ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: Shake Out Run and Brunch with the Elites

So as if the ASICS LA Marathon VIP party wasn’t enough epic-ness, the next morning we got to have even more fun. Good morning Santa Monica!

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I have gotten a lot of nice comments on Instagram about the below photo. This makes me laugh because what it does NOT show is that I was exhausted after four hours of sleep, severely dehydrated, had a serious headache, and well, the sun was blinding me. But hey, it’s for the sake of Instagram, right?

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I chugged coffee and met my crew in the lobby where we headed over to where we would be having brunch for some instructions and schedule chat.

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Coach Kastor explained that we would be running down towards the finish line to where our final turn onto Ocean Avenue was, then running back and having brunch. It was about 2.5 miles total.

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Yup, that’s Deena Kastor in front of me in the pink. I totally kept up with her the whole time. Kidding.

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I did however end up running with Alysia Montano, She’s freaking awesome yall, and not to mention HILARIOUS. I could just listen to her talk and tell jokes all day. She has a 7 month old so we mostly chatted babies which was fun!

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We made it to where our turn was and stopped to listen to coach Kastor for a minute who was telling us how far we would have to the finish at this point, etc. It was crazy I would be making that final turn the next day at the end of my marathon!

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We made our way back to the hotel and I snapped a shot of the pier before we headed in for brunch.

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Our brunch location is part of the hotel, but it’s right on Ocean Avenue and kind of open, it’s hard to explain. it had a cool bohemian vibe and since the weather was so nice it made it even better! They had a beautiful spread of food waiting for us, and we were told to eat….so I was first in line. Don’t judge, my body thought it was two hours later than it really was.

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I made my way outside to a set of sofas and began to chow down. I felt kind of like I was in high school and didn’t know what table I belonged at, so I sat alone and just hoped someone would come sit by me. WELL, in a few minutes I would feel like a super cool kid because some awesome ladies one by one came over and sat by me. I felt like I was dreaming. First Deena Kastor and Alysia joined me. We all started chatting about random things, just moms talking about our kids. Then Queen Harrison joined us. Then about midway through the meal, Sara Hall walks in and sits down RIGHT NEXT TO ME. NBD. I suddenly couldn’t even eat. I was afraid to say something stupid. I really DID feel like I was in an awkward high school situation, it was hilarious and surreal at the same time.

Soon, coach Kastor stood up to give some final words of advice on our race the next day. We were going to be experiencing record high heat, so he had a lot to say about hydrating and taking it easy. Sadly I don’t remember all of it, I was too busy geeking out and secretly taking and posting pictures of my “new friends.”

Alysia and Queen (and Andrew Kastor)

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Sara and Deena and you can see Shadrack Biwott (he has run a 2:12 marathon and a 1:01:24 half!)

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All of the elite athletes went around and shared one piece of advice for everyone running which I thought was really fun. I recorded some of what Ryan Hall said, but not all because I was running out of camera space (foreshadowing….) He is so chill and laid back when he talks, he cracks me up.

After the talk was over, I had one mission, and that was to meet Ryan Hall. I have always looked up to him for his work ethic, attitude, and for being an outspoken Christian who stands behind his faith. I had rehearsed what I wanted to say to him, but of course my mind went blank when I introduced myself. I told him I really admired him for his faith and beliefs AND THEN I STARTED CRYING. How embarrassing. I’m just so thankful to have good Christian athletes to look up to, that it just came out. Ug. I die. Anyway, I pulled myself together and told him I had a baby five months ago and this was my first race back. He told me I looked great for recently giving birth, so now he is my new favorite person. So I didn’t want to take up his time and asked if we could take a selfie, I went to take the picture, AND MY MEMORY WAS FULL!!!! You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Of ALL times! I panicked and started flipping out (on the inside) and random started deleting apps. I think I deleted Twitter and WordPress, I just didn’t care, I NEEDED space! I FINALLY got it to work and got my picture. Whew. Crisis averted. But OMG what luck.

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It was a great run and brunch, and I can’t believe I got to hang out with so many amazing people. My greatest takeaway is that these are folks just like you and me (except they are really freaking fast!) Other than the tips they all gave at the end, we didn’t even really talk about running at all! I had such a fun time, a huge thank you to ASICS and their athletes for coming out to run and hang out with us the day before such a big race!

QOTD: Do you do a shake out run before a big race?