A swing and a miss with the work/life balance

I keep saying this, but the last couple of weeks have been really hard. I feel knackered most of the time and have gone through the wringer. On the whole, my climbing hasn’t been affected that much. I’ve had some sessions where I’ve not done much, but still felt like I had achieved something, and I have been pretty frustrated at my limited gains during the summer. However, that’s part and parcel of being a climber.

This week has been different. I’ve been really stressed about a tight deadline for work. It got to the point where I could not switch off my mind at night and was not making sense when in work. Anxiety does strange things, it impairs my ability to form coherent words, limits my ability to think and generally makes it bloody hard to make any progress on anything! Coupled with trying to develop a very different area of my research from what I’ve been working on for the last year, it has been an extremely stressful couple of weeks.

After losing a day to a bug, I was really worried that I’d not be able to complete my work for my deadline. Come Monday night, my brain was already ticking over the different things that I needed to do, and the fundamental issue that I’d no narrative and my theoretical framework was close to non-existent on paper and in a diffuse cloud in my head. I could not fall asleep. I ended up with about 4 hours on Monday night, and 3 hours on Tuesday. This made training on Wednesday really, really hard.

I was emotionally and mentally exhausted and didn’t know what to do. In the end, I did some warm ups trying on new pairs of shoes (when stressed, try shoes). And then worked individual moves on some L2s. I didn’t even try to top anything because I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t really be able to rationalise it.

In the end, I managed to link some moves on a L2 that I’ve been trying for ages. Unfortunately, I fluffed the next move (a swing and a miss) and then couldn’t get the link again! Super frustrating, but at the same time, it was one move more than last time.

I was then very tired, so did some core work. I also think that I’ll be able to start campusing soon. My finger hasn’t twanged much at all recently!

Instead of the usual post climbing pint, I went for a celebratory meal with a friend who had just submitted their thesis. It showed me there was a light at the end of the tunnel!

Some Stats:


  • Warmed up on L1s
  • Worked moves on 3 L2s


  • 3 x A6W series

#Augustbreak2013 #Smell 28.08.2013


Photo: CanadianKate

I was in the office early today and hadn’t had my morning cup of coffee. Breaking open the fresh packet of ground beans wafted the scent of roasted coffee around the room and that was soon added to by the smell of freshly brewed coffee. This is exactly what I needed after only getting 4 hours sleep the night before! I’m still not quite awake, but I’m getting there!

Wet and windy biking in the Peak District

Wow! Saturday was really, really busy!

To start with, I had to drop the cat off at the vets to get his abscess drained, then I tried to finish my chapter so that I could revise it before submission on Monday, and I also wanted to go out on my bike. The OH was in London doing errands for his dad and wanted me to pick up some food for dinner.

I dropped the cat off at the vet, which was really heart wrenching because he looked so forlorn. He’d slept in my sweater drawer all night and both me and the OH had woken repeatedly to make sure that he was okay. At some point in the night, he’d managed to burst the abscess and looked better in the morning. That said, he still wasn’t walking very well and did not look himself, so off to the vets we went. I had to pick him up by 3:30 pm, so as soon as I got home, I did an hour of work on my chapter and then went out on the bike.

The weather was crap. I had a head wind pretty much every direction that I went, and my legs were aching! It started raining about 20 minutes into the ride and by that point I had committed to going out so I carried on.

I did about 60 km and for the most part I suffered. I enjoyed being out, and tried keep my heart rate low. I think I’ve been pushing myself too hard, so tried to keep it under 170 for most of the time and under 160 when on the flats. Of course, when going up Froggatt, loads of blokes overtook me and shouted encouragement. I just wanted to shout back, “I’m not this unfit! I’m just taking it easy!” This was especially the case when one guy overtook me and then shouted encouragement when he was on the way back down Froggatt for another lap.

I didn’t think that I had anything left in me at the top of Froggatt, but set a really good pace on the way back, until I hit another hill and then I just suffered.

I got home about 2:00 and knew that I had to pretty much turn around and go back out if I was to do the shopping and pick up the cat. So, I had something to drink and then dashed out the door.

I picked up the cat and he looked really forlorn. He had a drain in his back as the abscess was so big and so many shaved parts that his new nickname is Patches. That said, he was much more alert and clearly in less pain. Here’s a photo of him looking a bit nonplussed with his cone of shame. I had to make it bigger as this one meant he could still try to chew the drain out.

So, I tried to do some work, and had to give up to keep an eye on the cat. He was too determined to eat his drain and generally wanted some love and comfort.

Eventually the OH got home, so I spent Saturday night doing some work.

Oh no! The Cone of Shame! Photo: Canadiankate

Some stats:

  • Total distance: 59 km
  • Average speed: 22.2 km/h
  • Max speed: 55.4 km/h
  • Average HR: 158

sleepy, soggy sunday

i’ve just about recovered from the houseparty last night. ACand i gave way and held one for all of our friends – well 2 of my friends and the rest of his. it was a good night, but we didn’t get to bed until 3 am and so i’m pretty shagged today. we didn’t get out of bed until well into the afternoon and haven’t really managed much yet.AC and al went out onto the peak yesterday. i had to work. so, once again, i was left at home while AC went out. its actually making me start to cry now, with frustration. it seems that every time that AC can go out, i cant. very irritating. he’s also getting more into going tradding, and won’t trad with me because apparently it gets too stressful on the relationship. this puts me in a difficult position, because i do enjoy trad climbing, as a second but i’m not sure if he wants to do that with me any more. so, once again, i can foresee me being left behind. and i hate being left behind.

i’m a bit like a sheep really.

the weather here sucks right now. its cold, wet, dreary and very depressing. it nice to be indoors and out of the rain. we did a run to collect the scratching post for sprocket (who loves it, and thinks its the greatest thing since sliced bread, or the cat equivalent) and to collect some stuff to eat for al before his long journey back home to brighton, very glad that i don’t have to commute that way.

i feel sorry for those who are out on the peak today, i think it’l look something like this:

so yeah. i’m glad i’m not out there.

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