Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Coming down to the wire

Filed under: — stan @ 10:25 pm

The Aon Tower stair climb is a week from Saturday. I’ve been coming to the practice climbs since the beginning of January. And now we’re in the final stages, getting ready to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s funny, because the first time I did a skyscraper stair climb, I went into it thinking, “how hard could it be?” And by the time I got to the 20th floor, I knew. Stair racing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I’m reasonably good at it, so that makes it fun.

I rode the train downtown after work, and I got to the building and signed in. There were a few other people I knew there, and we chatted a bit while we were going up to the staging area on the 4th floor. I’d decided to try an experiment tonight. Since the beginning in January, I’ve been dreading doing this every time I do. So I’ve been going into it each time with the idea that I’m just going to go at a comfortable pace, and not try to push myself too hard. And I’ve been consistently doing times that I would have thought unimaginable last year. So tonight, I wanted to try to push, to see what I could do if I tried. So I made up a card with split times for the 20th, 32nd, and 44th floors, and I attached it to a velcro band I wrapped around my arm, just above my watch. I wanted to be able to see both at the same time. I’d done this before, but this was the first time I tried it with times calculated to get me to the top faster than before.

My first goal was to get to 20 by 2:34, and I was there at about 2:27. Then I was supposed to make the halfway point at 32 by 4:45, and I was spot on. The next goal was the 44th floor by 6:56, and I made that right on time. But those last 16 floors up to 60 were a real slog. I was able to keep going, but I could feel I was slowing down. I’d been aiming to get to 60 at about 9:40 or so, but when I came out and face-planted on the floor, I saw my watch had 9:53. So I didn’t make my goal of going faster. But on the other hand, I’m still consistently doing times under 10 for the practice climb from 4 to 60, and that’s still about 30-40 seconds faster than I was able to do last year.

Still nothing to complain about here. It was a good outing.

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