When the Tour de Bloc and CEC competition schedule came out in October-ish, Seb and I saw an opportunity to spend a week training in Kingston between two consecutive weekends of central comps. The two comps were to be the FQME championships (this past Saturday) in Montreal and the CEC National Series competition in Toronto the following weekend. Kingston (home of the Boiler Room) falls nicely in between those two places. We’ve become accustomed to long bouts of driving for a weekend comp, but the thought of being able to stay central and essentially hit two comps in one trip was just marvellous. Also, free room and board at my uncle’s house in Kingston for the week really sealed the deal. Besides missing a week of work, it was a perfect set up! Who needs to work, really.
Last minute, we sadly decided not to compete in the FQME competition. We couldn’t really justify the 100$ entrance fee when that fee could finance several days of climbing elsewhere. We thought about it hard though, but mutually decided it would be best to let it go. We ended up spending all day Saturday driving 8 hours to Montreal. Did we check in at the hotel and rest up a bit after the drive? Obviously not – we gunned it straight to the Bloc Shop.
I’ve had some pain in my shoulder for awhile now which fades in and out. I’ve noticed the pain getting worse this past week, but it would always disappear after my climbing session. I apparently made everything worse at the Bloc Shop. Exhausted from driving all day, I quickly went through a brief warm up sequence on the floor and then moved onto the wall. I did some V0s-V3s in sequence and felt pretty good. As soon as I started working a v7 on the tall wall though, my shoulder started aching. I had a hard time lifting my left arm higher than elbow/bicep height. I continued to climb, and though my shoulder mostly felt OK on the wall, it would still hurt when I jumped off. I was bummed because I absolutely adore the Bloc Shop. I sent a v6 but couldn’t commit to much else. Still a fun night, but now I have a taped up shoulder, an angry rotator cuff, and stupidity written on my forehead for not stopping when I should have.
The hot tub that night helped a bit, but we didn’t have much time in there between the mass of young hockey players occupying the pool area. The ice machines we’re also out of order, so I couldn’t even ice it. In my head and to myself, I promised not to even touch a hold on Sunday. You’ll be happy to know I stayed true to that!
Sunday (today) was a busy day. We started off with a big continental breakfast, one of the best perks of staying in a hotel in my opinion. I know I’m alone in that opinion, but just go with it. We then went to MEC where I bought a new day pack to use for bouldering in Red Rocks. My current pack is actually a child’s pack I won at a competition a few years ago, and although it works perfectly, it will not serve as a great carry on for my flight down to Nevada. Also, it’s a kid’s pack.
One of our goals for the week was to get Seb speed climbing somewhere. Google wasn’t helping us find speed climbing gyms in Montreal, so we decided to hit up Allez Up because we knew it was a big sport gym. The lady at the front desk informed us that we needed to call ahead and book a time to use the speed wall. Also, we needed to have belay certification which we did not technically have as we don’t use that back home. So needless to say, we didn’t get to climb there BUT we may potentially come back Wednesday to give it a shot. On a side note, what a wicked looking gym! If I didn’t have a bum shoulder I would have liked to put on a harness and play around.
Our afternoon was crazy too. We took a walk through St. Catherine’s street for some shopping, then moved on to the Biodome to see some wildlife. When Seb and I finally peeled ourselves away from the cute Linx family, we had supper and then went to the Centre d’Escalade Vertical to watch finals. The routes looked like a lot of fun but definitely challenging. All in all, a busy but productive day.
It’s now 9:41pm and we are en route to Kingston with an hour and a half left to go. I’m thankful for many things like my parents cat-sitting for the 100th time and my uncle for letting us stay at his place, but right now I’m especially thankful that Seb has volunteered to drive.
So, that’s part 1 of our impromptu training week! Our weekend seemed to consist mainly of being a tourist and doing non-climbing related things. Training resumes tomorrow though as we prepare for next weekend’s CEC competition in Toronto. My shoulder needs to start cooperating though, or it’s going to be a long week. Part 2 will be much more climbing related, I hope! Stay tuned!
Have a wonderful week! 🙂
Climb on xx