Friday, 29 August 2014

Lululemon SeaWheeze 2014: Yoga, Run, Party

Last weekend, Greg and I headed to Vancouver to run in the third Lululemon SeaWheeze which is a half marathon.  I started running solely to run in this race since we all know about my love affair with Lululemon.
We got to Vancouver early Thursday night but more on that in another blog to come.  Friday morning we headed to the Vancouver Convention Center to pick up our race packets.  There was also a SeaWheeze Store but I wasn’t too keen on waiting in line for hours so I really didn’t think I would get into it.  I knew some people from the SW Chat group were heading to line up at 1am and that is just not me.  That being said, next year I will be there much much earlier.  However, when we got to the convention center, the line up wasn’t too bad so we waited.
There was an anime convention on the other side of the convention center so they kept  us entertained while we waited.  It was interesting to see anime’rs and lemons in the same area.  I don’t think you could have found 2 more different groups of people to be in the same building.  
Greg went and got his race packet while I waited in line.  Then I went to get mine.  They had some videos playing and it was a nice change from waiting in the clothing line.  Our race swag included orange wristbands instead of bibs (brilliant, more races should do this), a bag to check the following day if you wanted to (we didn’t), a water bottle, free coffee and a headband/bag tag.  If you are interested in a swag bag they are currently on eBay for $22 which is far more then what its actually worth hahah.
After the race packet, I went and walked around the various sponsor vendors.  The big sponsors were, Saje Wellness, David’s Tea (who kept us hydrated while waiting in line) and Glacier Water.  There were spray tattoos which had long lines then the store for some strange reason and massages which also had long line ups.  I also took a photo of the Vancouver Olympic Torch but somehow that photo didn’t end up in this blog.  Perhaps I will share it in another one.  It is pretty cool.
Soon we were so close but so far away.  I wanted in so desperately.
And finally we were in.  If you were a size 2 or 12 you were in luck.  Anything in between and especially in size 6, there were slim pickings.  I did not too badly.
Had Greg not been there I probably would have bought a few more things  but he didn’t really think I “needed” them.  And he was right except for one pair of shorts I really wished I had boughten.  I saw lots of SW stuff on Saturday that I didn’t even know existed which leads me my decision of getting up crazy early next year and waiting in line before the store opens so I have even more options.  There was a 15 item limit that many took advantage of and you can look on ebay for that too.  But more on that later.
Probably my favourite thing about the orange wrist band is that everybody knew who you were so to speak.  And it was like this instant conversation breaker especially with other wristbanders.  And even better were those you saw after the race in bars and restaurants all kinda waddling and looking in pain after sitting too long.  It was a neat deal.
We got back to our hotel early Friday night and laid out my essentials and was in bed by 8pm.  My alarm was going off at 450am so don’t make fun of me too badly hahaha.  I wore my brand new shorts for the race.  I was gonna wear the SeaWheeze shorts you get for registering but I knew the majority would be wearing those so I didn’t.
The City of Vancouver Transit Dept offered free fares for all runners to and from the area on race day.  Such an awesome thing for them to do!!  It was much appreciated!!
Getting ready to warm up.  Warm up was at 620 and was over by 645.  Race started at 7am but there were timed corrals and since my goal was to finish between 230+3 hours, we didn’t start running until 734 approximately so I was pretty stiff by the time we got going.  While I appreciated the warm up, some pre stretching probably would have been more beneficial given the wait times to follow.
All my hard work about to pay off.  I cried that morning when I watched a video my girls made for me with my sister who was watching them.  I cried because they were so excited for me and because essentially I was doing this as much for them as I was myself.  Anything is possible if you just try.  The hardest part is just starting to begin with.  I know I sound like an e-card on Pinterest but it’s true.  
The official “start” area to the race.  It was also the end to the race.
Waiting for our corral to get to the front.  The best or maybe the worst part was the older lady standing at her balcony window with panties + a shirt on.  I don’t think she realized how much we could see.  It gave us all a good chuckle while we waited for the race to start. 
Almost there.
It was a long race.  My goal was to finish in less then 3 hours and it was Greg’s goal for us to finish at 245.  We finished at 2:47:15 and only took one extra walk break then what we scheduled.  We did the 10 min run, 1 minute walk.  The further we got in, the more all the different watch beeps frustrated you.  I hated running when others were walking.  I did pretty good until around the 17K mark.  It was there that I thought I was gonna die and wanted to die all at the same time.  I was done.  I hurt, I was tired and hot.  I was done.  Greg was trying to motivate me but really he irritated me and I told him I didn’t want to run with him anymore and I really did mean it.  Around the 18K point, we got to a hydration station and I dumped water on me and had some pink vega and it seemed I got my groove back and knew I could finish strongly.  When we got to 20K, I was overwhelmed that I had made it that far and we all celebrated with the great cheer leaders that all we had was 1K left.  Just 1 last friggin kilometre.  I had this.  I could do it.  But seriously, no friggin joke, it was the longest KM of my ENTIRE LIFE.  I thought it was never gonna end.  But it did.
And here I am with my medal.  Seriously one of the greatest moments of my life.  I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to do this.  Never.  I was never a runner.  I ran the 100m races in track in junior high and high school because it was short and I never finished on top.  I sucked.  I remember doing Bikini Bootcamp before Finley was born and dying as we ran laps around fields. I was not a runner.  Or so I thought.  It hasn’t been easy.  There has lots of sweat, tears, frustration, pride – pretty much any emotion that you could think of.  I dealt with it all since I started this journey 9 months ago.  So many times I wanted to quit, to give up but thankfully Greg wouldn’t let me.  He has supported me, loved me, encouraged me, pushed me out the door, massaged my aching body, rolled out my super tight calves, took on extra parenting duties as I went to boot camp and long runs and rarely  complained.  I truly believe that if not for him, I couldn’t have done it.  Cheesy I know but I do believe that.  And I know I have shared a lot of this journey on Facebook and Instagram and people are probably sick of seeing posts about me and my SeaWheeze but I am just so damn proud of myself that I really don’t even care.  If I can make a difference in someone achieving something they so badly want then annoying all of you is worth it in my books.  All of the encouraging FB comments the morning of the race were so inspiring.  I actually had to quit reading them before we started because I was afraid I was going to cry.  I am blessed to have such great friends and family who have supported me in this journey.  And if you are wondering if I cried when I crossed the finish line, I didn’t.  Aside from promising Greg I wouldn’t, I think I was so exhausted both mentally and physically that I didn’t even have it in me to cry even if I wanted to.
As we finished the race, we were given bottles of Glacier Water in Whistler.  It is the only bottled Glacier water in the county.  We got coconut water from Zinco which was great too.  Greg does not like coconut water.  We got bottles of Peppermint  Halo + Muscle Relief from Saje Wellness.  They also had a massage area set up but the line up for that was longer then the half marathon we just ran.  We also got some sweet hats from Lululemon to put on over our gross sweaty hair.
And then it was time to eat.  The breakfast brunch was put on by Barefoot Bistro and seriously, they gave us the best homemade waffles I have ever had in my life and topped with the blueberry compote. It was the best thing ever.  And tasted so darn good.  We were also given an unlimited supply of watermelon, oranges and bananas thanks to and that watermelon was so darn refreshing.  Thank you to both companies for providing us with enough fuel to get home and recover!
My favourite post run stretch.  It’s amazing.  Almost every available wall space inside the convention centre looked like this.  I recommend you do it.
Here is the run route.  It was a beautiful way to experience Vancouver.
This is from Lululemon’s Instagram page.  This was Cornwall.  I even said to Greg as we approached it and saw the wall to wall of people that I wish I had my iPhone out so that I could take this photo.  Thankfully Lulu did it for me.  Their head office is just at the beginning of this street.  It’s my dream to work there :)
The streets were lined with Voluncheers and so many cheer leaders who didn’t even know anyone in the race.  They were handing out water, spraying us down and cheering us on when we needed it most.  Some signs were so funny and made you laugh right when you wanted to die.  Some of my favourite signs were:
It’s not sweat, it’s liquid awesome
Come and run, bae
What does the Fox say? Run run run run run run run
Chuck Norris never ran a half marathon
There was one that we kept saying that said I would swipe right for you that I didn’t get until later on when it was beside a sign that said find me on tinder and apparently if you like someone on tinder you swipe right.  The things you learn while running a race
I don’t even know you but I am so proud of you 
You thought you said rum
It seemed like a good idea in February
Keep running I farted
Run like there is a creepy guy behind you and a hot guy in front of  you
And unfortunately I can’t remember any more but they were awesome and I am so grateful of every single one of you who took time to do this.
I still more blogs to come about vancouver, the sunset festival and all the great restaurants we ate it.  Stay tuned!!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Biking Fish Creek

Last weekend we went for a bike ride in Fish Creek.  We spend a lot of time in Fish Creek it seems – biking, riding, running, swimming, walking – it’s such a great park to have in the south!  There are lots of creeks within Fish Creek and so after getting on our bikes at Glennfield, we rode to a bridge, parked our bikes and went in the water.  Well I didn’t get in, but the girls and Greg did.
It was a little chilly but that didn’t hold Penelope back for too long.
Having fun in the creek water.
Looking at minnows.  Seriously am I the only one who is not bothered at the idea of fish around you as you swim unless you are in Mexico or Hawaii or somewhere tropical??
Just a little relaxation
You will notice that everybody has their clothes back on except for Penelope.  When it was time to get dressed and continue on our bike ride she dunked her clothes in the water and wouldn’t wear them because they were wet.
We ended up biking for 14K that afternoon – the kids are total rockstars on their bikes.  Such a big journey for them!!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bow Habitat + Fish Hatchery

Right after August Long Weekend, we met up with Grandma Jen at the Bow Habitat and Fish Hatchery.  We had never been before and the girls were so excited.
This is where they breed Rainbow Trout and once they are big enough they are released into the ponds and Bow River.  Really cool program.  If you are there at the right time you can go on the tour and go right into this but we missed the tour.
This was really cool.  They had car racing and bowling.  I want this installed in our house hahahaha
Learning all about the insides of the fish.  The girls love
The coolest fish in the whole place
Outside of the station there is a huge pond that is stocked with the Rainbow Trout.  You can only use a fishing rod with no bait and no hook.  We were not seasoned fishers by any means so we just watched them swim on by.  The girls loved looking for the fish and finding the baby ones.  Finley was very good at it.
We moved on to the pond that was just behind the hatchery where you could use your nets.  We still had no luck as the fish were smart and stayed in the middle of the pond far from our net.
Getting a little frustrated at our lack of fish getting, we went to the park to blow off steam and wait for Rick to arrive to help us out. 
And did he ever help us out!!  He caught so many fish!!  The girls were so excited by this!!!
Inspecting their haul.  We figured we had enough for 2 each at supper.  Just Kidding. These fish are way too small to keep!!  The girls got to hold some of the fish and throw a few back in the water.
The girls and Grandma Jen dumping out the fish back into the water.  Hopefully no harm was done to them!!
Making Grandma Jen’s sidewalk pretty with their chalk creations before supper
This photo perfectly sums up our day with Grandma Jen.  The sun was shining, the weather was perfect, and so much fun was had.  I love all the goofiness in this photo.  This was taken at Nellie Breen Park in Inglewood which is my favourite playground in the whole world.  I have yet to see one that is better in any capacity.  They even have adirondack chairs with feet benches.  Its marvellous!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Jasper National Park

On August Long Weekend, we packed up and headed to Jasper…about 8 hours later then we were supposed to.  There was somewhat of a crisis at Greg’s office so he was asked by some important people that he attend a meeting in downtown Calgary to deal with it.  Jimmy and Nancy were able to leave early in hopes that they could find a campsite.  Why were we looking for a campsite on a long weekend?? Well by the time Greg went to book a site, everything was reserved.
Unfortunately, J+N were not lucky enough to find a campsite and were stuck at the overflow site which was really nice except for the fact that you couldn’t have a fire which really was no fun at all.
I woke up early Saturday morning to get my run in and decided to run to the Snaring River Campsite to see if any campers were leaving today so we could move over to a real site.
And I found a couple who were just packing up to leave so I ran back to our campsite, grabbed our car and went to park at the newly found site.  I paid for it and then left our traverse there and ran back.  It was a camping miracle!!
Later on that Saturday, we headed to Edith Cavell as we had wanted to see how it looked after the ice avalanche from two years ago.  We were there July long weekend in 2013 so it was interesting to see all the change and damage caused by the avalanche.
You used to be able to get right down to the glacier water but now you can’t.  There also used to be two paths to get to that point but now there are two paths from the parking lot that now merge into the same path.  Mother Nature is an amazing beast.
Visiting the Jasper Bear as is a tradition when visiting Jasper!
At Maligne Canyon 
This was as far as I got as my knee was hurting too much and the way this hike is, there just too much risk and making my knee even worse.  So I turned around and waited and people watched which is a truly fascinating thing to do in a popular tourist spot hahahaha
Greg trying to teach Finley how to play badminton
Our Campfire!!!!
Our 4th bear we saw as we drove home!!
So what started out as a completely awful weekend turned out to be a really good one!!!