I'm a grad student. This means that I'm poor and love free hand outs. This can be a challenge because not all free things are good for you so I sometimes find myself in a quandary. Like free pizza, for example. Free pizza means one meal I don't have to pay for. Not with money, anyway. All that
But sometimes everything works out for the best. Yesterday Brooks' double decker bus, the Cavalcade of Curiosities, came through New Orleans to promote the Rock-N-Roll Mardi Gras Marathon. And as often happens on these occasions, there was free stuff galore! I got there early so there weren't a lot of other people to compete with and meant that I didn't have to wait at all. So what did they have?
First off, they were doing free gait analysis. At the top of the bus, they had 2 treadmills and video cameras which would record your feet for 10 seconds as you jogged barefoot. It was a little awkward because they set the pace just barely faster than walking so I didn't feel like I could run normally. I ended up running on the balls of my feet (I'm normally a mid-foot striker). He explained it wouldn't be a problem and proceeded to show me how I run and make a shoe recommendation.
Backtrack: So, I normally wear Brooks' Adrenaline shoes. My first running shoes were New Balance, which were fine but I wasn't in love with them. A running friend of mine (the aforementioned "Coach") told me that she wears Brooks and loves them so I gave them a shot. I'm now on my 3rd pair of Adrenalines and recently found an amazing deal on some Adrenaline 9s that a store was clearing out (they're now making 11s). I bought a couple pairs as an early Christmas present to myself. (It's sad how excited I was about the deal. They were only $50! Woot!)
Anyway, back to yesterday. I really wanted to hear what they had to say because I'd never had anyone officially "recommend" the Adrenalines. Honestly, I think I first ended up wearing them because they were on sale. (Hey, I'm poor.) Turns out, they're exactly what Brooks recommends based on my stride! Nice. I also was pleased to learn that I don't over-pronate as much as I'd thought. Using their recording they showed me that I pronate a little under 5 degrees. Not bad at all. He said that some of the problems I had in the past with less support (IT band, piriformis syndrome) may have been due to my high arch needing a little more support. Makes sense.
I also asked about lighter weight racing shoes and got good and bad news: They recommend staying with shoes that have more support when you're running marathons. I kinda thought they'd say that but was interested in trying something new. The good news is that the Adrenaline 9 (which I have a couple of now) is 11 oz and the newer versions are both more than 1.5 ounces lighter. So when I'm looking for my next discount, it'll likely feel like I'm wearing super lightweight shoes. I guess that works.
What else was there? The local running store co-sponsoring the event - Varsity Sports - had a table, along with Team-in Training, American Cancer Society DetermiNation, and the director for the Rock-N-Roll Mardi Gras Marathon was there! I chatted it up with the race director for a while and put in my 2 cents about the 2010 race course (their first year running the event). Everyone was super friendly and I managed to walk away with 2 Brooks bandanas, a Rock-N-Roll koozie and 2 reusable bags. I can't complain.
In case you're feeling left out, Brooks is also doing daily prizes on their webpage through December. I haven't won anything yet, but not for lack of trying. Also, their bus is traveling the country. Today it's in Baton Rouge, LA but it might be near you in the coming weeks. You can find where it's headed next on the Brooks webpage.
Do you know of any free handouts or have you gotten a good deal recently?