Tales of a funny tummy: working on that race day fuel!

I think I’ve talked a little bit about my nausea-woes, but I’ve never really talked about where they began and how much I’ve struggled with my “funny tummy” over the years. It all started in 2012 when I was travelling home from Australia (I lived there for 2 years), through India, Nepal and China. I was away for 2 and a half months and in that short period I was sick with food poisoning 3 times. After I got home from that trip my stomach never really felt quite right, as my husband would say I did not have an “iron gut”. I was often bloated and most foods went straight through me. It was manageable for a while in my day-to-day life, I just thought I had a sensitive stomach, it wasn’t until I started marathon training in 2013 that I realized how bad it really was.IMG_1012

Running on empty

When I started running long distances I struggled HARD with what my stomach could tolerate on the go…which at the time was pretty much nothing! I went back to the usual gels and chews that I used to use, but I couldn’t stomach them and would end up eating next to nothing on the 2-3+ hour training runs. It took me 2 marathons and ending up in the medical tent of my second to realize that if I wanted to become a stronger runner, I needed to fuel better and sort this sh*& out!

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I’m smiling because it’s over…moments later I was throwing up and in the med tent!

Getting answers

My first step was an appointment with a naturopath who explained that the food poisoning had caused me to have a “leaky gut” and that a food sensitivity test would be the first step followed by a cleanse, which I did. I was super strict with what I ate for about 6-8 months and felt soooo much better! But I still struggled to find the right fuel during my runs. Most of the gels and brands out there {such as GU, powergels and Clif shots} still reeked havoc on my tummy and the others {like honey stingers, Skratch and Huma} that did go down easy, I couldn’t stomach after 2 or 3…especially if it was hot and my mouth was dry #worst 🤢

Maple syrup for the win!

Finally, on a really hot day in 2015 I came across Endurance Tap gels at my local running store and took them out for a test run…they were sooo good! They went down super easy, were really liquidy so I could get them down quickly, and they didn’t make me feel queasy after multiple hours of eating them (even in the heat)… I was in love! I used to think I was one of the only ones that struggled with my race nutrition and fuelling; but lately I’ve seen so many posts and received so many messages from people saying they feel the exact same way! It’s hard to find something that works, but I think if you’ve struggled like I have, than I think one of the keys is the fewer the ingredients the better. I think Endurance Tap works for me because it only has 3: maple syrup, ginger and salt which has definitely saved my tummy and my training!

During this training cycle I’ve made it a goal to really practice my race-day nutrition during my long and tempo runs and have been exclusively taking an ET every 35-45mins…and for once I actually feel good! I guess this is what it’s like to be properly fuelled🙈 So if all goes to plan on race day, it will be the first Marathon EVER that I won’t be under-fuelled and energy deprived!! Fingers crossed 🤞🏼

Do you struggle with fuelling? What works for you?

TRY ENDURANCE TAP FOR YOURSELF WITH THE DISCOUNT CODE “GoodForMyTummy” and get 20% off until May 7🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

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9 Weeks until BMO Marathon…let’s go!

I’m back from vacation (I was just in Japan and Vietnam for the last 3 weeks) and it’s time to get serious about training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon. It’s 9 weeks until race day, which I know is a short period of time, but I knew when I signed up that my vacation was going to fall smack dab in the middle of training. It was a risk I decided to take given that I have a strong base and I knew I was going to do some running while I was away (which I did). I didn’t follow a specific training plan, but I stuck pretty close to my 2 run-cation goals which were:
1. Aim to maintain a minimum of 40km/25mi per week (I ran 40k the first week, and 37k during the second and third)
2. Maintain speed by throwing in some speedy tempo miles 1-2x per week (I followed this the first 2 weeks in Japan, but it was too hot in Vietnam to push the pace!)

Now to the plan….

When I made this plan a month ago and saw the first week I can promise you that some words I care not to repeat {but totally appropriate} left my mouth🙊 Seeing 26-32k in the first few weeks are definitely intimidating, and given that the first weeks mileage is around 70km/42mi; it made me even more motivated/scared to make sure I kept my base up while I was away! I normally don’t like to increase my weekly mileage by more than 20% because of the risk of injury, but like I said I think my base is strong enough to stay healthy #knockonwood …even with the big jump into week 1 (I’d been running 45-65km per week for the last…I can’t even tell you how long prior to my trip).img_5842

Now let’s talk marathon goals!

My plan for this race is to set 3 goals on race day, an A , B and C goal. I’ve never done this before, I’ve only ever just had one, but looking back I really think I should have. I think it makes sense in order to keep my head in the game and to ensure I don’t get discouraged out there on the course…but trust me all my training is going for that “A” goal👊🏼

A= 3:15
B= sub 3:20
C= PB (which would be a sub 3:31)

Some people may think my goal of a 16 minute PB is ambitious, but I know that where I’m at now is definitely 16 minutes stronger mentally and physically than where I was 2 and a half years ago when I set it!!

Dream big, run hard, that’s my plan and I’m all in!!! Training officially starts tomorrow…wish me luck!!!

The Run Down: How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald

After some mental meltdowns last year during some of my races, it made me realize that my mental game or “mental fitness” as Matt refers to it in his book, needed some work. I’ve always known that running is at least 50% mental (arguably more), particularly in the longer distances, yet I’ve never put much work into it during my training. Yes I’ve used mantra’s and visualization, but I can’t say I’ve truly worked on it, and since I’d heard a lot of praise about the book from fellow runner friends, I decided to pick it up. I can definitely tell you it lived up to the hype!how-bad-do-you-want-it

The Run-down: The main idea that Matt talks about in the book is his term “mental fitness”, which he describes as a collection of coping skills- behaviours, thoughts and emotions- that help athletes master the discomfort and stress of competition. The main idea being that we are all driven by something different and that no one strategy of mental training, just like physical training, can be used for every person. He uses each of the 12 chapters in the book to illustrate different types of mental strength by telling the stories of a variety of different athletes and how they came to develop their own personal mental fitness. I think this is what makes the book such a good read, the story telling and the inspiration behind each athlete he uses.

What I got out of it: I think the main thing I wanted to get out of the book were tools and strategies to use during my races and training; but I think what the book made me do is see where I’ve gone wrong in the past and how to prevent it in the future. For example, in chapter 2 he talks about “bracing yourself for competition” and not looking past it to the future. I’ve definitely been guilty of overlooking the present and instead looking too far ahead to what’s coming next, which he describes as failing to prepare for it to hurt and “not being on top of your suffering”. He goes on to describe how this mentally leaves the door open for you to be overwhelmed by the difficulty and sometimes pain of it all, which I can say 100% happened to me at the Finlayson Arm 50k last year.cropped-img_0008.jpg

The other thing I got out of reading the book was the questions I’d never thought to ask myself before, like: WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO ME? WHO AM I DOING THIS FOR? The questions that come to mind when you’re in the pain cave and you want to quit. I would have thought I knew why if you’d asked me before, but when I really stopped to think about it, I don’t think BECAUSE I DO is a very compelling answer when you’re whole body is screaming STOP. These are the types of tools I’m hoping will make me a stronger runner this year.

Why you should read it and when: Obviously you should read it if you compete in any form of endurances races; but I would say no matter what distance you run {ride or swim}, this book would be a huge help! Even if you’ve never experienced the effects of a full mental breakdown during a race, read it for mental protection…because trust me, it’s not pretty!

So that’s the why, what about the when? I think the best time would be when you’re training for a goal race, that’s what I did and I’ve found it really helpful to try out the different tips he uses in the book during the training, as well as to work out the kinks before race day!img_5068

So there’s my two-cents on the book, I hope you like it as much as I did!!

See ya later self doubt✌🏼

Yesterday I ran the 15km Chilly Chase in Vancouver, and while I could write you a race recap of how I ran an out and back loop around the seawall, that’s boring and to me it wasn’t about that! Yesterday was the run I needed to prove to myself YES I CAN!
✔️Yes I can run at that hard, fast 4:13km/6:47mi pace that I’ve struggled with for the last few weeks and feel strong while doing it!
✔️Yes I can keep my head in the game and not loose focus or struggle with self-doubt.
✔️And YES I CAN cross a finish line at a hard effort and not loose my cookies🙊 lol!

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Note to self: open your eyes 👀 But at least I’m smiling!

I don’t know at what point in time I lost my confidence with running fast, but I can definitely say that I haven’t felt as self-assured as I did waking up this morning since I ran CIM and qualified for Boston in 2014! A confidence from knowing that I’d done everything I could to achieve my goal.IMG_0004Going into this half-marathon training, I kept saying that I wanted to get a sub 1:35, but what I only said out loud to a few people was that I actually wanted to get a sub 1:32…my qualifying time for the NYC Marathon. And what I really, REALLY wanted to do was run a 4:15km/6:50mi pace, which if I ran the perfect race (i.e. ran the course perfectly and didn’t go over in mileage), would get me a 1:29:32…that elusive sub 1:30!

Over the last few weeks, between having to do tempo runs on the treadmill because of ice and struggling to hit the pace on the road, I was thinking that my race plan would be to go out at a 4:20km/7:00mi and hope to hold on…but as one of my clients said to me the other day, HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY!! So my new plan is to go back to the old plan👇🏼

Go out at a 4:15km/6:50mi, hold on and GIVE THE COURSE HELL! I feel confident enough now to know I’ve done the work and if I don’t try I’ll regret the waisted opportunity! So here goes nothing…2 weeks until race day, LET’S DO THIS!img_4943

 

5 Things I think I would have DIED without this winter!

For us wimpy west-coasters, this winter has been epically cold, snowy and overall ROUGH on our poorly acclimated bodies. Don’t get me wrong I love running in the snow, but I’m used to driving to run in it at the local mountains, not stepping into it off my front door step! With that being said, I feel like I’ve had a crash course in “what’s the best gear to run in” with all the negative temps we’ve had; and I’ve quickly acquired {to my husbands disapproval}, a pretty good stash of it!

So since I’ve received quite a few messages about what I run in and the gear that I like to use in the winter on the road and on the trails, I thought a top 5 list was in order….drumroll please!!!

  1. Merino Wool base layers: I wish I could say merino wool EVERYTHING, but I haven’t quite built my stock up to that level yet. So my base layers include socks, tights, long sleeves, gloves and a neck warmer…and in the mountains I wear it all! So far I can’t find anything that quite compares to the way it insulates you when it’s cold and wicks away moisture when you start to sweat. I’ve been playing around with brands, and the material tends to be the same across them all, it mainly comes down to fit. For me icebreaker and Lululemon seem to stay up and fit the best.
  2. My Yak-Trax: Best $35 I’ve spent on winter running gear hands down! While I haven’t needed them running in the city (I’ve only needed trail shoes), I’ve worn them a tonne in the mountains. A lot of people ask me if I use snow shoes, but I’ve found as long as the snow is well packed, not too soft, and not too icey I haven’t needed them. I just slip them over my shoes and I’m good to go!

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    I bought mine at MEC
  3. 1,000,000 Down Jackets: While a million may be overdoing it if you’re running on the seawall, down has been my favourite form of outerwear this winter in the city and on the trail. It’s the perfect extra layer if you’re heading to a viewpoint or to watch the sunrise since it’s light, packable and super warm in the cold. I learnt this trick from my friend Hilary, whose pack is like a magicians scarf of never-ending down jackets! I usually wear a light Northface one on the way up and have an extra thick Joefresh one in my pack for the top, a vest for a back-up-just-in-case emergency, and my Lululemon run for the cold pullover in the city.
  4. Light-weight backpack: This goes with number 3 if you’re in the mountains…you need somewhere to put those down jackets…and snacks, water, camera, hand warmers, etc. And since winter stuff is heavier (except the down), I recommend the lighter the better! I have a Marmot one from Atmosphere that I love.
  5. Really good cold-when-they’re-wet socks: This is important in the city if the snow is wet and on the mountain always since you’re bound to fall knee-deep into it! I usually wear my Pro-compression (PC) sleeves under my tights for comfort and then I’ll opt for a wool sock on my feet. In the city I like the icebreaker ankle socks, but in the mountains I usually wear higher no-name-not-so-cute Costco ones rated for -40…I can’t remember the brand😬 They not be the most fashionable, but they keep my toes warm even when they’re wet so they’re a must when it’s any number below freezing!img_0026

What’s your favourite gear in the winter months?

Goals for 2017!

I’m a huge goal person and a true believer in writing them down. Last year was a big year for me, and I felt like I tackled a HUGE amount of personal run-goals. With that being said, by the end of the year I was ready to be goal-less for the remaining few months. This really made me realize that, while 2016 was big for me, I was constantly looking ahead and saying “what’s next?” instead of taking it one race at a time. So as you can guess, I know I want to focus on one step at a time this year, which has left me struggling to figure out with what I really want to ACCOMPLISH on the whole for 2017…

“Goals are what take us forward in life;

they are the oxygen to our dreams.” ~ unknown 

So I took the first step and bought another Believe Training Journal (I used it last year and loved it), and asked myself “WHAT DO YOU WANT RUNNING TO DO FOR YOU THIS YEAR?” And I thought about it for a while, and realized I want it to do the two things it’s always done for me:

  1. Give me strength, self-confidence and self-esteem
  2. Make me happy:)

Then I asked myself “HOW CAN IT DO THOSE THINGS FOR ME THIS YEAR?” And I came to the conclusion that in 2016 I pushed myself FURTHER than I once thought I could; and for #1 to happen in 2017, I needed to push myself FASTER than I once thought I could. Fear of speed, fear of failure and fear of feeling really, really bad has been haunting me for a while now and I think now is the time to conquer it!!!cropped-img_0023.jpg

Then for #2 to happen, 2017 has to be less about GOAL RACES (don’t get me wrong, I still plan on having some) and more about GOAL PLACES. Because my favourite thing about running is the places it takes me to and the opportunity to see and explore new parks, mountains, trails and cities on foot.

So now that you know my thought process, here are my goals:

  • Run a sub 1:30 half-marathon: I think this may take a few races to dwindle the time down from my current 1:35:04 PB, so my plan is to aim in the ballpark of 1:32:xx for my first HM of the year on Feb 5 and go from there.
  • Run a sub 3:20 full-marathon: I’m 99% sure that it will be the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 7…I just have to click register!
  • Sea wheeze August 12: no time goal here, just FUN!
  • Run the full Howe Sound Crest Trail
  • Run a race or a self navigated route: I’ve been wanting to run in some of the US parks in either Utah or Arizona for SOOOOO long! My list includes (and doesn’t end with): Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon. I’m hoping that a group of us will go down and run the Grand Canyon this year rim-to-rim (50miles)…planning and logistics is just in the works!

I know I still want to add a few trail races into the mix, but the objective stays the same: build confidence and run happy….It’s all about quality over quantity this year!

What are your 2017 goals?

Let’s Catch Up!

Oh hi, remember me?! It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been MIA for the last few months! I had a major switch up to my work schedule which pretty much turned everything else on it’s head and, as you can see, it’s taken me a while to sort my sh*& out…BUT I’M BACK! And since it’s been so long, I thought the best thing to do would be to take a page from Christina’s (aka the athletarian) book and catch up with a coffee date post. So grab your favourite mug, fill that sucker up and I’ll get you caught up…

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photo by Hilary Ann

Finish Lines Crossed: Since I ran so many back-to-back races from June-Sept, I was desperately in need of a “racing” time out. BUT I did pace 2 races at the end of October for the Rock n’ Roll series in Vancouver; the 10k and the half, which were both no pressure runs and really fun! Other than that the last few months have been all about building my base for my 2017 races and playing in the snow.

Favourite Adventure: I’ve been super lucky as my weird schedule (Weds, Fri, Sun off) matches up perfectly with one of my trail running friends (who also happens to be an amazing photographer), Hilary. So my favourite adventures have been with her in the last few months, and since I can’t pick just one my TWO favourite are:

  1. Elfin Lakes because it was my first snow-run of the year.img_0026
  2. Cypress Mountain because we laughed our butts off and worked our abs more than our legs! img_0038

Currently Eating: Since December was SOOOOO glutinous (I think my cookie count was up to 6 or 7 a day), my husband and I have decided to do the 21 day sugar detox for the month of January. So I’m currently eating all the veggies and all the protein, but dreaming of all the candy and chips (hopefully those cravings stop soon!).21-day-sd

Currently Reading: How Bad Do You Want it? by Matt Fitzgerald. 2016 taught me that my mental game needed some work so this book has been a HUGE help! I’m going to do a review of it in a week or two…I’m on the last chapter!how-bad-do-you-want-it

Currently Obsessed With: Running obvs…but in terms of gear, my favourite item has to be my Lululemon “Run for the Cold” pullover. I’m obsessed and I’ve definitely worn it more than I care to admit in the last 30 days!

Currently Signing Up For: my first race of the year the Vancouver First Half on Feb 5, and other than Seawheeze (which I’m so excited to run for the fourth year), I don’t have anything else on the calendar…YET. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my 2017 goals!

Okay, I think that’s enough about me for now, what’s new in your world lately?

Finding your Sole-mate!

About a month ago I was asked to contribute to an article on the Running Stats website by sharing my favourite shoes to run in and why. The article compiled the shoe-faves of 20 different super accomplished Insta-runners, whom I was flattered to be amongst, in an attempt to help fellow runners find their sole-mate! I personally wear the Adidas Ultra-boost on the road (and I’m pretty much obsessed) so I shared the features I love about the boost in the article…link below.

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finding your solemate

Of course choosing a shoe is a very personal and important decision and shouldn’t be based  solely (sorry I had to! lol) on what myself, the other grammers in the article or even what your friends wear…BUT it definitely made me think, what if you do decide to take the plunge into a new shoe after reading this? How do you know you need a shoe-change or if your ready? And what’s the best way to make the switch to prevent future injury?

Is it time to make the switch?

We’ve all heard the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” right? Well I would say it only SOMEWHAT applies to running shoes. If you’re happy with your shoes, happy with your performance and don’t have, and haven’t had any foot/achilles/calf injuries then cool your jets and keep rocking your current footwear! However, if you answered NO to any of the following questions then maybe a switch-up could be helpful. Below is a useful tool from a course I took earlier in the year with the running clinic and may be helpful in deciding whether or not a shoe switch is right for you.

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select the shoe for you

Safely making the switch

STOP RIGHT THERE! If you’re like me then as soon as you get something new you want to wear it right away…it’s the best motivation to run right?! Well I’m sorry to be the one to curb your enthusiam, but depending on the shoes your transitioning from and to, making the switch too quickly can lead to injury. This is due to the fact that shoes differ from one to the next in 5 key ways:

  • Weight
  • Stack height= the thickness under your foot
  • Heel-to-toe drop= how much the drop is from the heel to the toe
  • Stability and motion control technologies= such as anti-pronation technology
  • Flexibility= longitudinal and torsional

So when you’re switching from one pair of shoes to another you have to consider the different stress your putting on your body, the different position you’re putting it in and how it’s going to adapt to these changes….this is the key point to take away, ADAPTATION! Our bodies can adapt and change as long as the rate at which we apply that change doesn’t exceed the rate at which our tissues are able to adapt to it…AKA our bodies need time!

So while there are specific formulas to follow if you’re planning on making a bigger jump, the best thing to do is listen to your body… pain means you’re progressing too fast and you need to slow down! I personally like to use the 10% rule with myself and with my clients. This means starting in your new shoes for one of your shorter runs in a week (or looped runs where you can switch them out half-way) and increasing your mileage spent in them by 10% each week. If you have any onset of pain you drop the miles by 5% and continue to progress once the pain has subsided.

Just remember, shoes aren’t magic! They can’t propel us to the top of podiums or correct for training errors; but they are one of the most important pieces of equipment we have as runners and should be chosen wisely. So remember to chose wisely, keep your goals in mind and always, always, always choose function over fashion…but fingers crossed you can satisfy both needs!cinderella-meme

Edmonton Half-Marathon Recap

I signed up for the Edmonton half-marathon at the very last minute…literally there was only 4 hours left to register!! It wasn’t that I was being a total procrastinator (well that was part of it); it was mostly because I was humming and hawing about running (and racing) the full distance. My plan was to run the full with the intention of trying to qualify for Boston in 2017. I knew Edmonton would be my last chance to attempt to qualify, which I’d been thinking about ever since I crossed the Boston finish line back in April. So as the months and weeks ticked by leading up to the Edmonton Marathon, I had a lot of “what-if’s” I needed to answer before hitting the button to register.

First I wanted to see how my 50 miler went and wanted to make sure I was injury free before I signed up for another big race. After that went okay, I knew the main thing I had to do was make sure my head was in the game. This was a super important point that my husband brought up. He said to me “I think you should do it, but only if you truly believe you can and your eye is on the prize”. This to me was the most important piece of advice, I needed to be willing to push it, and as I got to the final week and days before the race I realized my head just wasn’t in it. I couldn’t find that burning desire that made me want to race that distance, and I realized there would be other Boston’s…2017 wasn’t going to be my year! So with all that being said,I decided I still wanted to race on the weekend and signed up to run the half.IMG_0043

The Race

Since this race was so last minute for me, I figured I had nothing to lose and I may as well go for it and see what I could do. My plan was to go out at a 1:33’ish half pace, and since the course is pretty flat and the weather was looking perfect for racing, I figured that pace was totally possible. The morning of the race I headed down to the start line with my cheering squad consisting of my mom, her best friend and one of my best friends from Calgary (who even made a sign to cheer me on #best). IMG_0002I thought I was going to be super relaxed off the start, but my stomach was feeling a little off which I figured was just nerves. With 10 minutes until go time, I shuffled into the starting chute, found the 1:35 bunny and positioned myself near her.

At 8am the gun went off and I started off though downtown Edmonton. The first few km’s of a race for me are all about getting around the crowds, finding my rhythm and settling into a pace, which is how my race started; but after about 3km I realized I was feeling off and I was going a little too fast. I told myself it was all good, but by 5km I was still going a little too hard and started to feel a little nauseous. I tried to ignore it and once I had some water it made me feel a little better and I finally settled into my goal pace. At 7km I saw my cheering squad, which gave me a huge boost, especially since my friend looked so excited to see me! IMG_0044Unfortunately, this didn’t last too long and by the 11km mark I knew I had been slowing down and at around 12km the 1:35 bunny ran past me. I’m not going to lie, my heart sunk a little when she passed, but I hoped she was going a little fast and that there was still hope for me!IMG_0013

At 14km, I saw my cheerleaders again and got some well needed high-fives, but I kept getting waves of nausea. I tried to ignore it and I used the bunny ahead to keep my focus and distract me from my funny tummy. With about 2km to the finish line, I knew I wasn’t going to get under 1:35, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be too far off and I really wanted to finish strong, so I pushed the pace and gave it everything I had! I finished in 1:35:43, 39secs off my PB and 44secs off my goal time.

Lessons Learned

All in all I’m happy with how I ran this race even though I know I went out a little too fast out the gate. I think this half has confirmed for me that my legs are capable of going faster, but it’s my nausea that’s my limiting factor. It’s also taught me that every distance is a hard fought race if you go out with the intention to push the pace (like my poetry there?! lol). I know I can run 21.1km, but I know that if I really want to race 21.1km and break that 1:35 threshold I need to do more half-specific training. I’m not sure when that training is going to happen or for what race since I have a 50km Sept 10, a 10km Sept 17 and a half that I’m pacing Oct 23…but I know that I want to train properly for my next one and that I intend on busting through that 1:35 time on the clock!!

Seawheeze 2016 Race Recap!

And just like that another Seawheeze weekend is done! Is it too early to start the countdown for next year…and the minor panic attack about whether or not I’ll be able to get in😳 If you’ve ever tried to register for Seawheeze then you’ll know that the panic is real as the registration process is more stressful than running the 13.1miles…it’s 11minutes of shear panic!!!! But let’s not think about that right now, let’s focus on how amazing this weekend was. From the people, to the weather, to the concert, I think this Seawheeze was the best yet!!image

PRE-WHEEZE

The Shop

My Seawheeze experience started a little early this year with a super lucky opportunity to shop at the showcase store the night before it opened to the public. Prior to this invite my plan had been to get up at the crack of dawn to stand in line; so when I was invited to the friends and family sale you can bet I jumped at the chance!! It was so nice to shop in peace and not to have to guard my purchases for fear some crazy woman in luon would raid my pile! I loved some of the prints this year and scored some super cute finds…all in all a successful shop👍

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I bought shorts and a top in this print too👌

But when I came out, I was so surprised to see the line up of Lululemon campers already parked outside the convention centre at 7:30pm…the store opened at 7am!!!!! It was crazy! When I walked out they saw my bags and started yelling “SHOW US WHAT YOU BOUGHT!” I felt like I was on an episode of girls gone wild, lol😂 Those were some die hard lulu lovers!

Runners Expo

Every year I do the nooner yoga at Jack Poole plaza, so I kept the tradition alive and headed down to the convention centre to get my down-dog and baby cobra on. imageAfter the yoga I wandered around the expo eating all the free samples from Vega and Kind, visiting the mindfulness dome, having some fun in the photo-booth, and picking up my race pack.

After that I met up with some instagram friends from T.O. and then headed home to get my gear ready for race day.

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SEAWHEEZE…the actual running part!

On Saturday we woke up bright and early to get to the starting line since we knew it would get crazy busy with 10,000+ runners registered! We also wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get to the front near the 1:40-1:45 pace beavers as we were pretty sure we would fall between the two groups. imageThe plan was for me to “pace” Sean, but since he wasn’t exactly sure what pace he was capable of, we decided to aim for a speed at the start that we knew he could sustain for the full distance and then increase the speed if possible towards the end. But the main goal was to have fun and enjoy it, and that’s exactly what we did!

We took in all the high fives, soaked up the crowds and danced our way through the cheer stations! If you’ve ever ran Seawheeze, than you know they do the cheer stations right🙌 They’re strategically placed at the top of each hill and just random enough to keep you distracted for the few seconds you run past (i.e. mermaids on the rocks, men in suits, party boats and more!).


The miles ticked by pretty quickly, we were keeping a steady pace and I could tell Sean was still feeling pretty good, and at around 9’ish miles we headed onto the seawall to finish off the second half of the race.

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Taken by a friend just after halfway👋

This section is always a tough spot since it gets a little quiet out there and you can’t see what’s around each bend…Saturday was no different. At around 11 miles we rounded the corner into the sun (which was pretty hot) and Sean said to me he was starting to feel faded, so we took our last gel and put our heads down until we hit the shade. After that, I saw his energy start to come back as we cut through Stanley Park and headed to the finish. The last stretch was along the Coal Harbour Seawall, where we pushed it to the finish and crossed the line sided by side (Sean wasn’t into the hand hold finish😜) just behind the 1:40 pacers at a time of 1:41:46…a 6 min PB for Sean🙌 So, so proud of him!!!

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After the race we caught up with friends, ate the runners brunch and drank as many Vega smoothies as we could get out hands on before heading home for some R&R before the Sunset Festival.

Post-wheeze sunset festival

The final part of the weekend was the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. I headed there with Nat, Sean and a few other friends and we had an absolute blast!! We saw tones of familiar faces, drank the Lululemon “courageous blonde” beer and danced the night away to Chromeo. It was the perfect way to end the weekend and left me already crossing my fingers (and toes)that I make it into Seawheeze 2017🙏 image