train bad 1 day and feel bad for 1 week

Few things get me more down than a bad training session. And I’m actually pretty fair about it. I won’t chastise myself for not achieving some arbitrary, daily training goal. Bad days happen – that’s to be expected. I understand I can’t crank out personal bests every day. What really sends me over the edge is knowing I sacrificed good form in an attempt at inane success. Take for instance yesterday: I kicked around like a damn monkey on the campus board, flailing at the night’s objective. Not only did I not get 1-2-6 or 1-4-7 on my left, but I spent what little training capacity I had on horrible technique. So, I don’t get to be content knowing I stimulated a modicum of growth despite a near miss at an interim goal. In the marathon that is this season’s training schedule, I just sprinted for 40 yards between miles 12 and 13. And my 40 time really wasn’t that good. A day wasted – now I have to heal the damage from a training session spent engraining poor form; the kind of form that left unchecked will eliminate the potential for future performance gains. How ever many times it takes, I guess, is how many times it takes for me to learn there is no shortcut. Just wanting strength is not enough. A person has to train smarter than I did last night to realize impressive power. And that’s the thought I get to keep in my head while I wait the self-imposed, mandatory one week between sessions on the campus board. As much as I would like to get in to the Shed for a shot at redemption before the weekend, I know that is too much campusing for a person who would like not to injury himself.


Another thing that sucks: The Banff Mountain Film Festival. And I’m sorry to criticize a person’s work like this. It’s just, no one should get to produce something this sucky and not be called out for it.

Film #1: I walked in a few minutes late to the screening of this short film about a pseudo-tribal family (Andes, maybe) dealing with a sick father. The Dad wants the daughter to go get musicians to play this song while he dies… It was totally stupid. Anyone on the edge of their seat for this thing would friggin’ explode in front of The National Geographic Channel.

Film #2: Committed 2: Grit Kids – Somehow, the creators of this film have devised a method for producing a documentary about a sport I love, featuring athletes I admire, and make it suck. I kid you not, I would rather watch three hours of YouTube. Obviously, it would receive the Alpine Club of Canada Award for Best Film on Climbing. Next year they should choose someone not in a coma to award a winner or at least hire ferrets to pick the one with best smell.

Film #3: Journey to the Center – It’s about base jumping.

Film #4: Papiroflexia – This cartoon guy makes origami planes out of planes and stuff… Needless to say, it blew my mind.

Film #5: Seasons – I was surprised to see this film featured at the Banff Festival because it didn’t suck. The sound, cinematography, athletes, etc. – all rad. Unfortunately, it’s about mountain biking.

Film #6: Under the Influence – Growing up, I skied a bunch, so I appreciate the athletes who push this sport. This film was put together super well and it was entertaining.

And what kills me is they introduce the films like, "Next, we have a short film from the esteemed director of… winner of 2006’s… ", like it’s going to blow your mind. And you think something’s wrong with you because you don’t understand who wouldn’t gouge their eyes out to make it stop. I want my $12 and three hours of life back.

send me on my way

I’m deep in a winter training routine. The weather has me confined to indoor locales like the Shed and occasionally the climbing gym in Ventura. I love it. Holing up in the basement to grow lobster arms while the crags soak is definitely my thing. I’ve taken this opportunity to campus a bunch and I’m reminded again how stupid it was I ever quit. Over the past two Saturdays I’ve focused on the Metolius medium sized rungs, spaced 22cm (obviously) on a 15-degree board, and have managed to repeat some of the more enjoyable classics, such as 1-4-7 and 1-5-7. I’m going after weaknesses pretty hard this season. For instance, 1-4-7 and 1-5-7 on my right arm were the moves of note from last weekend, and though I would like to have progressed even more on my stronger side this Saturday, I chose instead to bring up my weaker half, opting to invest my time on 1-4-7 with my left. By no large margin I finished it, and I’m thinking for future moves this is a good practice. Asymmetry is for pitchers. The real campus goal is 1-5-9. That’s a good place to be for someone aspiring to climb Big Boy things. That’s the kind of move that could give me confidence in my power, confident enough maybe to hit the spring redpoint season with some momentum. Or it could tear my arm from my shoulder, Fist of the Northstar syle. We could be making omelettes here. In any event, there seems to be a lack of strength in a specific area: campus moves where my low arm is especially low, like in moves of considerable distance, like 1-5-9. In order to train in this range, I’m thinking this kind of move could be valuable:

campusing is rad

I’m going to start keeping track of my campusing stuff. The woodie at the Shed just isn’t doing it for me anymore – I only want to campus. Which should be rad. If I only campus and get on routes all winter, spring will find me ferociously strong or horribly injured. Speaking of which, I cut short the 2-finger phase of my workout last night to favor an odd "twinge" in my left hand. I’m not worried but glad I stopped. No pain, just a little weirdness. Sometimes that stuff can even be good for connective tissue, is my theory anyway. Probably I rested a bit too long then pulled a bit too hard on the 2-finger incuts. But 3-finger work felt good.

Last night’s moves of note:

  • 4-1-4, 3-finger, big rungs
  • 2-1 drop, 2-finger, standard incut

no Tor last weekend

IMG_1043Instead of Tor Saturday, I had Shed Sunday. Marcela cranked with me at the Shed in the evening. It was good. I felt strong, got on a couple projects, made progress. This two, and now three, days a week at the Shed is hard on the old tendons. Hopefully this makes a stronger, better me.

more Shed, please

This was the first week in months (like 6 months, I think) that I trained twice at the Shed. No agenda, just wanted to get adjusted to the Tuesday/Thursday thing again. So, I took things real slow, kept the volume low and had fun. Both days felt good, Tuesday better than Thursday, obviously. But after a slow warm up on Thursday I got things going a little. I put up a new route, at least. And today my hands are feeling it. Good training but a volume to be cautious about.

lifting doesn’t feel so good anymore

Now that I’m lifting weights once a week and swimming almost daily my joints don’t feel super good after a session with the weights. For instance, I’m sore today. I lifted last night with Marcela at the Shed. She has great form on the bench, by the way. But the once a week thing is just enough to make me sore, rather than accomplish anything significant, I think, in the strength department. This may call for a drastic overhaul of my weight training strategy. Recently, sets every two minutes was all the rage. Looking forward, it may make more sense to slow down the pace of my sessions but increase weight. I’m just saying, it’s something for me to think about.

da numbers:

  • bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 155 lbs on 2:00, feet up
    • 1 x 12 @ 165 lbs on 2:00, feet up
    • 1 x 6 @ 185 lbs on 2:00, feet down
    • 1 x 12 @ 165 lbs on 2:00, feet down
      • I went heavy on the third set, mostly to mix things up, and to psych up for a big fourth set.
      • I like this feet up/down transition. Feet up for light weights and warm ups. If an upcoming set is a concern, put feet down. I think it’s good to train this mental switch – when feet are down it’s business time.
      • There was more than 2:00 minutes before the next exercise, maybe more like 5:00.
  • incline bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 115 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 125 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 6 @ 145 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 125 lbs on 2:00
      • There was more than 2:00 minutes before the next exercise, maybe more like 5:00. 
  • behind-the-neck press
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 3 @ 105 lbs on 3:00
    • 1 x 10 @ 85 lbs on 2:00
      • Slowed down a little here, had “technical difficulties”.
  • arms super set – standing BB triceps extensions & biceps curls with the french curl bar
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 45 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 8 @ 60 lbs
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 10 @ 70 lbs
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 10 @ 80 lbs
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 10 @ 80 lbs 
      • Just tried to keep moving here, didn’t pay attention to timing these sets.

Finished things up with some abdominal work and restorative shoulder exercises.

first wood

Campused this morning with Andy. He did 5-1-5 on the bigs. I didn’t do much except kinda high-volume 2-finger hangs. Energy was pretty low. Because of an approaching appointment with the pulmonologist and this generally feeling like a flat session I went fast through my routine, not resting much, not trying epic hard stuff, instead focusing on the training stimulus.

no Tor for me

I didn’t make it to the Tor this weekend. And I’m actually OK with that. Ordinarily, when someone bails on me for the Tor I’ll pump hate at them for a couple weeks but this time I felt the break was good. Rather than punish myself in Santa Maria, I slept a bunch, swam a bunch and went to the Shed. My climbing for the weekend was laps at the Shed with Micah and Elhanan. For the first time in years I played add-on, which resulted in Micah and me working out a mega-rad problem that could help to alleviate my bouldering directed boredom. Note to self: add-on is as fun as the people you add-on with. For example, Bob would not be fun to add-on with. For years I thought the problem was with the game itself. Not so.