Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 AON Tower Stair Climb, Chicago IL

AON Tower Stair Climb Chicago IL
80 floors 1,643 steps total
1st Place/2200   9:35

This was an unbelievable race.  I went into it with the attitude whatever happens happens.  I knew from past races the longer climbs havent been my forte but today it was.  I think my change in training for ESBRU is due to this result at AON as well. 
I never really hit a wall, at floor 60 or so I just mentally and physically yelled at myself in the stairwell not to slow down when I started feeling it.  I let out a good and loud "Come on"  to get me fired up, seemed to work.  At floor 50 I started to slowly pull away from the second place guy (Jesse Berg at the time) Eric Leninger ended up finishing 2nd though, Jesse was slowly faiding from my hearing and I couldnt hear him breathing anymore or hear his ring clinking against the railing so I knew I was putting distance on him.  He is a great racer and it was a confidence booster when I realized I was the one pulling away. 

Also, this tower is pretty easy to take splits in.  Most towers either have a weird hallway or odd number of steps that throws off any want to take accurate splits.  This tower on the other hand is consistant.  80 floors, so the 40th floor is an accurate half way point.  I negative split the race 4:52, 4:43 which is usually a good sign of a well thought out pace and race strategy.  I told myself and others I was going to go out alot slower than what Im used to and work my way up into a quicker pace depending on how I felt.  It paid off in the end.  Because in the end I even had a late push/kick for the last 5-7 floors.  At the half way point I looked down at my watch and saw 4:52 and thought "ok decent" not knowing if that looming wall would come on floor 50 or 60 or 70 to slow me down to a finishing time of over 10 min. My goal was just to be under 10 min.  First time in an unknown staircase and building you never know how your body is going to take to it.  Fairly steep staircase as well, all left turns broken up by 10 or so steps between each landing.  From past years results I thought Id be happy with going under 10.  Boy did I blow that out of the water, setting my standard high for years to come.  I just hope I can feel as good as I did at this race for other longer stair races.

Next up is the Empire State Building Run Up in New York, NY.  86 floors against the best competition in the world, literally.  This AON race is a confidence builder and a good indicator that I can handle the longer races with a good result.  I feel good going into the race.  The only thing that worries me is my starting position.  Its a mass start race with a 30m sprint into a sharp turn on marble floors wearing bald racing flats to a door that goes into the staircase.  A recipe for disaster if you ask me but who wants to disrupt tradition for safety and accuracy of racers best efforts (sarcasm).  But the race is what it is and I have to deal with the fact that I may be further back than row 3 at least.  If Im not in the first 2 or 3 rows I might as well use it as a training climb, which I dont want to do.  I want to go and compete.  If I get stuck any further back Ill be walking the first 10-20 floors until it clears up...sort of like the effect of the start of a packed marathon, except they dont take off the time it takes you to get to the line. 

Anyway, it was another great weekend of traveling and racing and hanging out with friends.  Thanks to Roxanne and her boyfriend Zach for driving and letting me tag along.  Also to Jesse Berg, Shannon and Indigo for letting me crash at their place for the night.. Thats what it is all about in this sport and others for that matter...helping each other out to achieve great things.

For a short news clip of the race:

For results:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last 2 weeks of training

Monday Jan. 9th
3 miles  21:00 (7min. pace)

2 mile warm up
leg press tabata
light lifting
1 mile cool down
Tuesday Jan. 10th
4 miles
1.5 mile warm up 10:00
2 x 10 50m steep hill (7:05, 6:37) .5 jog between sets
1.5 mile cool down 8:40

3 x (100 jump rope, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, 20 up downs, 20 mountain climbers) no rest in between 

Slowly getting back to 100% from being sick for a while, Im getting better sleep and eating better.
Wednesday Jan. 11th
Indoor Trainer
Bike-30 miles (Interval Sprints)
Thursday Jan. 12th
5.75 mile Tempo Run

Had to hit up the treadmill tonight, crazy snowy weather out there today.

2mile tempo (5:50)
.5 mile 15% grade hill
2.25 mile tempo (5:30)
.5 jog b/w sets x 2
Lifting circuit afterwards.

Friday Jan. 13th
Indoor Trainer
Bike- 15 miles (Cadence work)

Saturday Jan. 14th
3 x 32 floors at the Hilton Tower, 5 floor sprints (5min. rest b/w)
3 mile run

Sunday Jan. 15th

Monday Jan. 16th
3 mile run
4 x 32 floor @ the Hilton stairs
leg press tabata
light upper body lifting

Tuesday Jan. 17th
5 mile easy pace run (7:10 pace)

Wednesday Jan. 18th
Thursday Jan. 19th
Friday Jan 20th
Pre Race Drills
2 mile run
box jumps

Saturday Jan. 21st
2012 Bop to the Top Stair race
One America Tower Indianapolis IN
37 floors
1st Place
1st Place (Triple Step Climb)
13:37 (4:51, 4:24, 4:22)
2 mile cool down run

* I will admit now that I am posting this and thinking about it.  I should have been incorporating more bike into these past couple weeks.  I am not one for excuses but work has taken up a big chunk of my time here lately.  Thats just a part of life I guess.  Cant wait till the summer when the days are long and I have more time to get a solid bike ride in.  Im also really torn on what I want to focus on this summer, running (which tends to hinder stair climb results come fall time) or biking (which is two fold; it takes up much more time but it produces much greater results when it comes to stair climbs come fall.)  I have a great passion for running still, I am still competitive in my road races in the 5k and 10k and even half marathon but I also have lofty goals this year for Willis Tower.  We shall see.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 Bop to the Top

One America Tower (37 Floors)
Indianapolis, IN

First race of 2012 and it went off with a bang.  Traveled to Indianapolis, IN for the 29th year of the Bop to the Top stair climb race.  In the stair climbing world the 37 floor race is considered a sprint race.  I was excited going into this race because sprint races are my speciality when it comes to stairs.  A guy by the name of Marty Wilkey has won the past 7 or 8 races here averaging winning times around 4 minutes each year.  I went into the race confident that I would at least be competitive with Marty and other top racers at the event.  Initially my plan was to go behind Marty and just try to catch him in the stairwell and pace off him and then kick it in, since Ive never done this building before, I didnt know what to expect.  It turned out since its a shorter race the time between runners was 20seconds, so I decided to just go first and go for it, no looking back.  It worked out I guess.  I turned in a time of 3:38, bettering second place by 23 seconds, and in a sprint stair climb over 37 floors that a good margin of victory.  But I didnt stop there.  I continued on to compete in the triple climb race.  In this race you had 3 hours to do 3 climbs, where they would add up your 3 climbs and total them.  In this race I was pretty exhausted from the single climb and really wasnt worrying about my rest between each climb as much as I think I should have been.  In the end it tured out fine.  I turned in anote win.  Winning both races at this event has never been done before either in its 29 year history, so it was a real honor to win both. 

Overall, it was a great event, it was a very well ran event.  Got to see some of my college teamamtes at IUPUI as well.  Had mexican after the race too which was a bad idea.  I will definitely be back for this event next year. http://www.tuxbro.com/results.html 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dealing with sickness while training

How to deal with being sick while trying to maintain a high level of training for an upcoming race.

It is now week 4 in my serious mode of training for the upcoming season and more importantly the Empire State Building Run Up on Feb. 8th.  I have come down with a sinus infection and I am finding it hard to maintain a high level of training while my body is aching, my appetite is down, and my sleep is off.  But heres what Ive been doing in order to maintain fitness without losin ground on my training.

A few things I have been doing is...
1.  Get sleep-This is when your body fights off infections and has time to recover and recharge.
2.  Push the fluids-I went out and bought a pack of VitaCoCo All Natural Coconut water, and I have been downing those.  High in all natural Vitamin C. 
3.  I have been working out but in moderation.  If you push your body too hard while your bodily systems are down and focusing on fighting the infection, over straining your body through a workout will only make things worse.  On the other hand working out can help you recover from sickness through the release of endorphins which in turn helps fight infections. 
4.  While there are many other little thing one can do to help get through a sinus infection while training, I am not going to get into great detail on these.  Lastly, just be patient.  If you have been training and you are fit a sinus infection will not set you back that far.  Your body will be able to maintain a high level of fitness where you left off from.  Unless you go several weeks on end without doing anything you will not lose fitness.  Once you are over your infection, ease back into it and get back to training seriously.