Tag: Lululemon

Fitness Swellness: Lululemon SeaWheeze Virtual Half Marathon 2020 recap

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And for my 19th half-marathon race, I did my first virtual half, the SeaWheeze Virtual Half Marathon!

I was invited by Lululemon to take part and I figured I need to log distance for my Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (which I completed the race distance of 1021.68k in late June, but I added on doing Back Across Tennessee, that is, running back to where I started the race on May 2nd) so I registered to run this virtual 21.1k, which had to be completed anytime from August 15 to 23rd.

I didn’t plan to race it. My legs are very, very tired from the GVRAT, and my pace is slow thanks to the 2,043 kilometres I’m almost done with for that race. Normally you should rest your legs before a race. I’ve had no rest days since about mid-April (I’ve had days of solely walking miles but no zero days as we have been calling them in the Tennessee race). So my plan was to approach SeaWheeze (SW20) as a long, slow run. Since I’ve been focusing on short runs for GVRAT (sometimes multiple times a day, although my BAT portion of the race I’ve replaced much of the distance with walking to give my body a break) I knew I had to incorporate some longer runs leading up to SW20. So I completed approximately one longer run a week in the month leading up to SeaWheeze. The longest distance I ran was 18k and last week, I was simply exhausted (my schedule has been very busy) and I couldn’t muster the energy to run another long run the only time I could find in my schedule, usually at 10 pm so I skipped it. I also skipped that one longer run as I am reluctant to run anything longer than 10k at night out of safety concerns.

As SeaWheeze start date approached, and with no long run completed last week (I did muster the energy to complete a 14k run, though), I decided I wouldn’t run the SeaWheeze distance until the latter end of the 8 days allotted for the virtual race, closer to August 23rd than August 15th.

And then I realized I’d be finishing the GVRAT well  before August 23rd, and there would be no way I’d be motivated to run 21.1k after finishing this monster of a virtual race (Lazarus Lake doesn’t create easy races, does he!). And I promise you that I am planning on some full R&R after I finish my Back Across Tennessee distance!

So coincidentally with this weekend off of work (from Friday to Sunday), I decided to run the 21.1k for SeaWheeze on the first day of the race period, last night, Saturday, August 15th. The weather was hot and humid, 30 Celsius when I started the race at 7:30, which was another factor making me even slower.

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I ran a usual route I do on the west side of the city for 16 kilometres, then picked up Billie Jean for the last 5k. She could complete the whole half marathon distance but with the heat, I didn’t think it was safe for her. Instead, I listened to the Reply All podcast as I took my time logging the distance. The weather cooled as it got later in the evening; my route included stop lights, and at the tail end of the race, I ran along the closed-to-traffic Lake Shore Blvd (closed as part of #activeTO, the program the city has run all summer that closes off traffic on certain streets so as to allow people to enjoy the outdoors biking, running or walking while social distancing) so it sort of felt like a real race since I was running on a barricaded street.

While this portion was closed to traffic like a race, there were no spectators or water stations of course. So I ran with bottle of Gatorade and refilled it with Nuun when I picked up Billie Jean, since any of the water fountains in the city aren’t running due to the pandemic. Although there were no spectators (my friend Aylin said she’d come cheer, I didn’t take her up on the offer), a girl did stop me on Lake Shore Blvd. to talk to me when I was at about the 19k mark; she wanted to talk how cute Billie Jean is (and I’ll gladly talk about my amazing pup anytime!).

For me, a virtual race of this type is much more difficult to get motivated for but it was very freeing to not be stressing myself out about running the distance as quickly as I could. (As an aside, for me, the GVRAT is in a different type of virtual race category as I’ve found it very motivating to try to log distance each day and watch my position improve daily; it has become an obsession). My NRC app (on which I reached Volt Level in June) on my Apple Watch and Strava differed by about half a kilometre (and I don’t think Strava pauses when I’m not moving so my times differ on the two apps—I’m fairly new to using Strava and haven’t fully learned the ins and outs of using it) but my Strava logs my SW time as 2:17:37.

In the end, the race helped me log more than 43 kilometres in my GVRAT race for the day, and I am proud of the fact that I can complete the 21.1k distance without training for a half per se, and on very weary legs.

I’d love to run the actual SeaWheeze in Vancouver IRL some day, I’ve heard it’s a fun one and Vancouver is so pretty. If you’re keen to run this year’s virtual half or 10k this week, you can still register btw! Thank you to Lululemon for the invitation to take part and for the running gear (this cap is so comfortable for running and I like the subtle camo print, and the cut of both the sports bra and Muscle Love Crop Tank Top is very flattering).

Now, excuse me as I get back to completing this Back Across Tennessee race. I reached 1,000 miles before the end of July, and the finish line for BAT is in sight!

Leave a Comment August 16, 2020

Fitness Swellness: Lululemon x Peace Collective “Home is Here” collection

Home is Here men's t

This month of October, Canadian company Lululemon is celebrating our home and native land. They held events in cities across the country, which have now wrapped up, and they’ve also partnered with another community-focused company, the Toronto-based Peace Collective (you may recall I covered some of their apparel over on Vitamin Daily some while ago) for this collab collection, “Home is Here.”

The collection is exclusively available at Canadian Lululemon stores and on the website. Part of the proceeds from the sales will go to Breakfast for Learning, a Canadian charity dedicated to educating and empowering communities to create and sustain school-based nutrition programs and helping children and youth realize their full potential in life.

A stylish way to show your patriotic pride (and I’m keen to wear this bit of Canadiana when working on my fitness outside of the country).

Home is Here tank

 

And here’s a version of the national anthem produced by Lululemon and Giant Ant unlike any you’ve heard before.

1 Comment October 13, 2015

Travel Swellness: “Running is Shangri-La”

Shangri-La run with Ben Kaplan of iRun

When my favourite luxury hotel launches a new wellness package, you don’t have to ask me twice if I’m interested. The Shangri-La Toronto launched the “Running is Shangri-La” package this month and I was fortunate enough to enjoy a staycation at the hotel to try it out.

In the Shangri-La Garden Suite

Along for the fun were my friends (and fellow #werunSF half-marathon racers last fall) Sasha Exeter of SoSasha and Justine Iaboni of Jetset Justine.

Adidas Adiboost from Black Toe Running

The four new run routes launched with this package have been designed to allow travelers to see different areas of Toronto and were amended and approved by Ben Kaplan, editor of iRun magazine and author of Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now. They include:

  • a 3k route, which takes you by the historic St. Lawrence Market and through the financial district (and you get great views of the CN Tower)
  • a 4k route, which takes you north up University Avenue so you get to sightsee Queen’s Park and University of Toronto
  • a 5k route, which takes you west to the cool Queen St. W. shops and to Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • a 20k run (or less — you simply can turn around earlier for a shorter run) that takes you along the waterfront path by Lake Ontario

Ben told me the routes were designed to include interesting sights for visitors to the city, but to also minimize stops at traffic lights. He also said that he had to encourage the hotel to include one longer route than 5k, something which I personally appreciate being a marathon runner.

Run by St. Lawrence Market

I, along with Sasha, Justine and a few Shangri-La team members, and Mike from Black Toe Running (a running shop in Toronto)  joined Ben for the 3k run on the sunny morning.

Shangri-La group run

The run brought us by Roy Thompson Hall and St. James Cathedral in addition to the other sights mentioned. My only concern about this route? Will people using this route make the stop into St. Lawrence Market? Too many delicious goods inside to just simply run by it! That’d be a shame.

St. James Cathedral (on the 3k run)

Besides running, the Shangri-La in partnership with Lululemon now also offers some fantastic in-room yoga instruction  featuring Lululemon yoga ambassador Amber Joliat.

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The suites each include a yoga mat and you access the 25-minute yoga video on your suite’s television, so you can stretch out and improve your breath work in the privacy of your room. I took advantage of it after our quick morning run and it was a nice way to ease into the rest of my day (and I’m normally not into stretching, I’m usually just keen on getting on with my day in a hurry, but Amber’s calming instruction really resonates with me).

yoga practice in-room at Shangri-La

And, of course, there is also the top-notch Health Club you can take advantage of, including state of the art equipment and classes such as kettlebell, Spin and yoga (given my short staycation, I didn’t have time to check this out myself this time!).

Running is Shangri-La healthy choices close-up

Anyone who follows a healthy lifestyle, though, knows that fitness is only part of the equation. What you eat is such an important component, and this hasn’t been overlooked here. There are wellness options on the menu at Bosk restaurant and for in-room dining (they’re highlighted in the Healthy Lifestyle section). The focus is on locally sourced produce, free-range chicken and beef and sustainable seafood. (Full disclosure: I couldn’t resist the sea bass so I didn’t order off of the Healthy Lifestyle section)

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie

And last but certainly not least, the  package includes a visit to the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie. I’ve told you before that this is my favourite spa in the city; I swear that I could be having the most stressful day or week but a visit here allows me to just let go of the tension and decompress (even if only for a couple of hours). The package includes the superb Hammam and Gommage treatment, which will have you detoxifying in the steamy hammam followed by a full-body exfoliation (this is the gommage) using a eucalyptus-infused black Moroccan soap. As I was pressed for time during my staycation, I returned a few days later to the spa and opted for a the Grand Caudalie Facial instead (my complexion was in desperate need of some TLC). The facial is customized to your needs, and I left with glowing, smoother skin, not to mention more relaxed than I’ve felt in months.

Shangri-La pool

(Psst, when you go to the spa, you have access to wellness floor before or after your treatment — I made sure to arrive early so I could take advantage of the great jacuzzi and pool).

Shangri-La beyond cozy bed

Wellness staycation complete, I felt a renewed love for the 6 and very reluctantly checked out of the Shangri-La and said so long to its luxurious bathroom and bed (but I didn’t leave without popping into Momofuku Milk Bar to pick up some cookies — not part of the wellness package, but who can resist that Compost cookie, not me!). Thank you to the Lululemon and Black Toe Running (they provided the gear and shoes for our run) and, of course, to the Shangri-La for the stay. The “Running is Shangri-La” package begins at $535 per night and you can get more information on it here.

 

Leave a Comment May 11, 2015

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