This is the post I meant to finish last Sunday. I had a typically slow but solid effort in walking and running the 12Ks of Christmas 12K in Kirkland on Dec. 16, an event I have participated in since 2003 (injury or not). A 12K is 7.45 miles, and I actually ran more than half of it — I ran every other kilometer, plus a bit extra, for a total of four-plus miles running.
It was nice to be able to do this, and not have a sore ankle for days and days (the soreness was pretty much gone after Monday). A big thanks goes to my new Asics running shoes.
The reason this post is late is because I ran out of energy last Sunday night, and the work week itself was like a marathon to get through. I labored to get everything done so I could enjoy the next 10 days off, a much-needed break. I somehow got fatigued and ill in the process, and am now, a week later, just recovering.
But enough about that.
A note about the picture of me above; it is from the Seattle Marathon last month. I am always hearing about the need to use more pictures in my posts. Well, here is a picture. The problem is, most look just like this (although I did wear a different outfit, but the same Oregon Ducks hat, for the 12Ks of Christmas run).
Now, a quick recap of the 12Ks of Christmas:
- I finished in 1:51:45 (15:00 per mile pace), my official worst for the event, but I accomplished my goal of beating 2 hours. Full results are here. A year ago, I was only four months past my ankle surgery, and I walked the 5K race in this event in 1:01:16 (I worried beforehand about finishing last, but, alas, did not). In 2010, with my ankle starting to go bad, I mostly ran the 12K, finishing in 1:33:16. My PR for this 12K is 1:06:57 in 2005.
- The rains came down hard both the day before and in the hours after this race. But, thank goodness, it was pretty much dry throughout the 12K.
- Some 2,185 people finished the 2012 event, of which 1,503 were 12K finishers. The total is 11 more than last year, when the 12Ks of Christmas cleared 2,000 finishers for the first time. There were 1,848 finishers in 2010. So this festive event, full of Christmas outfits and holiday cheer, continues to grow.
- A big highlight for me was seeing several runner-friends in the first mile. Kudos to John Swenson, Richard Mareno, Larissa Martin Ralph, Cindy Mueller, and Susan Woodside for your performances! So glad to see you all (even though I wasn’t wearing my glasses for this event!).
- A smaller highlight was the chance to see Google’s Kirkland campus on 108th Avenue N.E. — you run past it at the 4K mark on the course. Have always wondered what it would be like to work inside those big lily-white office buildings.
- A big thanks to the race organizers for allowing runners to take over the right lane of Lake Washington Boulevard and Lake Street for the last three kilometers of the race. New this year, it seemed much safer and avoided us having to cross the boulevard and then run on the sidewalk or dodge parked cars to get to the finish line at Marina Park.
As usual, I plan to do the Resolution Run 5K on Jan. 1, and as usual, have no plans to jump into Lake Washington just before the finish line. Maybe some day (maybe not).
In the meantime, I hope to get back into bicycling real soon, and do the annual Stinky Spoke ride on Jan. 12. I have not ridden much at all outdoors since September; I must do a few rides (and hills!) during my time off.
Though my ankle is still very debilitating when it comes to exercising for fitness, I was pleased in 2012 to have been able to complete a marathon, half-marathon, full century, and two other lengthy (65- and 85-mile) rides; eight road races and five major bicycle rides altogether.
Possibly my biggest achievement is 146 road races since 2001 and seven organized bicycle rides since 2011 (just getting started) without a DNF. Hoping for many more, but we’ll see. (We’ll also see if I get a new bike for Christmas! 🙂
Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy New Year to you all!
Thanks for reading, as always. Till next time.