The Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon has always been a bucket list item for me, so when I was selected the first day of the registration lottery in January, I knew it was a sign that I needed to do it… even though, at the time, I had never done a half marathon before- let alone run any long distance. Yet here I am, nine months later, having finished two half-marathons (including the Run Disney Princess half/challenge)- something I never thought I would be able to say/do. It’s still crazy to think of myself as a half-marathoner, but hey, stranger things have happened. All joking aside, it wasn’t easy to get to this point- A lot of “training”, preparation, expenses and research went in to this accomplishment so I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks and share my experience with you… so here it goes…
SeaWheeze is unlike any other race I have experienced before- and granted, most of my races have been RunDisney ones, but still, there is something special about SeaWheeze. I went to Vancouver for the race by myself and not once did I feel alone or left out since they do everything they can to make every runner feel supported and part of the family. Lululemon really does go the extra mile (pun intended) for each and every one of the 10,000 runners. If you have the chance to run it, I highly recommend joining one of the Facebook groups for runners as well. Everyone is just full of excitement and support and are also very helpful with providing info and tricks to how to get the most out of your SeaWheeze weekend because the race is only a small part of the event… But since this is a post about the race itself, and I lost my train of thought, just going to keep this simple and focus on that four-letter word, race haha.
I should start out by saying that I would not recommend doing a half marathon without training. When I did the Princess Half, although I didn’t do a lot of running beforehand, I was working out every day with some strength training. However, for this race, I had taken almost a month off from working out, only going to the gym like once or twice a week- But in my defense, it was birthday month and in addition to traveling, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. But since, I knew I wasn’t properly trained, the weather was going to not be my friend and my actual race timing would suck, I decided to make the most out of the run and take it all in- and man, Vancouver, even in the rain, did not disappoint.
Half of the race is along the seawall so you know it is going to be gorgeous. Even in the crappy weather, you could still appreciate the beauty surrounding me as I left my puddles of sweat next to the puddles of rain on the road. There really is nothing more motivating than when you embrace nature and feel #blessed to be able to take the opportunity to appreciate how lucky you are to be running (or in my case, a nice fast paced walk) in such majesty. It was one of those moments that I had to stop and take in because I don’t know when I will get to do it again (Unless I sign up for next year and get picked because, let’s be honest, even when I bitch about running and races, I still do it because I’m special like that haha).
Not only was the course itself breathtaking, but the energy from the crowds and supporters was a whole new level- especially those who were standing in the rain for hours to cheer us on. Even towards the end of the course, there were people soaking wet with signs and it was clear they had been there for hours (Did I mention that I was a bit slow in this race? Haha). Even before heading up to Canada, anyone I spoke with about SeaWheeze told me the crowds and fans were incredible and they did not oversell it at all.
Running Clothes- I wouldn’t be on brand if I did not focus on my running outfit since it is actually an important aspect of doing a half marathon since you don’t want to be worried about anything like that during your run.
Running Tights: When you start running and training, you realize really quickly the difference between running tights and regular yoga pants- turns out not all leggings are created equally. For me, there are some important things I look for in running tights- must have a drawstring waistband so I can tighten it (since things start to wiggle when you run), pockets for my phone and airpods so I can have easy access to them throughout the race, sweat wicking fabric so I don’t overheat and a pocket in the back so I can hold my inhaler and any other necessities without worrying about them… I have found the perfect pair of running tights that met all of these requirements- The Lululemon Tight Stuff II pants. These have been my go-to pants for all my races including SeaWheeze. Yes, they’re pricy, but totally worth it- trust me on this.
Sports Bra: As many of you know, I am a proud member of the big-boob struggle squad so finding a running bra that is actually supportive takes some effort and a lot of testing. I first tried the Lululemon enlight bra and while supportive, it just felt massive on me- like a lot of fabric and things going on and was just too bulky for me. So then I did some more research and found the Sweaty Betty Ultra Run bra and it was perfect! Lightweight, breathable, low-profile but highly supportive. If you have every struggled with big boobs, I definitely recommend you try this one out!
Shoes: Everyone has different needs when it comes to running shoes so not going to spend a lot of time here giving you advice other than to go to a running store and ask for advice based on your feet, running stride, etc. I run in the Adidas UltraBoost X since they are not form fitting and have cushioning where I need it most- which I especially need with my always-reoccurring stress fracture in my foot. But again, go get fitted properly so you are not miserable.
Running Jacket: Living in LA, I was not used to running in the rain so had no idea how to plan for it so mad props to the awesome people at Lululemon who helped me figure out what Jacket (and hat) I needed for the race. So glad I decided to not be cheap and actually buy a jacket I could run in or else would have been miserable haha.
The love and support I felt when I finallllllly crossed the finish line was something I can’t even put in to words so not going to even try haha (And since I know some of you will care, my final time was just under 3 hours). I literally ran across that finish line and straight to the medal-people because I was damn proud that even without training and being soaking wet, I managed to finish another half marathon and cross SeaWheeze off my bucket list. That stupid runners-high is what gets me every time and why I keep signing up for more races. Speaking of which, that’s all for now since I do need to go run and train for Wine and Dine next month but I promise I will be posting more frequently soon!