Asics LA Marathon Weekend

Hi everyone! I am back home after a whirlwind few days in LA. The whole weekend from start to finish was indescribably amazing (but I will try my hardest to convey some of the highlights in this post!). And I apologize in advance for the number of pictures in this post – it was hard to cut out any!


Jess and I flew in and landed early Friday afternoon. After getting to the hotel, we went straight to the expo (with Anne and Mark and his sweet family) to get our bibs, pick out some Asics gear and then briefly walk around the rest of the expo. I was completely shocked at how empty the expo was – zero lines for entry, picking up bib or anything else! Such a breeze! We also got to watch Deena effortlessly run 7+ min for the Asics Treadmill Challenge (the pace was set to 12.4 mph which is the pace for the LA Marathon course record).

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I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in my room, eating lunch and then getting ready for the Asics party Friday night. The hotel was absolutely gorgeous!! I was in one of the bungalow rooms which was right off of the pool on the main level.

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The ride to the party was the first time all the bloggers were together for the first time and it was clear it was going to be a fun weekend.

I was reunited with Kristin:

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And Monica and Brian as well:

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Monica, Kristin, Brian, me, Jess

The party was like the Who’s Who of running celebrities and I felt like a total fangirl. One of the coolest parts of the night was getting to meet and chat with Josh Cox and Ryan Hall.

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Pic courtesy of Brian

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Pretty cool Asics decorations/pictures at the party


The day started off bright and early with a shakeout run with all the bloggers and some of the Asics reps and sponsored athletes. It was a short 3 mile run along the waterfront. I never run the day before a marathon but was glad that we did because I felt tight the first 10 minutes or so.

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The views along the water were gorgeous and I was just so happy to be running in some sun and warmth.


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West Coast Running Buddies

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This picture started out as Anne, Kristin and I and all the professional athletes jumped in!! It was surreal =)

After the run, we had a delicious breakfast at the hotel where we got some last minute words of wisdom from the experts. Just some highlights:

- Coach Kastor:

  • Recommended that we alter our goal pace by 10-15 seconds because of the projected warm temperatures on race day. He said something that stuck with me during the race: If you feel good at mile 5, hold back. If you feel good at mile 16, hold back.
  • Emphasized to not try anything new on race day – keep doing what we have done all training cycle.
  • Trust the taper. He shared a story about Deena doing 8 mile race pace workout a week before her race and wondering at the end how she was going to sustain the pace for another 18 miles. You shouldn’t be able to run 26.2 miles during training – it should come at the peak of your training after a deliberate taper where your stores are built up and you are rested.
Coach Kastor and Melinda

Coach Kastor and Melinda

- Andy Potts: Gave some great cooling tips. He said to focus the cold water / ice on three parts of our bodies – back of the neck, wrists and groin area.

- Ryan Hall: Had some great motivational words to share including: “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.” SO true. At the end of the day, it should be fun (felt like this could have been directed at me!).


- Deena Kastor: Told us to begin visualizing the finish line and how we want to cross it. Just the act of visualizing crossing it will help on race day.



I spent the rest of the day keeping my feet up, drinking water, getting a manicure (!!) and just relaxing. It was heaven.  Kristin, Rachel, Brian and I went out to an early dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. I ate a very plain meal of grilled chicken over whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce. Light on my stomach but filled me up!


{I’ll go into details of race morning, the race and immediately post-race in my race recap post.} After hanging out in the after party tent for a few hours, Kristin, Brian and I went for a walk to get some coffee and stretch our legs along 3rd Street.


The last event for us as a team was dinner Sunday evening at the Boa Steakhouse. It was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

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Ahi Tuna and Filet Mignon

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Cotton Candy and Fireworks to end dinner

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Alysia Montano, Michelle Lovitt (strength trainer for Asics) and Deena Kastor

Last group picture!

Last group picture!

It was so wonderful to spend time with old friends and get to know new ones and I really could not have imagined myself having more fun than I did. If you want to read more of the weekend and race recaps, check out the 10 other bloggers who participated in the challenge:

Brian from Pavement Runner
Beth from Shut Up + Run
Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat
Rachel from Running Rachel
Jess from Race Pace Jess
Ryan from I Tri Because I Can
Jamie from Fit Approach
Mark  from Asics Marathoner
Anne from Fannetastic Food
Kristin from STUFT Mama

Huge thank you to Asics for the opportunity to be a part of the 2014 Asics Blogger Challenge and for everything they did for me the last few months. It’s a great company with even greater people working there and representing them.

And I especially want to thank my understanding and supportive husband and family for making it possible that I could just pick up and fly across the country for four days without a care in the world. Between my husband single parenting for most of the weekend, my mom having each boy over (separately) for a sleepover, my dad watching the boys for half the day on Friday and my older sister babysitting both boys at the last minute so my husband could take Willow (our new dog!) to the vet (she’s been really sick and hadn’t eaten for days), the boys were cared for better than I could ever have hoped. Lots of moving pieces, but it all worked out!

Thanks for sticking around to read my novel of a post! Next one will be about the race! YAY!!

Have you ever been to LA? 

Have you ever run a destination marathon?

I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out:

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    1. Looks like an amazing time. I think destination races are the way to go, although there is certainly something to be said for the ease of running a BIG race in your own backyard. The only stressful destination races are triathlons….because you have to pack up your entire house it seems!
      Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted..“To the fatty running on the track” (not what you think)My Profile

    2. I was totally stalking all of you. All my favorite people together in one place!! Sounds like an amazing weekend. I hope Willow is OK!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Zen and the Art of the Rainbow LoomMy Profile

    3. How fun! The most destination I’ve gone was the Philly marathon, and my legs were SO cramped from the two hour car ride it made me scared to think of traveling even further for a race!
      kristin miller recently posted..Week 26 UpdateMy Profile

    4. Congrats on a great race in tough conditions! Looks like you had a blast!
      Danielle recently posted..Control Sacrifices LoveMy Profile

    5. What an amazing opportunity!

    6. ooh yes, please let us know how Willow is!
      Sounds like a great getaway filled with so many amazing memories!
      I’ve mostly done destination half marathons…The farthest i’ve traveled for a full was Philly. And I’m in Staten Isl. so not more than a couple hours =)
      I was in LA last year but only for a day. I drove from San Francisco down the coast ending up in San Diego. Cali is so lovely.
      Looking forward to the race recap…
      sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..i blame the windMy Profile

    7. I hope Willow is OK! Keep us posted on her! It was so great hanging with you on the team. Oh yeah it’s awesome that you got a bungalow! Marilyn Monroe stayed in one of those, maybe you were in hers! Still pondering NYJ :)

      Mark aka @Marathoner

    8. How did you get the opportunity to do this!! It sounds amazing.
      Katie Cordova recently posted..Garmin forerunner 620 reviewMy Profile

    9. Sounds like you had an incredible experience! I am so jealous! You got to hang out with Deena for a weekend, I hope to run what my friend (who Deena coaches) ran someday, and from how well Lauren is doing (2:28, 3rd American), Andrews training clearly works!

      I have only done one marathon….and you know how that went, but I would love to do Disney one day, and intend on Chicago this year. I lived in LA for a year (well orange county) before I went to college, it is a beautiful area!
      Tina Muir recently posted..Salmon, Spinach, and Broccoli RisottoMy Profile

    10. Michele! I loved reading your post filled with energy and excitement! So happy that you had a fabulous weekend in LA:)! I’m looking forward to your race recap!
      Kara Forrest recently posted..Saturday Morning Run and Fun in AnnapolisMy Profile

    11. it was so fun following you along the race weekend. I was staling everyone! haha and yay for finishing a tough race!

    12. Yay! It was so nice to meet you and get to know you. I look forward to the opportunity to run with you again soon! :)
      rachel @RunningRachel recently posted..Running with Olympians and Elite ASICS AthletesMy Profile

    13. This experience looks so cool and inspires me to blog my face off until I’m at a marathon where I can meet all you guys!
      Cheri @ Overactive Blogger recently posted..A tale of some scallops.My Profile

    14. Love reading all these LA Marathon recaps!!! It looks like you all had an amazing weekend :) So sorry to hear about your dog!! Wishing him the best!
      Amy @ recently posted..J’adore VoxBoxMy Profile

    15. Wow what an amazing opportunity and so many awesome people to meet! I am jealous! Glad you had a great weekend :)
      Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..How Running Together Can Benefit Your RelationshipMy Profile

    16. How fun!!! I have never done a destination marathon or race for that matter but it looks like a lot of fun!!!! It’s so nice to have a great support system so you can do what you love :) The weather looked divine! Hope your dog feels better!!

    17. I visited LA two summers ago on a family trip! The weather was amazing after an incredibly hot summer
      Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..Apple Streusal CakeMy Profile

    18. ahhh this race is now on my bucketlist after seeing so many bloggers talking about it. It looks so scenic! Can’t wait to read your race recap!
      Patty @ Reach Your Peak recently posted..Save and Splurge: Fitness ItemsMy Profile

    19. Lovely start to a recap! I love LA and California at that! Going in July and was looking for a short race. I always travel to race!!!

    20. Hey there! I loved meeting you finally…what a great weekend we had! Glad your family did okay without you there, but sorry about Willow. Take care and hopefully our paths will cross again.

    21. What an amazing experience! so cool! I hope your dog is ok!!! :(

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