Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicago, Here I Come!

Well everybody, it is official; I’ve signed up for the Sky Rise Chicago race up the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). The race takes place on Sunday, November 6th at 7:00 AM.

This race benefits The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, an organization devoted to providing care and research involving repair, regeneration, and recovery of brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal function. If you would like to help me reach my goal of raising $100 to help RIC, please click here. Every little bit counts.

This will be my biggest race to date and many of the nation’s best stair climbers will be racing. Jesse Berg, Tim Van Orden, Terry Purcell, and Kevin Crossman are just some of the big names who have competed in recent years.

Winners of the race are expected to break the 14:00 minute mark and based on my training data I should be able to keep that pace. My actual prediction is that I will come in at about 15:45 which *might* crack the top ten. Anyway, I would still be happy if I break the 17:00 minute mark especially since this will be my tallest tower race ever. Here is a bit of Trivia: The Willis Tower is about 70% taller than the John Hancock Tower in Boston!

The only way I’m going to crack the top ten is if I keep an even pace throughout the race. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to start out at a moderate pace during a stair climbing race. From my experience, the first few flights feel very easy once I am warmed up, ready to go, and full of adrenaline. But if I go all out, I will start to tire around the 6th floor. At some point, the heart, lungs, legs, and arms start to give out, even when going at a moderate pace. Unlike a traditional running race, you can’t simply slow down and recover. Going up stairs offers no recovery unless you SLOWLY take the stairs one at a time. If you ever reach that point in a race, you are heading for trouble. At the Boson race, I’m still not sure how I made it up the last 20 flights. Not only did I lose a good chunk of time, but I was in agony the rest of the way up.
To prepare for Chicago, I will be collecting data and performing pacing drills in addition to my normal training. Next week I plan to measure the height my new training staircase (7 flights). From this information, I should be able to practice my race pace. I’ll share my calculations with you next week.

In the meantime, here is my weekly training log:

Saturday - An easy 15 mile bike ride with a long break in the middle.

Sunday - Core Workout

Monday - Leg Workout: Warm-up, Lunges & Squats, Dead Lifts (3x12@195, 135, & 155 lbs), Hamstring Curls, Tabata Leg Presses (@180 lbs), & 10 minutes cycling.

Tuesday - Interval Training: Intervals on Step Machine (30 minutes) + Core Workout

Wednesday - Modified Navy Seal Pull-up routine & Spinning Class (40 minutes)

Thursday - 15 minutes on Rowing machine + 10 minutes cycling, Lunges & Squats, Hamstring Curls, & Core Workout

Friday - Stairs x 12 sets; 1 set = 178 stairs with 34 meters elevation. Continuous up and down except for water breaks after set 6 and 9 (2 minutes each). Average time to ascend = 55.42 seconds

Coming Weekend - TBD, but I need to both rest and catch up on my push-ups!

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