my training the past few weeks has been encouraging, ive been nailing the volume and intensity. I havent had a rest day in a few weeks so im never sure how the legs will react to what I throw at them day after day. I created a spreadsheet comparing my training over the past 10 weeks to my training before my best two races this year - hancock and aon LA, the training was relatively similar in some aspects but quite different in others. When I compared this year to my training before sears last year and there was a drastic difference. the exact numbers of what ive been doing this year will remain my training secret but its been good. The major difference was amount of time on the stairs, I think this year ive been in the stairwell like 3x more than I was last year!! and I have the times to prove it.
Our past couple of stair workouts have been sears tower simulation climbs, ie short rest at our goal pace. My goal pace on the Z steps was like 2:55-3:00, I decided to bypass those times and start hitting brady's goal times which were in the 2:40s. And I felt good doing it.
The next surprise came during our workout this morning. The past few days have had a decent dose of volume including a 2 hour computrainer cycling class (I call it spin on steroids) on thursday followed by a gray zone 8 miler into the wind on friday and a 12 miler yesterday morning, the legs are bound to be tired. The goal for today was unclear, steve and sherri were climbing with us for the first time so I wasnt sure how many reps we'd do or at what speed but I knew we'd get in at least 5 climbs. We decided to skip the short rest too so everyone could start at the same time.
The WU climb was a bit faster than usual by about 10 seconds (2:46), eh alright im feeling ok, can tell the legs are a little fatigued though. The 2nd climb was about 5 seconds faster (2:41) than the 1st one and my legs were feeling it a bit more but the pace was still manageable. We decided to head into the other stairwell for the next two climbs so we could practice turning right. Turning right feels awkward (we did 7 climbs on wednesday) but the stairwell lacks the 2 monster tall floors so it feels a bit easier, at least mentally. The climbs are probably about 20 seconds faster than in the big stairwell so we hit 2:25 (so maybe 2:45), 2:18 (~2:38). after that 2:18, I was definitely feeling it and I could tell everyone else was too. My legs were a bit wobbly but I knew I had to crank out one more climb.
During the rest after climb 4, I was telling sherri about the climbing cough caused by some dusty stairwells (the us bank building in milwaukee to be specific), that stairwell makes me cough uncontrollable for hours!! and you get that blood iron taste in your throat and your chest just burns, it really is an unpleasant feeling. In between the coughing, im usually yawning so its like never-ending. Nothing seems to help either, water nah, banana, nope, just keep hacking and the burn will go away, eventually...
we got into the stairwell to start our 5th climb, I thought id suffer though this last one and barely make 2:45. brady volunteered me to go first, he likes to give me (the antelope) a head floor start and hunt me down like a lion. Usually when this happens, I end up with my fastest times. I heard him say 2:30 and I was like yea im not so sure about that.
I gave in and started off. It freaks me out when I know he's coming after me and I blaze off, I was bounding those first few flights. Made it to floor 12 which is the halfway point at 1:05, oh my gosh, 1:05, im not sure ive ever seen that on my watch!! just keep it up, stay strong and fierce. floor 14, oh I feel my legs starting to slow down, start bounding, do something. He's gaining ground, I can see him out of the corner of my eye. Floor 16, ugg still 4 floors to 20 then the 2 monster floors. My mind was spiraling in different directions, one side said slow down your legs are tired, the other side kept nagging dont give in, bound some more, do whatever you can. My arms feel tingly, actually my whole body feels tingly, unsure what that means. Ok, 2 floors left, you can do this. I raced up those last couple of floors, brady was hot on my tail, I gotta hold him off. Done! 2:22!! oh my, thats like a 5 second PR!! I was shocked couldnt believe it. This has gotta mean something good. And I didnt let brady catch me although I think hes a nice coach and didnt wanna discourage me by passing me but his watch time was faster - 2:20. steve and sherri did great too, i think sherri had her fastest time on the last climb as well, way to go!
then the throat burn started, I shot brady a dirty look, he knew I was blaming him. I cant remember the last time ive had this feeling, not sure whether thats a good or bad thing, ha. my legs felt like jello as we walked to the elevator. at that point, i was praising the creator of elevator because im pretty sure i wouldve bit it if i had to walk down 20 floors of stairs. Once we got back down to floor 2, the coughing started and didnt stop for like an hour. I got home and decided to go for a run, 6 miles, not too shabby after that workout. The cough stopped but I can still feel that tickle in my throat and its been 5 hours!! the joy of stair climbing :)
next week im off to seattle for my 1st climb of the 2011 fall season after that its only 2 weeks till sears. That building is mine this year!