Training: The Pre-Race Blitz

The strange, round race bibs.

On Thursday night, we went into SF to hit the Nike Women’s Marathon expo and beat the crowds. I’m not sure if we actually beat any crowds — it was pretty much a mob scene — but we did manage to take care of business and eliminate one source of pre-race stress. It was a funny experience because of course, we only know each other as ponytailed, sunglass-clad, technical tee-wearing runners. We all look very different in real clothes, and often did double-takes as we passed people that we knew.

We made the obligatory pilgrimage to Niketown, the mecca for all kinds of race merchandise… or so we thought. Turns out that Macy’s in Union Square had a small but nice selection of very different race merchandise. Ladies, if you like the silhouette race logo, Macy’s is the place to go for the gear that you’re looking for.

There it is, in bold.

One of my favorite parts of going to Niketown is spotting my name on the runners’ wall.

It sounds like such a trivial thing, to find your name on the wall, but then you look at the size of the wall. It’s completely overwhelming to see just how many women will be lining up before sunrise on Sunday morning.

Only half the width and 2/3 of the height of the wall is visible. Wow.

But oops! There was a problem. Turns out that due to a proofreading error, Nike posted the last names of A-M twice. N-Z? Sorry, out of luck. They’re reportedly correcting it before race day, but there were a lot of disappointed runners standing in front of the wall with their cameras last night.

After the obligatory wall photos, we went inside for the running-themed shopping experience of a lifetime: tons of gear, but also tons of people. I picked up a lovely half-zip top that will work both as running gear and as a casual top; if I’m spending that kind of money on stuff, it has to be multifunctional.

Of course I run to be badass. Did they think I'd choose "glamorous?" Running isn't glamorous.

Our last stop was the mini-Nike department at Macy’s, just across Union Square. Much cuter tees and hoodies than what we’d seen in Niketown, many featuring the silhouette motif that has become synonymous with the race. Macy’s was also much less crowded, so we got to stand in front of Nike-themed displays and have our pictures taken. “I run to be badass” was a popular choice.

In other race-relevant news, I should probably discuss the weather. Ordinarily, I’d pack long sleeves and pants in my race bag to keep me warm after the run. If last night was any indication of Sunday’s weather, sleeves will not be necessary. I can’t ever remember an evening in San Francisco where outerwear wasn’t required after dusk. Last night, it was still toasty warm even at 9:00 PM. I’m completely reevaluating my race weekend packing list and leaving the fleece at home in exchange for a lightweight, long sleeved technical shirt.

Questions? Comments? Let me know what’s on your mind.

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2 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    That pic doesn’t even look like you…. says the guy who’s actually never met you in person.

    You’re gonna kick ass.

  2. Alisa says:

    Jason, this only reinforces my belief that Internet friends could pass on the street and never realize it. And I’m pretty sure it’s me: tall, glasses, jeans… yep, that’s me! 😉

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