Disclaimer: I’m promoting Miami Marathon & half and I received an entry to the Tropical 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!
The expo was a lot of fun and the lines were long but moved quickly to get race bib and race shirt. I had to pick up my race stuff for Tropical 5k and Miami Marathon at the same time, and this year it seems like everyone went as soon as the expo opened up on Friday. In past years it has been quieter and less busy on opening day of the expo but that was different this year. Also the choice of donating your race shirt to a charity instead of picking it up to never wear it, a great and eco friendly choice! Lots of foods to try and I was able to get a pack of Honey Stingers for the race, although not my typical flavor. I got a bunch of crepes to go and found out later at home that Phoebe is a big fan of them now. Was able to get a Normatec leg massage and out of the expo by 2:30pm. I spent 2 & a half hours there and could’ve spent a couple more if I didn’t mind sitting in traffic on the way home.
Saturday morning – Arrived at Jungle Island and parked early, so early that the ticket machine wasn’t even dispensing parking tickets yet. I started walking over to the starting line about 45 min before the race started and luckily one of the buses saw me and stopped so I could get on for the rest of the walk. The air was cool and breezy but the rain had finally stopped from the night before. I said hello to a couple of friends in the corral before the race started. I reached the finish line and headed to the timing tent, my time was not showing up on the screen so I had to get it fixed by the timing guys before I left to check out the finishers party. I couldn’t stay and hang out because I had to get Phoebe to swim class and had to catch the bus back to Jungle Island so grabbed a couple snacks on the way out.
I love this race, it is my hometown race where I get to run through so many different neighborhoods/areas filled with memories for me. Going into this race I was feeling prepared but realized by the weather that I would need to slow down and not go for my A goal. Waking up early lately has been a struggle but wasn’t so difficult when I knew I had to run a marathon that morning, got up early and dressed and headed to AAA to park before the race. Went to the charity village and met up with one of my local run clubs for a pre race photo and then headed back to AAA to use a real bathroom before the race. The corral on race morning is abuzz with energy, you can feel all the excitement and anxiety. As usual I started the race a little fast but slowly eased back a bit and fell into a good pace for myself. Something that helped a long the way out of Miami Beach was the athletes pushing the wheelchairs, one in particular kept playing Bon Jovi on a handheld speaker and would sing along with the song. Everyone who knows me, knows I am not a fan of Bon Jovi at all but the change in mood/music option helped me through that part of the race and almost brought tears to my eyes. Super inspiring and makes me think that maybe one day I could help and be pushing one of those wheelchairs to help someone achieve their goal of running a race even if they cannot walk.
Just before the half marathon split I was questioning myself as to if I could really finish the full marathon. I got in my head and finally talked myself out of it with the idea that the 2nd half would be fun and less crowded, I think I was just getting annoyed by all the elbows I was taking to the arm with the crowds. I was looking for the people that usually give out popscicles in Brickell but they didn’t seem to be there this year, that was a bummer. I drank from most of the water stops on the final 13.1 of the course and made sure to get all the free pineapple slices along the way, that really seems to help me, even more than the fuel I bring for myself.
Along the path to the Grove I thought about my grandma who recently died and how when I was running my first Miami marathon in 2014 she called me when I was 16 miles in and mentioned that it was going to rain. Sure enough right after I got off the phone with her it had started to ran and continued for the next 6 miles at least, a very soggy few miles. I thought about her while running by Mercy hospital, where she had gone a couple of times for dr appointments and mentioned them to me. It has been an emotional few months for my family with the loss of my grandma as well as her dog so those were a few things on my mind during those last few miles.
Once I saw that final bridge I knew the end was near and there was not much more time left of the race, which helped me that final energy to stop with the ultra marathon walk and run strategy that I was started to use and get across that finish line. Something I haven’t noticed in the past was this rug/soft mat just before the line, it really felt good to run on at the end!
Another great Miami Marathon weekend in the books, already registered for 2021 Miami Marathon and hope you register when it opens again in May!