Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Over Memorial Day weekend, I went to Seattle for a work-related conference.  It was very exciting as it was the first time I was presenting a poster of my own research.  I also have never been to Seattle and I've heard it's great.
On Thursday afternoon, my two co-workers and I get to Newark airport and we're faced with a few hours of delays.  We ate SmashBurger, which we would not recommend, and then hung out near the gate.  While we were sitting around waiting, it suddenly occurred to me, "I didn't pack my running capris".  Since I carry a duffle bag, it's pretty easy to go through, and I rummaged through and definitely did not see my running capris.  But I'm wearing my sneakers, which means I had to bring an extra pair of shoes... for nothing?? Oh no.
While the three of us had been planning on going for a run early on Friday morning, I had no pants to run in, and as I mentioned earlier, I can't go pantsless.  Fortunately, the hotels in Seattle are mostly downtown right in the heart of the shopping area, so I decided to head out at 10am to buy a pair of running capris.
After discovering that NikeTown is a "premier" store and does not put anything on clearance or sale, I went to The Gap... my favorite store.  They were having a nice sale and I picked up a pair of sweet capris for 30% off.  I wanted to buy a pair of shorts that were also 30% off, but I resisted because I really just don't need them right now.  Yay self control!
The gap capris I bought - only needed for the weekend, but a nice addition to my wardrobe!
On Friday, I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill, which went very well given my back, and then did some ab work.  Nothing crazy.  Then we went to lunch and walked around Pike's Place Market for like 4 hours.  Pike's Place Market might be my new favorite place in the world.  There is fresh fruit everywhere, gorgeous flowers, and TONS of free samples.  Everyone is giving out samples of everything.  You can try whatever you like.  We ate our way through Seattle and loved it.  It was a great way to experience the city and it also made me feel like Seattle was so fresh and healthy.
On Saturday, I decided I wanted to run a 5K in Seattle to the Space Needle.  The three of us set out, and I was able to keep up with them for about 1.75 miles.  My right leg started to feel a little odd, so I stopped running and immediately went back to normal.  I kept running and then settled that when I turned onto Broad Street to go to from the sound to the Space Needle, I would walk for 30 seconds.  
Well... Broad Street is a massive hill.  I turned and was just blown away by how steep this hill was between me and the Space Needle.  I basically resolved to make it up to the Space Needle however I could.
Map of my run - the turn to the 3 mile mark is where it goes all UPHILL 
I made it to the Space Needle in 31.30 - it was 3.10 miles, so its my usual pace.  I was still impressed given the giant hill. Generally, I try to be positive about my runs... a year ago, I couldn't run for more than 2-3 minutes without feeling like I was uncomfortable.  The fact that I could keep up with my co-workers (who are both experienced runners) for almost 2 miles was good enough for me.  I really just have to keep it in perspective - I have made amazing progress.
The Space Needle was awesome.  I didn't go up it, but it was cool to go to it and know I RAN there.  I actually think there is something more rewarding about making it somewhere on your feet.  While all those other people were driving cars up Mt. Washington, we were climbing it.  It's the same as running to the Space Needle.  There is a monorail from the hotel to the Space Needle, but I did it on my feet.
Of course, after I ran the 5K, I then had to get back to the hotel.  I had no desire to keep running, so I leisurely strolled through Seattle down 5th Ave.  Seattle is very up and coming... there are a lot of brand new apartment buildings and its very clean.
Me at the Space Needle.  The woman who took the picture wasn't sure how to use a smart phone camera... 

While I was walking down 5th Ave, I found a donut place - Top Pot Doughnuts, that my co-worker had wanted to go to.  I decided to go and buy 5 donuts.  5.  What the hell was I thinking?? 5 donuts!!  Well they were all delicious, but we never finished all of them before we had to go back, whoops.
The rest of Saturday and most of Sunday was spent at the conference learning lots of professional development things.  Monday morning we flew back from Seattle on a plane that was likely older than I am.  The wallpaper in the bathroom was very... 80's-tacular and there was a nice little CRT TV mounted to the ceiling like old times.  Also, the seats were TINY!
All in all, it was a fantastic trip!

Do you run/exercise when you go on vacation?  Have you been to Seattle?  How do you keep perspective? 

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