seawheeze-2016

by Coach Kate Gustafson

So you won the SeaWheeze 2018 lottery?! Now it’s showtime. This half marathon/party thrown by lululemon always delivers something totally unique that you really won’t find anywhere else across Canada’s racing scene.

 

Every year there is a ton of buzz around the SeaWheeze Showcase Store and you know what, it’s pretty sweet. Even if you’re not into sleeping outside to get first dibs on the exclusive gear it’s worth walking through the store on your way to the race packet pickup to shop what’s still available.

 

In the past (and I’m pretty sure it’s the same this year) you won’t get a race bib but you will get some kind of race chip for your shoe/wrist/body. Don’t forget to attach this the night before the race and be sure to follow the directions in your race packet.

 

Mentally prepare for rain but don’t overdress on race morning because you’ll be warm out there once you get started. If you can, get friends or family to carry a jacket for you to throw on post-race. Vaseline on parts of your body that tend to chafe is probably a good idea. Also, rain can make you feel like you’re not thirsty (especially after training through the summer heat), PLEASE remember to drink at the aid stations and take your gels just like you’ve practiced. No new tricks on race day. Go with what you know.

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Give yourself plenty of time to warm up in advance of the 7:00am start. It’s an early one, folks!

 

The course itself is challenging with some sharp turns on the Seawall, a big bridge and a few hills. Many first-timers run this race, which is freakin’ awesome, but that means that pacing can be all over the place. Pay special attention to your own splits in the first 5km, don’t get caught going out too fast.

img_1327From 5 to 9 km, you’ll make two nasty climbs up and then back over Burrard Bridge. Try not to glance at your watch too much when you’re climbing and use the downhill to your advantage. Keep your mind in a positive place, choosing when to look at your watch is one way to do this.

 

Watch your step when you run down from the road to the Seawall at English Bay, especially if it is a wet morning.

 

The second half is where the work really happens and the gritty get grittier. The Seawall always features a few great cheer stations but it can be quiet out there. Try to stay in contact with a group in front of you or work with another runner when you’re out there.

Photos from a day of carnage at the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon in Vancouver, BC on May 5, 2018.

Photo by Jody Bailey @3oh6

Around 18km, you’ll need to draw on all of those hill repeats you did last summer to get up and over Lumberman’s Arch. The hill doesn’t look like much but it feels like a North Shore mountain at this point in the race (at least for me it was). Keep your head up and your mind focused here. The final two kilometres are challenging because you’ll be tired and you need to make a series of tight turns on the Seawall. It’s going to feel like the finish line is a million miles away until you FINALLY see it with only a few hundred metres to go. Don’t check out over these last few kilometres, fight to hold your pace or pass others in front of you or maybe even pull a few of your teammates along.

 

The finish line party is always full of surprises and it is worth making the time to enjoy it. And of course, there’s the SeaWheeze Festival that’s always a good time.

 

Good luck and remember to have fun. Go get it, runners!

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The Canada Running Series Under Armour Eastside10k is just around the corner. Check out coach Rob Watson’s 10 tips to a kick-ass 10k

1) Be prepared for race morning: Leave nothing to chance. Know what you are going to eat, know how you are going to get to the race, know where you are gonna stash your gear. Arrive early, no need for added stress on race day, you are there to compete and perform. Unnecessary stress will affect your performance.

2) Warm-up: For some this is a 20min run and active strides. For others this is a 5min walk and some stretches. Either way, get those muscles loose and ready to go, it’ll help avoid injury and have you primed to perform.

3) Find your place: Get on the start line and line up with people whom are at your same level. A 45min 10km is a great accomplishment, but you probably shouldn’t be lining up at the very front- you will get pulled out too hard and you will impede faster runners. Also, if you wanna run 35min get yourself to the front- if not you are gonna spend too much energy passing people and you may be trampling over slower runners. Be smart here.

4) Get off the line: The 1st km of this race is the fastest. You will feel fresh and there is a nice downhill. If you are several seconds faster than your goal pace do not worry, get the 1st km in and then settle into your race.

5) Settle and Flow: From 2-5km you should relax and find your flow. If you are pushing too hard at 3km you are gonna be suffering hard by 8km. Have your goal pace in mind and focus on maintaining that effort and rhythm. Being 5seconds too slow is fine as you can make up time with a strong last 2km, but being 5seconds too fast can be disastrous as when you blow up you’ll be giving time back in chunks.

6) Just get up the damn hill: Accept that the hill is going to suck. It’s just that simple. When you get there don’t stress about the pace slipping. Accept the burn and get to the top. Once you crest that hill, you get a nice down hill to get a few seconds back, and then you start making your way back towards the finish. The hardest part of the race is now behind you. Get back on pace and keep rolling!

7) Find a Group: There is power in numbers when it comes to racing. Working as group can help a lot. A group can pull you along, you can fight the wind together and you can thrive off the positive vibes that come from sharing a common goal. Find a friend and roll together.

8) Focus: This is racing, it is supposed to hurt! Your legs will burn, you’ll fight for breath and you’ll wanna stop. You trained for this. Focus on your goals and stay positive. The pain of racing is brief, but giving up will sting for a whole lot longer.

9) Bite your tongue and give it hell: Ok, you got to 9km. Time to get going! This is where you put your head down and give it hell. Dig deep and push. Give it everything you have until you cross that finish line.

10) Reap the spoils: Congrats on finishing the Eastside 10km! Now enjoy yourself a bit- go get brunch, drink a beer or just do something to spoil yourself. You have earned it!

running-1

When & Why did you get into running?

I got into running, I think, just over 14 years ago.  Inspired by my younger sister, always the pioneer, who ran her first half before I ran mine, I loved her stories from the race.  So, I signed up for a half myself. Soon it was onto the full marathon- which for me was the Calgary marathon! What started as an athletic goal and a way to maintain fitness has evolved into something that I simply can’t live without.  Running, for me, allows me to be my best version of myself. It supports my mindfulness practice and there isn’t anything I love more than a great long, sweaty Saturday run through Edmonton’s river valley with my friends.

 

How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

I think for me to manage my busy lifestyle, I have to be running.  Running brings me focus and clarity of thought, energizes me for long days and is often a time where my most creative ideas are born!  Running is a priority- it goes into my calendar and that is time I don’t exchange for anything. This way I am committed and it will happen.

 

What was the impetus to start working Mile2Marathon?

I’ve known and admired my coach Kate as a runner and a human for a very long time.  When she joined M2M, it made sense to start working with M2M as well. I had never before ran with a coach and wanted to experience what it was like to work with someone who could guide me through a training plan that was adapted to what was happening my life- my whole life- running and otherwise.  I like the idea of a community of runners that exists beyond my neighbourhood and my city under the M2M banner. For me- running is about the village! M2M offers another layer of community which I think is so unique.

 

Where to next/What’s your big goal currently?

I’ve been working on mindfulness and running.  For me, this has meant becoming aware of my personal narrative when I’m training and running, acknowledging when it is incredibly harsh and negative and then changing that narrative to something that supports my running with love and kindness.  Biggest picture, is to always feel joy- every single step. AND- because I know most people want to know about races and times, I have 2. The WFPS half in Winnipeg in October and California International marathon in December. I like to think I have a sub 1:30 in me for the half and a 3:10 or better in the full…but as long as I run for joy, I believe the results will come.  At the end of the day, the time isn’t that important to me.

 

Person that inspires you in running or life?

Just one?  But there are so many incredible runners, athletes and humans who inspire me to get out there and put one foot in front of the other.  My run crew @runcollective and fellow coaches are an endless source of inspiration- they train hard, they crush races, but most importantly are in the real conversation about running, which is often a parallel conversation about life.  I feel grateful to be a part of such an incredible team.

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)?

Non- running…but actually everything can be tied to running because running is, truly, the greatest metaphor for life.   My favourite author is Richard Wagamese, an indigenous author who was from a reserve quite close to where I grew up in Kenora, Ontario.  I take his quotes with me on the run. Here is one of my favourites:

“ All we have are moments.  So live them as though not one of them can be wasted.  Inhabit them, fill them with the light of your best good intention, honour them with your full presence, find the joy, the calm, the assuredness that allows the hours and the days to take care of themselves.  If we can do that, we will have lived.”

Photos from the track at Point Grey Secondary with Mile 2 Marathon in Vancouver, BC on May 20, 2017.

When & Why did you get into running?

September 1982–UBC Friday noon hour Intramural 3k fun runs, blue Nike waffle trainers

 

How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

Routinely on the fly, before a kid’s soccer match, between connecting flights, maybe really early in the morning before heading into the office, that sort of thing.

 

What was the impetus to start working with Mile2Marathon?

My individual situation warranted bringing in a Mile2Marathon coach. I asked myself why am I running and is it simply part of my overall training program or am I serious about competing? After some honest athletic self-examination, I was willing to invest in my running and performance. Dylan Wykes orchestrates a very specific training program which optimizes my performance while simultaneously minimizing any injury risk.

“Jill’s passion for the sport is amazing. She’s been in the sport for a long time, yet she approaches every workout and every race with an inspiring enthusiasm. On the surface she’s all smiles, but once the gun goes off her determination to get the most out of herself is second to none. The stuff she is accomplishing, at her age, with her hectic life is something we should all aspire to” Coach DW

What do you enjoy most about being part of Mile2Marathon?

The group training environment provided by M2M makes training fun by offering a variety of workouts and running routes.  The personal coaching environment – in addition to providing motivation, feedback and planning – provides the “systems thinking” (as in processes and methodology). In other words, the M2M coaches know how to mix the different ingredients to provide a system and a plan to the relationship.  They know their athletes, and their potential. This allows the coach to prescribe workouts, not only for the day, but for the week and months down the road. What has this meant for me? It has allowed me to focus on the actual training with an open mind, knowing that Dylan’s system of training may help me climb upward to a new level of performance.

Photos from the track at Point Grey Secondary with Mile 2 Marathon in Vancouver, BC on May 20, 2017.

Photos by Jody Bailey

Where to next/What’s your big goal currently?

I love cross country running even more than track and will work towards qualifying for the National meet in Kingston, Ontario

“Jill’s passionate about track and cross country. When she told me she wanted to improve her 1500m time and qualify for National Cross Country champs I was thrilled. Her goals are refreshing and a throwback of sorts to the events and races that I grew up participating in and it’s exciting to relive some of that through Jill’s training and racing.” Coach DW

Person that inspires you in running or life?

Everyone in our local running community currently inspires me. We all live complex and challenging lives, yet find our reasons to run. When I first got into the sport in the 1980s, I was inspired by the athletes of the era – Deena Drossin, John Walker, Paul Tergat, Steve Jones, Anne Audain, Thelma Wright, Cathy Shiro, Abebe Bikila (‘60s), Jacqui Gareau and the like.

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)? “You’re doing okay, keep going” – dad

 

Favorite book (“Freakonomics” S Dubner & S Levitt) and what are you reading now? (The Woman in the Window” A.J. Finn) and (“Peak: secrets from the new science of expertiseEricsson and Pool)

 

My fridge is always stocked with: a variety of cheeses, Harp Lager, Okanagan Pear Cider, Tito’s Vodka