Expo Experiences …

21 09 2009

YAWN!!! Good Morning Virginia Beach!!  Coffee and Corn flakes … conversation and laughter.  Linda’s house is great! She’d been able to find Cytomax at her Big Lot’s so I finally was able to get some of that in me to see how I was going to tolerate it.  In days of old, Cyto was the only thing I used when bike racing, but I had some stomach issues with it.  Appears they’ve gotten the mix right.

Since I was sans luggage, Linda loaned me a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I was laughing because they were the shorts we were match set in at Camp.  We did marvel at the little shaving kit that I was given by Southwest. There was a toothbrush and all sorts of things in there. Ok, if you’ve got to lose your luggage …

First thing on the agenda was the expo.  I had most of my race gear with me, however I really wanted to deal with a shoe issue.  I’ve been having little problems with the Fast Twitch 3’s that are my light shoes, so I wondered if 1/2 a size larger would be good.  I’ve also been toying with the idea that because my orthotics now correct most of my pronation if the pronation control in the shoes was throwing me off.  I’ve had my eye on the Brooks T-6 shoes that Oh-Canada Lisa wears, but finding them in an 11 in Denver has been trouble.

I got outside and was immediately hit by the humidity and heat that early in the morning.  Wow.  I wasn’t used to it at all.  Linda said it was better than last year and all I could think of was how I was going to re-wire my competitive head in order to handle this race!  Linda kept reminding me we were there to have fun and not kill ourselves.  She has an Achilles Tendon issue and me with my knee.  The thing that really caused me some concern was my breathing.  I realized I’d left my inhaler in Denver, and I wondered if I’d need it on this race.  I didn’t think so because I’ve handled the humidity of Disney.

Linda and I are a lot alike.  First things first: GET RACE NUMBER.  Being as shy as she is, Linda seems to know just about everyone.  She was introducing me to Tidewater Striders who are doing the Goofy in 2010 while we were getting our packets! I was a little dismayed because I remembered when I registered that I thought I’d be well below the 2:45 mark for the half.  I just had to deal with it.

We threaded our way through to where we would get our t-shirts.  I turned around and saw the big vinyl sign for San Jose Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in October.  This race in Virginia Beach was my shake out for the shoes and orthotics before I go to my annual Birthday Race. I stopped dead.  Remember – I’m 5″9.5″ and Linda was right behind me at 5″5′ … I pointed at the pictures and said “That’s ME!”  Sure enough … It was me at my first San Jose Rock and Roll 1/2 on my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary and the day before I turned 43! I fell on the ground so Linda could take the photos. We both were just laughing … and stopping traffic.  People would look and point and look and say “OH MY GOSH THAT’S YOU!!!” and take photos!  I always want people to have fun when I’m doing things, but this was just too crazy.  I remember my Mom asking me why I had to wear those silly Stitch ears on my head … before she saw a guy in a red and gold lame wig. Two years later, here’s to making people laugh!!

That race was memorable because it was the first one that my parents were at.  Mom-mee has become the cheerleader at now three 1/2 marathons and flies to Denver for the Gorilla Run.  Dad tried really hard to get photos as I was coming in at the end unfolding off the bench to try to take pictures with his cell-phone. 

Back to the business at hand.  We called Mom, but I was laughing too hard so I asked Linda to talk with her. She was still concerned my luggage hadn’t arrived, but there truly wasn’t anything we could do. 

Wandering about the expo, I found the Sauccony (sp) dealer where I picked up a pair of Fast Twitch 3’s in 11.5. My slightly swollen feet (swollen from travelling) handled them better than the pair I had brought with me.  Of course, Linda knew the owner of the store sponsoring the dealer.  She’s so darned shy!  Next stop was where they were selling Brooks and they actually had one pair of T-6’s in size 11. OH MY GOSH … they felt fantastic! They felt better than the Fast Twitches, but I wasn’t going to about and return the shoes saying “I’ve found the Brooks that I was using the Saucconys to replace …” I knew then and there I was breaking another of the “cardinal rules” of racing — I was going to be wearing new shoes on race day.

Now, if you know me, you know this isn’t exactly new ground for me.  My very first race, I wore a water belt – something that wasn’t even an option when I was running.  As recently as Memorial Day, I was trying out a pair of Racer ST-4’s after over a year in ST-3’s.  Kristin H. yalped at me soundly after the race.  I’d been teased that they were so white that I needed to scuff them up as I was walking to the start with Scott K. and David R.  The biggest change, of course, is that the T-6’s have NO stability control on them and the heel is far lower than what I was used to.  All I could think of was if I was truly going to be able to know if the orthotics were right was to try a distance under pressure in shoes without control.  Ok – so that’s what I told myself.

At the expo we met up with a bunch of really wonderful folks and … probably best of all … we were notified that my luggage was en route to Linda’s! Whoo HOO!!

Off to lunch … after a week of not being able to keep anything down due to potential MSG issue from a local Chinese food place, it was the first I’d been able to eat since the weekend!  Yeah – so much for “carbo-loading”.




5 responses

22 09 2009

Wow, Lis! So funny to have your picture on the race advertisements. That is a true find!

13 10 2009

Hi Lizzy,
I just read your comment on the ST4s on the Brooks website which brought me to your blog. That is so super to find your picture on the poster. You look great! Love the hat.

I also have size 11 feet! So, I know how hard it is to find shoes. I ordered 2 pair of ST4s this month to start breaking them in for the Goofy. I noticed you did the Goofy last year. I have 2 goofy walking buddies who convinced me to do the Goofy with them. I have only done 2 halfs and the 30K Around the Bay, so this will be my first marathon.

Like you I walk. I am not as fast. I started walking last year after a car accident put a stop to my running several years ago. I am progressing to racewalk pace.

I would love to talk to you about your Goofy experience. I am very apprehensive but determined to finish without killing myself in the process.
Please email me.
Goofily yours,

19 10 2009

Hey Darien –
I love my ST4’s but just moved to the T-6’s when I got a set of orthotics. When I get the blog updated, you’ll see how I did my first race in them in Virginia Beach … and I do love them! The problem, of course, is that there really isn’t much to them AND the only place I’ve been able to get size 11’s has been at expos. Of course, I should just try on line.

WOW! You’re a trip! I was hit by a drunk 20 years ago last May and hit restart pretty hard. The thing with me and this season is that I did some stupid stuff … and I’m ow having to learn to deal with injuries.

GOOFY … ok – you need to get the miles in. I think I posted Goofy someplace in January on this blog. Check it out and see if there’s any help in there. A bunch of us are going to be out there walking!

Where are you coming from???

Welcome to my Blog! 🙂
Cheers –

4 01 2010

Your best semi-local source for Brooks shoes is:

While Johnny and Mark aren’t racewalkers and can’t do much to analyze your walking gait, they will go out of their way to help you get a size, even if it requires a special order.

If you go up to visit their store, just use the secret handshake and mumble something like ‘that English American racewalking sneakerologist sent me’ and you will get either a blank stare or, possibly, slightly more help. Either way, this is a great store run by two great blokes. If they give you any trouble, let me know and I’ll send my mob of custom bred poodles to wet their carpets.

Johnny is one of a pair of shoe inventors who made the entire athletic shoe industry as we know it possible. He and Stan Hockerson invented the wrapped midsole. That is the construction in which the foam part of the sole is formed to cup a portion of the upper’s side walls. Before you point out that all sports shoes are made this way – they weren’t at the time Stan and Johnny came up with this pioneering invention.


4 01 2010

I was in the new Bolder Running Company today … and that’s how I found out that they have to special order my kicks. Sigh!

I haven’t been allowed to learn the Secret Handshake yet … feet just not active enough! How about this … you trundle out to Colorado and I’ll give you my feet to deal with!

BRC was where I got my first shoes on clearance. Started going to the Runner’s Roost on Colorado Blvd … but willing to motor about.

Actually, weren’t sport shoes just kind of flat before this? When did they invent the wrapped midsole? and When are you writing the History of Kicks by The English/American Racewalking Sneakerologist?

🙂 L.

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