Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ready For The 1st Annual DC Metro Marathon

The other day I sacrificed my lower body for the sake of this godforsaken blog. I took the Metro between Wheaton and Dupont Circle and back again. Wouldn't you know it, but both stations had at least one escalator out of service. With no signs barring fools from trying to make their way up, I saw an opportunity to get exercise while researching a quick blog post.

I managed Dupont Circle's escalator with relative ease, only slightly losing the feeling in my legs during the last 20 steps. Final stair count: 146 +/- 2, depending on the half steps it was stopped on. This puts Dupont Circle behind Rosslyn's 160 steps.

Feeling like a champ after Dupont Circle, I tackled Wheaton's stairmaster at the end of my day. I had heard stories about Wheaton's height, but didn't think it would be much worse than Dupont Circle. I may have a minor cold and haven't exercised in over a week, but I'm young and I'm (kinda, not really) strong.

Turns out, I'm also completely wrong.

I have nothing on my sister and her four marathons in the last 18 months, but she never climbed this!

Wheaton's middle escalator was out of service, allowing the escalator-goers, in both directions, ample time to mock, point, and gawk at the fool (that's me!) who turned down mechanical help. I started my hike pretty well, moving faster than the up escalator for the first 100 steps. Then I started to lose the battle during steps 101 through 130 when I slowed to the escalator's pace.

Everyone riding the escalator enjoyed my climb because they couldn't wait to pass me by.

I looked up from my counting and was faced with the daunting task of many more steps than I had planned. I had to press forward. This harangue of a blog entry depended on it; the escalator-goers were watching; and because the escalator wasn't working, my only choice was to finish the workout or else jump the rail. But my parents didn't raise a quitter! Well, maybe I've quit on a few things, but I digress.

As of June 3, 2005, the Washington Post said I had walked up the tallest escalator in the Western Hemisphere!

I lost ground to the escalator during this final leg. Around step 157 I lost the feeling in my calves and around step 166 I lost touch with my entire lower half. Out of breath and delirious, I also lost count temporarily. Yet, I could see the light darkness at the end of the tunnel. 186 +/- 2 steps later, drunk from the adrenaline rush, I had finally, valiantly, and pathetically walked to the top of the Wheaton escalator. Never mind that I still had another 36 steps to climb to reach the Veirs Mill Road walkover and parking garage.

When Metro runs its first escalator marathon, it'll surely include Dupont Circle, Rosslyn, and Wheaton. And after this day's 332-step training session, I'll be ready. Sort of.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dad and I really enjoyed this blog. I am glad to see that you finally got some exercise