Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Climbing the Stairs to Nowhere

GRRR! I hate insurance and I hate insurance companies. After our wreck, and the insurance fiasco that ensued, I had firmly decided to swap insurance carriers. (BTW, our reimbursement check came the day before we went to Miami for the marathon - approximately 2 months after the car had been fixed and all paperwork submitted. UNACCEPTABLE!) I hate both Farm Bureau (our provider) and Farmers (redneck's provider). I've heard good things about Geico so I just spent forever online telling them my blood type, Pippin's approximate weight and five hundred other things about us just to have them swap the premium price right at the final submit! It went up by about $75 from the time they gave me a firm quote to the time I entered our bank account, license # and VIN#s. WTF? People say a lot of things about lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc but personally the insurance industry is at the top of my crap pile.

Anyway, we've had a good week. The temps have been insane. It snowed more Sunday night and by Monday am we had somewhere around a half an inch. Which is .45 inches more than required to call off school, so no school for the kids Monday while kids in NYC were trekking through over 2 ft of snow to go to school. Does anyone wonder why TN schools are some of the worst? I don't. I work with a ton of living proof. In my opinion they're just ridiculous. If it rains too many days in a row they call of school - seriously! By yesterday afternoon the temps were in the mid 50's! When we got home we just had to go for a run. I wanted a quick half marathon pace of around 9 for 6 miles, and we got it! 6.03 miles in 52.34. The splits: 9.27,8.44, 8.58, 8.19, 8.23, 8.22, & 8.02 pace. Yeah!! The first couple of miles were tough, I'm so used to running comfortably and not pushing myself. After about mile 3 it felt comfy to run that pace, and it shows in the splits. The last mile back into our subdivision and up the hills was tough, but I pushed through and was just happy it was nearly over and we could relax for V-Day!

For V-day we were lazy (about our run + yoga) and got Chinese food and watched TV on the couch. Perfect! Brent made us some pears in the skillet over lite vanilla ice cream as our sweet treat (but still slightly nutritious!). We don't get into ridiculous gifts or displays of affection one day a year, we try to keep the other 364 romantic! I wouldn't trade him for anything. How many other guys would buy their wives sports bras, wear Team Rachel shirts, and practically run people off the road to make sure they all get to Boston Terrier Day on time???? Not many.

Our other great adventure is our new stair climbing training. I heard of a tower climb from our local running club's message board and I've been so jealous reading about Running Jayhawk and Simba's Mom train for similar climbs in Chicago. Our tower is 30 stories, and the "race" is March 11th. We're signing up and trying to figure out how and where to train! Our house is 2 stories, so we have stairs to use here - but that really doesn't get the effect of climbing straight up. Our office is 2 stories, and we have a sister company that is 3 stories, but that's still not 30 stories. I don't have access to any of the towers downtown, and I doubt the hotels would really want you in the stairwells if you're not a guest. On Monday night and tonight we did 50 laps of our stairs. Each lap is 14 stairs and 14 down, so we're doing 700 ups and 700 downs. Monday night we did it in 13.46 and tonight we did it in 12.30. I have no idea if that's good or bad. Monday night our legs were jello after our laps!! My upper legs are sore today, I'm not sure if it's from the speedier run Tues or the stairclimbing. Either way we must be doing something! If anyone has any training suggestions just let me know!

Have a great rest of the week! I've got some fun snow pictures I need to post but I'm too lazy to hook up my camera. Maybe tomorrow!!


Mon - 50 minute workout DVD (Burn & Firm Pilates), 13 mins stairclimbing
Tues - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 6 miles evening run w/Brent, 20 minutes yoga (upper body)
Wed - 20 minutes stat bike, 15 minutes rowing machine, some weights and kickboxing w/Brent at the gym, 12 mins stairclimbing


At 9:13 PM, Blogger Mia Goddess said...

You exhaust me! I love the thought of you two racing up and down your stairs over and over again. I bet Pippin freaks out!

At 2:15 AM, Blogger susie said...

You guys are amazing! And look at those splits. You obviously are back in racing form.

At 4:26 AM, Blogger BuckeyeRunner said...

Hehehe. I am picturing you two going up and down your stairs - it must have driven Pips crazy!

We have a Tackle the Tower climb here in Cleveland. As a matter of fact, it was just last weekend! I didn't do it, because I am always babying my knees, but it sounds HARD!!
Do you have stair climbers at your gym? Or a "gauntlet" stairclimber? It is a higher-end stair climber that mimics an escalator - the stairs actually form and reform for you! It's hard!!

At 4:50 AM, Blogger lainb said...

i like the CONCEPT of v-day (not the mass marketing of it), but i don't like the fact that some people think there's only one specific day to show the ones we love how much we love them...i think we should have more "love holidays." spread the love! lol

and, yes, you & brent are such a cute couple!

At 4:58 AM, Blogger Simba's Mom said...

YAY for stairclimbing!!! Sounds like you guys are right on track. We did our climbs (training and the event) very slowly so that we knew we could finish. (We weren't worried about time). That way it doesn't hurt as much. Do you know anyone that lives in a highrise that would let you borrow their stairs?

I am with you on making everyday romantic; one holiday a year doesn't make up for slacking off the rest of the time!

At 5:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

does your gym have those psycho stairmasters that actually have stairs you have to climb? they're HARD!, but would probably be ideal for your training...

At 6:05 AM, Blogger Kiki said...

now i feel like I need to climb some stairs too...everyone is doing it.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Running Jayhawk said...

Way to go, Rae!! :) Those are some great split times! And too funny you mention the rain days. I actually remember having school close early and canceled for three days straight because of constant downpours in Nashville back in third grade.

Don't kill yourself running stairs though! It's strongly suggested that you start out walking and gradually pick up the pace. Do try to get on some concrete stairs if you can, the climbing sensation is entirely different compared to wood/ you have the spiriling up factor which can create dizziness. Another option, silly as it sounds, is walking up a down escalator backwards. But then you're bound to get a ton of silly looks and tick folks off.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

"so no school for the kids Monday while kids in NYC were trekking through over 2 ft of snow to go to school. Does anyone wonder why TN schools are some of the worst?"
AMEN! SISTER! I harp on this ALL the time. "Yeah, the WHOLE school is sick, so no school" - What did Everyone put their thermometers on the lightbulb at the same time?

Granted, we do have some country backwoods roads around here and the transportation engineer for east tennessee had a thing against including road shoulders on their roads... but we still had school closings WEDNESDAY!!! and the weather was done on SUNDAY! Forecast for Saturday: Rain/Snow! Better Cancel ALL next week!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

I liked running the dormitory stairs in college. It was a great workout. I agree with Curly Su--that stair climbing machine with actual stairs is hard!

It's amazing that you recovered so quickly from your M.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Cliff said...


To answer your question left on my blog. I do not want to move. Right now I am leading my fellowship at my church. I feel that I need to stay here and develop more for my fellowship and also myself.

I did thought about moving. Moving down south. Where it is warmer, I can train longer and the triathlon crowd is much bigger. But i still enjoy where i live with my igloo and caribou and moose and beavers :).

Team Rachel shirts kick ass. Chinese food..hmm..full of daily needs of MSG and color dye :)...

There is a CN tower here and there is a climb twice a year. It has 1700 steps. Once, I really trained for it and went up in 14 min 34 sec. I thinkt he record is like 10 min. I practiced in a univeristy's building. It has 10 floors. I would run to the top, take the elevator down and do it again. SO much fun.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger E-Speed said...

Not sure if someone already suggested this but do you have a football stadium open to the public. We used to do stair repeats at the high school stadium. Obviously only effective if the school has a big stadium with lots of bleachers.

imagining the three of you running up and down the stairs is quite an image! I think we need video!

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Audrey said... one will accuse you two of a workout rut!! It's inspiring. yeah stair climbing! have fun training!

At 6:57 PM, Blogger angie's pink fuzzy said...

yikes the stairs! good luck!

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

the thought of running up and down the steps in your home just cracks me up. I have no idea if it will help, but I give you an A for effort. And thanks for the smile.

At 3:52 AM, Blogger Susan said...

You guys are the cutest couple! I want to see Pippin eat more sting!

Don't get me started on the school systems . . . I could go on forever about that topic!

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Johnny Lyons said...

You could always try to get some steeper trail runs if you have some nearby. Driving for a bit on the weekends is a small price to pay for the generous rewards of the trails. You can also try some type of jumping/bounding exercise that gets you of the ground and makes you pick your knees up high. I also find that the steeper stepping motion requires more lower abs and hip strength, so strengthening those areas would help alot.

BTW - Nice pace speedy! You're getting fast, even after your great race.

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Hilda said...

Sound like too much effort for the knees, isn't it?
Send you some nice sun from here!

At 2:24 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

Nice 6 mile run and the stair training sounds like fun. However, I think my wife would question my sanity if I started running up and down our stairs. You are lucky that you and Brent can come to grips with each other. I wonder though if Pippin does the workout as well.


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