I love this city! I've been here for business in the past, staying and enjoying the downtown area of the city with its good food and Starbucks on every corner.
This year I looked forward to returning to run a Rock n' Roll Half Marathon and then spending a couple of days after the race to see some of what the city has to offer. The flight was easy and uneventful, if long, and the cab ride into the downtown area and my hotel enjoyable, thanks to a very friendly and intelligent cab driver.
Originally I'd booked myself into the Hyatt House Hotel near the Space Needle. My rationale was that it would be close to the start line of the race. But then a few months later, I rethought that logic and looked at other options. The race organizers always do a great job of negotiating deeply discounted hotel rates at the key hotels wherever they hold their races.
So I took a look and realized that I could stay at the Grand Hyatt for about the same rate as the Hyatt House and be just a block away from the Westlake station where I could catch the LINK south to CenturyLink Field for packet pickup and the monorail north to the start line at the Space Needle. It was an infinitely better hotel and location. So I cancelled my Hyatt House reservation and booked my reservation at the Grand Hyatt through the race housing bureau and was still able to claim my Hyatt Gold Passport membership and therefore earn points for my stay. Oh, my! Words cannot express how thankful I am that I changed hotels! Read on to find out why.
I had brought back a nasty head cold from my trip to San Diego three weeks earlier and was still battling the symptoms. While the head cold symptoms had abated, it had moved into my chest and had been lingering for a couple of weeks. The day before I was to fly to Seattle, I woke up to alarmingly increased chest congestion and a dry, barking cough. I had a decision to make...do I continue with my plans and hope that the symptoms get better, or do I cancel my plans, possibly pay a penalty from the hotel for late cancellation and pay a rebooking fee with United to re-use the credits.
My decision was made. I would continue with my plans and hope for the best, hope that the chest congestion was just a passing thing and that I'd be well enough to run the race two days later.
The hotel was gorgeous! The woman who checked me in was so caring and professional. She recommended the deli off the lobby as a great place to grab a sandwich, so after I dropped my bags at my room, I walked back down and checked it out. There was a full-service Starbucks cafe, the deli, and a great-looking sushi restaurant in the lobby. I decided to try the sushi place and had a great meal of various nigiri, noodles, and Cali rolls for dinner. The concept for the restaurant was so cool! A conveyor belt continually passed around the sushi sit-down counter, while sushi chefs worked in the center, creating and replenishing. If I sat there long enough, new items would pass by and I could grab something else to eat.
I stopped at the Starbucks afterward and grabbed a cappuccino, and ducked into the deli to grab a couple of cans of microbrew beers and some chocolates for later. Then I returned to my hotel room to assess my situation. My symptoms were getting progressively worse. I had a few Mucinex tablets with me, but only enough to get me through the night of coughing.
The next morning I had breakfast at Starbucks - a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant - and then thought long and hard about what to do next. I decided I might as well go on down to the expo and get my race packet, at least get some of my money's worth from the race: a tech fabric shirt.
Taking the LINK was so easy and quick. The Westlake station was so close and easy - just one block away from the hotel. A train arrived just moments after I got down to the platform. I got off at the Chinatown/International District station and had a pleasant walk to the exhibit hall just south of the stadium to get to the expo. I arrived just as they opened the doors, so had to stand in a fairly long line to get in. But the line moved somewhat quickly and I made a beeline to the bib pickup area, found my designated pickup line, and quickly got my bib then headed through the expo area toward where I could pick up my race shirt and bag. Task accomplished, I found my way to the exit and retraced my steps to the LINK station to head back toward the hotel. The Brooks Running booth declared "Happy" but I was not too happy knowing there was a good chance I wouldn't be running this race.
I dropped my things off at the hotel then went back out in search of a drugstore to buy more Mucinex and then entered the big indoor mall, Pacific Place, where Google Maps told me there was a cupcake shop. These errands done, I was ready to call it quits for the day. I went back to the hotel, bought a deli sandwich, and headed to my room for lunch and a nap. At this point, I was pretty certain I would not be running the race the next day.
For dinner that night, I went back down to the sushi restaurant and picked out a few items to go, brought it all back to my room and crawled into bed, TV on, and ate my dinner. I was totally "spent" and exhausted from the chest tightness, coughing, and inability to breathe.
It was very hard to stay in bed Saturday morning, knowing that all of the other runners were lining up at the start line, getting ready to run the marathon. Throughout the morning, I thought about this doggone race! I went down to Starbucks and ordered another breakfast, including a Frappuccino this time, which though cloyingly sweet, felt icy cold and soothing going down. I watched Facebook on my cellphone, waiting to see others post their finish photos. It was depressing. But I was so sick and I had to remind myself that I really did the right thing.
I treated myself to room service for dinner that night, convincing myself that I deserved it, even though I didn't run that race.
Sunday morning I felt no better, was still struggling to breathe, still needing Mucinex every 4 hours to hold the dry, uncontrollable cough at bay. I thought about getting out, taking the Monorail up to the Space Needle and the museums in that area, but just didn't have it in me and just didn't feel well enough for even that little bit of exertion.
So another morning at Starbucks, another day spent in the hotel room watching TV, another room service dinner.
I packed my things that night, then checked out the next morning for my trip back to the airport. The woman at the front desk remembered me and asked about me. She knew I arrived sick and was possibly not going to run the race. I was so impressed that she remembered me and asked about me. Definitely going to stay at this hotel again if I ever get back to Seattle.
Another uneventful flight back to Houston and I was back home, back to my kitty, back in my own bed Monday night.
For the next few weeks I'll be spending my mornings in rehearsals for our next play performance and working on the playbill artwork and the sound effects for the play. Another summer off from running, too, as my next half marathon is not until late September. A badly needed break from the running.