Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Handstand Challenge Day 11

Today is day 11, though I missed a day a few nights ago. :(

I feel like I'm coming a long way so far, and it hasn't even been two weeks!

My wall-assisted handstand!
My hamstrings are really tight, so it makes it hard for me to straighten my leg along the wall. I can't even sit up against a wall with my legs flat! But this photo is probably the best and straightest my upper leg has been. I keep getting more and more confident having my hips over my head, so it won't be long before they're directly over.

Another practice Beth has been having me do is controlled kicking up with one leg (not all the way to handstand), toward a wall, and then landing on just that leg. For example, supporting my weight with my left and then straight right leg kicking up. Then landing back down on my right leg.

We'll see what next week brings!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

King of Ging Climbing

Andrew was coming into town this weekend anyway, so he made it a climbing trip too. We heard there were some new climbs over at King of Ging/Gus Fruh, so we decided to check them out today. The wall is between King of Ging and Guide's Wall, and it is called the Rubber Wall (John Hogge's guidebook corrections). Starting from the right side, they go Jimmy Hat (5.8), Trojan (5.9), Lifestyles (5.10b-ish), Sheep Skin (5.10a-ish), and Magnum (5.11b/c). The two on the right were pretty easy. Lifestyles had an awkward and thin finish, and Sheep Skin had a tricky fake lie-back over a cave at the end. Magnum tripped me up pretty badly though, and I ended up having to pull on the draw to get over the crux. I'm hoping something peeled off, because there was what appeared to be a new rock scar. Either that or I'm losing my mental game on a rope!

We also played around a bit on the cave itself, Hank's Left. I tried some more photos with my optical slave units, and I think some of them came out pretty well. What do you think?

Beth Marek working Hank's Left on the greenbelt, Austin TX
Beth Marek working Hank's Left on the greenbelt, Austin TX.

Steve Marek doing the close hand-foot match on Hank's Left on the greenbelt, Austin TX
Steve Marek doing the close hand-foot match on Hank's Left on the greenbelt, Austin TX.

Andrew Dreher getting pretty close on the long move of Hank's Left, Austin TX
Andrew Dreher getting pretty close on the long move of Hank's Left, Austin TX. He got it a few times after the camera battery died.
I felt really good on Hank's Left and got to the final crux move...but forgot what I was supposed to do. Oh well, next time! It feels like I'm recovering from most of my minor injuries, so I should be good to go for our upcoming Hueco Tanks trip!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Night Pull Ups

Just a quick note for now. Last week, I tried increasing my reps to six pull ups each minute. After three full sets (90) I was dead, and really struggling on those last few pull ups! I went back to five pull ups each minute and made it to four full sets. I also threw in some push ups and a few wall L-poses to work on my handstands. No pictures. :(

Bouldering at Bull Creek

Sunday we met up with Austin and Nicole for a bit of bouldering at Bull Creek. While it isn't quite the destination bouldering spot, it still has a few climbs that are really fun. And the pea gravel under the boulders is really great for laying down pads.

I also just got a couple Wein Peanut optical slaves for my flashes, so I tested them out as strobes with Beth's point-and-shoot camera. For the most part, they worked great, although sometimes my Canon Speedlite wouldn't fire. I crimped my adapter when I got home and made it tighter, so hopefully that will help. Here are a few shots.

Austin and Nicole trying to beat the heat in between climbs at Bull Creek
Austin and Nicole trying to beat the heat in between climbs at Bull Creek.
Austin on a ridiculously hard V1 crack climb at Bull Creek
Austin on a ridiculously hard V1 crack climb at Bull Creek.

After a few hours of climbing, we went on a short hike down the creek. We were looking for a couple newly developed boulders, though there was poison ivy everywhere and the one good route looked hard to protect. On our way back, we got some yoga action in.
Me doing Reverse Warrior pose
Me doing Reverse Warrior pose

Austin sitting quietly with a waterfall behind him
Austin sitting quietly with a waterfall behind him.

Overall it was a pretty fun day, though it's hard to feel like you got a great workout when you climb slab.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Handstand Challenge!

Saturday night I embarked on a handstand challenge with guidance from Beth. Hopefully it will be a 30 day challenge. Or maybe more, but where I'm doing real handstands by then...

Day one consisted of trying to do L-pose against the wall. Basically do what it sounds like. Make an inverted L between your upper body and your legs, where your hands are on the ground and your legs are parallel to the floor. I couldn't do this pose at all. I kept falling over and couldn't "lift my hips" properly. Oh, and since my forearms are super tight, I use the Perfect Pushups instead of just having my hands flat on the ground.

Next was to try just doing a handstand against the wall. These went a lot better than I expected. And with voice command on Beth's phone, we were able to get some good photos of it!

Me doing a handstand!

Today was day two, and I made a lot of progress on L-pose. I can now get my hips up. Since my hamstrings are really tight too, I can't straighten my legs fully yet, but I'm at least feeling more comfortable getting my hips over my head. We'll see what happens the rest of this week!

Thursday Night Hangboard Workout

I warmed up a bit on some easier climbs on Thursday night, and then Austin and Nicole convinced me to do some hangboard workout with them, training fr our Hueco trip. I'm not sure about the order, but it was something like:
  • 10 wide pullups on jugs
  • 10 knee raises on the worst slopers we could use
  • Lockoff on jug, then a one-arm negative (each arm, but it hurt my left shoulder so I didn't do it). These are really hard...
  • 5 second hang on each of the pockets. I used three fingers, Austin used two.
  • 30 second lockoff on jugs
  • Wall stands? Basically you do plank with feet against wall, then wheelbarrow backward while walking your feet up the wall. I did 3, Austin did 5. They hurt my wrists a bit.
  • 3 offset pullups on jugs for each arm
  • 15 second dead hang on the worst slopers we could use
  • 10 second dead hang on the worst 3-finger crimps we could use
  • 5 Sharmas (Nicole really wanted to do these). If you aren't familiar with them, you can probably Google them, but here's a really bad photo of me doing it. Austin has a great video, but he still hasn't sent it yet...
It was a pretty good workout and it definitely drained me! Here's to crushing in Hueco!

Friday, August 7, 2015

First Week of August Training Update

We are trying to give up alcohol this week. Not because we're alcoholics, but because we are trying to train... And we were drinking a lot of alcohol. So far, so good. Aside from finishing off the leftover cider on Saturday, we are successfully alcohol free this month!

We also did a bit of training this week. We took Saturday off to give my flapper a bit of time to heal, and then hit NARG on Sunday. I tried staying on crimps to keep off my flapper, and so at the end of the day, I got on the campus board for the first time! It was actually somewhat fun, and I really should start training on it more regularly. Monday and Wednesday night I hit NARG again and felt pretty good, but my tendons were a bit sore. It's probably a good thing that a student held me up on Thursday long enough that Beth and I couldn't make it to the gym during lunch.

We're excited to get outside this weekend to climb and keep training for our next Hueco trip! For motivation, here's a photo of Raanan from our second Hueco trip, 2010.

Raanan Robertson on DDD, North Mountain, Hueco Tanks.