Stairs, Hills, and a Road ID Coupon Code!

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tues evening (the same day as the interval swim in the previous post), I wanted to do some stairs. I checked the stairs by the JJ Hill house, and the lower half was perfectly clear of ice or snow. So I packed up my clothes to change as soon as I got done with teaching at the College of Visual Arts. CVA’s main building is an old mansion on Summit Ave, so when I changed in the bathroom, my clothes were scattered all over the top of a tub once used by a very well-to-do family:

I ran down Summit to the JJ Hill steps. Here’s the icy path up top leading to the main set of steps:

The first few “flights” of steps were a bit icy. Here I am looking down from the top:

Once I got through some icy sections, the rest was perfect. Here’s a bit farther down, looking the rest of the way to the bottom (down 87 stairs):

So here’s what I decided to do for my workout:
1. Run down to the bottom of the stairs, run back up until it got icy, then down, then up, then down, then up, and then down to the “exit” on the right side of the path that can be seen part way down on the right in the image above. (That’s running up 261 stairs!)
2. Then (all tired and out of breath), I’d run some back-road hills HARD on my way back up to Summit Ave.
3. Finally, I’d take it a bit easy down Summit back to the top of the stairs.
4. Repeat.

Here’s what the first part looked like when I ran down, then up and down a few times before “exiting” on the curve:

And here’s the map of the entire loop. It’s 1.14 miles long:

I did that loop 5 times, which is 5.7 miles, lots of little hills in that back stretch, and up 1305 stairs total. Have you ever seen an elevation chart look like this over 1.14 miles?

Down stairs, up and down a few times, rollers and steep hills on
the back roads, and mostly flat on Summit back to the start.

Those stairs had me working up a sweat even though it was only 15 degrees that night! During my 3rd round on the steps, I had sweat dripping off my nose. When I got back to CVA, I quick snapped a photo in the faculty office to show how sweaty I was:

You know, running stairs in the dark on an icy night WITHOUT a Road ID was probably not a smart idea. Pharmie has stories of people stuck in the ICU of the hospital where she works and nobody knows who they are because they had no ID on them. I could have slipped on those steps last night (I had 2 close calls) and ended up knocked out lying at the bottom. So it was time to get my own Road ID. Here’s what it looked like as I was putting in my info:

(It’s yellow to match my “bowl full of sunshine” shorty-shorts!)

I also ordered a Firefly reflective wrist band for night-time running visibility.


Road ID was so happy with how the giveaway went last week, that they wanted to offer my readers a 20% discount on their order for the next 20 days! A bunch of people commented or e-mailed me that they needed to get a Road ID or update the tag on their current Road ID. Now is your chance!! Use this code to get 20% off your entire order:


(the ending SIAS is for “Steve in a Speedo”)

I tried it on my order to make sure it worked, and it saved me about $6! (Enter it in the “Coupon/Promo Code” box.) So spread the word! Go pick up your Road ID and use that code for 20% off!

(BTW, this is NOT some sort of affiliate marketing thing. Yes, the code has my "name" at the end, but I don't make a % with each use of the code. It's just a "thanks" to my readers from Road ID for becoming a fan of Road ID on Facebook and following Road ID on Twitter during the giveaway last week. I've been accused of this being an affiliate scheme, and it's not true. Use the code, save 20%, be safe, and enjoy life!!)


Matty O 7:31 AM, February 25, 2010  

Well I have been following you now for 2 weeks or so and love your writing style haha. You definitely give a great perspective on the products you review and all of your workouts.

All in all you are one of my favorite bloggers haha. Always find a good laugh when I read your posts. Most people would walk all the way around so they don't risk falling on those steps, but not you. You decide this is one heck of a workout opportunity!

Good for you man, keep up the hard work!

Kim 7:32 AM, February 25, 2010  

steve, be careful out there will ya?!

my mom would kiss you for posting a coupon for the road ID - every time i go home to NJ, she always yells at me for running/biking without any identification.

i also will be wearing it to the bar, just in case a cute boy hits on me. i just flash him. my wrist!

Cassie 8:00 AM, February 25, 2010  

Great workout Steve and thanks for the Road ID coupon code!

ItchyBits 8:12 AM, February 25, 2010  

That was a good workout - stairs are fun - bummed that I don't have a good set of bleachers that I am allowed to use around me - love to run bleachers too. Thanks for the code about time I ordered one of those things.

John McDevitt 8:15 AM, February 25, 2010  

Thanks for the code -- it's almost like I won one of your contests, although I'd prefer the sugoi gear... :-)

Mike 9:00 AM, February 25, 2010  

Thanks for the Code, this is perfect timing since I was planning on ordering a new RoadID today anyway...I seem to have misplaced my other one.

Those stairs make me think of the movie The Exorcist...creepy...

SteveQ 10:31 AM, February 25, 2010  

Those steps are in much better shape than the rest in St. Paul. Most on the west side are closed for the season. I ended up running a hill that was turned into a sledding hill!

Tim,  10:46 AM, February 25, 2010  

Awesome blog. I live in St Paul so I am very familiar with all the places you write about. Your stair loop looks like a killer, I will have to try it (I'll shoot for twice around to start) Running down Pleasant and up Ramsey would really make it a killer. I get tired driving up Ramsey.

Anonymous,  11:16 AM, February 25, 2010  

wow! what a workout! thanks for the code; my family will thank you

Anonymous,  11:17 AM, February 25, 2010  

wow! what a workout! thanks for the code; my family will thank you

Borsch 11:26 AM, February 25, 2010  

Awesome. I was planning to get one before the biking season starts up.

Marathon Maritza 11:38 AM, February 25, 2010  

Gorgeous view from those stairs! That being said, I HATE stairs so I commend you!

Tyler Ross 11:47 AM, February 25, 2010  

1)that is a ridiculous workout
2) I've been waiting on a RoadID coupon to replace my tag...thanks SIAS and RoadID

Chris Swenke 12:52 PM, February 25, 2010  


Thank you so much for providing the Road ID coupon code. Being a proud owner of of one myself I thank my lucky stars I have it on every time some crazy driver is not paying attention as they pass me.

I hope you don't mind that I posted it and link to your site on my blog.

Safe Training,

Ironman By Thirty 1:51 PM, February 25, 2010  

Thanks for the coupon code! I finally ordered a Road Id today. I am sure that my wife thanks you too!

Sarah Giacomarra Schrader 7:12 PM, February 25, 2010  

I just bought my Road. Thanks Steve!

prashant 8:25 PM, February 25, 2010  

That was a good workout - stairs are fun

Work From Home

Jenn 9:24 PM, February 25, 2010  

I'm pretty sure I went to the Hill House for a field trip in like 3rd grade : ) nice workout!

Greenking17 "TRI-harder" 7:07 AM, February 26, 2010  

Nice work out Steve! I'm looking forward to spring to jump on the bike...maybe we can get some rides in PRE Falls Duathlon.

Thanks for the road ID code...just ordered mine a second ago. I went with the 'elite' and in what color?
I think you can guess that....

Dori 1:39 AM, February 27, 2010  

Thanks for the Road ID discount code. I ordered one for me and one for my husband. Have been meaning to do that for years. Now I feel a little safer. :-)

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