Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LA Marathon: Expo and Pre Race shenanigans

Good Morning!
I am in SUCH a great mood today: I only have a three day work week this week, and I am still riding that Marathon high.

Yup! LA Marathon is done and done! Phew! More than anything, I am relieved, and for the first time in 9 months, I am going to take a break. I do have a couple of races I'm planning in the upcoming months, but capping it at HM distance. I can have my weekends back again. Yay!

I can't wait to share my LA Marathon experience with you all :)
No, I didn't get a PR (bummer...!) but that's OK! James and I had a great weekend nonetheless.

Today's post is all about the Expo and the Pre-Race shenanigans. The race post will be for tomorrow. Otherwise, it was going to be the longest post in the world :)


Saturday: The Expo
James and I hit the road bright and early Sat morning to make the 2 hour drive to Dodger Stadium to attend the Expo.

And can I just say; the expo may have been the thing I was looking forward to the most! I've never been to Dodger Stadium before, and I've also never been to a big Expo either, so I had high hopes for this one.

We arrived around 11 am to a HUGE line of cars waiting to get to the expo. I started getting butterflies in my tummy; I was so darned excited! I couldn't WAIT to see what they had!

At Dodger Stadium, walking over to the Expo.
Despite the sheer number of attendees, I thought the Parking system at the Expo worked marvelously. We had NO issues finding a parking spot, and no difficulties finding the expo. Thanks to all the volunteers who made it possible!
I could just feel the energy in the air. There was a lot of excitement, jitters, adrenaline, hopes, and worries in the air. Gosh. It makes you so stoked to be a part of this crazy sport called the Marathon, doesn't it?

The Expo was huge!!!!! MUCH bigger than I had expected! And crowded! Holy Moly! It was like... a huge festival or something. People people everywhere. Vendors and samples galore!
I made it a personal mission to see every single vendor, and receive as many free samples as possible. Yup. I'm not embarrassed to admit it. I love me some freebies.
And this Expo did not disappoint. James and I walked away winners. We scored big :) I don't have a picture, because it's a little bit embarrassing.

Another goal for the expo was to walk away with a pair of compression socks. I have lately been having serious ankle/calf swelling issues. I blame it on my desk job. But it's actually a problem that is a huge pain in the butt for me. My ankles were pretty swollen at the Expo as well so I really wanted to try on different compression socks. I tried on a couple different brands, and decided on Recovery Sock. They felt the best on my calves, and you really couldn't beat the price: $35 for a pair of compression socks and a free pair of regular running socks! The guy helping me find my perfect pair was awesome too: he had run 6 marathons..... this month! WoW! Total inspiration.

Another highlight of the Expo was the free Kinesio Taping.
KT Tape was offering to tape people up who were dealing with pain. OMG. I was beyond stoked. Since my ankle/shins were hurting (due to pinched nerve a year ago that was causing ITB pain that was causing ankle/shin pain) I got that taped up like this:
Let me tell ya: as soon as the girl taped me up, I said "WOW! OMG I feel SO much better!"
It was fantastic. It really truly honestly felt awesome. I kept it on all day, and even slept with it. (I took if off for the actual race) I honestly think the KT Tape was a HUGE factor in reducing my pain. Thank you thank you thank you thank you KT Tape!
And this is Dean Karnazes speaking at the expo. I really like listening to him speak. One thing he said stood out to me. So much so that I made it my motto for the race:
"Celebrate the Pain."
On answering an audience question about how to deal with pain, Dean said that pain was a normal, natural, expected aspect of the race. There is no avoiding it. So expect it. Welcome it. Celebrate it. I had been freaking out about my knee all week, so his quote spoke to me. I kept telling myself "celebrate the pain" over and over again all day and throughout the race. Thanks Dean, for the inspiration and motivation!

James' highlight was visiting the Newton Running Shoes booth. I knew nothing of these shoes, so it was interesting for me too. Newton shoes are designed for optimal running form, and help you land on your mid foot. This is supposed to lessen fatigue and chances for injury, and also assists with cadence. We both tried on the shoes, and boy! what an interesting shoe! It has a really bouncy midsole. Like, really bouncy. It was a feeling I have never experienced in a shoe before. We got to try running in them a little bit; and I could tell that the shoes helped me hand on my mid foot. I can't afford a new pair of sneakers right now, but these shoes are something I would definitely want to try out.

The one and only complaint I have about the expo was the lack of vendors selling Race nutrition. There was one vendor selling GU products and one vendor selling Powerbar products. That's it. No Clif Products, no Honey Stingers, no Carb Boom! no Hammer products, no Sports Beans. Every other expo I have been to have had a myriad of race nutrition choices. Since I needed to buy some gels, I was very disappointed in the lack of choices. Oh well.

Sunday: Pre-Race

OK. Enough about the expo. I bet I am starting to bore you already :) Onto pre-race things.
3 AM wake up call. Waffles and cereal for breakfast. Coffee. The usual.
James enjoying his coffee. We stayed at my friend's house in Santa Monica.
Got dressed, got lubed up (or so I thought.... stay tuned), got ready, and left at 4:15 ish to take the shuttle from Santa Monica to the starting point at Dodger Stadium. The shuttle was only a couple of blocks away from my friend's house, and it was organized AMAZINGLY. Thanks again to all the volunteers!
We arrived at Dodger Stadium with plenty of time to spare. We walked around, ate some food, stretched, took a cat nap, you know, the usual.

At around 7:10 AM, we tried to make our way over to the starting line. "Tried to" being the key word here.
There were SO MANY PEOPLE that we could not get anywhere within sight of the starting line. So we just randomly picked a crowd of people and got "in line".
People people people people everywhere. Close to 25,000 people. Holy moly. We heard the gun go off, but we didn't cross the starting line until 5 minutes after. It was VERY crowded.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the race recap!

I am recovering pretty well; back in the office for a quick three day week, and already plotting some future races :) Thanks for your words of encouragement, and thanks for reading!
See you back here tomorrow :)


  1. Sounds like they had a great Expo. Love recovery socks!!! Hope they helped. Fun pictures. Can't wait to read all about the race.

  2. Love all the pictures! Glad to hear you had a great time!

  3. Loving all the pics and your wrist rocker for the marathon! Look at James shirtless again! LOL! Can't wait for the actual recap! Way to tease a girl!

  4. What a crazy huge event!! Too cool starting at the stadium and awesome on the free KT taping!!

    Everything sounds great so far. :)

  5. Love the expo...can feel it about the happen! Interesting on the tape...did it work in the big show?

  6. great so far, looking forward to the rest!

  7. Loved the expo...Will research about the tape...
    Can't wait for the race report...

  8. you have me on the edge of my seat..i can't wait to hear the rest!!! Oh and good to know about the compression socks..i have been wanting a pair too! My hubs has that tape but i haven't heard how it worked yet :) Great job!

  9. Sounds like you did that expo up right. Can't wait for the full report.



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