Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Once more up the stairs

Filed under: — stan @ 10:04 pm

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time to go to stair practice again. And again, all the way there on the train, I was wondering just why do I do this? It’s insane.

So I got to the building, got suited up, and headed up the stairs. I’ve found that it hurts the same whether I just go or if I sit around talking to everyone at the bottom. So I didn’t waste any time. Several people went up before me, but I only caught one of them by the time I got to the top. I used my same splits from last time, but I was only able to stay on schedule up to the 4-minute mark. By 6 minutes, I was about 15 seconds off the pace, and when I heaved up onto the 55th floor landing, I had 9:10, or about 20 seconds slower than I’d wanted to do.

A few minutes later, George came up and out of the stairs, and he proceeded to roll around on the floor in agony for a couple minutes. In this sport, that’s how you can tell that you’re doing it right.

After a few minutes rest, George and I went back down and got out some supplies. He’d brought a 25-foot tape measure, and I had a notepad and pens. We wanted to get some more accurate measurements to figure the step height in the staircase.

We walked down to ground level and started up from there. We took two measurements on the 80-step staircase that leads from ground up to 4. One was three flights, 17 steps, and the other was four flights, 24 steps. Based on those measurements, it appears that the first staircase up to 4 averages about 7.5 inches per step.

The rest of the way up, we took two measurements on each of the three major sections of the stairway. Each measurement was one floor, 22 steps. Based on those measurements, the steps on the staircase above 4 average about 7.36 inches. Doing some math:

80 x 7.5 = 50 feet to the 4th floor
1,313 x 7.36 = 805 feet from 4 to the roof
50 + 805 = 855 which agrees well with the published height of 858 for the building

After all that, I was done. And it was time to get changed to head over to the Central Library. Kathleen and I had reservations for the ALOUD program tonight. It was author Amy Wilentz talking about her new book about Haiti, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti. And in one of those weird cosmic coincidences, I’d found out that her brother Tommy and I had been in the same third grade class back in 1967 in New Jersey. It’s kind of funny that I was able to remember that, since even though there were only 11 of us in that class, I can only remember names for maybe three of the kids who were there. But he was one of them. Anyway, it was an interesting talk, and we enjoyed it.

It was a fun evening, and now I can go correct my stair chart for the Aon building.

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