Celebrating Running in Seattle

June 23, 2014

If you look up the term “running geek” in the dictionary, you won’t find any eloquent definitions or phonetic spellings to describe it. It may not be an official word, but I can assure you it is a real thing. I know this because I am one. Few things make me as happy as coming together with lots of runners to discuss running, run together and learn more about running. I could talk for hours about training, nutrition, gear and the science behind running and still be thirsty for more. It’s enough to send my friends and family into a coma, but I can’t seem to get enough. This past weekend was a running geek’s ultimate happiness, and I’m still walking around with a grin on my face recalling the last few days.

Brooks Running Seattle Trip on runladylike.com

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the weekend in Seattle with some amazing runners from across the country and the Brooks Running team. I laughed. I learned. I ran. I ate. I ate some more. I gawked at the beauty of the city and my surroundings. I was amazed by some elite runners. And I was reminded what a gift it is to run. Not just to move your legs, but to be part of a community that brings people together – fast and slow, young and old, big and small, short and tall, experienced and novice. A community that accepts and celebrates this incredible thing we get to do to live healthy but also to find out what’s really inside each of us.

There are 700 things I could tell you about the weekend, but I thought I would break it down to the top 7 moments of my running vacation in Seattle.

1. The people and the friendships. I had the chance to come together with some inspiring and amazing runners from across the country. I joined a group of women from all over the United States to revel in the sport we love. They are women you should be sure to check out: Cori from Olive to Run, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl, Jennipher from Fit Bottomed Girls, Anne from fANNEtastic food and Meghann from Meals and Miles. It is so fun for me to hear about other people’s experiences – what works for them, what doesn’t, what inspires them to run and what dreams they still have when it comes to running. The most powerful thing about being a runner is the bonds it creates with other runners, regardless of where you’re from or how fast you go. You might run with someone a handful of times, but they can become friends for life.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon weekend on runladylike.com
From left to right: Anne, our fearless leader Lauren, Danielle from Brooks, Meghann, me, Janae, Jenn, Cori

2. The city. Seattle is amazing. I want to move there immediately. We were blessed to have incredible weather, which was a wonderful reprieve from the heat and humidity I’m used to in Atlanta. Whether we were running or just walking around the city, we had beautiful views of Mt. Rainier, the city skyline, the water and more. I just gawked at some of the beauty around me and wondered how fast I could pack up my things and get myself a Seattle address.

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3. Learning more about running from my favorite running brand. One of the highlights of my trip to Seattle was getting to go to Brooks Running’s headquarters (known as Camp Brooks to everyone who works there) and learn more about how shoes are made, the process for designing shoes and apparel and a sneak peek at fall 2014 and spring 2015 trends and gear.

Running in Seattle on runladylike.com

It’s amazing how much time, research, testing and work goes into the process, and I love to hear where design inspiration comes from. I’m also blessed to be associated with a running company that has so many incredible people who work there. From the CEO who is incredibly kind and approachable to the shoe and apparel team who are rock stars to the communications staff who cheered for us on the race course and loaded us up with carbs before and after the race, these are the kind of people you want to be around. When you really love a company or product and then find out that behind the curtain the people who work there exceed your expectations, that’s a truly wonderful thing.

At Brooks Running HQ on runladylike.com

Here are a few of the running trends I learned about on Friday while at Brooks HQ:

  • Color shifting is a major trend right now. This is pairing colors together that can appear to take on different shades when placed next to each other (i.e. red looks like purple when next to purple and purple looks like red when next to red). We’ll be seeing this in clothes and shoes for the upcoming season.
  • This fall’s clothing line is inspired by Nordic ski. Everything is clean, streamlined, purposeful and sophisticated. (I find it fascinating to learn where brands find their design inspiration from.)
  • Another big trend is patterns and prints. Inspired by Scandinavian wood blocks, floral designs and cityscapes, we’ll be seeing more patterns and prints on clothes and shoes, including printed shorts and capris and in the sock lining of shoes.
Brooks trends on runladylike.com
Brooks trends on runladylike.com
  • Neutral shoes have surpassed stability shoes for Brooks in terms of popularity. We’ll be seeing some updates to the Ghost to make it lighter, leveraging more modernized materials and fabrics.
New Brooks Ghost on runladylike.com
  • Brooks has completely reworked its lightweight trail shoe as part of the PureProject line. The Pure Grit (which I’ve run several trail races in) is getting a total make-over. I loved to hear that Brooks admitted they had previously focused more on creating a PureProject shoe that worked for trail running instead of focusing first on the trail shoe itself and the trail running experience and then determining how to fit it into the Pure line. They worked with running legend Scott Jurek to design and perfect the shoe, adding more durability, traction and a “luggier” sole. I’m really excited to try this and see how I like it in comparison to the previous version.
Brooks Pure Grit on runladylike.com
  • Nightlife reflectivity continues to be a trend. To add to their very bright apparel collection, Brooks is adding shoes inspired by night life that have neon colors and lots of reflectivity so that we can be more visible on our runs.
Brooks Nightlife

4. The food. I ate well in Seattle. Perhaps a little too well. From a family style pasta meal to seared scallops to a berry bar with mounds of whipped cream to doughnuts, I ate it all. So much for that sugar detox I just did. Ha!

Brooks Running trip on runladylike.com

5. The race. While in Seattle, we ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon on Saturday. One word to describe my run: amazing. The weather was incredible. The course was stunning. And {spoiler alert}, I had an unexpected PR. I’ll share my race recap with you this week, so stay tuned for the race details!

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com

6. Being inspired by the next generation of runners. After the half marathon on Saturday, we headed over to the Brooks PR Invitational – a track meet that brings together the best high school runners from across the nation for the last meet of the season. These kids put up some jaw-dropping performances. Having grown up with a dad who was also an elite high school sprinter and having run the 400 and 4 x 400 in middle school and high school, I was like a kid in a candy shop at the meet.

Brooks Running PR Invitational on runladylike.com
Brooks Running PR Invitational on runladylike.com
The women’s 2-mile run
Brooks Running PR Invitational on runladylike.com
The women’s 100-meter race
Brooks Running PR Inivitational
At the meet, there was an area for spectators and runners called the “Hook a Runner Up” tent where there were fun giveaways like gold sunglasses, head bands, shoe laces and other cool items when you shared a message or photo using the hashtag #myPR

7. Meeting the elites. While at the track meet, we had the chance to meet several of the Brooks Beasts – the middle distance elite runners who train and race on the Brooks team. From 800-meter runners to 5K super stars, it was fun to chat with them and hear how they train, where they live and everything in between. They were so incredibly kind. They shared lots of details about their training, race strategies, how they eat and more. What an inspiring bunch!

Brooks PR Invitational on runladylike.com

I came away refreshed and re-energized from the weekend. With 16 weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon, I have a renewed spark of inspiration and readiness to tackle some big goals. I am so grateful that running has brought me such rich and new relationships, learnings and experiences that I could not possibly have doing anything else. Here’s to celebrating running no matter where you are! Happy running everyone!

Please note: As part of being a Brooks Running Run Happy Ambassador, Brooks paid for me to travel to Seattle, including my airfare, transportation, hotel, meals and race registration. I am incredibly grateful for their generosity, but all opinions about Brooks are my own and are not biased by their support.

Have you ever run in Seattle? What are your favorite things to do there? If not, what do love most when you are looking for new running gear? Colors? Patterns? Fit? Texture?

Comments

Kimberly @ Healthy Strides
Reply

What an awesome experience! I am so glad you got to have such an amazing weekend. I can’t wait to hear about the race.

I am loving the sneak peak at the Brooks gear, especially the prints. I’ve been told that the printed pants hide sweat stains better (ie., more fashion, less looking like you pissed your pants). #unladylike

Nicole
Reply

What a great weekend!!! Congrats on the great race and looking forward to the recap. I’ve been to Seattle a couple of times and its a great city!

Tim
Reply

You are so freaking lucky to be able to experience such a weekend! I have never ran in Seattle but drove through once on my way to Victoria Canada. Does that count?

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Tim. I certainly know how incredibly blessed I am to have had this opportunity and don’t take it for granted for a single second 🙂 Driving through Seattle counts for sure 🙂 It is such a beautiful part of the country, as is Victoria. I hope you’ll get to run there one day. The weather and scenery is just beautiful. Happy running!

Runner Girl Eats
Reply

I have never been to Seattle but every time I see pictures of it, all I can think about is 10 Things I Hate About You.

Brianna @ I run He tris
Reply

What a wonderful experience with such a great group! I’ve never been to Seattle but would love to go someday. Fit is the most important for me then probably texture. I can compromise on the color/pattern if the fit is perfect.

Angie
Reply

What a great weekend! I went to Seattle once for a girls trip, long before my running days so the weekend just consisted of bar hopping..but it was beautiful! So excited about the new colors Brooks is carrying next year, I saw the Adrenalines’ and those are my shoes….love the black and pink!

Cecilia
Reply

What an awesome weekend! Seattle looks gorgeous and the Brooks visit amazing!

I’m loving all the colours that are now becoming available in sportswear – but those Brooks tights are the first I’ve seen which look great while still having a dark base colour (something my wide hips and I value). Now to hope that we get a good selection of the range in Australia!

Kristen L
Reply

What an incredible experience! Not only did you PR your race, but every other aspect of the weekend sounds perfect too. Love Brooks gear, so I’m excited to see what comes out next too.

elizabeth
Reply

I LOVE seattle (we just missed each other). SO EXCITED for you and your new PR 🙂 when it comes to new gear-it really is all about fit and comfort…and then color!

Anne @fANNEtasticfood
Reply

I loved spending the weekend with you! So true about how you can run together a few times but become friends for life. The running community is amazing. Congrats again on your new PR! Proud of you!! 🙂

Claire - @claireandcorgis
Reply

Seattle is one of my favorite place to run (and eat). I’m also trying to figure out how to move there from the ATL. Loved this post, especially the sneak peak into “Camp Brooks.” Can’t wait for that fall apparel line! Maybe you’ll be wearing some of it when you PR at Chicago!

Leslie @ Triathlete Treats
Reply

Fun weekend!! Totally jealous!! I love Seattle!! I have done RNR 1x and the regular Seattle 1/2 marathon 3x! The running there is great!!
Were those Top Pot donuts? Those are my fave!!!

rUnladylike
Reply

Yes they were Leslie! Top Pot was all anyone could talk about! LOL! Hope you are surviving peak IM training! xoxo

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