Archive for March, 2012


Backpack (Photo credit: slgckgc)

One week before race day and I am 3 pounds over my ‘fightin’ weight’.  This may not seem like much, but when you’re running up 69 flights of stairs, every extra pound you bring with you makes a difference.

As punishment, I packed a backpack with 10 extra pounds (to add to my extra 3) and put that on my back as I ran 1500 steps in a training run yesterday.  Now I’m taking 13 extra pounds up each set of stairs!  I was definitely breathing heavy.  When I was finished, I took the backpack off and ran up 150 stairs and timed myself at 45 seconds.  I felt light as a feather!

The race is 1311 steps… so if could possibly maintain a pace of 45 seconds/150 steps… that would put me at a time of 6:55.  Totally unrealistic!  My time last year was 13:30, and I am hoping to beat that… but cutting my time in half is nearly impossible!

Anyway, if you’re fighting those last few pounds before race day (blame it on the green beer for St. Patty’s Day), just add some weight to your training runs and see how light you feel when you shed the backpack!

Keep swinging… Tuesday is TGU day.  Get ready!


Here’s a good story… yesterday morning I ran 1800 steps after a pretty intense kettlebell workout the night before with Big Red.  My quads were screaming at me to stop at around 1200 steps, but that’s when an interesting thing happened.  It started raining… or snowing?  Well, here’s what actually happened… it was raining at the bottom of the stairs, and snowing at the top!  Talk about an elevation gain!  (This is in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, and those of you familiar with those stairs will appreciate this story) But, I almost couldn’t believe it!  I had to go back down again and run another set, just to see the weather change.  And it did!  Light fluffy flakes at the top… soggy rain at the bottom.  And with screaming quads, I did yet another set… just to see it happen again.  Fascinating!  I suppose I’m easily entertained… but by this time I was completely soaked so I called it a day, but how cool is that?  The weather gave me a boost of endurance to run 600 more steps!

Anyway, after that workout I decided I was done for the day.  Today I’m crafting a kettlebell workout that will prep  me for another intense stair workout tomorrow morning, so I’ll go easy on my quads this time and give old Big Red a rest.

Now I’m off to prepare a warm shiitake & leek salad paired with miso salmon for a good boost of Omega 3’s!


The Big Climb is 2 weeks away (from yesterday).  This is the week to pull out all the stops.  Bust out the heaviest kettlebell you own and knock it out!  One of the best ways to train for climbing stairs… is climbing stairs.  Surprised, right?!  But the SECOND-best way to train for this race is to swing some kettlebells!  For me, I take the stairs 2 at a time, so balance is key.  I’ve torn both ACL’s, so I’ve got to keep strengthening all the other surrounding ligaments and muscles around my knees.  My goal is to keep them strong and engaged as much as possible so I have the balance I need going up the stairs in a few weeks.

Probably one of the greatest side benefits of kettlebell training is that your balance will improve tremendously.  This is why I’ll keep mixing in kettlebell workouts everyday till the day before the climb.   Here we go…

Tonight’s workout:

I started with a good heavy weight for my warm up, and grabbed “Big Red” (16KG) for the Around the World’s standing on one leg.  Reverse direction.  Hard… but great for balance training.

Next, I went to TGU’s (Turkish Get-ups) I alternate these with getting up to standing, as well as up to side-plank, and up to kneeling.  These are all great for balance too.

Add in some double-handed swings, suitcase swings, clean and press, and figure 8’s.

I finished off with my favorite duo of a series of kettlebell situps rolling back into yoga plow stretches.

I went to the wall of CD’s tonight and pulled out a slightly vintage C&C Music Factory album (remember them? Gonna make you sweat!)  The first four songs on the Ultimate CD last awhile (the second track is close to 10 minutes!) so this was a good one for tonight’s workout.

Back again tomorrow…


The Big Climb is 3 weeks from yesterday. I’ve decided to step up the kettlebells to everyday again, and add a few things to my diet over the next few weeks so I can give those Seattle firefighters a run for their money!

I recently heard someone talk about the benefits of healthy fat and Omega 3-6-9’s, which prompted me to do some more reading up about their benefits (see a few articles below).  I figured, as long as I have this race coming up, why not try bumping up my 3-6-9’s, eat an avocado a day, and see what happens.

I’m going to maintain my normal balance of carbs, proteins and fats (I’m not an advocate of cutting out good food), and I’ll keep up the fruits and veggies, but I’ll also add at least one serving of “good fat” to every meal (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and supplement with an Omega-3 deep-sea fish oil.

“Good Fats” are important to overall health, mood and vitality… and they can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels too.  Also, our bodies cannot produce essential fatty acids on their own, so they need to get the EFA’s from food.  These are all good reasons to add good fats into your daily diet.

How does this new “diet” look?  A typical breakfast, lunch and dinner could be something like this: Breakfast: A protein shake as I run out the door, enhanced with fish oil. (maybe a slice of turkey too just to get some extra lean protein.) Or oatmeal with fruit and nuts and flax, along with a scoop of protein powder added in at the end. Lunch: Salad with some tuna, avocados and walnuts. Dinner: Salmon, rice, broccoli, spinach salad with avocados (add a bit of olive oil mixed w/fish oil).

Why am I doing this?  Just to see if I can get up the Columbia Tower stairs in less than 12 minutes.  Kettlebells everyday should help… and we’ll see about the fish oil!

Here are a few articles I found interesting:

Peace, and happy eating!