Monday, September 26, 2011

Conflicted, confused and a little bit disappointed

If two years ago you were to ask me what I was focusing on, the marathon would’ve been my one and only answer.  In 2011, I decided to step away from the marathon to focus on shorter distances and stair climbing, I wanted to crush the sears tower this year, I needed redemption for 2010. 

the 2011 running season started off with some amazing races, I ran a PR at the march madness half marathon in cary.  the incredible thing about this PR was that the weather wasn’t all that great (cool, windy, possibly some rain), the course has some massive hills and I had just done the ultimate climb (i.e., climb the tower as many times as you can in an hour) at the us bank building in milwaukee the day before (which I won outright, beating all the guys and girls!) plus I had been focusing on stairs over the winter so my running mileage wasn’t all that great maybe 25 miles per week.  so to run a 1:30:00 in those conditions, on a course like that the day after climbing over 200 floors, and on low running mileage was pretty shocking.  In April, I missed my 5k PR by 5 seconds (also the day after climbing a bunch of stairs so ill take it) and I also ran a decent PR at the lake front 10 miler.  

In may, I began to pick up my mileage since stair season was over, it was time to start focusing a bit more on running.  I also bought a road bike and start cycling as well since its great for stairs and figured it’d be good cross training for running.  cycling became one of my new obsessions, I was pedaling around on that thing for like 6 hours a week plus 40 miles of running and I was hitting the stairwell once a week as well.  I wanted to get faster on the bike and I wanted it to happen instantaneously.  I did a few duathlons, they were successful, i would usually have the fastest run times then get my butt kicked on the bike but still place in the top.   

My running season seemed to take a dive when I started to actually focus on it, starting in May I had one disappointing race after another.  I was running times that were slower than last year, which made no sense to me.  I thought cycling was supposed to be good cross training for running.  maybe I was doing too much of the wrong thing?  so I boosted my mileage to 50-60 mpw, dropped the bike a little and still the bad races continued.  I couldn’t make sense of it or figure it out. 

Since I wasn’t running a marathon, I had two other target races, the Chicago half marathon in September and the park ridge 5k a couple of weeks later.  this was my chance to break 1:30 in the half and I figured the 5k would go well since I had all the intensity from the stairs.  I took off at mile 2 during the half and never looked back.  up until mile 11, I was on pace to go sub 1:29, not sure what happened in those last 2 miles, ha but I finished with a 1:29:30 which I was pretty stoked about.  After that race, I had high hopes for park ridge but it was just another disappointing race and I finished with a time slower than last year, again…

This year ive been feeling quite conflicted, confused and a little bit disappointed.  Right now, I cant make sense of my running season, I cant figure out what my focus is and I just don’t know what to think about all of it.  am I a stair climber, am I a runner?  can I excel at both without sacrificing one or the other?  At least they have different racing seasons but you cant give up one completely during its off-season because the result when the season starts up again wont be pretty.  Did my running season go downhill because I was doing too many other things, stairs, cycling, etc? Was I not putting in enough mileage, is it because I didn’t hit any tempo runs or maybe its because I weigh more than last year (although I don’t think I really have much to lose).  Did I do too many easy paced runs in the shady region of busse?

I wish there was a simple answer, I wish someone could snap their figures and erase my running season, give me faster times.  I was putting in the work but wasn’t seeing the results.   This is not the way I thought things would go.  its frustrating.  But I constantly find myself, wondering what im doing and where im going.  its much easier to focus on one thing but im obsessive when I start something new and I crave the challenge. 

the sears tower better be the answer to all of this, it has to be my redemption...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weighed Down?

Usually I look forward to stair workouts, well at least until im actually standing in the stairwell before we start.  I tend to make small talk and random chit chat prolonging the inevitable pain.  Stair workouts are so much tougher than track workouts, theyre shorter in duration but feel much worse and there is no “easy” pace when it comes to stairs.  The slower you go, the worse it feels because youre basically doing lunges for minutes on end.  

The building we climb (which likes to remain anonymous) is 20 floors so the climbs usually take us about 2:30 – 3:00.  As of late my fast climbs have been in the 2:30-2:35 range and I didn’t start averaging that until the past month or so, not sure where the sudden burst of intensity came from but I most certainly cant complain!  brady can bust his speedy climbs in the 2:20s and can even go under 2:00 when he desires to.  sometimes during these workouts, your legs get the “floor 7” feeling as we like to call it and you start to feel sluggish yet youre only 5 floors in.  that feeling might last for a few floors, then we reach the halfway point, ok only 10 floors to go.  I try to mentally trick myself into ignoring the next 4 floors because once we hit 16, I just start thinking theres only 4 floors left, just get to 20 then the 2 monster floors will take care of themselves.  Floors 21 and 22, have steeper taller steps and theres more of them, makes ya really work at the end of the climb.  Once you get to the top, its hands on the knees and heavy breathing, im sure we would collapse but the landing is covered with dirt, dust and construction debris and remnants, not a safe collapsing platform.  We stagger down to floor 19 and wait for the elevator.  Im yawning uncontrollably because that’s what oxygen deprivation does to me and when were standing on the landing before we start the next one, im feeling lightheaded and a little wobbly.  Oh the way that only stair climbing can make you feel, ya don’t get to feel like that at the track…

Sometimes after or even during that 1st warm-up climb, I can tell how the rest of my workout is going to be.  although there are times when my first climb feels horrible yet somehow I bust out my fastest climbs to date, that was the case a couple of weeks ago and im still shocked about my times.  ive actually been having a lot of those recently :)

Friday, was one of those days where the 1st climb felt bad and it didn’t get any easier or better after that.  this was one of the worst stair workouts ive had recently, my times were about 5-10 seconds slower than where I should be, my legs were feeling that floor 7 feeling at floor 5, my heart was beating out of my chest and my lungs were about to explode.  I thought about one-stepping it to make it easier on myself but I didn’t have it in me and im not sure that woulda provided any relief either, my quads were trashed.  im not sure why this workout was so rough, maybe because my legs were still sore from running the Chicago half marathon on Sunday (I ran a PR, 1:29:30!!) or it coulda been because I didn’t take any rest after that and decided to do a tempo run on Wednesday too?  either way, it didn’t make a difference, I struggled during all 5 of those repeats but got through it.  the suffering doesn’t last long but dang, hitting 2:40 was almost impossible today

Saturday I ran 12 miles at busse with brady and brad then the three of us turned around and ran 10 miles in long grove on Sunday, I also got up early to do 6 miles on monday morning in the rain so I really wasn’t sure how my legs would react to stairs later that same day.  it was weight vest Monday too!!      

ah, the weight vest, such fun!  I think that mine makes me look like a tiny super hero or perhaps a member of the bomb squad.  The weight vest workout usually consists of a WU climb with 3-5 sets with the vest on then a CD climb.  Currently, my weight vest contains 6 – 1 lb sand bags and the vest itself probably weighs about a pound so im lugging an extra 7 lbs up those stairs!!  and we keep increasing the weight each week, good thing my vest maxes out at 12 sand bags! 

The WU climb felt surprisingly good, I was worried what might happened today since the workout on Friday didn’t go as planned.  once we put the vests on, it didn’t feel that bad either.  the vest is bulky though and makes it hard for my short arms to reach the rail as easily as I normally would so I found myself pushing on my legs a lot.  the vest also kinda tips me forward a bit too.  my times were dead on though, about the same or faster than I did during the last weighted climb (2:53 average) and that was with less weight so I felt some redemption for Friday’s climb.  brady blazed his last vest climb in 2:40, thats faster than I could do my repeats in last week and he was toting an extra 18 lbs yesterday!!  his legs were on fire, I finished about 14 seconds behind him.  we took the vests off and went up for the CD climb.  It always feels strange after the vest is gone, you feel lightweight and free for a few floors but then the pain sets in just like it always does.  It likes to trick you that way, let you feel good and then bam, outta nowhere, it hits ya. 

People in the elevator were extremely chatty today too, several asked us if we were training for the marathon, to which we politely declined and said we were climbing the sears tower instead which seemed to spark some interest.  others asked how much weight was in our vests and how many times we were climbing.  its always nice to have some friendly conversation in the elevator ride down, better than people rolling their eyes and giving us evil looks, which happens occasionally. 

Its strange how some days your body just doesn’t wanna react or push itself the way you think it should.  Sometimes, it just says let me be today, im not up for the challenge, I need to go easy.  the mind tends to get frustrated and wonder why one week you can have your best workout ever then suck the next week.  obviously fitness doesn’t just disappear like that, so you chalk it up to just being a fluke and move on with it.  cant dwell on the sluggish ones because most likely, the next one is gonna be stellar

Friday, September 16, 2011

powered by the moonlight

Earlier this summer, when it was blasted hot and temps soared around 95-100 degrees for what seemed like weeks on end, I decided that I’d get up early and do a few miles in the morning before the sun woke up or while it was stretching, yawning and getting ready to start its day. that way I could get a few miles taken care of in the morning and then run again later in the day without having to endure the heat for 10 miles straight.

I wasn’t sure how long this habit of early morning jaunts would last but I was enjoying it. usually im a cardio junkie and shove everything in after work, combinations of lifting, biking/spinning, running, stairs just one right after another but then I decided I’d get up early to run on days I was gonna do a stair workout too, that way my legs would be fresh later in the day and ready for torture.

The past couple weeks its been cooler and ive been thinking, can I keep this up when its dark and cold? eh, that doesn’t sound too appealing but maybe the treadmill would offer some relief for those mornings when its too icy, cold and just downright dark.

This past Wednesday I wanted to get a decent dose of mileage and we were meeting my cousin for dinner (he’s in the navy, stationed in Hawaii and was visiting for the week) so I only had time to do 8 miles after work so I went out for an easy 4 miles in the morning. it was about 49 degrees so I busted out the gloves for the first time in months. The moon was huge and lit up the sky. During my run, I just kept thinking this is such a pleasant crisp cool enjoyable run powered by nothing but the moonlight. For some reason powered by the moonlight became the mantra that morning.

Today rolled around and I had a stair workout planned for later in the day so the morning run was scheduled. I set the alarm for 5:07 but kept waking up during the 4 o’clock hour and checking the time, so finally around 4:57 I decided to just get up and get ready to go. I checked the temp, 43 with 86% humidity so I tossed on some capris, long sleeves and grabbed the gloves again.

I couldn’t decide what route I wanted to go so it became a hodge podge of different ways, a combination of my normal runs based on my indecisiveness. This morning was also the morning of random thoughts while I run, sometimes while im running my mind wanders to certain strange things. here were my thoughts at different points during my run:

  1. Its cloudy, wheres the moon today, its totally covered, this run today is not powered by the moonlight.

  1. what might happen if I encountered a skunk? It could get spooked, I could get sprayed. strange thought but about 5-10 minutes later, I came across a skunk. There he was sniffing around in the grass, I figured it was best to avoid an altercation and turned around before crossing his path. I saw another runner and say hey theres a skunk up there, he said umm ok thanks. I think I caught him off guard; hopefully he was smart enough and avoided a potentially nasty stinky situation.

  1. After seeing that runner, who was wearing a reflective vest, I thought, hmm maybe I should get a vest like that or start wearing my flashy thing again. the vest reminded me of health and safety training I had at work and how were required to wear vests with a certain reflectivity when on construction sites. I wonder what reflectivity that guys running vest was.

  1. while by some bushes by home depot, thought shifted to, maybe I should cross the street, someone might be lurking in these dark bushes. The other side looks much better.

  1. Hmm, theres a big truck. I don’t like trucks and vans when its dark out, they seem more suspicious, might be someone wanting to abduct me. eh, I normally feel safe here, theres nothing to worry about but in the early morning, its dark, its desolate, things happen.

  1. Coffee sounds good, maybe I should stop at dunkin donuts. I can get my dad a pumpkin spice coffee, perhaps ill get one too. I wonder how many calories are in one of those, perhaps its best to stay away. I’ll get my dad a donut too.

I think those are the random things I had during my 6 miler this morning. I safely returned home, showered, checked the calories of the pumpkin coffee (too high for me to justify, so I went for the black hazelnut one instead), fed my cat and went to work. once I arrived I checked my email and saw a weekly newsletter from the city of Schaumburg. I took a gander, one article said to be on the lookout for a crook who had an accomplice and robbed an elderly lady, yikes! I scrolled down further and it said beware of skunks!! It went on to say theres been an increase in the population and how to get rid of them if theyre hiding by your house or living under your stoop. They also mentioned bats, gotta watch out for those too. I better keep my eyes peeled for skunks and bats during these early morning runs powered by the moonlight :)

empire state building run-up 2011

ESBRU 2011 - The world championship of stair climbing.

If this is the world championship then why do I fill out an application to the NYRR? Why do they ask for my best running times and accomplishments? And why does it matter if I have other unique interests such as truck pulling and arm wrestling? Im a 5'1 95 lb girl, truck pulling, seriously?!? I submitted my application and waited patiently, the application is due by mid december and they dont let you know whether or not you've been accepted until mid-january. This is ridiculous, the race is on february 2nd! I bulked up my form with running times, stair climbing wins and included my current world ranking of 3rd and hoped for the best. I finally received my acceptance notification, several days after the original notification date.

Brady and I were off to NYC!! the race is always on the first tuesday in february so we hitched a plane sunday night after climbing the Aon Center in Chicago that morning (I finished 2nd). Monday was a day of exploring the city and navigating the subway, hit up the art museum for some culture and met other west coast label climbers for dinner at a french restaurant.

Tuesday morning was the big day, I was gonna climb against some of the best climbers from around the world. I knew I had no shot at winning so some of the pressure was off, I was just wanted to climb a good race and beat my goal time.

The ESBRU is different than most other stair climbs, first off the men and women climb separately and instead of having climbers go in intervals everyone starts at once and you sprint towards the doorway. Luckily I received a low bib number and was able to start in the center of the 2nd row, right where I wanted to be. Cindy Harris, the best US climber and 12 time hancock winner was right in front of me.

The gun went off and everything was a blur, I darted towards the doorway and the next thing I know I took an elbow to the face and was being shoved into the wall next to the door. I squeezed my way in and everyone was running up the stairs. I tried to slow my pace because I didnt wanna get sucked in or start off too fast but the girls were all shoving and I felt like I was gonna be trampled so I went with the flow and ran. Those first several flights were totally cramped and you couldnt even get into a rhythm, I kept thinking I hate this race, when is this gonna clear up?!? after about 5-10 floors it started to thin out and I started passing people.

The stairwell in the empire state building is quite unique, it has a long flight of stairs then a long landing you had to head down before hitting the next set of steps. I talked to other climbers who told me to use my running to my advantage and sprint those landings, make up some time and pass some people. I did just that, I took every landing with a quicker pace and passed a few girls or gained some ground on them, i'd relax and climb the next flight. I think the landings are great because they give your muscles something else to focus on for a few seconds because going back to the constant lunging involved in climbing.

The floors flew by and I was with a pack of girls, right where I wanted to be. I suddenly took the lead of them but couldnt see anyone in front of me so just held steady. I knew if I could keep them behind me, I would finish in a good spot. When we finally got to the top, we had to dart out a door and sprint around the top of the empire state building, another chance for me to use my running speed. I got out there and took off, the ground was slushy, wet and kind of icy so I couldnt sprint as fast as I wouldve liked.

I finished and looked at my watch 14:47!! are you kidding?!? thats an awesome time, much faster than what I had expected and I was shocked. I thought I climbed an extremely good race. I stagged about and found my way inside.

I finished 7th overall and 1st in my age group, I was ecstatic!! I cant wait for this race next year! Its gonna be my focus over the winter and its gonna be my goal race

various tower races 2010

Hustle Up the Hancock 2010 – 94 floors? How am I suppose to climb 94 floors? The most i've ever done at once is 20, I wouldnt run a long run of 6 miles while training for a marathon. Wont I get dizzy with all the turns? How do I pace this thing? This is completely new to me. I have to keep telling myself its more like a 5k than a marathon, ill be fine.

Stair climbs are different than running races, most of them send people individually spaced out by ~10 seconds. So sometimes its common to be completely alone in the stairwell, you might hear wedding rings clanking on the rails but you may not see anyone the entire way, it can be quite desolate. Good thing for the random signs and volunteers.

This year I started with a team and we were one of the first teams to head into the stairwell. I could see the people in front of me dart up the first flight and my heart raced even faster. I headed up the first few steps and tried to stay calm. I didnt want to start too fast because I knew if I did, i'd be done for by floor 40. there were way to many people in the stairwell, I was shocked at how many people I had to pass or get around one way or another.

The night before I memorized my splits and kept checking my watch at the appropriate floors, I was dead on. I kept telling myself, stay relaxed, keep it steady. Just wanted to reach the halfway point because I knew the floors would get shorter and the steps would get smaller. The second half just flew by and when I crossed that mat, my watch read 13:49! just about where I wanted to be. Then it set in, wow I feel alright, I shouldnt feel this way. I should be on the ground, collapsed, gasping for air. I didnt push hard enough. This time is decent for my first time but I know im capable of so much more...

first race - 8th overall, 4th in open, 1st in age group.

Im hooked on the stairwell. Whats next?!? by doing a random google search I came across and saw they listed all sorts of races around the world and even ranked climbers based on their finishes in certain towers. I was ranked 35th! I was shocked to see my name.

I briefly searched for races and came across one in milwaukee and another one in chicago. I thought it would be neat if there was a race that combined running and climbing, having multiple towers that you have to run to and thats exactly what presidential towers was, I was stoked.

MILWAUKEE 2010 – milwaukee is close enough so we decided to adventure there for a 47 floor climb at the US Bank Building. By looking at other times we figured that this tower was a little over half the size of hancock. But I still wasnt sure what to expect, this was only my 2nd tower race so I was still trying to navigate my way in the stairwell. Milwaukee is a unique race, the stairs turn to the right and the type of stairs change throughout the climb. Some are metal and when I started off could hear people charging after me, sounded like I was about to be trampled. Then the stairs change to rubber and switch to carpet at one point. Reached the top 6:46, decent time. I WON!! my 2nd stair climb and I won, the next girl was like 30-45 seconds behind me, it wasnt even close and only a handful of guys beat me. I like this sport

6:46, 1st woman

PRESIDENTIAL TOWERS 2010 – this climb is just what ive been looking for! Multiple buildings and I get to run in between? Now were talking. PT is 4 – 45 floor buildings with a short sprint from one to another. The elevator time is not included in the climb but the run time is. This race involves a great deal of strategy and pacing. The stairs in PT are quite small but steep, the stairwell is narrow and theres only 6-7 steps per flight, so youre constantly turning. I was actually getting dizzy!! We were on a team for this one and the 1st tower climb is what counted towards the team time so we decided to race that tower the fastest. That wasnt the best idea, I finished in 4:20 and found myself gasping for air. Brady and Oz were on the ground, I was getting antsy, wanted to move on to the next tower. People were passing us and I knew we'd have to get around them in the stairwell, I pleaded with the boys to get a move on it and eventually I just said see ya and darted off towards the next tower. Who needs them? I can climb on my own. The run only lasted about 15 seconds and the next tower took a little longer about 5:00. I tried to pick up the pace but I was literally getting dizzy and had to ease up. The next run was about 30 seconds but the climb was a bit faster, 4:50. the last run was shorter again, 15 seconds but I slowed on that last tower back to about 5:00. I finished up with 20:36 and was 3rd for the women. Bridget carlson beat me by just a couple of seconds, dang! But I won the 1 tower climb by quite a bit so I was happy with that.

AON LA 2010 – yup, we went all the way to LA for a stair climb. I was there for work so it was quite convenient. Brady, oz and I stuck together being the climbers from the midwest. We saw the WCL team handing out shirts and thought wow, look theres tim vanorden and mark and PJ, all guys we've seen in climbing videos on youtube. Tim is a raw vegan athlete so I was eager to meet him. Oz finally got the guts to strike up a conversation and they immediately opened up to him. He introduced me to tim as the vegan monster :) we lined up to start the race and brady pointed out sandra nunez to me, the one stepper from the willis video. I was quite nervous because I figured she would be my fiercest competition. I let her go in front of me with the hopes of catching her in the stairwell. I ran towards the stair, looked to my left and saw a stairwell that was blocked off so continued forward to the next set of stairs. I got a couple of floors up and started freaking out because I couldnt hear or see anyone, was I going the right way? Was that other stairwell really blocked off? What do I do? Should I continue climbing, dang, oh my gosh. I went back down a flight kind of hesitating and trying to figure out if I was in the right place. I still couldnt hear or see anyone and kept thinking, youre wasting precious time, you just blew it, you lost the race. This sucks. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I decided to continue climbing. I saw little messages on the stairs that said “quit stepping on me” or youre almost there and I laughed in my head. At one point the stairwell ended and we were forced into a hallway, I turned to the right but there was no where to go so darted back left and found the stairs again. The last floor is a straight shot to the roof, I turned the corner and could see the light from outside. I did my best to sprint that last flight, I approached the doorway and could see the mat, I ran to it. I could hear brady yell as I popped out of the door. My legs were wobbly and I collapsed in a nearby chair. I could see sandra sitting a few seats away from me and I tried to talk to her while sneaking a glimpse at her watch, I couldnt read it, dang! He said, you beat her, you beat her! You came up right behind her. I was shocked, I climbed 10:40 and she was 10:50 something. Brady was ecstatic and everyone was giving me dirty inquisitiv looks. Wondering who I was and I could hear them snickering, saying she didnt win, she couldnt beat sandra, who is this girl? We frantically checked for the results and finally they were printed but they were wrong!! all of our times and places were messed up, they had sandra ahead of me. How could this happen?!? I kept telling people I won but no one would believe me, they doubted my abilities and didnt think I was capable of winning. I didnt wanna seem like a sore loser or a brat but I wanted this to be fixed! Finally the timing guys got everything straightened out and I was back on top. We actually decided to climb another time for fun but then darted off to the hotel to catch our flight and we ended up missing the award ceremony. I was so disappointed, there was a video and everything, they announced my name and I wasnt there :( this was my best race so far and im anxious to see where this goes...

bellvue towers (seattle, WA) -  i considered this race a warm up for sears and a fun experience since we were headed to seattle and  its one of my favorite places.  plus we got to hang with all of our "step" brothers and sisters.  this was another multiple tower race but taller than PT and the time between the climb was limited to 5:00 but wasnt included in your overall time unless you took longer.  i was usually antsy so i kept the rest shorter.  after the first tower, i wasnt sure what to think because  my time was slower than expected.  i continued along and ended up winning, beating the competition by like 7:00!!  almost an entire tower, fantastic.  during the award ceremony, mark said i was smokin fast!

Skyrise Chicago (Sears Tower)  - Several months later I found myself walking down the street, staring up at the tallest tower. 1729 feet tall, 2109 steps, 103 floors, im not sure im ready for this. it looms over the skyline and im suppose to climb that stairwell, in 17 minutes? doubts enraged my mind and I was second guessing everything. I haven’t had enough time to train, the marathon sucked away all the intensity and stairs and the plyometrics, replaced it with high mileage and long runs. At least those long runs incorporated some hills. Hills are good for climbing. The sears (umm, willis) tower is tall so im gonna need the endurance from the marathon right? i spent all summer running high mileage, the most ive ever done, even hit 80 miles in one week!  stairs had been neglected.  the marathon was a scorcher and my time was shot, shooting for 3:10, first half was ahead of pace, some gu around mile 16 caused some major cramping and the heat started to get to me.  finished with a 3:19.  i tried  to be optimistic for sears.  checked my splits at various floors, i was fast at the first spot and was about deadon at the halfway point, the last 20 floors sucked the life out of me.  my legs were filled with lactic acid and i slowed to a crawl.  i finished about a minute shy of my goal and hated my race.  after that i promised myself to focus on stairs in 2011, the sears tower would be mine!!

milwaukee - us bank - again.  this was the first tower i got to climb again so i was looking forward to comparing my time from april.  i actually climbed a faster time, 6:34,  i took 12 seconds from my time in march!!  this climb was only a few days after my devastating finish at sears so it was encouraging.   took 1st place for the women and 5th overall.  milwaukee has the worst air, the trachea burns so bad and the throat just stings.  this one i was sprawled at the finish, actually got rug burns from collapsing when i finished :)

i did another climb that year, a santa climb at 300 n. lasalle in chicago.  i finished 2nd for the women, beat by bridget carlson again.  finished up the 2010 climbing season ranked 3rd in the world and 1st in the us.  awesome for my first year!

climbing skyhigh

 lets backtrack to 2009 when brady first approached me with the idea of stair climbing...

chicago marathon 2009 - PR 3:14. fantastic!

It started off with a simple conversation in October 2009. So, you wanna do Hustle Up the Hancock? Its incredibly painful, worse than a 5k, youll hate every second of it. Ummm, I hate 5ks, why in the world would I wanna do stair climbing?!? Youre a great runner, youre tiny, you’ll be good at it. Youre not winning me over by telling me how much Im gonna hate it, this doesn’t sound appealing at all. Registration is the day after the NY marathon. Fine, let me get through the marathon and think about.

Somewhere along the course of 26.2 miles through the NY boroughs, I found myself hating the marathon and contemplating stairs, maybe it’d be something different? Maybe it’d be good for me to try something new? Running sucks right now. could stairs really be any worse than knowing my race is going downhill at the 3 mile mark? During that 3 hour and 26 minute ordeal, I consciously decided that I needed a break from running that I wanted to do stairs. something had pushed me to the edge and then someone slightly tapped me, shoving me over it. a week after NY, I was out, done for, my groin was pulled and running was out of the question, at least for about 10 weeks. For a few weeks, I moped around and cringed at the thought of not being able to run, id desperately try but only make it a few steps so id wait a few days and try again, but it just wasn’t gonna happen. Decided to try spinning and my new routine because Spin, stairs, spin, stairs, plyometrics, spin, stairs, tabata, spin, stairs. who had time for running anyways? my body was on intensity overload and loving every second of it. the intensity for some reason was addicting as was climbing in a dingy dusty stairwell for an hour. I found myself craving something new, something challenging and this hit the spot. Running started tempting me and finally crept its way back in so the routine changed run, spin, stairs, run, spin, stairs, tabata, tabata, plyometrics, box jumps, run, spin, stairs, run, spin, stairs, tabata. It was a never ending cycle.