Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stair Climb Results

The afterglow of having participated in an event with hundreds of others, everyone smiling, laughing, encouraging each other on, and generally just coming together for a cause never ceases to amaze me. It's such a good feeling, and I just want to wrap myself in it for days.

The Hilton: 32 Floors of Pain
I was ready well before my 8 am start time, so Hubby and I went to the check-in desk. Even though my stomach was churning from nerves, I forced myself to eat a banana and drink some Powerade. I've been working on the eating and drinking before and during my workouts, and I've seen such improvement in my performance that I didn't want to let the nerves change that for today. I knew I probably hadn't eaten enough with just the one piece of fruit, but I couldn't do any more than that. I was able to continue sipping water, though, and I made sure to continue drinking the entire event. I used to be really bad about this, so I'm happy with this aspect of my stair climb today.

Just before 8, the event organizers gathered all the Ultimate climbers, took us to the basement, and gave us our chips. We then lined up, with the truly elite climbers at the front. Within a few minutes, they were off for their first climb to the top, a total of 32 floors since we were starting in the basement. My number was 38. By the time I had reached the front of the line, the first three had already come back down and started up again. Truly impressive. Then it was my turn. I started off, trying not to go too fast and trying to settle into a nice, comfortable rhythm. I passed a couple of people, which made me think hey, this isn't so bad. That thought didn't last long, though. Maybe another floor or so. By the time I hit the 20th floor, I was wondering if I was going to be able to do an hour's worth of climbing. At the 25th floor, I knew I only had 5 more floors to go, and to my surprise, my mantra kicked in all by itself. It was enough to divert my attention from my burning lungs and my legs that felt like they had weights attached to them.

I didn't know what my first climb time was until I finished my fourth climb. When I entered the elevator for the ride back down, the attendant gave me the results sheet. I found my name and beside it was the time 4:58. I really wanted to jump up and down and hug the attendant and anyone else in the elevator, but I kept my composure and basked in the knowledge that I had met my sub-5 minute goal. I had been entertaining the idea of stopping after the fourth climb, but now, knowing I had actually completed one of my goals, I knew I had to go for my second: 7 climbs.

I went up a fifth time, returned to the basement, and saw I only had time for one more climb. I started up, thinking about my past hour of climbing and was happy with what I had accomplished. I wasn't going to get the 7th climb in, but I was okay with that. Just having kept going when I really wanted to stop was the only prize I needed.

My First Medal Ever
The stair climb was tough, but I'll do another one, and I'll definitely do the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb again next year.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Stair climbing in the tower of pain for an hour? Awesome! Ouch!

JK said...

Thanks! What was interesting was how after the second climb, after my lungs settled down a bit, I got into a groove. My first climb was the fastest, my second the slowest, and the remaining four were all faster than the second and even at just over 6 minutes per climb. What the human body can do is awesome.