Homer's Travels: Oh ... So Close ... But Better Than Expected.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Oh ... So Close ... But Better Than Expected.

Today was the 10th annual Trek up the Tower stair climbing race.  This was the fourth time I've participated and the first time I did it with someone else (The Wife's Niece).

My expectations this year were pretty low.  I wasn't as well prepared this year as I was last primarily due to the RAGBRAI training I was doing before last years stair climb.  I estimated that I would take at least thirty seconds longer this year.

I started this year's race with a half liter of caffeinated grape drink.  The stuff is the equivalent of two and a quarter cans of Mountain Dew.  We checked our stuff, picked up our racing number and wrist band/chip holder, and got in line.  I was buzzing a bit by the time we reached the starting line.

They said go, I scanned my chip and headed up the stairs taking two steps at a time.  I zoomed up the first seven floors before I started taking one step at a time.  I'd told myself that I was not going to look at the floor numbers but that didn't last very long.  Most of the climb I was staring at the stairs in front of me but I did glance up every now and then to see where I was.  Each time I peeked I was surprised how far along I was.

Physically I didn't feel as good as I did last year.  My mouth felt like a desert and my lungs were burning around half way up.  I definitely felt better last year.  Having said that, it felt a lot faster this year.

So ... How did I do?  I didn't do as well as last year as expected.  Unfortunately I was only slower by two seconds.  I would have felt better if I'd been thirty seconds slower.  Two seconds ... that means a tiny additional amount of effort would have had me bettering my time.  So close ... close enough that it will eat at me for a while.  Here are my stats this year:
Time:   8:41    -    2 seconds slower than last time!
Overall Place:   403 of 1730    -    Slightly better than last time.
Place in Gender:   307 of 798    -    Also slightly better than last time!
Place in Age Division (50-54):   24 of 73    -    Not quite as good as last time.
I didn't really do as good as last time but it was close.  The number of participants was smaller than last year which may explain my better rankings.  Next year, if I get serious about training for the Appalachian Trail, I should do much better.

On the way home I was coughing and wheezing like I usually do.  I always wondered if I had some issue with my lungs but today the Wife's niece was coughing and wheezing as much as I was. I guess all that stair climbing knocks all the phlegm loose in your chest.

I did so much better than I expected that I will more than likely do it again next year.  Hopefully, her schedule willing, I will be joined by the Wife's niece again.


  1. YAY!!! I'm glad you did this and your niece got in on the super fit gonna conquer everything one step at a time journey! Good for you! :D :D

    1. Thanks Autumn! I can always count on you to make me smile.