Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Vertigo or The Real Stair Master

These are the stairs around Harvard Stadium, 37 sections of them. It seemed like a good idea joining The November Project when I woke up this morning, now I'm glad I joined them but I am totally questioning why I thought I could do this.

For 35 minutes we ran up the "big" stairs (the wide platforms for seating) and walked down the "small" stairs (the stairs you normally use to go up and down to your seats), section by section.  It doesn't sound like much - running up and down stairs - but there's a reason this is what athletes do to condition.  It's hard work.

Then there was a problem I didn't anticipate: vertigo from the top of the bowl when you're going down.  I got to the top of that first section and turned around and it was like a zoom lens was going back and forth as I looked at the bottom, looked at where I was and looked at the bottom again.  Gingerly I stepped back down one step at a time and tried the second section only to have it happen again.  By the 3rd section, I knew this was going to be all of the "official" workout I'd be able to do.  I then proceeded to only walk up the small stairs, grabbing handrails when possible, turn around and shield my eyes so I could only see my feet as I walked back down.

After 5 sections I knew this was all I would be able to do today.  I then started walking up about 1/3 of the way and back down again until my legs were like jelly.  I walked about a third of the way around the bowl to keep doing the 1/3's, maybe pushing it to the top of the entry tunnels if I felt braver.  I finished the bowl in 27 minutes by doing it that way and felt a bit like a wuss.

When all was said and done, I began talking to folks and learned I was not alone.  The down piece bothers a lot of people when they first start out and eventually you get used to it.  I'll see how I do next Wednesday morning.

Things I learned: this is wicked hard. I learned I have vertigo. I learned my legs hate me now. I learned my limit and pushed it a bit beyond which truly makes me somewhat bad assed.

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