14 december 2013

Margalef

The last climbing trip for 2013 has ended. I just returned back home after spending 3 weeks in Margalef, Spain. It was a super nice end of the season: camping, enjoying the sun, climbing whatever I felt like, just living the easy life. After about 1,5 week my skin was completely ruined. I was trying this project called Pal este (8c/+), which is extremely sharp. The route felt possible, but only if I would be able to invest a lot of time in it. The moves were really inspiring and I was super psyched for the route, so I decided to make it my main project. At one moment I was able to link about 2/3 of the route, but then the skin got so bad that I had to climb with my hands covered in tape. I was still trying Pal este, but my fingers didn't fit into the pockets anymore, so I had to give up this route. I switched to climbing 8a's which were possible with taped hands or bleeding fingers, which was a lot of fun as well.

I will definitely return to Margalef to finish my project when the skin is recovered. During the restdays we ckecked out some other climbing area's in Catalunya, which are definitely on top of the wishlist now! All together I really enjoyed the climbing. It was a really relaxed vacation after all the competitions. For now it's time to take a break. I will get back to my studies for 2 weeks before starting training for next year.

19 november 2013

Worldcup Kranj - End of season

The international competition season is officially over. Although my performance in Kranj last weekend was not what I had hoped it to be, I am proud to find myself in 10th position in the final 2013 Worldcup ranking!

The last week I have been feeling really tired and drained of energy. I was not even motivated for training anymore, which is a really bad sign. Saturday, during the final Worldcup in Kranj, I simply didn't have the mental energy to give a good fight. Maybe, if the routes in semi finals would have been really cool, I would have managed to get psyched for one more time. But the route turned out to be pretty nasty. Climbing felt terrible and I couldn't get myself together and get the right mindset. I fell pretty early in the semi finals and ended up 21st. 

It is a pity that I couldn't give myself 100% once more this year, but I guess enough is enough. I am really relieved that the season is over now. This Friday I am flying to Spain to celebrate my vacation, enjoy the sun and finally touch some rock again. It's time to celebrate the amazing season I had this year!

11 november 2013

National Lead Champion!

Last weekend I became national champion in Lead for the 5th time! The week before I was pretty tensed about this competition (like every year btw). I don't know why, because I can tell that it's not necessary and a pretty stupid thing to do. I guess it's because I have to win, which makes me extra scared for little mistakes like a slip with the foot or forgetting to clip a quickdraw. Anyway, luckily this feeling disappeared when I saw the first route. It looked super cool and I finally got psyched for climbing.

I managed to top out in semi-finals. The final route turned out to be even cooler! When it was my turn to climb I really had a lot of fun figuring out the bouldery moves on all the volumes. I managed to top out without getting really pumped, which really satisfied me. Special thanks to the route setters to set such a nice routes! That definitely made the mental game much easier ;)

With one more competition to go, the season is almost over now. This friday we will fly to Kranj for the final stage of the Worldcup. After that I will spend 3 weeks in Spain to finally touch some rock again! 

4 november 2013

Worldcup Valence - 11th

Last weekend the seventh Worldcup of this year was held. This time the venue was a lot closer to home. I was still pretty exhausted from the Asia trip, so it was really nice to just have two short flights and arrive in Valence a couple of hours later. The qualifications went down smoothly. I was not super satisfied about my performance in both routes, but it was ok and I placed 12th. The next day semi's were held. After making finals in China I was really psyched to do so again. The week before I was feeling really good in the training, so it should be possible, but it was definitely not easy.
During the second qualification (Picture by Wouter Jongeneelen)
When it was my turn to climb I felt pretty relaxed. The beginning of the route was a lot harder then I had expected, but it didn't scare me. Then, all of a sudden, when I was just starting to feel a little bit empty, but not finished at all, my hand opened , my body dropped and I fell. I didn't know why and felt really frustrated. Just the feeling that I could have done so much better made me feel really bad about my performance. I still couldn't and can't be satisfied, just because I couldn't push myself to the limit. It kind of surprised me that I ended up 11th, which is not such a bad ranking I guess.

I am still really motivated for the competitions and it's a pity that the season is almost over. On the other hand, my body seriously needs some recovery time, so a short break might be good. The next competition coming up is the Dutch Lead Championships, which are being held in Bussum this weekend. After that there is just one more Worldcup left for this year. In two weeks we are flying to Kranj, Slovenia.

20 oktober 2013

Worldcup Wujiang, 6th!

I still can't believe it. After being really close already three times this season, I managed to make finals in a Worldcup for the first time yesterday! This has been a really big dream for years. Last week in Mokpo I was feeling really good, my elbow injury had recovered and I had the mental part under control, but I just came a plus short for finals. Making finals was possible, but the mental game had started.

After the Worldcup in Mokpo we spent about a week in Seoul before travelling to China. Ulf and I wanted to see a lot of Seoul. You don't travel all the way to Asia to spend all day in the climbing gym and on your hotel room, right? So, in between the training sessions, we did a lot of sightseeing. All the nice, new impressions kept my mind of the competitions completely for a while. This worked out really well. I was super relaxed when we left Korea.


Arriving in China was kind of hard after the really nice experiences we had in Korea. Everything was dirty, grey and poor and the food was simply disgusting. Luckily the organization had arranged a really nice hotel, which made the stay much more pleasant. Besides my back had started to ache pretty bad from all the travelling and I felt a bit sick all the time. Not the best preparation for a competition. In qualification I climbed a bit tensed, but unlike normal, I could really fight while being pumped. In semifinals it was the same story. It was definitely not a perfect climb. I got really tensed on the straight wall in the middle of the route. After that part I clipped all the draws way too late, which resulted in a lot of back- and forth climbing. But unlike normal I just kept on sticking the hold. Every time I could find a place to rest again to get my head right for the next couple of moves. It turned out to be enough for finals!


Just before finals I was super tensed, but in a really weird, chaotic way. Luckily this feeling disappeared when I started climbing. I could take my time to figure out the tricky, hard parts and when I fell, I was completely pumped. It resulted in a 6th place. It was an amazing experience to climb finals! 
All together I really enjoyed the whole Asia trip. Special thanks to Mammut, for making it possible! Right now I'm heading back to Holland, really psyched to get back to training for the last two Worldcups!

13 oktober 2013

9th at Worldcup Mokpo, Korea

About a week ago I left Holland and travelled far east for the next Worldcup of the season. First stop was Seoul. We stayed in this massive city for one afternoon. After some sleep we went into town to find ourselves surrounded by little restaurants and markets. The first impression was great. The people here are so friendly and helpful! They really made us feel comfortable and at home. The next morning we took the train to Mokpo, a small city in the very south of Korea where the next Worldcup was being held. The organization had arranged a hotel where we could stay with all the competitors together. Food and transfer to the competition venue were all provided, so we could focus completely on climbing in this country where everything is so much different than at home.






The competition wall turned out to be amazing and the routes looked really cool! I got really psyched for climbing. Since I returned home from Russia my elbow was feeling much better and I had been feeling really strong in the trainings. This confirmation was exactly what I needed, together with some sun and an inspiring route. I got it all and I managed to top out both qualification routes the first day. The next day, in semifinals, I climbed really relaxed. I think I have never been able to climb semi's as relaxed and focused as I did here in Korea. I could take my time to look around, come up with different solutions and in the end I fell because I was too pumped. It turned out that I would just have needed to stick the hold I touched last, then I would have made finals. I ended up 9th, really satisfied about my climbing but also a little bit disappointed that I was so close to finals.

The disappointment has gone now and I just feel really satisfied. We are back in Seoul at the moment, where we will enjoy being in Korea, do some sightseeing and some training. On thursday we will head to China for the next Worldcup.


1 oktober 2013

Worldcup Perm - 13th

Although the trip to Russia was an amazing experience I will never forget, I am happy to be back in Amsterdam. I think I have never been in a place as depressing as Perm before. Everything is grey; the houses, the sky, the streets, even the cars lost all their colour by the dust they are covered in. The first day we decided to buy some food in a small supermarket. When we opened up our groceries everything turned out to be tasteless and many products had past the expiration date. Although this all sounds really bad, it was actually pretty much fun. we just laughed about all the weird things we saw and didn't take things too seriously. 

I had to handle the competition the same way. Just before my first qualification route the organization decided to change the cleaning time. Normally I would be the last climber before the cleaning, but now they wanted to clean first. So I laughed and went off to warm up a bit more. 5 minutes later Mathieu (coach / fysiotherapist) hurried towards me and told me that they had changed their mind again. A similar situation occurred just before I had to climb in the semi-finals. Normally this would have stressed me out completely and I wouldn't have been able to climb properly anymore. This time it made me a bit more tensed. In qualifications I managed to reset during the route and I topped out both qualifications. In semifinals I kept climbing a bit tensed. I could execute the moves smoothly, but the tension on my muscles was much higher than normal. That made me feel really empty all of a sudden. I could make one more move and fell. It was enough for a 13th place.








The climbing was ok, at least much better then in Puurs last week, but I still feel much more is possible. My elbow improved a lot and didn't really hurt during climbing! I think we're back on progression ;) On the way back we had 10 hours transfer time in Moscow, so we decided to take a quick look in the city. One thing became clear, all the money that definitely wasn't spend in Perm was used here to build enormous palaces. The contradiction was bizar. We ticked the red square from the 'places you have to see once in your life' list, walked a bit around to get an impression of the city and then returned to the airport to fly back home. Many thanks to Mammut for making this trip possible and to Medicort for sending Mathieu with me.



26 september 2013

Worldcup Puurs

I placed 16th in the Worldcup in Puurs last week. Last year I would have been really satisfied with this result, but last weekend it was pretty disappointing. During semi-finals I managed to stay pretty calm, but this costed a lot of mental energy. It worked out fine as long as the moves were not too hard, but at the first tricky, long move I got stressed out and fell, completely unneccesary because I wasn't even really pumped.

During the semi-finals in Puurs (pictures by Tim van der Linden)

In the beginning of the season it felt so natural to climb relaxed during a competition and not to mind too much about the result. Last week I was looking for this feeling, but I couldn't find it. I have been so focussed on my elbow the last couple of weeks that I completely lost joy in climbing. Maybe it was too much to expect that I could find this feeling in a competition, if I don't even manage to do so in the trainings.

Anyway, this competition has woke me up again. I managed to fix some things and I am ready for the next Worldcup now! My elbow is doing fine, the head is in the right place again and I am really excited to compete. Today I am flying to Perm, Russia, thanks to Mammut, who will finance the trip and Medicort, which will support me by sending Mathieu Ceron (fysiotherapist / coach) with me. Let's go!

17 september 2013

NK boulder

For the last couple of weeks I have been seeing a physiotherapist nearly every day. Thanks to the amazing work of the Medicort physiotherapists my elbow recovered fast enough to compete in the National Bouldering Championships last weekend. I still can't do really long training sessions. After about 4 routes it's getting painful, but at least I can handle high intensity, which is most important during the competition season.

So I decided to compete. I had to promise myself that, when a move hurt, I would try to find another solution and not force it. This turned out great in semi finals. I was just so happy to compete again that I had no pressure or expectations at all. The boulders were harder then normal, which made it a lot of fun to climb them. I managed to flash three of the boulders and the fourth I did in my second go. I was really surprised to find out that I placed in first position for the finals.

During the semi finals (pictures by Paul Lahaye)
I was really psyched to start the final round, but this feeling completely disappeared after observation. The boulders looked pretty easy and not spectacular at all. Only the second boulder seemed to be a bit harder. This one made me scared as well. I didn't really know how to do it. If I was right there was a mantle move in the end, which wouldn't be possible with my elbow. I managed to get myself mentally prepared for the finals and flashed the first boulder. Then it was up to the second. I climbed smoothly to the unsecure move and tried to push with my left hand. As I had expected, that was painfull, but I didn't fall off. I was really dedicated to climb this one. If I would fall I would definitely lose the competition, because the other boulders were too easy to make a difference. I tried the move with one hand a couple of times, but it didn't work. I had to jump off. In the end I didn't manage to climb this problem. With still two boulders to go I already knew I had lost. It's really shit if the boulders are set like this. I felt hopeless and angry. Maybe the worst thing was that I didn't even had to try to get myself together, because the boulders were so easy that I could even flash them with the worst mentality ever.


Anyway, I ended up in second position, behind Vera (who btw did a really great job by climbing all the boulders!) Fortunately the angry feeling disappeared that same night. I gained a lot of confidence in the semi-finals. Although I haven't been able to climb for 12 days and I can't really train, I'm still in a good shape. Now it's off again with the lead Worldcups. The first competition will be this weekend in Puurs, Belgium. I am really motivated to start again!


30 augustus 2013

Injury

Unfortunately my elbow didn't recover fast enough to compete in Eindhoven tomorrow. It is improving a lot though, but I wanted to keep it that way. If I would compete I would risk some other weeks without climbing, which would make me very unhappy in the first place and I would probably start stressing out about the lead Worldcups as well then. So it feels like a good decision to skip the European Champs and focus on the upcoming lead world cups. I can't wait to start climbing again!

Because there is nothing exciting going on at the moment, here are some pictures from my Ceuse trip this summer, taken by Raf Gorissen.
 
                           Really happy with the milk foamer                                 Encore 8a+
                         
Slowfood, 8b+

27 augustus 2013

Hot chili-X, 8c!

A couple of years ago, when my mum was driving me to a training, she asked me what I expected or hoped to climb outdoors once. 'I hope to climb an 8c once', I replied. I had never expected that dream to be fulfilled so soon. Last week I managed to send my first 8c!

At the beginning of the summer I decided it was time to challenge myself outdoors, to see what my limit is. I had set a goal: climb 8c. To do that I had to go to the perfect area, a crag with huge overhanging walls, pumpy routes and tufas. Some friends and I were really psyched to go to Gorges du Loup, but we had some problems arranging the trip, considering I was the only one with a driving license and we were all way too young to rent a car. In the end we found a company who would let us rent a car, so we were off to the south of France.

At home I had already selected three 8c's I wanted to try. The first day I started working in my first choice: Hot chili-X, a combination of the hardest parts of a very popular 8b+ and an 8b I had already worked in four years ago. I managed to make all the moves pretty easily in the first workout session, but the hardest part was linking them. Hot chili-X is a super sustained route with only one bad rest in the middle. After three days of red pointing I fell in the last hard move (one hold before the end). On the fourth day I fell at exactly the same place. I was losing confidence: was my endurance good enough to link this last move as well? The answer came in my next try. I managed to stick the last hard move this time and clipped the anchor!

Hot chili-X, 8c (Pictures by Daan Groskamp)
There were many more routes in this amazing area I wanted to try, but unfortunately I injured my elbow on the same day I sent Hot chili-X. I haven't been able to climb since. I hope to recover soon enough to compete in the European Championships in Bouldering which are held in Eindhoven this weekend.  

9 augustus 2013

Worldcup Imst

One slip with the foot and it's over. That's the game which makes competition climbing really hard, but also really interesting. Many people ask me why I prefer lead climbing over bouldering. I always tell them that it really inspires me that in lead climbing you've got only one chance: if you fall it's over. You have to control the mental part perfectly to perform well. Yesterday I didn't, I slipped with my foot during the semifinals and threw away that single chance. It sucks, but that's climbing.

I qualified for semifinals in 10th position. I was not really satisfied about my climbing though. In the first route I got surprised by the tricky and hard moves in the beginning. I started trembling and couldn't climb relaxed at all. Fortunately I managed to pull myself together in the second part and topped out. The tricky beginning had really scared me though. I was really nervous for the slabby start of the second route. In the end the beginning turned out to be pretty easy, there was nothing to worry about. The tension had cost a lot of energy though, which made me getting pumped pretty early. I could fight for some more moves and fell. The ranking turned out to be fine anyway, which gave me some confidence for semifinals.
During the first qualification (Foto: Heiner Schmidl)
After the stress in qualifications I really had to think of something to get in the relaxed-competition-mood again. Semifinals were held that same day, so there was not much time. I spoke to some people and managed to fix a lot of things in this way. Before semi's I felt much better. The start of the route went down smoothly. I could take my time, feel the moves and look ahead. When I started to feel a bit tired I reached a big hold, clipped, matched to get in a good resting position, and then all of a sudden my foot slipped off. I was really annoyed and didn't know what happened!  I guess I was a bit too tensed, or a bit too relaxed, or it might have been just bad luck. In the end I placed 21st.


I really feel like training now, so that is what we're going to do today here in Imst. Tomorrow we will fly back home where I will have some days to recover, sleep a lot and train in between. Thursday I will be flying to Nice to climb outdoors in Gorges du Loup for 10 days. That will definitely help me to get rid of the frustration I am feeling now!

2 augustus 2013

Céüse

I've spent the last ten days in Céüse and it was an amazing trip again. After the excitement of the first two international competitions of the year it was good to take some rest. Climbing outdoors makes recovering from competitions and preparing for the next ones so much easier, for me at least.  Imagine, waking up, taking a long, long shower followed by having breakfast in the sun. When it gets too hot you move to the shade to read a book or listen to music for a while until it's time to walk up (I have to admit, I am really going to miss the one hour walk up!). When you finally arrive at the crag the scenery is beautiful. The walk up is definitely worth it! I have spent many hours the last  few days just sitting there and enjoying the view. 
When I visited Céüse for the first time last year it really impressed me. It is definitely one of the most beautiful climbing areas I have ever been. The scenery is amazing, the atmosphere is really nice and nearly every route is of super high quality. Therefore I wanted to climb a lot of routes this trip, not specifically hard ones, but just beautiful lines I had seen last year and didn't climb by then. So that is what I did the first week. I managed to send many routes from my wishlist (like Encore 8a+, Petit Tom 8a and Sueurs froides 8a+, all second go) and they were as good as I had hoped.

By the end of the trip I started to feel a bit restless. I really needed a project to work on. On my second last day of climbing I finally found one. I worked the moves in Slow food, an 8b+ in a huge overhang with a tricky, bouldery beginning and a pumpy end. I had tried this route last year, but I didn't manage to make the moves by then. Although it was a bit late to start a project (with only two more climbing days to go after the workout session) I decided to give it a try. The first day of trying I fell in the pumpy end with only one more move to go. Afterwards I was too exhausted to give it another proper try, so it all came down on the last day. When I woke up that last day I felt terrible. I was tired, my skin hurt really bad and I even got a bit stressed from the time pressure. The first couple of tries in the route were terrible. I kept on falling in the beginning and my skin got worse with every try. I decided to take a longer rest, laying down underneath the rock, enjoying the view, chatting a bit. That worked out well. The next try I still felt pretty tired, but I was psyched again to finish the route in a last, desperate attempt. I managed to climb the route on this last try of the day.  It's so amazing how strong you can be when you just find the right mindset! A perfect ending of a nice climbing trip. 

20 juli 2013

9th at first Worldcup of the year in Briancon

I still can't believe it. Apparently I am in a really good shape, which has really surprised me over the last couple of weeks, because I haven't been training as much as I used to. I guess this shows how important it is to take enough rest and what a forced change in training program can do. I am starting to believe that the injuries I had this winter brought me to where I am now. But enough about that, back to Briancon.

This weekend the first Worldcup of the season was being held. After the good result of last week I was excited but also a bit nervous about this competition. The few days at home in between were kind of stressful and I left for France again feeling tired and drained. Fortunately I could change my mood in time for the competition. When I was walking to the wall at 6:45 AM the day of the qualifications, the sun started shining and I started to feel a bit like in Chamonix again. I had to start really early in my first qualification. With only one climber before me I didn't have much time to get any beta about the route. The girl before me topped out, so I got a good chance to see all the moves and there was only one thing left for me to do: top out as well. So I did. I climbed pretty relaxed and confident and reached the tophold, although I got pretty pumped. The second route was more my style and I could see a lot of climbers who showed me how to do it. When it was my turn everything went perfectly and I topped out on this one as well. Amazing!

That evening it started to get to me what I just did. Together with only 7 other climbers I topped both qualifications. That mend I was in position for finals now. I might be getting on the same level as all those people I have been looking up to for years. This thinking made me pretty nervous. The next day during the semi finals I was able to climb relaxed, to look around and to feel the moves, but I was executing the moves way too carefully. I didn’t want to mess up after those amazing qualifications. So I climbed up and down, rested in every move and started to make other decisions then I had planned during observation. This didn't turn out very well. I got pumped pretty fast and fell down way earlier then I had hoped. I expected to be one of the last, but then it turned out I had placed 9th. My best result so far!


In the end I think I can be satisfied with this result. I made a big step forwards and it needs some time to settle down. I got a big confirmation this weekend that I am able to make finals, which really gives me a lot of motivation and mental strength for the rest of the season! Now it's time to climb some rock in Céüse :)

15 juli 2013

10th place at the European Championships in Chamonix!

After a long winter without international competitions the season has finally kicked off with the European Championships in Chamonix. I guess it came exactly in time for me. My injured finger is doing well and doesn't really trouble me anymore. The last two weeks I have been feeling better and better. During an onsight training in Puurs last week I realized that I made a big progression during the winter. I am still wondering why, considering that I have been injured for a long time. I kept on training, but things were not perfect. I guess some extra rest was good for me? Anyway, during the trainings I kept on surprising myself by doing things I considered to be either impossible or very, very hard.

But not only the physical part was fine, also mentally I felt super good. In the period before the first competition I am normally pretty tensed. Everything I do I have to think over and over. Can I go to the beach today? Isn't that bad for my climbing next week? This time I just did whatever I felt like and that worked out pretty good. I was more relaxed than ever before and during the competition, which definitely makes climbing much easier! In the qualifications I could climb relaxed and focussed. I kept on shaking in between the moves, found some nice positions to rest, took my time to recover and in this way I managed to top out both routes pretty easily. 18 other women did so too, so the semi-finals promised to be pretty exciting!
During the semi-finals
When I started climbing in semi's I lost the rest in my head which I had in qualifications. The beginning of the route was pretty hard and tricky with bad footholds and big holds I didn't know. At the beginning of the overhang I managed to reset my mind. I switched to the relaxed and focussed mode again and climbed smoothly through the middle part of the route. Higher up, when I started to get pumped, I decided to stop resting and just climb fast to make as many moves as possible. This is the only thing I blame myself for. On the ground I realized that I am probably fit enough to recover even on those moves. If I could have stayed calm, I might have made some extra moves. But anyway, I can be really proud on my performance I guess. 10th, woow, I am still flabbergasted. It's an amazing start of the season and I am really looking forward to the next competition! Thursday we will be flying to Briancon for the first Worldcup of the season. Excited!!!


28 juni 2013

First place in National Lead Competition

University, check! National boulder competition, check! National lead competition, check! Endurance, nearly good enough ;) The start of the international competition season is getting closer and I guess I am more or less ready for it now.

Last weekend the last national lead competition was being held in my home gym, Mountain Network Amsterdam, which is just 2 stairs away from my apartment. Since I am spending many hours on this wall I felt super confident during climbing. I managed to top out all routes, including the finals, without hesitating or getting really pumped! Kind of a confirmation that my endurance is getting better. 

With this score I won the competition of the day and I placed 1st in the final ranking of the national Lead competition as well. With 9/9 tops I finished all routes in the competition, just like last year. The last time I didn't manage to climb a route in a national competition was during the 2012 Dutch Championships, where I failed in both the semi finals and finals. Let's see if I can do better this year ;)
During the finals (Picture by Tim van der Linden)
For now it's back to training. Two more weeks of final preparations and then I will start in the European Championships in Chamonix at the 11-13th of July. The summer is fully planned and I am really excited to start! My program:
- 11/13th of July:                             European Lead Championships Chamonix
- 19/20th of July:                             Worldcup Briancon
- 21th of July / 1st of August:           Outdoor climbing in Céüse
- 9/10th of August:                           Worldcup Imst
- Second half of August:                   Outdoor climbing, destination unknown

17 juni 2013

First place in National Boulder Competition

Temperature in Holland is finally rising, which means the start of the Lead season is coming closer and endurance training has started. Therefore I have spent last week climbing routes double, up and down or annoying everyone in the bouldergym with my biep-biep stopwatch and looong traverses, crossing all the boulders. In between those sweaty, pumpy endurance trainings the final national boulder competition was being held last Saturday. Whit me and Vera in shared first position, this competition would decide who would place first in the end ranking.
Pretending to pinch a tufa in final boulder nr. 2 (Picture by Sytse van Slooten)
During qualifications I had a really hard time. After spending months climbing statically I completely lost any speed I had, resulting in terrible static climbing. I failed in every dynamic move and got really fed up with myself. Sorry everyone, for my complaints ;)

Preparing for the final, scarry move in the last problem (picture by Sytse van Slooten)
I needed to get my head right again for finals. In order to climb well I just needed to make some fun and enjoy the moves. During observation the final problems seemed to be really cool, which really helped me finding my motivation back. In isolation I visualized every boulder and tried to think of a similar move I made outdoors the week before. This helped me a lot. I was able to climb super relaxed again and flashed the first two boulders. Even the last boulder, with a running start I was pretty scared off, went down well. I managed to climb it in the last seconds, which was enough for first place. This means I placed first in the final ranking as well, which really surprised me!


Now it's time to get back to endurance training, with the last national lead competition coming up next weekend in my homegym: Mountain Network Amsterdam.

8 juni 2013

Testing time: Lead 2 and Saint Léger

The international competition season is getting closer with the European Championships in Chamonix taking place in about 5 weeks. Normally around this time of the year I've got a pretty good idea about my shape and the little things I want to change to be perfectly prepared for the season. Since injuries have been keeping me of my normal training plan I seriously had no idea about my level of fitness at the moment.
Onsight attempt in Slayer, pictures by Mirthe van Liere
Two weeks ago the second national lead competition was being held. Fortunately I managed to top out on all the routes again, which gave me some satisfaction. Apparently I wasn't that weak. But I was getting extremely bored in training: climbing the same routes and the same circuits over and over again, just to make sure I could keep on climbing without forcing my finger. Since outdoor climbing had turned out to be pretty good for my injury I decided that it was a good plan to do some onsight training outdoors. In this way I could get away from the too familiar routes and I could challenge my mind again with some new moves.

So one week ago we, Frank Loeve, Mirthe van Liere and I, drove all the way to Saint Léger. I have had a long wish list for this area since I left last year. The first route on the list was Le mur des 6 clopes, 8b/8b+. The first day I decided to take a look and the line turned out to be completely my style. Super psyched to link the moves I gave it a second try and to my astonishment I managed to finish it already. 8b/8b+ second go, and that after all those injuries! I couldn't (and still can't) believe it. Apparently the additional training plan worked out well. This was an amazing start of what turned out to be an amazing trip. All we did was looking for nice lines and just give it a go, no matter how hard or soft they were. In this way I sent many beautiful lines. Absolute memorable ones were:

- The onsight attempt in Slayer, 8a (which definitely felt much harder by the way), where I executed the moves fully committed and smooth in the beginning. After sending the first part (7c+) the real fight began. I got super pumped, but kept on sticking the holds until (30 minutes and 40m later) the last move, argh!

- La farce tranquille, 8a, one of the most beautiful lines I have climbed in this area. A perfect mix of tufa climbing in a huge overhang and a really exposed technical finish on small crimps.

- The workout session in L'idéal chimérique, 8c/c+ on the last day. The moves in this route were super inspiring. It felt like it should be possible to climb it if I would have loads of time. At least it gave me some confidence that I have the power to make those moves and this really motivates me to keep on training and hopefully link them one day!

22 mei 2013

Worldcup Boulder Innsbruck

At the beginning of this year, when I was planning my season, I decided to compete in a Boulder Worldcup this year as well. It always feels kind of hard to get into the 'competition mode' again after a long training period. By competing in Innsbruck I hoped to get used to the international competitions again, so I am not having such a hard time when the lead season starts.

Anyway, things turned out different then I hoped. After spraining my ankle earlier this year I got injured on my finger. I just trained too much, since I wanted to catch up some training after the previous injury. Instead of getting better, my finger got worse and worse. A week before Innsbruck I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to compete.

I decided to go climbing outdoors, in the Pfalz. It is pretty frustrating to think about your injury all the time and I just needed to climb some nice routes without worrying. The Pfalz is super classic and kind of scary! The distances between the bolds are big and you often have to place your own gear. The climbing is simply amazing and even the easy routes are a real challenge over there. In this way I could climb a lot, without forcing my finger, and things got better every day!


When I got home I had a few days left before Innsbruck. The last day before departure I decided to give it a go. This turned out to be a really good decision! During the competition I only felt my finger once. I really enjoyed competing and actually felt pretty strong. I managed to climb the first boulder 2nd go. In the other problems I felt close on sending them, but it seemed like I was just a little bit too tensed to actually do it.


In the end I placed 29th. If I had only flashed the first problem I would have made semi's. That is a pity and I am not super satisfied about my performance, but at least I convinced myself that my power improved a lot during the winter. The competition really inspired me. I am super psyched to train the last weeks before the lead season starts. Keep my fingers crossed that the injuries will be fine now!


Pictures made by Sytse van Slooten (foto.sytse.net)

24 april 2013

Boulder 2

After an amazing week in Kalymnos it was time to climb some plastic again. I am always having a hard time switching from the super slow outdoor climbing style to the more powerfull and fast indoor style. However a week in Greece made me really relaxed. Just 3 days after I came home, the second national boulder competition was being held, in Enschede this time. I discovered that climbing a competition just after returning from an outdoor climbing trip is actually really easy. I didn't have to deal with the mental part, because it just wasn't there.
Final Boulder nr.3 (Picture by Michelle Kruize)
During the qualifications I was a little bit tensed, but I guess that's normal for a competition. I managed to climb all 8 problems and placed first for finals. The finals were pretty cool, although I have to admit, the boulders really suited my style as a leadclimber. The first and the last problem were pretty obvious, but when observation finished I still had no clue how to solve the second problem. In isolation I kept imagining myself climbing in Kalymnos, so I could keep up the good feeling. This turned out really well. I managed to flash the first boulder. In the second boulder I imagined myself standing in between two big stalactites, which gave me the creativity and space to come up with a solution, thanks to which I managed to flash this one too. The third and last problem went down with a flash as well, which resulted in a 1st place.
Standing in between the two big stalactites in boulder nr. 2 (Picture by Michelle Kruize)
It has to be said that Vera is injured at the moment, and really had some problems with her finger during the finals. However, for myself I climbed as good as I could. I really had a good time and enjoyed the competition!