In August last year, I arrived at the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver, British Columbia, with 30 or so races under my belt thanks to my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. So, even though I hadn’t exactly “trained” for SeaWheeze 2012 (faithful readers will recall my general crapness at sticking to any kind of training regimen), I felt prepared in an at-least-I’m-not-completely-out-of-shape-and-at-least-I-look-the-part kind of way.
Fast-forward to last weekend. I had been looking forward to SeaWheeze 2013 for a number of reasons. 1) You get cute (but teeny) shorts in the mail to train in. (Ha!) 2) You get to hang out in Vancouver in the middle of summer, which is lovely, even if for one weekend the city looks as though Lululemon threw up all over it. 3) You get to shop in the exclusive SeaWheeze store, which is fun if damaging to the wallet (good thing we did the entire trip on points), and you end up with clothing in colors you may not have considered in the past: namely, orange. 4) You get free stuff like massages and yoga classes. (OK, so unlike Hubby, I didn’t avail myself of either, but I could have.) 5. And you get to go to the half-marathon after-party/concert, which this year was in Stanley Park and featured Xavier Rudd (I have no idea who that is, but apparently he’s Australian and kind of a big deal).
It’s almost a shame that there’s 13.1-mile run in there. Just sayin’ …
So, it won’t surprise anyone to learn that I wasn’t in shape for this race. I think I made peace with that fact about 30 minutes after I decided to throw myself into training (SeaWheeze puts out a very cool TackleBox schedule for runners) while I was at home in Australia. (I got bored.) I do better with racing-as-training. Hubby is the same way. I also wasn’t nearly as snappily dressed as I could/should have been. I forgot this run doubles as a giant advertisement for Lulu. I’m surprised they don’t funnel those of us not in the current season’s colors and styles to another event entirely. Or kick us out of the city.
I knew I was going to have to walk the majority of SeaWheeze. But as far as races to walk, it’s a good one. A chunk of it takes place on the seawall that runs along the outside of Stanley Park, so at least there’s plenty of pretty to look at while you limp along. The Lululemon folk have a good sense of humor, too, so at every kilometer sign there was a cheeky bon mot to amuse those who were going slowly enough to read it. (Savvy readers might recall me being thrown last year by the kilometer markers. This year I knew I was shooting for 21km total, but it’s still challenging given that my brain only runs in miles.)
I did start off at a run. In fact, I ran solidly for the first 5K, and then kinda sorta solidly for the next 5K. I started to get excited that I might do better than I thought. The next three miles were off and on. The muscle at the top of my left thigh started to seize so I had to walk that off. That’s my story, anyway.
Then there were a couple of longish hills—not too steep but enough to monkey with my mojo. I tried to run where there were groups of people cheering (folks on stilts, drag queens … you know, the usual) to keep from being totally shamed. Not that I had much to worry about, mind you. There were plenty of people behind me. Turns out even the most co-ordinated Lululemon outfit can’t make you go any faster.
Once I reached the seawall though (mile nine), I was pretty much done for. (Gives new meaning to hitting the wall.) So was everyone around me, by the looks of it. SeaWheeze doesn’t do bibs, so the event only vaguely resembled a run at that point. Occasionally someone (me) would get a burst of energy and take off, only to fade 30 seconds later. I continued on and off in this fashion until just before the finish line, which I crossed at a run (I started running just in time for Hubby to see me. He later commented that he was impressed that I was still running. I am a fraud).
Mission accomplished (i.e., finishing upright), I gratefully accepted my wooden medal, teeny bottles of pain-relieving oil concoctions from a local natural-products store (very cool), and Skull Candy headphones for my trouble. Who said the pain and insane cross-country travel in a really small amount of time wasn’t worth it? This was a fabulous event.
The event: SeaWheeze Half Marathon
The location: Vancouver, BC
The date: August 10, 2013
My time: 2.56.48
Hubby’s time: 1.38.07
The T-shirt: No shirt, but I bought a hoodie from the store, and Hubby bought me the T-shirt with a sasquatch in a Mountie hat on the front.
The aftermath: There was a runner’s brunch but by the time I was done the lines were crazy, so we left and had crepes instead.