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!!

Homeless Livin’ + TOL

Hi, my name is Emma and I am currently WAY too stressed to write coherently, so let’s just thank our lucky stars that Thinking Out Loud is a thing and Amanda is our saviour.

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1. I ate a donut for breakfast this morning. Annnnnd it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. I’ve been craving them for EVER so I’m a little bit shocked. Perhaps I should have gone for the apple fritter instead of chocolate dip? Maybe tomorrow today. 😉

apple-frittersYeeeeah those are looking pretty darn sweet.

2. But my stomach has been growling since I woke up (despite LOTS of food) so perhaps I should consider eating some vegetables. Just a thought.

3. Another thought: I REALLY NEED A PLACE TO LIVE! Like, it’s all well and good and wonderful and amazing that I got into Kinesiology, but I sorta don’t think going to school and living on the street is going to work out very well. I’ve gotten a couple of replies (to exactly seven billion emails), but since I can’t go visit the place I usually get passed over. Add to the fact that the Vancouver housing market is INSANITY and you have a recipe for one homeless college student.

4. I’m reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the fifteenth time. Not an exaggeration. My friend James was making fun of me, saying that he was going to bring a new book for me to read, but honestly? I’ve got seven books in my life, I don’t need any more. ❤

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5. READING is the key word there. The picture is (obviously) of the movie, but I am so turned off of TV right now it’s not even funny. I will start watching something, thinking I’m going to unwind for a few minutes, and I am instantly bored out of my mind! That and extremely irritated by the flashing lights / noise.

6. Another aversion? COFFEE. I don’t know who I am anymore. It’s been a week since I properly drank a cup of coffee, and much longer since I genuinely enjoyed it. Friday night I chugged half an iced coffee because I had a withdrawal headache, and on Tuesday I had to get my coworker to tell me what my espresso was like (so I could adjust the grinder) because it just all tasted awful to me.

americano-espressoNope.

I do love not feeling dependant on a substance, though, even if it does mean I’m a little bit more tired!

7. Tuesday’s 10 miler was a huge success! I haven’t run longer than 7 miles since my half marathon on June 14, so I was a little bit worried to say the least. But it was probably one of my most solid long runs ever! I started slooow, kept it steady, and didn’t freak out on the hills. There was a little nausea and cramping towards the end which was gross, but I also didn’t suffer from that crippling fatigue I used to get so often!

8. And then I woke up the next morning to homemade blueberry muffins. Can I live at home forever, please? ❤

9. But really. Is anyone in Vancouver looking for a roommate? I’ll go on runs with you and bake you muffins!

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!

What I Ate Wednesday – Gastown Adventures!

Like I said yesterday, this past weekend I had the most wonderful time hanging out with my mom! It was a much-needed break before the final end-of-year/semester push, not to mention access to beautiful and delicious food. So of course What I Ate Wednesday is back to celebrate!

I don’t even realize how gross/boring/ugly my food is until I am presented with perfectly plated meals multiple times per day! So here are some of the super awesome things that entered my mouth last Saturday. Be prepared to drool.

Meghan over at CleanEatsFastFeets is taking over from Jenn today for the link party! So make sure to go check her out for 7.1 billion other awesome meals for your viewing pleasure.

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Breakfast at Nelson the Seagull

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We stumbled upon this place as it was the only restaurant we could find open at 9:30am on  a Saturday morning. Cold, hungry, and wet, I was really only looking for some basic eggs & toast, but this breakfast went above and beyond! The bread was hearty and chewy, eggs poached perfectly, and they gave me fried mushrooms. <– if you want to impress me, give me fried mushrooms.

I can definitely see myself coming back here! The place has a super cool industrial / hipster vibe, and all the employees were incredibly friendly and cheerful.

Lunch 

quesadilla

I have literally been craving quesadillas for months, but haven’t had any because I knew the dining hall would disappoint. These didn’t! I can’t actually remember where they are from… #fail. But they were chicken & cheese – yummy,  but nothing to write home about.

Dinner

steak-dinner

Apologies for the gross picture – but the food definitely wasn’t! I don’t even remember the last time I had steak / red meat, but my body has been asking for it. I didn’t even need ketchup it was so delicious! I didn’t quite manage to finish it all, but ate that sweet potato & mushrooms times four. 🙂

There was the usual apple + PB / grapes / random snacking after dinner, of course! And this next meal is actually from Sunday, but I can’t resist showing you because it is from my FAVOURITE restaurant in all of Vancouver!

Breakfast at Heirloom

This was pretty good, but I wish I had tried one of their specialities. I’ve heard the avocado toast is to die for, and the omelettes looked delicious as well! But my stomach had been fairly finicky over the evening and early morning, so I decided to stick with the ever-so-classic eggs & toast.

heirloom-breakfast

It was one of the only times I’ve ever enjoyed breakfast potatoes, though, so there is that!

Other than that, there were happy hour snacks (short rib croquettes and OMG cheesy bread, anyone?), grilled cheese sandwiches, and Whole Foods smoothies! I’m thinking that last one will start making a sizeable dent in my wallet – SO. GOOD!

What is your typical breakfast order?

#1 craving right now? 

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.

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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!

 

Thinking Out Loud – A Confession.

Back to regularly scheduled programming for Thinking Out Loud! Thanks for hosting the randomness, Amanda. 🙂

Thinking-Out-Loud2

1. I dissapeared yesterday. really hate missing posting days for no reason, but I just could not get it together to blog on Wednesday. My circumstances have just changed so that I now need to apply for student loans, and the process is scary and overwhelming. Add the fact that the application only works on internet explorer, which I can’t get at home, and cue nervous panic attack.

2. It’s long run day! On a lighter note, today is my 8 mile run! I would have liked to be done right now, and be blogging about it, but alas, my mother was a bit too chatty this morning and I ended up waiting too long/getting too hungry to just have a banana + PB and get out the door. Yogurt bowl with muesli, banana and pear it was! And now we wait. (worst part of running EVER.)

3. It’s July 31. I literally just realized that this very instant. Tomorrow is August. Can someone tell me where summer went?! Oh well, at least I’m not dreading school start this year. Instead I am actually counting down the days. (27 until we leave. ❤ )

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4. Shopping before leaving. You guys, I have SO FREAKING MUCH that I need to buy! I have a list approximately seventeen pages long running on my computer right now. There also happens to be a computer on that list. Goodbye savings account.

5. MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro. I’m 100% buying this on my own, and I am willing to spend the extra money to get a Mac over a PC. It’s what I’m used to, and what I find works the best for me! Now the question is, should I get an Air for its wonderful portability or a Pro because it can do more? I’m not very technological, I’m taking Arts but planning to major in Media Studies and will have to take a few computer science courses. Thoughts?

macbook-air-or-macbook-pro

6. I’m sort of back on the Jillian Michaels train. A while back I said I really disliked her because of her obsession with 1200 calories + exercise, but I listened to one of her recent podcasts on my long run last week and really appreciated everything she had to say! I think its worth it to tune out her annoying calorie comments for the rest of what she has to say, because its a ton of motivational, uplifting content. Definitely needed at the last mile of a run!

7. The chai latte obsession is real. I bought chai tea from David’s Tea so that I can make my own at home, but I am at a total loss as to how! I don’t want to follow most of the recipes online because they come out sooooo sweet, but sometimes subtracting sugar just makes it taste gross. I also hate the ones that mix water + milk. The creamy factor is necessary.

chailatte

8. I just tried to spell “necessary” five times. I can NEVER get it right! It’s like the word “about” – it was the only one I ever got wrong in 5+ years of elementary school spelling tests. Never got over that.

Thinking Out Loud – Killer Bumblebees.

I’m going to make this intro quick today, because I am STARVING! It’s 9:10am and I haven’t had breakfast yet. This is blasphemy. Thanks so much to Amanda for hosting Thinking Out Loud, and giving all of our crazy randomness free reign!

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1. Canadian bumblebees are monsters. I kid you not, on my way to work yesterday afternoon I saw a bee crawling on the ground the size of my big toe. I wanted to take a picture but I was terrified it’s laser eyes would see it and instantly murder me. I almost got hit by a car trying to walk around it. 

2. The running itch is coming back. Man I love the feeling of lifting and seeing those muscles in the mirror, but this girl has a marathon to run! (Eventually…nowhere in the near future). I WILL run Boston someday which sort of requires me to be semi-adequate at running. Also the fact that there is nothing that makes me feel like a superstar as much as distance running.

HALF MARATHON

3. The world should be frightened in sixteen days. This girl will be LEGAL and set loose on the world! Apple breezers, I’m comin’ for ya. Also margaritas and liquer hot chocolate because I’m that girl.

4. Politics are SO HARD to understand! All jokes aside, the #1 thing I’m most excited about turning eighteen is being able to vote! I’ve been trying to read HuffingtonPost and Macleans articles to politically educate myself but man…no luck yet. There seems to be so much schmoozing/bias in the articles that I cannot for the life of me formulate an opinion. I KNOW, Emma doesn’t have an opinion? Insanity.

5. “Man survives on cheese pizza for 25 years.” Um, thanks HuffingtonPost? I don’t even want to click on the article for fear of what awaits me. It reminds me of the story (not sure if it’s true!) of the eleven year old girl that died a couple of years ago because she refused to eat anything but Ramen noodles. Gotta love parenting.

cheese-pizzaEvery. Day. [source.]

6. I’m not getting kicked out of university! I finnnallly got my diploma marks back last week. I honestly did not care what the results were, as long as my English mark didn’t drop 20% so UBC wouldn’t kick me out. It ended up going up 1% thanks to owning the written response essays (and notsomuch the reading comp), so SUCCESS. I didn’t need to submit math but I got a solid 75%, much better than the 7% I was expecting. 😉 Vancouver here I come!

7. 33 days. I had a mini freak out yesterday. I am moving out in ONE. MONTH. Cue panic attack. I don’t even know how to do laundry! And what do I do when something bad happens and I can’t just talk to my dear mother? YIKES. The real world is freaking scary. And university isn’t even the “real” real world.

8. I want pancakes. BUT I’M JUST SO LAZY. I’ve had too many pancake failures to count, so now I’m terrified of attempting them. I am so going to be that girl making french toast in the microwave. 

mug-french-toast

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