Saturday, October 3, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 49, San Jose Expo

I arrive in San Jose by 8:30am this morning on small jet plane with so little room, I knock my head on the overhead compartment area. Airplane take-offs typically make me jittery, but on today's small plane - even more so. Just one small electrical malfunction and our “little engine that could” is a big ball of fire that can't. I try and calm myself with the rationalization that such a fiery scenario is unlikely. Little more than 4 hours of sleep can have such effects on a person.

I arrive to my hotel in San Jose and it is located right behind the start for the race tomorrow. The weather is cool and crisp. I already see a few runners walking toward the expo in the convention center across the street. I'm excited. But I know what I need to do. I get to my room, unload my belongings, and take a nap.

The expo is similar to the LA Marathon expo (convention centers all seem to look the same) but with less overt attention to sponsors. There are also many groups and charity organizations represented here. These include the American Cancer Society who enable you to raise money for them without necessarily running at a specific event. I will go over the info I received and post more on that partnership. I also spoke to a very nice and dedicated volunteer at the Children’s Tumor Foundation . She first started running to raise funds when she was unable to register for a race without joining a charity team to secure entry. She is now dedicated to the cause. There aren't too many upcoming races represented with booths, except for the Rock n' Roll race series. I see the SF Marathon booth, since I follow them on Twitter, and fill out a form to receive a free registration for next year’s race. I am excited to see Women’s Running magazine here. I love their pink “run girl” t-shirt and buy one for $10. They give me a free copy of their recent issue.

As usual, there is a litany of sports drinks to try, and our sensitive runner stomachs are bombarded with everything from Cytomax to Odwalla’s new chocolate protein soy and dairy drink (highly recommend post-run). Off in a far corner, about 15 people gathered in chairs listening to a few people speak. expert talk. It turns out elite runner and Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi , joined with a sports doctor, are answering participant questions. Score! I take a seat and listen into the conversation. I had no idea an elite would be at the event and now I am even more excited.

At the expo, I grab information about pace groups, and decide to join the 2:30 pace group led by a Pacific West Athletics pace leader. All this requires is a 2:30 tag on my back and a goal in my head. I store the tag with my bib, t-shirt and other items from the expo. Goodies to explore when I get back home (also received a sample of doggie treats, so probably won’t be trying those goodies).

After the expo, I meet up with a friend and explore the bay area, including Palo Alto (where UCLA fans were all over due to the UCLA-Stanford game), and also other parts of San Jose. Santana Row is busy with Saturday night activity. But not for me. I am back at the hotel by 8:30pm to get ready for tomorrow.

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