I wanted to get some thoughts out before I lost them all! We got up bright and early on Saturday morning to make the drive to SF - it was rainy and icky and I wanted to leave in plenty of time to make sure we got there early so I wouldn't be rushed or stressed. Good thing to, because once we got down there the building parking entrance was on the other side of where the GPS told us to go and then we ended up on a road where we couldn't turn left and took the scenic route back to the building. We parked, got stuff gathered up and then headed into the building and I picked up my bib number and timing chip and I had plenty of time to get ready and take pics.
I found the rest of our team and we took a couple of group pics and then we headed to the stairwell - lining the entrance was paper and pens so you could write why you were climbing - I wrote "My Dad" and "Velda" on the wall - moved down a little more where the rest of my team was and at least one team member had written "Sabrina Hill's Dad" on the wall as well. Being in there and reading the names made me really emotional. Then we had another group photo taken right at the entrance to the stairwell - and then there I was in the stairwell and told to start! It all happened really quick - I remember passing a couple of people right away and then I settled into a good stride and my legs felt great - but my lungs were a different story - after about 15 floors my lungs hurt and they didn't stop hurting until I stopped at the finish and caught my breath! There were signs every couple of floors - this is one I snagged from a friends pics...Only 40 floors to go! Ha! Another one said "Are we there yet?" I was passed by some firefighters from Menlo park around floors 35-40 and one of them was casually chatting away on his cell phone! The water stations (and volunteers cheering!!) were every 8 floors and you had to actually exit the stairwell to get water (which I did at least 3 times..) and the last 15 flights of stairs were the hardest where I had lots of thoughts running through my mind all at once... Lung Cancer, Asthma, 9/11, how brave firefighters are, the party at the top, the view once I get there and the rest of our weekend. It is amazing what you think of when you are digging deep to finish something like this. It was way harder then I though it was going to be. I get to the top and cross the finish line and a cute little teen volunteer at the finish line looks at me all seriously and asks "Are you going to climb again?" I truly didn't understand what she was asking me at the time - I said huh? and she repeated the question and then I realized she was serious.. Um no sweetie, I'm not going to climb again.. she took my timing chip off my ankle and I went on my way... (turns out if you want to do it again you can - and people did - a lot of them firefighters who did their second climb in full gear..) - I head to a window to enjoy the view and I can't... I even asked someone if we are supposed to be able to see out the windows since they looked frosted over and they had to inform me that is was fog. (I'm such a tourist - or maybe I can blame it on the fact that I was still delirious from lack of oxygen...) - But a little after we finished the fog lifted and we got to admire the view!My official time was 20:10 - 1197 Stairs - 52 Floors Done! I always ask myself - will I do it again? Heck yes I will do it again, I have a time to beat! I can't wait!!