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!