I’m back! What an amazing, whirlwind of a trip! From touring the brand new Brooks Running HQ, to running my first pregnancy race, to getting to spend time with some of my best friends from the internet, it was one hell of a weekend. Thank you Brooks Running for the amazing opportunity and thank you to the amazing Lauren for making it all happen!
Where do I begin? I guess I can scoot way back to the very beginning when I was first introduced to Brooks running shoes in January of 2010. I did the typical new-shoe routine of testing a few running shoe options at my local running store. It was there that I purchased my first pair of Brooks (the Glycerin 7s!) and I haven’t looked back. Fast forward to 2012 when I received an email from Brooks asking if I’d like to join their Brooks RunHappy Blog Ambassador team. Umm… is the sky blue? Hell yeah! I’ve been a faithful Brooks Blog Ambassador (and customer) ever since. I’ve had the honor of taking a trip to NYC with Brooks in 2012, to Seattle in 2014, and again this past weekend.
The trip started super early (like, leaving the house at 3:45am early!) on Friday morning. I really can never say enough about how easy Tampa’s airport is. I left my hour at 3:45am and was at my gate by 4:20am. There were no lines, security was quick, and thankfully Starbucks was open by the time I made it to my terminal (decaf latte for the win!).
By the way, I was able to fine a really decent pair of maternity capris at Target the night before. They’re the BeMaternity Active Maternity Capri and they were nice and thick to allow for full panty coverage and also comfortable enough to survive 8 hrs of travel in. I also recommend the Brooks PureProject Seamless Tank II. It’s really stretchy (I’m wearing the regular medium and it had no problem covering the bump) and also really comfortable.
I arrived it to Seattle around noon, met up with the rest of the crew, and headed straight to the fancy, schmancy brand new Brooks Running headquarters.
Umm… hello gorgeous view! Can you imagine having the option to work/eat/play outside with this view every single day?! Amazing!
Recognize anyone? The Brooks Blog Ambassador crew from left to right, Anne from fAnnetastic Food, Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake, Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls, Emily from Daily Garnish, Jesica from rUnLadyLike, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl, Me, and Lora from Crazy Running Girl.
We had the pleasure of dining outside with Brooks CEO, Jim Weber, while taking in the amazing view.
From there we got a breakdown of what’s on the horizon for Brooks shoes and apparel. I’ll share more about what we learned in the coming months, but be on the lookout for a total apparel redesign for Fall 2015!
Also, snowflakes. Brooks knows the way to my heart. I will definitely be purchasing the Winter Vanguard when the seasonal Heritage collection is released on July 1.
We also got a full tour of the Brooks offices and learned more about the energetic, creative work environment that sparks the RunHappy movement. Everyone I’ve met who works for Brooks lives and breathes the brand and truly loves what they do. It seems like an incredible place to work and the offices are beaming with passionate, incredible individuals.
We also had the pleasure of touring the lab and learning a little bit about what goes into testing (and retesting!) the shoes that end up on our feet.
Brooks HQ is also the home of the first all-Brooks retail store, which also serves as the trailhead for the Burke-Gilman Trail. Runners on the trail are more than welcomes to stop in and grab a snack, drink, band-aid, or anything else a runner may need.
We had he opportunity to do a quick warm-up and short shakeout run with Brooks Beast Deb Maier.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it was due to traveling or sitting all day, but I had some issues with the short run. Not even a quarter mile in I started having some serious tightness with my bump. It was the first time I’ve had any issues with running while pregnant and it frankly scared the crap out of me. I tried to run with the group, but ended up bailing halfway and needing to turn around and walk the rest of the way back (major props to Emily and Lora for walking with me!).
The tightness did make me a little nervous for the next day’s race, but I decided to simply play it by ear and not to worry about it. The tightness went away when I started walking, which made me feel better. I knew I could always walk the 8K or pull out completely if needed.
I picked up my bib at the expo and kept a smile on my face.
I even found a onesie for Baby R to commemorate baby’s first race. This is actually the first piece of clothing that I’ve bought for Baby R all pregnancy.
We did some serious carb loading at Serious Pie that night.
I may not have been running as far as everyone else, but I sure ate like I did. Everything was the kale salad to the creative pizzas was amazing. I highly recommend the potatoe pizza, lots of flavor and a great chewy texture.
After a solid day of traveling, exploring, and eating; I crashed as soon as I got back to the hotel that night. I had another early wake-up call and a race to rest up for.