Friday, August 10, 2012

It's Gonna Be a Blast....

We walked back to the Convention Center tonight after dinner and workers were putting up tents, baricades, portapotties, and this cool screen.

There was also a cool wall for runners to write down your 2012 Sea Wheeze Goals. I'm bummed I missed it, but they were also spray painting the Sea Wheeze runner girl on your body.

I went back to the store to see what was left and it was pretty picked over. I understand the general public got let in with the runners first thing this morning even though I thought runners only were supposed to be able to shop initially. My husband said most of the people he helped check in were from out of town so I can see why people are kind of upset items like the Red speed shorts were sold out in something like forty minutes. He also said it was noted on the suggestion board in the back that runners have priority access to the store ahead of the public so lululemon knows there was an issue. The store stuff was really cute but I hope subsequent races have the race logo and date on it like the worker's shirts. As far as I am concerned, the workers and volunteers got the coolest shirts since they actually say Sea Wheeze on it.

More Sea Wheeze Merchandise Photos

These are more photos of the Sea Wheeze merchandise. These are from a very nice reader, whom I got to meet.

Sea Wheeze Insanity!!!

Chip is our timing chip!
OMG, what a morning! It was lulu insanity. Now that I am back at the hotel and can relax it's more fun in my memory than it was in person. I didn't get as early a start as I wanted, I probably arrived about 8:20 am-ish,  so there was a bit of a line out the door of the convention center. There was some line entertainment, however:

My stalker photo of the Sea Wheeze fish and bear.
The Sea Wheeze Fish and Bear were there to take photos with people. It was a fun start to the morning. There were also people handing out organic bananas and nectarines.

The check in lines moved quickly. We had to sign our release forms and then got our cinch sacks, our timing chip and wristband, a coupon for our free flip flops, a coupon for 15% off the Sea Wheeze store, a coupon for free JJBean coffee, and a little cheat-sheet laminated card that indicates where the start corrals are and a listing of the weekend events. I like the cheat sheet card a lot. My husband helped work the check out, I think with the tall man pictured at the right of photo, and he was surprised how many people said it was their first time running a half marathon. I think that's pretty cool and maybe I'll have some company in the back tomorrow. ;-) I heard at the store yesterday that about 40% of the runners are lululemon employees and about half of the runners are from the US. I know a few girls from my local stores are coming up for the race.
Wristband and timing chip
After check-in we moved to another area to pick up our Native Sea Wheeze flip flops. As an aside, I'm surprised by how many people in Vancouver wear flip flips. I thought it that was mainly a Southern California thing since we're supposed to be so laid back but I guess so is Vancouver. ;-)

View from inside the store looking at the check in counter. The "trees" are where the clothes are.
Then it was into another short line for the store. O.M.G. the store was crazy busy! CRAZY! I think I got into the store area about 9 am but all the striped Cool Racerbacks were gone by that time. From the mounds of clothes around the outer ring of the store it looked like everyone had lists of requests from friends to get them something. I had a moderately short list myself but came up empty on most of it. The red speed shorts with the blue trim either sold out right away or were non-existant. They had lots of other cute color combos, though:

Keep On Running Duffel, $148 - so gorgeous!!!
My very modest Sea Wheeze haul
Close up of the dark plum/purple Swiftly pattern
There was a ton of new stuff - not new designs but new colors - at the event. There were swiftly tanks, tees, and long sleeves in dark plum or purple (code: DAPU), bright lime (BRLI), and that reddish orange color. There also matching headbands. There were striped CRBS in the lime, red, dark plum. I got there too late to even see the blue one that was in the sneak peek photos. They had Inspire crops in the Sea Wheeze blue color with blue and white stripes on the calf part. There were Run For Your Life tanks in the Lime, Red, Plum, and Black with the Sea Weeze dot pattern on the bra. They had jackets in blue and lime, I didn't note the style but I'll try to find out. The had Sun Runner LS tops in Lime, cream, and I believe the red. Racing CRBs in lime, dark plum, blue, cream, and red. There were shorts in blue, blue/white stripe, red, red/white stripe, plaid, plum, plum/white stripe in all sorts of styles - speeds, groovys, light as air. They had Go the Distance hats in plaid, red, and blue.They also had bras but not in any styles I like so I didn't note them. They also had socks, arm warmers, and compression socks. There were quite a few luxtreme crops but I wasn't in the market for them so didn't look at them too much. There were singlet tanks made of the swift material but I didn't look at them too much either.

All the clothes were grouped by size - 2 to 10. The Sea Wheeze lung "trees" denote the size stations. Shorts were in cubbies or racks next to them. The striped CRBs were gone in the first hour. There were long lines for the dressing rooms and an ENORMOUS line to check out. I think I waited well over an hour. It was pretty crazy trying to run around to find sizes if you were buying for a few people. However, they had a DJ blasting out some pretty awesome music to help pass the time.

For my own personal haul, I bought the dark plum Swiftly tank, two Swiftly headbands in the lime and plum, and the plaid hat. I had the Lime Run For Your Life in my hand but figured I could live without it. However, I must say the workers got the coolest shirts of all and when lulu does this next year, I hope they make shirts like this for the runners:

The volunteers got Five Year Tees with the Sea Wheeze Trees on front and the Sea Wheeze 2012 Race logo on the back. I believe women got Every Yogi tees with the same.  I am totally jealous because this is exactly the shirt I would have wanted - one with the race name and date on it. The lulu employees had two other flavors of shirts that I would have loved even more - a dark classic sport gray Swiftly with the same two logos. The other one, which I would have killed for, was a cream CRB with the Sea Wheeze Fish on the front and the Sea Wheeze logo on the back. I briefly considered offering a worker cash on the spot for one but knew they would never go for it.

My suggestion for next year is that employees, since they are such a large percentage at this race, get to shop later and/or have a separate check out line. Since they get to pay a discounted rate for their Sea Wheeze clothes I think the full-paying customers should get first crack at them. At least give us a few dedicated check out lines so we can get out of there faster. The guy at the checkout told me they did not expect to sell so much and were worried about having enough stuff for tomorrow. I can believe that because people were buying like mad. I also heard that later in the day they were limiting people to three of a style. I didn't really see people buying multiples of the same thing but I was busy and didn't look too closely. However, from what I saw people holding onto in line, it looked like people had a variety of stuff. I also think I was in the more casual-buyer group. My husband said there was a line to get into the place at 7 am, a full hour before opening time.

This was the Luon Lounge where you could get a massage and manicure or pedicure. I wouldn't have minded but my kids were fed up. They had spent three hours quietly playing their Nintendos and wanted to leave. Of course, that is the time I actually had time to chat and I was able to meet Lulumum  (which was pretty cool since we chat behind the scenes quite a bit) and a reader/fellow This Just In Facebook board member, Ms. X. I'm sure I'll get to meet more people tomorrow.

This was the scene for the noon yoga.

And that was my morning. I didn't find out anything about the medal except that it's nice and "very lululemon" which I take to mean it's a bit on the wacky side, like the Shop Naked ad or the Poser bag. I'm betting there is at least a fish and bear on the medal.

My Sea Wheeze lulu haul - showing the cinch sack we got at check in

Store Trip Report - Vancouver!

Sorry I don't have any other photos to share with you guys tonight. This is a new shopper - according to lulumum this might be a Vancouver-only shopper.  (Thanks to Stacey for the photo). As many of you know I am in Vancouver. We spent today at gorgeous Stanely park but I got to do some shopping, too. I visited the outlet in Burnaby. I also went to the outlet in Burlington, Washington yesterday on our way here. The outlet has lots of what is on the markdown racks at the local stores, at very similar prices. The only things that I hadn't seen in the stores or website was a Currant and a Power Purple/Dense Purple Venus Tanks. FWIW, the Burlington outlet is much larger than the Vancouver one.

I also got to go the the Lab, which was a real treat.  I liked nearly everything I tried on but restrained myself to buying two tops - a Turn Around Tank, which is like a luxreme Power Y with a mesh back, and a Tiny Tee, which is like an Every Yogi tank but snugger fitting with a fuller back. I have some photos but am having trouble connecting to the hotel wifi and the technical help desk (aka my husband) is already asleep. I'll have some photos for tomorrow for sure.

I also got to visit the Park Royal store where I was hoping to see the Flare Cool Racerback but they didn't have it. I got to try on the new Take Flight Longsleeve. I thought that fit true to size, maybe snug in the arms and at the hips a bit, but found the gaps in the back kind of odd. I also tried on the new Make a Break Jacket. I thought it was nice but pretty fitted through the abdomen and hips.

I'm heading to the Expo tomorrow and will have some photos of that for you.

(PS - Comment moderation is going to be on for the time being.  There has been some growing negativity and recent shenanigans. A blog scraper (person stealing blog content) seems to be unhappy that I reported her to google and is taking her revenge. I learned a long while ago not to feed trolls so the focus of this blog will remain discussion about lululemon and other fitness clothes. I can't keep a close eye on the threads so for now the moderation is on. I'll try to approve as quickly as I can and apologize for the inconvenience.)