Whenever I go away, whether it’s for business or pleasure, I find it difficult to keep up with my workout routine. I find it even harder to continue training. But, since the NYC Half Marathon is only four weeks away, I don’t have much of a choice.
This past week I was in Seattle, which is on the other side of the world for me, living in New York. I figured since I was training, it would be fun to run a race in Seattle. So, I researched races in the area and found a “Fun Run with Super Abe” at Seward Park in Seattle. I decided to do it.
On Sunday, I dressed as warm as I could and headed out to Seward Park. I got there early. I registered and then went back in my car. While I sat there with the heat blasting, I noticed a few “Abe Lincolns” walking around.
It was freezing. I really thought that Seattle was warmer than New York, but I was wrong. The wind and the chill made it feel as though it went through my entire body. In New York, I just feel cold. In Seattle, it felt like the cold went through my bones!
Luckily the weather was no match for my Nike black tank top, white short sleeve shirt, my bright yellow-and-black Brooks heavy shirt and matching windbreaker. I decided to wear my Brooks Adrenaline shoes on my feet. I really enjoyed wearing the Brooks ghosts, but since these were newer, I decided to wear them.
Everyone around me seemed to be standing in the sun warming up. I walked over to the crowd and tried to stretch. I started to go up and down on my toes and tried to stretch out my hips.
Suddenly, a woman with a bullhorn walked over to the crowd. “We will be starting in five minutes,” she said. “Please make your way over to the start line now.”
Everyone walked over to the start line. I followed. Moments later, the race began.
It was a beautiful run. The sky was blue with no clouds. We ran around Lake Washington. It was amazing to be running with locals around this park that I had never been to before. Everyone was so friendly, I felt at home!
As I ran, I watched the houses across the lake turn into big buildings as the city of Seattle appeared in my range of vision. What a modern city! The buildings were really interesting and held my attention until I saw one of the “Abe Lincolns” on the trail. He pointed up.
I looked up and saw a steep hill. I shook my head playfully and started to run up the hill anyway until I just couldn’t physically do it any longer. So, I walked.
The hill went on a while until there was a big turn, and then everyone went down hill.
It took two miles before I felt warmed up. Those first two miles were always a “killer.” The backs of my legs were burning, my shins were throbbing and since the air was so cold, my asthma kicked in and I started to cough endlessly.
Despite all of these hardships, the last mile was much easier. The sun started to heat up the park and I kept running until I had to walk again. I was just at the three-mile marker when I saw another “Abe Lincoln” pointing toward the finish line.
As I approached the last quarter mile, Mt. Rainier came into view beyond the lake, providing an inspiring view. The mountain seemed to jut out of the water in the shape of a volcanic cone, like pictures I have seen of Mt. Fuji in Japan. Now I thought I must finish strong.
Although it wasn’t my personal best, I was pleased that I finished the race and came in strong. It felt great running in a new city where I felt welcomed.