I think the Lululemon SeaWheeze 2013 weekend has to be broken up into three parts to really serve it justice because I want to talk about the actual race (this post)
About 10,000 people ran SeaWheeze this year (photo from SeaWheeze facebook page)
the amazing-ness of entire event (so much to talk about)
and what we did with the rest of our time in Vancouver (eat, drink!).
So I’ll jump right into the race recap!
John and I woke up around 5:20am in downtown Vancouver at Mel’s place (Mel is the best and always lets us stay with her when we visit Vancouver, super conveniently in Yaletown). I wore the same shorts I wore at BMO and threw on my new SeaWheeze tank that happened to match perfectly!
I ate a Larabar and rushed John out the door, we had to deliver packets to our friends who weren’t able to pick them up and I was afraid we’d be late. My goals was to make it to the start at 6:30, I’m notoriously late to starts and I wanted to have a relaxing morning, especially because I wasn’t quite sure how this race would go.
I went into this race really not knowing what to expect. I had originally wanted to hit a very big PR (sub 1:30), but when training fell to the wayside and I decided to prioritize CrossFit I gave up the goal and decided to go in a little blind. The longest run I did was with Pavement Runner, an easy and enjoyable 10 miler in the Bay Area.
I probably averaged about 10 miles a week otherwise, I wasn’t very good at tracking and was really just not in the mood to train, I just wanted to lift!
So when deciding what wave to get into, I went with instinct and a little bravado. I told myself if I was under 1:40, I’d be happy.
I was hoping to keep this pace beaver behind me for as long as possible. I ran SeaWheeze in 1:40:19 last year, the pacers passed me in the last 400 and I was hoping that wouldn’t happen again.
After an intro to the race by some awkward announcers that we couldn’t really hear and then the singing of the Canadian national anthem (honestly I should know this song by now, I race almost entirely in Canada. Sorry Seattle, I really don’t like your bigger races). the first wave was off. I had comfortably put myself in the back-ish, middle of the first wave, knowing that if I started near all the dudes in the front I’d really waste myself too early. I haven’t run with a watch since my Nike+ got condensation in it and died, so while I had my trusty timex I wasn’t going to know my pace since I refuse to whip out my phone during the run. I had started my runkeeper before crossing the line just so I could put it away securely and forget about it til the end.
The course, with all my little steps at the start recorded via RunKeeper
So with all that explained, my splits are somewhat accurate here:
My official time was 1:36:16, 45th female, 146th overall
My first mile was around a 7:30, I know this because I recorded my first 5k of the race:
If I had kept this pace I would have PRed by three minutes. I really wanted to get my 10k and 15k splits as well but didn’t see the 10k marker, but for good reason. The cheer squads were AMAZING.
While I did plug in and wear my headphones again for this race, I was energized by the crowd so much. I had a smile on face through the miles, even though this race felt tougher than BMO in May. The crowd that comes out and all the signs that are on the course are so encouraging and hilarious. There’s so much to see and so many high fives to give.
Photo from Seawheeze facebook
After the first 5k I did everything I could to just hold on and stay positive. I had passed a 1:35 pace beaver around mile four so I thought I was on track to do something big and I kept on telling myself to find that next pacer. When I saw her in the not so far distance while on the seawall (about 9 miles in) I was amazed. I couldn’t believe I was that close to the 1:30 pacer! For miles 9 and 10 I held on as best as I could, thinking that I would definitely get a PR if I kept her in sight. A guy came up behind me and I decided to stick with him because his form looked strong, I nicknamed him “perfect form guy” and ended up in front of him, I didn’t want to get passed, I wanted to keep strong till the end.
Seawall running! Photo from SeaWheeze facebook
Miles 11 and 12 is where this fell apart for me, I started to slip mentally, I tried turning up the music to tune out the pain, but it didn’t work. My pace started to feel slow and “Perfect form guy” passed me. I had been battling the race out with a woman in a light purple tank since the very beginning, anytime I stopped for a second for water (I only did this at three stops)she would be right there and then I’d take off in front of her. But right around the 11th mile she caught up to me and maintained a pace I couldn’t keep anymore. I wasn’t looking at my watch and just kept on going, promising myself I wouldn’t stop running. What I thought was the 1:30 beaver was too far to see at this point. I figured that was okay. I would still hit my pseudo- goal of being under 1:40.
My feet really started to ache as we got off the seawall and back into downtown. Sidenote: I need to figure out a way to get stronger at the end of these races. This downtown part always kills me and I haven’t found my kick yet. I kept on running, but I was very ready to be done. As I came through the line I saw the clock say 1:36. I was cool with that. It was better than I expected and it was such a fun race I didn’t really care about the time, what I really cared about was the brunch that would just be opening up. When I went through the shoot and received my really cool medal:
(It opens to be a locket! Picture booths were available near the packet pickup area!)
and two little extra surprises (a runner’s recovery pack from saje and headphones from skullcandy) I saw the pace beaver who I thought had been the 1:30, turns out she was the other 1:35er. For whatever reason the curly haired 1:35erwho I had passed was way behind, and the blonde one must have been right on. I had never been close to PRing, even though I thought I might be, and I was not disappointed with finding that out.
I enjoyed the brunch and waited for my friends who weren’t too far behind me. I suggested to my friend who was feeling pretty sore to get herself to the free massages before the line got too long. I didn’t feel like I needed one, so I continued to sit and enjoy letting my legs rest while we waited for John to get brunch.
While I waited I started to get cold, since my friends hadn’t had a chance to check out the special SeaWheeze store we ended up making our way in there and I was cold enough and felt like rewarding myself with a new sweatshirt.
Afterwards we made our way back to Mel’s apartment, I took a long shower and then a nap. It was a good day for a race. The weather cooperated, not being too hot, and had a dash of rain on the seawall. Lululemon continues to impress me with this event. I’ll write more about all the details that I really liked in my next post, but it’s truly amazing everything that they put together for the race fee. I will likely be back for the third year in a row in 2014!
Did you race over the weekend? How’d it go?