Showing posts with label Expo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expo. Show all posts

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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tomorrow I earn the shirt

Do the clothes make the man?
My friend Brian, who has run his share of races, sent me a note regarding tomorrow's half marathon. He said: "Remember to Take in the Moment. 1/4 or 1/2 way through the run you'll be saying to yourself...."I'm really doing this."

I thought that was a really good perspective. I've run many races at this point but a half marathon represents important new ground. I'll admit that I liked collecting my race number last night at the Expo and receiving the dark orange technical race shirt that the marathoners and half marathoners get. But picking up the racing shirt is one thing, earning it on the race course is another. It was a nice surprise to also receive an LI Marathon racing hat and some excellent running socks.

Tomorrow morning I'll line up to run my longest distance to date. That means that once the gun sounds I'll spend the next two-plus hours racing along a 13.1 mile course. By now I've thought through my pacing strategy, my race day hydration, nutrition plan and fueling. My knee feels much better than it did a week ago but it's still a little tender. I finally feel ready to take this on. At least as ready as I can be. After six weeks of training, with a focus on building my base, I'll face my biggest racing challenge yet. You only get one first experience at every distance. I will definitely follow Brian's advice tomorrow and take in the moment as often as I can.

Friday, October 30, 2009

NY Marathon Expo - so many booths, so little time.

I was thinking about my progress as a runner over the last year and I'm fairly pleased. I can't say that I'm completely satisfied with where I am because I think there's more that I could be doing to improve my level of conditioning. I had little trouble covering my 9 miles last Sunday in the marathon relay but I recall thinking during the race that I'd wished I'd done more hill and speed work prior to the event. I guess it comes down to why we run. There are those who get out and do intervals, tempos, fartleks and hill sprints once or twice a week. These people are probably much stronger for it and it helps them run paces that would seem unlikely or even impossible for a runner like myself. Every time I go out to run I think about training rigorously and while I do occasionally switch up my pacing my primary intention remains focused on the enjoyment of the experience. I went out this morning dressed for cold and I wasn't disappointed. After a slow start I picked up the pace in the middle and maintained it long enough to average 8:58 over 2.6 miles. It was fun to run at a quicker pace today but at other times comfort prevails.

Yesterday was the first day of the NY Marathon Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. For those unfamiliar with Javits, it's a huge conference center on the west side in the 30's that, for some reason, was built far away from any public transportation. The closest subway will still require a 15 to 20 minute walk. The way the event planners get around this limitation is to run busses all day from local hotels. The buses are free and the system works. The only issue I have with it is that buses + mid day traffic = long wait times to get to the place. I anxiously checked my watch concerned that by the time I arrived I'd need to get back on another bus in order to return for a 2:00 meeting. As it happened I was able to spend about 40 minutes at the Expo. Upon arriving I was puzzled to see that the main event was a technology security conference which would normally be of interest. I couldn't see anything resembling a marathon expo. Finally, another person who was also looking spied the far away entrance and we headed over. The Expo was huge compared with any I'd seen before it. Every shoe, apparal, technology and health/exercise company had booths (although I don't recall seeing Nike which was fine with me). The ASICS booth was so huge it could have been an Expo on its own. I spent time talking with some people promoting their races, chatted with someone representing Newton running shoes and then headed back to the office with lots of pamphlets and a few samples.

I wish I had more time to revisit the Expo today. I encourage anyone to go - it's free!

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