Monday, February 6, 2012

Stair climb recap

First let me do a quick review of last week leading up to the climb. I was feeling kind of down and defeated last week (must be how the Patriots feel today). I managed to push through it though and I ran Monday through Thursday. 7, 5.7, 5, and 6 miles. All pretty easy paced runs, nothing crazy, just trying to get my motivation back and still struggling a little. By the end of the week I felt pretty good.

Friday after work I got acupuncture to help prepare for the stair climb the next day. Considering I didn't really train for the climb this year, I needed all the help I could get. PLUS, I signed up to climb TWICE! It seemed like a good idea 4 months ago. Acupuncture was great I felt totally relaxed and ready to take on the challenge the next day.

Saturday morning I woke up extra early to bake some Oatmeal awesomeness cookies that I had promised my teammates. Then I took a shower and got dressed and headed into Boston. I was sort of scrambling and forgot half of the stuff I wanted to bring and brought a ton of crap I didn't need. Forgot directions to the parking garage and my iPod and my bib#s and brought about 4 extra shirts for after the climb even though you get a free shirt for finishing it.

Anyway, I got there and checked in, got my bib#s and met up with my team. Scott was a little upset that all the other teams had matching shirts and I had only ordered a shirt for myself. I'm not made of money, I already donated over $200 not including the actual registration fee and the cost of my own shirt. Plus, it was kind of a last minute idea. I told him next year our team name can be "matching shirts" and I'll think of something funny for us to wear before the climb.

Before we knew it, they were calling our numbers to the start area. I was first then Scott was 15 seconds behind me and Matt another 15 seconds back. I expected them both to pass me. I started and stuck with my plan go every other stair and use the hand rails, rest if you need to, but don't stop til you get to the top. Matt passed me within the first 10 floors. I could see Scott about a floor below me and tried to keep it that way. I finished the first climb in 8:31 and Scott finished right behind me (a second ahead of me by our chip times).

We went to the observation area on the 39th floor to recover and then I had to get back downstairs to climb again. The time between climbs went by super fast, a little too fast. I was still coughing when I started the second climb, but I just paced myself and went a little slower. I actually felt better the second time and was yelling at the volunteers on the way up to show a little enthusiasm for the climbers. Most of the volunteers were high school students and some of them were just sitting there texting or not doing anything at all. It was kind of annoying. Anyway, I finished the second climb in 8:59.

Mission accomplished. Both climbs in under 10 minutes. Time to celebrate. I had some cookies with Scott and Matt and then headed to lunch with the other team I climbed with. We went to some fancy restaurant in Faneuil Hall. The only vegetarian thing they had on the menu was a veggie burger. I didn't really want a burger, but that's all they had AND it was $15!!! It wasn't even that good. I kind of felt sick afterwards.

After lunch I swung back by the building to use the restroom before heading to the bar and to meet up with my friend Leah. One of the guys I met at the top of the building when I finished my second climb offered to hook me up with some fire fighter gear and let me climb a third time, I was VERY tempted, but I knew my friend Leah was waiting for me. Next year maybe I'll do it, I kind of wish I had done it. I bet I could have been under 10 minutes for that too.

I met my friend Leah and we went to Scholar's, the bar that was hosting the awards ceremony. We got a few beers and hung out with the girls on the team my friend Jenine had coached. It was the team I climbed the second time with. After a while, they all trickled out and it was just me and Leah so we started chatting up a few of the fire fighters (I think they were from Brighton or Brookline, I don't know some B town). We were still talking when they announced the winners, but by the crowd reaction I knew who won - my hometown Portland Fire Dept. reclaimed their title and beat Needham Fire! I'm so proud of them!

Overall it was a really fun day and I can't wait to do it again in a year. I can't say the same for Sunday. I woke up with a little bit of a headache. I don't usually drink so just a few beers hit me hard. I had planned on going for a 8-10 mile run, but ended up spending the day lounging on my couch instead. I figured one rest day won't kill me. I'll just do 7-8 miles tonight on the Charles. I'm still struggling a little to get my motivation back. I'll get there. I have to, I registered for Chicago again last week!

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