Tag Archives: YMCA

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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52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 5: This really blows

I have discovered something worse than hills. And treadmills.

There was a dearth of organized runs this past weekend, but I am committed to my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs plan. Rather than take to the treadmill again (savvy readers will recall how well that turned out), I decided to invoke yet another made-up rule:

4. If I’m traveling and no runs exist, and I don’t have a gym to go to, I can as a last resort huff and puff on my own.

Sure, I’m not traveling, and I certainly have a gym, but it’s my challenge and I can bend the rules if I want to. So Hubby and I decreed that we’d huff and puff on our own. Specifically, we decided to run/walk the Quincy Half Marathon route (he’s running this race for real in March) and donate $25 to the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days program.

Half of Quincy

Quincy (MA) Half Marathon route.

I was down with this plan, although at one point I said to my running buddy: “You do realize this is going to take HOURS!”

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52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 4: The treadmill. My most hated of all mills

I have no qualms about running in a freezer, but running in a giant Slushee is another story. The weekend’s snowstorm, while nothing to write home about, was enough to make me want to put my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs plan on ice. (The lack of available events at the right distance didn’t help.)

The beach covered in snow.

This après-snowstorm shot of the beach at the end of my street has little to do with running. But for this Aussie, seeing the sand covered in white is a wonderful thing.

But this is my challenge and I can set my own rules (such a rarity). Savvy readers will recall my original 52 Weeks, 52 Runs post, in which I outlined “The exceptions to the rules that I’ll make up as I go along.” In this vein, I give you:

3. If no runs exist, I take to the treadmill, or do one of the virtual runs that abound on Twitter. I will donate the equivalent of an entry fee to charity.

Hence this weekend, I invoked made-up rule No. 3 and took to the treadmill …

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52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 2: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love hills (kind of)

A side effect of becoming a “runner” (I use the term loosely) is that I now apparently have the ability to stop traffic. It’s every girl’s dream, yes? This skill was on display during last weekend’s South Shore YMCA Frozen 5K (the second of my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge) as I ran solo – hair blazing, face subtly aglow – through a forbidding intersection and coolly waved to a handful of Quincy police officers who were standing around looking bored. “Don’t mind me, guys. This kind of thing happens all the time.”

OK, it may not have gone down quite like that.

I did run through a forbidding intersection, but my hair was plastered to my neck and my face was its usual shade of bright crimson. (I could tell.) At this point, the Speedy McSpeedersons had finished or were close to it, and the rest of the runners – who had clearly become lost – were behind me. So I was briefly, and disconcertingly, solo. I did wave to the fine officers of the Quincy PD as they used their mad skills to hold back the throbbing traffic, but it probably looked less like a nonchalant thank you than a deranged “Holy crap!”

Quincy YMCA Frozen 5K

Running like the wind (but slowly enough that I can take my phone out of my shorts and snap a photo). So, really, running like the breeze.

Despite the pain suggested by my facial hue, things were pretty good. I had just come off an amazing downhill stretch that gave me a burst of energy, and I was feeling free and almost speedy. Even my lungs were playing along. Maybe I was born to run after all!

This sensation lasted for about a minute and a half …

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