🧗🏻♂️ Climbing at Mount Nemo
In a surprising alignment of schedules, I was able to get together with E+D+J on Friday and spend the day at Mount Nemo. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, but due to the cooler temperatures and the northeast facing cliff, keeping warm was a challenge, especially when climbing. My fingers definitely went numb a few times from the coldness of the rock. The last time I climbed outdoors was in 2017, and my indoors climbing has been infrequent in the past couple of years, so I stayed on very moderate routes.
Even though I’ve actually been to this crag before it’s the first time I climbed there. The approach is a bit tricky, as there is no direct path to the base. It requires a couple of downclimbs including a fun squeeze through a mini cave, narrow enough that you need to take off your backpack to fit. On my first visit it took me so long to find a way down that I ran out of time to actually climb. 😂
As I get older my relationship with climbing is changing. It’s less about getting a workout or pushing my limits and more about connecting with myself, with my friends, and with nature. Less ambition, more presence. It’s a true hobby in a sense that I get a lot out of it while allowing myself to be completely terrible.
P.S. D shared some Russian confectionery given to him by a friend. I forgot how good these are! It’s basically chocolate glazed cheesecake. This one’s flavoured with condensed milk.
The marketing is bizarre, though, as my best literal translation of the writing on the left is “glazed cottage cheese”. The other flavour was titled—and I am not making this up—”Potato”. There were no 🥔s in the ingredients list. I guess that’s how you make your products more appealing to a Russian audience.
🏃🏻♂️ First Half Marathon
Despite being quite tired from climbing the day before, I decided to try for a half marathon distance yesterday. My goal was to do it by end of season, so I wouldn’t have to worry about catching a cold in case I had to stop during the run. With the rapidly dropping temperatures and having only reached 17.5km after adding 500m-1km each week in the summer, I was starting to get worried. My knee has also been bothering me quite a bit, forcing me to turn back at the 5km mark on my last attempt. I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic, but figured I’d give it a shot, and if it didn’t work out I’d try again next year.
It was rough. I set a low pace from the start, but the knee pain kicked in around km 7. The difference this time was the pain remained low-grade instead of intensifying rapidly. I was waiting for a clear signal to turn back, but it never came. I wasn’t pushing for any target time, and having climbed the day before I knew I wasn’t in top shape, so I made many stops along the way to stretch. I think this helped.
At the end I ran 22km! This is a major milestone for me. For the longest time I didn’t believe I could run longer than 10k. The only race I ran (last year) reinforced my fears, as I crossed the finish line in pain so bad that I probably wouldn’t have made it if the distance was 11km.
At this point I don’t have a longer distance goal. I’ve gotta sort out my knee issues first. Still, I’m very happy that I was able to check this off my bucket list! 😄
- 🇷🇺 I’ve been enjoying listening to some Russian podcasts on psychology (1, 2, 3). I was apprehensive at first, because I think I was expecting a major difference from the Western approach, but that hasn’t been the case so far. Hearing the various terminology in Russian has been helpful, and has reminded me that I should probably pick up building an Anki deck again. I gave it a try at the start of the pandemic, but overwhelmed myself by importing multiple vocab decks with many words that I already knew and many that I’d never use, so the habit didn’t stick.
- 💬 Read up a bit on Scuttlebutt today. A fully decentralized social network is an enticing idea! I dig the way you can build the network slowly, through people you know or communities you trust. I imagine that would allow me to share more private things than I currently do on here. The thing that keeps me from immediately jumping on board is it’s apparently not possible to maintain the same identity across multiple devices. I believe it’s being worked on, so I may revisit later.
- 🎮 Playing: Disco Elysium. It’s in my top 10 games of all time. I had finished it recently on the Playstation, but a) liked it so much I immediately wanted to replay it, and b) wanted to play it in bed, so picked it up on the Switch as well. My first playthrough was Hi-Psy-Phy. This time it’s gonna be an agile artcop. 🤸♀️🖌️
- 🎥 Watched: Rocketman (2019; Loved it!) and Rings of Power.