Wednesday 6 September 2017

Gurly's Life | 2017 SeaWheeze Recap

I am so proud of myself for finishing and earning this stunning medal. 
I am still in disbelief that I actually managed to finish the 21.1 km course of the Lululemon 2017 SeaWheeze as it was my first ever half marathon. I am not a long distance runner, in fact, far from it. I have always been a quick sprinter, bursts of short distances, so often playing center mid field in soccer or field hockey. I thought it would be fun to do a short recap of my SeaWheeze experience and what I would do differently if I were to do another half marathon.

I was certain that I had completed the distance in just under 3 hours, but after checking the official times, my real time is 3:03:57... SO CLOSE to doing sub 3! If I do a better job at training for future half marathons, I am pretty confident that I will be able to complete it in under 3 hours. I am so happy that I chose the Lululemon SeaWheeze to be my first half marathon experience as the event is organized well and everyone is very encouraging. Everyone kept telling me how I am going to be spoiled at the SeaWheeze and my expectations will be too high for future marathons. Though I have not attended another marathon since, I can definitely say the SeaWheeze is an experience on its own with its several events over the week.

The longest distance that I had ran/walked was 16 KMs - I lacked discipline when it came to training. My training consisted mainly of walk/runs on the treadmill and a few body weight sessions. So the last 5kms of the half-marathon was tough for me and I really did struggle. My right ankle and leg was on fire, but I knew if I even stopped to stretch, my legs would go to jelly and I would not be able to continue. I sort of just mashed my teeth together and kept moving through the pain. In hindsight, it was probably a very bad idea as I could have given myself a really bad injury.

Race Package Pick-Up the day before the big race!
I really appreciated the pace setters that were cutely named "pace beavers" as they really kept me going. I also commend the pace beavers being able to run the entire half marathon holding a flag with their finish time. I could barely stay upright by the end of the race let alone holding up this long stick with a sign stuck on the end. I stuck along the 2:30 pace beavers for the first half of the race, but by the 13 KM mark, I was starting to slow down. The last 5 KM was where I really struggled and essentially speed walked most of it.

As I already am a slow runner, I did not want to waste time by waiting in line for the portables if I did not need to go. There were volunteers handing us water, electrolyte drinks, bananas and gels. I think there were 5 to 6 hydration/fuel stations scattered throughout the course. Around the 15 KM distance, I noticed my fingers were swollen, almost doubling in size! I had a mini freak out, but a runner near me assured me that it was okay and it was just our body trying to absorb moisture from the air. It was also around the time that I really had to pee and I was so happy that the portables did not have a line. Unfortunately my skin was sticky from the sweat that my shorts were stuck to my thighs and my swollen fingers only made it more difficult to pull my shorts back up. I nearly asked a volunteer for help because I was exhausted and could not get my running shorts back up. It did not come to that as I did eventually manage to wiggle my shorts back up.

After three intense hours, the finish line was in sight! Everyone was cheering and I managed to do this waddle jog across the finish line. I am so happy that the haze had cleared up and we finished with bright blue sunny skies. I was promptly handed a wet towel which was the best thing ever! It felt so nice to wipe the sweat and grime off of my face, arms and neck. I did not stick around for brunch since the line was quite long. I did not end up attending the sunset festival which I am a bit bummed about; however, my right ankle was swollen and the pain prevented me from putting weight on it. I had to head home and just ice - super lame, but very important to do so!

SeaWheeze 2017 was amazing and i will always cherish the memories from it. It was a challenge, but a welcomed challenge. I hope to continue running, but maybe more alone 10 KM distances and an annual big half marathon with Lululemon. Let me know in the comments below if you attended the SeaWheeze or what your first half-marathon was like!


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