My, how times have changed. I used to stress out about being able to run 5K races in less than 26 minutes. Then, after a hamstring injury, I lowered my standards to trying to beat 30 minutes.
Today, I’m happy about walking the Resolution Run 5K — I did the “dry” version; I really have to do the Polar Bear Plunge version one of these days — in under an hour.
My time was 51:06, to be exact, a 16:29 mile pace. Full results are here.
A year ago, I ran the entire race in a slow 32:24, and five years ago had my best time for this event of 24:59. But those came before my ankle deteriorated and required surgery. In fact, last year’s race was the last I was able to run start-to-finish (and I did so gingerly). But no use dwelling on my pre-surgery past.
Only two weeks ago, I did the 12Ks of Christmas 5K Walk, and worried less about my time and more about finishing last. It was my first walking event after the Aug. 19 surgery. I surprised myself with a 1:01:16 time, and did not finish last (there were people who finished in more than two hours!). Today, I improved on that time by 10:10, which feels good.
To be fair, this course at Seattle’s Magnuson Park was relatively flat, compared to the slightly hilly 12Ks course through the center of Kirkland. There were two minor inclines in this 5K course, which worked fine for my ankle, and only one small downhill (downhills are my nemesis).
However, my ankle is getting stronger, and all the miles I am doing on the stationary bike, regular bike, treadmill, and elliptical machine are paying off. After experiencing considerable pain on the elliptical, I finally am able to get through a few miles on it. Thanks also to Rebecca White, my physical therapist, who has me doing hip-strengthening as well as ankle-strengthening exercises.
Also, I have a secret strategy: I save my pit stop until AFTER the race. That really makes me want to finish as soon as I possibly can.
No, I did not run any steps today. About a week ago, I tested running on the treadmill, and the ankle just did not feel solid. I know I am closer, but it may be a few more weeks before running feels like a good idea.
I enjoy doing this Resolution Run event on New Year’s Day; I’ve done it six times now. It starts at 10:30 a.m., which allows people to stay up past midnight the night before. Most everybody seems eager to exercise and in a good mood. Volunteers feed you chili afterwards, and there’s a band and a beer garden.
It was great to see two Microsoft friends at the event, Jen Gaudette (a Wisconsin Badger alum) and Chris Norred (a fellow Duck — yay!). Both did the Polar Bear Plunge; as I said, I’ve got to finally take the plunge into Lake Washington next year.
For race fans, local world-class runner Uli Steidl did the “dry” 5K today and won it in 15:11, a 4:54 mile pace. I saw him afterwards and he looked like he hadn’t even broken a sweat.
My next event is likely the Valentine’s Day Dash 5K at Seattle’s Green Lake on Feb. 11. Hoping for further progress.
Thanks for reading. Till next time.