Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Page 2 of 2«12


I’m going to take it easy, I said…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:02 pm

Today, when I was thinking about stair practice this evening, I really didn’t want to push it for speed tonight. I got a little cold this week, and it’s in its final stage now, which means I’m coughing a lot. Add that to the stair-climber’s-cough, and that would make for an unpleasant evening. So I hatched a plan. I said, “I’ll just go there and do low-intensity. I’ll go slow. It’ll be easy. And since it’ll be easy, I’ll plan on going up five times. That will make a vertical kilometer. How hard could it be?”

Where have heard that before?

So that was the plan. A slow-paced vertical kilometer. That’s five times up the 51 floors from 4 to 55. 210 meters each time, for a total of 1,050 meters climbing. I planned on doing each time up in somewhere between 11:00 and 11:45, and I planned on trying to maintain a steady pace for every climb. The pace was about the same pace I did at the Towerthon in San Diego last summer, so it seemed reasonable.

When I got to the building, I signed in and got changed. There was no feeling of dread, since I knew I wasn’t going to go so hard that I’d end up collapsing on the floor or anything like that. So I just started my watch and headed up the stairs. I figured I should be at 13 by 2 minutes, 22 at 4 minutes, 31 at 6, and 40 at 8. That was aiming to be at the top in about 11 1/2 minutes. And when I got to the top, I just walked out of the stairs and went straight to the elevator to ride back to the lobby to do it again.

The first four times up were actually pretty easy. I maintained my pace, and my times were all pretty close. But the last time was hard. I was really dragging the fifth time up the stairs, and I was behind schedule by the first checkpoint. By the time I was halfway up, I knew I wasn’t going to make my cutoff of 11:45 on this trip. So, since it was the last one, I figured I’d push the last 10 floors or so and at least try to make it under 12 minutes. I ended up running the last four floors, but it wasn’t quite enough. Still, I can’t complain too much. I climbed the building five times. That’s 1,050 meters, 3,445 feet vertical, 5,630 steps total. The five climbs add up to 58:08 of actual up-the-stairs time. Each trip down in the elevator added about 4-5 minutes between trips up. At that rate, maybe one of these times I can try doing a vertical mile. I’d only have to go up three more times. I think I could fit that in in two hours. How hard could it be?



Filed under: — stan @ 10:17 pm

It’s another stair-climbing night, but nothing special happened this time. I went there with the intention of trying the same mental trick I used last Thursday, and seeing if I could equal or better that time. But it didn’t work out that way.

On the first climb, I was in trouble right from the start. My first time checkpoint was at 10, and I was already a couple seconds behind. I tried to pick up the pace, and I made it to 16 on schedule, but it kind of fell apart after that.

At 24 I started up the big middle third of the building, and I was dragging. I tried going back to my technique of doing the big pivot turn on the wide landings. That means a bit of a stretch on each landing, but it’s balanced, and it saves an extra step. I’m still not sure whether or not it’s worth it. More experimentation is in order. But tonight, even though the pattern felt smooth and steady, I kept falling off the pace by just a few seconds in each six-floor section. My goal is to do each six floors in one minute, and I was consistently falling behind by about three seconds each time. And when I finally heaved up onto the landing at 55, I had 9:10, which is a full 12 seconds slower than last Thursday.

After a few minutes of rest, I headed up a second time. I wasn’t trying for speed this time. Just to make it to the top without stopping. And I did, but I didn’t even bother timing it, since I know it was very slow.

Back at the bottom, I gave out some of the chocolate chip cookies I’d brought along, and thought about whether or not I wanted to do it again. But then I saw my friend Amber and her entourage show up, so I figured I could walk up with them. Then we could get to talk, and that would be a useful distraction from those intrusive ‘what the HELL were you THINKING doing this again!’ thoughts that come up when I’m climbing alone. So that made for a good third climb. Again, I didn’t time it, but that’s all right.

It was a good evening.


Atlas Survives

Filed under: — stan @ 4:40 pm

A few weeks ago, there was a article in the L.A. Times about a company in Montebello that sells backyard survival shelters. They said that they have one on display in front of their building, so I thought this might make for an interesting bit of sightseeing. So I made up a route, and today was the day.

It was a perfect day for riding. The air was cool, the sun was warm, so it was perfect for riding down into the industrial underbelly of L.A., alongside the Santa Ana Freeway in Montebello. We went straight south through San Gabriel, and then took the Rio Hondo bike path south. We passed the petting zoo where they have the llamas. After a few miles, we turned off and rode just a few blocks to come out on Telegraph Road next to the freeway, and there it was. A big steel survival shelter on display in front of the building.

The banner on the building says what they say it will protect you from. But I don’t think it’s really much good against earthquakes. After all, they come without warning, and if you ran outside and crawled into your shelter, the earthquake would be over before you even got inside. As for all the other things, yes, I could see that it could work for them. But EMP is really only a danger to society and its electronic infrastructure. It’s not much of a danger to individual people. But hey, if it helps make somebody feel better.

After looking at the shelter, we headed back up the bike path. We took it all the way up to Arcadia and Peck Park. Then we took Peck Rd up into Monrovia and our snack stop at Merengue. It was a nice day to sit out on the patio. And when we were done, we headed home.

It was a nice ride.

40 miles.

The L.A. Times article is here:

They have a picture gallery here:,0,7445794.photogallery

Page 2 of 2«12

Powered by WordPress