Nike Women's Marathon Expotique

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I'm running the half at the Nike Women's Marathon on Sunday. I've spectated this race many times before but this is the first year that I'm actually running it. I decided to go to the Expotique last night to avoid the sure-to-be insane crowds that will be there today.

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My cousin Shari, who doesn't run, wanted to come with me. She hadn't been to any expo before so I was excited to for her to see what the fuss was about. We took BART into the City and got off at the Powell Street station, which is right at Union Square where the Expotique is.

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Last year I had a bib for the full marathon, but I decided to run the Portland Marathon instead and ended up selling my bib to a friend. But I had to pick it up for her so I'd been to the expo before. To be quite honest, it's not my favorite expo. It's mostly just Nike promoting their own products (which I rarely run in) and freebies from their partners. Unfortunately, I also don't use most of their products either, so the expo was a rather quick experience for us.

They did have free foot massages and Paul Mitchell had set-up a hair salon and was actually doing people's hair. But the lines were super long for both services and we weren't waiting around for it.

We made our way over to the lines to pick up my bib. My cousin is rabid about taking photos since before Facebook and iPhones. This is the first time I've had so many photos taken of me at the expo.

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{verifying my info}

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Everyone says the swag is great, but other than the Tiffany's necklace that will be waiting at the Finish Line, I'm not sure what they mean. The goodie bag will full of the standard stuff - coupons and samples. However, I somehow ended up with a bracelet to get into the VIP section at the Finisher's Village. Having snuck into it last year with Missy, I'm glad to have one - nicer porta-potties, hot chocolate and chairs to sit on.

After picking up my bib, I purchased my shuttle ticket to get back to downtown from the Finish Line at Ocean Beach. I'm quite sure a regular cab wouldn't cost me $20, but I guess I'm paying for the convenience.

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Next we walked over to Niketown to find my name on the wall. At first, I just saw this:

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and was about to go ape-sh*t thinking that they cutoff my first name. We raced to the other end of the wall and found my full name, breathing a sigh of relief.

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I'm a believer that unless you actually run the race, you shouldn't wear any of the race merchandise, which is why I have never bought any of the NWM clothing. So after finding my name, we headed inside Niketown to find something to purchase. I ended up getting a purple pullover. I have the exact same pullover (albeit not race-branded) in another color, so I know it does well in cold-weather running.

Then we took some photos by the wall of the race course.

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{They spelled "Crissy Field" wrong...there's no "H" in it}

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{I love how they have added the City skyline into the marketing campaign this year}

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{Where the Finish Line awaits...I love how no flash turned out to make a kinda cool photo}

We were done with everything in less than an hour, so we made our way over to the San Francisco Center. We did some shopping at Nordstrom and ended up having dinner at the Nordstrom Cafe. I perused the menu trying to find something that my stomach could handle. I wasn't about to give in to anything I shouldn't have, being that we were now only 2 days out from race day.

The only possible option was a Dungeness crab salad, but I wasn't feeling salad. I needed more. So I asked the server if I could pull items from different dishes and create my own entree. Being that it was Nordstrom (famous for it's excellent customer service), they of course obliged.

Shari and I both ordered a plate of angel hair pasta, with grilled prawns and asparagus, sans any sauce for me.

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It was SO GOOD! It really was the perfect pre-race meal. I might be inspired to make it tonight as well.

I'm off to spend the rest of the morning at my "How to Ride A Bike" class, then plan on taking it easy for the rest of the day. I may or may not take a Bikram Yoga class in the late afternoon. I'm playing things by ear because tomorrow is an early wake-up call - race starts at 7 am!

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