Running On My Own

You all know I love to run, right? I have the most amazing run tribe. I adore them and I know I wouldn’t have done my first half marathon last year if it weren’t for them.  Over the last three years I have run a Bubble Run, a Wipe-Out Run, a Color Run, a Margarita Run, a Friendship 5K, a Turkey Trot, a couple of St. Patrick runs, this years Snohomish River Run Half and I have the upcoming Seattle Hot Chocolate 15k.  So many fun runs!

All of my official runs have been with my tribe.  We’ve trained together.  We’ve sweated it out together.  We’ve laughed and we lifted each other up when we just thought we couldn’t go any further.

Because of schedules, sometimes my training has me running by myself. Being able to start, stop, pace myself and just get outside my head and go, tunes blaring and sun on my face. It’s necessary for my sanity.

Tunnel to ViaductThen this thing happened. Michael and I were out and about in Seattle and a random guy mentioned that they were having a run to celebrate the new Seattle Tunnel and to say goodbye to the Seattle Viaduct. I walked away from that conversation and was like, “I gotta do it!”

“Our goal is to reflect on the past while exploring Seattle’s future. By participating in the 8K run/walk, you will be one of the first people to ever step foot in the new tunnel while also capitalizing on one last opportunity (seriously, this time we mean it) to run atop Seattle’s iconic viaduct, taking in breathtaking views of Seattle’s skyline and the Puget Sound.” – from

I immediately started looking it up, signing myself up to do the run and posting it on Facebook to see if any of my peeps could do it with me. Crickets chirping.

No one could do it with me. Dang. Could I do a run in Seattle by myself? Without my tribe?  I’m usually a confident person, running by myself just to run on the trail, in my neighborhood I was totally cool with.  I would even consider running in the races in our small town without my tribe because I know that even if my tribe wasn’t with me I would know people around me.  That’s the cool thing about our small town, it has a large running community and families come out for the Arlington Runner’s Club runs.

But this was going to be a huge event.  Loads and loads of people. No one next to me that I would know.  No one to point out cool stuff with and share in the experience.  Self-doubt started to kick in. Then my most amazingly supportive hubby said, “Hell Yes! You can do this!”, booked us a room using his IHG® Rewards points and told me he’d walk me to the start line, cheer me on via text, and be there to snap a photo when I crossed the finish line.

So, I did it. I didn’t give up. I didn’t back out.

Tunnel to Viaduct 8K

Michael and I arrived the night before and had an early dinner with our friends, Jackie and Adam, followed by an early bedtime for me. I prepped my gear the night before so I wouldn’t forget anything, snapped a photo of my “flat Kathy” and fell asleep.

The morning arrived sooner than I thought and after a quick jump in the shower and getting dressed, I did two Gixo On Demand classes to help calm my nerves and work out the kinks. A little yoga and a little foam rolling was definitely what was needed and we set off to brave the crowds.

As we walked I thought, “Wow, I’m doing this!” . I totally didn’t know how it would be. Would I be nervous? Would I even like it? I’m so used to only ever doing these runs with my tribe. There were so many people, we were in the city, I’d be running alone through a couple of tunnels and cell coverage would be spotty, so I couldn’t even join a Gixo class and have Coach Henry talking me through my nerves.

I became my usual chatty-Kathy while waiting for the run to start, talking with people around me and snapping photos. Volunteering to take photos for others. The time passed quickly and it was my turn to run. And run I did. Most of the time.

img_3650.jpgHistoric Moments

Here’s the thing. I really had time to think about why this particular run struck me as a , “You gotta do this!” First off, it was historic. I love history and this race would never ever happen again. As a city, we were saying goodbye to an old part of us. It was coming down in the next couple of weeks and the area will be transformed. We were saying hello to a new part of our city, the tunnel was finally done, Bertha was hasta la vista and I was getting to run through the tunnel before most of the people who will ever drive in it gets to see it. How cool is that?

Next, I wanted to prove to myself that I can do things I love by myself. I love the support and fun I have with my run tribe, but I needed to know that if they couldn’t be there with me that I could, and more importantly, would do it by myself. And I did just that.

I ran through the Battery Street Tunnel, into our new Seattle Tunnel, down the streets of the Pioneer Square area with its old buildings being transformed to new businesses, onto the Viaduct, past the Wheel and Aquarium and back through the Battery Street Tunnel and up to the MoPop and the Seattle Space Needle.

How could I have even thought that I didn’t want to do this run?  My goodness, I saw so much of my city in that 8K.  Even cooler were the people cheering us on along the way! I love the spirit of this city and it was truly captured in this run.  Me and my 28,000 new friends got to experience something no one has before or will after us.  So cool, peeps!  

So here’s the thing,  I couldn’t have done it without my amazing hubby of 32+ years and one of my longest run buddies Carleeh of @healthycarleeh. Carleeh isn’t back running yet from an injury, but she still contributed that day by volunteering herself and daughter Cennedy to help us runners. I was able to get hugs and encouragement before and after my run.

After a little celebration we went back to the hotel and showered. I spent the day exploring my city, Seattle, with my gal pal Jackie for an early Galentine’s Day Adventure. We shopped, we laughed, we ate. The guys? Um, they went to the boat show. I even got to take an amazing photo for a couple creating their baby announcement. How fun it that?

See people. You can do it! Nervous, heck ya. But now I am so energized to see what else I can do! How about you?

Are you ready to embrace the Confident, Beautiful, Strong, Smart you hide ?

A special thanks to our organizers and sponsors:

  • HNTB
  • Fizz Events
  • Carter Subaru
  • RoadRunnerSports
  • Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy
  • Nuun Hydration
  • Clif Bars
  • Outdoors NW
  • Franz
  • Seattle Sourdough
  • Art Marble 21
  • Albertsons
  • Safeway



  1. That’s amazing that you were able to overcome your fears and complete this run. It looked like a fantastic event.

    1. It was so much fun!

  2. […] so completely different. Neither was done for time. The Tunnel to Viaduct 8K as I talked about in Running on My Own was all about showing to myself that I could run by myself in a large Seattle race. Just like most […]

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