2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon Race Weekend {in 10 Words}

June 14, 2015

Every time I visit Seattle, I want to go home, pack all my bags and move here immediately. Seattle is such an incredible city. The food, the people, the views, the culture, the running – I love it all. Speaking of running, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon on Saturday with my friends from Brooks Running and an inspiring group of women. In honor of my tenth half marathon, I thought I would recap the weekend and the race by describing it in 10 words. (You can also read a detailed recap/review of this race from last year here.)

1. Community

When I think about why I love running, the number one reason is the amazing and uplifting community that running creates. It has the power to unite people of all abilities and backgrounds through a shared bond that’s inexplicable but completely understood. Community was what my race weekend in Seattle was all about.

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com

I shared the weekend with seven inspiring female runners who embody what it means to be part of the running community. We spent the weekend running, walking, eating, talking, sharing stories, coveting Brooks running shoes (especially these!) and doing a lot of laughing. But most of all, we lifted each other up which is what I love most about the running community. Be sure to check out all of these women and their inspiring stories and Web sites. They are such a special group.

Anne from fANNEtastic food
Emily from Daily Garnish
Janae from Hungry Runner Girl
Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Eats
Lora from Crazy Running Girl
Meghann from Meals and Miles (and my new neighbor in Tampa)
Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
On the outdoor deck at Brooks Running Headquarters
2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Outside Brooks Running HQ by the Medalist, a statue that was built using medals from runners across the world. Each medal represents a different and unique story from our incredible global running community.
2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Celebrating after the race (and glad to be done with all the hills!)

2. Scenic

Seattle is a stunningly beautiful city. From the picturesque views to the race course itself, Seattle is easy on the eyes and the heart.

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
View of Mt. Rainier from the airplane before landing in Seattle
2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Stunning views of downtown Seattle from Lake Union (we took a Duck Tour after the race)

Even the views from the race course were breathtaking.

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Nothing but blue skies …

3. Struggle 

The race itself was a bit of a struggle. I got only 8 hours of sleep combined during the 2 days leading up to the race and hadn’t been running much volume since moving to Tampa. Although I was running for fun without any goals, I always want to feel good and strong during every race. From mile 3, I knew this was going to be a fight to the finish and not nearly as smooth and darn near perfect as the previous year.

My plan was to keep my pace between 7:40 and 8:00 minutes per mile. I was pretty consistent during the first half of the race, although my energy levels were feeling low early on. I took a GU at mile 3 and was drinking Gatorade at every stop it was offered. I also took a salt pill somewhere around mile 5.

Miles 1-7

7:36, 7:43, 7:44, 7:41, 7:53, 7:45, 7:46

IMG_8126 web
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Anne, Lauren, me, Lora and Janae in corral 3 before the race. Lauren ran a PR!
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Fireworks off the Space Needle to officially start the race!
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Near the halfway point … are we there yet?

Miles 8-13.1

7:54, 8:22, 7:56, 7:51, 7:56, 7:45, 8:00 (last 0.42)

The steepest hill is during mile 8, which then leads into a tunnel that’s about a half mile long (and hot). My watch lost satellite reception during mile 9, which is what I believe accounted for the inconsistent split. As the miles ticked off, all that was going through my mind was “just hold on.” Although the weather was beautiful, it was extremely hot. The humidity was about 80 percent that morning and much hotter than last year. I took another GU somewhere around mile 9 or 10. The hills, especially after the 11-mile point were getting to me. Lora and I hung together the last three miles and being able to see her kept me motivated to keep moving forward.

At the finish, my watch read 13.42 miles, 1:45:21, 7:51 pace.

Given that the course was long (I tried to run the tangents but like last year I still clocked in at 13.4 total miles), here were my official results. I ran about 7 minutes slower than last year and unfortunately a slower second half than first half with all the hills on the backside of the race.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon race recap on runladylike.com
Space Needle post-race fun with Anne and Lora
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon Race Recap on runladylike.com
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon on runladylike.com
Post-race finish line part (view from the VIP tents)

This is one of my favorite races. This was my third time running this race, and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for an amazing half marathon race weekend getaway. We spent about an hour after the race in the VIP area and I got a post-race massage which was heaven!

4. Delicious

Running and eating seem to go hand-in-hand, and boy did we do some eating in Seattle.

As soon as we arrived in Seattle on Friday, it was all about lunch. We headed to Brooks Running headquarters and had lunch with their CEO Jim Weber (who is totally awesome and who also ran the race on Saturday). They have a cafe on site called the Brooks Beastro and a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking Lake Union and downtown where we ate.

Brooks Running Headquarters on runladylike.com
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon race recap on runladylike.com

The night before the race was all about pizza (not something I typically eat before a race but when running for fun, eat all the pizza, right?) We also tried every dessert on the menu. Literally. Coincidence I struggled during the race Saturday? Hmmmm.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon race recap on runladylike.com
Serious Pie in Seattle on runladylike.com
Serious Pie, Seattle on runladylike.com
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All the desserts at Serious Pie … surprisingly the olive oil cake was my favorite. It came with a homemade lemon ice cream. Yum!

Of course there was a stop at Top Pot Doughnuts.

Top Pot Doughnuts, Seattle on runladylike.com

And Portage Bay, which is an incredible spot for lunch/brunch that you can’t miss when you’re in Seattle. It has an incredible fruit and whipped cream buffet that is to die for. I had a scrambled egg hash as my post-race recovery meal.

Portage Bay, Seattle on runladylike.com

Our celebration dinner to end the weekend was at Loulay, which was simply wonderful. I had the crab beignets, roast chicken and chocolate torte with a little bubbly. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

Loulay, Seattle on runladylike.com
Menu at Loulay, Seattle on runladylike.com
Loulay, Seattle on runladylike.com
Hello chocolate torte!

5. Hungry

With all that food, how could I possibly be hungry? Well, I wasn’t that kind of hungry. I left the weekend hungry to train seriously for another big race. While I have loved running for fun and without any structure or serious training other than maintaining a solid base the past nine months, I am yearning to get back at it. There are other priorities that I must first attend to (cough, getting pregnant, cough) but man do I want to run fast and race. I know there will be plenty of opportunity to do so in due time, but my desire to tackle another big goal is getting stronger and stronger. A sub-3:30 marathon and a 1:35 half marathon will be first on the to-do list.

6. Inspiring

How could I not be hungry to conquer some big running goals after being around such an inspiring group of people? From the creativity and motivation of the ideas and people that work at Brooks Running to the awesome stories and performances of all the other runners I was with, I was completely inspired. I also had the chance to do a pre-race shakeout run with elite runner Deb Maier on the Brooks Beasts elite team who could not have been more amazing or inspiring. Deb was the 2012 NCAA indoor runner-up in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters and is the Cal record-holder in the 5,000 meters. She took us through a few warm-up stretches before a short little 1-2-mile shakeout run. (Deb is in the blue tank on the floor mat.)

2015 Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Recap on runladylike.com
Running in Seattle on runladylike.com
Pre-race shakout selfie on runladylike.com

7. Athleisure

I spent the day before the race at Brooks Running headquarters learning from and talking to shoe and apparel experts as well as going behind the scenes in the Brooks lab.

Brooks Running Headquarters on runladylike.com
Brooks Running Experts on runladylike.com

I saw many amazing things that are coming out this July as well as in spring 2016, but the one thing that stood out to me is the concept of “athleisure.” One of the fastest growing markets in clothes and shoes is the concept of athleisure that combines running and athletics with our daily life. This completely speaks to me since I work out of my house and spend most of my days at my desk in casual active wear. The idea is creating amazing clothes that have all the innovative technology in today’s running gear but infusing a level of fashion that people want to wear beyond their run.

Here are a few sneak peeks of some athleisure wear for women that is coming soon …

Brooks Running spring 2016 apparel sneak peek on runladylike.com
Brooks Running apparel sneak peek on runladylike.com

Although not for running, my favorite part of the athleisure concept is the Brooks Running Heritage shoe line. I wear my Chariots everywhere and Mr. rUnladylike loves his Vanguards. I have my eye on a new pair of Vanguards that I’m going to buy asap.

Brooks Heritage Shoes on runladylike.com
Brooks Heritage Shoes on runladylike.com

And of course (you knew it was coming), a look at the newest color of Brooks PureCadence 4s that are here for the fall season. I can’t wait to get a pair. I love the fun pattern that runs above the sole. Best running shoes of all time.

Brooks Running PureCadence 4 on runladylike.com

Finally, all of this and more is in the first Brooks Running storefront called the Brooks Trail Head located on the first floor of Brooks’ new running headquarters. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t live in Seattle after all. I would be here WAY too much.

Brooks Trail Head on runladylike.com
Brooks Running Trail Head on runladylike.com
Brooks Running Trail Head on runladylike.com
Shoes are hanging from the ceiling inside the Brooks Trail Head store.

8. Happy

After spending a weekend with a brand and a group of people who are all about the Run Happy life, there’s no other way to feel than happy.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon race recap on runladylike.com
Brooks had this float in the water that could be seen on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon race course. Reminders are everywhere to run and live happy.
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon race report on runladylike.com

9. Renewed

I left Seattle today feeling refreshed and renewed. Even though my legs are a little sore, my spirit is content and my love of running grew just a little bigger.

10. Gratitude

Last, but most important, I simply feel grateful. Grateful to be able to be healthy to run. Grateful to Brooks Running for investing in everyday runners to help inspire more people to run happy and for giving me the chance to run this race and experience this weekend at no cost. Grateful to have created such wonderful friendships through running that last far beyond the miles. My heart is so full of gratitude.

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

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. This was an annual trip that is part of being an ambassador for their brand. I am incredibly grateful for their generosity and continued support. All opinions about Brooks and any products or companies discussed on runladylike.com are my own unbiased and honest opinions.

What word(s) would you use to describe your last race? Tell me about your weekend of running!



sounds like an awesome weekend!


Sounds like an amazing weekend!!! I’ve been thinking this would be a fun race, I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle. Can’t wait to see Brooks athleisure line!


You totally have to do it Jess. It is great. Brooks is not coming out with an athleisure line, rather it is a philosophy they are incorporating into more of their apparel. They do have a line called Brooks Heritage that is specific to athleisure shoes. I love mine and I totally recommend them. xoxo

Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

My sister and I are traveling to Seattle in September for our annual sister trip. Your post really got me excited! Looks like you had a great time, and congrats on an awesome race!

Emily Malone

What a great recap of such an awesome weekend. So glad I got to meet you and that we got to sit together at dinner and talk a bit!! You guys all inspired me to want to get faster and faster. 🙂

Emily F

I also did the Seattle Rock and roll marathon this weekend. I live in Bellevue and this is my first half in Seattle. Generally I do the smaller races. So this race was a challenge with the number of people and the fact that it is all pavement the other runs have had some gravel. I loved the views and all the perks after! I had to walk a bit due to foot pain so it wasn’t my best time. But the medal engraving was really fun! I would describe the race as beautiful, challenging, positive and happy!


Big congrats on your race Emily! I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope your foot isnt still hurting. I’d love to come back and run on some of Seattle’s beautiful trails. Happy running!!!


Big congrats on your race Emily! I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope your foot isnt still hurting. I’d love to come back and run on some of Seattle’s beautiful trails. Happy running!!!

Tina muir

Jesica I dont even know where to start!! SO cool that you got to hang out with so many awesome and inspiring ladies, and yes, community is the best part! Thats why I love RunnersConnect so much! I love seeing the interaction of the runners in the community forum, its amazing to see 🙂 I know you are a little disappointed by the time, but thats understandable, and you are still doing well! Finally, the post race eats! Look fantastic, making me want pizza reeaaaalll bad! Congrats lady!


Wow what an awesome trip! I can’t wait to see the athleisure line! Congrats on a fun (and still very fast!) half marathon. 😀

Maddie @ Dixie Runs

Looks like such a fun trip! I’ve never been to Seattle but would love to visit some day… it seems like such a cool place. Being in a room with all of those awesome shoes makes me super jealous!!!

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

LOVE this!!! You said it perfectly. It was such an amazing, inspiring weekend and makes me even more excited to be part of the awesome running community!

P.S. It was so great to finally meet you!!!


It was SO awesome to meet you Lora. I wish we lived closer as we would be perfect training partners. Thanks for keeping me motivated at the end of the race. xoxo

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

I’m so glad you had such a wonderful weekend! Seattle really is just the most amazing city and the community of Brooks and the other ambassadors sounds unbeatable. I need to get to the Brooks store soon and I’m excited about the athleisure line. I also now have a bunch of new restaurants I want to try – all of your food looks delicious!


Hi Laura! I’m so sorry we missed you last weekend. I adore your new city!!! And yes, you must get over to the Brooks Trail Head asap. They do lots of fun runs and activities and it is simply beautiful!!! Let me know what you think of the restaurants. They were all superb! xo

Kimberly @ Healthy Strides

I am sorry it wasn’t a better race but I am so glad you had a good time. It makes me excited to see what Brooks has coming out (those Ravennas sound awesome! I’ve been itching for new shoes).

And the goals will happen. I find having something fun to work toward to be very motivating and helpful during pregnancy. You feel like you are handing so much over to this little one (or at least I did) that a good race gives you something to hold onto.

Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun and were able to hit up some great spots to eat while you were here! Portage Bay is by far one of my favorites so I’m glad you were able to check it out!

kristin | W [H] A T C H

that looks like such a fun weekend! and what a fabulous group of women.


What a fun weekend, I would love to visit Seattle. Way to kick butt in the race (as usual)….sounds like you also have another great group of running buddies!


What an amazing weekend ! And that is a really great half time without any serious training (or with it honestly!). This makes me want to run this race – I love Seattle!


Great recap – I definitely want to visit Seattle and run this half one year!! Being a Brooks ambassador seems like so much fun!! Is this half hillier than Publix Atlanta half (that is my only half and did not love it)? Congratulations on a stellar time!! It may not be a PR but it definitely was great!!


Thanks Audrey. I personally think the Georgia half is worse. It is the worst half I have ever run and I wouldn’t do it again. Seattle is much more enjoyable because the course and scenery are beautiful, and you still get a lot of good flat and downhill parts in Seattle. I hope you’ll get to run it. xoxo


I’m so glad to hear you say that!! Definitely makes me excited for others races!! And to (hopefully) run in Seattle! Thank you!


AH!!! OMG so much amazing fun stuff here! I’m not sure if I want to reread some parts or just go shopping! You have such a great perspective Jesica and I no doubt you will achieve ALL your race goals…maybe starting in Maine?? 🙂

Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

I feel the same way about Seattle. I just love the city. What an incredible weekend we had weather wise too! I thought it was hot during the race but luckily the breeze kept me feeling not overheated the whole time.


Congrats on your race Jen! The weekend of weather was amazing, but I, too, was SO hot during the race. Hope you have recovered well. xoxo

Leslie @ Triathlete Treats

Fun weekend!!!! I love Serious Pie and Top Pot donuts!!!! Totally jealous!!