Tuesday, February 16, 2016

LA Was LIT (LA Marathon Expo, Olympic Trials & #WRS Meet-Up)

Just in case you don't follow me on social media (shame on you... KIDDING!) or have been living under a rock the past couple days, you may not know that Los Angeles has been ON FIRE lately... And I am NOT just talking about the unseasonably HOT temperatures (although that does have a little to do with it ;) ).

Anywho, this past Saturday LA hosted the Marathon Olympic Trials, closed down the city for 25,000+ runners to take over the streets for the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday and yesterday was the Grammys... YUP, like I said, the city was POPPIN'! And before I get into my race day recap, I thought I'd do a quick post on what went down on Saturday!

Saturday morning I made my way up to Los Angeles. The expo for the LA Marathon opened at 8am, so I figured I'd shoot to be there around opening time. With road closures due to the Trials and LA traffic to begin with, I left the house around 6am. Thankfully traffic was a breeze and I got to the LA Convention Center with plenty of time to spare.

While waiting for the expo to open, Linzie found me in line and we had a grand ol' time. Before they officially opened the doors some more friends showed up and since we didn't want to be cheaters I moved to the back of the line with them. 

Source: Marlon's Facebook 

Andrea, Linzie and I meandered around the expo a bit, checking out the snacks, gear and overall excitement. We stopped by one of the booths and had some fun with the photo booth (isn't is crazy how Linzie is like 2 feet taller than Andrea and I?! Apparently we should have worn our heels...).

We decided to hit up the potties before heading out to the streets to claim some pavement to spectate the Olympic Trials. Who did we see on the way to the bathrooms?! None other than Mr. Dave Mari! He's such a sweetheart, even if I can't get his signature face down in any of our pictures together ;)

Source: Dave's Facebook

And out to the street we go. We didn't really study the course map or venture too far, but found a pretty awesome spot right across from the Convention Center... AND IT WAS IN THE SHADE! I mean, if we were gonna be on our feet all day the day before running a marathon, I'd MUCH PREFER it being in the shade than in the direct (and blazing hot) sun.

Source: Marlon's Facebook

We posted up in front of the Hooters (which had been closed due to rats... YUM!) and had a blast. We were stoked to not only be able to witness the event (and TALENT... I MEAN, HOLY CRAPOLY, IT WAS AMAZING), but to share it with our friends, family and followers via social media. Thank goodness we brought spare chargers because with the amount of time we spent on our phones we depleted any battery power we started the morning with.

Can I just tell you how absolutely awesome it was to be at the Trials? To see the sheer dedication, talent and grit these athletes showcased Saturday morning was awe-inspiring. They made it look so effortless (and at sub five minute miles in the 80 degree heat that is saying something!). We literally stood with our mouths hung open for a while observing the athleticism in front of us. I know it was HOT out there, but it was SO COOL to be able to be in attendance (literally we were getting chills throughout the morning).

Literally how close we were to the action... Left: Amy Cragg & Shalane Flanagan with a comfortable lead around mile 20 /
Middle: Kara Goucher holding down fourth place / Right: Meb Keflezighi with 800 meters to go in second place

Don't get me wrong, professional athletes are AWESOMESAUCE, but what I thought was even more amazing were the "normal people" who were out on the course, grinding away! There was an article in the most recent Runner's World that showcased some of the non-professional runners who were going to be competing in the Trials... Stay-at-home moms, teachers, engineers, etc... People who aren't getting paid to run, but run incredibly fast nonetheless! Not only that, but the ages of those vying for a spot on the US Olympic Team weren't as crazy young as I was expecting... I mean a lot of them were in their late twenties and thirties... MAYBE I HAVEN'T MISSED MY PRIME! Shoot, joking aside, I know I'm not going to be running sub 2:35 marathons any time soon (which I believe was the female time qualifier), but it's great to know that not starting my running "career" until I was 28 years old doesn't necessarily mean I will always be a pokey-pete.

As soon as we saw Kara Goucher come through for fourth place in the women's race, Linzie and I had to boot, scoot, and boogie across the street back to the Convention Center for our #WeRunSocial Meet-Up.

Your hosts for the afternoon!

I have to be honest, I wasn't sure how many people were going to show up for the event. The Trials were technically still going on (although the Olympic team had already been decided) and it was hot. I was worried that people would want to be off their feet and in the comfort of their own homes (or hotels), but was pleasantly surprised with our turn out!

We had more folks show up throughout the afternoon too (but grabbed this picture before folks started leaving). It was great to chat with everyone, take all the selfies and snack on Girl Scout cookies (okay, I didn't have any since I gave up sweets on January 31st until after my two marathons, but others seemed to enjoy them immensely!). A HUGE thanks to everyone who came out and made the meet-up a success! This community is ever growing because of YOU!

Since I was taking a billion and a half "burst" photos at the Trials, my phone
decided it was FULL so these are pictures I grabbed from everyone else.

Let's just say the #WeRunSocial knows how to #KeepItTight


Some of the LA Marathon Ambassadors!

We hung out for about an hour or so, but then it was time to call it a day and head to my hotel. (I was staying in Culver City because the hotel prices were about $300 cheaper per night than Santa Monica and only about a 15-20 minute drive away from the shuttles.)  But like I said, L.A. WAS ON FAYAH <<singing it like Alicia Keys sings "This girl is on fire">> and it was an honor and privilege to take part in some of the days events.

Did you watch the Trials on TV? (I heard the coverage, especially for the women, was less than stellar, but hopefully you could still feel the excitement and intensity streaming through!)


Unknown said...

We watched on TV and it definitely covered the men more. I wish I'd gone out there! I did get to see Traci on TV though😃

Anonymous said...

Saturday was a blast! Thanks for letting me tag along with you guys! :)

Abby said...

The amount of Instagram stalking I did of the ProCompression team and we run SocialCrew was slightly scary. I was just LOVING all the LA pictures.

Scott @ I Thought They Said Rum said...

Sounds like an awesome time. There's a local bar near me whose owner has a daughter that raced in the 2008 Olympics. The bar is super runner friendly so they showed the Trials on the TV's there. Was definitely a novelty watching a marathon at a bar!

k said...

I love your RUN ALL DAY shirt...can you share where you got it? Thanks!! How awesome to be at the Trials...I was watching on TV and it was great!!! I can only imagine how much better it was LIVE!!!

Tayna said...

I watched the trials on TV! Those are some amazing athletes! I love how Amy and Shalene stuck together. :) Can't wait to read your race recap! :D

Unknown said...

Love, love, lvoe! I'm sad I missed all the fun (but loved my weekend in SD) and can't wait to see so many faces in Phoenix! <3

Kc said...

I watched the trials on TV and they were AMAZING! I LOVED seeing everyone pushing themselves so hard and the team work was inspiring!!

I would love to run LA someday!

SD Mom said...

It was an incredible experience!

Kerri Olkjer said...

I was stalking your twitter all weekend, lol. So much awesome.