My 30th half-marathon: I’ll train better for No. 31

I’ll keep this short and (hopefully, for you) sweet. I did the Mercer Island Half-Marathon Walk today, the ninth time I’ve done either this run or the walk around Mercer Island. I’m not sure why I keep doing this event year after year; but since it was my half-marathon No. 30, I guess I wanted to get it done here.

This loop around the entire island is one of my favorite bicycle rides, with its rolling hills, and I’ve ridden it likely eight times in recent months.

The walk today was not one of my better efforts. I finished in 3:46:56, a 17:19 per mile pace, and came in 168th out of 217 walkers. Full results are here. It was 11 minutes slower than my previous slowest half of 3:35, but that was pre-surgery, so I must factor in that my ankle is still missing some flexibility compared to pre-surgery days before August 2011. (Even slower today was the walk back to my car, a 57-minute-per-mile pace.)

Here are some of my other lame excuses for today:

  • I didn’t train very much or well for this event, as bad weather and other priorities have allowed me to walk very little so far in 2012.
  • When there is a nice day, I’ve been out riding my bike instead.
  • Because my training was limited, I set a minimal goal of beating 4 hours, and I accomplished that.
  • I simply don’t walk very fast, but I’m able to keep up with faster walkers if I can run parts of a race. Today, my ankle felt shaky in my first few attempts to run, so I didn’t push it. I finally was able to run some down a hill at mile 12 and again for the last tenth of a mile across the finish line, but all told, it was only about a quarter-mile of running/jogging for the day.
  • Another reason for going slow (seriously) was a blister on my left foot (and now I have blisters on both feet!).

But I still had fun running across the finish line and I have no regrets. The weather was dry and pleasant and people were in good spirits, even if I didn’t see any wacky costumes like at last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Dash. This event raises money for colon cancer prevention, a great cause.

A few more things:

  • It amazes me that the winner of today’s Half-Marathon Walk, Mike Duquette, finished in 1:49:16, faster than I have ever run a half-marathon. My half-marathon PR is 1:55:33, and my best time on the Mercer Island course is 1:57:31. (My half-marathon walk time last year was 3:14:39.)
  • The winner of the Half-Marathon Run today was again Uli Steidl, the Puget Sound area’s top runner, whose time was an outstanding 1:08:25. The walk began today at 7:30 a.m. and the run at 9 a.m., and Uli sprinted past me on the course near mile 8.
  • Congrats to friends Jen Gaudette and Mike Wilenzick on their strong half-marathon times.

I’m looking forward to doing bicycling events through the summer months, but will be walking again this fall and maybe I can do more running. I am thinking about the Seattle Marathon Walk in November, an event for which I must devote more training time.

Thanks for reading. Till next time.

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About monteenbysk

I am not an elite runner or bicyclist, though I am friends with many. I run, walk, and bike for fun and the health benefits. I can get you to the finish but probably not to the Boston Marathon (and especially not to the Tour de France).
This entry was posted in Bicycling, Marathons, Mercer Island Half-Marathon, Running, Seattle Marathon, St. Patrick's Day Dash, Walking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My 30th half-marathon: I’ll train better for No. 31

  1. Ann says:

    Nice job getting this done. Ankles are so hard to heal. Are you doing all of the PT exercises consistently? It makes a huge difference. As far as the faster runners go. I get that. I am always amazed by the fast guys. My husband is one (1:26 half marathon) but wasn’t always so he gives me hope.

    • monteenbysk says:

      Thanks, Ann! Boy, I miss running big-time. I am every bit as passionate about it as you are, but maybe I competed in too many races in the last decade (142). Bicycling does not do the same for me, but it is still great fun, good exercise, and much lower impact on my ankle. So I am taking running slow and doing more bicycling and walking. I do do my PT exercises; maybe not as often as I should. I have much less pain now, but my ankle simply doesn’t have full flexibility and may never have again. It really was a big deal to me to be able to walk better and faster, as I do now. I count my blessings. Keep up your own great running and writing! We do have those interests in common. Best wishes to you!

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