Oh my. Where to begin?
I say it every year, but this was one of my favourite lululemon Seawheeze weekends yet. If you were to ask me what specifically made it that way, I don’t think I’d be able to pin down a specific thing, because it was everything. So instead, I’ll just give you a run-down from start to finish.
My duties began on Thursday afternoon with the very glamorous tasks of moving fixtures, carrying mannequins and hanging Seawheeze gear in the Runner’s Shop – three tasks that were just small pieces contributing towards a darn impressive-looking store. All the while, the lineup outside the Convention Center had been building since the morning the day before (whaaaat!?!) and continued to get long and longer all the way up until the Runner’s Shop opened at 7am on Friday morning. It was luon and Laybags for days – literally!
On Friday afternoon, I headed to Jack Poole Plaza to pick up my race kit. The weather was gorgeous, thank goodness, the smoke from the recent wildfires BC has been experiencing seemed to be clearing a bit.) I hung out at Jack Poole plaza for a few hours, taking in the pre-Wheeze festivities, snapping plenty of selfies with friends, and meeting some of you guys who travelled here for the race from all over North America.
There was so much going on, including…
- Boxing classes with All-City Athletics
- Foam rolling + stretch classes with Movement108
- Smoothies, snacks and everything for your race nutrition needs at Vega‘s Plant Base
- Aromatherapy mists and roll-on remedies from Saje
- Experts from lululemon’s Whitespace team to answer all your product feedback + innovation questions
- Sunglasses from Clearly Contacts
- Manicures from Blanche Macdonald Nail Studio students
- Lots of yoga, meditation, music, pace beaver meet-ups, foil tattoos + other fun things!
Afterwards, I headed home for dinner and did all the night-before-race-day things like picking out my running gear, packing my bag and setting a few alarms to make sure I wouldn’t sleep through it all. Who are we kidding though – this is the girl whose longest sleep in this year was 7:30am, and that was an anomaly.
It’s feels like forever ago since my last one of these… oh wait – that’s because it was! ? Let’s talk pre-race rituals… I always lay my clothing options out the night before, put my chip on my shoes and pack my race bag. This year, it’s got my post-race clothes, shoes and @sajewellness essentials (peppermint halo, muscle rub, energy roll-on and namaste mist!), @vega_team energizer + hydrator, snacks, water bottle, lip balm, band aids, keys, cash, and phone in it. Also, totally random but I have a very quirky habit of spending the last 30ish minutes before leaving the house on race morning cleaning my apartment like a crazy lady. Yes, cleaning. I guess it calms my nerves? And it’s kinda nice coming home to a fresh clean space, ya know? ? What are some of your pre-race habits?
The race started at 7am on Saturday, so I arrived and met up with some friends for bag drop-off around 6:20. There was a warm-up around the famous Orca whale in the plaza, and then we were off to the start line.
Course-wise, things were similar to previous years with a few small exceptions. We had a lovely downhill about a block from the start line and even though I was quite far back in the corral, the rush out of the gates wasn’t too bad.
As I’ve talked about recently, I had zero intentions of truly racing this and was purely out for fun, which I totally had. All of the cheer stations and people in between them made the miles fly by, and despite my very minimalist approach to training, I can honestly say I felt great the entire time. The hills and the inclines of the Burrard bridge didn’t completely suck the life out of my legs, which tells me that all those squats and lunges I’ve been doing have very transferrable benefits. It also tells me I must have had zero glute strength previously. ?
For those who have raced Seawheeze before, you’ll probably agree that the portion along the sea wall can feel like it’s never going to end. This year, Vega’s cheer station was near the part where I usually feel like I’m losing steam, but this time I thought it was the absolute best part of the course. The people there were nothing but smiles, high-fives, high energy and positive vibes, and pool noodles have never looked so good!
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Shortly after coming out of Stanley Park and about a mile from the end of the race was the ivivva cheer station. This one is also a big fave of mine because it’s the brand I’ve had the honour of being part of since starting at lululemon last May. Seeing all the girls out there actually made me get a little emotional (endorphins do funny things!) and it was totally one of those #allthefeels kinda moments.
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My watch didn’t get any attention during the race, and was only on my wrist in the off chance that something went wrong with my shoe chip (which it did not). The high I had after running through both of those cheer stations was enough to send me sprinting for the finish line, where all the post-race celebrations went down. Sweaty hugs, snacks, hydration and stretching – all the priorities were covered. My time ended up being just over 1 hour 41 minutes (with a solid negative split, too!) This was way off my PR, but numbers were truly the last thing on my mind.
The rest of the day consisted of the most magical shower ever, more food and relaxing until around 5pm. That’s when I was supposed to head to the Sunset Festival for yoga and more partying, but didn’t quiiiiite get there.
For context, the Sunset Festival is the awesome post-race party that happens in Stanley Park, and includes a ton of local food + drink vendors, an artisan market, yoga, a great big concert, lots of dancing and chilling out. Some of my teammates and I had every intention of rolling out our yoga mats and getting our downward dog on, but when my friend Jess and I arrived back downtown to grab the shuttles over to the park, the line was sooooooooo long and we were already both exhausted.
I’ve never not made it to this last bit of the race weekend, and maybe it’s a sign that I’m just getting old but at that point our minds were made up. We made a game time decision to skip the crowds and head to Whole Foods for dinner (#finedining) and a long-overdue catch up. It was actually rather perfect, and while I had a bit of FOMO while scrolling through my Instagram feed that night, I awoke feeling like a very rejuvenated human being on Sunday morning. Sometimes a girl just needs to sleep!
And that my friends, is a wrap! Just like the years before, I’m looking back at this weekend as one of my favourite summer memories. The new + old friends, the laughs and craziness, the team camaraderie, people who work tirelessly to make it all happen, the heartbeats, the way everyone becomes a cheerleader for everybody else, and the 13.1 miles of the gorgeous city I’m proud to call home. There’s nothing else quite like it.
So tell me… if you raced Seawheeze this weekend, or any race this summer for that matter, I’d love to hear about your experience. What made it special? What are some of your best memories from it?