I ran my first 10k in over a year this morning, 6.2 miles for my fellow Americans and friends from a few other places. Just before light, and just after 7:00 this morning, the weather spitting light rain. Unceremonious, the city was abuzz with traffic, but quiet on most of the sidewalks. I wore my headlamp from last year’s hike of the JMT (John Muir Trail) atop my running hat, and walked one block to my starting point.
Nothing special here, except that it was actually 6.3 miles by the end, or 10.14 km for my friends from most places. Just a guy out in the suddenly windy morning! Ah! Where did that come from? Turning the corner on my 5th block, it came in with a rush. I smiled in return, and continued into it, intent on not pushing hard today. “Cruising speed,” I thought. As I made my way toward the water’s edge, down the Union Street stairs, I passed people walking to work, holding their hoods and umbrellas. I felt amused and out of place in my shorts and collared T shirt, with a sleeveless base layer not showing.
Once at the water, I ran north, the wind now at my back, precipitation picking up slightly as I looked west to see the land across Puget Sound. 25% done. My eyes had adjusted, and away from traffic, I turned my headlamp off to run alone in the dim-but-growing light. A few minutes later, that land across the water would no longer be in view, replaced with a wall of rain, silently enormous in the distance. I smiled at that, too. As I approached my turning point, the rain began to pick up more, and despite enjoying it, I wondered if I would be warm enough.
Turning around at the far side of a pedestrian bridge that crosses over railroad tracks means climbing and descending around 6 flights of stairs, 3 on each side (75 stairs total). I did so with little trouble, and continued back. This half, however, was into the wind. From the map below, it’s easy to understand how a western, gusty wind can be quite the impediment. It caused the waves to white cap, and the strongest gust pushed my lifted right foot into my left calf once. My shirt began to change color with the rain, patterned to my contours, and dry on my left side. Luckily, the deluge I saw on my way out was further north.
Figure 1. Map of Today’s Run
It wasn’t until I was far past my marker that I realized my run was more than 75% done, which meant that I’d probably gone more than 5 miles (8 km), just shy of my last, and thus far longest of the year, 5.4 mile (8.64 km) run. A short bit later, I passed a bulldozer with a jackhammer attachment working no more than 20 feet from a homeless encampment of some 5 or 6 tents. I wondered that it was being done on purpose at that hour. I also wondered that the homeless noticed, as they were living under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a loud place to be.
One more little stretch into the wind, and then up the Union Street stairs, 139 steps according to my internet research (I haven’t counted). Link: https://faculty.washington.edu/smott/SeattleStairs.html Unlike my previous runs, I wasn’t tired by these steps, either, and didn’t take a seated break as I’d done previously. I ran home without issue.
It felt like being part of a club, running early did. I never felt the need to walk today, though I did after running stairs just to make sure I wasn’t lightheaded. Sera was on her way to making homemade pancakes when I got in. A shower and pancake later, it was a really good morning.
I’m thinking of making a speadsheet to track the things I do. No, I’m not obsessed with keeping track, or measuring myself against others. Rather, I want to avoid beating myself up for not being active, when usually the case is that I’ve just forgotten what I’ve done. Check back for a pinned post to that end.