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Race Recap: The Fight For Air Stairclimb March 26, 2011

Today was my first indoor race, and my first vertical race!! I was really worried because I got a major owie when training for this last week, and I was not sure I’d be fit to go. But I just had a hint of calf soreness this morning and felt definitely ready to climb.

It was POURING rain when I left my house. I went and parked at the BART station and then went over to San Francisco to the Bank of America Building where the event was, and to meet my team. I ran into Sabrina right away – Sabrina is a Twitter friend that I just met today! and also a formidable WordsWithFriends player. ;-) It is so cool to meet up with people I’ve “known” on Twitter. Sabrina has lost 100 lbs on Weight Watchers and is quite the inspiration. It was awesome to do this event with her (and also Event 2, later this evening!).

The event registration was a big wet mess! But it was also fun and there was a lot of good energy. Tons of firefighters around from all over California, and a hardy bagpipe crew. (I heart bagpipes) There I met up with our team captain Hazel (also from Twitter, also never met before today! – and she’s the one who talked me into this event) and Christine (fellow Cirque du Soleil fanatic!) and the rest of East Bay Fit Club. Yahoo!

So we got to mill around and wait on the bathroom line (nice thing about doing an event in a BUILDING is that there are actual restrooms instead of portopotties!) and then it was time for our “wave” to go. They sent people up the stairwell in waves of about 50 people, so there would be no traffic jam in the narrow space. I started out wanting to just kind of bound up the stairs. That lasted about…a flight and a half. Then I slowed WAY down and just said, Steady steady steady.

The first ten were the hardest I think. I wasn’t quite warm and in the zone yet. I was very happy to see the first water station around floor 12. There were signs on each floor — ONLY 40 FLIGHTS TO GO! (ha) KEEP BREATHING! and the like.

At around floor 25, I suddenly got this distraught feeling – were we going to #52 (stories) or #104? (flights) I felt like I was fine to be halfway done but now 1/4 way.

I have to say, it went pretty fast. And then we were at the top. I was extremely proud of the fact that I did not touch a handrail once on the way up.

How fast? 19 minutes and 16 seconds! Who knew, right? We were greeted at top by a bunch of balloons, some nice post-climb snacks, towels with which to wipe our sweaty brows (that was new!) and a pretty sweet view, even through the fog.

So? It was fun. It was definitely do-able! My training climb at the cemetery last week was a lot harder.

I want to thank everyone who generously donated to the American Lung Association on my behalf. I raised exactly $400 – wow! Thank you so much to:

  • Anderson, Karen
  • Bilotta, Annemarie
  • Brinckerhoff, Courtenay
  • Cons, Alexandra
  • Debare, Ilana
  • Edelstein, June
  • Honeycutt, Teresa
  • Huerta, Merle
  • jones, tracey
  • Kim, Emily
  • Lerner, Lisa
  • Lloyd, Merredith
  • Lutz, Ericka
  • Martin, Mary
  • Martin, Tara
  • Miller, Melissa
  • Will, Annie

Because I was able to raise almost double my original goal, I’ve decided to give away TWO quilts in thanks. The first one is going to Tara Martin. This is not a random giveaway, but a deliberate one. Tara is just my personal hero on so many levels, and if you want to know why, go read her blog. For the second quilt, I gave each person numbers based on how many $10 donations they gave into Random.org. It came up with

which was the number for… Tracey! Congratulations Tracey, and thank you for your donation! I will be contacting you re your choice of favorite color because there a number to choose from. And thank you so much to EVERYONE else for supporting me and the American Lung Association. You may or may not know I’ve fought for air on numerous occasions from asthma that has plagued me off and on throughout my life (thankfully more off than on but I am familiar with that feeling and it’s no fun).

Now it’s time to nap a bit before the next event, the Oakland Twilight 5k!

 

Letting Go March 20, 2011

Next week at this time, the Oakland marathon will be happening and I won’t be there. :-(

Sometimes we make plans and they just don’t work out, and it’s important to be able to let go gracefully. It’s not like I’m not going to be participating in athletic events next weekend: I’m still doing the Fight for Air StairClimb (still time to donate for a chance on a quilt!) and the Twilight 5k portion of the Oakland Running Festival.

What happened is that I was hoping that my family (me, Mr and 2 girls) would be able to run as a family team for the marathon relay. As it got closer it became apparent that a few of Mr. McBody’s orthopedic woes were not going to allow it. I’ve been looking and looking for a 4th person but it just didn’t pan out, until last Thursday. I went to sign us all up and BAM – it was sold out. SOLD OUT! I was so crushed. Incredulous really. Damn.

For a while I bandied about the idea of signing up for the half. But I think it’s crazy to even try and walk a half marathon with no training. I’ve been diligent about my 30-minute minimum of exercise for 22 days now (YAY #7daychip) but that has not included distance running. I think I could’ve probably pulled out the 7.5 miles, but not 13.1. Wah.

Part of me was mad at myself. Part of me felt really embarrassed. Part of me was soooooooo sad about not getting the gorgeous new Oakland marathon medal. But in the end I have to let it go. I have to remind myself of my own mantra: “Be mindful and don’t suffer.” To push myself through a half marathon would be a suffering thing, I can tell you. This just isn’t the time.

I am proud of the other goal I’ve been working toward this month, my Project Consistency. It’s been a very good thing for me. It would be different if I’d just been sitting on the couch eating ice cream all month, but that hasn’t been the case. I still have something to feel proud about.

I do want to do at least one or maybe two half marathons this year. The Las Vegas to be sure (so excited – running the LV strip AT NIGHT!), but maybe also the Disneyland Half in September. (Edited to add: SOLD OUT! DAMN!!!!!!!!) It’s just going to take some planning.

Yeah, planning WAY AHEAD. Wow!

 

Running Does Not = StairClimbing! February 8, 2011

note: this is NOT MY BUTT. No resemblance whatsoever.

Wow did I haveĀ  wakeup call today. It was really illuminating, my first unofficial “training” for the Stair Climb event in March.

I work in a building that is 18 stories (ie 36 flights) high. I thought it would be interesting to climb the entire height of it after work, just to get a sense of what it would feel like.

WELL. It was … interesting.

First, it felt like pain. Like after the 2nd story. My thighs were screaming out, like, WTH are you DOING TO ME?!!?!? in chorus. Secondly, I was definitely “fighting for air” and not in the metaphorical sense. In the real sense. Pant! Pant!

But the weirdest thing was how fast it went. I mean, I went up to the 21st story (ie roof) so actually climbed 20 stories (40 flights) in about six minutes, or two songs’ worth on my iPod. That was just… weird. I guess I just expected it to take me at least half an hour. But a flight of steps, although STRAIGHT UP, is not that much actual distance. So. That was just a strange thing to wrap my head around.

So I guess I’m gonna have to roughly do my building times 3. All at once. Hmph. I was really not sprinting, I was pretty much walking steady. It was hard. It hurt. But it went… FAST! Which is I guess the very good thing about this activity.

Speaking of the Stair Climb, have you put in your donation yet? So you can win a pretty quilt? Please please do!

 

 
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