This has taken two weeks to post because honestly I have dreaded posting it. It is not a secret that I love lululemon. I was excited when my friend S said that she wanted to run the inaugural lululemon Sea Wheeze Half Marathon. It was the perfect excuse for a trip to visit S in Seattle and road trip across the border to Vancouver. After running Nike Women’s several times, I had very high expectations for the lululemon race. I assumed that they would be similar and you know what they say about assumptions…
The Expo was much like the Nike Women’s expo in the sense that there were no other vendors and instead free massage, free manicures, etc. The main selling point of the expo was the special Sea Wheeze clothing that lululemon had advertised. The expo opened at 8AM on Friday morning and by the time we arrived at noon, almost everything was SOLD OUT! This was very disappointing. This was the first of several disappointments. We picked up our packet (shorts instead of a race shirt) and realized that there were no race numbers. This meant no race pictures, also strange. It was one of the most beautiful courses I have ever run and I would have loved to buy a picture but there were none to purchase. I could have run with my phone or camera, but to be honest, I wanted to run sub 2 and did not want to stop along the course.
The other oddity at the expo is that there was no information about where the water stations would be on the course. There was also no information available for spectators. I am glad that my husband did not come along because he would have been VERY annoyed that there was no spectator information.
Race morning S and I awoke with plenty of time to stop at Starbucks (ice coffee and oatmeal has become my pre race go to meal). We walked from our hotel to start without issue (we stayed at the Sheraton which I highly recommend). The race was small at 7500. It was self seeded so we went our separate ways to begin. I did not bring a water bottle because it was a half marathon and I figured I would drink along the course. I did bring a couple of gels (just in case one did not open correctly, which actually happened so I was glad to have 2). It was a warm sunny morning so I wore a pink tank and shorts (lulu of course).
Race Day outfit- lululemon speedshort, cool racerback, Vineman hat :)
The race began with Rihanna blaring. I took this as a good sign. We starting running around Vancouver which was stunning. The city scape is gorgeous. It is hard not to love it. I went out fast, for the first few miles I was at an 8 pace. I realized I would likely not sustain it but it felt good so I kept going. By mile 2, I was ready for water and there had not been a water station. The first water station did not appear until mile 3.15 (5K)! WTF??? I think that the there were 3 water stations over the half marathon. To be honest, I do not remember. What I do remember is that I was cursing myself THE WHOLE TIME for not bringing my own water. Both of my friends who ran the race were behind me and by the time they reached the water stations, they were OUT OF CUPS! One of my friends said that the people at the water station said to “share cups” (put them back down so other people could use them). That is GROSS lululemon!
I had two favorite parts of the race: the beauty of Vancouver and the run up to the lululemon headquarters. Near the lululemon headquarters was a large cheering crowd of little girls in purple. They were screaming and cheering their hearts out. It gave me goosebumps. I could not help but run by and give them high fives. So fun! The run along Stanley Park in Vancouver was a site to behold. That part of the course would be a reason that I would come back to run Vancouver.
The race did not finish at 13.1, it finished at 13.6, a full half mile longer. This was frustrating to say the least. The last half mile was a series of twists and turns along a bike path (where people were riding their bikes) then into the city. I finished the race in 2:06 (short of my sub 2 goal) and received my “medal”. The medal was really a key chain hooked onto shoe strings. I had thought that they would have a race shirt at the finish line but alas there was no shirt. How can a company as successful as lululemon miss the branding opportunity of the race shirt? They did offer Zico coconut water at the finish followed by a yummy brunch spread (waffles, mini quiche, and friut).
I waited at the finish for S and my friend K. We hung out at the finish for brunch then went back to the hotel to change for the concert (aka the best part!)
Me with K and S before the show.
lululemon put on the best after race concert I have ever seen. The had a local band, Hey Ocean, open for the band fun. I LOVED the show. Great music with breathtaking views. What else can you ask for??
I will likely not be back to this race. Lulu has to work out the kinks. I loved the beauty of Vancouver but I did not like the lack of water or longer course. I am sure that it will be much better in the years to come (fingers crossed!).
Starting this blog has always been a BHAG of mine. I’ve started and ended blogs fairly quickly, but my goal is to blog once a week about my journey to the SEAWHEEZE. This is important to me because getting into training for me has always been a struggle. I can create a million and one reasons why I don’t want to go out for a run, but here are the reasons why I do. That’s what I want to share with all of you. I will be honest and open about my journey and share as much as possible. This will include what I’m wearing, how I’m training, where I’m going and what’s going through my head. I will leave tips on here that I’ve learnt along the way as well as events I’m going to and or participating in.
View from Sea Wheeze finish area, Vancouver B.C. The iPhone pic does not do it justice.
First international race, 13.56 completed! (race was much longer than 13.1). I thought I was the only one but then everyone noted that it was a half mile too long. Views from the course were spectacular! Vancouver is a beautiful city. The race itself needs some improvements (this was the inaugural race). Full race report when I am back in LA on Monday.
Um. I totally cropped all these photos on my phone and now they’re uncropped and I’m WAY too lazy to fix them so you just have to deal with seeing my splits repeated a few times and seeing the text from my friend explaining to me that it’s ok that using essential oils is a placebo because placebos work sometimes because our brains are fancy.
POINT IS, I did not train for this race. I did maybe 3 of the 30 or so required runs and I haven’t run at all since early July. So to say that I wasn’t expecting much from the race today would be putting it mildly. What did I get instead?? A frigging HUGE PR of around 20-25 minutes. I know I’m still slow compared to most of the rest of you speedsters, but under 3 hours was basically my all time stretch goal. I am not embarrassed to tell people about my time at under 3 hours (Not that anybody should be embarrassed about their times if they’re over 3 hours. I was last year, disappointed and embarrassed with around 3.5 hours. Character flaw.) Not only that, I got about a billion other “bests”, as well. As always my first mile out was speedy. I was really trying to do run 8 minutes, walk 2. That quickly turned into run 6 minutes, walk 2, and then run however long you feel like it but haul ass during the walking bits. For some reason mile 8 was speedy as well. I remember feeling really good around then, might have been a big cheer section or might just have been a random burst of energy.
I learned that the chocolate Gu tastes like delicious chocolate pudding and the vanilla bean Gu tastes like a mess of chemicals.
I forgot to take a photo of my medal. I’ll do that eventually. They also surprised us at the finish line with SeaWheeze finisher branded Skullcandy in ear headphones which is pretty awesome, and some aromatherapy roll-ons (hence the text conversation).
After the race I splurged on a cab ride home before a cold cold bath and tacos with friends. I felt…not so hungry so only ate 2. That might have been a mistake because now I’m ravenous and have only fruit salad. I feel like I’m entitled to eat a lot of fruit salad, though.
Oh, my official race finishing time is 3:05:13 and I know that I should technically take that as “gospel”, but I stopped for a washroom break (and paused my running app), and there seems to be some discussion between my app and the course as to how long it was - Nike + shows me as having run 13.9 miles, and I know last year’s course was super “long”, many people complained. So, if anyone asks, my SeaWheeze time was 3:05:13, but I’m taking the 2:54:23 as my PR :)
Lululemon Half Marathon Race. WAS A BLAST. Despite their sizes only going up to a 10 and the fact that they ran out of all things wonderful within the first couple hours of the expo and only receiving watermelon and a fruit skewer when I finished the race (Yeah! I was dreaming the whole race about a carb loaded bagel and chocolately milk and all I got was fruit!!) It was fun.
I was on my way to a pb, until my running partner’s knee crapped out on here and I walked with her the last 5k. because well, ducks fly together.
They had awesome cheering stations and signs that were chalk full of humour and fun stuff. The aid stations were great. The volunteers were great and the course was well, the best part! Vancouver is lovely. Go visit if you have never been.
They held a fun. concert afterwards but we decided to go to a Whitecaps game instead. Soccer, I mean Football is soooo theatrical! haha, loved it. The signs say “Bronze in London, Gold in our Hearts” Every time the other team’s goalie had the ball the whole crowd would count to ten. So awesome.
All in all a solid weekend. I am planning on actually training for my next race! yay.