Another Use For A Parking Garage

I took a picture earlier today. Looks like a parking garage, right?

parking-garage-north-hollywood

Well, guess what? It IS a parking garage! Yesterday, though, it served another function… as my gym.

This parking garage isn’t that far from my house. While it’s not the first time I’ve used it to work out, yesterday’s workout was the most strenuous of the three of four workouts I’ve done there, and that makes it blogworthy. Plus, I’m in training for my two upcoming stair races, and I wanna share my preparatory efforts!

Speaking of those stair races: Thanks for everyone that’s donated so far! I’ve raised $155 of the $300 I need to compete. HALFWAY THERE! Help me close the gap by making a donation (even a small one!) here OR here. I really want to compete, and can’t unless I raise the funds!

After walking a few blocks to warm-up, I started my workout by running to the garage. It’s just under a mile. Then, without stopping, I raced up that staircase in the picture, all the way to the roof. It’s not much, compared to the skyscrapers I’ve climbed – just 74 steps split up between 4 flights. Once I reached the roof, I ran to the other end of it, where there’s another staircase. I ran down those stairs, back through the garage, and back to the base of the first staircase.

I did that loop (up, across, down, and through the garage) nine more times without stopping. It took about 28 minutes, and I was pooped afterward. In addition to pushing my stamina (the last time I exercised at this garage, I only did 8 loops), I also had a couple other goals.

  • First goal: To see how many times I could ascend the entire staircase taking the steps two and a time. I made it up 6 times before switching to using every step.
  • Second Goal: To figure out a pattern for dealing with the landings. I treated it almost like dance choreography – I wanted a little routine that would let me cover the ground without messing with my pace. Plus, I wanted to make each turn in a fluid manner and in the least number of steps. I settled on a three-step turn that works regardless if take my first step on the landing with my right or left foot. That four-floor stairwell has 7 landings, so climbing it while taking only 21 additional steps on the landings is pretty good. Of course, my three-step landing went to pot towards the end, when I was getting exhausted, but I tried to keep it up as best I good.

Oh, and I found something I left behind during my last workout on those stairs!

gum-on-staircase

Yea – that’s my gum. Right there on the fourth step on the second half between floors 1 and 2. I didn’t mean to littler last time – but my gym went flying out of my mouth during a particularly forceful exhale. I wisened up, though – this time around, no gum!

After about 5 much-needed minutes to catch my breath (during which time I climbed the stairs one final time, at a cool-down pace), I started the second part of my workout: getting home.

Instead of taking the stairs, I ran down the ramps in the parking garage. Then, without stopping, I continued towards home. Actually, I ran to a nearby park, where I pushed myself to run a little further, and ended up at one of my favorite places in my neighborhood – a pedestrian bridge over the freeway.

view-from-freeway-overpass-170-los-angeles

That photo, by the way, is proof that traffic in LA isn’t bad all of the time!

My getting-home run took 20.5 minutes (and was 1.7 miles), and my first run/stair combo took 28 (and was 2.2 miles). That’s 48.5 minutes and 3.9 miles of excellent cardio exercise, during which I climbed 814 stairs! Including the walking to and from my starting and stopping points, and the break in the middle, I was on the sidewalks for nearly 75 minutes.

Keep it up, David!

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