On Friday, I capped a three-mile run with 10 minutes of running up and down stairs.
While Runner's World advised doing it after a long run, to boost your ability to push through fatigue, I decided that near-zero temperatures and a beastly hill near the end were tiring enough.
Was I right? Sort of. I mean, it was definitely a workout and not a cakewalk.
Within just a few minutes, I had my worst case of cotton mouth in recent memory, and I kept checking the timer on my cellphone, thinking that surely more time had passed than it really had.
But you know what also didn't help was having wet shoes from running outside on a set of stairs that only had rubber grips on one of three flights. Or choosing stairs that had very frequent turns.
Or doing the workout while maintenance was vacuuming, and nearly getting your foot caught in the vacuum cleaner cord as you tried to sneak past the maintenance man.
Next time, I'll consider using the stairs in the garage, because while there's only one flight there compared with three, I'll probably interfere with people less, I'll have less rest in between climbs and I'll have better traction.
And fortunately — or unfortunately — I was able to do 10 minutes on my first try, so that means I have no excuses for doing less than 10 next time.
Seriously, I thought I would hit a dangerous level of exhaustion on the first try. After all, climbing three flights of stairs to work every day leaves me breathless at the top.
Yet there I was at the end of 10 minutes, slightly proud that I'd exceeded my own predictions, and yet slightly annoyed that this sets the bar higher for next time.