Fastest Half Marathon

Snohomish River Half Marathon

Yesterday was a great day.  I had plans of running an official half marathon this Sunday (Snohomish River Half Marathon) in Everett, however, given my uncertainty of whether or not I was ready, I let it slip away and the registration was closed before I could register. Hence, I ran my own half marathon (with no intention to run this as a fastest half marathon) and make it count.

It was a nice raining Seattle Saturday and just the perfect fall weather for running. Wife and I had pumpkin spice pancakes (courtesy: Berkshires on Elliott) apartment community for breakfast and I went off  running after wards with a hope that if everything goes well, I would see her in 2:30 hrs ( that’s how long it took me on an average to do half marathon in the past).

Technical Difficulties

With no real plans of what course to run, I decided to wander off my regular run route of Myrtle Edward Park and explore Seattle. I got out of the apartment at 11:30 am but had to walk almost 15 minutes to get my  Nike+Sportswatch GPS to turn on and activate the run. The screen kept showing  “Linking Sensors” and after 15 minutes when it did not work, I decided to let it go and use Nike+ running app.

Build Up to Fastest Half Marathon

The beginning was fantastic and I was wary at each step about my body. I was focussing on the reactions from my body and how it felt in general with every inch I ran. Overall, the body was responding great and over the course of first couple miles, I thought of making this run count and may be stretch it to half marathon distance (with no real deal of making it the fastest Half Marathon).

Trails On the Way

  • South Lake Union Trails: Ship Canal and Lake Cheshiahud Loop

I started running towards South Lake Union and then continued on to South Lake Union Trails: Ship Canal and Lake Cheshiahud Loop. The moment I reached 3 mile mark,  I started to feel hungry and dry throat, even though it was down pouring outside. Hence, stopped at  7 eleven and bought a banana and Zico: Pure Coconut Water and ran on these for the rest of running distance (9 miles).

I continued running and entered Ballard Area. While running on  Ballard Bridge, saw and unfortunate accident:4 car collision on the bridge luckily no fatal injuries. I continued running and the sun peeped out for a while.

  • Burke Gilman Trail

Since, I don’t know the Ballard area well, I got a bit lost running there. I was looking for my way to run back to downtown Seattle and that’s when I found a familiar name in the running groups in Seattle:Burke Gilman Trail and started running it. I knew I am going to get somewhere familiar if I stayed on this trail. And so I did. I reached the Gasworks Park and ran to its top. I paused for a while to enjoy the view of Seattle downtown and Lake Union and stretched for a bit.

  • Gasworks Park

By this time, my legs were getting heavy. The run downhill from the top of the gasworks park had my mind realize the pain my knees were bearing at this point. Hence, listened to my body and took it easy from there on. By this time, I had gulped the entire Zico: Pure Coconut Water  and filled it with water from the fountain in the park. And, continued running on the Burke Gilman Trail.

  • University of Washington

Again, not entirely sure where this trail would exactly take me, I asked a fellow runner at the signal and she said it would take me to UW Campus and so I moved on. On the way, I noticed the sign to my favorite GreenLake Park and struggled a bit to wether run it or not. I decided to run this park next time and continued running to UW.

  • University Bridge

When I reached UW, I had a slight idea that the Burke Gilman Trail might take me all the way to Lake Washington Boulevard which was way opposite to my apartment. Hence, I traced my steps back on the Burke Gilman Trail  and after several phone calls from my wife ( it was almost close to two hours since I was gone out running), I decided to take the University Bridge and run towards EastLake.

Knee Pain: the devil was back

By this time, I was pretty beat up and the thought that popped in my mind earlier to stretch this run to may be a marathon distance, felt ludicrous. My left knee started to hurt just like it did few months ago. I am not sure what triggers this pain and I am still struggling to find an optimal posture. This pain is intermittent. It wasn’t there in previous half marathon runs I did and this is what surprises me about this pain.

Anyway, it felt like a knuckle lock, like something in my knee was rubbing against each other. I slowed down from that moment on. And then came the downpour rain again. The one I was really waiting for. The feeling of running in this rain was exhilarating. The shoes became heave with rain, the drops fell on face, like tiny needles trying to pierce through the skin.

At one moment, the pain in the knee got unbearable, that when my wife called ( for third time), I asked if she could come and pick me up. By that time, I was just a mile away from my fastest half marathon distance, and hence, I decided to continue running.

It was a happy feeling to see South Lake Union back again in the course of two hours. The rain had emptied the streets and on my way through the downtown, I saw from a distance, a dude standing at the doorsteps of his shop and taking my picture. I waived at him thinking he might be thinking of me as some weirdo. But hey, I remember the growing up days back in India and playing with my brother and sisters in the rain during monsoons.

Achievement: Fastest Half Marathon

Farthest Run

I was almost 10 minutes away from home when the Nike+ app announced that I have finished my half marathon distance and that this was the fastest half marathon, but I continued to run just to overtake my previous farthest run and stopped finally at 14.1 miles in a total of 2hrs: 30 mins making it my fastest half marathon distance so far which I enjoyed with a nice lunch of pasta with wife.

My previous 13.1 half marathon distance best timing was 2 hrs 27 mins and this one was done in 2 hrs 16mins making it my fastest half marathon distance run so far ( Feeling Proud of Myself :))

Burke Gilman Trail

Recovery

I am wearing running knee sleeve on my left knee as of now and just resting it on a pillow. Hoping to be fully recovered by the start of next week. Should have done a lot more stretches and rollings and will be doing exactly that over next few days.

 

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