The countdown clock on the CN Tower Climb’s Web site keeps shrinking. By the time you’re reading this, it might even say that the climb is in less than 3 days.

Just a few days ago, I proclaimed myself fit for the fast-approaching task.

Perhaps I spoke too soon.

For starters, I never took champion tower runner Thomas Dold’s first bit of advice for novice tower runners. Notably, “check if you have any problems with your heart or other organs.” I mean, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I didn’t need my doctor to check me out for any heart conditions, but what about my other organs? What if my gallbladder just shuts down on the 23rd story? Or what if my hypothalamus stops doing… you know… whatever it does? I’ll have nobody to blame but myself, that’s what. But as Carie mentioned today, nobody wants to call up the doctor and say, “Hey doc, I’ll just need to be scheduling my annual organ checkup. Are you free next Tuesday?”

I can honestly say that we have decently (notice I didn’t say completely) dedicated ourselves to training for this climb. I plan on setting no records. While I’ve never been in better shape to climb 1,000 steps, give or take, this hardly puts me in the ranks of Dold. That would pretty much be like taking up cycling for the first time in your life, getting over sore-butt syndrome, and announcing your entry in the Tour de France.

I had that mentality last weekend when I thought that making it to the top of an 8-story parking deck six times without wobbly knees meant I couldn’t be stopped. Tonight, however, we finally got a chance to climb something substantial.

At 19 stories, the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel is miniscule in comparison to the CN Tower, but its stairs cannot be any less forgiving. On our third trip up, I had to walk the final three flights. Having climbed less than half of the equivalent of the CN Tower, I realized I’ve been sprint training for a marathon. If 57 stories are kicking my butt, imagine what 144 will do?

If only I could wind back that countdown clock…