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Big Weekend in Seattle

I hate it when I realize it’s Friday and I’ve yet to write up my thoughts about the race I completed on Sunday!

The race I did this past weekend was See Jane Run’s Half Marathon in Seattle, Washington. In case you haven’t head me rant about it in the past, you should know that we lived in Seattle for EXACTLY 53 weeks in 2011. I loved/hated Seattle so much. 

Things I love about Seattle:

  • the weather
  • the culture: the town is chocked full of personality, character and art on every corner. The whole place is like eye candy
  • the architecture: I love Craftsman style homes and Seattle has a ton. There are also tons of mid-century modern homes, modern buildings and everything in between…it’s an amazing place to see!
  • the parks: the parks and playgrounds are plentiful and take lovely advantage of the already picturesque scenery. If you haven’t been to Golden Gardens or Carkeek Park, you have simply got to go!

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Makes you wanna jump up there with them, right? That’s my love in the sunglasses! (This is at Golden Gardens…we also love Green Lake, Maple Leaf, Volunteer Park…)
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A new park for us, Kerry Park on Queen Anne. That moon-like dome behind me? That’s the 14,000 foot Mt Rainier. Yeah.

 

  • the food: no surprise that coffee and donuts reign supreme up there considering how rainy (and tiresome!) the weather is. That said, it’s not just Starbucks. The coffee is killer and from Top Pot to Mighty-O, they’ve cornered the market on awesome donuts too. Add to that their incredible (and incredibly fresh!) salmon. Oh and pies, ice cream, beer, wine. Lord, I could go on and on!

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream...rocks!
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream…rocks!
We ordered the Peanut Butter Cream pie. OMG. That is all.
We ordered the Peanut Butter Cream pie. OMG. That is all.
To go with that riDONKulously delicious pb cream pie, we got 2 scoops of Bluebird's Theo's chocolate ice cream. GAWD, this wonder-town has good freaking food!
To go with that riDONKulously delicious pb cream pie, we got 2 scoops of Bluebird’s Theo’s chocolate ice cream. GAWD, this wonder-town has good freaking food!

  • Our friends. That’s the thing about towns where you used to live…you leave behind all the awesome friends you made while you were there. Here is one such…
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My guy is the one with the smirk on the right.

Things I hate about Seattle:

  • the weather
  • the traffic (which isn’t that much worse than where I live but it’s still notable)

I also love all the water in Seattle. And I got some incredible views of it this weekend.

See Jane Run’s races are FABULOUS! 

The Seattle race starts and finishes in Gas Works Park, which happens to be in the same neighborhood where I lived when I was a resident up there. Gas Works is a place like no other. The former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, the park contains much of the old machinery required to run the plant. So the place looks other-worldly with all the old copper structures…it’s a trip!

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This is a great shot – showing the Lake Union shore in the foreground!

Exiting Gas Works park and heading west toward the neighborhoods of Fremont and Queen Anne, the course first crosses the Fremont bridge and then does a quick down and back along the Fremont canal. 

Miles 4-8 go around the south shore of Lake Union (Gas Works Park is the north shore). I had a great start and was feeling awesome throughout this time. I normally run with only one headphone but decided to groove with both on Sunday and it really helped. I set a target/coached pace of 9 minutes/mile on my MapMyFitness app on my phone, rocked my running playlist and felt like a million bucks. 

I stayed closely with a pack of runners during that time and kept pace with a runner I call, “Pink Legs.” Pink Legs had 2 dark braids down her back under a visor, a water/fanny pack thing and hot pink compression sleeves on her calves. Pink Legs was easy to spot and kept a great pace.

At mile 5, a group of ladies holding signs for her (her name is Kristy apparently) got her pumped and I had to work to keep up for a bit! I was thrilled to have her in my sights.

Around that point, I also saw a funny sign that said, “You’re doing better than Brazil!” I truly laughed out loud!

I knew I was ahead of my expected pace so I wanted to let my love know I’d be crossing the finish line earlier than expected. So when I crossed mile 6 I called him. Even though I’ve had an iPhone for years, I’ve only recently started getting into using Siri. So I asked her to call my husband. Long story short, after 4 attempts at yelling at Siri, I got my hubs on the line. He was already parking. Bummer was that in all that Siri shouting, I lost Pink Legs. Forever. 😦

Before the water station at mile 8, there was a steep uphill as the course headed up to the University Bridge (which crosses Lake Union from the University of Washington (You-Dub) to the northern part of Capitol Hill. I was thrilled to notice runners around me having to stop and walk up the hill as I powered myself up there. Apparently all that hill training is paying off!

Miles 8-10 were uneventful, other than the number of times I asked myself what the H I was doing out there!

At mile 9, the course crosses in front of Gas Works Park. I’d say this is my only complaint with the race. It’s really discouraging to me to run near the finish line when there are still 4 miles remaining. After Gas Works, we ran back under the Fremont bridge and along the Fremont side of the Fremont canal. This was beautiful (OF COURSE) but somewhat of a bummer since it was another out and back span. 

In order to BQ in my marathon, I need a 3:45 time. I was hoping to complete this race in under 2 hours. In the end, I rocked a 2:04:07. I’m thoroughly pleased with that time. Even though it’s not BQ worthy, it’s the fastest I’ve ever run and I’m honored to have had the chance to run in a city I love so much.

Here are some more pics!

Snagged this one on the way to race! Check out my snazzy red See Jane Run Ambassador jacket!
Snagged this one on the way to race! Check out my snazzy red See Jane Run Ambassador jacket!
Got my medal. So happy I did it!!
Got my medal. So happy I did it!!
My little guy did the one-mile kids' run too.
My little guy did the one-mile kids’ run too.
Yo! This is a PR by 8 minutes for me. Super excited about that!
Yo! This is a PR by 8 minutes for me. Super excited about that!

 

It was an absolutely lovely weekend in Seattle. The weather was gorgeous and getting to see our old friends and stomping grounds was the best. I love Seattle so much!!

Oh, and a special shout-out to my girl who had her baby on Tuesday (the day after we left!)…she gave birth to the incredible Analeigh Rae on Tuesday morning. One more awesome Seattle resident for us to visit next time!

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