Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 Springfield Fight for Air Stair Climb

2017 Springfield Fight for Air Stair Climb
Wyndam Hotel, Springfield IL
1st Place Overall (Single, Ultimate Hour, & Firefighter Challenge)
Time: 2:09 Single, 12x's Ultimate, 4:02 Firefighter Challenge

To climb, or not to climb? That is the question. Well I'm glad I went with the first. After being plagued with ankle injuries the past few months I was on the fencing on climbing or not this weekend. After suffering a Grade II sprain this past December I was back and 4 weeks deep in building my miles and climbing often. Yet just last week I was out on the trails and the same thing happened on the left ankle. I was demoralized. This sprain ended up being in the upper ankle and only a Grade 1. The past week Ive been able to bike and climb stairs lightly but I'm still sidelined from compounding miles. There is still some swelling and a lot of tenderness. I did some recon work in the stairs Friday afternoon and was able to bang out 5 climbs at a decent pace. I didn't have any pain during the workout but the next day the ankle was sore. Not reassuring. But the night before the race I made the call to race. It felt good enough that I knew if I didn't climb this year I would come to regret the decision later on.

I went into the event relaxed and with no expectations. If my foot started to feel iffy during the climb I had no problem pulling the plug. Thankfully adrenaline will take you a long way and I didn't have any issues throughout the day. I started off the morning with the hour climb with your fastest climb going towards the single climb results. I ended up going up first with a clear path to the top. I started off nicely sprinting the first 10-12 floors one hand on the railing and the other pushing off the wall double stepping. About halfway up I switched to hand over hand on the rail still moving quickly. I did take a glance at my watch at floor 27 or so and saw 1:54 on the watch so I knew Id be close to under 2:10. To be honest compared to other years I thought I was actually moving through the stairs slightly slower. But I stopped my watch at the top and saw 2:10 and was a little shocked.  After the first climb the rest is just icing on the cake. Another 58 minutes of climbing stairs. I figured I'd be around 12 climbs total and I had my own personal goal of going under 3:00 for the 12th and last climb. Splits for the hour climb were evenly paced for the most part. Traffic in the stairwell for the hour climb is hit and miss so the times are relative to the situation. *2:09 was only 2 seconds of my own course record of 2:07 in 2012 and 2013.

Splits:  2:09   4:08   3:44   3:52   3:44   3:42   3:37   3:26   3:26   3:23   3:45   2:46

32 floors, 532 steps, 328 ft. 
I ended up hitting my goal on the last one and had to dodge some traffic as well. Overall, I couldn't be happier with the hour climb and how I felt. The second climb after your initial all out climb is always hard. You just gotta keep moving forward and wait for the legs to come back to you and you HR to come back down and recover. One of the best things about the hour climb are the other people in the stairwell you're sharing you're pain with. The encouragement and comradery of the group is the best and makes the time in the stairwell much easier.

But my morning wasn't over quite yet. I had one more go in me but this time I was adding 45 more lbs. of firefighting gear and climbing up with the other 12 firefighters from the Springfield Fire Department and surrounding departments. My legs were dead and I was tripping nearly every other floor. I just put my head down and pulled on the railing hand over hand double stepping and just going. I did hit some traffic in the stairwell and with 45 extra pounds of gear it was hard to maneuver around people. Non the less I got to the top in 4:02 and was glad to be done.

Totals for the day: I ended up climbing a total of 13 times, 416 floors, 6,916 steps, and 4,264 vert. ft.


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