I took advantage of a beautiful day in Denver -- Sunny and 53 degrees! On New Year's Day! Thank you, global warming! -- to ride my bike downtown and... sneak into the Marriott and run up and down their staircase. I'm preparing for the Lung Association of Colorado's annual stairclimbing race on February 22 to the top of the Republic Building in Denver: 56 flights and 1,098 steps.
I've run this race twice before and have performed well despite being sick both years: 11th place in 2007 and 33rd place in 2008. This year I'm hoping that with a little good luck avoiding illness and with some hard training on actual stairs -- sorry, that prissy StairMaster at the gym won't cut it -- I can challenge for the win.
I did 8 repeats today of 20 flights each, with the fastest in 1:48 -- down from 2:11 last week! This was the first time I had tried "bounding" (taking the steps two at a time) all 20 flights, and while I climbed much faster I was gasping for breath at the top, with my heart racing at 97% of maximum, and I had wobbly legs for the remaining five repeats. I've been hoping that I could bound all 56 flights on race day but that might not be possible. I will probably have to mix bounding and single-stepping in some combination that would make a nice differential equations problem.
Afterward I rode on the Cherry Creek trail and around Wash Park a bit. Total time today 2:00.