As we'd arranged to go for dinner at Christina's this evening, followed by an outing to the cinema, we didn't have the time (or, truth be told, the energy) to go for an outdoor climb.
Whilst the weather was fine and warm, it looked a little unsettled, and the threat of serious rain seemed feasible...so it wasn't too difficult a decision to save time, avoid the risk of getting rained off anyway, and instead go for a full on training session at the bouldering gym.
We did indeed have a pretty hard session, and climbed somewhere between 40 and 50 problems, including down-climbing probably two thirds of them. The average grade was higher than usual too, probably around V3 (although admittedly that's soft indoor V3, which doesn't compare with a V3 on actual rock).
I don't feel that I climbed all that consistently, despite the relatively challenging problems we were attempting...but the overall volume of climbing was good, and I even did a one-leg, no hands press from almost full squat to standing (imagine putting one foot on the arm of your sofa, then standing upright on it without any assistance from hands or your other leg).
Traditionally, I find these a significant struggle, and mostly fail completely. I think the Tai Chi has helped with general strength in my thighs.
However, for much of the session I felt a little tired and low on stamina, perhaps due to the Twenty Pull-up Challenge, of which we've just reached the end of week one. Our third session of the week was last night, and we both did personal bests...Anna did a final set of 6 pull-ups, which is brilliant, and I did a total of 21 pull-ups over the 5 sets (with 120 seconds between sets), which is my best in that time frame.
Also my finger's still a bit sore...and my ankle has never recovered from falling off when climbing off-piste earlier in the year. Oddly, neither of these affect my climbing much, but hurt afterwards and generally niggle a bit.
What I find really weird, though, is why I utterly overheat, and Anna completely doesn't. I have to keep going and standing in front of the large fan to try to lower by body temperature, and I become slick with sweat. When we've finished, my tee shirt is soaking - I always take a spare with me nowadays.
Anna, on the other hand, doesn't break a sweat at all, and even complains of being a bit chilly now and then...
What's that about? Is it simply a factor of size, and all the additional energy I must burn in my muscles to lift and push my 190lbs upwards, compared with Anna, who weighs less than 100lbs? Factor in the longer levers that I have and that pushes the energy demand even higher...
Suffice to say, we were well ready for this delicious meatball cheesy pasta thing that Christina prepared for us...
After rudely shovelling this into our faces in much less time than it deserved, we went to see the space opera (which seems to now be a thing) Guardians of the Galaxy, which was good fun.
Whilst waiting for the film to start, I thought I'd test this claim of theirs by taking a photo to see whether I'd get thrown out or sued or anything.
Sadly my brazen act of defiance went entirely unnoticed.
I was so disappointed I almost decided to record the whole film on my phone, which sneakily doesn't have a red light, so you know, ooh, what will they do then?!
Still, it's fun trying to work out how many blatant lies there are in this piece of propaganda.
Two or three, possibly, but it's nearly midnight on Saturday, so I'm not going to get into it now!
Anyway Grauniads of the Galaxians, or whatever it's called...an entertaining romp, go see it, if you want to.