This past Sunday, I took on a whole new kind of event… My first ever stair climb. 180 Floors and 2,340 stairs.
What?!?!?! You never wondered why I was doing all those stairs at work? Good Training 🙂
It didn’t take too much for my co-workers to talk me into joining the team. In my mind, I figured “Hey I workout daily and am fit so why not?” Good theory right?
Presidential Towers is a complex in Chicago comprised of 4 buildings. The event gave you options and you didn’t have to do all 4 towers, you could just one, which was 45 floors and 585 stairs. You could also do two of them or three of them. But why would I do that? Go big or go home, right?
I lucked out and one of my team members was nice enough to pick up my race packet for me. So I didn’t have much I needed to do to prep for this thing… well… outside of actually climb stairs. But since I live on only the 5th floor of my condo building, I more often than not, take the stairs. But thats only 5 floors and I had been slacking on joining the stair crew at work (note that this crew is comprised of more people than participated in the event).
I had a case of race anxiety that I haven’t felt… well… since the Disney Half… But that was a totally different anxiety. More or less, my plan ended up being to wing it. Having nothing to compare a time to and knowing that I was doing this with some co-workers as part of a team, I wasn’t too concerned with being speedy. And really, climbing stairs is drastically different from running.
To be fair, I know I could have trained for this the way I would for a running race… and I think that was my intention but my other goals for my running took the top priority… hence my new plan to wing it.
But hey, this whole winging it thing has worked for me in the past.
I arrived early and waited indoors for my co-workers to get there. This event was done in waves, which I later learned is probably the only way this event can be held due to the tight confines in the stairwells. Once our “wave” was called we lined up and were shortly heading over to the first tower and gear check.
Now, it was awesome that gear check was well staffed but I still cannot figure out WHY (and running races do this too) you would take a backpack and put it INTO another bag…. Anyone want to explain this one to me?
But I digress…
We were then escorted to get our timing chips and had to attach them to our shoes… with zip ties… and this wasn’t the easiest task to accomplish but we all figured it out. After that, we headed to the first tower to start climbing.
We decided we would each go at our own pace which was fine by me…. especially since I really wasn’t feeling all that competitive…
I was highly impressed with the water stations provided at about every 15 floors and the energetic and supportive volunteers at each one.
The space within the stairwells was… well… not spacious. Most people were kind enough to let people pass but some people didn’t seem too keen on that idea… Which was a tad annoying but I suppose you always have those people in any event.
We waited as a team at the top floor for everyone on our team of three to finish before heading down in the elevator and going to the next tower. Several people opted to run between the towers but I had no desire to do so.
Before I knew it, we were all done… and holy moly were my calf’s sore!!! We headed back down to get our medals, our gear and head out in search of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s… You know, the important stuff :-p
When all is said and done, I enjoyed the event a lot. I am not sure it is something I would ever decide to do solo but as a team it was a awesome.