So today is my birthday. It’s also a palindrome:
And it’s also the first practice climb for the Cystic Fibrosis Climb for Life in December. I did this event last year, and I’m already signed up to do it again. This time, Kathleen even agreed to come and do the practice.
The climb itself is pretty simple. It’s a single metal stairway, and nearly all clockwise turns. There is one short hallway at 21, and there is one left turn at around 49. Otherwise, it looks the same all the way up. Also, I paid attention, and they didn’t skip the 13th floor, so it’s an honest floor count.
I started out last, partly because I like passing people, and partly because I wanted Kathleen to get a good head start, since we both expected that she would probably be substantially slower than my time.
When I started out, I caught and passed Kathleen very early. She was making a steady pace. Not terribly fast, but steady. I just focused on catching and passing everyone I could. At the finish line on 52, I stopped my watch and saw my time was 8:52. I was a bit disappointed in this, since I did in 8:42 in the race last year, and I’ve been generally going faster this year. But they will be having practices every week until the race, so I’ll get another crack at it next week.
After I cooled off a bit, I walked back down to about 48 to wait for Kathleen. Looking down the stairway shaft, I could see her hand on the railing below. When she came up, I took a quick picture and then followed her up. I pointed out the odd fenced-off area on 49 that looks like a petting zoo. They should keep a couple of goats in there. Or maybe some wallabies. I took another picture of Kathleen when she passed 50. She had a good look of grim determination in that one. But in the end, she made it up, traveling non-stop and at a steady pace.
After a few minutes rest at the top, we caught the elevator back down to go change and go to my birthday party. After all, isn’t racing up a 50-story building how most normal people warm up on their birthday?