Saturday was amazing. I woke up extra early and drove to Union Square to meet up with the Nike Track Club and Finish Line Ladies for a pre-Nike Women's Half Marathon shakeout run and brunch. We all met each other at the Nike store, then made our way upstairs to the VIP area for the opening remarks. I wasn't quite sure what to expect of the event, and was both thrilled and surprised to see Joan Benoit Samuelson was a guest speaker. I had met Joan back in January of 2013 at the Walt Disney World Marathon meet-up, and it was fabulous to see her again. She is a legend and trailblazer in the world of running.
Shortly thereafter, the Nike Women's Half Marathon Tiffany necklace was unveiled and the event was over. We made our way downstairs and set off on our 2 mile run. The skies were clear, the weather was textbook gorgeous and our group was super energetic. We ran a fun loop to the Embarcadero and back, zooming through the early morning streets of Chinatown, and up a couple of those notorious SF hills.
After our run, we stopped just outside the expo and posed for photos in front of the "WE RUN" sign. This gave me a chance to chat with Molly about her upcoming full marathon. I shared with her my first marathon experience and told her I've really been thinking about running another - in a much cooler place - to redeem myself. She had great suggestions and encouraged me to just do it. That's was really the theme of that whole day: I was surrounded by women who encouraged each other to Just Do It.
We continued to walk towards the Dirty Habit, and when we arrived...WOW. The entire patio had been reserved just for us. The table had been arranged beautifully with name cards and swag bags full of gifts AND our race bibs. Did I say WOW already?
We chatted, ate breakfast, drank champagne and shared our stories with each other. Each of these women so unique in her own way. All ages, sizes and levels of runners with one common to goal: to #RUNSF!
After breakfast we tore into our training swag bags and put on our fab new Nike jacket for a photo.
A photographer was on-hand to snap candids of us as well. He captured me doing what I love to do: taking photos with my iPhone 6 and editing them before sharing.
After our brunch we walked back to the Expo where there were MORE gifts waiting for us. Seriously?! WOW.
I was stoked on the running outfit in the bag, but I was especially happy with the Nike hoodie we received.
Then I noticed it was embroidered with our Twitter names and I was shocked. What an incredibly thoughtful touch. I was completely floored by the kindness and generosity offered by FNL and NTC this weekend.
Soon it was time to say goodbye to all the ladies, as I had to get back home for Starlight's homecoming game. I headed to the Nike store one last time for shopping and name searching. After what seemed like a lifetime of jumping really high, I found my name close to the top of the window.
Words cannot express my sincerest gratitude to Finish Line for having me this weekend in San Francisco. From the shakeout run, to the brunch and finally the race - it was stellar and first class all the way. I left feeling invigorated, empowered and impressed by these great girls. All so beautiful - inside and out.