Friday, January 11, 2013

Flat Ben

Today is the first day of the two-day Fitness Expo in conjunction with the Chevron Houston Marathon.  The race is Sunday and I'm registered to run it, but I'm thinking of blowing it off.  You see, I just ran a half marathon last weekend and have another one - in Baton Rouge LA - planned for next weekend.  So a weekend off in between is probably a smart move, particularly since the weather forecast for race day on Sunday is for rain and 30 mph winds straight out of the north.  Definitely not the most ideal conditions.

Originally I was going to meet a running friend for lunch and afterward we were going to attend the Fitness Expo together.  However, these plans fell through so I invited Flat Ben to go with me instead.

Houston skyline
Flat Ben is from Milwaukee WI and has never been to Houston.  Coming with me to the George R. Brown Convention Center wouldn't exactly represent all that is good about Houston, but it would at least give him a taste.  So after eating lunch at home, he and I got in the car and headed north on Highway 288 toward downtown and the convention center. 

My favorite parking lot was still there - a hotel or office tower hasn't replaced it yet - and it was mostly empty (timing is everything when it comes to the fitness expo) so we had no trouble getting parked and walking the easy two blocks to the convention center.  Flat Ben wanted some photos of himself in front of some of the sights so that he could bring them back to Milwaukee with him at the end of the month.

George R. Brown Convention Center.  My neighbor
thinks it looks like a big cruise ship.  I think she's right.

George R. Brown Convention Center

There were no lines at the packet pickup area and I walked right up to the counter and claimed my race bib and then walked to the other side of the convention hall to claim my t-shirt.  Then Flat Ben and I did a little shopping.
Inside the exhibit hall at the Fitness Expo

Shoes, shoes, shoes...Brooks Running
First stop was to browse the official race logo wear, but we didn't see anything we couldn't live without.  Then it was over to the Luke's Locker booth, where I wanted to try on the new Brooks PureCadence shoe.  It's a more minimalist shoe than what I'm currently wearing and I've been curious to see how they fit and feel.   Flat Ben really liked the cool, flashy Brooks shoe colors and wanted his photo taken with them.

I tried on the Cadence 2 but with a $130 price tag, it would be a big risk.  What if I can't adapt to the minimal design with it's minimal toe ramping.  The nice Luke's store rep pulled out a pair of Cadence 1's, the Cadence 2 predecessor and marked way down.  At that price, I was willing to take the risk.  Besides...I liked the color of the Cadence 1 better than the choices for the Cadence 2. 

Discovery Green Ice Rink - currently covered to
refreeze the ice for tonight's skating
I had nothing else I needed or wanted to look at, so Flat Ben and I left the Fitness Expo and headed over to Discovery Green, a beautiful park built where empty lots and vagrants once existed in front of the convention center.  Flat Ben wanted to see the ice skating rink.  He thought it was pretty weird that a southern city like Houston would have a big outdoor ice skating rink.  So we got his photo in front of the rink.

Then we headed over to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and got his picture in front of the "juice box."  After that, we went home.
Home Plate entrance to Minute Maid Park - Home of the Astros.

Bell Tower at Minute Maid Park

Nyla decided she sorta liked Flat Ben and was trying to talk him into moving to Houston, rather than returning back to Milwaukee to his family.  I don't think Flat Ben was buying it.
Nyla greets Flat Ben and gives him a sniff.

My new Brooks PureCadence
running shoes
I put my new Cadence shoes on and walked around inside the house a bit, just to get a little more used to the feel of them.  They sort of remind me of the Earth Shoes I used to wear in the early '70's.  They were all the rage, and even had a white nursing shoe version and I wore those for years.  They were the most comfortable work shoes I'd ever owned.

While I was wearing my new shoes around the house, Nyla the cat decided to adopt the empty shoe box.

I am curious kitty cat.

Just the right size for Nyla cat.
"Pretty pink shoes, mom!"

1 comment:

  1. Flat Been looks like you were showing him a great time. I like like concept. I think Nyla was trying to whisper in his ear though.

    Isn't it funny how kitties love cardboard boxes. Our older cat Baxter loved loved loved them, whereas Basil just kind of glances at them.

    Oh and before I forget that Nyla is a gorgeous kitty.