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Posts Tagged ‘Empire State Building run-up’

Just like King Kong scaled the skyscraper, today I scaled the stairwells of the Empire State Building.  86 flights,

1,576 stairs for those of you counting at home.  What an amazing experience, even if it was on the painful side at the time:)

I woke up at 6:30am full of nervous energy.  It felt eerily similar to what it feels like to run your first marathon.  The unexpected.  Excitement. Fear.  All wrapped together.  I headed off around 8:15 to meet @worldrunner by the Empire State Building.  I commented to her that it seemed like the building grew taller.  She said “yeah, it took some steroids and grew a few stories overnight.” ha, easy for someone that’s taking the elevator:-p We shot a few pictures – tourist style – with my new SLR and headed in.  It was a bit surreal as honestly I cannot remember the last time I was in the ESB.  I think it was pre-New Yorker days!

We headed into a huge open area on the second floor which was filled with other crazy people like me.  It made me smile knowing that they were there doing the same thing;)  I got my shirt and shoe tag – the shirt making sure to acknowledge it was 1,576 stairs to the top!

I ran into Crazy Bandana and a couple of my teammates to pass the time until my heat at 10:30am.  The nervous energy was building.

At 10:15 I headed over to the women’s staging area where they walked us down to the lobby.  There the cameras were taking pictures and the TV video cameras were shooting.  Hopefully my shortness didn’t keep me from being seen!

The start was a giant clusterf***.  The stairwell was a mere 10 feet from the starting line which made for a lot of chaos.  Since I didn’t really care about my time, I didn’t bumrush and started the climb up.  Right away I got sucked into the excitement and totally disregarded my rule before the race: PACE yourself.  I started way too fast and by the 25th floor I was a hurting chick.  Lesson learned.  I slowed a bit and got into a rhythm.  From there, I would alternate staircases where I’d go one by one or skip a stair.  This provided a bit of change in routine.  At the 20th and 65th floors we crisscrossed stairwells which my legs were eternally thankful for.  At about the 60-62nd floor I got passed by the first male.  He was FLYING.  Holy crap (found out he finished in 10mins or so).  It also felt like it was about 90 degrees in the stairwell.  Eek! As I reached the 80th floor, I got a giant smile on  my face – I knew the end was near.  I could feel the wind from 6 floors above!  As I reached 85, I kicked a notch and ran up the last set of stairs for the day and out the door.  I rounded the corner to the finish line with the NY skyline in the background.  Doesn’t get much more awesome than that!  I’m pretty sure I raised my hands and had the biggest smile on my face:-)  Simply awesome.

Once finished, I immediately felt my lungs burning.  They were simply on fire!  Thankfully water was immediately available but holy smokes – FIRE IN THE HOLE.  The feeling is very similar to those of you that have done track indoors or the mile run.  OUCH.  I think there was a valid reason though – take a look at my heart rate.  Immediately it jumped to my max.  Whew.  It looks like I ran a 5k – guess it’s a great workout for training for one?

After walking around a bit to cool down, I found the elevators to head down to meet @worldrunner.  Upon entering, the first words out of the recording were “We hope you enjoyed your experience.”  The entire elevator went from deadly silent to an eruption of laughter.  I met up with my awesome spectator and gathered our stuff to head to Clinton Street Baking Company for a celebratory brunch. YUMMY.  Pancakes are delicious but if there’s a half hour wait on the weekday I can’t imagine what it’s like on the weekend!!

Final thoughts: I would definitely do this again.  I missed beating 20 minutes by 3 seconds – unfinished business.  Plus I know if I actually trained I’d probably have a half decent time.  I also wouldn’t run like a bat out of hell up the first few flights of stairs.  That ultimately will be the death of you as I’m sure that helped my heart rate sky rocket IMMEDIATELY.

Special shout-out to ALL that supported me today and in the days leading up to this activity.  It really helped me mentally prepare for this event.  So thank you VERY much.

Check out: http://www.nyrr.org/resources/video/misc/2010/esbru.asp for my cameo.  At the women’s start and about 3:48 into the video:)

Up next? I must get in the pool.  Triathlon in June. Eek.

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