Hi friends! I’m glad many of you enjoyed my Mount Rainier National Park hiking adventure recap yesterday! I still can’t get over those views. :) Take me baaaack!!! Also, take me back to that weather! I got back to DC late last night and wow, it’s super disgusting and humid here. Womp, womp. I’m glad my hard run training is over for the meantime – this heat does not make running easy!
Anyway, as for today’s recap, it’s on to the Seattle adventures! Today’s will be focused on Brooks headquarters, food faves, and other non-race highlights. Part 2 – coming tomorrow – will be my Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon race recap!
This is my third year as a Brooks Run Happy Blogger Ambassador, and the annual trip with the rest of the ambassadors and the Brooks team is something I look forward to every year! It’s a wonderful group – both on the blogger side and on the Brooks side – and always a pleasure to see everyone. A big, BIG thank you to Brooks for covering our expenses for this weekend! It’s an honor to be one of their ambassadors and to spread the Run Happy love. :) I wore their shoes long before I became an ambassador – and even had “Run Happy” on my Road ID as my running motto back in the day. Clearly, a match made in heaven.
On Friday morning, our first stop of the trip was a visit to the brand new Brooks headquarters! When we were here last year they were still building this – so cool to see it.
In addition to being a beautiful, bright building, I was also really impressed at all the environmental and sustainability measures that they put in place. For example:
- LEED Platinum certified.
- Reduced energy demand thanks to high ceilings (maximizing daylight) and a high-efficiency air-conditioning system (self adjusts to external temperature changes and internal occupancy).
- Water from sinks, showers, storm drains and planting beds are stored in a cistern and repurposed for on-site irrigation. They also collect rain water to use.
- In the main entryway, a piece of living art connects to the building’s power grid; when the building’s energy use is high, the flowers will wilt. When energy use minimums are met, they’ll blossom. How cool is that? They were blossoming when we were there – wish I’d gotten a picture!
We enjoyed lunch out on their patio when we arrived – insane view, right? Brooks CEO Jim Weber also joined us for lunch – what a treat!
After lunch, we got a great sneak preview of some of the Brooks gear coming to stores next month as part of their fall line (yeah, fall apparel comes to stores in July)! How cool are these new Launches? I love the colors! Inspired by the sunset, apparently – this line is called the “Aurora Collection.” :)
I’m also really loving the new fall Brooks Heritage shoes! Their Heritage Collection is a running-inspired (but made for fashion, not running!) footwear line that has been curated to honor and celebrate the history, heritage, and spirit of Brooks Running Company. They describe it as authentic originals (based off their shoes from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s) with a modernized fashion forward aesthetic. Love it!
They are doing a cool “letter jacket” theme for fall with their Chariot shoes – neat! I totally had a red and gray letter jacket like that in high school! Anyone else?! :)
My faves are always the Vanguards, though – I love the euro look and the colors.
On the apparel front, Brooks shared a couple great updates with us:
- They are going for an “athleisure” look – cute AND functional – and their “PureProject” line will just be blended into the normal Brooks gear from now on rather than being separate.
- Their Fall 2015 line will include XXL (sizes 20-22) for the first time
- They are improving their consistency with sizing (yay!)
- Moving Comfort sports bras (owned by Brooks) will be available in F cup for the first time, and band options will go up to 44.
Also, all their fall apparel has this cool headphone securing slot on their zippers!
I’ll share more apparel details when we get to test out the gear over the next few months – stay tuned.
Next up on our agenda was a shakeout run!
It was SO nice out, and Brooks is right by a beautiful trail along the water (the Burke-Gilman Trail). Deb Maier (far left in the photo below), a professional runner and member of the Brooks Beasts, led us on a mile and a half ish jaunt, with stops for photos, of course. ;)
So jealous Brooks staff get to run this every day! Also, again, I’m dreaming of this weather… 70s and sunny, be still my heart.
This run reminded me that there’s nothing like an evening jog to shake off any sluggishness. We were all feeling pretty tired when we headed out, but by the time we were done, spirits were high! Maybe I should do evening jaunts more often!
After we ran, we enjoyed a quick pit stop to see the all-Brooks retail store, which is on the bottom floor of their office and also serves as the trailhead for the Burke-Gilman Trail.
One thing I especially loved about the store is that they have a little “Runner’s Aid Station” at the main checkout area, where those running by can stop and grab free sunscreen, gels/fuel, body glide, water, etc! What a nice idea! I snagged a sunscreen and a mini Clif bar. :)
From there, we headed to the race expo, grabbed our bibs (I also bought this cute visor to wear on race day – mine are all getting really old/gross so I decided to treat myself), and went straight to dinner! Remember how I went to Serious Biscuit for breakfast on Sunday? Well, on Friday night, we went to the original: Serious Pie! Pizza FTW.
Pizza for days. I don’t know if it was because I was really hungry, but this pizza was AMAZING. Definitely worth a trip if you’re local! My faves were the truffled mushroom pizza and the simple margarita – the sauce was so delicious and flavorful. Their starter salads (unpictured) were also epic, as were the desserts!
As for Saturday’s non-race adventures, post-race we headed to our favorite brunch spot: Portage Bay Café! After all of us were completely obsessed with this place last year, it was back on the agenda by popular demand! Berries + a goat cheese and mushroom omelette, get in my belly.
Plus an unpictured side of bacon and a latte. :)
After brunch, we all headed out onto the high seas – in the form of a Duck Tour! So cool!
It was insanely nice out and we had lovely views the whole time. Perfect day for it!
What? A selfie in non-running clothes with my hair down? Weird, I know.
Love these ladies!
Our final dinner of the trip was at the lovely Loulay.
I was insanely thirsty from the race and all the time in the sun, so I skipped the wine and instead had a fun alcohol free cocktail – this was their “Lotus Flower” drink – basil, lime, sage, cucumber, and soda. SO delicious and refreshing! Quite fun looking in the martini glass, too. :)
To start, I had the asparagus salad with hazelnuts – delicious.
And for my entrée, the salmon with red beans and bok choy. Also delicious!
Dessert was this amazing beignet with roasted rhubarb and a chilled mascarpone mousse. YUM. Refuel of champions!
Before saying our farewells, we all smushed ourselves into a post-dinner selfie. :) So sad to say goodbye to everyone! The trip went by way too quickly, as always. <3 I’m already counting the days until next time!
Thank you again to Brooks for such a fun trip – and I’ll be back tomorrow with my race recap. Stay tuned!