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!!

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