Seattle Vacation Recap

Last week, Clay and I vacationed in Seattle, Washington. It was a trip full of firsts- our first visit to Seattle, our first time on the West Coast, and our first cross-country flight.

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Clay and I chose to vacation in Seattle for a few obvious reasons. Since I run and Clay does MMA/BJJ, August worked out really well for our work and workout schedules. Clay went to the NAGA grappling tournament in Myrtle Beach a few weeks ago, and I was far enough out from my Fall races to take a few days off and not feel too guilty. Both of us work in software development, but neither of us had impending releases at work.

Once we figured out a great weekend to vacation, we had to decide where to go. We love cruises, but with summer vacationers and hot weather in Charleston, we wanted to visit a cooler destination. Alaska Airlines began offering nonstop flights from Charleston to Seattle last year, so Seattle was a no-brainer.

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Since we were on vacation, we were glorified tourists in Seattle. We visited Pike’s Place Market the EMP museum, and the Woodland Park Zoo. We rode the monorail, SeaTrak lightrail, and used LYFT to get around.

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With our AirBNB’s convenient location off Pike Street, we walked all over downtown. I didn’t run in Seattle, but we walked 8-11 miles each day, so I logged even more steps than usual. Unlike Charleston, Seattle has legitimate hills, so our quads and shins felt all the steps.

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With all the walking, we worked up an appetite and ate lots of delicious food. Clay and I are both Yelp Elites so we use Yelp to find the best hidden gems anywhere we visit. The Seattle food was cheaper than Charleston, and we had a great experience at each restaurant. I feel like I’m carb-loaded for the next few weeks as my pants are now tighter…

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The highlight of our trip was our first NFL preseason game, the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Even though it’s only preseason, the entire city of Seattle seemed excited for the game and we saw people wearing Seahawks gear everywhere. I’m sure that’s just part of having an NFL team in your city or even state. South Carolina is NFL-less and the Carolina Panthers are really based in Charlotte, NC…

Although we don’t have a favorite NFL team, one of Clay’s high school classmates plays for the Seahawks, so we follow them closely. We’ve been to tons of South Carolina Gamecocks football games, but the atmosphere at an NFL game is so much different! CenturyLink field gets *loud* and all the fans are so excited to be there. We wish the outcome was different (Seattle lost at the end), but we loved the game!

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The weather was gorgeous in Seattle, and the morning temperatures were so cool, it basically felt like Thanksgiving. When we left Friday morning, I wanted to bottle up the temperatures and bring them home with me, but no such luck. I guess it was a nice hint of how November will feel in Charleston.

We had an amazing vacation but are grateful to be home and back to life, work, MMA/BJJ, and running. Until the next vacation…

Places we visited:

  • Pike Place Market – If you visit Seattle, you must visit Pike Place Market. Touristy, yes, but you can’t skip it. It’s right on the water, so take a jacket if you might get chilly.
  • Pacific Place Mall – Upscale mall with a movie theatre and lots of high-end stores.
  • The EMP Museum – This museum has exhibits on Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Star Trek, and the Seahawks. Take the monorail from downtown.
  • Woodland Park Zoo – Very nice zoo with a lot of animals I’d never seen before that are native to the Pacific Northwest. We took a bus from downtown, but the bus stopped conveniently right in front of the zoo.
  • CenturyLink Field – Home of the Seattle Seahawks! Take the LightRail to the International District stop, which is conveniently located around the corner from the stadium.

Restaurants where we ate:

  • HoneyHole Sandwiches– Great hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop by our AirBNB. They serve sandwiches late in the night, which is helpful when your plane gets in late and it feels like 1 AM to your East Coast stomach.
  • Market Diner– The Dungeness crab and avocado omelet was delicious. It was my first time having Dungeness crab as opposed to east-coast crab.
  • Piroshky Piroshky– These stuffed pastries make a great snack at Pike’s Place Market. The line was long but moved quickly and was worth the wait.
  • Italian Family Pizzeria– This is a hole-in-the-wall pizza place in First Hill. Someone on Reddit’s Advanced Running forum recommended it, and it didn’t disappoint. Delicious NY style, thin-crust pizza.
  • Evolution Fresh Salad– Part of the Starbucks family. They customized salads made in front of you as well as wraps and juices. A great light lunch.
  • Molly Moon’s Ice Cream– Best ice cream we had in Seattle! The vanilla was rich but not super heavy. The salted caramel was a little *too* caramel and salty for me, but the vanilla cut the flavor well.
  • Cherry Street Coffee Shop– Great bagels and coffee. I had a tomato, basil, egg, and cheese on a pizza bagel, and if we’d stayed longer, we would’ve gone back for breakfast.
  • Taco Chuki’s– Hole-in-the-wall taco shop with delicious tacos. The line is long but the wait is worth it. It was my first time trying nopales (cactus) tacos and they were delicious!
  • Lost Lake Diner– Delicious and cheap breakfast happy hour. Slow service, though.
  • Harbor City Restaurant – Dim Sum/Chinese restaurant in the International District, close to CenturyLink Field. Dim Sum is basically a collection of appetizers, but you can easily fill up on them without emptying your wallet.
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Weekly Rundown: August 15-21

With a vacation to Seattle and averaging 45-50 miles per week all summer, this week was perfect for a glorified cutback week.

Clay and I don’t take many vacations, so when we do, we make the most out of them. In my daily real-girl life, I’m one to plan my workouts, schedule meetings, and track most details of life… but on vacation, I live in the moment. It’s relieving to wing it for a few days and not live and die by the Lilly Pulitizer planner.

I enjoyed the mental break and did not run in Seattle. Vacations are for vacationing, training is for the other 360 days out of the year.

TWW

Monday 8.1 miles (treadmill intervals)
Tuesday Seattle
Wednesday Seattle
Thursday Seattle
Friday Flight home from Seattle (Sick)
Saturday 11.15 miles (long run)
Sunday 8 miles (2 up, 4 miles at goal HM pace, 2 down)
Total 27.25 miles

Even though our flight to Seattle didn’t leave until Monday afternoon, I took the day off work to sleep in, pack, and prepare. This way, my vacation technically started last Friday. I hit the treadmill for the intervals scheduled on my training plan, where I watched the Olympics and saw Emma Coburn take the bronze medal in the 3000m steeplechase. It was a great motivation booster, and I’ll miss my Olympic treadmill runs.

Clay went to MMA/BJJ and lifted weights on Monday. Both of us wanted to get one last hard effort in before vacation- and we were both starving at the end of the five-hour flight to Seattle!

We spent Tuesday-Thursday in Seattle, where we visited Pike’s Place Market, the EMP Museum, and caught a Seattle Seahawks preseason game. We walked over 8 miles each day (over 11 miles on the day we went to the Seahawks game), so we were certainly active. My step count each day was higher than usual even without running.

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Seattle’s weather was beautiful- when we left our AirBNB on Tuesday morning, it felt like Thanksgiving. It got warmer that week, but was much cooler than Charleston. I wanted to bottle up the weather and the restaurant food prices and take them back to Charleston with me, but alas, we returned to Sauna Carolina on Friday.

I’ll write more about our Seattle trip soon.

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I planned to run my 4 mile tempo on Friday when we got back from Seattle, but I was sick from the plane ride. My head hurt, my ears hurt, I was dehydrated, and I felt dizzy when I got up out of my computer chair. Needless to say, running didn’t happen. I avoid missing workouts, but dizziness was the deal breaker- I didn’t want to take any chances and fall. With so many Fall races, the last thing I need is to fall, get hurt, and miss even more training.

On Saturday morning, I still didn’t feel 100%. I opted for a long run instead of the tempo. It was a struggle shuffle and the pace was a bit slower than usual. I stopped at every water fountain and gave myself permission to turn around if I felt dizzy. Fortunately, I didn’t.

I spent the rest of Saturday at home watching Olympics and Clay grilled steaks and salmon. After vacation, it was so nice to have a relaxing day in so I could recover from the jet lag!

Sunday was a much better run. Postponing the half marathon paced tempo was the right decision. I ran 8 miles total, with 4 at goal half marathon pace, while watching Olympics on the treadmills at Planet Fitness. In my training plan, I feel like the tempo run is the most important run of the week, so I’m glad it went well even if it was later in the week than usual.

After my run, Clay and I went to Toast of West Ashley for brunch. Toast just opened their West Ashley location, so we waited awhile on our table. After placing our orders, we waited 35 minutes for the food. Sunday brunch is packed everywhere in Charleston, and I didn’t mind waiting on a table since I didn’t have a reservation, but 35 minutes is a long time to wait on two entrees.

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Clay ordered a build-your-own-omelet with home fries, and I had Toast’s signature dish, the Eggs Meeting Street, with cheese grits. The Eggs Meeting Street is Toast’s take on eggs benedict and includes a fried green tomato, crab cake, poached egg, and roasted red pepper remoulade. My grits were creamy and rich, and the crab cake was all meat, no filler. I was a little surprised that the egg on top wasn’t runny, though.

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Clay enjoyed his omelet and said the home fries were seasoned well- I tried a home fry, and he was right. Both our meals also came with enormous biscuits which we brought home. Hopefully once Toast of West Ashley is open for a few weeks or months, the food will come out faster. The long wait for our food was really the only issue, and I’m willing to give it another shot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

I’m linking up with Holly at Hohoruns and Tricia at MississippiPiddlin‘ for their weekly wrap link. Check it out and read the other posts here.

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