The weekend seems a long time away now, doesn’t it? There’s some crazy inverses time law I think whereby time moves quickly at the weekend and slowly during the week. Saying that though I don’t actually mind weekdays. I always think it would be awful to hate five days out of seven. Or maybe my weekends aren’t that interesting in comparison?? Who knows!
I made my way to the Netley parkrun on Saturday morning. It felt like forever since I was last there. It was nice to see the set-up crew again, albeit missing a few people due to holidays and injuries. The weather was really nice and made me think of those horrific times during the winter months where I was bundled up in a thick coat and dreading the time when I’d have to de-layer.
Recently I was asked to take over the Twitter account for Netley parkrun and I happily took the job. I’m a big fan of Twitter (follow me if you like!) and the person who was doing it before was getting a bit tired of looking after it and said I seemed like the right person for the job It’s fun because I can tweet out motivational messages, information about Netley and parkrun in general. But I did have a moment where I got confused with the accounts and retweeted a humorous tweet from what I thought was my account but turned out to be Netley’s. It wasn’t offensive or rude but it was a bit random (a funny meme about football) so I quickly deleted it. It is tough though managing the two accounts post-parkrun when there is a lot of Twitter activity happening!
Anyway, my hamstring was feeling better than has it done but still not right. I did a warm-up and then stood umm’ing and arr’ing about whether to run. In the end my friend Chris said to try a slow lap and if it got worse stop. So this is what I did.
My hamstring did niggle but it didn’t get worse. It was just a discomfort in the back of my mind. I kept it slow. Jeeze how tough three miles feels when you haven’t been running much! It felt like it went on forever. I’ve lost a lot of endurance for definite. Afterwards the hamstring felt niggly but not significantly worse and actually the hours and days afterwards it felt no worse. *Shrugs*. I’ll write some more about that in another post anyway as I saw my physio on Monday.
I was happy to have run parkrun though and it was nice to be in the sunshine with lovely people.
Later that day I had a climbing induction booked at Romsey. As I drove there the weather took a turn for the worse (ridiculously worse) and pelted it down with rain. When I arrived the people looked a bit confused and said I’d booked on the supervised auto-belay climbing wall. They said it wasn’t an issue but really I didn’t need to be supervised. I thought I was going to be taught about climbing! But apparently not. The website wasn’t entirely clear…Though, let’s be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve booked something wrong.
An auto-belay is really very simple and the supervised sessions are more for kids so after the instructor showed me what to do I was fine to do my thing on my own, switching between the different belays to try different problems.
It was basically like bouldering but higher and with the comfort of having a safety net (or a safety rope as it were). The auto-belay would ‘catch’ you if you fell backwards then lower you quickly to the floor in a controlled way. It gave me confidence to try reaches I wouldn’t have done during bouldering which was great!
You could climb down or throw yourself backwards and let the auto-belay catch you as it tightened up under your weight. But it feels loose when you initially let go of the wall so it feels like you’re going to fall as you don’t feel any of its support until you put your weight into it. Honestly it took me a good few minutes to get over the fear and allow myself to fall. It’s genuinely terrifying the first time. I had to do it from a very low height just to convince myself I’d be OK. Afterwards though I was fine, though in the end I actually preferred climbing down as this provided more opportunities to improve my ability (and grip!).
‘Falling’ using the auto-belay
I had a lot of fun though I was disappointed not to learn a bit more about climbing, like tying certain knots, attaching the harness and belays. But I’ll definitely be planning some proper lessons soon.
And because I’m so thoroughly addicted (and running is not enjoyable right now) I got up Sunday and headed for some more bouldering at Red Spider. It opened at 10am and I was in pretty sharpish to get as long as I could there before going to a BBQ with my friends later on.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and managed to conqueror some of the problems I was unable to complete the last time. It felt hugely satisfying. I like that there’s a ranking of the problems as well (V0, V1, V2…V6 etc.) and I’ve found I can do up to V2s without issue and V3s are hit and miss depending how much over-hang there is. When it’s like a cliff jutting out and you have to get from below it to over it I really struggle as it pushes my body out and I’m terrified I’m going to fall (see below my pathetic little stick-man drawing).
But anyway, it was fun. I wish I could have stayed so much longer but I had to quickly head home, shower and head to see my friends. And also, my arms and hands don’t quite have the strength and endurance yet for mammoth bouldering sessions – especially having done a session the day before!
For the BBQ, my friends and I were a bit worried about the weather (given how bad it had been the afternoon before) but it held out thankfully. It was a weird day of lovely sunshine and then overcast chilliness.
I basically just brought chicken with me (two types of skewers and drumsticks). It was a lovely afternoon just chilling. Though we did have a collective moan about the EU result…How adult we all are now, discussing politics and how it affects our lives. I think we can all agree though that there are uncertain times ahead. A nice weekend though nonetheless!
Do you discuss politics with your friends?
If you have an niggle do you prefer not to run at all, or try a gentle run and stop if necessary?
Are you afraid of heights? I used to be, but I don’t seem that bothered anymore. I remember a time when I went on a school trip rock climbing I cried at the top of the climbing wall refusing to abseil down because I was so scared. I had to be lowered down! Pathetic child that I was.