Thank you guys so much for all the sweet comments on yesterday’s 5k recap. It was such a special race and one I am so proud for doing. As amazing as the race was I still have the rest of the weekend to tell you about. So if I can back up this weekend to Friday morning I want to share with you guys the amazing Blogging Event that Runner’s World hosted for us.
To paint the picture, it was pouring Friday morning. Like my sister’s driveway was flooded and it was raining buckets kind of pouring. I got to the hotel relatively dry and hopped on the van with all the other FItFluentials to head over to where the expo was being held at.
Once there we met with the awesome people from Icon Health and Fitnesss. They are responsible for brands such as Altra, Reebok, NordicTrack, Pro-Form, Free Motion Fitness, and iFit. We had an “easy, shakeout” run scheduled with Bart Yasso before our morning presentations but it was raining so much everyone debated what to do. Most of the girls (and Harold!) decided they wanted to brave the rain and do a 3 mile run with Bart. Thankfully a few girls wanted to stay out of the weather and stay dry because I was too nervous to go out there. 3 miles with super speedy girls in a horrible windchill did not seem like a good idea to me. I’m all about pushing myself to do better but I’m not about pushing myself too far. And trying to sprint the distance of my race to keep up in horrible weather conditions the day before my big race did not seem smart to me.
Instead of running I participated in a cardio circuit workout featuring Pro-Form and NordicTrack equipment. All the staff was so knowledgeable, I had the best time trying out new workouts. This was me on the incline treadmill.
After we switched circuits I went over to the bikes to learn more about cycling. I loved this machine, it could switch from incline to decline really easily.
I also got to see a brand new piece of equipment that isn’t even out yet. I will never have any use for it but there is definitely a place for it in the running community. Need to train for the Boston Marathon? Then this is your machine! It can run speeds of up to 4 minute miles! Crazy! To get it this fast they moved the engine to the back of the treadmill and it is just so sleek and beautiful. I love how all their equipment is integrated with iFit. It’s a super interactive device that lets you plug in courses from around the world (like the Disney Princess Half) and train to run them from home. It has tons of other exciting features but unfortunately it’s only available on the iPhone. As a Droid user I was majorly bummed to hear all this.
After learning and getting to try out a lot of the equipment the fearless runners were starting to get back from their run. It was breakfast time!
My breakfast. I love bagels and cream cheese!
While enjoying breakfast I got to listen to an in-depth talk from Golden Harper, the founder and creator of Altra, about running and the importance of the proper footwear while doing so. Golden holds the record for World’s Best Marathon time for a 12 year old (not kidding) at 2:45. He talked about how your foot hits the ground when you run and how that natural movement is altered in shoes that have heels on them. He talked about growing up helping his parents run a running store and how so many clients were ending up with knee and back injuries. When he started experimenting with shoes and taking the back heel out so that the foot strikes on an even point he recalls how a lot of people’s running injuries started to go away. He wanted to make the distinction though that his shoes are not minimalistic. They are supportive and padded like any other running shoe they just have a zero drop and a foot shaped footbed so that your foot hits the ground like it’s supposed to.
He mentioned that a lot of people are told they overpronate and need supportive shoes. (Like me!) He said he believes that there is too much emphasis on support shoes to prevent injuries and that there is no evidence that if you overpronate you are more likely to have an injury than someone who pronates the “correct” percentage. If you have enough room in the footbed for your toes to splay when you land on them and for the big toe to remain straight while running a lot of times that takes care of overpronation problems. And those problems might never turn in to problems, some people’s feet just naturally do different things.
He was really nice and did a camera analysis of my running stride afterwards which I was so grateful to have done. I learn I swing my right arm over my stomach when I run (your arms should never cross your bellybutton when you run, no side to side arm twisting like so many ladies do) which causes my left leg to take a longer stride than my right one. I also come down on my foot with too much of a straight leg when I run, he called it check marking, I really need to come down on more of a bent knee. I also learned that I really don’t overpronate that much. My left foot slightly overpronates but my right foot’s arch doesn’t collapse when I run. He said I am absolutely able to wear neutral shoes. He recommended that if you feel your form is breaking down while you run stop, reach forward with your hands and reach for the moon, lifting up at your hips and ankles. Then let your hands fall down from the reach position and feel how your alignment is reset.
I really believe in the passion and dedication he has for his shoes. I’ve heard so much about the less is more mentality with shoes lately and I’m sure there has to be some truth to it. I plan on trying out my Altras for running and seeing how my feet feel with them. More than anything though, I believe if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I love how I run in my Saucony Omni 11’s and they are not causing my feet any pain. As I run more I want to decrease down from the super supportive Omnis to the slightly less structured (but still supportive) Saucony Guides. He mentioned how zero drop shoes are great for people who have issues from running and if you have specific pains or injuries I definitely recommend checking them out. Their shoes feel great on my feet and are incredibly well made. I’m just so new to running I don’t want to shock my feet too much as they’re currently used to running with an 8mm drop. Running shoes are such a personal and, in my opinion, experimental thing. You have to do what’s best for your body and what’s best for your foot. What works for you won’t work for someone else and vice versa.
After the shoe talk it was time to shop! Icon Health and Fitness owns Free Motion Fitness. They make SUPER cute stuff! We were so lucky to be able to pick out a shirt and any item of our choice. If we wanted anything in addition to that we were able to get it at a heavy discount. I was in heaven, I picked out my shirt and the most adorable jacket and then bought a really cute sports bra featured on the front table in this picture. It’s what I ran with Josh in this past Sunday and LOVED it!
We all go to wear our super cute outfits to our next meeting which was with US Olympian Shalane Flanagan. She was so real and so down to Earth and it was so awesome getting to hear her answer our questions about running and training and struggles and triumphs.
I was able to get a picture! She’s so nice!
A group shot of all the FitFluentials and her! It was such a great day!
After heading to the hotel for lunch a group of us came back to the Steel Stacks for the start of the running expo. I hit up the Nissan booth to get my commemorative shirt for my first 5k!
I also went to go pick up my bib and Runner’s World t-shirt. I have read online about how much of a hassle getting your bib can be at some races but the people at Runner’s World were on the ball. The lines were quick and easy and in less than ten minutes I had my shirt, my bib, had signed my waiver form, and was all good to go!
I passed a run Disney stand that showcased all of the races and medals they offer. One day I am going to have that Princess half marathon medal! One day.
After exploring the expo and talking to the sponsors for a while (more on that tomorrow) it was time to head to dinner! A big group of us met up at Bethlehem Brew Works, a restaurant that was recommended to us by the editors of Runner’s World. As soon as I heard about it I wished Josh was there with me. He really appreciates a good brew pub.
Like my new shirt and jacket from Free Motion Fitness? I’m obsessed with the neon pops of color!
I loved the painted mural. I had so much fun hanging out and chatting with everyone over dinner.
I also LOVED dinner. I ordered butternut squash ravioli covered in a cranberry sauce with toasted bread topped with goat cheese. Heaven, much? I ate every single thing on this plate! I wish I could eat it all again.
After dinner I wanted to get a few pics with some of the lovely ladies I hung out with this weekend. I was so excited to meet Amanda from Run Principessa, I feel like in a lot of ways I already know her. Her mom ran the 5k on Saturday and I was so proud of her. What an amazing accomplishment!
It was SUCH a fun day getting to know everyone better and to learn so much about such awesome brands. This weekend was the perfect blend of my love for fitness and my love for marketing. Tomorrow I’ll be back with info about some more of the cool brands that we worked with!
Question of the Day: Are you a proponent of more minimalist-esque running shoes or do you prefer shoes with a standard drop? Why?