I had the honor of participating in the Climb for a Cure on Saturday, hoofing it up 50 flights of stairs in the IDS Tower in downtown Minneapolis. A friend invited me to be on the MNRed Team which was super fab as I am not in the MNRed running group.
I admit that Saturday did NOT start well for me. I overslept my alarm thanks to a bit of fun the night before so had to scramble to get to the race on time. I’m actually pretty awesome at getting ready quickly and so after shaking the fog out of my neurons, I washed up reasonably well, swallowed my arsenal of anti-seizure meds, tossed on my awesome Emergen-C singlet and shorts, some socks and shoes, chugged a bit of coffee and hubby and I headed to downtown Minneapolis. Shockingly, we arrived near the time we were supposed to be there. All was well, barring some sleepiness and no breakfast.
At the Tower I get a happy, hyper “HI!” from Elite Climber Jason Larson (he’s wicked fast in a stairwell) which lifted my mood. I grabbed my bib, chip and shirt and attempted to psych myself into climbing some stairs. I usually love stair climbs and the mood was great at this event. I didn’t know the people on MNRed and so stayed kind of to myself even though I’m usually a little more outgoing…I felt like a bit of an outsider. Maybe it was the ‘being tired thing.’ Maybe it was ‘I’m not really part of this running group.’ Not sure, it was odd for me to feel so off when usually I’m pretty amped before a race. It may have just been the disconcerting oversleeping thing. Whatever it was, I’m evaluating it so it doesn’t happen again!
Soon enough, it was time to climb. MNRed was first right behind a crazy elite from NYC, Tim Donahue. Jason, also a crazy elite lined up directly behind Tim and a lightning fast female, Melissa Gacek, was next up. I believe Jeff Fuller (also wicked fast) was scrunched somewhere up in that bunch also. The others on the team fell in line behind. *Note—the four I listed were the top four climbers in this race with blazing times of 6:31, 7:29, 8:07, and 8:47 respectively…most climbing more than once!
Usually in a stair climb, I zoom into the stairwell- adrenaline blazing. I AM AMPED. Two at a time, I hug the right side and use the rail to launch myself up—ignoring pain and burning lungs. Something was really wrong at this climb. I was ‘off’ and talking myself out of being excited—making excuses before the climb. “I was tired” “I was up too late” “I overslept” “I’m out of place” “I’m out of shape” “I haven’t trained”
Yep, all negative.
I entered the stairwell and didn’t launch.
I walked. I started two at a time and half-heartedly used the rail but with no actual ‘pull’
I knew I was in trouble when I saw floor 8 and was thinking “I’m ready to be done” rather than “GO! You’re rocking this”
At that point, I put my head down and attempted to pick up the speed a little. I felt the familiar burn in my lungs. I slowed down. Why did I slow down? At floor 20 I glanced at my watch and grimaced and put my head down and double stepped gripping the rail and yanking. I was mad at myself for being such a pansy.
Floor 31 I realized I would have “lost” my age group at the ALA climb in two weeks. (Another negative thought) I single staired for a couple flights with a bottle of water drinking in pity mode. I realized I had enough flights left to at least go to the top in a half-way reasonable time and regained composure and returned to double step/railing.
Finally I saw one floor left and hit the top. I had no idea what my time was at that point, all I knew was that I didn’t try hard enough. That I had let my mind get the best of me.
I love stair climbs. I’m good at them. My body is capable of so much and it’s exciting to see what I am able to do…if I only TRY and so disappointing when I don’t.
I finished the stair climb. I’ll give myself that, but I didn’t give it my all. I ended up getting 11:13 for my time, 29th overall, and 4th overall female. I truly believe had I pushed through discomfort and stopped making excuses, I could have moved that to a 10 minute climb and 3rd female. I won’t know until next year. I need an attitude adjustment for sure.
In two weeks I have the ALA climb with Team LOL and I’m definitely bringing this hindsight to the climb.