Saturday, February 21, 2015

Step By Step ... Eight Minutes And Thirty-Nine Seconds

First National Bank Building
Every few years I have done the Trek Up The Tower.  This is my third time "running" this race.  If you want, you can read about my 2010 and 2013 climbs.

I arrived, checked my coat, got my race packet which has a number to pin to your shirt and wristband with a chip that you scan at the start and finish.  I pinned on the number, put on the wristband and got in line.  This was different from the last two times.  Those times I was maybe third or fourth in line to go.  This time I was closer to thirtieth in line.  I'd drunk a large bottle of Mountain Dew (24 oz - 710 ml) on the way there in the car and the caffeine kicked in while I was in line.  The combination of caffeine, adrenaline, and anticipation was gave me the shakes.

My turn came and away I went.  This climb started out pretty good.  I always take two steps at a time for the first few floors.  I usually hit a limit around the fourth floor and I slow down to one step at a time.  This time, I went a lot farther two-at-a-time.  Not exactly sure when I slowed to one step at a time but I do know I was passing a lot of people.  There were a lot more people and a lot more sounds of people huffing and puffing than I remembered.  Some of this may have been because there were more people bunched together.

When I got to the tenth floor my lungs and legs let me know that they weren't very happy but they were good troopers as I continued up at what felt like a good pace.  The floors flew by with little notice.  I remember the twentieth and I remember the thirtieth.  When I hit the thirtieth I was surprised - how could I be that high already?   I even passed a few people between the thirtieth and fortieth floors - don't think I could have done that last time.  It felt like I was going much faster than last time.  In fact, I was going faster but I think the big difference was I felt much better.

When I reached the finish line on the fortieth floor I felt like I'd felt last time at the twentieth.  Can't complain about that.  One of the volunteers said I looked like I hadn't climbed any stairs ... I think she was just being nice since, while I felt pretty good, I still felt every one of the eight hundred and seventy steps.  I collected my medal, commemorative towel, and bottle of water.
My medal and the chip that measured my time.

At the top there is a small lobby area where everyone wanders around as they cool down and catch their breath.  The EMTs were helping a lady lying on the floor (she looked like she was getting better) .  I heard someone say that someone had thrown up on the steps.  Makes me glad I passed so many people.

They were smart his year.  They had a guy with a laptop printing out each climber's stats.  The last few times I did it they posted them down in the lobby but were always late.  In 2013 I didn't even wait and went home.  They email the results later in the day.  It was nice to see that I'd beaten my time by twenty-nine seconds and I'd achieved my eight and change goal.  I looked out at the view of the city before heading for the elevators.

Now for what you've been waiting for: My results.
Time:   8:39    -    29 seconds faster than last time!

Overall Place:   447 of 1835    -    Better than last time.

Place in Gender:   353 of 879    -    Also better than last time!

Place in Age Division (50-54):   25 of 77    -    Better than last time - Age Helps!
I improved in every category against a larger group than the last two times.  I moved up to an older and smaller age division - it helps to be at the younger end of your age division.  In general ... I did great!

When I was waiting in line to go, I realised I'd lost my coat check tag.  I think I threw it away with my empty race packet envelope - the caffeine and anticipation made me careless.  It took them a while to find my coat but it was found.  I collected my free snack and my free shirt before heading home.

I have to say, I really felt good with my results.  I guess my biking has helped increase my endurance and recovery time.  The caffeine worked well too.  I'm already thinking about doing it again in 2016.

2 comments:

  1. Okay that is awesome. You are awesome. I'd be the person throwing up on the stairs. What a cool tradition! :-D

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    1. Autumn, you are too kind. It is a fun tradition.

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