Steppin’ it up

Last winter when I started training for my first trail race, which also happened to be in the mountains, I incorporated stair climbing into the routine to compensate for the lack of mountains here in the Midwest.
I started by climbing to the top of my 30-story office building, and then adding a few flights each week. I eventually got up to doing the building twice for a total of 60 stories. I realize an incline treadmill would have probably been better but since I have a home gym (minus a treadmill) I don’t have a gym membership and refuse to get one just to use a treadmill. But, that said, I think the stairs were a good alternative. I did run the race without dying, after all.
Fast forward to March when we started planning a cruise vacation. Truth is, I hadn’t run a block since the race and had also put on a few pounds. So I hit the stairs. Cruise = bathing suit = Fat ass in bathing suit = me stepping up my game.
In six weeks I dropped 12 pounds and felt great. I also felt strong enough to make that last minute decision to switch from a 5k to a half marathon at Sunburst. The race was just a week after I returned from the cruise and I couldn’t have run a better race — Again, ran race, didn’t die. Success!
After the race I got lazy and haven’t done much running since. Yes, this is a pattern of which I am acutely aware which is why I sign up for a lot of races. I need goals to motivate me. But since my first marathon I’ve always stayed in decent enough shape to go out and run a 10-miler or longer with no problem. So I was a little perplexed and disappointed when last weekend I went for a six-mile run on the lakefront (one of my favorite places to run) with my friend Lisa and thought the six miles was going to kill me. I had to stop twice to stretch out the pain in my hips.
I wish really bad I could blame it on the humidity, which has been brutal this year and has made me happy with my decision to not to train for a marathon this year. But the weather was actually perfect summer running weather that particular day.
Two days later when I saw this story posted on’s facebook page, I considered it a sign from the universe. The story talks about the benefits of running stairs for runners. The other thing I stopped after vacation was stair-climbing. I replaced it with mindless eating, but that’s another post for another time.
I remembered after reading that article how great I felt when I was actively doing the stairs and how it really prepared me for that half marathon without actually training for the half. Not that I would recommend that training method…I’ve just always had an unorthodox method of training. I have to throw out that disclaimer just in case someone is crazy enough to take my experiences as advice.
So, I now know what I have to do. The question is, will I decide to step-up (ha…that pun was not intended but fits perfectly!) or will I decide to just decline the next offer to go running with a friend? Hmmm…I do have a trip to Key West coming up. Key west = bathing suit = fat ass = need to step it up! (that pun was intentional)


About travelerontherun

I am a chronic adventurer who loves to see and experience new places. What I really love most is experiencing those places after parking my RV and lacing up my running shoes.
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