NY1 ran a story about the Empire State Building Run-up on Monday morning, the day before the race. They noted that the only way to train for a stairclimbing race was to run thousands of stairs. Great. I hadn't. Yes, I've been swimming, biking, and running, but I don't think walking up the thirty-some stairs in my apartment building counts as training.
I doubt actually running stairs would've helped physiologically, but psychologically? Definitely. My biggest fear was puking. Other than last summer's epic stomach incident at Timberman (and my 21st birthday), I have a pretty solid stomach. However, the idea of climbing 1500 stairs as fast as possible turned my normal pre-race stomach butterflies into hummingbirds on crack.
As it always seems to happen before a race, I had a gig on Monday night (which included schlepping an entire drumset), and didn't get home until around 2 in the morning. Oh well, the race didn't start until 10:30, so I was still able to get a decent amount of sleep. I met Coach Cane, Killer, and Jean the Machine before the race and talked strategy and menthol for a minute before lining up...to walk down to the start.
In hindsight, I should've started closer to the front. The entire race is pretty much dictated by who makes it through the fire door first. Trying to cram 100 men (albeit skinny runner men) through that door takes a while, and I spent a good 20 seconds or so waiting for the guys in front of me to get through. Once I made it through the door, it was like we were walking up the stairs in elementary school: single file, one step at a time, at a pace like we were dreading the next period's math test. Eventually things began to thin out, and I was able to dodge and weave my way through the crowd. The first twenty flights went by very quickly, but by the time I got to the 46th floor, things started getting difficult. From there it was a slog to the top. There was still a decent group of guys in front of me, and with every flight, my will to pass them decreased.
Reaching the top was a relief. So was not throwing up. Both goals (finishing and not puking) were accomplished. I guess I know what to expect now and what I could improve, but...I don't think I have the elusive double recessive City Coach Affinity for Unique Races gene that seems to be quite prominent within our group.