This evening was yet another practice session at the Wilshire-Figueroa building in downtown Los Angeles. As usual, I rode the train there, since I hate driving my car downtown.
I got there a few minutes late, and Chanda said that most of the people had already started up the stairs. I got changed and when I got to the start, Veronica was there. She had already done it once and was getting ready to go a second time. She said she was planning on going slower, so I thought I’d try and see if I could keep up with her when she’s going ’slow’.
Last week, I did 8:42 in practice, and I was hoping to improve on that. I stayed with Veronica most of the way up, but then I passed her near the end. I got to the top maybe 10 seconds ahead of her, and I made it in 8:41. I guess that’s improvement, but I’d been hoping for something more significant.
Normally, when I do these things, I do it once and call it a day. But Veronica persuaded me to go again. She said we’d just walk up and ‘take it easy’. That was a different experience. I’d never walked up a big building without trying to race for the best time. Instead, we just walked up and chatted. She told me about how she started stair climbing and running, and how that led to her qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which is no mean feat. We went easy until about 35 or so, and then she picked up the pace and dropped me. Oh well. I made it to the top in 10:12, which I don’t think is too bad for basically just meandering up.
On the way up the second time, I had a look at my watch when we passed 42. That’s the height of One California Plaza. My watch said 8:06, which is exactly what my time was the first time I climbed that building. I think that’s pretty good, since this time we were just walking slow and talking, and we still went as fast as I could go last year when I was really trying. So that’s progress.