This past Sunday I climbed up 103 floors, 2,109 stairs of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), for charity for the Research Institute of Chicago- with my team Synergy Life members: Neil Kantrovich and Dorraine Adams. I reached the top in 20 minutes and 22 seconds. To give perspective, the fastest time was 13:59 and the average time was around 40 minutes. It was my first time doing it so I think next year I will definitely do better because I was not sure how much energy to exert in case I needed it. I also hit a traffic jam at a couple floors when people were assisting some of the RIC patients walk up the stairs. So there's definitely room for improvement. Now that I know, I will blast right through it. I did this too without even training specifically for it so I was both nervous and excited. LOL!
Other than the last 20 flights being all stuffy and confined, the whole experience was so much fun and I am very glad I did it. I was expecting my legs to be burning and my calves killing me by the time we were finished, but that wasn't the case at all. The worst of it was a combo with trying to catch my breath and trying to find some fresh enough air by which to catch it. My heart rate was high, but not unmanageable or too uncomfortable to go at a constant pace.
Neil actually lost his lunch in one of the stairwell corners. Ha ha!! This was because the airflow was pretty decent until about the halfway point and then things changed only because hot air rises. We began our ascent at about 11am so by that time several thousand climbers had already left their trail of sweat and body heat in the stairwell just for us. Most of the stairwell access doors were open for airflow purposes, but nearing the top, for some reason, they did not have as many open as they could have had so it made a difference.
Dorraine did well, and to completely put her on the spot, she did not prepare for this event at all. Other than her being active in her full-time job as a massage therapist (and a VERY GOOD one to add) she did not perform any cardiovascular exercising or interval training at all. Even so, she managed to finish the full 103 flights and 2,109 stairs still standing.
BOOM we did it and that was awesome!! Can't wait to do it next year!! :) Team "Synergy Life" will be participating in the Hustle Up The Hancock event in February as well as several other upcoming running races and obstacle course challenge events.