Stan’s Obligatory Blog


More fun and frolic

Filed under: — stan @ 9:36 pm

Tonight was the second time on the Wells Fargo building stairs, and I was feeling the dread on the train down there. As a result of that, I decided that I was going to take it easy, and not worry too much about my time.

When I got there, they told us that they were going to make us go back outside and get back in line to climb again. For some reason, the guards at that building have this idea that they only want to let in 10 people at a time, and only one group every five minutes. They say it’s something about not getting too crowded, but then they send all 10 off at once, so the traffic in the stairwell is still pretty congested at first. I have no idea what bad thing they thing they’re preventing by insisting on doing things this way. But I do know that, based on this, I won’t be baking them any of my award-winning cookies or muffins like I did for the guards at the Wilshire-Figueroa and Aon buildings.

The first time up, I decided I was going to try for a brisk pace, but that I wasn’t going to pay much attention to my watch while I was doing it. I just focused on doing five floors at a time, and at every floor ending in a “5″ or a “0″, I switched which leg was leading on the 11-step flight. Because 11 is an odd number, there has to be at least one single step on that flight, and so I alternate taking the single step at the beginning or the end of the flight. This evens out the load between the right and left legs. Also, by only thinking about five floors at a time, it cuts down on the “OMG… I’m only on 25, I’m wiped out, and I still have 30 more to go” feeling.

At the top, I stopped my watch, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d gone six seconds faster than on Monday. I think taking a more relaxed attitude sometimes helps.

I went back down, and I had to stand in line for something like 15 minutes before getting back in. While we were standing there, Whitney from the YMCA came by. She was the one I did the original survey of the U.S. Bank staircase with. She was just there to see how things were going, and she said she would try and see if the YMCA could get the building security people to lighten up a bit.

The second time up, there were two guys who decided they wanted to shadow me up the stairs. I was planning on aiming for 4 1/2 floors per minute, which would get me to the top in just under 12 minutes. That’s my ‘take it easy’ pace. But then with those two on my tail, I just had to turn up the heat a bit. They said they didn’t want to go ahead of me, but I was determined to shake them by the time we got to the top. I maintained a steady pace, and one guy fell off the train at about 40. The second hung on up to 50, and I managed to make 55 with him about 1/2 floor behind. I managed to average just a hair under five floors per minute on that climb, which was as fast as I went in my first two races, and back then, I felt like I was gonna die! So that’s still progress.

After the second time, the crowd that thinned out considerably, and we were able to just turn around and head up a third time without waiting. I really took it easy this time. I started my watch, and then I turned it off at about 5, because there was no point even timing it. I just kind of meandered up the stairs. I stopped a couple of times to answer text messages from Lucinda. And I thought about what I wanted for dinner. I got to the top, and then headed back down, got changed, and went home. Fun times in the stairwell.

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