NikeWomen Marathon Project Weekend
A few months ago, my friends at Nike Los Angeles reached out and asked me the craziest question: "How would you feel about running a marathon with us this fall?" Not once in my athletic career did running a full marathon cross my mind. I've participated in a couple half marathons in the past and completing those felt like a dream come true. Needless to say, I said YES! To be honest, I'd say yes to most things Nike.
For the past few years, I've been apart of the Nike community in Los Angeles in numerous ways. From running, to training, to advocating for women in sports, I've been able to realize my passions through various ways with the brand. Nike has always been at the forefront of EQUALITY in communities and also inclusivity among elite athletes.
NIKEWOMEN MARATHON PROJECT KICKOFF WEEKEND
After officially being chosen to be 1 of 35 women who Nike will train to cross the marathon finish line this fall in Chicago, I received notice that I would have to be completely available for 4 days in June. I couldn't have imagined such an incredibly curated few days of events, especially with such extraordinary people.
Day One was a half day where we checked in at the Dream Hotel in Hollywood and were pleasantly surprised with all the training gear and accessories we'd need for the entire weekend! At dinner I met all of my teammates, our mentors, our Nike Elite Coaches and Nike staff. I knew a good amount of girls already but now I had met so many more new walking inspirations and great women from all walks of life!
Each day was mapped out with an eight hour itinerary starting at 7am with breakfast and ending with dinner. Day Two began bright and early with breakfast before we walked over to the JUST DO IT Headquarters. As a part of our training journey, we have complete access to the same Los Angeles training headquarters where fellow professional athletes and trainers will be also pushing limits to reach their goals.
Nike Master Trainers lead us through running mechanic drills, as well as some strength assessment and mobility exercises. Our strength and fitness Coach Bec Wilcock, who is an Australian elite runner/ trainer/ mom/ wife, has tailored workouts to our marathon training goals and to each of us individually.
This summer, Nike Training is scheduling weekly classes, sessions, and several other events/experiences at the JDI HQ, fully decked out with top of the line training equipment and next level recovery technologies. I definitely recommend that you guys check out some of the weekly sessions at Nike.com/LA.
Day Three was our first official run together, located at Malibu State Creek Park and led by Coach Blue Benadum & World Champ/ Paralympian Scout Basset. In honor of the 35th year of Zoom Air technology in the classic Nike Zoom Pegasus, all 35 of us ran five miles through the trails. Not only is this the first edition of the Pegasus that provides full length Zoom in the midsole but for the first time ever, Nike optimized the cushion & fit for the female runner ! Definitely one of my most comfortable Nike running shoes ever.
By 11am we all gathered at Malibu Beach for a nice lunch and a yoga session led by a Y7 Studio teacher. I cherish my yoga journey as well, so it was very surreal and comforting to be practicing yoga at the same time as my new marathon journey with Nike.
The fourth and final day came all too quickly but again, we had a full day of scheduled activities starting at 7am so it was right back to it. First up: A team run at the Hollywood Reservoir. In the middle of the Hollwood Hills there is reservoir that is 3.3 miles roundtrip (I've lived in LA my whole life & never knew this exsisted). By the time we reached this last day, injuries and fatigue had caught up to some of us, but it was clear...whatever pace we felt comfortable with, we endured to make it all the way around.
Once back at the JDI HQ, we were finally introduced to the recovery facilities. For the next 13 weeks we'll have access to elite "bio-hacking" Bulletproof Upgrade Lab equipment and technologies that will keep our muscles, bones and cells at tip-top shape. I can honestly say JDI HQ is now one of my favorite places on earth.
This weekend was the true test of our commitment to Nike and the Chicago Marathon. The one thing most of us forgot about was that we have to actually register for the race! I knew why I was with Nike for the whole weekend but, it fully set in when I submitted my application. It doesn't get much realer than that!
I kept asking myself, "is this weekend real life?" It felt like I was at the most epic summer camp, built for strong, passionate, athletic, and inspirational women. Every single woman I met this weekend was motivated by their own story and they welcomed this experience with humbling and amazing goals. The next 15 weeks will consist of elite training from Nike Master Trainers at top of the line facilities & with expert recovery specialists, and it feels great to experience it with my new sisters!
Dreams really do come true and I promise I didn't cry when I say this but, being an elite/ sponsored/ trained athlete is something I've wanted since I was 11 years old. This is truly only the beginning and hope none of you miss out on my journey, OUR journey! Grateful for everyone at Nike Los Angeles for this experience, very appreciative for this opportunity, and looking forward to the future!
My thoughts and opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.
Some photos courtesy of Nike.