Friday, November 25, 2011

stepping it up a notch

Stepping it up a notch – november 25, 2011

after sears, I decided to literally and figuratively start stepping up my training a few notches. I want to get faster and be more competitive with the top female climbers around the world. I figured now is the best time to start making big gains for the 2012 climbing season. my goal races to start 2012 are empire (although the organization of that race for next is a bit odd and frustrating), hancock and presidential towers. I also have a few smaller races tossed in there for fun.

My mind is totally focused on going vertical and like my coach said “flat is for the birds”, im not really sure what that means but it sounded like good advice. Ive started thinking in terms of how high can I go instead of how far. My mindset has changed which is difficult for me because my standard running is getting put on the back burner, everything I do has to have a specific purpose and it needs to have a stair oriented result.

Like ive said before, the specifics of my training are to remain a secret except for a few select individuals who have insider knowledge but im excited to try something different to see what the outcome might be, im also really looking forward to the new challenges that lay UP ahead.

I actually found myself smiling during my past couple of stair workouts, usually its more of a grimace from the pain but this time, I was enjoying myself and loving ever second of it. When we climb the Z tower, even a slower easier pace seems to be unpleasant but recently, something has come over me.

CF Practice Climb

last sunday we had a practice climb in a 45 floor building in chicago. We had 2 hours to climb so the goal of this workout was to use the taller tower to our advantage and climb as much as we wanted to. The practice climb was for the CF Climb for Life thats taking place at 300 N. LaSalle on december 11th. Over the past several months, I have been working with the race organizers and providing them with training tips for the registered participants. So during the practice climb, I was supposed to talk with other climbers and answer questions or offer up advice. I talked with a few people while we were there, one lady was thrilled to meet brady and I because she's seen all of the running raw and x-gym videos.

We wanted to climb at least 5 times and maybe hit 6 or 7 if we had time. We entered the stairwell and the stairs were quite unique, it was bright and yellow! There were several small flights that kinda weaved around, a few short landings, a few long landings and I thought to myself, neat, cool, I like this stairwell. Well the uniqueness ended around floor 5 then it was a bit more cookie cutter – 10 or 11 steps per flight and turned to the right. The stairwell had a double rail on the inside which was awkward and was very wide so using both rails was virtually impossible.

Since I wanted to slow it down and go for vertical distance instead of intensity, I decided to ignore the rail, hopefully I didnt end up hurt it's feelings. We finished the 1st climb and it was like wow, that was really easy and enjoyable. We decided to see if any climbers needed any advice then went up another time. I think at that point we cranked out 3 in a row. Still taking it easy and climbing without the rail. On one of the climbs, I picked up the pace the 2nd half and finished up about 30 seconds faster than the rest of the climbs. The volunteers (some talkative highschool guys), were amazed that we were still climbing and were impressed that I usually popped out of the stairwell before brady. The security guards also couldnt believe we were still going. I asked them if I could bribe them to let us in again but they werent all that interested, haha.

This workout started to turn into an ultimate climb, how many of these suckers can we get in before time runs out?!? we smashed through another 3 climbs, so were at 7 total. Ok, we have to do at least 8 and had about 20 minutes left. So we went up for the 8th climb, when we got to the top, I said ok we got 10 minutes left, lets crank out a 9th one. So we went for it, that one was a bit rough but well worth it. Not bad for a sunday morning – climbing a 45 floor buildng 9 times (over an hour of actual climbing) and smiling and laughing and enjoying it. There might be something wrong with me...


wednesday, I really wanted to hit the stairs. My usual training building wasnt gonna be accessible so I had no choice but to hit the stairs in my office building. The issue with my building is that its only 15 floors, the steps are tiny and the doors are all locked so I have to walk all the way back down to start over again. The last time I did a serious workout in there, my calves were trashed from descending so many times.

This workout, I thought maybe I could sneak by without the soreness so I put the calf sleeves on, turned on the ipod and ventured into the stairwell. I wanted to play in there for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Was also gonna do an easy paced workout with no rail. The tower is so small and with the easy pace only takes me like 2:20 to get to the top so the ascending and descending time was about 4:40-5:00. i'd get to the top, spin around and head down. Get to the bottom, spin around and head right back up. No stoppage time. time was breezing by, 30 minutes gone, ok halfway through this workout. Still feeling good, legs would feel a little wobbly on the first step or two going down but then I was back to normal. I found myself smiling again, what the heck? Ive been in a dingy stairwell for 30 minutes and I was smiling. 45 minutes gone, only about 3 or 4 climbs left. Finished up at an hour so about 30 minutes of climbing and 30 minutes of wandering down. I left with a giant smile on my face :)

a little while later, ran a short run with my dad and tacked on a couple of extra miles to make it 5 miles total. A decent day, in the stairwell for an hour and a 5 mile run, ill take it.

Later that night, I was feeling a bit creaky as I walked around my house. Coming down my stairs was quite unpleasant. I could feel the soreness creeping in. the next morning I woke up and felt like I could barely move! My calves were trashed, my quads were obliterated, oh man. I was limping around like I just ran a marathon. I havent been this sore in a while, it messed with my spin and run on thursday morning. My workouts for friday had to be reevaluated as well. Thats what I get for being stubborn and wanting the stairs so bad, had to give into my obsession and craving and now im paying for it. But it was so totally worth it...

tomorrow – back in the stairwell, my legs are gonna hate me but at least im back in my normal training building so I wont have to walk down 15 floors over and over again!

Bogota is right around the corner, good times to be had.

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