The good news: I completed my 11th Mercer Island Half-Marathon, and my 33rd half-marathon overall, last Sunday. Even though I signed up for the Walk event, I ran more than 11 miles of the 13.1-mile race, strategically taking only three walk breaks sandwiched around the middle of the run.
The bad news: My time was only 3:17:25, a 15:04 per mile pace, which tells me that this is about as fast as I am going to be able to go for a race of this distance. I had hoped to break three hours. So I ran most all of it, but not very fast. It was my fastest half-marathon time since my before my 2011 ankle surgery, but that is not a big deal anymore (my time last year was 3:21). Full results are here.
More good news, I guess, is that my bad ankle came out of it in pretty good shape. Partly because I am afraid to run very fast, and partly because I cannot run very fast, I did not break any speed records. But fortunately, I didn’t break any bones either. My quads were more sore in the days following the run than my ankle (tough going down stairs for a couple of days).
Should I have even been running this long of a race, due to the risk to my bony mess of an ankle? That’s a fair question, but I will spare you any debate. I felt good through most of the run, though I must admit that running up that tough West Mercer Way hill at mile 11, I had to look around to make sure I was even moving. The last hill to the finish line felt similarly.
Great weather for this run
This is a cool event that I keep coming back to year after year. Runners start near Luther Burbank Park at the north end of Mercer Island and then loop around the island clockwise. The halfway point is somewhere near the island’s south end. You have rolling hills and gorgeous views of Lake Washington through most of the run, and Sunday’s weather was dry and mostly sunny, a break from the recent rainy stretch.
Indeed, it was a great day for a run; I even took off a light coat I was wearing and flung it to the side during the last mile.
About 2,300 people finished the half-marathon; 615 ran the 10K and 930 the 5K. Congrats to Microsoft friends Amy Ashkenazy for her fine half-marathon time and Robyn Wilson for her speedy 10K!
And thanks to the Mercer Island Rotary for continuing to sponsor this great event, which benefits colon cancer research.
As I said, I’ve done this run 11 times from 2003-14 (missing in 2008 due to a hamstring injury; I volunteered as a course marshal). My fastest time was 1:57:31 in 2004. In 2005, I ran it 2:00:08, and in 2006, 2:00:09. It’s always a good primer for the warmer running season. The vibe is more serious than, say, the St. Patrick’s Day Dash the prior weekend, with more runners trained and very few people in costumes or kooky outfits.
That’s OK. I was being serious myself Sunday, so I didn’t mind not seeing any tutus or gaudy wigs.
I am running the Seahawk 12K Run (5K version of that event) on April 13 in Renton, and look forward to seeing if the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl in February causes this race to swell. More than 4,000 runners and walkers did it last year, my first year of running it.
I’ve got to get back on my bicycle soon too, to get ready for the Flying Wheels Summer Century ride in late May. It’s been so wet in recent weeks after the Chilly Hilly last month that my bike has remained in the garage. Come out, sun, and give us a break from the rains!
Thanks for reading. Till next time.