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!!

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!

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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!

Great Trek 10K Race Recap

I think this was the first time I have ever truly “raced” in my entire life. I know that sounds like absolute insanity coming from a die-hard runner with a running blog, but it’s just the truth! I ran a couple of 5ks when I was younger but it was more of a “run then sprint to the finish” than an actual “I have a race plan and a time goal” situation. I just didn’t feel the same way about running then as I do now! Of course I did my half marathon this spring, but I was most definitely not racing that – i just wanted to finish feeling awesome! So I definitely felt a little bit out of my element at the start of the UBC Great Trek 10K.

great-trek

The only time goal I had was under 50:00, because that would translate to sub 8:00 miles. I honestly thought that was a stretch, given my runs lately, and the fact that my sub 1:45 half marathon (a 8:00 pace) still seemed so out of reach.

I planned to do a slow mile as a warmup, but it turned out to be at an 8:10 pace! Craziness – I hadn’t been able to hit that running hard in weeks, and here it was popping up when I was trying to go slowly?

I was sort of worried that I fatigued my legs too much before actually starting, but I put it out of my mind. The course was four 2.5km loops – which did not actually mess with my mind as much as I expected it to. The way I broke it up in my head was:

  • Run the first loop fast. Not really an intention, but it’s just what happened given race adrenaline / excitement. I was careful to not be too fast, but kept a comfortably hard pace and knew I would slow down a bit.
  • Run loops two and three relaxed. I tried to not slow down a lot, but did focus on conserving energy and if I felt like I was sprinting, pulled it back a notch.
  • SPRINT IT IN! Yeah, obviously for the last lap I wanted to give it my all. This ended up working perfectly, as my last mile was my fasted at 7:26!! I know, I’m shocked too.

For laps two, three, and half of the fourth I was zigzagging with another girl running literally my exact same pace. It sort of seemed like she was surging to get ahead of me which of course made my competitive streak just explode. I focused on keeping an even pace the whole time, though, and she turned out to be a total sweetheart!

I didn’t have negative or positive splits. I sort of went from fast –> slow –> fast which in my mind translates to even pacing and in Runner’s World’s mind, success! These were my mile splits: 7:34, 7:52, 8:02, 8:01, 7:45, 7:26.

10krace

Overall, I am SO happy with my results and cannot wait to race more! I think I got a little too caught up in just wanting to run farther and forgot how fun it was to really push it and run fast! I set a new 5K PR on this course, and of course now need to race a 5K to see how much faster I can go there. I have another 10K coming up in three weeks so we will see what happens then! I was planning on not caring a ton about this race and then going hard in November, buuuut now I feel very satisfied with myself. 🙂

Also, in case you have been doubting my runner’s OCD: when I looked down at my watch after crossing the finish line I was only at 6.1 miles, so you had BETTER FREAKING BELIEVE I kept sprinting straight across until I hit 6.2 I’m sure I looked like a complete lunatic but I do not even care. If I ran that fast for 47 minutes I was most definitely not finishing with a fake PR.

Who else raced this weekend? Success?