Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Dopey Challenge Part 1

Happy new year everyone! I apologize for disappearing for almost 2 weeks. It’s been a bit hectic. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I have been off traveling and running my little legs off. If you’re just tuning in now, well, I did the impossible. I completed the Dopey Challenge! That’s right! I started 2018 off with a bang! Hooray Let’s recap, shall we?

Flight: My biggest fear when traveling is having my flight delayed or cancelled. And can you guess what happened the day of my flight?

Yep. My flight got cancelled. It was first delayed an hour, then two hours, then two and a half, and then straight up cancelled with no explanation. Thanks Frontier Airlines. Thanks a lot.

They offered to rebook me on their next available flight, but that meant I would have missed picking up my packet at the Walt Disney World Expo and I wouldn’t have been able to complete the Dopey Challenge. So I just took the refund they offered me. I frantically looked for another flight that night and was fortunately able to book with United, but it cost me $400 more than my original flight. Grrr. Frontier did send me a $200 voucher on top of the refund, but I was more peeved than anything because they gave me no explanation as to why the flight was cancelled nor did they apologize for the huge inconvenience they caused me.

Packet Pick-Up: Anyway, I arrived in Orlando Wednesday morning and got checked into my hotel with little delay.

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I have arrived!

Since I stayed at one of their resorts, they had shuttles taking people to the expo. Hooray for convenience! Then came the crazy crowds. I’m used to lines at expos, but this was a whole other beast.IMG_4472

I had forgotten to bring my printed waiver to the expo and so I had to wait in an extremely long line (maybe 30 minutes) to just print out my waiver. Once it was printed, I went to the actual bib-pick up, which consisted of another super long line that snaked outside the building. Holy moly. I think the whole ordeal took me 2 hours. Whew. I swung by the Disney merchandise area afterwards and scored myself a nice Dopey Challenge pullover. 🙂 By that time, I was done spending money and skipped the expo altogether. I probably missed out on some sweet stuff, but I was just done with overpaying for things. LOL.

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I spent the rest of Wednesday resting up for the 5k distance. I set up my flatrunner and went to bed at 8 pm ET. That’s 5 pm PT, where I’m from. That’s when I usually get off work. LOL. Talk about being totally unprepared.

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My Flatrunner Russell costume

If you’ve every run a Disney race, you’ll know that the start times are extremely early. For a race that started at 5:30 am, we all had to leave our Disney resorts by 3:30 am. That meant standing in the cold for about 1.5 to 2 hours before starting. Oh and it was soooo very cold! The day of the 5k, it was 32F. I was super unprepared for the weather and I’m pretty sure the day of the 5k, I almost got frost bite from the lack of layers I should have been wearing. LOL. Luckily, they had Disney characters near the start line so everyone lined up to to get their photos taken. There was also a tent that everyone escaped too and huddled together to stay warm. LOL

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Fellow BibRave Pro Justin and I with Dopey!

Walt Disney World 5k: Enough with the complaining, let’s get to the race! Like all Disney races, they started each wave by sending fireworks into the air.

 

The first mile and a half, we were running through the streets surrounding Epcot. There were three character stops from what I remember – Chip and Dale, Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars, and the Genie from Aladdin. Chip and Dale came within the first mile, but because I was still very cold, I bypassed them and hoped that they’d be at another race. Spoiler: They weren’t. 😦 I did get a photo with the genie though so I was a happy camper. Even before entering Epcot, I took a nasty fall. I was adjusting my brownie sash for my Russell costume and missed a step and fell forward and ripped up my gloves and scraped my elbow. Luckily, I was wearing tights or my legs would have been scraped up too. Yikes!

 

Once I got into the park, it was magical. Disney knows how to do their races right. Since the race was so early, it felt like we were experiencing the park at night. Everything was wonderfully lit and there were so many photo worthy opportunities. The only downside is that the lighting may not be super great for taking photos with characters. After finishing the race, I grabbed a Mylar blanket and headed back to the shuttle to get ready for a day at the park. 🙂

Too long, didn’t read? Here’s the short version. I had a rocky start, but it panned out in the end. 🙂 I’ll continue with my 10k and half marathon in the next post! 🙂

Question for you: Have you ever had a flight cancelled? What did you do? 

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Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Viva Las Vegas – Race Report

And just like that, my last scheduled race for the year is done. Rock N Roll Vegas was my 19th half marathon and it was a fun one. I met up with a few BibRave Pros and some of the #WeRunSocial crew and even bought myself a set of heels on a whim. Without further ado, my Rock N Roll Vegas Half Marathon race report.

I left for Vegas with a few friends on Saturday morning and drove 4 and a half hours to Sin City.  We easily picked up our bibs at the Health and Fitness Expo and bonus – we didn’t even have to pay for parking! That’s always a win in my book. There were again a lot of things to see and a lot of photo opportunities. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably saw some of them. One of the noteworthy things I saw and forgot to take a picture of was a wall where everyone could sign in neon sharpies. They later moved that wall to the course and so we ran by it and it lit up with everyone’s messages.  Anyway, my friends dropped me off at my hotel after the expo and I met up with fellow BibRave Pro Fallon, who graciously agreed to let me crash with her for the weekend. I want to tell you that we painted the town red, but we didn’t. Fallon was running the 5k that night and all I wanted to do was just stay in my hotel room and not be saddened by all people outside gambling and going clubbing.

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View of New York New York from the hotel

Sunday was better. It was the day of the race and I had scheduled to meet up with several other BibRave Pros (Christine, Fallon, Jeannine, Allison, and Justin) for brunch at the Planet Hollywood buffet.

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Fellow BibRave Pros

That’s a smart choice, right? To eat at a buffet the morning of a race? LOL It was tough, but I controlled myself. I only limited myself to one sausage, 4-5 slices of bacon, an omelet with all the fixings, some smoked salmon, grits, hash browns, and orange juice. Nothing too heavy. LOL. Don’t worry. I made sure not to eat anything the rest of the day so I was done digesting by the time race time came.

I met up with some other social media fiends at the #WeRunSocial meetup.

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The WeRunSocial crew

We chatted, got a #werunsocial multi-use headwear thing  (the gray thing I’m wearing), took a ton of photos, and went on our merry way to our corrals when they opened. We were squished during the corrals. There was no doubt about it. A lot of us, me included, had to wait on the sides until they released the corrals to be able to get into our corral. Every wave release had a nice mini fire show at the start line, which pumped up the crowds.

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Start line

Race: This race has always been on my bucket list. Racing through the Las Vegas strip at night always seemed like an interesting concept and it was. We started off by the T-mobile arena and headed 2 miles south towards the airport before making a u-turn back towards the heart of Las Vegas. We passed by the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, which tons of people took selfies in front of, and they had lined parts of the race with the wall we had signed at the expo.

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Famous Las Vegas sign

Since the messages were in neon, they lit up the course with our messages. That was very cool. Once we returned to the starting area, we ran an additional 5 miles north of the strip.We passed by all the big casinos and I was pretty much blinded by lights when I looked up. Towards the north end of the strip, we passed by the older casinos and even passed by the famous Pawn Shop seen on Pawn Stars. At mile 9, we made a u turn back towards the finish line and passed by Downtown Las Vegas, which from the outside looks like a huge carnival with a ton of lights. There were a good amount of fans cheering us along the route, but because Vegas is so busy, I barely noticed the people. Because I hadn’t been running regularly, my legs suffered. My feet started hurting at mile 3, but because I wanted to finish so badly, I didn’t care. I pushed on and after that second u-turn, I tried my best to not burn out.

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My unofficial finish time was 2:00:18. I knew I was close to 2 hours and I desperately tried to sprint at the end, but because it was a night race and it just got colder later in the race, my body wasn’t adjusting well to the temperature difference and I just missed the 2 hour mark.

All in all, it was a great experience and a unique one at that. I’m glad that my friends as well as you all pushed me to run the race. It had been on my bucket list for a few years and now I can finally cross it off my list.

It feels bittersweet knowing this was my last race of the year. Maybe I’ll sign up for a last minute holiday race to beat the holiday blues. Who knows?

So how about you? Any more races for the year or are you done until 2018? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Running Rock N Roll LA – Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Los Angeles Half marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

It’s only been a few days since my last post and quite a bit has changed since then. I want to tell you that my race experience was phenomenal, but in actuality it wasn’t. I’m not ready to get into the specifics of it and I’m not sure I ever will, but in order for this post to make sense, I will tell you that my long term relationship with my significant other ended.

As I alluded to in my previous post, I had spent a good deal of time in LA with him, which made race weekend extremely hard on me. I was essentially a zombie race weekend and almost didn’t race. Fortunately, my friends who were running the race had offered to drive me up to LA and help me get through the weekend. Apologies in advance as this post won’t be as joyous as other race recaps.

Health and Fitness Expo – It was held at the LA convention center and parking was $20 there. With a little bit of research, we were able to save a few dollars by parking at a metro stop and taking public transport to pick up our bibs. Bib pick-up was easy and we were in and out of there in 30 minutes. This particular expo wasn’t as big as the San Diego RnR expo, but there was still a lot to see (Brooks Running, Meb Keflezighi, KT Tape, Sport Hooks, RnR Heavy medals, etc) and I’d still recommend checking everything out even if it is just for a hot second.

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The Cali Combo medal and Heavy Medals if you run 2+ RnR races in the same year
Race – I crashed at a friend’s place and hadn’t slept that well prior to the race. I estimated maybe 5 or 6 hours, which was not great. I average 8 hours. Thanks to public transport, we got to the race with about 30 minutes to spare. Whew.

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The start line
I have to apologize to everyone that I bumped into at the race. I was in a bad place (and still currently am) and I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone for very long. It’s hard for me to admit, but I didn’t want to see anyone that day, which made me feel worse because I felt like I was letting my friends down. I love interacting with other runners and there were runners in all sorts of really nice costumes (saw people dressed up as pizzas, M&Ms, donuts, french fries; there were a lot of food costumes), but all I could feel was sadness.

Anyway the race began and off I went. I will spare you my sad thoughts that raced through my head, but just know that I struggled mentally through a lot of the course. The course route itself was very pretty. There were a lot of rolling hills, but I do fairly well on hills so it wasn’t too bad. Heh. You start at the Staples Center, which I could only describe as a mini version of Times Square in New York City. The half marathoners share the course with the 5kers and they both at the same time. That means there’s a bit of crowding for the first 2 miles. Boo. You then make your way to USC and Exposition park, where a lot of museums are located. Once you turn, you head back towards downtown and past MacArthur park into Koreatown. Then, you double back and head back towards downtown where you finished back at Staples Center. Although, this race is an out and back course, it still allowed you to see what parts of LA are like. One thing that I really liked about this race was that the end was primarily downhill with a turn and then maybe 200 meters til the finish line. I dislike races where you turn and then you have 800 meters to go. That’s too long of a sprint. Heh.

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Friends who kept me sane for the weekend

Final thoughts – This race was probably my toughest race to date mentally and I’m not sure I’d want to repeat that experience, but there was one redeeming thing I did. I wasn’t sure the entire race whether I’d be able to hit a sub 2 hour marathon, but with the last 700 meters and a few minutes ’til the 2 hour mark, I put my best feet forward and raced as fast as I could. Time? 1:59:48.

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Question for youEver race when you’re sad? What do you do to cheer yourself up? I’m all ears. 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Chicago Marathon Race Report

If you read my previous post, you’ll know that I didn’t exactly make the smartest eating choices the night before the race. LOL. Oops! You live and you learn though. 🙂 And I learned to not eat really fatty foods the day before a marathon. FYI: This is A REALLY LONG POST. 🙂 You have been warned.

I woke up the morning of the marathon feeling fine. I slept a good 7 hours and despite walking around the expo a lot the previous day, my legs felt really strong. All the rest I did the week of actually paid off! Getting to the marathon start line was SO MUCH EASIER than getting to New York’s. I hopped onto the Green line and took it all the way down to Millennium Park where the start was. I barely had to do any walking and within about 45 minutes, I was near the gate entrances. Security was very tight due to recent events and I very much appreciated it. Runners had to walk in a single file line through the gates while being screened by security wands. Despite the initial bottleneck, I was through the gates in 10 minutes and made my way to gear check and the corrals.

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Do you see it? So awesome!
As I was waited for the race to start, my stomach started to feel kind of funny. I thought about going to the porta-potties, but since they had already closed the corrals for my wave, I made the decision to just hold it and hope it’d go away. I didn’t want to go use the porta-potties and then have to start at the end of my wave. Also, never have I ever had to use the porta-potty before or during the race. Spoiler alert: I can no longer say that. LOL.

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At the start
As I crossed the start line, I felt the excitement and nervousness that I felt in New York, but I also felt a lot of pressure. I had never trained so hard for a race before and anything other than my goal time would be considered a failure for me. So off I went. It was difficult to keep my pace slow because the energy around me was contagious. Almost immediately, we went underneath a tunnel, and I experienced what I will quite honestly describe as “Uh WTF” moment. Guys who apparently didn’t want to use the porta-potties either were finding corners in the tunnel to pee. LOL. So weird. Anyway, I had to get out of that tunnel asap so I sped up a little bit. Haha.

For the first few miles, we ran around the Chicago loop in downtown. Chicago is truly a beautiful city. The architecture is amazing to look at and the skyscrapers around us kept us nice and cool.

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Hello skyscrapers!
Then at mile 3, my stomach started feeling funny and since my biggest fear is probably accidentally pooping myself during a race, I darted to the nearest porta-potty. The lines were long and I lost a few minutes at each stop that I made along the race. Sadly, I made three during the first half of the race. After each stop, I increasingly became frustrated with myself. I knew I had lost precious time, but I wasn’t sure how much because for reasons unknown, my tracking app was anywhere from 0.5 miles to 1.5 miles off during the entire race and it was really difficult to gauge my progress. I was also really worried about my fuel plan because my stomach was so uneasy. I didn’t want to take the gels and make my stomach feel worse, but I also didn’t want to hit the wall at mile 20. I had to play everything by ear and luckily, my stomach eased up at the halfway point and I was able to continue on with the race.

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Spectators on the bridge cheering on runners
To make up for the lost time, I sped up quite a bit after each stop, which made the race less enjoyable for me. I was so set on reaching 26.2 miles that half of the race was a blur for me. Since I felt better after the halfway point, I started to pick up my pace.  Unfortunately for me and the other runners, the 2nd half of the race was not well shaded and it was also getting hot. The race at this point was still a blur for me, but I think it was because crowd support for this race was neverending. There were always people cheering for you, little kids wanting to high five you, and more “Touch here for power-up” signs than I could count. I know. I tried. For the last 6 miles, I ran through as many sprinklers as I could. I grabbed wet sponges that volunteers were handing out to cool my body and I kept drinking water.

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So happy to get a sponge!
At mile 22, my legs started to experience fatigue. By that point, I had a feeling I wouldn’t have hit my first goal, but I knew that at the pace I was going, I’d still beat my person record so I pushed on. At 25.5 miles, I was DYING. Everyone that says that Chicago is flat as a pancake is WRONG. They’re 99.8% right, but that last 0.2% is during the last half mile of the marathon. WHYYYYY????? was my exact reaction. I turned the corner and was just devastated that there was this hill at the end. In retrospect, this hill isn’t that bad, but at the end of a marathon, it might as well have been life or death. LOL.

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Hooray! I did it!
As soon as I crossed that finish line, a FLOOD of emotions came over me and I just burst  into tears. I had just finished my second full marathon, a race I had trained so hard for, and no one was physically there to celebrate it with me. It was really hard for me and to help me get through it, I spent the next few minutes posting to social media and thanking all of my friends who sent me texts during the race to keep me going. I was so distraught after the race and my body was in shock. I remember calling my boyfriend and telling him that I’m not sure I’ll ever run a marathon ever again, only to remember that I was signed up for the Dopey Challenge in January. Not to worry though, I’ve changed my mind since then and am still planning on doing Dopey. LOL.

If you’re still with me and have read this to the end, here’s how I did:

Chip time: 4 hours, 23 minutes and 30 seconds (I beat my previous record by 25 minutes and 19 seconds!!!)

So there you have it – my Chicago marathon experience. Hooray! Would I do it again? Sure, but not any time soon. I have a whole lot of other races I want to check off my bucket list first. ☺️

 

 

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Days Leading up to the Chicago Marathon

Well, it’s been 10 days since I ran my second full marathon in Chicago and I think most of the feelings have been processed. 🙂 This race was less than ideal for me, but I think I did the best I could given the circumstances I’ll later describe in my next post, but for now, here are the details of the days leading up to the race:

I was pretty jittery during the days leading up to the race. My knee still didn’t feel 100%, but I also didn’t want to be too stiff during the race so I logged in about 10 miles the week of the race. I flew into Chicago Friday evening after a 2.5 hour delay on the plane. Boo Spirit! A 6.5 hour flight is not conducive to running. Luckily, my friend picked me up and so I got to sleep sooner than anticipated. After about 8 hours of sleep, I got up and dropped by Cloud Gate to meet up with some #werunsocial runners (I even met Kristin, who gave me an ornament from the ornament exchange last December) and then headed to the expo to explore.

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Kristin!

 

The Expo: If I could rank the top three expos that I’ve been to, I would say that the Chicago Marathon Expo would be at the very top with the New York Marathon Expo and the Rock N Roll Expos following it.

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Taking the Windy City by storm!

There were so many things to see and do at the expo. Runner’s World, Aftershokz, Oofos (which I’ll talk about in a later post), Run Disney, SportHooks, and about a billion more vendors were there.

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I love their headphones so of course I had to drop by to say hi!

I walked around and grabbed as many free Chicago marathon memorabilia as I could. I may have walked around for a little too long, but hey, they gave out cow bells to cheer on runners. Of course, I had to grab one! LOL. I even saw Hal Higdon and Bart Yasso at the Runner’s World booth and got a little starstruck. The expo was a place where you can meet the who’s who in the running world. They had speakers come out and it was just a great location for people to meet up. While I was there, I also ran into the BibRave team and other runners I’ve interacted with on Twitter.  Running into people that I’ve interacted with for over 6 months on social media was probably one of the highlights of my trip. I finally got to put names (or in some cases social media handles) to faces. LOL

Pre-marathon meals: After a few hours of walking around the expo, I headed out to grab lunch at the Purple Pig. I had eaten here before and since I was a party of one, I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long. I was right. What I didn’t anticipate was how the Roasted Bone Marrow With Herb Salad and Sicilian Sea Salt would affect my stomach the next day. LOL. Oops. I mean, honestly, who wouldn’t want to eat some fatty goodness the day before a race?

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Look at how happy I am with my Bone Marrow LOL

I later grabbed a few slices of deep dish pizza at Giordano’s with a friend (an action I also regretted the next day) and called it a night. Stay tuned for my next post on marathon day! 🙂

 

 

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

America’s Finest City Half – Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

Happy Friday everyone! The America’s Finest City half was my 6th and 17th half marathon and I can confidently say that I’ve improved – by 18 minutes. 🙂 Yay! Now, let’s get down to how everything went down the weekend of the half. 🙂

Packet Pick-up

Went on a Saturday to the hotel where packet pick-up was being held. There were no hiccups along the way and I got my race bib and technical tee and was in and out of there pretty quickly. The expo was medium sized and would have been a great place to pick up any last minute fuel items for the race. I even bought a 26.2 sticker for my car. 🙂

Race Day

Pre-race

I had been feeling ill the past week and had been waking up really congested so I made sure to sleep as much as possible the night before the race. I ended up with 7.5 hours. Hooray! Woke up at 4 am still pretty congested and got to Balboa Park by 4:30 am and shuttled over to Cabrillo National Monument where the start line was. This race only allows you to park at the finish line because it’s a point to point race and for safety and security reasons, no one is allowed to park at the start. I then waited for about an hour and a half for the race to start. LOL. Luckily, I met up and chatted with several of my running friends to pass the time. 🙂 It was also COMPLETE OVERCAST and was perfect running weather. Hooray!

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My friends! 

Race

I was still sick and didn’t want to stress out my body even more so I stayed true to my promise to take it easy. After crossing the start line, you immediate run down a hill and run past the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a cemetery that is dedicated to veterans. The first 2.5 miles had rolling hills, which weren’t that great for my not warmed up legs, but I managed. We headed into neighborhoods and were greeted with people cheering and shots of whiskey. LOL. We then headed towards the bay and ran along the bay from mile 4 to 10. This was really a scenic route – one that is much more different than the San Diego Rock N’ Roll half that I ran earlier this year. At mile 8, my lower back started hurting and I had to slow down my pace by quite a bit. By mile 9, I was mentally drained. I didn’t want to start walking because I knew once I started, I’d be more likely to walk again later on so I just pushed on. At mile 10, we started entering downtown and at mile 11, something amazing happened. People were handing out mini sliders! I took one and munched on it as I made my way towards the 6th avenue hill, which everyone pretty much hates. LOL. It’s probably a 150 ft increase in elevation and just destroys runners because it’s so late in the half. The mini sliders must have given me magical powers or something because I powered through that hill. I also grabbed half an otter pop that someone was handing out and munched on it. It was great. I normally don’t eat during halfs, but these were what I needed to get my head back in the game. At mile 12.5, we entered Balboa Park, which is this beautiful HUGE park that has museums, a botanical garden, and even street performers on the weekends. With about a half mile to go, I sprinted again. LOL. I don’t know what it is, but something about finishing strong is really invigorating.

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View of the bay and downtown

Post-Race

They funneled the runners and gave everyone a paper bag with SO MANY GOODIES inside.

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Nom nom nom
I was definitely a happy camper. I grabbed my medal and headed over to the finish line festival. There were huge lines to take the infamous Triple Crown photo. The organizers had even brought in single sofa chairs and royalty paraphernalia for Triple Crown finishers to take pictures with. I didn’t even do the challenge and I wanted to take a photo with the props. LOL. They also had a live band with a lot of 80s themed music since that was the theme. Heading out of the parking lot was probably the only thing I didn’t really like about the race. Since so many people were leaving and finishers were crossing the streets, it took a solid 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot.

Final Thoughts

This race was a lot more scenic than I remember it being. Two years ago, it was hot and humid and that’s all I could remember. This year, running by the bay was breathtaking and I thoroughly enjoyed all the yummy goodies they passed out along the route (sans the alcohol; I’m not crazy LOL). I took it easy and don’t regret it. I’ll try and do the Triple Crown challenge again next year. I really want that photo opp.

Official time: 2:05:58

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17th half in the books!
Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

SeaWheeze Race Report

I should be focusing on preparing for my defense, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about my race experience at SeaWheeze in Vancouver. It could be all the endorphins running through me, but I have to say this was one of the best half marathons I’ve ever run and I’ve run quite a few in the past three years. Apologies in advance for the length of this post and all the LOLs in it. I had a fantastic time and I can’t contain my love for this race.

First off – Package Pick up at the Expo

SeaWheeze is a little different from most races in that you don’t actually wear a bib when you race. So what exactly did I pick up? Well, I picked up a Lululemon cinch bag (which had a water bottle and Nuun tablets in it), my D-tag, and my Sunset Festival bracelet. I also got to exchange my Lululemon shorts at pick up. Hooray! At package pick up, you get to walk around their Runners Shop and of course, buy their merchandise. I am proud to say that I didn’t buy anything. Don’t get me wrong. I do like their clothes, but since I’m graduating soon with no current employment plans, I decided against splurging for a pair of $58 shorts. The urge to spend was great though and Lululemon knows how to market themselves for sure.

The expo had a lot going on. There were a lot of great photo opportunities (I took advantage of all of them LOL), 15 minute yoga classes and a few vendors (Flow, Vega, Clearly, Saje) to check out. I stopped by most of them, found out my stomach didn’t agree with the Flow water, and then headed out.

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Hello photo opps!

Pre-race

I easily took the bus from my Air BnB to Canada place, which by the way is home to the Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Winter Games. It’s a really cool piece of artwork and I wish they had lit it while we were there. Anyway, I met up with fellow BibRave Pros (Jeannine, Amanda, and Bradley) and then headed to the start.

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Left to right: Jeannine, Amanda, me, and Bradley behind the Olympic Cauldron

At this race, you self seed based on your expected finish time. Pacers, which they call Pace Beavers, were holding up their finish time so I made my way over to the 1:55 pacer and tried to stick with them as long as possible. I had never seen so many people in Lululemon wear in my life. LOL. As I waited to start, I saw this guy with two basketballs in his hands and a temporary “Doctor Dribble” tattoo on his back. Veterans of the race told me that he actually dribbles the entire course. I was impressed. At 7:05 am, the race started and I was on my way.

Race

I, without a doubt, started out WAY TOO FAST. I had a really rough start. I was debating about whether to keep with the 1:55 pacer or just run my own race and ended up with the pacer. That was mistake #1. The pacers were consistently a minute faster than where I needed to be and I struggled to keep up with them. Also, there are A LOT of things going on during this race. Around mile 3, we were on a bridge and there were people on stationary bikes cycling. I believe they were from a spin studio and it was really motivating to see them cheering us on. I tried my best to take pictures, but I also didn’t want to get in anyone’s way when I slowed down to take those pictures. The first time I took out my camera, I dropped my bus pass and a runner almost collided into me. That was mistake #2. I ended up taking a quick pic and was on my way.

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Things I saw along the route

Then my shoelaces got untied and I had to step to the side to tie them – mistake #3. THEN, I found out that the water they were giving out at the aid stations, was the Flow water they served at the expo. I took water from one station and within minutes of drinking it, I felt ill – mistake #4. Like I said, I had a rough start to the race. To make sure I didn’t have to stop by a porta-potty, I ended up bypassing all the water stations and holy moly, I was super thirsty by the end of the race. I was so thirsty at the end of the race that I ended up paying $3 CAD for water at the convention center. Who does that??? LOL. I ended up losing the pacer around mile 6 and at mile 8, “Doctor Dribble” passes me by with his two basketballs and I’m just in shock. What a talented man. LOL.

Despite all the mishaps, I had a fantastic time along the route. There were so many things to see. The things I saw?

  • Drag queens with pom poms
  • People on stilts in animal costumes
  • People dressed in mermaid costumes sitting on the rocks waving at us
  • Rows of people spinning on their stationary bikes
  • People on row machines
  • People on paddle boards ringing their cowbells on the bay
  • Hippies giving out high fives
  • Firefighters and policemen/women sprinkling people with water
  • “Yoga. Run. Party” shrubbery

Just to name a few. 🙂 The neighborhood support was awesome. Also, a huge part of the route is along the seawall and honestly, running along that route made me want to be a Canadian. LOL. The city is just so beautiful and I was so happy I got to explore this city by running through it. I even stopped off to the side to take a picture of the Lion’s Gate bridge. (I have NEVER stopped running during a race to take a photo. It was that picturesque). Honestly, pictures do not do this race justice. With about a mile to go, I ended up pushing myself to sprint. Normally, I can’t sprint for very long, but this time around, I felt strong enough to put everything I had into that last mile. Hooray! Marathon training is paying off. 🙂

Post-race

After crossing the finish line, I grabbed my shiny medal, a pair of Clearly sunglasses, my complimentary brunch, my Runner’s Reward from Saje (it contained a “Muscle Melt” lotion, a 6ml headache remedy, and 6ml analgesic remedy), found water, and waited for my friend to finish.

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Yay pretty medal!

As part of SeaWheeze, all runners also get to attend their Sunset Festival, which in short, is a huge yoga party with musical headliners. It didn’t start until 4:30 pm so my friend and I got lunch and went back to our place to nap before heading back out. I’m not really into yoga, but I thought I’d attend anyway to see what it was about. At the festival, there were more shops for people to buy Lululemon gear. They make SOOOOO much money out of this race. I ran into a woman that said she had used up her mother’s day present, birthday present, and Christmas present for that year. LOL. Wow. There was an hour long yoga class followed by Young the Giant and Cold War Kids. I ended up leaving mid yoga class so I can’t really comment on the rest of the night, but it was a nice event to unwind at.

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Honestly, the best part (for me) about the sunset festival was the fact that there were three people in t-rex costumes, two of which participated in yoga. LOL. Can you spot them in my pictures?

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Do you see what I see? LOL. 

If this was too long to read, here’s the short version. I had a blast at SeaWheeze and I already want to try and run it again next year. I recommend EVERYONE to run this race. They’ve already set the date too! It’ll be September 22, 2018. 🙂 The registration date hasn’t been released yet, but if I hear about it, I’ll let you know too.

So have you run SeaWheeze before? Or are there any amazing races I should know about? I already want to do another racecation. LOL.