Yesterday was the CN Tower Stair Climb fundraiser for the World Wildlife Foundation. I wish I could tell you I did better than I did. On the good side, or actually great side, my legs did everything I asked of them; quads were great, calves never tightened, they didn't even tire.
I have to assume my mistake was starting out too fast. I had a personal best time I wanted to beat, from a few years ago. I also knew it was a busier time of day, so I would have to pass people. For those of you that have never done the CN Tower Stair Climb, there isn't a lot of passing space in there, so it is both mentally and especially physically tiring to ask someone to go to the outside to let you pass on the inside, or go around them (there is etiquette with the climb but most people don't seem to know it). I surprised myself when I started really quickly for the first 15 or 20 floors. I felt great, why not? I wanted to do the first half faster assuming I would slow down in the second half.
What I have never experienced, and pray I never experience again personally, is my heart rate elevating to my 100%, and wanting to hang out there the duration of the event!! I was finding is more than challenging to slow my breathing, something I know how to do very well and teach too, was freezing cold at the start, including that burning in my chest from breathing in cold air fast. It didn't make me anxious, but I could not seem to control it at all. Again, I had never experienced this before personally, and just did what as a Personal Trainer I knew was right (yup, sucked!): I took 10-20 second breaks every time I was feeling even worse (which was very regular) and checked my heart rate. I knew very early that was race was over, and I was just wanting to complete it (what choice did I have but to continue to go up! haha)
I wasn't imagining it. On average my heart rate was as 181 whenever I stopped. That is not a good place for me.....Long story short, I took many, short breaks, and felt like my heart rate was out of control from about floor 20 or 30 of 144! This was not a personal best, by far, but a learning lesson it seems! Oh well! There is always next time! The climb is made public, for charity, twice a year.
I am proud to say I have now completed the CN Tower Stair Climb three times over the years, I raised funds again for the WWF, chatted with and cheered on some great people, have another souvenir t-shirt, and my legs today feel like I never climbed it at all! :-)
Who Is climbing it in October? ;-)