ASICS LA Marathon Weekend Adventures, Part 1

Hello from the plane on the way back to DC from Los Angeles! What a fun whirlwind of a weekend it was – I can’t believe how quickly it flew by, and that I have officially completed my second full marathon!

I’ll post a full recap of the marathon shortly, but for now, I wanted to share some of the other fun that my fellow bloggers and I got into while out in beautiful California!

As you know, I was invited out to the race as part of the ASICS LA Marathon blogger challenge – a HUGE thank you to their team for covering our travel expenses, hotel, and race fees. We stayed in Santa Monica, which I love. Such beautiful views.

Why don’t I live here?!

Anyway! I arrived in LA on Friday and our first stop was the expo to pick up our bibs! That night, all of the bloggers and I were invited to the ASICS marathon welcome party. It was fun! Great to see some old blogger buddies and to meet some new ones, too. I especially loved meeting Beth from Shut Up and Run (best blog name ever), who I really hit it off with. We had a blast talking all things endurance athletics.

On Saturday morning, we had a special treat awaiting us: a shake out run with our marathon coach Andrew Kastor, his wife the amazing Deena Kastor, and elite athletes Ryan Hall, Andy Potts, and Alysia Montana.

Here are all the bloggers who were there – such a great group!

  • Brian – Pavement Runner
  • Rachel – Running Rachel
  • Beth – Shut Up and Run
  • Michelle – NYC Running Mama
  • Jess – Race Pace Wellness
  • Jamie – Fit Approach
  • Monica – Run Eat Repeat
  • Mark – Marathonomy
  • Kristin – Stuft Mama
  • Ryan – I Tri Because I Can

It was a beautiful morning for a run.

We did a 5k loop that incorporated the last mile of the LA Marathon, which was cool. Nice to get a little preview!

After the run, we had time to hang out with the elite athletes and enjoy some breakfast back at our hotel, the beautiful Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.

Oh you know, just kickin’ it with Deena. 🙂 (She’s SO nice – so were all of them!)

Speaking of breakfast, I annihilated it. Had to fuel up for the marathon, of course! I may or may not have eaten this whole plate of food AND not one but two of the yogurt/granola/fruit things you see in the background. I was SO hungry for some reason – maybe the time change? I rolled with it.

While we ate, we got some pre-race advice from the elites and our coach. I loved what they all said – so inspiring.

From Coach Kastor: Don’t try anything new on race day. Don’t be too proud to re-adjust your time goals given the heat. Trust the taper and all the hard work you put in – you are ready for this. Visualize the Pacific Ocean pulling you towards it (and the finish line)! Deena also reiterated the advice to trust your training – you’re more prepared than you think you are!

Andy Potts had some good advice for the heat: put ice/water down your pants! And on your wrists, neck, etc. I absolutely took this advice on race day and it helped!

My favorite of the advice, though, was what Ryan Hall said. He had two great comments: first, that if it’s not fun, why do it? Remember that you’re doing this because you love it, and when it gets tough make sure to take some time to just enjoy your surroundings and get out of your own head. Second, don’t let yourself obsess over feeling tired or it being hot. This is SO true for me. As he said, the second you start thinking ”this is hard” or “it’s so hot” or “I’m tired” it will become all you can think about. I couldn’t agree with this more – the power of positivity helped me BIG time on race day given the heat. More on this in my recap!

So lucky to have the opportunity to get advice from such awesome athletes (and such nice guys)!

After our run and breakfast, I had some serious business to attend to: the hotel pool! Oh, man – after months and months of snow and ice and the polar vortex, this was SUCH a treat. I mostly stuck to the shade for fear of burning or dehydrating myself before the race, though! I ordered a late lunch in the afternoon and enjoyed it poolside – the ultimate luxury. BBQ chicken sandwich with slaw + some fries. I only made it through about half of both given how much breakfast I pounded earlier. 😉

As for my pre-race dinner, I went to one of my favorites: True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica! Loveee this place.

My dinner dates for the evening were my cousins Spencer & Dillon! So awesome to see them – it had been wayyyy too long. Dillon goes to UCLA (graduating in 1 week, though!) and Spencer lives in San Diego but was able to come up to hang out – yay! Had a blast catching up with them. What do you think – family resemblance? 🙂

As for dinner, I started with their “The Natural” drink, which is fresh ginger, agave, and soda. It was GOOD – almost spicy from the ginger!

To eat I enjoyed the Mediterranean Chopped which was greens, cucumber, olives, cherry tomatoes, quinoa, feta, almonds, and a lemon oregano vinaigrette, and I topped it with salmon. SO good – I devoured every bite.

We got an early dinner so I could get back to the hotel and hit the hay to rest up for the race! I was in bed and asleep by 8:30 (thank you, being on east coast time – never would have fallen asleep that early in my own time zone), which was awesome since I had to be up at 4 a.m. (which was actually 3 a.m., thanks to daylight savings time) the next morning for the marathon shuttle!

Stay tuned – my marathon recap is up next! 🙂

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