Happy New Year, everyone!
I was happy to start 2013, as I have for seven of the past nine years, by doing the Resolution Run 5K at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, north of the University of Washington. I set out today to run the entire distance, and accomplished that — the first time I have been able to run a complete race since doing this same race in 2011, before my ankle surgery in August of that year.
The Magnuson Park course is largely flat and includes stretches over soft gravel and hard dirt, which are easier on the ankle. The course also has huge puddles and mud patches after the recent rains, but I won’t dwell on that. Fortunately, the weather today was great! Icy cold, but dry and not windy.
Yes, there is an optional Polar Bear Dive into Lake Washington at the end of this run; I have never taken the plunge in my seven years of doing this event. My apologies to those who think I’m a wimp and a wuss. Guilty as charged.
My time today was 42:03, pretty darn slow for a runner — my pace was 13:34 per mile. But let’s not dwell on that. It was my fastest 5K since I did 32:24 at the 2011 Resolution Run; my ankle then was on the verge of going bad but still had some strength in it. Full results are here. Also, I did 51:06 in this race a year ago when I walked the whole thing.
My best time for a Resolution Run is 24:59 in 2007 when I ran hard to keep up with a friend (my overall 5K PR is 24:32).
Here are a few highlights from today:
- Late but not too late: One thing I like about this race is that it always gets off to a late start because so many people show up and register at the last minute. So, I was late but actually five minutes early, after being forced to park seemingly miles away and having to do a 5K just to get to the starting line.
- In the minority, again: Indeed, the Polar Bear Dive is the draw of this race. Typically, two out of every three participants does the quick dive and splash and trudge through the chilly lake waters before coming out and going 20 more yards or so to the finish line. With water temperatures reportedly in the 40s today, some 1,224 racers did the dip; 618 others (like me) skipped it. One of these days, I will do it …
- Bathing suits in January: There were several runners and walkers who just raced in bathing suits in preparation for the Polar Bear Dive at the end. One swimsuited couple held hands as they walked and ran and pondered the cold splash they were about to endure. I could have done without seeing the gentleman clad only in the tight Speedo.
- Chili feed at the finishers’ area: I wish more fall and winter races provided free chili to participants afterwards. Great to have a live band again, as well. Thanks, sponsor Club Northwest!
- I found my missing glove! Those who read my Seattle Marathon 2012 post may remember my losing-my-glove story. Well, I found the missing glove. It somehow turned up by my right foot and the gas pedal as I got into my car to drive to today’s race. Apparently, it had fallen underneath the driver’s seat, and I somehow kicked it loose to where I could see it. Glad to have my No. 1 pair of running gloves back.
Nice to see a wet Chris and Sally Norred and kids after the race. Sorry to miss John Swenson, who took the plunge with his daughter Kelsey. “After an initial shock, it wasn’t as cold as I feared,” John said, later, of his lake dip.
Next up: There are fewer road runs this time of year, but I will probably do the Valentine’s Day Dash 5K at Seattle’s Green Lake Park in February. In the meantime, my fitness focus shifts to bicycling, with the Stinky Spoke ride coming up Jan. 12. Got a couple of good training rides in recently, but must do some hills.
I may be getting a new bicycle soon too, as a late present from Santa. We’ll see.
Thanks for reading. Happy 2013, all! Till next time.