Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2013 Pre-Race Day!

I have officially completed 8 of my scheduled 13 half marathons so far for this year!

If you have not heard of SeaWheeze or Lululemon, you are probably not Canadian or from the PNW. Maybe I'll just start out by explaining what Luluemon is first. Basically its an athletic wear company that mainly focuses on running and yoga clothing and accessories. Luluemon has a huge following and needless to say, I'm definitely one of those people. I just absolutely love their running clothing and their bags, that is what I mainly shop there for. In 2012 they launched a half marathon of their very own. As soon as I found out about it I had to register, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to run an inaugural run (I think so anyway, we'll see I guess for sure). Since the company was founded and has its headquarters in Vancouver BC, it was a no brainer and I had to make this happen.

SeaWheeze is not like any other run that I have ran. It is very unique and besides the runDisney races, my favorite. I hope to be running this race every year as long as they are willing to keep it going. For those of you who know, Lululemon clothing is addicting and because they discontinue items and release new items so frequently that they almost become collectors items. The cool thing about the SeaWheeze is that they make very special merchandise just for the two day before and after "party".

I live in Seattle, last year my husband and my son came with me, its a nice getaway for us, however this year my husband had sent his passport away to get a visa and didn't even think that he would need it to get across the border. So literally the day before we were supposed to leave he realizes that he doesn't have a passport or an enhanced license so he could not come with me. Well, I wasn't going to let that stop me from going that's for sure. I was really nervous, mainly because I rely on my phone for directions everywhere and we cannot use our phones in Canada, the roaming charges are just a bit too much. I had printed out the directions to the Convention Center and the hotel I was staying and hoped for the best. The cool thing is that if you start a map on the iPhone you don't need to be live to get the rest of the directions, so I just set my final destination and turned my phone on the airplane mode and was ready to go.

I left our house around 6:30AM, I wanted to get there early to make sure there was still merchandise left in the SeaWheeze store. I took me about an hour and a half to get to the border and the wait was about 15-20 minutes. Once I got across it was smooth sailing, the only thing is I always forget how far Vancouver actually is from the border. I got to my final destination (The Convention Center) by about 9:30 or so. As I was driving up and looking for a place to park, I saw this huge line going all the way around the convention center, it was crazy! I parked right there, I don't know the city too well, so I didn't want to take a chance of getting lost. I waited in line for about an hour and a half. I had a very sweet family right in front of me and we talked for a while, that make the wait a whole lot better. They had come all they way from New Jersey for this run, so I told them a little bit about the race from last year and kind of what to expect.

Once we got inside I showed my ID and got my race bag. This was waaaaaaay cooler this year, first of all it was canvas with the  2013 SeaWheeze logo all over and it had an awesome rope drawstring to make it a backpack and on the other side it had a brown leather SeaWheeze logo patch on it. Attached to it was a little wooden luggage tag that you could write your name and number on, incase it got lost. Inside wasn't much this year, there was your timing chip, your running wrist band with you number on it (which they put around your wrist right there) and a post card with the map to the Sunset festival. After waiting in line forever to pick up  your packet then I got to wait in the next line to go into the store, but this is why I had come so early so I can make sure I don't miss out on any of the limited edition merchandise. I waited in line probably for another 20 minutes, they had this company called Saje natural Wellness ( who were spraying this refreshing spray in your face and it felt good after having waited so long outside in such hot weather.

Once I got inside the store I was in Lululemon heaven. They had green yoga mats (wasn't impressed), two gym bags, one was really cool blue and silver color and the other was black with a bright colored interior. I had originally made up my mind that I was going to get a bag, but once I saw the style and the color, I wasn't too impressed with them. They had ton of the swiftly tech shirts (tanks, tees and long sleeves), just special SeaWheeze colors, I would have loved to have gotten the dark blue ones, but they were already sold out of those in all the styles and sizes, its crazy. Then they had some long pants, with stripes on the sides and three styles of crops that I saw, the only ones I really liked were a running pair in black with cute stripes on the bottom, but I missed out on them, I just took too long to think about them and they were all gone by the time I went to get them :( There were a couple of jackets and tank tops, again nothing that would make me want to buy them. Two styles of scuba hoodies were up for sale, in yellow with a green embroidered mermaid on the side and a bold striped one. Ton of socks and head bands and a poster with yoga mat straps. I ended up buying two things, the yellow scuba and a tank with the mermaid in the front (also the back bottom corner said VanSweaty-too cute, right).

After I was done, I went outside, they had strawberry and mango ice pops as many as you want for free. All of this was for free by the way, they had a hair braiding station, the line was the shortest so that's what I decided to do. Then there was a nail painting station, temporary tattoos, free massages for runners only, a photo booth and a play area.

From there I walked to Robson, since I had paid for parking until 6:00, I decided to just walk there and hang out on Robson and have some lunch. Since I was by myself I didn't want to go to a restaurant or anything, so I stopped by Whole Foods, they had free WiFi, so I grabbed some lunch and chatted with my husband and son and headed back to the Convention center to get my car and drive to the hotel. I took a nice nap and set the alarm to wake up at 7:30 so I would have enough time to walk back to the Convention Center for my volunteer shift.

I had picked up my volunteer package (t-shirt, badge and a wrist band) earlier with my runners package, so I was ready to go. I got there a bit early and I waited in the volunteer lounge, unfortunately all the food was already gone and I had not eaten dinner, this was going to be a long night before my race. The shift was from 8:30PM to 11:00PM and I had a half hour walk back to my hotel. The shift I signed up for was to convert the package pick-up area to the bag check area. The previous shifts had already completed so much, that really all we had to do is move the tables over for bag check and that's it. There were 6 of us and we got that done pretty fast and the rest of the time we just waited around, they really didn't plan very well to utilize us. All but one of us were running the next morning, so they let us go at 10:45PM. I walked back to the hotel and set everything up for the race and set up a wake up call and three alarms on my phone and went to bed.

To be continued....

Check out my next post about RACE DAY!!!


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