Okay, I know it’s been FOREVER since I participated in the Runner’s World Half & Festival but I still want to finish recapping my amazing weekend. (Part 1 of my recap was about my 10k race)
After I had a chance to wind down from my 10k race it was time to hit the race expo. Although I wasn’t able to make it to Bethlehem on Thursday or Friday, I was still provided the opportunity to participate in a variety of the events that the other FitFluential Ambassadors attended. My first stop at the expo was to meet the folks at Altra Zero Drop Footwear and listen to Golden Harper, one of the founders of Altra, talk about the Altra Zero Drop shoes and give us some pointers on running technique.
Golden spent about 20 minutes talking to a small group of us, including myself and fellow Fitfluential Ambassadors Nicole and Sylvia, about running technique and providing us with great tips we can use to improve our technique and help us become better runners.
Golden identified 4 steps to better running:
- Balanced Forward Posture – stand tall, gaze forward; keep chest forward and shoulders back and relaxed; don’t bend at the waist
- Compact Arms – short, compact, relaxed arm movements; pump back and recover forward, don’t sway side to side; elbows should not extend in front of waist
- Proper Foot Strike – land softly underneath a bent knee; avoid overstriding and excessive heel striking
- High Cadence – maintain 170-180 steps per minute; count 30 steps per leg in 20 seconds for a 180 cadence; light, soft & quick foot placement
Golden was extremely knowledgeable about running and loaded me up with a wealth of information (and some neat tricks) that I will be putting to good use while analyzing my own running technique and looking for ways to improve. Next we were provided the opportunity to try a pair of the Altra Zero Drop shoes. Altra had both a neutral and stability shoe available at the expo; I opted to try the neutral shoe, the Intuition 1.5.
I was a little worried that Altra wouldn’t have a shoe to fit my feet because they are pretty tiny but I was told that the sizing of Altra shoes runs bigger than other shoes. My normal shoes are a size 5.5 and my running shoes have typically been a size 6 so I was delighted when the size 6.5 Altra felt the most comfortable on my feet. As soon as I put on the Altras I did not want to take them off! We were able to test them on a treadmill that was set up and I could tell that these shoes were very different than what I was accustomed too. (I have since taken the shoes for a brief 2 mile run and loved them! They will take some getting used to but I’m looking forward to running in them in the future!)
After we were finished at the Altra booth, we headed right over to the FreeMotion booth to check out some of the awesome clothing available. The representative from FreeMotion briefly talked to us about their new Fall line and showed us some of the great new pieces in the collection. We then had a chance to browse the collection and select two pieces for ourselves.
I selected a cute white short-sleeved top and then an awesome jacket! I had seen many of the FitFluential bloggers sporting this cute jacket earlier in the morning and instantly fell in love. Both the shirt and jacket are super comfortable and made from high quality material. I have worn both on several occasions already!
There were a few other booths at the expo that were generous enough to provide us with some great products. The Stick graciously provided each of us with a Stick of our choice. I tested a few and ultimately decided on the Sprinter Stick.
The Stick is very similar to a foam roller however it’s a little easier to use on your muscles (at least in my opinion). I have used my Stick several times over the last month to work out some knots and soreness in my muscles from my workouts and running!
Running Skirts was another fabulous company at the expo that provided us with a coupon for a free running skirt. I was a little hesitant about picking up a running skirt because I typically run in capris, and I’m not really comfortable in shorts. Nicole mentioned that she loved running in a skirt so I thought I would give it a try.
The Running Skirts are available with shorts or briefs under the skirt and since I’m new to the skirt, I selected the style with the shorts. I haven’t tried running in my new skirt yet because it’s a little too cold for me not to wear something on my legs but I am going to give the skirt a fair try in the summer once the weather is nicer.
After we had finished visiting with all of the booths at the expo I quickly realized that I was STARVING! I said my goodbyes to Nicole and Sylvia and headed back to my sister-in-law, Jessica’s house, for the afternoon after making a stop at Panera for some food. It is super convenient having family in the area and being able to crash in a familiar place!
I was able to rest for a little before heading back to Bethlehem to meet up with Carly. Runner’s World had a variety of discussions, movies, and seminars scheduled throughout Saturday afternoon. The idea of having a whole schedule of events before the half marathon was really neat and I would have attended some of them had I not been so tired. Carly and I did attend one of the last events on the schedule, a seminar on course strategy, and picked up a few tips for our race day strategy.
After the seminar we headed down to the pasta dinner provided by Runner’s World. Tickets to the pasta dinner were available for purchase; however we were provided complimentary admission as part of our FitFluential Ambassador experience. The dinner was a variety of pasta dishes, salad, and bread that I promptly devoured in 2 minutes. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get a picture before I ate it but it was all very delicious!
The final event on our agenda for the day was the Keynote Speaker, Matt Long. If you are not familiar with Matt’s story I highly recommend you check it out! His speech was emotional, motivating, inspiring, and nothing short of amazing. I was brought to tears several times during his presentation and left with such a great appreciation for life and the many gifts God has given me. Matt wrote a book about his experience and I’m very much looking forward to reading it.
After Matt’s speech my exhaustion hit me and I headed back to Jessica’s house to promptly pass out, I had a big day ahead of me on Sunday! (Stay tuned for part 3 of my recap, coming soon!)