Hustle Up the Hancock

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 28, 2011

…and what a hustle it was!

A big thank you to everyone who provided tips, advice and well wishes on yesterday’s post. Our journey up 94 stories was truly an adventure, and I’m happy to say that not only did we make it – we can’t wait to do it again!

We arrived at Hustle Up the Hancock around noon and snapped a quick “before” picture outside.

Then we met up with Bobby’s co-workers. The event organizers snapped a team picture for us and before we knew it, we were off to the stairwell to begin our 1:00 pm start time.

The climb itself was incredible. Bobby and I made the decision to go at our own paces and meet each other at the top. My strategy was “slow and steady,” with plenty of motivating music to keep me going.

I also followed Kathleen’s advice: DON’T STOP!!

After the first 10 flights, I told myself I would simply – ha! – have to repeat that 8 more times. Visualization really did help, however, and I found myself on floor 50 in what felt like no time at all. This is great!, I thought.

That’s when things really started heating up and I realized I was dripping with sweat. They did a nice job venting the stairwell every few floors, but it was still pretty steamy in there. I took several deep breaths in an attempt to make my lungs stop burning.

The most interesting part of the climb, I think, was how tall the steps were. In our apartment building, the steps are shorter and there are more of them on each level. At the Hancock tower, there are less steps but each one requires a higher leg left. I actually preferred the latter mentally, since it felt like there were fewer steps to “conquer” on each floor.

Fortunately, I breathed through the burning lungs and felt that I was still able to keep my same pace. The cheers from volunteers on almost every level also really helped lift my spirits. I found that I was passing several people near the top and was happy to come out at the finish line to an excited crowd, handshakes and pats on the back.

Looking back on it, I can’t believe we scaled this thing. But we did!

There was a lot of confusion about my official time. I originally tweeted a little over 13 minutes, which turned out to be extremely overambitious. :) I was confused by the clock at the finish line, which I thought was ticking away seconds and read 13:18. Apparently I was delirious.

In reality, the clock was military time, and I finished at 1:18 pm. Whoops!

When I went to check my official time online, I clocked in at 20:13. A little slower than I envisioned but still a time that I am very proud of and excited to share! Bobby finished in 17:33 – although if you look at the official times link, that time will be next to my name, since we accidentally switched bibs at home and didn’t realize it until afterward. Double whoops!

Bobby said that when he went through the finish line, they announced my name, which is when he realized what had happened. This secretly makes me happy. I suppose I could have pretended that I really did beat him, but what can I say? Too honest with all of you for my own good. 😉

And no matter what, taking 20 minutes to climb 1,632 steps was by far the best workout and most fun I have had since I ran my half-marathon. I can’t wait for the next fitness adventure!

The only question now is, what should the next one be?

So tell me, what’s your next big fitness adventure?


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan (Braise The Roof) February 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I definitely agree about the stairs being very steep. At one point, I looked down at my feet and almost got dizzy because I wasn’t expecting them to be so high! Congrats on a great finishing time! :)


2 cbrady3 February 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Awesome job! I can only imagine how your legs must feel! I need to look for some fun fitness challenges like that around here


3 Natalie @ Will Jog For Food February 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

That is a great accomplishment!! I’m working on signing up for a half marathon, but I might be moving from FL to CA so I’m sot sure what to do…yikes!


4 Erica February 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Such a fun event! Love it. You both did great (the number mix up is somewhat hilarious ;)). Hope you have a great week :)


5 jsutera654 February 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

That is so fun! I love it!


6 Jess February 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

That is an awesome event- great job!


7 Tracey February 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Great job! I don’t think I could ever do the hustle up the hancock. Stairs and I don’t really get along.


8 klh February 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

WOW!! That’s awesome! I always love your posts…love Chicago : ) Been reading for a while but never comment!
Rest up and have a good week girl!

Katie : )


9 Lauren February 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

So cool!!! I saw a similar “climb” around here and thought how much I would love to do this someday.


10 Melissa @ TryingToHeal February 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

oh my goodness lady! that is an awesome accomplishment!!! how much fun!!

i still want my marathon group to get bigger for SD in June… 😉


11 Amy @ Second City Randomness February 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Congrats on the climb! I was excited to try it this year after observing all the festivities last year… :)


12 Heather Eats Almond Butter February 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I would love to do something like that Jenn as climbing stairs is one of my favorite workouts. Not a fan of any kind of stair climbing workout machines. They bore me to death, but I love climbing actual stairs. I used to go downtown just to do it in this particular 30 story building, and we have a great park near our house with stone stairs leading up to a trail head. Running up the stairs is a great workout in and of itself.

No major fitness adventures in the works for me, but might I recommend the Hood to Coast Relay. I’ve done it twice, and had a complete blast both times. 2 of the most fun weekends of my life!


13 sarah (sarah learns) February 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm

dang, that’s got to be a great leg workout! i’ve never done a climb like that, but under 20 minutes sounds really fast to me to climb that far. nice job! :)


14 Kinsey Michaels February 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

What a feat Jenn! Sometimes I go up 5 flights of stairs and I’m already huffing and puffing. I don’t know how you did it!!!
That must have been an amazing workout. Were your legs feeling like jelly when you got to the top?


15 Shannon February 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

holy cow that is fast! stairs are my nemesis… i don’t know why 😉


16 Kristie March 1, 2011 at 5:49 am

Jenn, that sounds so cool to do! Maybe next year I’ll have to come down to Chicago and do it with you :). I’ve got another marathon adventure coming up on Mother’s Day, but I’m thinking after that I want to tackle actually training for a half marathon! The last time I actually trained for one (re: not run the half instead of a full last minute) was for the very first one I ran a year and a half ago!


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