Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Up we go, into the dusty stairwell

Filed under: — stan @ 3:19 pm

Today was the first Cystic Fibrosis Foundation stair climb in Los Angeles. The venue was the Figueroa at Wilshire building. The climb was from the exit door on the side facing 6th St up to the 51st floor. They said that’s 49 floors and something like 1274 steps.

I’d done the practice climb there a couple weeks ago, so I had an idea what to expect. I had been a bit disappointed in my performance at the Willis Tower climb and also at the U.S. Bank Tower. Both those times I’d felt that I really hadn’t been mentally able to really give it all, and I didn’t make my goals. So today was the time to do it right.

In the practice climb, I’d done it in 9:32. That was all right, but I really thought I should do better. At the Aon climb last April, I did 11:42. Scaling for the different heights of the buildings, if I did the same pace here as at Aon, I’d get to the top in 9 minutes. So my goal for the day was to do 9 minutes or less. I recently worked out what I think is a more efficient way of doing the turns on the landings, so I wanted to try that out.

They had us line up with the competitive stair climbers in front. That basically meant Mark and his West Coast Labels group. I got in line towards the rear of the group, since I knew that most of them would be faster than me. I set my metronome at 80 and off I went.

As always, by about the 20th floor, I was hurting. But that’s normal. And I found that the necessary concentration to remember how to do the turns was a useful distraction. I just kept time with the metronome and tried not to look at the floor numbers. I didn’t pass anyone, and I was only passed by one other guy.

When I finally looked up at the floor numbers, I was at 40. And I thought, “Crap! I don’t feel all that bad. I could have gone faster!” But I kept to my pace until 45, and then I made a sprint for the finish.

My time was 8:42, which I was quite pleased with. In retrospect, I maybe could have gone a bit faster, but the pace was good, and I’m going to use that same setting next time I do the Aon building. And my time was good for second place in the 50-59 group, which is not bad. Mark was the only guy my age who went faster, and he’s very, very good at this. I feel no shame being beaten by him.

Overall, it was a very fun time. The CFF people did a good job organizing and running the event. Now I’m looking forward to the Stratosphere and Aon climbs next spring. Onward and upward.

Addendum: I did some quick math, and my power output for this climb works out to 288W, or 0.39 horsepower. This is my highest power output to date in these climbs.

Addendum 12/9/2010 – They posted the official results, and I’m 11th overall, 7th in men, and 2nd in 50-59. Results are here.

One Response to “Up we go, into the dusty stairwell”

  1. G.M. Grena Says:

    Hi Stan! Doing a little research this morning, I saw you in this video (climbing from 5:10-5:12, then getting the team award from 7:40-7:48):

    I’m anxious to see if I can get under 9 minutes like you without the weights at our next practice!


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