I love a good race expo, and the Rock & Roll series usually puts on a great one. We headed there as soon as we got checked into the hotel and settled. It was also a good way to test the metro route we would take the next day. I was expecting huge security lines and a long wait for packets, but as my friend Kristiana (who flew in from Chicago to be my race support) said, “That’s part of the fun!” When we got to the DC armory, there was no line and we got our packets quickly. Hurrah! Katie decided to run with the 3:55 pace group and need to change corrals. Since all they did was put a green sticker with a hand-written 8 on her bib, I asked to change my corral too, so we could be together as long as possible before the start. Done. On to t-shirts– I’m thrilled that RnR finally took my advice (ha) and offered a women’s cut T. I had ordered a small, because I tend to always end up,with a too-big T that I never wear, and since it’s a tech tee I wanted to not hate it. I have never, ever worn my unisex tech tees from Nashville because they make me look like I’m wearing a big old box. No thank you. But when I saw the small, it was *gulp* truly small! But it does fit and I really like the design, despite it being navy, like so many of the RnR tees seem to be. (pic of the tee in my forthcoming day after race post)

 Things I Allowed Myself to Do at The Expo:

Give Brooks my email address so that I could play their carnival games

Give Brooks $25 for the softest, comfiest, brightest fluorescent yellow arm warmers ever.

Touch the Moving Comfort running thong (No. Just no. People, please.)

Have my picture taken with some dude who was on The Bachelor and now hocs chocolate milk as a recovery drink.

Make a video about why I love chocolate milk as a recovery drink (I really do, actually).

Spend $12 on running stickers (some were gifts).

Get tips on foam rolling from the Trigger Point people (ahhhhhhh)

Most Important Thing I Did Not Do at the Expo:

Consume anything. I still had Vegas on the brain.

We left the expo and went straight to Vapiano for dinner: bread, caesar salad, and campardelle olive oil, garlic, and chicken breast. the food was great, but I find their shtick with the cards (you order food from a station, swipe a card each time you add on, and then take your card to pay when you’re done) to be tedious and a great example of technology making things more difficult than it should be.

Katie’s husband and kids joined us for dinner, and Jason told me it was a lot easier to run in DC than in Atlanta–he thinks partly because it’s flat and partly because it’s at sea level, about 800-900 feet lower than us. I tried hard to hide my delight, but it made me happy.

Carbs. No eating the rainbow before a race.

We said goodbye to Katie and Co. after dinner. Kristiana and I took a cab back to the hotel because all the walking had really started to bother my right hip flexor–a totally new pain, which of course had me worrying myself into a frenzy furrowing my brow.

Back at the hotel, I got race-ready: pinned my bib on–up high this time so I might actually get an identifiable picture, then used KT tape to put my name on my shirt. I wanted all the support I could get, so on went my name (post-race note: the KT tape stayed on the whole time, didn’t bother me, and came off clean at the end. I recommend it.) Filled my Gatorade and water bottles, put my timing chip on, and made sure my GU, gum and Chapstick were all in their assigned pockets. Garmin, iPod shuffle, and phone went on their chargers. And I stretched and foam rolled. A few good luck texts and FaceTime calls were exchanged with family and friends, and Kristiana and I prayed together. Then, bedtime. Alarm set for 5:15 AM.

KT Tape: Not just for injuries anymore