Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Recap – Part 1

Lululemon SeaWheeze sign

Goooood morning friends!

As you read this, I am probably flying through the air back to Ontario after what was an absolutely amazing weekend in Vancouver. I’ve got heaps to tell you about and it is definitely too much to fit into one post so I’ll split the trip into two.

I landed in Vancouver at about midnight Pacific time on Thursday night, and made my way to the Sheraton. When you’re used to waking up at 4am and going to bed at 9pm Eastern, still being awake at midnight PT (3am ET) made for a pretty long day! I collapsed on my lovely fluffy hotel bed and passed out in seconds.

hotel bed

hotel room

It just so happened that the SeaWheeze took place during the same month as Ramadan, which is when my dad (who works in the Middle East) usually takes holidays. Lucky for me, he was able to come over to BC and join me in Vancouver for the event. My dad’s not a runner, but he did do quite a lot of swimming back in the day! On Friday morning, I had a quick workout in the hotel gym. Nothing too serious – I just wanted to make sure my legs were feeling good for the race on Saturday.

pre-breakfast workout

Then I met up with my dad for breakfast at the hotel lounge restaurant. Several plates of hard boiled eggs and fruit mountains were consumed.

fruit breakfast

Vancouver’s weather was gorgeous all weekend, so we set out downtown to see where the race and expo would be. The expo took place at the Vancouver Convention Center, and the area around it was gorgeous. Mountains, greenery, AND ocean? Yes please!

downtown Vancouver

at vancouver waterfront

cruise ship

I couldn’t believe how clear the air was. We have so much humidity in Ontario and Vancouver’s sun and sea breezes were super refreshing.

vancouver coast

vancouver coast

As we walked past, we saw the Lululemon volunteers setting up for the first of 3 yoga/stretch sessions of the weekend in Jack Poole Plaza. This is also where Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron is located from the 2010 winter games.

prep for yoga

Vancouver Olympic Cauldron

Soon after we got back to the hotel, my long-time buddy Lauren arrived at the hotel. Our mums have been lifetime besties and Lauren and I have known each other since we were born. (August babies – wooohoo!) She lives in Alberta (my home province!) so we don’t get to see each other often. We decided a few months ago that we wanted to get together and figured the SeaWheeze would be the perfect excuse.

ange and lauren 1

Early on in our trip planning, we decided that Lauren would be in charge of figuring out our entertainment and I’d be in charge of figuring out where to eat. A lot of you gave me some great suggestions and it would have been impossible to visit them all in the short time that we were there, but eventually I narrowed down the choices. One of my favourite quick lunch spots in Toronto is Freshii, and since I knew the chain doesn’t have locations in Edmonton or Calgary, I had to take Lauren to experience some Freshii greatness in Vancouver.

Lauren's first Freshii salad

Enjoying a Freshii salad

Our afternoon was totally booked up with race expo action. The Convention Center was swarming with runners and their spectators, but from our perspective, everything ran like a well-oiled machine. You’d think the Lululemon crew had put this event on in the past, but this was the first SeaWheeze and I was totally blown away by how smoothly the race package pick-up and expo activities ran.

Sea Wheeze race check-in

Sea Wheeze swag bags

Our swag bags contained several race essentials, as well as some other goodies. We got vouchers for SeaWheeze flip flops (essentials for post-race stinky feet), vouchers for 15% off in the SeaWheeze showcase store, and of course, our race chips. (That’s Chip Wilson’s face that you see below, the founder of Lululemon.)

race chip

picking up Sea Wheeze swag

After picking up our kits and flip flops, we checked out the showcase store.

SeaWheeze showcase store

They had some neat stuff, but we figured that the way to truly experience Lululemon in Vancouver was to actually go to one of the company’s retail locations. We did, and I was so busy spending money checking out all the gear that I didn’t take any photos. Oops!

We still had plenty to check out at the expo after our retail therapy, so we walked back to the Convention Center. On the way, we found a big Lululemon goals board….

SeaWheeze Class of 2012 goals

Lululemon goals board at SeaWheeze

Lululemon trailer

…some very cool airbrush tattoos…

getting an airbrush tatoo at SeaWheeze

Airbrush tatoo at SeaWheeze

Yoga. Run. Party

…a cupcake shop that smelled divine….

cupcake shop in Vancouver

… and a super cute pug.

pug

Back at the expo, there were free manicures and pedicures, massage tables, animals and other creatures on stilts, and life-sized jenga. We saved the massages for post-race, but definitely took advantage of the manicures!

Shark at the SeaWheeze expo

whale sculpture

massages

woman on stilts

life-size Jenga at SeaWheeze

All that expo-going helped us to work up an appetite, and our chosen diner destination was Earls in Yaletown, a request of my dad who used to love Earls back when we lived in Edmonton. Above this Earls location is the V Lounge, which was where we ate. Lots of delicious food went down…

Earls, Yaletown Vancouver

Earls Yaletown - crab and prawn linguine

Earls at Yaletown - chicken burger with brie

Earls - Crab and Shrimp Salad

Watch out, blinding white legs ahead!!

Dressed up for dinner

When we got back to our room after dinner, we found some lovely little race packages, compliments of Lululemon. Inside, there were blister bandages, hair elastics, sunscreen, epsom salts, and black Essie nail polish (so that we could paint our toenails the same colour as the toes that were about to be nail-less after the race!)

SeaWheeze pre-race packages

All that was just Friday. I’ve still got the actual race to tell you about, but let’s save that for tomorrow!

22 thoughts on “Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Recap – Part 1

    1. Ahhh yes you have to get over here! πŸ™‚ Shipping is free in the US and Canada as I’m sure you know, but I definitely know what it’s like to have to pay an arm and a leg to have things from other companies shipped up here from the US. Hopefully you can make a trip soon!

  1. Hi – I stumbled upon your blog the other day and I can’t wait to try out some of your workouts. My friend ran the same race and I am a bit jealous of you two! Sounds like a fun trip. I love planning trips around destination races!

  2. Yay! I ran SeaWheeze this weekend too! I LOVE Vancouver. Nice post, it really gives a feel of what Friday was like. I agree that it was surprisingly easy breezy to get through the expo and all the added perks were fantastic. I’m sad to have missed the airbrush station and the goal wall!

    1. Yay another SeaWheezer! So glad you had a great time too, Meg. The airbrush station and goals wall was just a little further west of the Convention Center, I believe it was West Cordova and Thurlow. I’m pretty sure it was right were the start line was the day after. I just scrubbed mine off this morning and was kind of sad to see it go!

  3. Oh my gosh, this sounds like such a great race! I love that they gave you black Essie polish – how creative! Ah, you look so adorable in all of your pictures! And white legs? I was thinking fabulously toned legs! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Stef! It was really amazing – the whole experience in general. I thought the Essie was a great touch too. Haven’t used it yet (thankfully, I haven’t had to say goodbye to any toenails!) but I’m thinking of some sort of cool black-and-white design that I could use it for…. Pinterest here I come! πŸ˜‰

  4. Hi. I’m just curious what kind of eating plan you follow the day before the race. I did a 14km on the weekend and I had read that it’s best cut down on fat(asits harder for the body to digest) and load up on carbohydrates the day before the race. and it seemed to work for me! Just wondering what your/other readers opinions are on this?
    Well done on the half, by the way! Totally working myself up to that!

    1. Hi Cheyenne,
      Like you said, I do find it more difficult to digest food with higher fat content before workouts as well as before racing. Therefore, my pre-race diet usually consists of mainly protein (lean sources, mostly fish and a little chicken, as well as non-meat sources like Greek yogurt and eggs) and carbs in the form of whole grains, as well as heaps of fruits and veggies. The day before the race I ate a ton of fruit with yogurt for breakfast, as well as 2 hard boiled eggs. For lunch it was a massive salad with tuna, edamame and veggies, and dinner was another big salad with crab and shrimp. I also snacked on a lot of whole grain crackers throughout the day, and had one of my Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars in the afternoon. Hope this helps! And thanks for the congrats!

  5. Hi there! I stumbled upon your blog when I was googling to find out the spa that did the nails in the ‘Luon Lounge’, and then I realized you looked familiar…..I took your picture by the airbrush tattoo station haha! I’m glad at least one turned out πŸ™‚

    Anyway, your blog looks great, glad you had a great time (I did too) !!

    Jocelyn

    1. Oh my goodness, what a coincidence! Yes, your photos DID turn out really well! Thank you so much again for taking them. As for the nails, the girl that did mine gave me her card and she works at Suki’s (http://www.sukis.com/). She also mentioned that 2 of the other girls there were from Blanche MacDonald (http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/). I can’t remember if she said they were students there or if they taught there or something like that, but either way, I hope this helps. It was great to meet you Jocelyn!

  6. Wow, it looks like they did a really good job planning this event! Ha, I love that’s where my head goes when I see things like this. Too much event planning in my previous life, I tell ya.

    There’s so much goodness going on in this post! It’s great that you got to meet up with your Dad, that you and Lauren decided to meet in Vancouver for this run (and you’re right, Vancouver does have pretty awesome air!) also, love that you two assigned jobs for each other. Kevin and I do the same thing when we’re traveling – I map out places to eat, he figures out what fun things we’re going to take pictures of. It works out nicely!

    1. Thanks! This post was from last year’s race (not sure if you’ve seen this year’s yet, but you can read my recap here if you like!) and I’m pretty sure the jenga blocks were just made of dense foam. I think cork and wood would have been too heavy, although wood would definitely slide better than foam!

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