I’m walking distances regularly now and have gotten my legs into good enough shape to do a 5K walk this Sunday. It’s my first walking event since my ankle surgery Aug. 19.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that I am still pretty slow, and if you see me walking around work or home, you know that I am a real threat to finish last in this event. Can I beat anyone? We shall see.
The event is the 5K part of the annual 12Ks of Christmas road race in Kirkland. I was inspired to sign up by running friends John Swenson and Stuart Glascock; we’ve had a bit of a tradition doing this 12K run and then meeting for coffee afterwards. They wanted to meet again, so I decided to get some exercise rather than sit and wait for them to finish. Now they may have to wait for me.
I’ve done the 12K race every year since 2003 (though the 2008 race was canceled due to dangerous snow and ice on downtown Kirkland roads from a big storm that year). My best time for this 12K race is 1:06:57 in 2005. Last year, my ankle was hurting and I had to walk some of it, and finished in 1:33. But I ran more than 80 percent of it.
This Sunday, my time for walking the 5K is going to exceed an hour. Yikes! But it’s true — the fastest I’m able to walk on a treadmill lately has been a 22-minute mile. So it’s very possible that I will walk this 5K slower than I’ve run a 12K. Oh well.
My hope is that someone signed up for the walk will want to stop and have a meal during it. Either that or, could we some how, some way, get Ben Roethlisberger to sign up for the event? I think I could beat him with his bad ankle, at least the way he moved around on it when the Steelers played Cleveland on a recent Thursday.
Seriously, almost four months after my surgery, I am happy to be walking OK again. Truth be known, I haven’t run a step yet, and don’t feel I am ready to until … well, until I’m no longer scared to do some pounding on my left ankle. I don’t have full flexibility in it, and I am prone to stiffness when I wake up and when I sit down for long periods (like at work). And going down hills is still an issue; my ankle still doesn’t like to let my foot bend up or down (walking uphill is much easier).
But, overall, I am in much less pain, and I do feel the ankle getting stronger.
And I’ve been training. I walked eight miles this past Sunday, my fifth walk of more than four miles in recent weeks (aside from all the bicycling I’ve been doing each week). I do much better when my ankle is warmed up, which is why I may ride a few miles on our stationary bike before the walk on Sunday.
Fingers crossed that I can beat somebody. Or that they don’t put the 5K walk results on the web.
Till next time.