A New Training Personal Best?

Stair race season is in full swing. I’ve already raced twice this year, and my next race is soon, in Detroit! In April, I’ll be racing in the Aon Center in Los Angeles, and they open up the stairwell at certain times for training purposes. That’s how I ended up, the other day, on the 55th floor.


I was breathing too heavily to smile, because I had just climbed up that stairwell three times in an hour!

I was in Aon three weeks ago, when I did three practice climbs. My fastest climb was my first climb, which I did in 13:10. I finished subsequent climbs in 14:40 and 15:45.


My goal this time around wasn’t to set a new personal best during training, but it happened! Well, I’m pretty sure it happened. All I wanted to do was get in a few good climbs, while continuing to experiment and use my newest piece of training equipment, a metronome app that I had downloaded so I could work on pacing and consistency.

For my first climb, I set my metronome at 70. That means it beeps 70 times a minute, and every time it beeped, I climbed two stairs. It’s slower than I want to go at the beginning, and that’s the point. I tend to exert too much energy at the start, and then really struggle towards the end.

Truth be told, there’s no way for me to not struggle towards the end of a 51-story stair climb, because it’s a demanding task. But the metronome is helping me move at a steady clip, and keeps me feeling strong for longer, and that’s a good thing.

I got to the top of my first climb in 12:57thirteen seconds faster than last week! I’m pretty sure this is a training personal best in the Aon Center. I may have beaten it a year ago, but I can’t find my times for those training sessions, and those were my first ever skyscraper training sessions, so I might not have even timed them at all. So I’m going to go ahead and say it was a personal best! (Until evidence surfaces that suggests otherwise.)

After a minimal break, I headed up a second time, with the metronome set at 60, because I was already tired. I made it to the top in 14:02 – 38 seconds faster than my second climb last time.

For my third climb, I could barely think. I don’t remember what I set my metronome at, and forgot about timing myself altogether, so there’s no data to share.

The 55th floor of the Aon Center is vacant, rentable office space, so there’s panoramic views of the city. The street is pretty far below!


The red brick building way down below, in the Aon’s shadow, is the California Club. I was there last weekend, volunteering at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra gala – it’s where I took those pictures with the papier mache ram that I posted earlier this week.

When the gala was over, I snapped a photo of the Aon Center. I was standing just about where the little white truck is in the photo above.


The nerd in me is jumping for joy because, within a few days’ time, I photographed the same air space from two very different vantage points: on the ground and roughly 750 feet above.

Oh yeah, and in between I climbed 153 stories in an hour.

Keep it up, David!


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2 Responses to A New Training Personal Best?

  1. Nubia says:

    Hello David. I just started following you a few days ago. I came across your story on one of my many online health magazine subscriptions. You INSPIRE Me!
    I’ve been on and off the weight loss journey for over 7 years now. It’s hard. I do good for a week or so, and then I’m back to eating unhealthy and not exercising. But reading your posts give me hope. I too can lose the weight.
    I’ve never heard of stair climbing challenges, so you’ve got me googling like crazy for one here in San Antonio, Texas.
    Keep up the Great work. God Bless You. Nubia

    • David says:

      Thank you, Nubia, for such a wonderful note, and welcome to Keep It Up, David! I’m honored that you find inspiration here, and you’re absolutely right: You too can lose the weight! I especially love hearing when people are interested in trying a stair climb! The one I know of in San Antonio just happened last weekend – what bad timing! Here’s the link – check back in with the CFF about next year, though! http://fightcf.cff.org/site/TR/Climb/67_Lone_Star_San_Antonio?fr_id=3700&pg=entry Also – Houston and Dallas also have races, so that could be an option for you as well! Eat well this weekend and then KEEP IT UP!

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