65th Birthday Challenge (Marathon)

I am posting this as a personal diary but others may find it interesting.  I plan on this being my last really hard birthday challenge so decided to make it unique.   My challenges have gotten to be quite hard as I have added on the years.

August 10th has been a problem for me when doing climbing challenges for my birthday.  Last year I had to split my challenge into two day between torrential rains at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR) in Jasper, Arkansas.    It is also very difficult to get enough accessible routes in Red Rock so I have always tried to go to HCR.     So, this year I have decided to do a unique challenge for me.  It was inspired by Hans Florine's 40 in 40 where he did 40 different challenges in the 40 days leading to his birthday.   My challenge was 65 different challenges in the 65 days leading up to my birthday.    Rules were developed as I went along but most of the challenges were physical and even though I did a lot of things like chin ups, I varied the method to try to make each challenge unique (run on sidewalk vs trail run, offset chins vs pull ups, etc).   Not all challenges were physical, however but they usually, but not always, involved something that was either difficult or time consuming.   Since we are also training for the 24 hours of Horseshoe Hell (24 HHH), what may seem like a relatively trivial challenge was paired up with some pretty hard training that didn't count toward my birthday challenge.  We also drove to Kansas City for Natalie's son's wedding so we had days with no challenges interspersed with days with multiples to make up for the missed days.

I have included my non-challenge workouts to put it all in perspective.   When I show supplementals it means a combination of TRX suspension exercises (knees to chest, butterflies, extensions), push-ups, chin-ups, and dumbbell work.   I include a few videos to give you some idea exactly what some of the exercises look like.

All birthday challenges are shown in red font to differentiate from our 24 HHH training and so I can easily keep count.

June 6th - day 1 of 65 -  65 routes at Red Rock Climbing Center (RRCC) in one hour 33 minutes.   Only 5.10s and 5.11s.  All on autobelays for an average of 1:26 per route.   ****
June 7th - 65 minute elliptical level 7
    1 hour easy bouldering at RRCC
June 8th - 65 chins with 65 pounds added in 65 minutes ****
    30 min elliptical
June 9 - 65 push ups in 3 minutes
    30 min elliptical
June 10 - 65 chin ups in 6.5 minutes - 65 touches on hangboard + 10 lbs
    4 hours climbing in Black Corridor 8 5.9s
June 11 - 65 knees to chest with hands and feet in TRX straps
    30 min elliptical - 1 hour limit bouldering at RRCC
June 12 - 1 hr limit bouldering at RRCC - 30 min elliptical - supplemental exercises
June 13 - 3 hrs Black Corridor - 5.10s
June 14 - 1 hr + RRCC autobelays -All 11's done   hardest twice
June 15 - drove 650 miles - the trip to Kansas took two days but I did at least 650 the first night.
    30 min elliptical - supplemental exercises
June 17 - 2+ hours at Ibex Climbing Gym in Kansas City
June 18 - 65 chins, 65 knee ups, 65 push ups
June 19 - 65 mountain climbers, 10 x 65 second planks
    1.5 hrs Monster Mountain Climbing Gym (MM)
June 20 - 6.5 kilometer [4 mile] run on sidewalk 34:32  (perfect weather compared to Vegas i.e. 70's)
June 21 - 65 chins in 6.5 minutes on I beam alternating sides
    Natalie's son Vinnie's wedding
June 22 - finished 65 games of online chess (10 minute per side) since day 1 of challenge
    45 minutes at MM
June 24 - 65 wins in online chess games since day 1 of challenge
June 25 - 65 laps on 30' wall at MM (probably 5.6) in 1:01.58 (under 65 seconds)  Average 57.5 sec/lap.  But before climbed 1 hour with  two very hard routes 5.10+, 5.11  ****
June 27 - 9 routes at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR)  5.11a and 5.10c
June 28 - 18 routes at HCR
June 29 - 26 routes at HCR
June 30 - 12 routes at HCR for a total of 65 unique routes in 4 days.  ----- 19 challenges complete ****
July 2 - 6.5 miles 54:24 8:22/mile - 65 knee ups laying down  
July 3 - 65 Narrow typewriters, 65 wide typewriters, 65 reverse grip chins,  65 chair triceps dips
July 5 - Short session at IBEX 10's 11's
July 6 - 65 squat thrusts, 65 crunches, 65 leg ups
    1 hour at MM  10's and 11's
July 8 - Driving back to Kansas - 65 grip sqeezes left hand (sets of 10), 65 squeezes right (sets of 20) Eye opening to see how much weaker my left hand is for this exercise.  ---------30 challenges complete
July 9 - 65 chins on So Ill Iron Palm hangboard big pinches, 65 air squats
    1 hr RRCC auto belay 30 routes all 11's - 30 min elliptical
July 10 - 65 TRX butterflies  from plank position, 65 TRX extensions from knees
    Hangboard - 14 sets (static hangs from various holds and adding and subtracting weight depending on the size of the holds (1 set = 7 sec hang with 3 sec rest x 7) - 30 min elliptical - Supplementals
July 11 - 65 lunges
    30 min elliptical
July 12 - 65 touches on campus board medium edge 
    Climb 7 x 5.7 at the Amusement Park in Red Rock
July 13 - 65 burpees - no jump
    45 min hard at RRCC - 30 min elliptical
July 14 - 65 offset chins left hand high, 65 right hand high - 65 leg scissors leg lifts -- 40 challenges complete
    30 min elliptical
July 15 - 65 TRX push ups, 65 ab wipers from hanging position   
    hang board - 13 set of dead hangs - 30 min elliptical
July 16 - 30 min elliptical
July 17 - 65 dips - not strong.   Lost a lot by ignoring these, 65 face down leg lifts 
    4.5 hour hike in RR easy
July 18 - 65 V points bouldering at RRCC  10 x V2, 9 x V3, 5 x V4 - no repeats (laps)  24 separate problems (2 extra V points so a total of 67),  65 Hangboard dead hangs- 13 sets 5 reps 7 on 3 off
    30 min elliptical, supplementals
July 19 - 4 mile hike Calico to Sweet Pain - resting HR = 44  Polar Own Zone = 49
July 20 - RRCC autobelay - 5 x hardest 5.11 + 1 x hardest 5.10+ = 5x11 + 10 = 65 no falls
     30 min elliptical
July 21 -  65 leg ups to the side from hang
    Campus - 40 minutes -5.5 mile hike/run RR vistors to Gallery - Supplementals
July 22 - 6500 meter row in 26:54 for an average of 2:04.5 for each 500 
July 23 - 1.5 hrs RRCC all 11's  v4, v5- **** - 30 min elliptical
July 24 - 65 sit ups consecutive -  65 sec side plank left  - 65 sec side plank right 
    Hangboard  - 9 sets instead of 13 - 30 min elliptical
July 25 - 4 hours at Panty Wall, J Wall - 8's and two hard 10s
July 26 - 650 Calories in 59:20 on elliptical
July 27 - 65 knees to chest crunches on back
    1.5 hrs RRCC all 9s, 10s, 11's no falls two new  v4s  ****  - 30 min elliptical
July 28 - 650 chin ups in 89 sets in 90 minutes averaging about 7 chins/set **** ----55 challenges done
July 29 - crane pose for 65 seconds  (knees on elbows handstand)
    30 min elliptical
July 30 - 6.5 hours climbing at Sender One climbing gym
   42 toprope flashes-  all >= 10a  - 12 x 5.11's - 1 x 11c
July 31 - 65 total routes at Sender One over two days, Belayed Natalie on 65 routes in two days ****
    3 lead flashes, 3 tr flashes, 8 leads of previous tr, 9 tr repeats - 4.5 hours
Aug 1 - 45 min elliptical
Aug 2 - 6.5 Km trail run - 7:10 last mile
    Campus board then System board 2 x 4 min sets of 30 sec small holds 30 sec big holds
    4.25 miles trail run/hike to 2nd pullout - 7:10 last mile
Aug 3 - 65 V points 11 x V3, 7 x V4, 1 x V5 nothing less than V3 (total was actually 66) 2 hours.
    45 min elliptical
Aug 4 - 65 TRX butterfly and extensions combined
    30 min elliptical - Supplementals
Aug 5 - 6.5 mile hike/trail run Red Rock visitors center to Sandstone
    30+ minutes campus board - we do campus board with feet on since we are old and weak.  But, by adding a 10 or 20 pound weight vest or using smaller rungs, we can adjust the resistance vs needing to be strong enough to campus without feet.    It is actually way more fun than hang boards, TRX, or weights.
      65 kisses with my wife ****
Aug 6 -  45 min elliptical
Aug 7 - First day of my 65 pitches in Red Rock in 65 hours.   Temps ended up around 96 degrees when we finished.   We started at the Gallery and lead 5 laps each on 5.8, 5.9, 5.10a, 5.10b, and 5.10c.   I took a fall on one of the laps of the 10b.
Ready to start my final challenge

Natalie ready for 8 hours of dedicated belaying.   I love her!
After the 10c, the sun was creeping in on us so we raced to Hunter Thompson and got 5 laps each on two 5.8s and a 5.10a.     The sun hit full as we headed to the Black Corridor so we took a break for lunch to wait for the shade.   Then I did 5 laps each on a 5.9+ and two other 5.9's.   Total for the days work was 55 pitches lead on 11 different routes with a total vertical of a bit over 3,000 feet (more than half a mile).   After 8 and a half hours we were running low on water and my feet were cramping.  So, we decided to do my final 10 leads the next day.   
55 pitches in and done for the day.
Since I was not as familiar with the Red Rock routes as I was with HCR routes, my route selection ended up being much harder on my finger tips and feet.  The routes were longer, had multiple cruxes, and were more powerful and crimpy.  The result was very tender tips and cramping feet near the end of the day.

Aug 8 - Time to finish up the last challenge.   We decided to make it a family affair and brought Munchkin with us to the Black Corridor for my final 10 pitches.  hmmmmm.   The corridor was packed with top ropes hanging from most of the routes I had wanted to use.  So I started out on a 10a and found it was probably the longest route in the corridor and it finished in the sun (not good if you are trying to do laps on a day forecast to be over 100).   After one lap I decided to move to one of the open 5.9s.   Well, come to find out is was a sandbagged 5.9+ with sketchy bolting and multiple hard cruxes.   So, again after one lap I decided to move again!   Only one other 9 was available so we jumped on it.   After one lap I found out why it was free.  The guys on the route next to us said "We skipped that one since it is probably the hardest 5.9 ever and the first bolt is way too high".   Fortunately, they were finishing up on their 5.9 so I finally got on a route that was suitable for multiple laps.   With single laps on my first 3 routes I finally got on a route more suited to my throbbing fingers and desire to stay out of the sun, if possible.  Since we were winding down, Natalie also lead a lap on this one.   Munchkin kept trying to climb up the wall and actually was jumping in an attempt to get on a sloppy narrow ledge at the bottom that was way too tiny.
As I finished my 5th lap, the next route over became available (a 5.9+PG route) so I got in my final 2 laps and Natalie got one more lead in.   DONE!     Tally for day 2: 1 x 5.10a, 2 x 5.9+, 7 x 5.9 on 6 different routes.

Red Rock pitch totals: 65 leads in Red Rock on 17 different routes for about 3,900 feet of climbing.
 5 x 5.10c,, 5 x 5.10b, 11 x 5.10a, 7 x 5.9+, 22 x 5.9, 15 x 5.8 s ****

So now that I am officially on Social Security and this is our final year to hit it hard at the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell, I believe this will be my final difficult birthday challenge.  It was fun and often stressful but I am satisfied with the final results and am forever thankful for my beautiful wife who supported my 100% and sacrificed a lot of her time to help me get through this.   65 kisses wasn't enough to compensate.