|The Columbia Tower (black) is the tallest building in Seattle|
Last year, I wrote a big post about doing the Big Climb for the first time. That one captures the experience pretty well.
This year was different for two reasons. For one thing, I've now done three "races" during the Pounds Off Playoff, but this is the first one that I've done for a second time. I've always noticed how many of you compare your runs to your performance a year before. That's exactly what I did today, from before the race even started until I was done.
Last year, I was at the end of my starting time group (they use a staggered start to keep the stairwell manageable), so it felt like an eternity before I actually got going. I assumed that would happen again, so I postponed my stretching for that stage...but it never happened. We were in the front of the group and were immediately in the stairwell. Perhaps it was psychological, but I felt I was working harder from the very beginning. The whole thing felt like more of a struggle and I was ruing my slightly lower level of training, even my lunch, which was sitting in my stomach. Amazingly, by the time I heard the Rocky theme from the 73rd floor, I had actually finished at 31 minutes - very slow, but a minute faster than last year.
The other new experience was participating in something like this with my family. They did a great job today. My 11 year old won the family contest at a blistering 16 minutes! I wasn't all that surprised. He is lean and he runs a lot in phys. ed. class. My 9 year old finished just a minute behind. I was pleasantly surprised by his performance, as he's a little heavier and doesn't like running. Shannon had five minutes on me, coming in at a solid 26 minutes. I'm very proud of her recent health and fitness efforts, as well as pushing our team toward $1000 in donations through her social networking.
All in all, it was a great day. I continue to be convinced that stair climbing is one of the most efficient forms of exercise. But as I've learned from my sons - who play sports, but didn't train for the Big Climb!) - youth trumps training!
|The view to the North from the 73rd floor, with the Space Needle in the distance|
|The Olympic mountains to the West, with a docked ferry in the foreground|
|Our boys are growing up so fast. It was wonderful to share this moment together.|