Well, I’ve enjoyed some much needed time off from intensive exercise, and realized today that in one month’s time, I will have three more races under my belt! Good thing I started ramping up my workouts!
That photo is from my first run in months, which I did the other night. It was in preparation for the first of the three races, a 5k this weekend. Apart from an absolutely freezing Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5k fun run, which was a casual affair that wasn’t timed, I haven’t done a running race since October, when I did the Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge, a grueling 6k race that was entirely uphill. And you know what? I don’t think I’ve run very much since then, either, because the nine stairs races between then and now kept me pretty focused on stairs.
I’m not going to say very much more about this 5k, since I’ll have plenty more details in my recap next week, but here’s one little teaser: I’ve never done a 5k like this before. It’ll be a brand new experience, and that excites me.. and intimidates me.
Then, in June, I have two stair races on the calendar. First up is the Tower 2 Tower in Oxnard, California – a city in Ventura County about an hour or so west of me. I registered for this race last year, but had to bail due to a foot injury that came a few days before. I’m excited to finally compete in this race!
The Tower 2 Tower will include two firsts for me. It’ll be the first time that I’ve ever climbed TWO buildings during the same race. Granted, they’re pretty short buildings, but still, it’s a milestone!
The race starts at the bottom of the City National Bank Tower, on the left. You race up 14 stories, then run to a different stairwell, and race down 14 stories. Then you race a couple hundred yards across a parking lot, and race up the 22-story Morgan Stanley Tower, on the right. The finish line is on the roof.
The other first is that this is my first race that includes going down stairs as part of the course. This doesn’t excite me at all. Racing down stairs is dangerous, harder on your body, and very tough on your knees and joints. I’m glad it’s only 14 stories, but still. I have no intention of giving it my all on that portion – I’m not going to risk injury.
I’ve already decided I’ll go balls out during the up portions, and just have fun on the down portion. And because I’m just going to have fun at this race, I also signed up to complete a series of obstacles in the parking lot between the two buildings. I have no idea what this will entail. The last time I did obstacles was at a Warrior Dash, where I ended up a muddy mess, and it was fun. These obstacles won’t have mud, but I bet it’ll still be fun.
Tower 2 Tower will be a nice warm-up for my other June race, which is the grand-daddy of absurdly, ridiculously strenuous stair races. It’s called the San Diego TOWERthon, and I did it in 2014, and it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. The building isn’t that tall – only 20 stories – but wait until you hear what we do inside it!
First, there’s a one-time sprint up to the 20th floor. Then comes the main event: Two hours of continuous climbing (stairs up, elevator down), and the goal is to see how many times you can climb the stairwell in those two hours.
Yes, it’s as hellish as it sounds! I climbed it 17 times in 2014 (that’s 340 stories in 2 hours!), and my goal this year is to beat that number. If you want to read an inspiring post, check out my race recap from 2014 – I’m very proud of this post, and my performance in that race.
So, how is training going? This week has been going well. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I went running for the first time in months the other night, and that went better than expected. I did a 5k, running laps on a route in the park near my house that included a nice little hill, and it felt good.
The next day, though, I was super sore, so that day’s workout was much more moderate: 35 minutes on a stationary bike, and 10 minutes on a rowing machine. Then, last night, I lifted weights, and warmed-up on the elliptical.
Keep it up, David!