Saturday, May 7, 2011

A whole different level of gear

Grand Fondo registration
Today's run (street): 4.5 miles

Yesterday afternoon I headed over to the Roseland Ballroom with KWL and another friend so they could pick up their Grand Fondo race bibs and their official Giordana race jerseys. Unlike the race event shirts we runners get, these jerseys are full zip form-fitting tops that probably cost more than the registration fee of a major 10K. Consequently, there were numerous race participants trying their shirts to make sure they fit perfectly. I suspect many of these jerseys will be worn on race day.

Clothes, bikes and gels for sale
Following the number pickup was a visit to the Expo. The scale was small relative to the RXR LI Marathon Expo I attended last week but there was a lot to look at. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between a cycling and a running expo. Like running, cycling has its nutrition, hydration, gear, clothing and shoes. But unlike running, there is a whole other world of amazing technology -- carbon frames that cost $3,000, wheels that seem to weigh less than the spokes of my old Raleigh (and cost 10X as much), and sleek machines that rival the most exotic Italian sports cars in terms of functional design.

Focus bikes, an emerging high end brand
It was great to see all this cool technology yet I felt no emotional desire for the clothes, gear or bikes. I'm planning to get my 15 year old Trek road-ready so I can do some cross training at Bethpage and possibly Stillwell but I have no desire to buy a Specialized Stumpjumper. After all, I can buy 50 pairs of Saucony Kinvaras for the same price.

This morning I went out for my first serious run since Sunday's race. I ran on Wednesday but kept things easy and slow. Today, despite the mild soreness of my knee, I hit the road intending to cover 3-4 miles. I figured that if my knee flared up I'd shut down the run to prevent further injury. I'm pleased to say that I had no issues at all. Hours later my knee still feels good - even better than before I ran. I covered 4.5 miles at a mid-nine minute pace. Though I felt I was running faster than that I was satisfied and glad to be firmly back to running in the 9 minute range.

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