After spending this AM running an easy 8 mile run, as noted on my training blog, I spent sometime at Austin’s Fitness and Marathon Expo. For those of you who are not psycho crazy about traveling the country and running races, expos have taken on a life of their own. A number of the larger size races have them. Expos allow athletes to pick up their race packet, confirm last-minute details, and become more familiar with the great folks that operate the event. A number of them have booths that display things from the most recent training techniques, gadgets, and foods, to a plethora of clothing and shoe options. Novice runners and those running for less competitive reasons, tend to get suckered into buying new gear to race in. Of course, this is the cardinal sin of racing: One should never race in clothing and shoes they did not train in. On my long training runs (16-24 miles), I try to wear the exact stuff I intend on wearing come race day. If I do not wear my earrings during training runs, I will not wear them in a race (yes I have one in each ear).
Expos also promote a great sense of energy and excitement, too. It is highly unusual to walk around seeing a bunch of angry runners. Now, the down side of course is that some folks spend too much time at the expo. Draining both their physical and emotional energy. For me, I try not to stay more than 30 – 45 minutes, unless there is a running clinic or seminar. But in that situation, I am usually off my feet and pretty relaxed. I must confess, I do tend to checkout other runners. Wondering in my head: he looks fast; can I keep up with him or her? This is nothing but pure torture.
After the expo, Janette and I will hunt down a cool pizza place for lunch, as we did in Austin. I consider myself an expert on pizza. I tell people I train a lot because I aim to become a sub-elite athlete; in truth, I like wine and pizza. I tend to avoid alcohol before a race, but I could not pass on the Jack’s beer-crusted pizza. And of course, it is New York style pizza. The rest of the afternoon is spent watching TV, reading a few running magazines, visualizing success, and resting…as I am doing now.