Fighting for Air yet again

fightforairlogoToday was the Fight for Air Stair Climb, and I participated for the fourth time in five years (last year I ran the Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon instead).

Flashbacks:
2010: 10:04
2011: 9:04 (Race Report)
2012: 9:21 (Race Report)

I knew that this wasn’t going to be any sort of record-breaking year. Heck, just a few months ago I’d struggle to go up the 6 flights of stairs at work due to my knee surgery. However, I do like the event, and work was putting together a team. I very openly let myself be talked into participating.

The day before I registered, I did the stairs at work: we have 18 stories in our building so I did them 4 times (either walking down or taking the elevator part of the way). The first time, my lungs were feeling kinda rough afterwards, but I didn’t feel TOO horrible. And actually my knee wasn’t a factor at all – good news! I did it again the week before the race and I averaged between 3:46 – 4:00 for each ascent, so I set myself a goal of sub-13 for the actual race.

So I met 6 other ReadyTalkers shortly before noon, and we started our climb. I wore compression socks and my flipbelt with a small flask of water. I had learned from my time with the COS Incline Fanatics that I’d want to have my hands free to use the rails. I also wore my garmin, although I knew it wouldn’t likely impact my pace: I was just going to do what I could.

Going near the end of the event made it less fun before-hand: there wasn’t that pre-race excitement in the air. However, it meant things were less crowded, including in the stairway.

I won’t lie, it was tough. My lungs were definitely burning, and I was really glad I had my water flask. I didnt have a great sense of any sort of desired splits, although when I looked at my watch and it said 9:xx and I had less than 10 flights to go, I knew I was going to demolish my plan!

Indeed, I finished with my watch showing 10:45, although they posted it officially as 10:39. Colleen from work finished ahead of me (I’d passed her on the stairs but then she passed me back), and Joel actually placed as the second male overall in 7:13 or some ridiculous thing!

Afterwards I felt like absolute crap, and needed to sit down and regroup for awhile. But I did it! Hours later my lungs keep rattling a little, but I’m so glad I did it, and I’m already excited for next year… 🙂