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nyc marathon weekend pt. 1: meb edition

nyc marathon weekend pt. 1: meb edition

After months of preparation, taper culminated with a jam-packed weekend of marathon fun. From taking on the Expo to devouring some delicious eats, our Manhattan galavanting was everything I'd hoped for and more. So, I'm breaking down how we attacked the insanity that is the #TCSNYCMarathon into two parts.

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nyc marathon expo

every runner has to pick up their bib at the expo, held at the Javits

My bestie, Lianna, and I decided that we'd pick up our bibs on the second day of the NYC Marathon Expo. This way, we wouldn't be on our feet too much on Saturday, the day before the race. If you're headed to pick up your bib, I recommend getting to the Javits as close to the opening time as possible because it gets absolutely packed.  And trust me, you are going to want to impulse shop the beautiful marathon gear with as few people in your way as possible!

Showing some love to the official marathon sponsor, United Airlines, who took amazing care of us with special access to their weekend events.

Showing some love to the official marathon sponsor, United Airlines, who took amazing care of us with special access to their weekend events.

I have to admit, actually receiving the bib made everything feel real. The entire Expo is overwhelming (it's designed to serve over 50k runners, so how could it not be?), but the actual moment of receiving your packet heightens all emotions. For me, I knew it was time to mentally prepared for what we've been physically training to tackle since May 30th.

Big thanks to Jason Naylor and the whole Lululemon NYC team for setting up such a timely pop-up.

Big thanks to Jason Naylor and the whole Lululemon NYC team for setting up such a timely pop-up.

To add to the fun, our running coach, Nina, let us know that Lululemon NYC would have their infamous Test Truck outside the Javits for a few hours on Friday. Artist Jason Naylor had just worked his magic on the truck, transforming it with the saying, "More than Miles." Jason was set to be there to design race day shirts, too, which was a perfect way to spice up our Habitat for Humanity tees.

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If you're ever in a city where Lululemon announces a Test Truck setup, it's definitely worth checking out. They have their gear on-site and a treadmill inside the truck so you can get a feel for how the clothing fits while being active! This innovative set-up is just another way this company is connecting with its customers beyond the walls of their retail shops we all love so much.

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📍ladurée

After our Expo fun, it was time to do what we do best: EAT! Soho was calling, and we ended up doing a late lunch at Ladurée. They say to eat nutrient-dense foods and to be extra mindful of hydration the day before the race, but a little rosé doesn't hurt either. Not to mention, you can't possibly walk out of this hotspot without their infamous macarons.

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poulet rotî, s'il vous plaît

From there, we were set to head back to NJ for the evening before coming back to the city Saturday afternoon. According to experts like John Honerkamp, your sleep two nights prior to the marathon is even more important than the night before the race! So, we were sure to tuck in early and get our precious eight hours.

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Before we knew it, Saturday was upon us and anxiety levels were at an all-time high. Our training plan called for limited mileage the week leading up to race day, but, we did need to get in a quick 2-miler that day. Despite that the nerves had fully set in, it did feel great to shake out our legs and restore trust in the process. We were ready.

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Lianna and I were running short on time for lunch before our event that evening, so a quick stop at the Sprinkles ATM only made sense! Of all of the nutritious foods we could have chosen, cupcakes probably weren't at the top of the "eat-this-the-night-before-your-marathon" list, but...self-restraint has never been my strength. If you're in NY and a 24-hour cupcake ATM is everything you need in your life, you can find it here.

I actually have a video on my phone of this kind soul saying, "When your Lyft driver becomes your personal stylist." Yep, that happened.

I actually have a video on my phone of this kind soul saying, "When your Lyft driver becomes your personal stylist." Yep, that happened.

While this may not be too glamorous to share, the moments leading up to our fancy night at Del Posto were too funny not to commemorate. We were rushing to get ready when I realized the zipper on my new dress was stuck. Considering it had zipped just that morning, I was convinced we could get it situated in the Lyft. Well, that wasn't quite the case, and it got to the point where I had the driver trying to zip me up! Never a dull moment.

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a v gossip girl moment coming down this stunning staircase

Entering the venue for United Airlines' MileagePlus dinner gave us all the feels. With champagne in hand, we were set to enjoy the big night. Unfortunately [yet again!], we were was sort of breaking all the rules of marathoning. You're supposed to eat the same meal before every long run so that you know exactly how your body will react, but, who were we to turn down this incredible opportunity to dine at one of NY's best restos?

Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

Del Posto is a Michelin-starred spot in Chelsea that should totally be on your radar if you love Italian cuisine. While the event entailed a preset menu, we still had the chance to taste some of their best-known dishes paired with impeccable wines. I'm a huge foodie, so even just looking back at the menu again gets me all excited!

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Unsurprisingly, the service by the Del Posto team was superb. With all hands on deck for the event, not one glass went empty and it was all we could do to exert an ounce of restraint from fully indulging! Oh, and did I mention that this was only our first dinner of the evening? Yep, we had another family get-together planned for afterward, making it even more important that we stay [somewhat] disciplined.

Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

Beyond the delectable dishes, the main draw of the event was running legend Meb Keflezighi. As the only runner in history to win an Olympic medal (Athens 2004) plus the NYC (2009) and Boston (2014) marathons, he is literally royalty in the athletic community. Plus, the 2017 NYC Marathon was set to be the 26th and final of his career, making his speaking engagement that evening even more special.

My favorite course was the sweet potato cappellacci with pecan spetziati

My favorite course was the sweet potato cappellacci with pecan spetziati

Meb's speech that evening was incredibly inspirational. He spoke about his roots in the East African country of Eritrea and how running shaped his youth. Perhaps most impressionable, he talked about how athletics unite us. While I'm not a huge sports fan, I can certainly value the truth in that sentiment. His reference to Nelson Mandela's take on sports definitely struck a chord.

It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.
— Nelson Mandela
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Lianna and the legend himself

after years of her cheering him on, it was amazing to snap of a photo of Li with Meb

All too soon, it came time for us to run to our second dinner with the fam. We departed Del Posto with gratitude for United Airlines' generosity and anticipation for everything that lie ahead on race day. I couldn't have asked for a more fun way to launch into the marathon, and certainly no better person to experience it all alongside.

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nyc marathon: race day from start to finish

nyc marathon: race day from start to finish

sri lanka, you had me at "ayubowan"

sri lanka, you had me at "ayubowan"