The "Free Lunch" Weight Loss Plan v.019
On the 5th of December, I set what I think is a new all-time personal best of 44 minutes and 57 seconds to climb 200 flights of stairs.
The stars aligned. I got a good night's sleep (which is rare since I am an insomniac most nights). The sun was out. I mowed the backyard and weeded the front yard to some degree. I was therefore in good spirits. I worked out to the second episode of the first season of Alias. It was apparently motivating enough to knock exactly 4 minutes off my best time. It took me just 40 minutes and 57 seconds to climb 200 flights today.
It is not a coincidence that the time ended in 57 seconds again. Call it a 3 second safety buffer. I started off at a 50 feet per minute pace. At first I thought I could get down under 45 minutes (with the intent of slowing down at some point). That's how long the episode was (no commercials, Comcast On Demand). 44 minutes started looking doable. I then started shooting for 43 minutes. Hope rose that I could do it under 42 minutes. And lastly, I really pushed near the end to make it just under 41 minutes. My pace varied from 47 feet per minute to 53 feet per minute (the final push at the end). I averaged 48.8 feet per minute.
Under 40 minutes was right out. First, I weigh about 6 pounds more than the last time I made a serious attempt. Second, I was alone in the house (my girlfriend had errands to run). Third, there is no phone in the room with the stair climber (to call an ambulance in theory, lol). Fourth, I don't have health insurance at the moment.
I managed to give myself a temporary dehydration headache. I drank a 12 ounce glass of Gatorade before I started. I drank another 12 ounces as I was climbing. I followed it up with yet another 12 ounces after I was done. That was definitely not enough liquids. Once I realized that I was on a record pace, I didn't want to stop to get more fluids though.
I felt like Ted Stryker attempting to land a plane. Let's just say that I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande. ;)
Alongside the path of the Niesenbahn is the longest stairway in the world with 11,674 steps. It is open only once a year to the public for a stair run.
Holy mother of...
Spring has finally sprung. It hasn't shown up in my weight yet, but I've been exercising a lot more over the past week. The day before yesterday I watched the first episode of the first season of Alias while working out (at a much slower pace). There are a LOT more episodes to go! It is very likely that I'll be climbing well more than the minimum 20 flights per day in the coming months. Once again, 20 flights remains my minimum though. It keeps me in the game and allows me to climb as many as I like whenever I like. Over the past few months, I've only been doing the minimum. It was clearly enough exercise if today is any indicator.
There was very little pain (other than the slight dehydration headache which was entirely preventable). My legs are not sore right now. The limiting factor was my cardiovascular system. It was the air I could breathe in and how fast my heart was beating that mostly decided my speed. I'm definitely not a believer in the no pain, no gain theories, especially when it comes to exercise. All it takes is modest and consistent exercise each and every day to make a huge impact overall. Baby steps! 20 flights a day seemed like a chore when I started. Now they seem trivial. It takes just 4 minutes now (or 5 minutes if I'm feeling especially lazy).
Give it a try. You might like it. Walk up the street once a day. Climb some stairs. Just do something that you think you can do each and every day for the rest of your life, even if it seems trivial. You will not regret it. I sure haven't. Anything is better than nothing.