Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Still going…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:25 pm

Another session on the Wilshire-Figueroa building stairs. Two times timed, and aiming for about 10:15 or so each time. I was a little behind that, but not too badly. On then one more time up just because.


More stairwell fun

Filed under: — stan @ 9:03 pm

It’s time for yet another evening in the PwC stairwell. I did my usual two climbs, trying for an even pace, but not succeeding like I did on Monday. Still, it was a good outing. And I did an untimed third climb just because. And on the way up, I was wondering about the colored symbols painted on the wall at each landing. So when I got back down, I asked one of the building security guys about them. He said that the symbols repeat every five floors. The idea is, in a fire drill, usually they consider it safe if you evacuate your floor and go at least five floors away. So if you’re evacuating a floor, you just have to look at the symbol and color on the landing as you leave, and go down until you get to the same symbol and color. I’m not exactly sure how that’s easier than just counting floors, but whatever.

And that’s the story of yet another wonderful evening in the stairwell. Who thought climbing the stairs up 50-story buildings could be so much fun?


Three seconds

Filed under: — stan @ 9:50 pm

Tonight, I was once again going for two times up the PwC building, and aiming for two climbs at as steady a pace as I could manage, and tonight, the magic worked. My second time up was only three seconds slower than the first, and both were right on the target pace of five floors per minute. So that worked out well. And after that, I climbed it once more, but I didn’t bother to time it, since it was just recreation.


A nice, steady pace

Filed under: — stan @ 9:42 pm

Tonight was the second evening of practice at the PwC building in downtown Los Angeles. Once again, my goal was to do two climbs at a steady pace, aiming to be at the top in 10 to 10 1/2 minutes. And this time, I did better at pacing. I slowed down a bit the first time up, and so I had more in the tank for the second climb, and I was able to do the second climb only 14 seconds slower than the first. I was pretty happy about that. And then the obligatory third time up the building, just because there was time.


Back to the PWC

Filed under: — stan @ 10:24 pm

No rest for the weary. Even though last Friday was the U.S. Bank stair climb, today was the first evening practice for the CFF stair climb in November. And what’s more, this is also a good opportunity to get ready for the Sears Willis Tower stair climb in Chicago.

The climb is 51 stories, 1,181 steps from the sidewalk to the 51st floor of the Wilshire-Figueroa building, aka ‘PwC’, for their new anchor tenant, PricewaterhouseCoopers. And yes, I know that means it’s only 50 stories by the numbers, but the 49th floor is a double, so it works out to be the equivalent of 51.3 time the typical floor in the building. My plan is to try for two times up, aiming for about 10 to 10 1/2 minutes each time. Each time up is almost exactly half the height of the Sears Willis Tower.

I went a little too fast the first time, and I wasn’t able to go quite fast enough the second, although the two times average out to my target pace. And after that, I went up one more time at a leisurely pace, just because it was there.


Tower running

Filed under: — stan @ 9:47 pm

Friday evening was time for the stair climb up the U.S. Bank building in downtown Los Angeles. 75 floors, and 1,664 steps to the top. I know. I counted them.

In contrast to past years, I wasn’t thinking about trying to prove anything this time. I just wanted to go up in a non-embarrassing time, and to enjoy seeing all my stair-climbing friends in the process. So my goal was to do about 15 minutes or so, since that’s a reasonably relaxed pace in my book.

I had to leave work a little early to get downtown for my schedules 4:00PM start time. When I was getting signed in, I got a message from Kathleen that she was starting up the stairs. Her start time was 3:30, so I thought that we might come out at the top at close to the same time. So I got changed and headed down to the starting line. When I got there, I was the only one there. That was decidedly weird. Usually, there’s a long line to wait in, but I just walked up to the start and went in.

I was aiming for five floors per minute, and I was able to maintain that pace pretty easily. Unlike other years doing this, there was very little traffic in the stairwell. One guy passed me soon after the start. I caught and passed him again about 30 floors later. And along the way, I passed a handful of people. I passed Kathleen somewhere in the high 50s. At that point, I was still on my pace, but my shoe had come untied at about 35, and by 58, I had to stop and retie it before it fell off. So I lost about 30 seconds doing that. But then I just continued on, and I came out on top with a time of something like 15:34. A little slower than I’d wanted, but, as I said, I’m not trying to prove anything.

After just a few minutes, Kathleen came out on the roof. We looked at the view and took a few pictures, and then headed down the other stairway to the big open space on 71. We had some water, took some more pictures. And then we took the elevator back down to the ground.

At the bottom, I saw some friends who had come up from Orange County to do the climb. So I joined them to go up again. By now, there was a line at the start, so we got to talk for a while while waiting to go. And then I went up for the second time. Part-way up, I got a message from Morgan that she, Jason, and Irving were all there. They had finished their first climb, and they were thinking of going again. So I said I’d go again with them as soon as I got back down. And when I got back down, the four of us got back in the line, and we headed up again. It’s kind of nice to take a leisurely-paced climb up the building. Not that there’s much scenery or anything, but it’s sort of like hiking up an industrial-looking mountain.

After three climbs up the building, I was done, so we got changed and headed home. It was a fun evening.


Even though stair-climbing is an indoor sport…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:32 pm

Today was the next-to-last practice session at the Wells Fargo building in downtown Los Angeles. It was also yet another day in our latest heat wave. But I wasn’t too worried, since the staircase in that building is next to the elevator shafts, and it runs up the inside of the building. And it’s generally about the same temperature in there as it is in the rest of the inside of the building. And as it turned out, that was not the case today.

It was hot and stuff in the stairwell. They had the ventilation system running, but it was blowing warm air. And beyond that, the 55th floor where we get out was hot. Which seemed odd, since it’s a mechanical floor. It has no windows and no doors to the outside. But it was stiflingly hot anyway. So in the end, I only did two climbs up the building. It just didn’t seem worth the misery.


Down to the wire

Filed under: — stan @ 9:43 pm

The big race up the U.S. Bank building is less than ten days away, and everyone suddenly thinks they need to get downtown and practice. So the line was extra-long today. I was only able to get in three climbs. The first two were reasonably consistent, but I didn’t even bother to time the third one. But I did bring along some Post-Its to hack the ‘DO NOT GO UP’ sign on the third floor landing.


Last few sessions

Filed under: — stan @ 9:23 pm

My goal for this evening was to do a set of four climbs up the building, trying for as even a pace as possible. I did this reasonably well last Wednesday, but this evening, it didn’t work out so well. Oh well, they can’t all be gems.


I wanted to try for a consistent pace tonight

Filed under: — stan @ 9:15 pm

Tonight’s stair adventure was yet another session at the Wells Fargo building in downtown L.A. Tonight, I wanted to try for four climbs, and to try and do a consistent pace for all of them. That meant not trying to go particularly fast the first couple times up. Last year, I was able to do this easily, but this year, it’s been a lot harder.

On the way through Union Station, I noticed that the monitor that’s supposed to display the Gold Line comings and goings, was instead just showing a screenful of error messages. At least Metro has the sense to be running Linux.

When I got to the building, I got in line, and headed up the stairs. I was aiming for my Vertical Mile pace, which is 4 1/2 floors per minute. In this building, that would get me to the top in about 11:45 or so. I went a bit faster the first time, but I was deliberately not pushing the pace. The second time, I was just about on pace. The third and fourth times, I was a bit off, but not by much. And my average for the four climbs works out to be almost exactly my target pace. So, overall, I’m not unhappy with this evening.

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