Because 2010 wasn’t enough, I came back for more this past Wednesday night. I actually had zero intentions of signing up for this race but thanks to runnin around uptown I signed up for the lottery because it’d be fun for both of us to do this. You see where this is going. I got in. She didn’t. I’m training for a little 26.2 race in March and this definitely was not on the top of the list to train for. The grand total of stairs I climbed to train this year: 0. Yikes!
This year the race was at night. A new little wrinkle to the run up. It also made it so we ran in increments every 10 seconds which made it less congested in the stairwell. It turned out this helped immensely. I met up with Neal and we commiserated on how much this would hurt. I also met up with Tara and Allison (she ran on my H2C team in 2006!). Finally, at about 8pm I headed over to wait in line to head down to the start. I remember thinking “ok, this is it.” I had forgotten gloves and gum this go around.
Tara and I chatted until it was finally time to head downstairs. We met another guy, Chris, doing this for the first time. He was testing out a video camera to capture the entire experience. I reached the start and it was go time.
Immediately entering the stairwell, I hit a rhythm. Every other step and pulling myself up on the right hand side. I watched a few people sprint knowing full well I’d see them in about 20 floors;) Around the 20th floor, I remember seeing a guy with an Ironman tattoo slowing and a few others. I maintained my pace. I remember seeing the first 20 floors went by in around 4 minutes. Not bad. This is where we hit the first crossover and I grabbed a cup of water just to wet my mouth. Onward.
I still felt REALLY good at this point which was a drastic difference from two years ago. Around the 30th floor, another guy caught up with me and we ended up pacing off eachother the rest of the race. It was kind of nice and made the floors fly by in a way. There were the typical elevator staff that hung out in the stairwells to cheer us on. I forgot how enjoyable this race is!
At the 65th floor, we crossed over one more time and here is where I ran into quite a few hurting climbers:/ I encouraged them and continued on my mission. I knew at that point it was going to be a lot faster than 2 years ago, just a matter of what the time would be. We got to the 80th floor and I could feel the cool breeze from the observation deck and hear the loud music. Music to my ears! Exiting on to the observation deck I was greeted to snow falling and a white out of the city skyline. I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face – feeling tired but really good! 18:19 was my official time, almost 2 minutes faster than 2 years ago! This was good enough for 32nd (out of 225) woman overall and 16th (out of 102) in the 30-39 division (COMPETITIVE – 5 of them were in the elite race).
I have to say my fitness level got me through this race. This is definitely exciting for that little race in 5 weeks…