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Lindsey Kuper

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vert./horiz. [Jan. 17th, 2011|01:58 am]
Lindsey Kuper

This week, I continued training for Barcelona, culminating yesterday in the longest run I've been on in a little over a year. It was an impossibly great run, the kind where you barely notice the hills. It's encouraging to think that when I trained for my first marathon in 2004, it took me eight weeks to work up to a run of thirteen or fourteen miles, but now I can do one on week two. It's not so much that I'm ramping up more quickly as that I don't have to ramp up because I'm already in good running shape. It's a good thing, too, because there are less than seven weeks to go before the race!

Today might have been a good day to rest, but instead I went to Hoosier Heights for the second time. I scrambled up the 5.5 route I got last time, then proceeded to be stymied by every 5.7 I attempted. (Frustratingly, there didn't seem to be any routes marked 5.6.) The 5.7s I tried all came to some point where I either couldn't figure out how to proceed, or where I was pretty sure what I needed to do but couldn't haul my body into the required configuration. Finally, out of frustration, I climbed up a couple of walls without marked routes. One of these was quite easy, but the other was pretty close to the limits of my current ability. It involved a couple of moves where a hold was just a little beyond reach, and I had to do something tricky to get myself up toward it -- not quite jumping, exactly, but momentarily compromising stability in the lower position as a means of getting to a higher stable position.

At some point, when I was maybe two-thirds of the way up the wall, I was surprised to find that my arms and legs were shaking out of nervousness. Even though I trusted my equipment, even though my conscious mind knew that falling wouldn't have been a problem because the rope and my belayer would have caught me, apparently my brainstem had failed to receive the memo. All it knew was that I was Way High Up and clinging to small synthetic rocks for no reason in particular. Hard to blame it for reacting badly, really. I just kept climbing, carefully, and eventually the shaking stopped, but I wonder if this is normal, and if it's going to go away eventually.


From: simrob
2011-01-17 07:31 am (UTC)
Are you sure your arms and legs weren't shaking out of fatigue? I find that nervous-like shaking regularly happens when I push my muscles to the limits of their ability (which in the case of my upper body isn't at all difficult).
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2011-01-17 04:54 pm (UTC)
I know the kind of shaking you're talking about, but I don't think this was that; it happened pretty close to the beginning of the time I spent climbing (despite the order in which I told the story), and it was at a moment when I wasn't exerting myself, just standing on some holds trying to figure out what to do next. But on the other hand, it's hard to disentangle fear and fatigue. I think fear makes me tired.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2011-01-18 05:15 am (UTC)
Maybe part of the problem is that I haven't fallen, and so I haven't learned that it's okay to fall (in the relatively safe environment of the gym). I may not be taking enough risks.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2011-01-17 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah I have the same problem distinguishing fear and tired when climbing too, and I only ever bouldered.

I like however the image of Brain Stem completely freaking out because this doesn't make ANY sense you guys why are we on this thing and I don't see how this is relevant to resource acquisition or food or reproduction at ALL can we please, PLEASE just go back to the GROUND for chrissake where it's SAFE.
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