Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DYK I Love to Sweat + lululemon's Seawheeze 2017 Half Marathon Recap/101

I have a secret. I'm totally obsessed with all things sweaty.

My not-so-secret love affair began over twenty years ago, when I was five, and played my first softball game. From there, I discovered volleyball, yoga and then found my true lifelong sweat love -- running.

In all seriousness, I really do love to workout and fitness is a huge, huge part of my everyday life.

In particular, I spent a lot of my sweat time either doing yoga (I'm actually in yoga teacher training right now, but more on that later!), [solidcore] or running.

Speaking of running -- earlier this year, after I finished up grad school, I got back into my half-marathon running groove and travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to run the lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon.

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Guys. Let me tell you. I love a good half marathon -- but this race was outstanding! From the pre-race day expo to the free swag to the post-race brunch to the actual race, I had an outstanding time.

Here's a little recap/101 of the weekend for anyone who might be interested in running next year's race:

lululemon's Seawheeze 2017 Half Marathon Recap/101

Signing up for the race: Signing up for Seawheeze is almost a race in of itself. I logged on right at the moment that the race went life to sign up and the race was sold out in 5 minutes. Crazy! I highly recommend being 100% ready to go if you want to score a bib -- and be prepared that you still might not get a bib. If you can't score a bib right away, don't worry. There's a bib-swap program and lots of Facebook groups where people try to swap/sell bibs over the months leading up to the race due to scheduling conflicts, injury, etc.

Mailed swag: When you sign up for Seawheeze, you must enter in your shorts size and choose from two different styles of shorts during the registration process. A few months before the race begins (right when your training starts!) surprise, surprise, you get mailed a packet with a pair of limited edition Seawheeze lululemon running shorts in your size. This year, I chose the looser ladies option and loved the black and while flowered pattern.

In addition to getting mailed a pair of shorts, this year, I also got mailed a training calendar and training instructions packet featuring recipes and workouts. I actually followed this training regimen and found it to be excellent. Fun fact, this year, this information was also available online and I know there was also an app (I didn't used it though).

Registration: Once the big race weekend finally arrived, we (Mr. Man so nicely travelled with me) headed to the Vancouver Expo center to register and was pretty impressed with the check-in process. While I did have to wait in line, it moved quickly and there were plenty of volunteers telling me where to go, etc. Once I got to the check-in booths, I scanned my registration email and received a lululemon string backpack (this was also my checked race day bag!) filled with a few goodies. I also received my shoelace timing chip.

Free expo swag: After registration, we headed out into the Expo space where I enjoyed taking some photos in front of Seawheeze decor, scoring some samples from Nuun and Saje, applying a temporary tattoo and even participating in a lululemon bra-fitting study. After that, we headed to explore Vancouver and then to our Air BnB for the night to get some much-needed shut eye.


Race: The day of the race started pretty similarly to other race I've ran: there was the standard warm up, followed by squishing into overcrowded pace corrals lead by "Pace Beavers" (aka lululemon ambassadors in blue shirts), followed by a slow, trickling start. Once things got going, however, I really enjoyed the course and the race experience. I particularly loved the race cheer stations scattered throughout the course -- how fun!

Post-Race: As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was immediately given my medal, a pair of shades, a bottle of water and a wet washcloth (nice touch!). I was also offered a Vega bar (meh, I don't like these) and instructed to pick up my free post-run brunch. The boxed brunch was surprisingly delicious -- a local company in Whistler made the boxes and they were DEVINE! I also scored a free runner's reward from Saje one my way out of the race area. After I ate my lunch and cleaned up, Mr. Man and I headed into Vancouver for the day to explore.


Sunset Festival: I was pretty tired after a day of running and exploring Vancouver, but Mr. Man and I decided to head the the Sunset Festival (aka lululemon's giant yoga class + post-race party) to see what it was all about. We missed the yoga class part of the festival as well as the concert opener, the Cold War Kids (oops) but got to see Young the Giant play. We didn't stay too long because we were tired, but people seemed to have a great time and I saw lots of fun touches floating around the gorgeous Stanley Park venue, like lounge stations, tasty food and signature lululemon beers.

All in all, my favorite parts of experience, besides running, were sporting my free lululemon shorts (woo!), scoring some sweet Saje oils and swag, sampling new Nuun flavors (I'm so obsessed now) and the free post-run brunch box.



Mr. Man even got up early to cheer me on -- how nice is that?

I hope I can run this race again next year!

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