I’ve been told by my physical therapist not to run for a month to heal a sore ankle, so Saturday morning I walked the Pumpkin Push 5K Run at Seward Park.
It was, in a word, weird. Weird because I didn’t know how psyched to get for walking a race; I get pumped up for all my runs. But here I was at the start, back behind most of the 700-plus runners, back with walkers, and kids, and, this being Halloween weekend, a guy dressed as a pizza slice, women wearing wigs and tiaras, and several kids dressed up as dominoes. These costumed folks were all runners; there also was a 2-mile Family Walk with lots of families and seniors. But I signed up for the 5K Run, i.e., to walk the run.
It turned out to be fun, despite a soggy course and steady drizzle. I needed to see how fast I could walk a race — in my mind, walking 15-minute miles is a good pace (I am happy to do four miles an hour). But I ended up beating that pace. I finished the race in 45:51 chip time, for a 14:46 pace. Full results are here. It gives me some sense about how fast I can do the Seattle Marathon Walk on Nov. 28, which I am signed up to do.
My miles were pretty even: 15, 14, 15, plus one and change for the one-tenth of a mile. The course was the Seward Park loop (2.5) plus a hilly loop in the middle to round out the distance. I found I didn’t slow down much walking up a hill, but got some speed going in walking down it. I could see the finish line in the last tenth of a mile, and really wanted to break into a run. But I didn’t. I need to stick to my rehab plan, which calls for no running until late November.
Crossing the finish line was a bit weird too. I was walking faster than I ever have, and I guess I broke into a slower walk once across. But I didn’t have that smile and feeling of triumph that I do when I finish running a race.
I saw dominoes the whole race. At least three kids wore cardboard dominoes made for them, and they kept stopping and taking them off. I did pity the mother whose once kid finally decided to stop wearing his. Look like she’d worked pretty hard on the costumes. And she wanted to run the race, so she ran with a bunch of kids’ coats under one arm and the domino costume tucked under the other.
I also needed to say this: I felt good keeping up with and passing a couple of women running as we went down a hill leading to the home stretch of the race. I had to veer out of my way to pass them; these were the only runners I can remember passing. And I didn’t see them again before I crossed the finish line.
The Pumpkin Push 5K is a Halloween tradition for many. I’ve run it once, in 2007 (time: 27:20). This race will be more memorable.
Congrats to John Critelli, 25, of Redmond, for being the top men’s finisher in 16:30 (5:19 per mile pace) and Rose Wetzel, 28, of Seattle, for winning the women’s race in 17:43 (5:42 pace).
Till next time …