I'm trying to work out if I should start including info/events from my job right now. For example, last weekend's Irish Lead Climbing Championship 2011 (ILCC '11).... They're climbing related, I was there, so why not, I guess - thoughts welcome....

Suffice to say, it was a great time in Dingle as always. The level of motivation and ability continues to progress year-by-year as an average (i.e I don't think there's any one person who's wayyy stronger or better than anyone else), and I know I personally leave pretty motivated for my own climbing afterwards. What was cool to see was the determination and focus everyone gave in trying to do their absolute best, but while sitting around they were cheering on all the other competitors. Exactly how competition should be!

In the past couple of weeks, I've just been busy with work. I mean really busy. So my own climbing had to take a back seat for a while. That's o.k - I kind of needed a break as it turned out, and in doing so, mentally I'm more refreshed to get stuck into it again.

I'm a big believer in learning from what's gone before - i.e learn from what's been written about and talked about in climbing, and in climbing training. Then adapt that information for my own needs.
So out came Self-Coached Climber: The Guide to Movement, Training, Performance, and Training for Climbing, and Performance Rockclimbing (retro!!!!!!), and 9 Out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes: Navigation Through the Maze of Advice for the Self-coached Climber and a couple of others. And out came the pile of blogs from climbers worldwide - great write-ups from Joe Kinder of big trips for motivation, Sean McColl winning his first lead World Cup (a must read for anyone looking at competitions), Ryan Palo's Sport Climbing is Neither blog, and a couple of others.
El Chorro for New Years is only 4+ weeks away so for now, it's not going to be a proper developed plan up to it. So this week was a crusher week - just do everything I could to shock the body into what's required. My back, shoulders, forearms are in agony today - it's so good to have that feeling again :) [Note: when starting a 'proper' plan, they normally start off with 2-4 weeks of easy mileage just to get the muscles prepared for the high-stress training work that lies ahead - I'm climbing long enough that I can get away with that most of the time now, but will do a block of this in January before I start properly.]
I had my first interval session last night, 4x4's. Got to love them, they keep you honest about how fit you actually are. Next two weeks are a double dose of those, with extra hard problems to keep the strength and power topped up. That's also about as much climbing as I can get done so I'll be making the most of the time - easy to think you need dozens of hours for training but if you for the the quality-not-quantity approach, you can get a lot more out of it at times...... Interesting to see how this block goes, I'll find out in 5-ish weeks :)

What skin cream have you tried?

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