Spring in Seattle for me is a reminder to get back in running shape. I love long distance races and my next one is a half-marathon on Whidbey Island. One of my favorite training routes is the Chesiahud Loop around Lake Union. This 6 mile route wraps around the lake and takes me through multiple neighborhoods. I normally start my run at the South Lake Union Park and head towards Eastlake. It only takes me a few minutes to warm up and a good song to get in the groove.
The delightful aromas from many restaurants I pass are enough to tempt me to stop. Thai, Mexican, Italian and more. I push through the temptation and make an internal deal to reward myself with a savory meal when I’m done. The University Bridge is the first of two bridges I cross on this loop. I pick up the pace when I see it to make sure I pass over before the drawbridge goes up. If I’m too late I’ll have to wait about 10 minutes which stalls my running pace.
On the other side I connect with the Burke Gilman trail and follow it by Gas Works Park. Sometimes I detour through the park to watch seaplanes and dodge people flying kites. It keeps the run interesting. I then barely run by Wallingford before getting to Fremont (aka The Center of the Universe.) This hip yet weird neighborhood always entertains with colorful characters.
The next drawbridge I come across is the Fremont Bridge and I speed up again hoping to beat the sailboat waiting to pass through. I leave the Burke Gilman trail and continue on the Chesiahud Loop. The Westlake neighborhood is next as I run by houseboat communities. I often wonder what it would be like to live in one. I consistently see a “Houseboat For Rent” sign and file it in my mind to research later, yet never do. As I near the end of my run around the lake I pass luxurious yachts with astronomical price tags.
Once I finish the loop my legs and lungs are exhausted yet energized. I ride the “runners high” while I stretch. Now, I feel more confident and ready for my next race.