Flashback: Chicago Marathon 2012 Expo…bargains galore!

So I guess this is a bit backwards since we already told you about the bus crash on our way out of the Chicago Marathon Expo in this post, and we mentioned the magic pink tape in this post…..but when have we ever done anything not backwards!


So we already told you about our struggle to GET to the expo, our unintentional breaking of coaches orders not to walk too much the day before the marathon….when we made it to the expo our #1 agenda item was packet pick up.

After getting our numbers, and checking that our electronic tags were indeed working with the fancy machine that knew our names we headed to pick up our shirts. Now, these people were strategic…they placed the t-shirt pick up at the other end of the expo than the packet pick up but we were on a mission not to be swayed by the shiny running gear….we had to get those shirts…until we saw the Verizon booth. Instantly our focus was broken and we (who have been referred to by professionals as “heavy data users”) had to stop.

I was immediately smitten by a Mophie charging device which charged on the go…since i am terminally out of battery with a flashing red light, I knew I had to have it. Somewhere in the conversation with the nice Verizon man I mentioned that I was distressed that they had stopped the grandfathering of their unlimited data plans……Kacey froze. She apparently had missed this memo and couldn’t believe the serious nature of this new news. I attempted to recover the situation by saying that it was ok, as long as we never changed our phones (or bought illegal replacements without renewing our plans) we would not lose our data privileges. This did not seem to help much, since she was now contemplating keeping her phone for ever verses a “limited” data plan!

As she stood in shock wondering how many picture messages you could send with 2GB…I set to negotiating on this portable charger. They had this deal going where you could earn a discount by throwing bean bags into a hole – a game referred to as cornhole or some other not so polite name I believe…..2 bean bags in the hole 10% discount, 3 bean bags in the hole 15% discount etc. I dislike any sports requiring hand-eye co-ordination (hello…this is why I run!) and also dislike public humiliation…so I tried to convince the guy to just give me the discount. He wasn’t having it. So my next plan was to nominate Kacey to throw on my behalf. You see I was counting on her softball experience and felt sure she would be a ringer at this game. Sadly, she got 1 bean bag in the hole. No discount. Now we had a serious problem. All my negotiation skills and tactics had failed and the Verizon guy said “…well you can try”……oh well, apparently I will do anything for a discount. By some miracle I got 3 of the 4 bean bags in the hole. I was in shock! How had this possibly happened. Now on a roll, I asked if we could add my 3 bean bags to Kacey’s 1 bean bag for the full 20% discount. It worked and he gave me 20% off! It later occured to me that I think I get a 20% discount on Verizon accessories through my job….but that was NOT the point. 😉

So….after this slight deviation we were back on the path of the T-shirts. We made it without further distraction. We then set about making a round of the expo to see what goodies there were to be had. We tried yummy samples of Power Crunch bars (which have since become a staple at our house), we drank gatorade and we looked at ALL the available “Chicago Marathon Clothing.”

Finding my name on the wall!

Finding my name on the wall!

Then we walked by the KT Tape booth. I have to confess that I had been secretly googling this KT tape and asking my massage therapist leading questions about it in the weeks leading up to the marathon. I had the words ringing in my ears “never try anything new on marathon day”, but I was concerned about my IT Band. It had been complaining at mileage above 17 miles. I had been resting it and massaging it, but I had also mentally prepared myself to run through it beyond mile 17….what if this tape was the answer. There was a long line at the booth of people thinking the same thing. They were taping for free and there were people being taped in any and every way you can imagine. I didn’t care about the free….I wanted to know if this stuff worked and MORE importantly I wanted to know if there was any way it could screw up my marathon! I quickly realized that even I wasn’t going to bare my butt in the middle of this expo, even though the rep said we have a towel…..REALLY, I think you would need a tent to tape my butt and IT band! So I interrogated that rep..everything short of a spotlight..I told him I had googled them. That I had read the theory of increased blood flow and external support, but I wanted his reassurance that this wasn’t going to screw up my race! This was obviously something that no-one could answer for me, but that poor man tried. He said he had never heard of anyone regretting using the tape. But that wasn’t enough for me. I continued until he gave me his email address and said you let me know on Monday! I finally decided to buy some, and the expo special was 1 roll for $20, 2 for $30. Well if 1 roll is good, clearly 2 is better! His credit card swiper wasn’t working, so he  would have to type in all the numbers….I said I have $25 cash….and he said DONE! I think he may just have wanted us to leave his booth, since we were making so much of a scene…but a bargain is a bargain! I chose pink…..

So we were watching a youtube video on how to tape my butt with KT tape at the exact moment of the bus crash. Once we made it back to the hotel we set about recreating this taping method. I asked Kacey if she wanted to tape her butt….and after standing there quietly while I interrogated that poor man, and taping my butt…she said “now way, I’ve gotta run a marathon tomorrow”….better the devil you know I guess! 😉

Well, do you know what? That magic pink tape worked….either that or it was the taper, rest, massage…but I had no IT band pain for the whole race. I had other crazy pains that I had never had in training, but not that one thing that I had mentally prepared myself to accept!

oh, look! you can just see the magic pink tape peaking out at the bottom of my capris in this photo!

oh, look! you can just see the magic pink tape peaking out at the bottom of my capris in this photo!

So that is the story of the 2012 Chicago Marathon Expo and the bargains and the magic pink tape…I wonder what the 2013 marathon expo will bring!


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