SeaWheeze 2015 Race Recap: 1:47:05

The Seawheeze Half Marathon sells out in minutes every year, and holy crap you guys there is no doubt in my mind as to why.

I may be no marathon maniac, but I’ve done my fair share of races, none of which came even close to the level of freaking awesome that was Seawheeze 2015.

Where do I even start? There was the insanity of the Showcase Store that kicked off the weekend. I knew there would be a ridiculous line awaiting us after we arrived straight from the airport at 8am, but I sure didn’t expect this:

IMG_2042That is approximately 1/8 of the line, after it wound around the entire building PLUS about a 1+ hour wait inside. 

Before this trip I wasn’t even a lululemon addict. I mean, I absolutely love my clothes from there, because they are adorable and last forever. But I was just as happy to wear some random other shirt. And yet, there I was, waiting in line for OVER THREE HOURS just to spend $250 on limited edition workout clothes. When I confessed this to my friend a couple of days later, her jaw literally dropped.

After emptying my wallet, the rest of the day was spent at package pickup (surprise, another line!), then wandering around downtown Vancouver exploring. Since I lived on campus last year, basically all my experience was in the Kits area, so I felt like I was on vacation!

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Saturday morning started an hour later than Friday, at 5am. 😉 The standard ezekiel bread / PB2 / banana went down, and we took a taxi to the Vancouver Convention Centre with plenty of time to spare. There was an attempt at drinking Starbucks coffee to get the…ahem…pipes moving, but it was unsuccessful and 2/3 of it ended up in the trash. Never again.

After a cute group warmup and moseying my way over to the start corrals, the energy started to get even crazier, if that was even possible! The throngs of people made it a little challenging to get into a groove, but really they helped me start out nice and easy with an 8:34 first mile.

My plan was to average 8:20ish until about mile 7, then run 8:00 until the last 5K where I would drop the hammer. The first ~9 miles were STELLAR. I was grinning, high-fiving, and had the most ridiculous smile plastered across my face. I was completely unfazed by the hills as I was so distracted by the beautiful scenery, energetic volunteers and superb on-course entertainment. I literally listened to music for five minutes at mile 7 and then turned it right back off because it was distracting me from the experience. I always run with some sort of distraction, whether it is music or a podcast, so this was shocking for me.

seawheeze-course[Source.]

Mile 9 was when I started getting cranky. I was running 8:00, but the Seawall seemed like it would never end and 30 more minutes of running felt like an eternity. After finally finishing that stretch, there was a a super tiny hill (more like a bump, really), but my legs seized up and I stopped to walk for a few seconds and drink some water. Starting to run again was definitely hard, but I knew I would be furious with myself if I sabotaged the end of my race, so I pressed on! Out of the last six miles, all were sub-8 with the exception of 12, which was 8:10. Not too bad for walking, in my opinion!

Of course, the last 2K, and then 1K, felt approximately the length of a marathon. I basically gave up the idea of running fast and jogged into the finish, praying I wouldn’t throw up or collapse. (I’m being a little bit dramatic here, but I was NOT feeling good here, at all!) Although, my last mile was 7:52 so apparently I wasn’t going too slow. 😉

I crossed the finish line utterly spent and exhausted, but with a smile on my face. I had just spent close to two hours – 1:47:05 officially – doing my favourite thing in my favourite city. How could I not be happy?

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I didn’t even try for a sub-1:45, since I know I’m not quite ready yet. But this was a hilly-ish course, with 896 feet of elevation gain, not to mention the little walk break, and I still managed a 1:47. So I am definitely going for that goal sooner rather than later. Any locals up for RnR Vancouver this October?!

Overall, it was a perfect race, perfect weekend, and the perfect way to get me SO SUPER EXCITED to move back in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. Vancouver, I am coming for you!!

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MEC Half Marathon Race Recap

Let’s just preface this recap with a little spoiler, shall we?

I DID IT!

Hills be damned (and they were pretty darn monstrous), on June 14 I ran 13.1 miles in 1:47:16, a six minute PR from my first half marathon last year.

I was honestly so excited for this race! I had absolutely no nerves (until the morning of, of course), and just couldn’t wait to put my fitness to the test and see what my legs can do.

readytorunMy moms phone was on black and white, so all of these pictures are as well. #facepalm

And seeing as this was only my second half marathon and the first one I’ve raced, I already know I can do better. 🙂

My plan was to listen to podcasts for the first ~10 miles, both to keep me distracted and from running too fast early on. I would then plug in some Eminem and drop the hammer for the last 5K.

Miles 1-3: 8:19, 8:14, 8:32. I didn’t even notice a hill during that mile, but apparently there was 150 feet of elevation gain. WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW since it seemed like I was just slowing down for no reason whatsoever and basically sucked at running. 😉

Miles 4-6: 8:09, 8:28, 8:36. It was a constant struggle between “woah, don’t go too fast” and “this isn’t a leisurely stroll through the park YA LAZY.”

Miles 7-8: 8:57, 7:40. THAT. HILL. It was one of those that just kept winding and winding around, so right when you think you’ve reached the top you really have around 28 miles of climbing left to go. Well not really but you get the idea. The faster downhill mile that followed was not fun AT ALL because all I could think about was how I would have to run right back up it.

Miles 9-12: 8:09,8:02, 8:08.  These really deserve like eleven paragraphs because they felt sooooo long. Once we reached the bottom of the hill, we ran through some trails in a park and it just took forever to get to the turnaround. I spent the entire time dreading that hill – the further we ran, the closer it moved to the finish line. I seriously gunned it when we finally hit the turnaround, though, because I knew I would lose time on the hill. I actually walked for 5 seconds because I was just so tired but somehow I pulled myself together and maintained a solid split.

Mile 13, 0.1 nubbin: 7:37, 6:31. OMG I’M GOING THE WRONG WAY THERE IS NOBODY AROUND ME AKSJDHAJSKD. I’m going to stop at exactly 13.1 miles and die before wandering back to the race seven hours later to console my poor mother. <– my exact thoughts. I made it to the top of the last downhill just before mile 13 and knew I was nowhere near the start/finish line! What gives! I was all alone, there were barely any signs and I was stressin’ big time. Luckily I kept running because finally I made it to a course marshall who ensured me I did in fact go the right way.

^Also, it should be known that I actually ran 0.35 miles at that 6:31 pace but am chopping off the extra distance because I don’t have an official time yet and I do what I want!

finishline

Overall finish time: 1:47:16. 

No age group / placing stats yet, but I will update this as soon as they are available! THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! It was totally no frills, but I had such a great time from start to finish and crossed the line feeling like a million bucks. I actually joked with my friend that ran the 10K that I could go lift some heavy things instead of going home. Obviously I didn’t, and I crashed hard a few hours later, but it was a cool feeling while it lasted. 😉

Of course now my brain is all: hmmm, 1:47 on an obnoxiously hilly course, find a flat one STAT and get that 1:45, girl! On it, brain. On. It.

What was the most exciting part of your weekend? 

Should a hill at 18km be illegal? 

Vancouver Sun Run 10K Recap

Everything about this race was fun, exciting, and surprising! I went into it planning on it being an easy run that I paid $60 for, since everyone told me the crowds at this event were pure insanity. It was definitely busy, but it felt on par with a “normal” busy race, what I would imagine the Chicago or New York marathons feel like.

I do have a couple of comments, though.

1. Why must so many groups of ~8 run holding hands in one big line? We aren’t playing Red Rover here, folks.

2. By all means, register for the sub 40 minute corral and yell to the masses you have never run 10K before. I’m sure you just have remarkable natural ability.

That is my one major complaint with the Sun Run! It seems like everyone registers for a time that they are fully aware they have no possible chance of achieving. I really like the way NYRR organizes their corrals, with your fastest pace for a run > 3 miles acting as your expected pace. One more reason to move to New York. ❤

Okay, okay, back to my race now. 😉 For the record, I am going with my Garmin time because it sounds better, and I earned that time!

Time: 46:58 (7:33 pace) –> official time was 47:21 / 7:37 pace

Age Group Place: 10 / 1018

Overall Place: 1978 / 39 045 –> I may have been a little off on my Instagram caption…just 30 000 or so. 😉 It has been edited. 

Apparently I like 10Ks more than I thought I did – they are the only races I have done since my half marathon a year ago, and I’ve done three of them! They are long enough to seem “legit” to my distance-runner mind, but aren’t so long that I get nervous.

I’ve never eaten an apple before running nor ran in compression socks, but what better time to try both out than the morning of a race?

SunRunThat would be my super attractive throwaway sweater courtesy of my friend’s father. 🙂

After a literal face plant on the pavement (just a bloody knee to show for it!) I headed over to my corral. Only I would get injured before the actual running even starts. 😉

This was how the race went in my head:

Okay, there are a lot of people around. Maybe try for 8:00 pace?

Oh, 7:50, that works too. Don’t slow down. 

7:40? Yay!

7:30?! Double yay! I hope I don’t die! 

I kept my Garmin on the “pace” screen, so I spent the entire time wondering if that pace was the average per mile, or average for the entire run. The race was marked in km, and I had no idea how long I had been running, so I really was totally oblivious to my pace. This also made it go by so much faster! Kilometers are really short, you guys.

Except the hill at 9km. Really?!

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I swear I didn’t notice any other hill except for that one. And the elevation chart makes it look non-existent.

Also, it is necessary to include that MacMillan translates a 46:58 10K to a 1:44:42 half marathon. Just saying……Because if I can hold 7:33 pace for 6.2 miles, I really should be able to hold 8:00 for 13.1, right? RIGHT?

Overall, this race was lot’s of fun and a huge success! I didn’t ever feel like I was going to die (except maybe the last 400m), and definitely came away with a lot of confidence and an “I really love running” mindset. 🙂

What is your favourite race distance? 

I’ve only done one but I still say 13.1 whenever anyone asks!

New Balance Fall Classic 10K Race Recap

monday

^ Yep. It’s one of those days. This post is coming at a slightly awkward time, right after announcing my running break, but I registered for this race back when I was on a running high, and I wasn’t about to back out just because! So although I hadn’t run in ~3 weeks, yesterday morning I woke up and headed over to the New Balance Fall Classic 10K!

I wasn’t planning on racing…but something about that atmosphere + the fact that my friend was a total speed demon made me push a lot harder. I’m glad – I ended up only 8 seconds slower than my PR, which is amazing given the severe lack of zero training lately. I also just realized that I technically ran faster than that – my Garmin totalled 6.33 miles!

Official time: 48:08

I can’t decide if this has reignited my love for running. Of course it was incredibly fun, and I love being around other runners / racers / enjoying the happy + active atmosphere, but running hurts! A lot! I know my body isn’t used to that type of impact so I should remember that…I may add in a couple of runs here and there to see how I feel, but will continue with zero pressure and quit them if the dread comes back. 🙂

My splits were pretty consistent between 7:40-7:58, with the exception of mile 2 in 7:22…which  makes sense because by the time I saw the 3km mark (the end of mile 2) I was cursing the universe and wondering how I wasn’t even halfway done.

Might actually be dead...

At the 8km marker, or 5 miles, I was so so close to walking. My legs seriously felt like they were no longer working and made of lead and bricks and lots of unpleasant ingredients. I kept repeating to myself “just keep going” and “just don’t stop” and somehow I made it through.

I also got an awesome boost at the very end where my friend cheered me on to the finish! I found a kick out of nowhere and actually finished strong! And then completely failed to stop my Garmin out of exhaustion / attempting not to vomit on the volunteers so no Garmin shot. Unless I want you to think I ran super slow and I’m sorry, after that kind of pain my ego will not allow that.

10kraceSo the recycled one will have to do…it’s only 8 seconds anyway. 

What’s next: I know I said I’m not sure how I feel about running…but you guys! The Hypothermic Half Marathon is calling my name. It just feels like something an Albertan is obligated to experience – especially in Vancouver where I will likely think it is summer as everyone else freezes their but off.

Okay, maybe not summer, but after spending December in Edmonton I am pretty sure I will be tough enough to handle -10C. (we get down to -40C PLUS windchill)

What’s the best thing you did this weekend?