EVENT: YMCA Stair Climb
DATE: Friday, September 25, 2015
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
RACE BEGAN: 3:30 pm
FINISH TIME: 18:15
I did this event two years ago and was super bummed last year when I had to sit it out due to being eight months pregnant. Then, I switched employers earlier this year, so I thought I was pretty much done climbing stairs forever.
Later, I learned that my new company not only participates, but it also provides a large donation and needed someone to manage all that stuff... someone in Human Resources (gah!)... and it somehow landed in my lap. Soon, I had budgets to manage and 52 children to guide through the team formation, registration, and packet pick-up process. Let me tell you, it is WAY more fun to be a participant than a coordinator. ;)
Given that I am in no way as fit as I was two years ago when I did this (*ahem, pregnancy, surgical birth, and being chained to my baby*), I started incorporating stair-climbing into my weekly regimen. Once a week starting mid-July or so, I'd go on the stair-mill for 20 minutes, where it would register 100+ floors. No, I did not practice in the actual stairwell at work, though I probably should have but I didn't find time/the will to sweat in my work clothes. Plus, let's face it -- it's pretty lonely and dull practicing alone, especially when stairs are not my friend normally. It definitely felt easier as I continued to practice, though.
The day of the climb, I had to run around coordinating packets, the booth that we had set up, and a work deadline. It had also been a rough night on the sleeping front, and I am pretty sure I woke up five times. So by the time our climb time arrived, I was already pretty spent, in addition to the fact that we were in the middle of yet another heat wave... and stairwells are not exactly known to have good A/C.
I went in with my team (single-file), and I tried my best to keep a rapid, yet steady pace. I think the "rapid" part of the plan died out around the 20th floor, so I just told myself that I had to keep moving and not take a break, lest I lose any momentum I had. I remember how dry my throat was last time (to the point where I could taste blood), so I made sure to take water pretty much every time it was offered to me. The heat didn't really bother me until the 50th floor or so, but by then, I knew the end was somewhat near (funny how relative things get). My sweaty end-of-climb mugshot is above.
I didn't know of my time until I got back to work, and compared to the 17:46 I got last time, I wasn't too dissatisfied with my performance (a 29-second difference, if I can do math correctly). That seems to be consistent with my 5K time back in July -- sort of good, just not as good as before, haha! I'm pretty proud of the fact that I had a faster time than this guy at work who tried to intimidate us, though!
As for the aftermath, my back has been sore for a couple of days, so I'm sure the effort was more taxing than it seemed at the time. I did have to rely on hanging onto the actual stair railing more this time than last, so I probably was dogging my posture -- not to mention, the first thing I did when I got to a clear area was to thoroughly wash my hands -- ugh!
Would I do this again? I am not sure. I much more enjoy running than stair-climbing, and if I have to coordinate this event again next year, I am not sure that I would also climb. I know I can improve on my time, though, so maybe that motivation might be enough.
Because of all the festivities, Baby Tuesday had to spend an extra-long day at his grandparents', though I don't think he minded too much. We more-or-less made it back in time for the bedtime. He knew it was bathtime and crawled right onto the changing mat on the bathroom floor.