Running VanSweaty at SeaWheeze Recap

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“Today was amazing. Today was fun. Tomorrow brings another run.” – The quote on the water bottle that came with bag pickup.

Last weekend I traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia for my second consecutive Lululemon SeaWheeze 1/2 Marathon weekend. This continues to be my all time favorite race weekend–in large part because I get to share it with my best friend, but also because, let’s face it, Lululemon knows what the hell they are doing and puts on an amazing event.        

I arrived on Thursday and Sigrid and I checked into the Pacific Rim hotel next door to the Convention Center for easy access to the Showcase Store on Friday. We had dinner at the Cactus Club and hit the sack by 10pm. Our alarms were set for 2:30am so we could get in line for the Showcase Store no later than 3am. After hitting snooze a few times we made it into line before 3am.

There were nearly 200 people in line ahead of us. The front of the line got there after dinner. Duly noted. Next year’s game plan will be wildly different. We had camping chairs and our own mirror–which would prove to be one of the best ideas either of us has ever had. IMG_2988-0We settled in for the long wait. This year the store opened at 7am with a couple of hours of runner only access before the general public was admitted.

Sigrid and I were in the first group of people to be admitted to the store. Sigrid quickly stashed our mirror under a table and we deployed the bags we’d brought to shove the Lululemon gear we were interested into. We made a sweep of our sizes, grabbed our mirror, and made our way to the communal dressing room. It was 7:25.

At 7:40 I ventured back out to the store to grab the CRBs (Cool Racer Back) I was interested in a size bigger to compare. Oddly I ended up buying three CRBs – 1 in an 8 and 2 in a 6. I would have loved to try on the green CRB in an 8 but by 7:40am THERE WERE NONE LEFT! Craziness!!

We wandered the store a bit more just to make sure we’d gotten everything we wanted. Two thoughts: 1. I heard the store was completely sold out by 3:30pm. 2. The exchange rate was amazing. Basically EVERYTHING I did in Vancouver was 30% off.

Pre-SeaWheeze my Showcase Store plan was to grab ALL of the Trackers (shorts), a couple of CRBs, and a pair of Run Inspired Crops (Capris). Once in the store though, my plan immediately changed. For one thing, I hated the anemic colors of the prints on the Trackers. I grabbed the “Bug” trackers and then noticed some more vibrant and cool patterns on the Speeds (another style of shorts). Why Lululemon made twice as many prints on the Speeds than they did on the Trackers I will never know. I did try on the speeds and tore them off, horrified. HA! My grandmother used to have a saying “Mutton dressed like lamb.” Yeah, my 46 year old butt is not wearing booty shorts, basically.

Here is a link to fellow SeaWheezwer and author of Luluaddict.com’s post about the women’s merchandise this year. Note how she confirms that 4 tracker prints offered vs 8 speeds. SeaWheeze 2015 the Merchandise.

My haul. I'm very happy with it

My haul. I’m very happy with it

I ended up getting two pairs of Crops (Run Inspired and Passion II), a pair of Trackers, and three CRBs. Honestly, I liked last year’s collection much better but I’m happier with what I bought this year because I bought outfits.

We went back to our hotel to nap. Only at Lululemon’s SeaWheeze is staying up (and on your feet) all night the night before the night before a half marathon a normal occurrence.

Sigrid and I went to have lunch with a bunch of women we’d met (Hi Amanda, Jenny, Tania, Charity, and Michelle!) and then headed to West Van to her home. I made dinner, we took a walk along the beach, then went home, laid out our race clothes, and went to bed.

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We woke up Saturday morning to 57 degrees and POURING RAIN. Oh well. It’s just water, right? However, this Californian was planning to move way the f out of my comfort zone and not only run in a tank top, but run in the cold in a tank top. Previously, faced with this weather, I’d be bundled up in long IMG_3031tights and long sleeves. Luckily, by the time we got down into the city, it wasn’t raining. It was, however, windy and cold. I was determined not to complain.  As the corrals filled in, I warmed up. Once I was running, I was fine. In fact, I could have been wearing shorts.

The race was– well atypical for me. I had only two goals: To finish and to finish in under 3 hours. I was running just newly recovered from a concussion that had me sidelined for 5 weeks. I was only cleared to run on Wednesday, three days before the half marathon. Oops!

Also, earlier in the summer my Dad had a seven hour long, very complicated heart surgery. He was in the hospital for a month. He is still recovering. There wasn’t a lot of running happening this whole summer for me. Life and injury got in the way.  Nonetheless, SeaWheeze 2015 was my 34th half marathon since September 1, 2012. It is a distance I am very comfortable with.

Apparently, Left Shark moved to Vancouver.

Apparently, Left Shark moved to Vancouver.

I knew I could power walk it.

I ended up doing roughly an 80/20 split of power walking to running. I had one stretch of roughly 10 minute miles that went on for a few miles and felt AMAZING…and then my shoelace came untied and the momentum was broken. Also, my running coach has a saying, in the first half of the race, don’t be an idiot. In the second, don’t be a wimp. I kept hearing that in my head over and over and over again. I ended up finishing SeaWheeze in 2:55. Not a great time for me by a long shot, but I’m very happy

In front of the mothership - Lululemon's Corporate Headquarters

In front of the mothership – Lululemon’s Corporate Headquarters

with it considering how undertrained I was for it. I basically got up after a summer of sitting and got 13.1 miles done in less than three hours with sheer determination and a healthy dose of stubbornness.

The medal this year was a golden carrot with a bite taken out of it, continuing the whimsy Lululemon is known for with the SeaWheeze medals.

I got my Saje runner’s reward kit and rubbed down with the Saje pain reliever as I made my way through the finisher’s chute.

This year, like last year we also got a finisher’s hat. (Full race swag picture at end of post.)

Sigrid and I reunited (she is much faster than I am even when I’m trained well) and headed away from downtown to grab brunch at the White Spot in the Park Royal shopping complex. This has become somewhat of a tradition for us. Also, pro-tip: this White Spot has the world’s fastest wi fi. I am not even kidding.

We went home and showered, napped, chilled out a bit, and ate some dinner before heading back to Stanley Park (recently named the World’s Best Park) for the Sunset Festival.

Here is where I admit Sigrid and I are frugal betches who save our cash for the important stuff. We left her house with a bottle of wine and some plastic cups with a plan to “pre-game” a bit in her car before heading in to the festival. While we were drinking wine in her car, she suddenly looks to her left out the window and exclaims:

“Hey! You’re from Lost!”

And sure enough, it was William Mapother, who played Creepy Ethan on Lost. He was hilarious because he leaned down into our window and said:

“Yes, and I’m coming out of the forest. How’s that for creepy?”

And then he walked away. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

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The Sunset Festival was super fun as always. The weather had cleared and it was warm and sunny and beautiful out. We got more wine, settled in to do semi-drunk yoga, and enjoyed ourselves. Later we met up with Michelle and her sister and enjoyed the bands that played.

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As always, I cannot wait for SeaWheeze next year. Jennifer was supposed to join us, but got sick. Next year, Jason and Tim are thinking about making the trip. We are already planning the Showcase Store Strategy for next year. 2016 will be year 5 (of 5) for Sigrid and year 3 for me.

Check out my SeaWheeze 2014 Recap Here

the swag. Shorts, bag, zippered bag, medal, water bottle, finisher's hat, and Saje essential oils kit.

the swag. Shorts, bag, zippered bag, medal, water bottle, finisher’s hat, and Saje essential oils kit.

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