Monday, May 16, 2011

I love the Smell of Expo (in the morning) - A look at the weekend of May 14 & 15

If you’ve never gone to an Expo before a race, I’d recommend it to see what you’re missing, and if you’ve gone you know what I’m talking about. 

Member of Team Ray at the Children's
Tumor Foundation walk
Despite running the Malibu a half-marathon one-month before surgery, Saturday was my first expo in nearly a year. The Expo at the Malibu Marathon consists of a couple vendor tents set up next to the beach and a few folk passing out bibs and timing chips. The Expo prior to the Pasadena Marathon series didn’t smell like salty ocean air— It smelled like Expo, combination of Tiger Balm and Ben Gay. It was more ritualistic like other expos: Walk to the wall and look up your bib number, check in and get your bib, packet & D-tag, then walking up and down the rows of vendors. Doing all this made me feel even more like I’m back.

The Expo makes me hungry to eat the road for breakfast tomorrow, even if it is going to go down at a much slower pace than what I was once training at.  Nonetheless, I realize that I have to stop comparing running speeds I had when I first started running and after I was running consistently to today. I need to keep just looking forward to the next mile.

I feel like I’m finally getting healthy….
Yes, I’m working 40+ hours a week.
Yes, I’m running 15 miles or more each week.
Yes, It’s not brain cancer; it’s just a tumor.

But this, this is the picture of health- smelling crippled runners getting to put their toes to the starting line and push their bodies to do their best.

Storm Troopers at the CTF Walk-
A good reason to walk fast!
And this weekend was not about running- it was about enjoying the company of fellow athletes on a journey. Saturday, I did a 5k walk with the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) and ended up walking with a friend from the NF Endurance Team.  After this, I went to the expo to pick up my bib and race packet for Sunday’s Pasadena Marathon series.

Sunday, I took the to the road with my running buddy and his girlfriend and we raced to raise money & awareness of Celiac Disease. And here, again you can see the indomitable spirit of the runner… she was training to RUN this as her first official 5k, but she had a cold for several weeks that she couldn’t shake. Still, she trained. And, it wouldn’t be the Pasadena Marathon if it weren’t raining… We huddled in the dry as long as we could before we put our toes to the starting line to see what we could do.

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