Have you ever done a stair race? This was my second one, so I knew what I was getting myself into, but somehow over the last year, I had forgotten how difficult they are and much they affect my lungs!!
It was time for Bop to the Top — Triple Step (3 times — 36 floors). I was prepared, well, sort of — I didn’t exactly train for this event, but unless you actually train in a stairwell, the best you can do is try to be somewhat fit. I brought some Halls throat lozenges with me — they definitely help with the DRY stairwells, I had my music to help keep my feet moving, and I had the desire to step a strong race!
We waited anxiously for our time to be called to go to the stairs — last year they let the Triple Step people go right after the competitive people went — this year we had to wait for a few more groups to go ahead of us…..
As I waited behind the line to be called up next, I gotta say that the volunteers were very cheerful and fun! I was next and I walked to the foot of the first step — 10, 9….3, 2, 1…. GO — I heard the volunteer yell “Go Badass” — I thought to myself, how does he know my name as it then dawned on me that I was wearing my Badass socks! HaHa!!
So, the start for a stair race is more like a bunch of turtles taking off — slow and steady!! There were a couple of hares that felt it necessary to blow past me in the first couple flights — rookies — I passed them up a few flights later. Stairs are very difficult to run and knowing that I was in it for the long haul, the triple step, I did not let my competitive nature take over because I knew I had to reserve my energy.
About half way up, my legs were on fire (probably shouldn’t have done legs 2 days ago) and my lungs were on fire. Oh boy, this was only half way on the first lap…..strong, positive thoughts…I can do this! I start playing little mind tricks on myself to make me feel like I am almost there. At flight 26 there was a medic — amazing what a little cheering on can do for you!! She then yelled “Go Badass” (yes, the socks again!) I felt my pace pick up a bit as I heard the cheering and realized only 10 flights left…of this lap….They get a little tougher as you reach the top because you are above anaerobic threshold and you are fighting to just finish. 3, 2, and…..I always run up the last flight — then, I can’t breathe at all when I finish…grab a cup of water, hop on the elevator down, get new timing chip, and back to the starting line!
Lap 2 was a little better than lap 1 — my legs were warmed up and finding my breath felt not quite as labored. It even seemed to go a little quicker…already at the last 10 flights and ready to just knock them out of the way and get on with round 3!! Back down the elevator and pretty excited to only have 1 round left!
As I head back to the start, the volunteers all remember me and cheer me on for my final lap. I won’t lie, this round was awful. My legs were burning, I was out of breath at flight 10, it was just miserable — but this is where you reach deep within yourself and tap into that inner badassness and just get it done. Slow and steady….past all the flight markers….30, 31, 32….keep….going… almost……there….35 and I ran the last flight!! FINISHED!!!
It always cracks me up when people who just do one round look at me like I am crazy — one lap is hard, but if you really want to make it worth your time, sign up for the Triple Step. It really puts your character to test as well as your physical ability. Definitely a unique event, and I will most likely do it again next year….just gotta remember to bop…don’t stop! 🙂