Before every big marathon, the organizers put on a sports and fitness expo--as sort of "runners convention." It is where registered participants go to pick up their final instructions, their race numbers, their timing chips, as well as their goodie bags stuffed with coupons, adverts, freebies, and all the other pre-race flotsam and jetsam. Exhibitors hawk their wares and runners stock up on such peculiarities as "Body Glide," "GU" gels, race logo-wear, and all the latest and greatest gear.
The worst thing that a marathoner can do is spend too much time at the expo. You can really wear yourself out--especially at big expos like the one before the Country Music Marathon (this year registration should top 22,000 runners so there are lots and lots and lots of exhibitors).
I always like to get in early, make one complete circuit through the exhibts making mental notes of any of the stuff I might actually want to buy, and then make my way back through to actually make my purchases (that way I don't do any impulse buying and I restrain myself from getting anything more than necessities).
Call me crazy, but I find the expos very motivational. They are generally abuzz with all the hopes and dreams and excitement of runners ready to burst out of the gates toward their dream PRs.
Between appointments this afternoon, I made my way to and through the expo. And once again, I was inspired. The place was electric. I saw lots of friends. I didn't buy much of anything at all--just a disposal rain jacket in case the 70% chance of thunder showers that are forecast actually crashes our little party!
I had lots of fun and now I am in the frame of mind I need to be in to actually go 26.2.
Oh yeah, and the bronchitis I've been battling all week is actually a bit better. I'm coughing like a smoker--but, I am ready to roll, rain or shine.