Fail to succeed...

Two sporty things are reaching the point of me needing to move to the next stage...

The marathon training is easiest to explain, and what I'm most comfortable with...

Tomorrow is when it gets real, I know I can blag a half marathon, I did it at least twice last year... Just go out and run-walk a half marathon on minimal training, injured, full of cold... been there, done that.

Now it's real - 14 miles, 23 km, beyond the half, into the known unknowns.  I've been on belting form, three PBs in 5 weeks all on long slow runs, all on a course much hillier than the routes the last PBs were run on.

The course tomorrow throws me another hill, being my home marathon has a great advantage I can run the course - which is why St Domingo Road is becoming a Sunday fixed point in space and time - the first absolute sod of a hill of the marathon course, followed by a too steep for fun run down to the town centre.

Then, comes my personal hell - Upper Parliament Street - the steep rise over 800m from the end of the docks, past the brewery, and up past the Cathedral and still up to Princes Road... It sounds easy when I type it, but I know I've never run up in one go, without walking... Will I be able to do it with 7 miles in my legs tomorrow, I don't know, but up it I will get and then carry on along Prince Road, to Princes Park and drop down to the river and head back to Bootle.

14 miles... 23 km - the changes come, pasta for my tea tonight, gels go in the waist pack, hydration juice in the bottles... Proper running...

And then there's the climbing... I've snarled and grumbled enough at myself, the only way I'm going to get better is by applying what I know about myself to the climbing.  Target driven, high pain threshold, endurance efforts work...

So, I've thrown myself at the wall, if I've got an hour after work before the other stuff kicks in, I've gone. And I've fallen off, time and time again.  Bit by bit the falls have come at a higher height, from a different set of holds... I've mainly bouldered, working to address the issue I have with pulling through and up.  The surgery has meant that my chest muscles aren't joined to each other and are slightly misaligned.  Or I'm just weak and feeble... Either way, attacking a series of bouldering problems where I go up and out backwards, so the main upper body muscles I'm using are the ones I have problems with...

And its working... Slow, surely, I'm getting stronger, doing routes a month ago I couldn't.  Today I climbed like a muppet without a hand up it's arse, not focused, generally crap.  And still I knocked off a 6a+ (okay, even I think its a 6a... but the setter is always right;-))  I know the easy improvements have been done, now it comes down to bring to improve skills and strengths in tandem.  And yes I have a couple of targets - a V2 bouldering problem in the cave, which is everything I hate about using that muscle set and requires (for me) nifty footwork... One move separates me from that route being done, and under the new regime becoming part of my warm up.

The second is a project for Easter... long, hard and pushes my grades again. And I will fail, and I will fall, and I will get another cup of tea, tape up the strained fingers and I will try again.

I've said before that marathon running takes you being selfish and obsessional, and my climbing is going the same way.  With both I know I'm never going to be the fastest or the best, but that doesn't stop me pushing until I fail, but fail well and with a smile.

So, the kit needs to be laid out, the tech charged, for tomorrow I run...

TTFN

Paul


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