On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, April 25, 2011

New York Running Show

First off, let me start by thanking you all for your amazing support on Friday. I felt really lousy about what had happened and I contemplated not writing anything about it. I'm glad I did.

On Friday, in between reading and responding to all of your nice comments, I hit up Jack Rabbit's Running Show (aka "the expo without a race") with Mz. Duffy. It was... interesting. In short, it was basically one of Jack Rabbit's stores, but bigger.

When I first got there, I found that I was actually excited. It looked like an expo! It felt like an expo! You say "race expo" and I immediately get that slight thrill. But then, walking around for a few minutes, I realized that what makes an expo exciting is the race. And in this case, there was no race. (Incidentally, there also wasn't very much free stuff to be had, another fun part of an expo.) Amongst my friends, reactions seemed to range from excitement to bewilderment: what was the point of it, anyway? Still, I do love a running event. (There was swim stuff there, too, and I tried to hide my utter boredom as Mz. Duffy discussed goggles and transition bags and other stuff that bad-ass triathletes like herself need.)

I didn't stay to see any of the speakers. I bought a pair of yurbuds and some Nuun and jetted. Speaking of Nuun, does anyone know if they've discontinued the kona kola flavor? They didn't have it there (nor did they have an actual representative with knowledge of the product manning the Nuun booth...). Let me tell you: kona kola flavored Nuun is the BEST hydration in the world and its caffeinated replacement, this iced tea flavor, is icky.

But before I jetted, I had one last errand... I stopped at the Saucony booth to pick up these:

Those wonderful free shoes are the Hattori, Saucony's answer to the barefoot running movement. Now, you all know I feel about barefoot runners. However, free is free. (Jack Rabbit had embedded a coupon deep within one of their promotional emails that the first 25 people to show the coupon got a free pair. We timed it so we'd arrive right at noon to be amongst the first.) The shoes are light. As Mz. Duffy said, they kind of feel like socks with a sole. I wore them around casually this weekend and they're comfortable. I don't see how the $80 price is justifiable, though, and I also worry about their longevity given how minimal the sole is and how thin and stretchy the upper is - I suspect they will wear out quickly.

This price issue is more than just me griping. Sometimes I feel like marketing to runners is shooting fish in a barrel. I don't have data to back this up, but running seems to be largely a pursuit of the middle to upper-middle class. People with incomes, and people who have some (often substantial) discretionary income. Tell us we need to wear a computer on our wrist? We all put down our $200 thoughtlessly. Barefoot shoes are in? Okay, let's buy those, too. The cost of new running shoes is on average over $100/pair these days, and do NOT get me started on race registration fees...

Tomorrow: could Scott Jurek be my new Frank Shorter?

One last note before I tie metaphorical cement blocks to last week's douchebag kid and throw him in the Hudson... I got one comment from a friend, off the blog, offering me nutritional tips to help me lose weight. I wanted to clarify on that just briefly: not interested. This is a running blog, 'kay? Not a diet blog and not even a healthy living blog. I've been playing around with my nutrition lately - in hopes of improving my running - and I might discuss that at some point, but weight loss tips? No thank you!


  1. Run to Scott Jurek. Run as fast as you can into his sinewy arms.

    Frank is mine. All mine.

  2. Nooooooooo, Scott Jurek is mine :)

  3. In my urge to defend Scott Jurek I forgot to mention that the nuun website still shows Kona (which for the record is my least favorite flavor! so you can have all of those!).

  4. I do regret not getting a photo with Scott Jurek. Sigh.
    But I'm glad that the flavor is still up there. I was thinking I'd probably order a case of it to last me for a while. I mean, I drink the stuff for fun when I'm not running (sad but true).

  5. LOL, I just read through my Illinois Marathon book for the half I'm doing on Saturday. Your boyfriend, Mr. Shorter, will be speaking at the Expo at 2 p.m. :-) I think I might just schedule my registration pick up so that I can eye him for real.

    Have any messages I should pass on? Or should I just look at him adoringly and think good thoughts of you at the same time?

  6. Yes! Yes! Get a photo! Get a photo!!! No messages. Just the looks.

  7. Yes, Scott Jurek is very pretty.

  8. My plan is working on everyone but Tamara... distract people with Scott Jurek talk, thus clearing a path to Frank Shorter.

  9. H.O.T. Frank is HOT HOT HOT.

    (For the record, I've come back to this post a full 24 hours after my original comment, just to see what Frank-related banter may have followed. That, my friend, brings my Frank obsession to a new level.)