A few days before running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (half!) Marathon, I climbed the stairs of the CN Tower for the second time. Yes, all 1,776 stairs.
I wanted to beat my time from last year, but knowing I had to run just a few days later my main goal was to finish and feel good. So that's what I did. It was disappointing to climb 46 seconds slower than the previous year, but the way I felt when I finished was great. The year before I was weak and shaky and instantly hated myself for even attempting it. This year was still difficult, but my legs felt good once I reached the top, I was still energized, and I felt like I would want to do the climb again in the future. While not completing a time-goal, I think these feelings showed that I had reached a different realm of growth from the previous year.
I think I would do it again. For a couple of days I was unsure, but after I ran a half-marathon a few days later (again!) and had a PR despite struggles on the course, I feel confident in my abilities.
I would highly suggest attempting a climbing race. Although running is difficult in itself, climbing is incredibly tough but hugely fulfilling. Fighting against gravity and your body weight, not just pushing forwards but pushing upwards, and being able to stand beneath the structure and be able to see you were able to accomplish something great is an amazing feeling.
Do you have any other ways of measuring your success besides a PR?