Hello friends – this time from Chilliwack, BC!
I’m currently hanging out at my aunt’s house near Vancouver and loving every minute of my west coast holiday. I’ll be flying home tomorrow and our plan is to head state-side for a little shopping today, but I’ll tell you all about that on Wednesday. For now, we’ve got a race recap to talk about – the Lululemon SeaWheeze!
I left home on Thursday afternoon and headed to the airport, suitcase stuffed with a whole bunch of neon luon, 3 pairs of Asics, one pair of Reeboks, and 2 pairs of flats.
By midnight (Pacific time), I’d met up with Christina and Robyn at our hotel and all 3 of us were fast asleep. I was exhausted from flying but felt fine in the morning, which was a good thing because we had a big day ahead! We started with breakfast at Urban Fresh, a grocery store sort of like Whole Foods but smaller. Because I’m a fruit monster, I ate a fruit platter. Yep. The whole freaking thing. Christina got an amazing looking oatmeal and Robyn went for eggs, toast, and bacon. Good eats all around!
After finishing our early brekkie, we walked down to the Vancouver Convention Center to pick up our race kits and check out the SeaWheeze store. (This is where Lululemon sells a line of SeaWheeze-branded clothes, which can’t be found elsewhere.) The line to get into the building was ginormous and wrapped around the majority of the building, but eventually we got in.
The SeaWheeze store was a little stressful because everyone was running around and trying to get things in their sizes before stock ran out, but thankfully the three of us managed to find everything we were looking for. The colours for the SeaWheeze branded clothes were great this time around, and the selection was far better than last year.
Next up was some more shopping downtown at Lululemon, then The Cactus Club Cafe for a blog reader meet-up. My meal was great – a huge salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, egg, blueberries, and candied pecans. This was the one and only time on the trip that I ordered chicken, and I’m still trying to get as much fish and seafood in as I can before I leave because it’s so delicious and fresh out here! There are plenty more food photos to come. 🙂
That afternoon, Robyn and I had a stand-up paddleboarding lesson booked at Kitsilano beach. I was super excited about this because it’s been on my bucket list for a while now. We had a really great instructor, Kristy, who took us out on the water and was super patient. Robyn had been out SUPing once before, but it took me a while to get the hang of it. After getting a feel for it on my knees, I finally managed to get up on my feet (which really isn’t as hard as it sounds – my balance was just really crappy!) Kristy was just about to take a photo of Robyn and I standing on our boards side by side, and at the split second that she went to take it, guess who fell straight into the water? Yep, this girl!
After my little splash in the ocean, Kristy showed us how to do some yoga poses on the boards (which is something she’s awesome at and also teaches in private lessons). Robyn was a champ at this, and I… well, let’s just say I need to keep practicing! As you can see below, our instructor was awesome. I can’t do a headstand against a wall but she can do one on a board on water – pretty impressive, no?
After SUPing, we headed to The Boathouse on Kits Beach to meet Christina and her friend Ale for a pre-race dinner. This is the same restaurant we went to for dinner after last year’s SeaWheeze and I absolutely love it – beach front view, awesome seafood, and great service. We ordered all sorts of things, including the Seafood Chop Chop Salad for me (scallops, salmon, and shrimp on a ton of greens – freaking amazing!), ahi tuna tacos, cedar plank grilled salmon, and pasta. All of it was amazing.
Our last activity of the day was sunset yoga, which Lululemon hosted on Kits beach for race participants and the public. It was gorgeous, and the view was absolutely spectacular. When else do you get to do yoga on a beach with hundreds of people while watching a sunset? At SeaWheeze, that’s when!
We were home and in bed by 10:30, and up again by 5am, ready to race by 7. I had my usual pre-race breakfast of an apple and a Simply Bar before we headed down to the start line near the convention center for bag check and a sunrise stretch (aka massive jumping jack dance party).
And again, in our usual standing order…
The race route was very similar to last year, minus the great big hill which I was beyond thankful not to have to climb this time. Knowing my training hadn’t been as fast as I’d initially anticipated when I signed up for this race, I lined up in the 1:40 corral hoping to stay ahead of the pace beaver.
Although my initial goal when I registered was to PR and break 1:30, all of the iron deficiency issues I’ve been facing made me reassess. With such low energy levels earlier this month, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to finish. Knowing that race day would be a gamble, I set the following non-time goals instead:
- Stay out of the medical tent (ie don’t sprain your SI joint like last year)
- Stay loose in my upper body on the uphills (because I normally carry a lot of tension when running hills, which is a huge waste of energy) and use the downhills to my advantage by picking up speed
- Don’t look at my Garmin
- Stay positive the whole time
- Have fun!
I’m pleased to report that all of the above happened, and I even managed to finish with a decent time!
My Garmin was pretty close to my official chip time, which came in at 1:36:50. There were 10,014 people registered, and according to SportStats.ca, this is how I did:
And I’ll take it! I was overjoyed to have been able to finish and it was a way stronger race than I anticipated it would be. The cheer stations were entertaining, the weather was perfect, and the route was (for the most part) very flat. We really couldn’t have asked for more!
After meeting up with Christina after she crossed the finish line, we wandered over to see some friends at the Vega booth. In the process, we also managed to catch Brendan Brazier (former pro triathlete and Vega formulator) for some post-race pics, and I went for a little spin on the Vega blender bike!
We hung out down at the race for a little longer, then headed back to our hotel for food and showers. By the time I was all cleaned up and smelling nice again, my aunt arrived to pick me up. We’re now back at her place in Chilliwack, with a gorgeous view of the mountains and some great hiking trails. I’ll have plenty of photos to document the adventures from the second half of the trip on Wednesday morning, so stay tuned!