We left off last week with a late bedtime before SeaWheeze.
I had chugged a bunch of water before bed in an attempt to combat any dehydration (and thanks to lululemon for including a tube of nuun in our race packet) which resulted in my waking up about 20 minutes before my alarm went off. At this point, I had a realization of “oh shoot, I’m running a half marathon today”. Ha. Nothing like a delayed reaction.
I crawled back into bed and waited for my alarm to go off for real as I’m not one to sacrifice sleep, even if it is just a few minutes.
Once my alarm went off (and Bri solved the mystery of
how to work the coffee maker) I got myself out of bed and tossed on my bad ass unicorn outfit (thanks to Damn Good Sports Group for the fab tank and skirt!), ate a waffle with PB, and sipped on some coffee. We were meeting Leslie at 5:45 to begin the 30-ish minute walk to the start line and far too soon it was time to head on down.
The morning was lovely, and most of the smoke had cleared (yay!) and we made our way down, meeting Brie and Becky at the Olympic Torch before I dropped off my bag at bag drop. Since I wasn’t planning on racing (see: gross lack of training after the Calgary Half Marathon) Emily and I were planning on running together and enjoying our 21.1km tour of Vancouver.
Since I didn’t attend last year (hrmph) the start of the course was new to me and I wasn’t 100% sure where to go, but we managed to squeeze ourselves in around the 2:20 pacer and were just going to see what happened.
Well, let me tell you, the start is a lot of uphill which wasn’t the most fun, but soon I found a kind of groove and Emily and I were on our way. The first cheer station is always spin bikes, but with it being on the road instead of the sidewalk, it created a pretty significant bottleneck on the course (I also made sure to wave to my Canucks banners at
GM Place Rogers Arena). After we made it down the viaduct I spotted Brie and Becky up ahead and ran up to say “hi” to them as they were both crushing their first half marathon (if you’re thinking of running a half, I 100% recommend making SeaWheeze your first!).
It was somewhere around here that I noticed my groin/hip flexor hurting. Hmmmm. Not cool. A few days before I went to Kelowna I noticed some pain in my hip flexor, but with a week of rest it went away and I mostly forgot about it……until around the 5km mark. It continued to be a pain in the…..groin? for the rest of the race. Boo.
As we came up to the Burrard Street Bridge, I told Emily this was one of the best places in the race as there are usually drag queens cheering us on – and we found them! We debated for a half second about stopping to take a picture, but we weren’t racing, so why not take a few extra moments in order to take a picture?!
Across the bridge we both stopped for a potty break, and grabbed some water and fuel at the station and continued our way down to the turnaround point. Once we made it back up to the water station they were out of water. Yeah. I’m going to give that a “super not cool and this absolutely, 100% cannot happen in a race. Ever“. (If you’ve been reading for any period of time, you know I have zero tolerance for running out of water/fuel on a course.)
Then it was time to head down Beach and meet up with the Seawall. Right before the Seawall was the screen where you could leave messages for fellow runners. I spend a few minutes the previous afternoon leaving messages and I slowed down to see if Emily’s message would appear.
Emily, “Oh, that’s so neat. I won’t have a message”
Me *slowing down* “Emily – it’s your message!”
And then, my favourite portion, the Seawall. Filled with First Responders (single ones, feel free to make yourself known!), boxing, bands, fish playing saxophones, and mermaids.
It was along the Seawall I also started to feel the effect of not being fully trained (and that stupid groin/hip flexor). I had a speed limit, and really couldn’t push lest I wanted to curse and be in even more pain.
But, we were slowly making our way to the finish line, counting down the kms required instead of counting up.
Finally (finally!) we tackled Lumberman’s Arch (ugh, worst!) and were heading back to the Seawall for the new finish line!
Finally (finally!) I made it across!
We grabbed water, our medals, took some pictures, got our sunglasses and waited 5 minutes in the food line before leaving. The line wasn’t moving, I actually felt pretty darn terrible, and we had to check out of our hotel in – 90 minutes. Yikes! So Emily and I headed to bag check, and I was able to find Dhugal and Leslie, so we began the painful (for me) walk back to the hotel.
Let me tell you, I was not a happy camper. I was sore and knew I needed to get some food in me, so we made a stop at Starbucks where I then shoveled a scone into my facehole. It didn’t take long for that to perk me up 🙂
Once back at the hotel, we began the rush of getting six gals showered and packed up and ready to check out. It was a whirlwind, but SeaWheeze weekend always is.
Next year SeaWheeze is September 22 – and you best believe I already have it marked off on my calendar.
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