Katherine @lovetoclimb facebook page

What a year

22 Dec 2011

So we’re not quite there, but it's more or less the end of 2011.  Christmas marks the point when it’s ok for your brain to melt a bit, body to over indulge and to sit in front of crap TV.  I’ve almost switched off for the year anyway.

Christmas 2011  Vanessa helping with the tree

So that’s it, my first calendar year just about completed as a mum, trying to fit everything, that I previously did, into less time.  No big deal as that’s what all parents do but everyone has their own personal challenges and of course many are self inflicted such as climbing.  It’s a totally unnecessary past-time, we all know that, but one that most climbers will agree is something we can’t stay sane without.

So little Vanessa, for the time being, gets dragged along with Mum and Dad’s obsession.  She doesn’t seem to mind or so we think and fortunately has a good relationship with dirt and finds great enjoyment out of playing with the stopwatch.

She wasn’t that interested in the fact I couldn’t do a pull up in March and is even less so that I can now do 10.  But I’m pleased about that and I’m more than happy with how things have gone this year.  We’ve had three climbing holidays and experimented with different childcare configurations.  Finding a third person at the crag is winning so far.

I’ve redpointed 7c, onsighted (ok so it was more of a flash) 7b and E4 (it said E5 in the book but I’ll be more honest with myself if I admit the grade down) and climbed just enough to keep the jitters at bay.  Now I’ve embarked on a training plan I’m ridiculously psyched for the year ahead.  I’m back working again too and next year will I’ll have Fridays to add into the mix as Vanessa will go to a nursery on that day.

I hope that 2011 was good for you and if not, well there’s always next year!!  So I’m going to sign out for the year and wish you a wonderful Christmas break and see you again in 2012.

Training and motivated

07 Dec 2011

For the first time ever in my climbing life I have embarked on a winter of training, where the primary focus of the next 3-4 months is to go indoors and not step foot on rock.  I have never done this before.  Usually if possible I’ve headed outside at every opportunity, partly to have a great day out and partly to try and make headway with outdoor climbing projects.

But now that time is of the essence, I’ve made a decision to try and stick to one thing.  This summer I couldn’t have managed without my day outside each week.  As much as anything it was a haven of time just for me.  But things are different now the seasons have turned.

This summer I was able to take Vanessa with me climbing, whether that was the crag or wall.  But now that she sleeps less and is most certainly on the move I can’t apply my summer routine.  I knew something had to change.

And that thing is a training plan from my friend and coach Corinne.  You might wonder why I can’t make up my own training plan.  I mean I have done that myself for some years now.  And probably I could do it again.  But given that I want to get back to where I was on half the amount of climbing, I wanted some extra help.  I make up plans for people all the time, but trying to work out a plan to achieve what I want to on such limited time is hard.

The other thing I want to try and get a grip on is endurance, aiming for Peak limestone sport next year.  Not that these routes are very endurancy, but they definately aren't pure power either.  This has never been my strong point but I’m hoping that with this amount of focus I might crack it.

I hear some people say that climbing training isn’t ‘rocket science’.  Well of course it’s not.  But at the same time, if it was simple we would all be climbing our best.  And we’re not!!  There are so many factors and variables that go into climbing well and there are so many training tools available.  But understanding which ones apply to you and combining them with a real life (rather than a life with unlimited available time), in my opinion, is very difficult.  And this is where people go wrong.

Anyway, thank you Corinne.  My training plan is really, really motivating.  Corinne’s sessions are very imaginative and I’m enjoying it.  It makes me stick to the schedule and for me it’s one less thing to think about.  Sitting down at the beginning of each week and planning my sessions (like I used to do) in itself is time consuming.  Anyway, watch this space and we’ll see what kind of progress I make.