It’s been an awful long time since I’ve updated here. It’s also had been an awful long time since I bouldered! The running kinda took over in 2013, culminating with running and completing the my first Marathon, the first York Marathon.
I’d set myself a public goal of under 4hrs 30mins, and a private target of actually breaking 4 hours, and surprisingly I managed it!
All the training for that though made a lot of climbing a bit more difficult. Bouldering pretty much dried up entirely (but for good reason as I was feeling really jaded with it and was struggling to co-ordinate any time with anyone else for motivation)
My long time climbing partner was struggling with injury for a good chunk of the year, but we found a patch in the middle where we started to remember how to lead. We spent quite a few Sundays in the Foundry again, slowly creeping up from 6a, back to bothering 6c’s again, never really hitting our 7a peaks from before. It would have happened with more time and more fitness!
The leading cumulated in a climbing holiday to The Orange House in Spain where we’ve booked a Sports Climbing week with Rich Mayfield who royally kicked our arses. I finished up completing the wonderful 3* 6c Diferente Partes and only very narrowly missing out on Vaya tipo el de Oti a great 6c+. Kiri on the other hand positively cruised up La cosa, a rather tough 7a on a top rope. I was blown by then so my climbing was somewhat insulting! All in all, it was a fantastic holiday, and both Kiri and I came back full of beans for more climbing…
it just stopped.
I followed the climbing holiday with the Sheffield 10k, setting myself a new 10k pb:
and then finished my training for the York Marathon.
The running continued though. After a solid week of hobbling around work, and then 3 weeks of full on cold, I signed up for the now (mildly)-infamous Sheffield Half Marathon 2014. Yeah, the one where they forgot the water… 🙂
I pulled a training plan together on Endomondo and started on with it sometime around Xmas, aiming for a rather ambitious 1:45min half PB. Training was going ok until sometime in February when I, rather stupidly, failed to notice the rather huge stone in the road while running and promptly stood on it.
So, I went over on my ankle, then booted the stone with the same foot and ran the last 3k home on it. Possibly not a great idea!
It swelled up a bit and took me out of training for probably 4 weeks, which was exceptionally frustrating.
Somewhere along the line here, I decided that I had loads of holiday remaining which needed taking by April, and so decided to use it all on a running holiday! I’d been browsing around and found the website of the Embrace Sports team who had a place left on their running camp in Portugal. The rather ambitious looking week plan (with two runs a day on!) looked frankly, terrifying, but I went for it and it was really worth it.
Ignoring the couple of days near the start where I ended up with a really dodgy stomach which stopped me running on one of the days, I had an amazing time and made a bunch new friends. The weather in The Algarve was gorgeous, and I felt like it set me up for a good attempt on the Half.
So, the half. I’ll not go into the shambles of it on here; that’s well documented in other places, but it didn’t really go to plan. I dressed too warm (trousers, long sleeve top) for what was actually a pretty warm day, planned a negative split which I’d never done before, and really didn’t drink enough water. As a result, my pace disappeared at about 17.5k and my 1:45 slowly disappeared into the distance! Still, can’t complain! I got *just* under 1hr 50mins 🙂
And them what? More running, deciding to do the York 10k as there was a free ticket through work. Again I built out an Endomondo training plan and this time managed to keep to it with no injuries. I trained pretty hard, aiming to shave a good minute off my 47min pb, secretly hoping for sub 45mins. Once the run kicked off (late…) I was definitely going too fast for a chunk of it, boyed on by feeling good and the fast group I found myself in.
…and then… I passed the 6k marker and *boggled*. Hang on? Wasn’t the last k 6? Surely that should be a 7k marker? And then I started to flag. It got really hard from this point and I must have looked dreadful as one of the stewards shouted out at me as a shambled past her at 9k “Don’t worry love! You’re nearly there!”. I felt really despondent though; I was super confident for a strong run here, and I’d thrown it away by not pacing myself well….. and then the text with my results on came through showing I’d done sub45mins by the skin of my teeth. Perhaps those fast first k’s pay off eh?
Next two races aren’t really worth talking about much. I’d hoped to stay on the wagon with the training for the Sheffield 10k which was a month later, but I’m pretty sure I ended up loaded with cold again, and completed it with a really disappointing 47mins; not as fast as the Sheffield 10k the previous year.
After that, I completed one of the 5k legs of the 2014 York Marathon Charity relay, which made me feel like a bit of a faker! I’m pretty happy with the time I got though, with me not really having got back to training form following the cold.
For the rest of the year I’ve been focusing on a 5k speed improvement plan, but work is getting in the way somewhat of that training. We’ll see though!
I’m back bouldering again!
One of my old friends who has been bouldering for a few years is now available for me to climb with. She convinced me to some out on her birthday (not that it needed much arm twisting) and I’ve managed about twice a week since then! It’s slowly coming back, although I’m definitely down on what was possible before. I’m feeling reasonable motivated though and there have been some conversations about possibly going another Fontainebleau trip next year…
Well, we’ll see I guess!