got a new sequence sorted and the scary move now feels in the bag. I was sure that a lead would have been too much on the day, especially for my fingers, but at least i didn't leave with my tail between my legs.

3rd time lucky ? Who knows. A lot of things went wrong yesterday:

Not enough climbing in the weeks leading up to it for a proper performance day
Bouldered way too hard the day before
Didn't eat properly the day before to aid recovery
It was a hot day and my already probably too tight shoes became crippling as my feet swelled
Worrying about my left middle two; rightly it would seem as they are not right ( and not just because they are on the left )
Elbows that stopped grumbling and started shouting
The lurgy

Not excuses as they are all my fault - apart from the lurgy i got that from the kid's school.

I may have to wait a while before a rematch so time for a rethink. Work + partners being away means at least i will have time to recover and come back stronger.

I've a couple of ideas of what to do but that's for another post.

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