Ok, I need to calm down… this was an insane day!!!!
I woke up at 7 and got ready fast, it had snowed a bit overnight so the walk to the train was a bit messy in my Nike Lunarlites (no need for heavy shoes in this race)… I can’t slip and fall today!!!! No, not today!
I was super excited and relaxed. As scared as I was, I just couldn’t be any more excited.
BEFORE THE RACE
Once we got to the ESB it was an OSOM scene…
It’s really hard to get into this race (you either run for charity or you apply and then NYRR selects a couple of hundreds randomly) so we were all super excited. And you feel quite special to be in this amazing landmark and being treated like running royalty (or a total nut case too!). You could see and feel the adrenaline and the craziness. It’s like when you see people about to run an ultra: this is really NOT for everybody…
Luciano and I are running and as we each get an guest pass, Patricia and Alejandra joined for the fun (though both swore today they’d never even apply for this race!).
We spent an a hour there (where you usually line up for security) getting ready, catching up with old friends, and being interviewed by the New York Times, yeah, you heard that right!
Loop points if you know who that is!
Thomas Dold, the German stairs monster, who would win the race for the 6th time!
The Times reporter who asked if I was single like it was his business to report on that!
The NBC LX guy… I don’t really know who he is, but apparently I was the only one…
People running like 40 yards as a warm up. I am saving my energy for the stairs, thank you!
There were people warming up, people freaking out, and people too focused to talk. But we were all excited!!
And then it’s time… The Women’s Invitational goes at 10:30 am, and the Men’s race just a few minutes later, and they catch up to us. Crazy. Also, you start in the hall and you have to go through a narrow door to get to the stairs: major bottleneck. Crazy too. But I am ready and cool as a cucumber!
We line up according to bib numbers.
This is the men’s wave. We go before so we are in front.
The front of the women’s invitational heat (from the NYRR Gallery). I am the little head all the way to the right (behind the CPTC runner).
I remembered the door was on the left; then it’s horn time! We sprint for 2 seconds, *fun* bottleneck at the door and 1 second later we’re all going up. Sprinting up! This was definitely the worst part for me… the first 20 floors are two short flights per floor, so you are basically turning right every 3 seconds (this is what it looks like). It felt like a spiral staircase to me! The constant turning was really making my head very very light and I was seriously dizzy. I was not prepared these short flights and wondered if I could keep going like that for much longer without losing my mind.
I felt a bit drunk for a bit, but before I noticed, we were on the 20th floor “running” across a little hall towards regular flights of stairs!!! Phew, and, well, “running” is not the word, it was definitely a WALK. My legs just couldn’t run on the landings!! Then we had a flight of stairs per floor and a 4-yard landing where you could pass people… this was a lot easier!
I really did try to run on the landings but my legs were not having it. The other weird thing was that when I trained it was easier to do two steps at a time, but here I found out that doing one at a time was a lot faster… it was all about trial and error, I really had no idea what I was doing!
And, boy was it HOT in there!!!! More like hot and dry…. I didn’t stop for water on the twentysomething and sixtysomething floors but my throat was really coarse!
Video of the race is here, try to hear the sounds in the stairs….all you could hear was just a lot of heavy breathing… Hummm, interesting!
I was in a group of 4 women and we mostly stuck together, pushing each other during the race. There was a lot of camaraderie, no elbows or anything crazy as people had said. Now, at some point on the 60something floor someone grabs me!! Yeap. He basically pulled me and used me to push himself up, like I was some kind of handrail!!! A fleshy handrail! I was a bit too shocked (and winded) to say anything but I looked up and it was Thomas Dold, the guy who’d win (again)! I was a bit scared and I could have totally fallen back, but I was glad he was super sweaty and slippery! HA!!!! And that I was holding onto that rail with my good arm!
More men keep passing us, and I really didn’t want to be the last woman there, but I was too scared to look down…
Next time I look up, it’s floor 80 something, WHAT??? Over so soon? My legs were a lot better after the first 30 floors and now I was getting used to this… oh well, oh, wait, an open door!!! Is that the NYC sky I see??? Is it??
This was the best part!!!!
But I really need some rest and an ice bath asap… I’ll finish this tomorrow as soon as possible, ok????
Ok, the rest is ready! Sorry for the delay!