I am coming at you this morning with a recap of my 13th half marathon, the Lululemon Seawheeze. I am way behind on race caps on my page, so I hope to continue to update that as I blog more frequently.
The race was held on a Saturday in Vancouver, so on Friday after work it was officially the start of my vacation time and Ryan and I headed towards the ferry. It was quite the ordeal even getting on to the ferry, and this is because although we arrived an hour and a half early, we were ONE CAR AWAY (cue tears) from boarding onto our desired ferry. So, this meant we had two hours to kill at the terminal and ended up catching the 9:30pm ferry. I was upset, of course, and poor Ryan had to sit there in the car with me as I got all misty eyed and insisted that the weekend was over. Wah, wah, wah. A little dramatic, I'd say! By the time we arrived at our hotel it was nearly 12:30am Saturday morning, so bed was definitely priority as we had an early wake up call!
My alarm went off just after 5am on Saturday, and despite the lack of sleep I did sleep well. No interruptions, and the bed was super comfy, so that was a nice bonus! I made my usual pre-race breakfast of toast with natural peanut butter and banana and ate it while lounging in bed. Ryan woke up shortly after, and we left the hotel around 6am to head to the start. Since I came in from out of town, I wasn't able to pick up my race package on Friday. Fortunately, Lululemon offered a race-day package pick up, and it was a breeze despite the chaos of race morning! I put my timing chip onto my shoe and Ryan walked with me to the start, where I found my corral and anxiously waited to be on our way.
I have to admit, I was nervous as to how my body would do during this run. I am a huge believer in visualizing what you want your outcome to be, and for me that meant crossing the finish line in one piece. During my bikini competition prep, I didn't do a lot of long runs (my cardio was mostly running and elliptical, but not half marathon training specific). Once I was on my way, I immediately fell into a comfortable pace and told myself to just keep it there. Keep it steady and just keep going. "No matter how slow you go, just don't stop!" was my mantra, and I stuck by that until the very end.
The course is scenic and shows off all the views Vancouver is famous for. You run through Kits, along the sea wall and over bridges where there's lots of course entertainment along the way. From mermaids and drag queens to young dance groups and live bands, the Seawheeze keeps your mind alert while your body continues towards the finish line. I had volunteered for the Seawheeze during the first year it started, and since then I had always missed the sign up because it sells out so quickly. However, back in October of 2014 when I registered, I was fortunate enough to get through and snag a spot. I was absolutely thrilled and ecstatic to be part of the Seawheeze race, and I think having that positive outlook despite the ferry and commute troubles the night before definitely helped me along the way.
Once you crossed the finish line, the volunteers gave you your golden carrot. This is by far the coolest medal I have ever received! Additionally, the race package was a reusable tote bag that had a water bottle inside, and their sponsor Saje included a little pouch with some natural aromatherapy goodies to help with pre-race muscle soreness. AND you got a Lululemon hat and a post-race brunch. Talk about lots of race day goodies!
All in all, it was an incredibly well organized event and I can certainly see why there is such a cult-following for this race. I don't say that in a bad way, though! The Lululemon Seawheeze is like an exclusive club that also has a sense of community. Everyone is there working towards the same finish line, and the staff and volunteers make it such a fantastic, energetic experience. Unfortunately I was not able to make it to the evening yoga and party (oh yeah, they have yoga Friday and Saturday and a live band on Saturday evening after the race!), but I am looking forward to being a bit more organized myself next year (read: no missed ferries) and staying to enjoy the whole festival. I only wish I took more pictures of this great event!