Hello! If you missed my Seawheeze post last night be sure to hop back and check it out. This is part two- I wanted to talk a bit more about my training, the course, and the music I listened to during the race.
To give a bit of background, I've always been a runner thanks to the sports I played growing up. But although I've always enjoyed it, I've never been someone who wanted to run over 6 miles at most. I just wasn't interested. A few years back I shared a bit about Hank running his first half marathon, and how emotional it was for me to watch all of the half and full marathon runners cross the finish line. I must have cried 20x as all of those amazing people completed the race. I knew it was something I wanted to do sometime in my life, but still, running over 10 miles seemed a little crazy and out of reach to me.
So when I impulsively signed up for Seawheeze 2015 I didn't feel terribly nervous, but at the same time I wasn't looking forward to the running part of the weekend at all. I started "training" soon after registering, but even then I was just running 6-7 miles here and there- nothing out of my comfort zone. The fall and winter flew by, and when spring approached I knew I had to get semi-serious. I started running a tiny bit more, 6ish miles here and there but still nothing regular, just more frequently, so I still didn't really feel "ready." When June hit though and we traveled the East Coast throughout the month I upped my mileage to 8. At that point I was running 6 miles 2x a week, and then one 8 miler about once a week, but only every other week. When we got home I started to get that dreaded feeling of "oh shit I'm running out of time here," but because I apparently like to live on the edge I only did one or two more long runs and just hoped for the best.
Race day came and I actually felt pretty good going into it. Even though I didn't follow a major running plan over the previous few months, I still worked out daily in some way, and at the end of the day, I really do think that so much of it is mental.
So there I was, waiting for my wave to start, and I made two promises to myself- 1) no negative self talk at all and 2) no walking or stopping. And off we went! The course itself isn't too bad- I live at a high elevation so being at sea level was a treat, and over the two hours I ran I never once thought that I wanted to stop or felt uncomfortable. It was almost shocking how great I felt! I had started in the 2:30 wave, and I ended up finishing a little over 2 hours, which is a huge jump. I can remember passing the Pace Beavers (yes, beavers! haha) for the times ahead of my original time and feeling SO motivated. I didn't wear a watch or take my phone out at all, so those were my only real markers of how I was doing and it was really exciting and surprising to find myself running past them.
One thing to note is that the course is incredibly beautiful and scenic. So many times I found myself looking around as I was running, taking it all in. It was neat to never have been in parts of the course- it was all new to me and kept my brain poised on what was next. I love the description from the Seawheeze site: "Over 11 km of the route is next to the Pacific Ocean – that means breathtaking views and inspiring ion-charged breezes. The rest of the race course showcases the beauty and vibrancy of Vancouver. Elevations keep you on your toes, hills test your resilience and plenty of downhill terrain brings out your inner speed demon. From the downtown Vancouver start line to the Seawall in Stanley Park this is a route for every runner’s must-do list!"
Looking back now I do wish I would have trained harder. I'm so happy with my finish and the accomplishment in and of itself (and keeping the two promises I made to myself!), but of course because I'm so competitive with myself I want to do it again and train in a much more organized manner and see what happens!
Here's my official time for the race:
And MUSIC! Oh, the music. Sometimes I prefer to run with silence and just take it all in, and there were parts of the half where I took my headphones off and just enjoyed the cheering and energy...but overall music is a BIG motivator for me. This particular playlist really kept me going too. I just put it on shuffle and went for it, and the entire time I felt like the music worked well with my pace and mood. Some of these are silly, some are really really silly, but most of all they all inspire me and pump me up a bit.
I hope this helps- I've gotten so many questions on what music I like to run to, training, etc. I'm no expert at all (hello, first half marathon!) but I do love sharing my own experience in the hopes someone will be able to take something from it. Sign up for next year is in a couple of weeks and I'm really excited but also nervous I won't get in! It sold out quickly last year so you better believe I'm setting an alarm and making this happen. Cross your fingers for me!
Happy running, and as always thanks for reading! xoxo
*all photos courtesy of lululemon.com