Crossing Lake Washington to get 1000 miles in 2017

Highway 520 from the East Side

Over the last 4 years now I’ve made a habit of running 1000 miles each year. I didn’t really set that as a goal this year so when I took stock back in September it looked like I wasn’t going to make it in 2017. I was going to have to average something like 27 miles a week for the rest of the year. 27 miles isn’t too hard for a week or two but to do it for 3 months of what is traditionally Seattle’s rainiest months seemed out of reach.

But then I just went out and ran.

I got 104 miles in October and 116 miles in November. After Thanksgiving, 1000 miles was still a longshot but much more realistic. I was able to keep up the miles thanks to a pretty mild December and some pretty cold runs in Chicago and Valparaiso during my Christmas vacation. I was left with only about 27 miles to get in 3 days.

I mapped out a plan to get the miles. A couple of mid-sized runs on Friday and Saturday and an epic (for me) long run on Sunday to finish things out. I did the Friday run during a dumping Pineapple Express rain (warm but very wet) and a normal run on Saturday.

I was planning to just do a normal route for the Sunday run too but the forecast was for a nice, sunny day with temperatures in the 30s. I remembered that a few weeks ago, the new 520 floating bridge that crosses Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue opened up a bike path [Well, it kinda opened a year ago but only halfway across (yeah, halfway) so there was no reason to use it]. Before, it was only possible to cross to the East Side by bike or on foot via the southern I-90 bridge or over the north side of the lake. It seemed like a good occasion to give that path a look.

I mapped out a course that would take me to the other side and back ending up at Gas Works Park in just over 14 miles.

Today I went out and got it done!

It was a bit windy on the bridge but lots of people were out there and it was loads of fun. There is an overlook park on the east side (see the photo at the top of the page) that gives a great view of the lake, Seattle, and the Olympic Range beyond. I stopped to take a few more photos on the way back.

Yarrow Point on the east side

520 path looking to the west

University of Washington campus and Husky Stadium. The best stadium setting in football?

When I hit the end I was quite a ways from home, but luckily since it’s New Year’s Eve all the bus rides are free so I got a triumphant ride home. This was good because after I stopped running it became clear that I wasn’t dressed warmly enough.

So here it is. The official final mileage tally for the year.

5 miles to spare!

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Good work on making 1000!
After years of wondering when to give up running I was more or less forced to when my tolerance diminished to the point where I got too out of breath when running distances. But I did make 3655 after age 75. Now in Tucson I am walking my old running course and end up with run at the end of the course.

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