Spring Break and Seattle Running

Now that my 5 year old is in kindergarten, Spring Break is something we looked forward to – sleeping in, zero homework, and a mini vacation.  We selected Seattle as this was a new city for us to explore (the kids and I have never been) and it was a short flight away from San Diego.  Since it was still off-season, the flight and lodging rates were good deals.

After a 3-hour flight, a 40 minute light rail ride and a 2 minute walk, we arrived at our hotel.  As we were walking towards the hotel, we noticed a crowd of people a block away with police car lights blazing and a camera crew.  At first I thought, it was a movie being filmed but then later found out from the hotel staff about a dude who climbed up an 80ft sequoia tree and stayed there for the past 24 hours.  Many tweets and FB shares about the #ManinTree and now even has its own account on twitter!  WELCOME TO SEATTLE!

We refused to rent a car while in town since traffic was horrendous but we stayed downtown with easy access walking to different parts of town.  In fact, I think we averaged at  least 2 to 3 miles of walking each day.

Thursday morning while my family was in still in bed, I set out to run an hour towards Seattle Center.  The streets were quiet at 7am with one or two runners along the way.  Even though there were hardly any cars on the road, I was compelled to follow the stoplight pedestrian signal which coincidentally was red each time I approached one.  So the first mile was a lot of starts and stops.  When I arrived at the Seattle Center,  I ran around to scope out the area gathering ideas for our family to do later in the day.  A few interesting museums were there – the Pacific Science Center(where we eventually decided to go and the kids had a blast!) , Chihuly Garden and Glass (I wanted to visit but probably not a great idea with young kids), the Experience Music Project (another interesting place but the kids are too young to appreciate it although they had an exhibit about Hello Kitty).  After I took a few shots of the Space Needle I continued south past Olympic Sculpture Park and to the Elliott Bay trail along the water.

 

It wasn’t until I reached the trail when I spotted several early morning runners.  I think I’ve mentioned before that even though I’m running alone, it doesn’t feel as lonely when other runners are in sight.  I decided to do a 2 x 1 mile threshold run (avg 7:55/mi) to prepare myself for faster-paced runs in the next 10 weeks training for RNR San Diego Half with 3 days of running/week (more about my training on this post).   I truly enjoyed running in a new city and exploring its surroundings.

“Echo looks out over Puget Sound in the direction of Mount Olympus”

 City view along the Elliott Bay Trail

Friday, I was up early again for a 50 min elliptical and strength training workout.  The Westin downtown has two workout rooms – one with plenty of ellipticals and treadmills as well as upright and recumbent bikes; the other room had free weights, medicine balls, stability balls and two functional trainer cable machines.  I did 30min on the elliptical and a core/hip strength workout.

Saturday morning I planned an 8mi run around Lake Union, but ended up getting lost and added 2 more miles to the run.  The lake is a mile away from the hotel and I found a race course online (Lake Union 10K) to follow.  In my head, I pictured a trail with lake views all the way around.  Not quite what I expected when I ran through parking lots and buildings obstructing the view.  The course crossed two bridges both of which I missed. When I ran past the Fremont Bridge, I was nearing 4 miles and realized I should be turning back towards the start but the course kept going straight.  So I checked my phone to verify and yes I needed to cross that bridge.

 

Ran past Fremont Bridge!

 

 

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Photo by Zezhou Jing

The next bridge I missed was the University Bridge.  I was standing right underneath it next to the Wall of Death when I checked again if I was heading in the right direction but this piece of art installation sorta freaked me out that I didn’t realize this was the second bridge I was supposed to cross.  A half mile later after checking the course, I had to turn around.  I hurried upstairs to the bridge and wondered why it was called the Wall of Death.  I made it to the other side and would you believe I took a left instead of a right turn?!… GRRRRR.  It was an easy downhill towards a nice neighborhood where I kept looking for the cross street and I reached a point where there was only one way to turn but not to the street I wanted. So once again I looked at the map and was annoyed I had to track back now on an uphill.  This time I decided to take the most direct route back to downtown instead of running by the lake.  I was tired when I got back at the hotel but we had a relaxing day with a ferry ride and a stroll around Bainbridge Island.

Ever got lost while out on a run?  Thankful for GPS on my phone!

I am happy to link up with Holly at HoHo Runs and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap-Up.  Thanks for hosting!

WeeklyWrap