The Kirkland Half-Marathon and 5K was yesterday, May 8, and I did the half-marathon walk as a tune-up for the Rock n’ Roll Seattle Marathon in late June. I will walk that race as well, because my bad ankle can’t tolerate a long run anymore.
Thank goodness that I can jog though. It is a slow jog, to be sure, but it allows me to keep up with at least middle-of-the-road power walkers. (I cannot keep up with the faster walkers; some can walk faster than I used to be able to run.)
As I wrote recently, I am considering ankle replacement surgery. But in the meantime, I’m doing the best I can with the left ankle that I have, shoddy that it is. I hadn’t run since doing the Mercer Island Half-Marathon Walk on March 20. My training has been walking, the stationary bike, and the elliptical machine.
In yesterday’s race up and down Kirkland’s hills and along its scenic waterfront, I walked the first mile and a half to get my ankle loosened up. Then I picked my spots to jog, which allowed me to keep up with at least the middle of the pack. I’d jog two-tenths of a mile here, three-tenths there, and it made the miles go faster.
A highlight of my race, besides the sun coming out after I reached the halfway point, was being able to run the last half-mile-plus to the finish line. I passed a number of people in doing so, and got the race over with faster.
I finished in 3:32:10, a 16:11 per mile pace, and about 18 minutes slower than I did the Mercer Island Half-Marathon Walk. I ran longer and faster in that race; Kirkland’s course with its steeper uphills and downhills was a bit more problematic — I actually had to take one lengthy, steep downhill section from 108th Avenue N.E. to Lake Washington Boulevard in south Kirkland very slow and gingerly to avoid serious ankle pain.
Full results are here. Jessica Le, 38, of Kirkland, won the Walk in 2:09:11, which is a fine 9:51 mile pace (of the 26 half-marathons that I have RUN, I have run only 14 or so faster). I do wonder if she ran any of the race; however, she just might be an exceptional speedwalker.
Only a few things more to say about this race:
- Just like at Mercer Island, many of the walkers (like me) jogged parts of the race. I don’t know how the pure walkers feel about that; but again in my case, I have to jog to keep up.
- This Kirkland Half-Marathon course was much different than the course I did in 2008, which was slightly different than the one I did in 2006 and 2007. This course basically was an extended version of the 12Ks of Christmas course that I usually do in December. It straddled Market Street, 108th Avenue N.E., and Lake Washington Boulevard. No matter what course they throw at you, it’s Kirkland — so there will always be steep hills. While I prepared mentally for the 2008 course and fretted some during the race, the changes probably didn’t matter much to my time.
- This was my 28th half-marathon and my 136th race overall since 2001.
- Another highlight was seeing friend and former work colleague Mike Wilenzick run past me between miles five and six. Mike did the run in 2:05 and wife Sue finished 2:20, and I hope they had a nice Mother’s Day together afterwards with their two daughters.
I need to do a LOT more walking in coming weeks before I tackle the Rock n’ Roll Seattle Marathon, which will probably be my swan song — at least for marathons. Unless I can run again someday on a new ankle, I will quit at 21 marathons and transition to cycling.
More on that transition to cycling later.
Till next time.