After doing the full Seattle Marathon the last four times, I decided that this year I would do the Seattle Half. My reasons included:
- I didn’t want to train for a full marathon, even though I walk a good portion of it to preserve my damaged ankle.
- It’s either extremely chilly, windy or wet — or all three — this time of year, and I didn’t want to be out in rotten weather for six to seven hours.
- This is a challenging marathon course, and the half-marathon is half as challenging.
I got through it OK on Dec. 1, and the weather wasn’t half as bad as predicted. Temperatures were in the 30s, and there was a bit of a wind, but it was dry, dry, dry, and that made it bearable. And I had fun, even if I felt a bit of guilt about not doing the full marathon.
It was my 32nd half-marathon (my PR is 1:55:33 in 2004) and my 160th race overall (since 2001).
I’ve done the full Seattle Marathon six times now (best time: 4:38:09 in 2006) and the Seattle Half five times (best time: 2:12:28 in 2004). Anymore, when I do the full, I’d wish I’d done the half. When I do the half, I feel guilty about not doing the full. This is what I am feeling in the last four miles, passing through the Seattle Arboretum leg and beyond of each race. I am either a wasted potato (full) or feeling like there’s too much gas left in the tank (half).
Full disclosure: After my ankle problems began in the summer of 2010, I have walked much of this event (either distance). On Dec. 1, I ran about seven miles of the race and walked about six, to help save my bad ankle. I finished in 3:28:20 (15:55 per mile), which was a few minutes behind the 3:21:00 time I recorded in the Mercer Island Half Marathon last March (the only other half-marathon I’ve done in 2013, and an easier course).
I was pleased with how much of the race I was able to run (including the last two miles), even if I did get passed by both Uli Steidl, the Seattle Marathon’s top male finisher, in the last 5K and Sheila Croft, the full marathon’s top female finisher, in the last 100 yards. I was also happy about doing the second half of the race faster than the first half (i.e., negative splits).
This was my 14th road run of 2013, and my events did not include a marathon. (I did two half-marathons — does that equal a full?) In only one other year since 2002 did I not do a full — that year was 2011, the year of my ankle surgery.
I’ve recently decided that any more full marathons I do will be in the spring or summer (think Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Marathon), when the weather is warmer and more predictable.
Meanwhile, I have one other race to do in 2013: The 12Ks of Christmas 12K this Sunday. On Jan. 1, two weeks later, I’ll do the Resolution Run 5K for my first race of 2014. Happy to still be able to run! But I am very conscious of how tender my ankle is, so my running is limited to one to two days a week.
One more thing: Congrats to Microsoft recruiter Tyra Nelson (formerly at Zones) on her eighth half-marathon on Dec. 1! She finished ahead of me, but I was glad to run into her in the finishers’ area to catch up on things.
Thanks for reading! Till next time.