I got through the Seattle Marathon today, and it went better than I expected. It was my 21st marathon and probably my last, because walking most of it gets less and less appealing. That could change if I get a new ankle for Christmas, or more realistically, lose 30 pounds in my Weight Watchers program, but that will be a challenge.
At any rate, the biggest highlight of today was beating my 2010 time for the Seattle Marathon Walk. I finished in 7:27:39 (17:04 per mile pace) today, compared to 7:31:03 (17:12 per mile) in 2010. Full results are here.
I actually ran a bit more of today’s race — about six miles or so, and very systematically, versus less than five in 2010. But I was in much better shape two years ago, having run two marathons earlier in the year and only doing the Seattle Marathon Walk because my physical therapist urged me not to run it (as you can see, I fudged a bit; this was prior to my ankle surgery in August 2011).
Here are some other highlights and lowlights today:
- The weather! It was cold throughout the event, but it did not rain. And I had decided, based on the weather forecast of no rain, to wear my new two-piece Nike sweatshirt, which would have gotten soaked in wet weather. I don’t enjoy being cold for several hours, but it’s better than being cold and wet. Also, nice to see the sun for the last part of the race.
- The finish! I always give it a little extra when I see the finish line. The Memorial Stadium stands were virtually empty when I crossed (unlike in 2010), but I didn’t care. The public-address announcer was loud and boisterous about the runner with a bad wheel overcoming it all and finishing. I could have done without some of that, but … I do enjoy crossing a finish line.
- So I don’t run like an Olympian: My bad left ankle has made me impossibly slow as a runner, but also, I run with a bit of a limp. It’s largely because I am afraid to run harder and with reckless abandon (I need this ankle!). I had a few people ask me if I got hurt during the race, and I took time to explain the situation to some of them. Some genuine worries; definitely a lowlight.
- My glove story: I freaked out before the race, after I had parked and was getting my stuff to go to the starting line. My right glove was missing. Couldn’t find it anywhere. Today was a day to wear gloves. I wore my left one and had a bare right hand. I had jokingly thought to myself that I would pick up a black right glove on the course (even though I thought, “Ew! Ick!”). But that’s what happened. When a black glove fell from a group of women passing me around mile 9, I had no energy to yell to them amongst a huge group of runners and walkers. So I didn’t. And … I ended up wearing it the rest of the way. But let me add: There were numerous dropped and discarded gloves on the course today. I could have chosen others, from a variety of colors. Too bad though, because the one I lost was from my best pair.
- I told a Seattle cop to shut up: Long story here. The course through downtown Seattle streets, as I understand it, is supposed to close at 3 p.m. I was well ahead of that, but I had a Seattle officer hassle me to move to the sidewalk on Mercer Street, four-tenths of a mile from the finish line, just after 2 p.m. (A number of runners and walkers were behind me.) There was no running room on the sidewalk on the Mercer underpass where I was running, but I WAS planning to move there just up ahead, where the sidewalk expanded. He then proceeded to yell at me, “I told you to move to the sidewalk NOW!” I erupted and screamed at him, “Shut up!” He yelled back, “No!” and sounded like a little kid. He then drove off and I never saw him again. There was no issue later with other cops. End of story. On to the finish line.
- A terrible Seahawks loss: I was enjoying all of the music I had on my headphones today, but decided to turn my radio to the Seahawks game at Miami for a majority of the race. Another road loss. Another lowlight today.
This is the sixth time I’ve done the Seattle Marathon, and my best time was 4:37:04 in 2006, a rainy, miserable day (my marathon PR is 4:29:46 in 2005). I’ve also done the Seattle Half-Marathon four times. I know this course well now, and it is probably the toughest of any marathon I’ve done. I’m inclined to do the half next time — though I might have said that after the 2010 race.
Thanks for reading. Till next time.