SeaWheeze Race Report
Happy Friday everyone!
Blogland has been bustling with SeaWheeze race recaps this week and I thought I would add my two cents as well. This was my very first time in Vancouver and I fell in love with it (to the surprise of no one). Because this race is more about the experience than the race, I have added a few more lifestyle details than normal, but it just furthers the point of why you should do this race. The bottom line of this race is all about the friends, food and adventures you have!
I just soaked up the views and enjoyed every second of it. That evening, we joined NYC Sweat and friends for dinner at one of the most unreal places I have ever eaten. When I head back to Vancouver area for Worlds next year, Nuba will be on my pre-race week menu, absolutely no question.
The next morning, we picked up our race kits and checked out the expo. There were so many cool things to do – I have never been at a race expo that offers manicures, temporary tattoos, photo booths and so much free food!
Later that day, we went to a Vega event that had a menu completely catered for pre-race needs. It was absolutely delicious and so much fun to sample all the different kinds of food.
For the evening, we opted for a chill restaurant near our hotel and I went for a light stirfry. I try to make the lunch before a race my biggest meal and eat a normal if not smaller sized dinner to be ready and prepared for the race.
At this point in racing, it feels a bit automatic. I know exactly what my body needs to eat and the amount of fluids I need to drink. Bodies are always changing so I am sure I will need to adapt as I go, but this year, a pre-race bagel with peanut butter, banana and coffee just works for me. I woke up, put on my gear and walked to the start line.
Mark had joined us on Friday to come race as well so I did a small warm up with him and lined up in anticipation of the race. Waiting for a race to start is my least favourite part because at that point, I am just ready to GO.
This was an important race for me because even though I have been running races since 2010, I am still working on proper execution. My goal was to go out at a pace that I could easily sustain the entire race and then turn it up the last half if I felt good. Like I said before I left, I have not had the time to put as much half marathon specific training in this summer as I wished, so I wanted to be kind to myself in terms of expectations.
KM 1 – 5 – I didn’t have a proper GPS signal so I chose to run what felt like TOO slowly for the first three km. My weakness is going out hot so I tried to reign it in and enjoy the surroundings. I LOVED the spin class cheer station at km 2 and had some fun conversations with some fellow runners who had just completed half marathons as well. At around 4 km, we started discussing finishing times and I realised I was a bit behind pace. My biggest advice if this happens to you? Be thrilled. Going out too slowly in longer races will often only help you in the end. I turned up the gears a little bit and headed into the next section of my race breakdown.
KM 5 – 10 – At this point, I settled into a rhythm and was feeling good. We hit the bridge and the music and people propelled me forward. There is the turn around on Cornwall Street and I was able to see Mark and count the number of girls ahead of me at this point. Again, I was planning on being kind to myself, but my workout fitness levels indicated I could run a 1:26-1:28 finish which would put in me in the top ten for women according to past year’s results so I wanted to work hard.
KM 10 – 15 – At around 11 KM, I heard my name being called. I turned to see Danielle and Christina armed with cameras taking race photos. It was a total boost to my stride and my next KM was the fastest of the race. (Also, completely downhill…)
See that blue shirt? Whoever this guy was paced me for the rest of the race. It was so helpful to have him to chase when I was lagging and to measure pace when I was feeling good.
After the downhill, we headed to the waterfront and I kept breaking my race focus to sneak peeks at the surroundings. Guys – it is a GORGEOUS course. I had so much fun.
KM 15-21.1 – This is always the time of the race where I feel pain if I have raced properly. Fatigue started creeping up on me around KM 16 and I just focused on hustling, leg turn over and telling myself that it was all in my head when I felt like I couldn’t do it. I stopped looking at my watch and focused on effort. Surprisingly, I maintained the same pace I set out at and this continued to build my confidence. I continued to pass people and right as we were exiting the Sea Wall, I passed a girl who I had been chasing in the distance for almost 5 KM.
As we ran through the city, I now knew she would be hunting me and my feet were draggy. I had a well meaning volunteer lead me off course and I watched as the blue shirted guy and the girl I had worked to pass breeze by.
This was the kick in the pants I needed and I wrung out every last bit of energy to chase them down, pass them and successfully manoeuvre the winding harbourfront. I crossed the finish line with an official time of 1:27:28 which is over a 5 minute PB for me.
I was proud of this performance as I was aiming for an average of 4:05/km and I ran a 4:06/km. Pacing is something I continue to struggle with and I am pleased to improvements in this. My strava stats are here (apologies if you read in miles).
I took water whenever I was thirsty and took a Nutella Hammer gel at KM 10. I loved this course and highly recommend it! I am not the type to repeat races simply because there are so many out there to try, but my gauge of how good an event is often hinges on whether or not I would do it again – I would absolutely do it again!
Following the race was a whole lot of celebrating. We went to the Sunset Festival, had a Pizza and Olympics party (affectionately coined Pizzalympics), climbed Grouse Grind, rented bikes and toured the city and finished off the vacation with celebrating Angela’s birthday!
Because my race reports are always a bit more about the race than the events surrounding, please go read these awesome race reports/experiences from some of the other runners:
Angela – She lives here and showed me the best places!
Christina – my official race photographer!
Alyssa – She PRed!
Kaella – She PRed!
Go give these girls some love on their awesome performances. If you raced and have a recap to share, send it over and I can add it to the list.