Tag Archives: Vancouver

SeaWheeze 2013 recap, aka, I’m not nearly color co-ordinated enough for this run

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.

SW2013yoga

One of the free yoga classes SeaWheeze put on the day before the run. The weather was beyond gorgeous. Look at that sky!

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’ …

SW2013start

The SeaWheeze 2013 start. I was in the too-far-back-to-care-about wave, which, as usual, meant no speakers, so we had no idea what was going on until we finally got to the front (40 minutes later). At least we got a countdown and a Mexican wave this year.

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.

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52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 35: SeaWheeze recap, aka, does this half-marathon make my butt look big?

It took no less than Lululemon to get me to run my first half-marathon. I guess I was going to have to do one eventually, but I probably would have put it off a while longer had the prospect of running among the Lulu faithful in lovely Vancouver not presented itself.

I forgot, however, that the “Lulu faithful” means predominantly 20-somethings with perfect yoga bodies. And this event brought them all together. Way to make a girl feel as though she doesn’t work out enough. Even though I, um, don’t work out enough. (This fact presented itself at mile 10, but more on that soon.) Oh, and speaking of girls, there were six of us for every guy at the SeaWheeze. Somehow, I don’t think the boys were troubled by it …

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half-Marathon

There were no bibs to sully all the fancy run wear. Instead, we had wristbands and a timing chip for our shoes. The chip featured a picture of Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon. We’re convinced he founded the company for this very reason.

This run was two things. It was a brilliantly organized event (and I’m not saying that because I am currently overwhelmed by brightly colored stretchy fabric), and it was physically the toughest thing I have ever done. It was also the 35th run in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. OK, I guess that’s three things.

I wasn’t really sure how to approach the race. If I had been more consistent in my training I probably would have had a sense of how fast I could go out and how my stamina would hold up. But I had never run longer than eight miles, so I pretty much had to wing it. Next time, I’ll be better prepared.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half-Marathon

The start line was under a giant piece of watermelon. Sticky. How did I manage to capture two people not wearing Lululemon?

Thankfully, it started early (7.30), and Vancouver turned on a magnificent day for us. Sunny but not searing, with a lovely breeze along the water. After the past few months of insanely hot runs in New England, this was a rare treat. Or maybe I’m just – shock – getting used to it.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half-Marathon

Lots of sea exposure.

When you’ve gotta go …

I began quite slowly, hovering around 12 minutes per mile. I figured if I could keep up that pace for the full 13.1, I’d be very happy. (I walked the Mad Half at a 13.50.) Then at mile three, semi-disaster! I had to, er, go. There was a line-up, and it cost me a good four minutes. Four minutes!

Once I recovered from this unsettling diversion and got back on track, I felt decent. I got through the first 10K in about 1.18. Not bad for me. There were unexpected hills though, so I walked a chunk of it. But at least I wasn’t bothered by the heat. (There’s a first time for everything.)

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I’m about to run the SeaWheeze half-marathon. No, really …

Don’t worry, it’s making me laugh too.

We arrived in Vancouver this morning for the SeaWheeze Lululemon half-marathon (my first half as a runner!) after a three-hour delay late last night in Boston followed by an early-morning delay in Toronto that involved us getting off one plane and on to another. Now I feel like I have jet lag, even though I don’t actually have jet lag. Not a good start.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half

Goodie bag.

Still, nothing like lovely, temperate (wooo) Vancouver and a Lululemon-themed race expo to cheer you up. I’m partially convinced that now the Lulu overlords have cleverly gathered all the fanatics in one place, they are going to round us up and transport us to a remote Canadian compound where we will be forced to power small countries by running on treadmills and performing hot yoga all day long.

Heaven help the person who shows up tomorrow not wearing Lululemon.

… and they were never heard from again …

Anyway, today we picked up our wristbands (instead of bibs), and lined up to get into the expo so we could buy stuff and line up some more to pay for it. We had received our training shorts in the mail a few months back – which of course I used many, many times* – so there wasn’t a SeaWheeze branded T-shirt. That made me a bit sad. I clearly don’t need a T-shirt, but still, sad.

We did, however, each get a pair of flip-flops by Native Shoes that are very cool.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half flip-flops

Fish-flops!

The Lulus have clearly put a lot into this event. There was yoga going on outside the convention center, folks giving runners massages, and a dude giving a talk on race nutrition. Tomorrow, we’ll be fed brunch, and then entertained by fun., the band that’s so trendy it needs a period after its name and doesn’t believe in capital letters.

SeaWheeze

Getting ready for hot yoga.

SeaWheeze

Massages, and whale watching.

However, there is one thing hanging over all this festiveness.

It’s my fault, but I’m really not ready for this.

So with that in mind, my goals are simple: finish, and run as often as I can. If I do both of those things, I’ll be thrilled.

Wish me luck!

* May not have used them many, many times.