I’ve done repeat races before, but Rock ‘n’ Roll AZ will be my first repeat half. While I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow, I’m not particularly excited about it. It’s neat to be participating in this huge event that’s happening locally, but I’ve kind of got this “been there, done that” feeling.
I took yesterday morning off work to go to the Expo. There was a “blowout” sale on any official Rock ‘n’ Roll branded Sugoi gear that was leftover from 2009, and I figured that it was best to go relatively early on for the best selection. I was really hoping to get this great tech shirt from Rock ‘n’ Roll AZ 2009, but there was only size L and XL. I did find a cute Seattle “outfit” that I ended up buying.
Every once in awhile there was an announcement over the loudspeakers about the sale and the announcer would say that the leftover gear was being sold “at cost”. Somehow, I highly doubt that’s true. The t-shirt was still $25 (originally $40) and the pair of capri tights was still $30 (originally $60). I hope the gear is of a high enough quality to justify the prices.
I’m not completely sure how I feel about the rapid growth and commercialization of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series by Competitor Group. On one hand, I do like how well-organized the events are. And their size allows them to do some neat stuff like course preview videos. But I’m also noticing areas where it seems like they’re cutting costs, particularly with clothing. I think I’ve mentioned previously that they recycle a lot of the shirt designs from race to race, which I don’t like. Also, for the first time they had the same tech shirt for both the marathon and the half.
This was a surprise because I distinctly remember the website saying that you had to switch races before November 20 in order to be guaranteed the correct shirt for the race you were going to do. I keep hoping that one of these days Competitor Group will start offering tech shirts in women’s sizes, but that seems highly unlikely now that the focus looks to be on reducing variety rather than offering more choices.
Overall, it was a typical Expo… I tried some samples and picked up a few goodies. The most noteworthy thing was that I went to the KT Tape booth and got taped up for shin splints. When I speed walk often times my shins hurt (which is kind of funny because when I run its my calves that usually hurt). I figured it couldn’t hurt to try the tape and see if it makes a difference during the race tomorrow. When I got to the booth, there was just one person ahead of me so I only waited about five minutes.
The tape is supposed to be water proof and can stay on for up to five days. I can testify that it’s still sticking well after a long shower earlier today. I still feel the stretch from the tape, particularly on the left under my arch. I’m actually a little worried because there’s more stretch on the left than the right and I hope I haven’t thrown anything off by trying to counterbalance it. I thought about trying to retape it myself, but then I worried I wouldn’t do it right and just decided to leave it as is. One thing to note with the tape is that once it’s on, it can’t just be pulled up and repositioned. Instead, you have to start over with a new strip of tape.
Of course I spent some time today laying out my clothes and other stuff for tomorrow. It’ll be fun wearing my new Half Fanatics shirt. I also decided to go with new shoes which I hope doesn’t turn out to be a mistake. I’m justifying it by the fact that while the shoes themselves are new, they’re the same old style of Saucony ProGrid Hurricane 10s that I’ve been using since I started running. Look at the extreme difference in appearance between my new pair and my old pair!