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!!

My First Time on a Boat.

As you very possibly might have gathered from the title, this past week I went on a boat for the very first time! If you were wondering why my posts decreased, or I replied to exactly zero comments, that is why. Technically I have been on a canoe a couple of times but everyone I’ve talked to says that doesn’t count. I wonder why? 😉

enchantment-of-the-seasJust a tad bigger than I’m used to.

Only ever living in Alberta, a 100% landlocked province, set the stage for some pretty minimal water action. Add in competitive ski racing for eleven years, where our only travel was to/from the mountains, #boatlife (thanks Sarah) just didn’t enter my mind.

That is, until I moved to the west coast, where it was apparently blasphemy. One of the reactions I got was:

“Wait…not even a ferry?”

Oh, right, I forgot! I took the ferry over to Calgary all the time. 😉 LOLZ.

One of my close girlfriends – the first friend I made in Vancouver to be exact – just so happens to have a father who is a cruise ship Captain. And he just so happened to be sailing to the Bahamas over our reading break.

Um…COUNT. ME. IN.

Because I'm at the airport & I do what I want.Emma’s Airport Excited Face! 

So last Sunday, my three best friends and I headed out to Port Canaveral, Florida, for a four day cruise on Enchantment of the Seas, part of the Royal Caribbean International Fleet. I truly could write ten posts on this trip and still not be done, so because I actually like having readers I am going to attempt to condense it.

Day 0: our first flight was delayed the exact length of our layover, which led to us sprinting through LAX barefoot. We definitely arrived at the gate sweaty, begging to be let on. The flight attendants were not happy at all but thank goodness gracious we made it.

ArrivedSuitcases

Day 1: we arrived in Port Canaveral after a whopping 0 hours of sleep the night before due to a red-eye. After hitting up IHOP for breakfast, we headed to Cocoa Beach for the morning before we could board the ship. Despite being absolutely exhausted, as soon as we got to the beach I was completely overcome with adrenaline and joy. I literally sprinted straight into the ocean, and spent a solid hour jumping over waves, taking pictures, and basking in the glow of the water. I have no idea what came over me – I have spent years saying I despise/am terrified of water, and there I was loving every second of it!

happy-beach

Once we got onto the boat, we explored, ate from a delicious buffet, and hit up the Sail Away party. I definitely sprinted to the front of the ship to watch as it left the docks. And after dinner, we all promptly passed out at 9:30pm!

Day 2: 

So. Much. Awesome. There was an attempt at a run on the outdoor track, but it was foiled by extremely strong winds. I actually fell over twice before heading to the treadmills, where I almost fell over a couple more times – balance champ, right here. There were afternoon naps, line dancing, and lots of relaxed fun throughout our day at sea.

EmmaOcean

The highlight, however, was definitely dinner at the Captain’s Table. He had his own plates and menu! What?! The 70s dancing that followed was a close second.

Day 3: 

Our excursion to Atlantis (which I definitely thought was the Lost City at first) started out amazing – we were riding slides, running around, having a ton of fun.

AtlantisAquaventure

Then, on a much-needed coffee run, a torrential downpour ensued. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – and I live in Vancouver! That came and went, and we waited out the worst parts while eating fruit loops & chicken nuggets for lunch under a cabana. Two of my friends went to go ride some more slides, while my friend Mikayla and I sprinted headed for the hot tub. When the other girls showed up minutes later ordering us to get out, “NO!” was our obvious answer. But they were evacuating the park due to thunder & lightning! So yes, I was evacuated from the Lost City of Atlantis (kinda). NBD.

Day 4: 

Another sea day! We were supposed to have a beach day at Coco Cay, but the high winds wouldn’t allow for the anchor to go down. The Men’s Belly Flop Competition kinda rocked, as did the Captain himself joining us for dinner.

Atlantic Ocean WeatherIt was also pretty awesome to have seen this on my phone. 

Day 5: 

Our flight didn’t leave until 8pm, but we had to be off the ship by 9am to allow for the weekend cruisers to get on. We ended up going to Florida Mall, and killed over 2 hours playing MASH. Does anyone remember that game?! Apparently I am going to live in Rio, with skis as my sole method of transportation, and be eaten alive by my seven cats. Awesome.

Overall, I am so incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity. It was a truly life-changing experience and something I will never ever forget. It made the mountains of homework awaiting me last weekend far more bearable, and finally gave me some pictures to put on Facebook. 😉

Have you ever been on a cruise? 

What was your best trip ever? 

WIAW: Eats in Vancity + Cookie Overload

Because cookies are never a bad thing, right? Sadly this WIAW is not of the college variety. My dining hall is S.A.D, not to mention the fact that it’s hard enough to sit down beside new people at every meal, let alone explain to them why you are taking a picture of your fruit bowl. So, these are my eats from my awesome road trip / time in Vancouver before moving into residence. 🙂 Thanks to Jenn, as always, for hosting!

cookie

Why leave the best for last? Let’s kick things off with a BANG. This was a peanut butter BURGER – chocolate sandwiched between two peanut butter cookies. Heaven is an understatement, especially when enjoyed with THE best iced coffee of my entire existence. 🙂

cookies

Cookies from a coffee shop round 2. I think that needs to be a thing around here. My mom had the mini oat cookie, and I devoured the coconut raisin cookie! I was STARVING at this point and it didn’t really do much to satisfy my hunger, but DAMN was it delicious.

oatcookie

I warned you this was cookie overload! Plus I know you just needed a close-up.

breaky

Hooray for actual food! Oh goodness you guys, this food was DIVINE. I had a mushroom omelet, roasted potatoes and baguette with homemade strawberry and apple preserves. So simple, fresh, and satisfying.

sandwich

Last breakfast with my mom! (tear). This is a roasted beet, apple, + goat cheese panini. I couldn’t taste the beets (win), and there was just enough goat cheese that I could enjoy it without feeling overpowered. Totally fantastic on all fronts, except the arugula they snuck in there. You had better believe I ripped that out STAT.

macchiato

Annnnnd, a macchiato because it is entirely impossible for me to post a WIAW / blog at all without discussing coffee of some sort. I also just realized that Vancouver REALLY likes its wooden tables. 😉

I’m Really Not an American.

Well…I suppose we all knew that already. But you guys – being in the United States for the first time in years was shocking on SO many levels. The amount of normal things that are just SO different! And so while I will always love NYC, it made me very happy and proud to be a Canadian. 🙂

Portrait of a boy with the flag of Canada painted on his faceI’m not sure I would ever go this far…but you never know. 😉

1. CRASH! In Canada, if two people are heading in the same direction, both will generally veer off to the opposite side so as to completely avoid a collision. I don’t know if this is just in NYC (but I do remember experiencing it in Texas) but people on the street will crash right into you if you are in there way! It’s like “You had better get the eff outta my way bitch ’cause I ain’t movin’.”

2. All the bags. Every SINGLE time I bought something in New York, the sales clerk gave me a bag! I kid you not – I bought one postcard from the Rockefeller Center and I was given a bag three times its size. I usually gave them back, and got the strangest looks when I did. It was like, eco – WHAT?

3. FUNCTIONAL FOOTWEAR! I did not see ONE person walking in New York with the ridiculous shoes I see at home. Everyone was wearing converse-style sneakers, full-out running shoes, or somewhere in between. It really makes me wonder about the amount of wear the shoes I saw at Saks get… 😉

crazy-shoes

What are some differences you’ve noticed while travelling? 

Canadian Once More, Adult for 1 Week + NYC Highlights!

I have returned to the land of the living blogging! Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

WOW. This past week has been SUCH a whirlwind. I woke up last Saturday morning, turned 18, found out I was going to New York City, flew to said city two days later, spent the best 5 days of my life exploring a city the size of my country, and then returned home in a frenzied panic trying to prepare to move in a week.

Yeah, I think WOW is pretty appropriate. Right now I don’t even know where to start with my New York recap – we did so much but were never stressed about it. My mom and I hated the idea of jumping from tourist spot to tourist spot, hopelessly trying to fit everything in (impossible). Here are some of the highlights:

ground-zero

Visiting Ground Zero. The plan was actually to go to Times Square, but (comparatively) small-city dweller Emma equated “downtown” with the main part of the city – nope, in NYC, downtown is the bottom! Funny how that works, hey? Anyway, we went into a Duane Reade and found out we were within walking distance of the 9/11 memorial. I honestly had NO. IDEA. that they were like this. When they televised the opening on the 10 year anniversary, I saw one square with (too many) names written around it. When we arrived, there were not one but two HUGE square openings in the ground, with water flowing down all the walls. It was absolutely breathtaking, in a tragic way. Again. Too many names.

top-of-the-rock

Top of the Rock! Excuse my hair-covered face – apparently it’s windy on the 70th floor. 😉 We chose to do the Rockefeller instead of the Empire State Building, and I am SO GLAD we did! I loved seeing the city from that viewpoint. Also, the elevator – 1/2 second per floor! Insanity.

central-park

Walk through Central Park. You guys can see the leaves on the ground – middle of August, and it’s FALL! What is happening?! I was so weirded out when I saw it – on the west coast, we don’t get fall until maaaaybe late October. For a total fall/winter girl, I was jealous! And oh yeah, the park was pretty beautiful, too. 😉

les-mis

Les Miserables on Broadway. So, yeah, this happened. And even though my legs went numb after sitting for 3+ hours, I totally sobbed my way through it like a little crybaby. I’m not remotely knowledgable in the theatre world so all I can tell you is that everything was done FLAWLESSLY, the actors were the most talented I’ve ever seen in my life and they kept someone occupied for 8 times as long as she normally is. Spectacular.

rock-night

Top of the Rock (again). We went up at night, too! We got the Sun & The Stars package – best idea ever. We didn’t stay too long this time, since it was 11pm and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet (!) but I’m so glad I got to see the city all lit up like that. It was magical.

I have soooo SO much more to say but I will leave NYC at that for now! But it’s for a good reason, I promise. I’m sort of moving in a week. WHAT?!?! akshjdasd. Cue major panic attack. I’m off to go spend all my money (pretending I didn’t do that already in NYC), pack like a maniac, and oh yeah, hit up the liquor store. Yep, I just said that. I’m moving to a province where the drinking age is 19 so you had better believe I am getting carded every chance I get. 😉 Have an awesome Monday!