eat, move, think, feel

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.๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 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!


15 Responses to “Race Recap: The Fight For Air Stairclimb”

  1. Brooke Says:

    congrats!๐Ÿ™‚ my bil did similar races at the empire state building in nyc and the sears tower in chicago (that’s the right city isn’t it?) i thought he was crazy๐Ÿ˜› i guess all the cool kids are doing it.

  2. Melissa Says:

    WTG, Susan! I knew you would rock those stairs.๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats to Tara and Tracey on being the lucky recipients of your mom’s beautiful quilts!

  3. What a coolio fun race! I remember when you had your first steps training session and you said how hard that was but you did it!!
    I knew you would do it! I knew you would rock it!!

    And did you see that smile of yours?!?!

    much love, my friend!

  4. treefrog_WA Says:

    So jealous that you got to meet Hazel in real life. So proud of you guys!! Cannot wait to hear about the evening event too. Time = wow!!!! Who would have thought! So impressed.


  5. Heidi Says:

    I am bowled away by this. I am just starting to work out with the elliptical (usually I swim and do aerobics.) But I hate stairs, and I especially HATE feeling out of breath on stairs. So you inspire me to keep working on it!

  6. You are also a rockstar and a huge inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so happy to hear your vertical race went well and I can’t wait to hear about your 5K.

  7. Awesome event and awesome photos!

  8. Shannon Says:

    That is a lot of stairs! I cant believe you did not touch the rail. I am afriad I would have never let go of it lol. Way to go!
    You are so amazing and do so many good things for others. Your mothers quilts are just beautiful and the winners are very lucky to get one.

  9. […] Comments Shannon on Race Recap: The Fight For Air…wendy williams on Race Recap: The Fight For Air…Jeremy Logsdon on Race Recap: The Fight For […]

  10. merri Says:

    That view looks similar to my view here at work. Well, I actually work right near there. Only, I’m only on the 26th floor, so I don’t get as spectacular of a view as the 52nd. Oh, I’m on here – youre welcome! That is a lot of stairs! I remember walking down these 26 flights when the elevator was broken once. My knees have gotten worse since then, I would die! Congrats!!

    • Walking downstairs is a lot rougher than walking UP. Hey why don’t you join us next year??? It will take less than half an hour!

      • merri Says:

        I agree. Ive always thought I was the weird one that found walking down stairs harder because it seems like it would be the other way around. Thanks but my knees definitely wouldnโ€™t let me walk that many stairs. I really have to coddle them! Combo of me not taking care of them earlier, and mothers doctor says in a couple yrs she has to get knee replacements…

  11. Susan!! It was so great to meet you, new friend! Just realized that you gave me a shout out in this post. Whoohoo! Your story is amazing and you are an inspiration. I hope to hang out with you soon!๐Ÿ™‚

  12. […] shower I put on the shirt I’d tossed randomly into my bag. It was my shirt that I got at the Fight for Air StairClimb. In case you can’t read backwards, it says “I climb because I can.” And I guess I […]

  13. […] What are the chances of that! I found Christine and Sabrina, both of whom with Iโ€™d done the Fight for Air Stair Climb last year. It was great to have people to hang with while we were waiting to make our way to the […]

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