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Rock Climber’s Training Manual Part 1 (Base Fitness and Strength)

When I first started climbing, I didn’t bother with any sport-specific training of any sort. My formula for improving was to just climb.  However, once Cragbaby #1 came into the picture, our midweek climb time was greatly decreased, which meant the time we did have needed to be a little more efficient.  I started keying in on my weaknesses and choosing routes/problems/techniques that focused on those (for example, adding some off-set pull-ups and movement drills to increase lock-off strength.) Then I broke my ankle in February of 2012.  I knew I’d go nuts if I didn’t do SOMETHING, but I couldn’t…Read the rest of this entry →
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Climbing Hit List for 2014 – Year in Review

Considering that I was a large and in charge, 30+ weeks along pregnant mama last year at this time, my climbing goals for the year were pretty low key.  I wanted to find that balance between motivating myself and overwhelming myself!  Anyway, I ended up choosing 3 broad goals that seemed doable with a little bit of work and committment.  Here’s how I fared… 1.  ESTABLISH A TRAINING ROUTINE It took some trial and error, and those first few months we were all flying by the seat of our pants, but at nearly 10 months postpartum, our family feels pretty…Read the rest of this entry →
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2013 Year in Review and Climbing Hit List for 2014

This time of year in my climbing journey always involves a lot of reflection.  I look back on how well I accomplished my goals for the past year, and I look forward to setting new goals for the upcoming year.  But as soon as I saw two lines on a pregnancy test last June, it’s fair to say that my list of climbing projects got put on the backburner.  Pregnancy is obviously not the time to explore your limits.  That being said, I “failed” miserably at crossing off even half of what I set out to do on my 2013…Read the rest of this entry →
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Interview: The Tale of Two Streakers…

Throughout the 3 years or so that I’ve been writing on this blog, I’ve had a chance to interview some really cool people, most of whom have pretty inspiring stories.  The neatest part for me however, is that very few of these interviews are with people that I didn’t already know beforehand, at least in some capacity or another, whether they be close friends or just acquaintances.  Anne McLaughlin and tom Drewes are no exception.  I first met them (collectively they are referred to as “the McDrewes”), on a chilly winter day at a local bouldering field many years ago.  We found common ground immediately…Read the rest of this entry →
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Running for Rock Climbers Series #2: Finding the Motivation

Part 1 of this series focused on the climber-specific benefits that can be attained by adding some weekly running into your fitness regimen.  Todays post will focus on finding motivation to do it - whether you’re new to running and wondering how to get started, an established runner who needs a pick-me-up, or a New Year’s Resolution drop-out looking to get back on the wagon.  It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with just a little dose of motivation!  Here’s a few ideas… 1.  SMARTPHONE APPS- The MapMyFitness App for my iPhone is awesome.  It records my distance, so I can run…Read the rest of this entry →
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This just in: If you try harder, you can climb harder!  At first glance, this might seem glaringly obvious, but it was rather eye-opening for me a few weeks ago after my hubby (tactfully) pointed out that it looked like I “gave up before I even tried” on a route that was giving me trouble at the New River Gorge.  That statement prompted a very reflective and enlightening discussion on the drive home that caused me to develop a new mantra for pushing my limits on the rock.  And though simple, I’ve already seen improvements from it, so it seemed worth sharing!  Basically it all boils down to the mantra of…Read the rest of this entry →
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Hit List 2013

With 2012 in the archives, it’s time to look forward to another year…and another Hit List!  Each time I write out a year’s worth of climbing goals, I get a little bit nervous.  What if I fail?  What if I am nowhere close to any of these goals by the end of the year?  The truth is, that could easily happen.  Maybe the logistics don’t cooperate for me to be able to put in the time needed to cross some of these routes off.  Or worse, maybe I’m able to invest plenty of time into a project, and still come up short!  Goal-setting can be…Read the rest of this entry →
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Twelve 5.12′s in 2012 – and Fashion Makes it a Dozen!

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Some of you may be familiar with my quest for “Twelve 5.12′s in 2012″ this year.  For those of you that aren’t, here’s the skinny…At the tail end of last year I managed to eek my way through my very first 5.12a (TKO at Crowder’s Mountain) for the “send.”  (Non-climber translation: leading a route from the ground-up with no hangs or falls on the rope)  With one under my belt, the next logical step was to establish myself a little more firmly within the 5.12 grade.  I figured averaging one per month would be a reasonable expectation.  Plus, twelve 5.12′s…Read the rest of this entry →