We headed for Vancouver on Thursday in the early afternoon. We had a quick flight with a bit of champagne. Sort of a girls weekend tradition!
Ironically enough it was gorgeous and warm in Vancouver and super rainy at home.
Laura's Aunt and Uncle live in North Vancouver so that made it easy for accommodations. We headed to their place and had a nice dinner at a nearby pub. We also had a bit of wine.
Friday we woke up at a reasonable hour- no crazy early wakeup calls for us to get in line for the Showcase store! We love our Lululemon but lining up overnight is not my thing!
We made it to the line around 9:53am (ok, I took a picture of the time)- it wrapped around 3 sides of the Convention Centre!
I thought for sure we would be in line for 3 hours but it actually moved quickly!
Some special agents came along to make sure everything was in order! The theme of the race this year was "Agents of Change."
The agents were in character the entire weekend! They were very entertaining!
We both took armfuls into the change room and found some winners.
There were a couple things I was still looking for so we went back and stalked the racks until they were restocked.
I liked most of the prints and colours this year but I was a bit disappointed in the quality of some of the items.
How I try clothes on!
This is how we felt after we left the Showcase store:
My haul-- including a few gifts!
After the store, we picked up our race packages which took no time at all.
Our race package included this great bag, fun sunglasses, water bottle and Nuun tablets. Not too bad!
We missed the noon yoga since we were shopping...
Instead we opted to take photos!
Got a couple tattoos- including this gold pineapple with sunglasses.
While waiting in line (the theme of the weekend), we found some of our friends who were also racing!
Just another (temporary) tattoo!
We decided to skip the lines for hair and manicures and instead got popsicles! Very refreshing on this hot day!
Vancouver, you are so pretty!
Our wrist bands which gave us entrance to the runners lounge, race, and the sunset festival.
That evening we made a delicious carb loading dinner of Penne a la Vodka! Probably one of my favourite dinners that Laura makes! I also limited my wine to one glass!
Saturday morning we woke up just before 5am. Laura made us bacon and eggs which I could only eat about half since I had typical race day nerves.
Sea wheeze course map- they made some slight changes from when I did it in 2013 and from talking to people it was different even from last year. We finished along the seawall rather than on the road at the start line.
Laura's uncle drove us down to the start line which took less than 15 minutes. We had lots of time to mill around, take a few pictures, and stop at the bathrooms.
Laura's first race- a half marathon! Go big or go home!
We lined up with the 2:20 pacers and waited about 10 minutes until it was our turn to go. The race organizers had everyone so pumped at the start- it is seriously the best start!!
Suddenly we were off! The start is always a bit of a shmoze as we lace through the streets and everyone is trying to find their pace.
I took zero photos on course. My phone was tucked away in my fuel belt and I didn't want to be pulling it in and out. Last year I lost my Gu Chomps pulling my phone out along the seawall so I decided that I would just run and enjoy other people's photos!
The first few kms I felt good, with a minor stitch in my right side. I skipped my first walk break to keep the momentum going. It was a warm morning and it was only 7am! I'm so glad I opted for the running skirt instead of capris! As always, I carried my own water since I like the flexibility of drinking it when I need/want it.
5K- 32:30. I felt pretty good, despite the stitch.
Between 5K-10K I started to feel gross. My stomach felt heavy- not in a "I need a bathroom stat" feeling, just heavy? I started to feel light headed and my legs just did not want to move. This is where the big hills are up to the Burrard Street bridge, down into Kitsilano and then back up the Burrard Street bridge. I did a lot of walking and some minor freak outs that I wasn't going to be able to finish. I almost considered going to the medic tent because I felt that bad and I was only a quarter of the way done. I have no clue why I felt this way-- my training, while not perfect, was good. I had several long runs, even in the heat that went well. I drank lots of fluid, leading up to the race and during the race. Maybe my electrolytes were off?
The cheer stations- the Special Agents were on the hill leading to the Burrard Street bridge, Clearly had a station, the cycling team and overall enthusiasm got me through this tough part of the race. I tried to not dwell on how I felt- especially after I saw a lady pushing a wheel chair, way further ahead of me and then another lady wheeling her own chair. My problems were minor.
Although I did miss the Puppy Cheer Station in Kitsilano which goes to show how bad I must have been feeling if I missed puppies!!
After a bit of walking, lots of fluids and a Gu Chomp I started to feel more human again. I was able to run again and picked up the pace for the next 5K. I was feeling amazing actually. Once the Burrard Street bridge and hills were over I felt like my legs were finally moving properly again and I had some momentum.
Once we were along English Bay and the Seawall I felt much better. My legs were back! Plus it's such a beautiful route along the seawall that it was easier to forget how I was feeling and just run!
I have no idea how but I completely missed seeing the Mermaids but I did see the "Cocktail Party" cheer station and I wish I was sipping cocktails on the beach at that moment!
I was feeling pretty good up until 18K. Then my legs started to protest. Just the usual fatigue which I tried so hard to push through but I ended up taking a few extra walk breaks. It was hot, hot, hot out so I was stopped at the aid stations as well to grab some extra water. I don't know why I didn't think to pour water on myself- I usually do on warm training runs.
I was relieved to see that the Drag Queens cheer station was there this year. They weren't before the Burrard Street bridge like they were 3 years ago so I thought maybe they had another engagement. I was very excited to see them around 19K.
I didn't pay total attention to the course map beforehand so I didn't realize that we finished on the seawall. I kept waiting to be steered back to the road but I was happy to keep running along the seawall and park where it was a bit shady, although narrow.
Around 19K there started to be a lot of spectators along the route which was super encouraging at this point. I was so done, even if I knew I only had 2K to go. It also wasn't a good sight to see someone being taken away on a stretcher by the paramedics so close to the finish line. Even though it was only 21C and felt like 26C with the humidity, it felt much hotter!
I remember someone saying only 2 more turns until the finish line but I didn't believe them. Sure enough, soon the finishing arch was in sight! I picked it up for the last couple hundred meters and was so happy to be done!
I quickly found Laura (she finished a few minutes before me) and we celebrated with our heavy medals!
We grabbed some water bottles and got in the long line up to grab our swag and brunch. We were given cold towels at the finish line which was AMAZING!!! Best idea ever Lululemon!
We spotted Penny and Nikki, two of my CHRR friends in line below us.
The line was a bit ridiculous. It took us 40 minutes to get our brunch. Apparently they ran out of water at the finish line which is not good. I carried my own water, drank a couple times at the water stations and still guzzled a full water bottle at the finish line. I can't even imagine how I would have been without that water and to stand in line in the hot sun for 40 minutes.
We collected our swag along the way up to brunch- a Saje Wellness runner's kit with Peppermint Halo and Pain Reliever essential oils, Kind bar which we quickly consumed and a finisher's hat. Apparently there were mens and women hats and we grabbed the mens. Oh well- navy isn't my favourite colour anyway.
After waiting 40 minutes, we got our breakfast sandwich, grapes and cherry streusel. That streusel was worth the wait!
We took a few more pictures before heading back to North Vancouver to get cleaned up and have a nap.
What "runner's high?" At least my humour was still intact!
After our naps, we got ready and headed to the Sunset Festival before going out for dinner with Laura's Aunt and Uncle to celebrate Laura's upcoming birthday.
The Sunset Festival was located at Stanley Park. It should only have taken 15 minutes to drive there, however there was a water main break on the bridge ( or just after the bridge?) connecting the north shore to downtown Vancouver-- it took us 1.5 hours to get to the festival. I was sad :( We completely missed the yoga and the lineups for everything were so long that we basically walked around, took some pictures and then headed out for dinner. We heard a bit of Youngblood on stage and that's it. Not exactly the festival experience that I had in mind but at least we made it this year!
The agents of change doing their "Om-ing"
The view was amazing!
We drove by the Convention Centre and all evidence of Seawheeze was cleaned up.
We had a delicious dinner at The French Table. Laura got to open our bottle of champagne with a sabre. No big deal! I had prawns and Halibut- sooooo good! It was worth having to leave the festival for! We even got to take home a jar of blueberry preserves which we have been enjoying for breakfast!
Sunday we relaxed and took it easy. Due to the traffic issues with the bridge we gave ourselves lots of time to get to the airport.
We found some gifts for the kids at the Aquarium store.
It was hard to only pick a couple stuffies for the kids!
The flight home was bumpy due to weather in Calgary- figures. We leave beautiful Vancouver for rainy and cool Calgary :(
I missed hubby and the children immensely so I was glad to go home even if it was the most amazing Seawheeze weekend! We had so much fun- we aren't sure how we are going to top it next year for our girls weekend!