305 Half Marathon – March 1, 2020 – Race Review

I’m promoting 305 Half 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!

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Going into this race I was probably really under trained, well I guess as under trained as one can be 3 weeks after running a marathon. But really I hadn’t been running much in the past few weeks – first was recovering from the marathon week and then taking care of Phoebe with the flu and then getting it myself – so in the time between races I only ran minimally for 2 weeks but not regularly. I ran my longest run since the marathon on the Friday before this race: 7 miles. Maybe there is something to running less and running better or maybe it was just my new shoes and the newness inspiring me. There are so many factors that could have been at play in how I actually did at the race. I really went into this race just trying to survive and if anything get under 2:10 since I was not feeling confident about my pace/endurance.

Packet pick up for this race was the best I have experienced in awhile and one of the locations was close to my house and job, no more racing to Dadeland station to pick up my race stuff a few days before the race. I like that lately more races are having multiple locations for packet pickup to help runners in different parts of Miami.

Race morning was chilly enough to wear my earband for at least half of the race and this year I got to wear my arm sleeves, that hardly ever happens for South Florida races, the last time I got to wear arm sleeves for a race was Miami Marathon 2017. The temps were around the low to mid 50s before the race began, I headed to the port o potties before the race, this year they were in the dark, unlike last year. Got to the start line an hour before the race began, talked to a couple of friends before getting into the corral, talked to my Bibrave teammate, Mike before the race also. I did have a giggle at some participants who were wearing puffy jackets in the corral, WOW! I started out fast, as usual and got in front of the 2 hr pacer early on. Then started the bridges, Julia Tuttle, usually I feel really terrible by the time I get to the top of the first bridge but this year for some reason I felt okay and not like I was going to die. By the time I was getting out of the Julia Tuttle bridge I was still feeling pretty decent and it was starting to heat up, I tucked my earband into the back of my shorts and felt the coolness refreshing my sweaty ears.

I didn’t grab too much water and did not even use my Honey Stinger energy chews at all (crazy!) during this race but around mile 6 I got my first sip of water on the course. A few miles later the 2 hr pacer was gaining on me and getting to the water stop was a pain with a rude man cutting in front of me, nearly tripping me to get a water cup. After that water station drama and I got another sip of water I got the hell up that McArthur and away from the pace group and rude man. I didn’t see them again the rest of the race, luckily! But I was getting to the part of the race that I usually start fading but my Bibrave teammate, Mike passed me and that gave me the extra motivation to keep pushing. Mike was making it look easy as he ran ahead of me, wearing his aftershokz and not slowing his even pace, he did speed off a few miles later. At that point I was not going to slow down, I was a mile and a half to the finish line and on the final bridge was one of my favorite runners in South Florida and the mayor of Miami running, Harolyn, cheering us on and if you know her, you love her!

Probably the toughest part of this race for me was the final mile, when you are running on the beach serpentine (our boardwalk) and the sun is way up by then and it starts getting really toasty. I passed the time by watching a team of runners celebrating someone named Lisa’s 50th half? or 50th birthday? And being a Lisa, I took notice of the shirts and eventually I ran into the Lisa who’s own shirt stated : My 50th and congratulated her saying she must be the famous Lisa that I had been reading about along the course. She was happy to be recognized by her friend’s shirts and then I took off, feeding off the happy energy of the moment. In the past few years I have been less focused on my times and more on having fun while on the course, even if that means slowing down to help motivate my friends or cheering on the first place runners (in point to point races). Looking at my watch when I was about .30 from the finish line, a forever endless mile, that last one I was happy to see I would be finishing in less than 2 hrs! The year before I was a few minutes over 2 hrs and the first year of this 3 year series I was a minute under 2:00. I was happily surprise with my 1:58:25 finish time! I made sure to congratulate the girl closest to me after we crossed the line and she congratulated me too and mentioned how she was focusing on my bird shorts to motivate her to the finish line, lol. Love the randomness of that, finding something or someone to focus on to get you through the tough parts of a race. I walked around after and saw Mike after the finish line, unknowing that he had just had a huge PR! Congrats Mike on your first sub 2 half marathon finish!! I took some pics, collected my Florida Storm Series 4 medal and then headed back to the finish line to cheer on friends and strangers before I left. Plus I got to witness the bandits being pulled from the course just before the finish chute and people wearing their bibs on their back (cmon people, so much for those free race pics lol) getting offended when they were questioned about their bibs. I wish less runners had headphones on SO that they would actually hear us cheering them on!!

Overall another great experience at 305 Half and cannot wait till next year to start the 3 year series over again! If you are not signed up already, what are you waiting for? The prices are the lowest they will ever be but only until 3/10! Sign up for the only race that gives out cafecitos race morning! I signed up today on 305 day!

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Miami Marathon 2020 weekend – Expo, Tropical 5k and Miami Marathon

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!

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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!

 

 

305 Half Marathon 2020

Disclaimer: I’m promoting 305 Half 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!

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In less than 6 days I will be completing my 3 year race series to earn my “5” medal. This year it is sure to be a challenge for me as I am still recovering from having the flu last week. I usually go with the 2 hr pacer in this race but this year I think I am going to forego any pacers in hopes that I can find my own pace easily and not burn myself out on the first major bridge/causeway of the race. I do not want to end up in the med tent or riding in the back of an ambulance away from the race finish line. Right now I will have to start thinking what exactly I need to make my race the least painful this year.

I have been running this course since 2013, it is probably the reason that I keep signing up for this race, despite my dislike for the course lol. It was my first half marathon ever, the start of my long distance running. Back then it was part of an Allstate insurance sponsored race series.

I have wrote race reviews nearly every single year, minus the year I ran it pregnant and the year after I believe. My fastest time on this course was 1:54 back in 2016, right after I had Phoebe.

It really is a nice course and often during the race people will stop on the bridge and take pictures of the bay and sunrise. The race starts right beside the beach on Ocean Drive and ends on the beach with a short tour of the downtown area. I advise you to bring along some sunglasses for the route back to the beach as the sun will be out in full force by that time.

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There is still time to register for this race with a huge beach party at the end – Use code “BIBRAVE305” for $5 off half only

 

Miami Marathon 2020

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Miami Marathon and received free entry to 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!

We are now a little less than a month away from race weekend. I will be starting the race weekend like I have the past few years with the Tropical 5k race. It’s a great way to involve the whole family in race weekend, I usually am joined by my boyfriend and daughter gets pushed in her stroller for a nice little warm up for race weekend. Last year the temps were cool but it did rain the entire night before and stopped just before to then again start up right as the race began. Hoping for some cool weather with no rain or wind this year!

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I am going into Miami Marathon with no real time goals, training has been up and down in the past few months due to a lot of things. I ran Space Coast Marathon in December and used it as a training run as well as Vista View 360 ultramarathon. It definitely has been a strange training cycle, who else runs an ultramarathon (and further than I have ever ran ever, 29 miles!) to train for a marathon? Overall I am going to have fun and love running through my hometown.

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This will be my 8th year taking part in Miami Marathon weekend, It all started when I ran Tropical 5k back in 2013, about 6 months after I began running. It was quite an experience and to end by the beach was a pretty cool finish line.

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I’m looking forward to the expo for race weekend as well and hope to plan a meet up with my Oiselle volee teammates for the race as well! The expo is always fun, lots to see, lots of friends to run into and the VIP experience is pretty amazing too. I will take more advantage of it this year and spend more time in the Normatec boots 😉 I will be taking off the day from work to attend and urge you to also, even if you aren’t running any of the races that weekend.

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This year I will be running my 8th marathon, my 6th Miami Marathon! One day I may get that BQ there but this won’t be that year, eventually my goals and the stars will align to get me there!

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Still haven’t signed up? Use the code BIBRAVEMIAMI to get a discount when you register for the half or marathon distance! Hope to see you there! And check back here for a post race review also! Bet you didn’t know Miami Marathon is on the Bibrave 100 list of best races in America!

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Writers Block not Runners Block

The past few months have been a whirlwind of things happening in my life.

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Let’s start with end of March, I managed to fall on a sidewalk in a park, tearing off a big chunk of skin from my elbow and causing some hip pains for the next week.

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Then in April I managed to kill two treadmills in a week, well one was on its last leg after the thousand miles I had spent on it for the past 6 years or so. It was not such a shock but the replacement treadmill bought months before used also had major problems. From the first run on it till the whole belt folded and almost threw me off the thing! Trashed that one as well. I rely heavily on the treadmill certain times of year and during major training due to childcare things, I get in my early morning runs on the treadmill or late night runs while watching my kid sleep in her bed by baby monitor. I had to get a new treadmill ASAP so I got one from amazon, a Proform which is not the best as its had some rust issues after only a short time and not being exposed to the elements but it works and I can get my miles in! Then mid April my grandmother had a heart attack and almost died from it, major stress for the entire family. She ended up pulling through and is back to herself again.

May ended up being my 2nd highest mileage month for the year, which was surprising since I had to work early for half of the month. Also I turned the big 3-8! Ran the ALS 10k in Coconut Grove, it had been a few years since I had ran the race and ended up happy with my slower than usual time. Felt strong but steady in the race despite the high humidity and heat.

June and July were slow running months for me, probably in part due to the heat of the summer months and then planning Phoebe’s 4th birthday party and traveling to Seattle and Alaska. I hit 1000 miles for the year in June. I enjoyed running in Seattle, where the morning temps were 58 but I was not really feeling those huge hills! We stayed in the downtown area and I walked up more than one of the hills in the middle of the run. Luckily I was able to borrow a bob stroller so we could take Phoebe out for some runs as well while we were there, thanks to one of my Oiselle Volee teammates! It was a little more difficult to square away an hour while cruising through Alaska on a boat but I managed to run 4 of the 7 days we were onboard. July was my lowest mileage month for the year – just got in a little less than 100 miles.

August brought on a new challenge of getting back into a schedule again after being on vacation for 10 days! The first part of the month started off slowly as I tried to get back out of the running rut, then Phoebe got a cold and more things piled in front of miles. Also this was the month that I started my Space Coast Marathon training, slowly. Phoebe started VPK and I went to see Bush in concert, it had been awhile since I went to a concert and many years since I had seen them live.

September was the month that I started getting serious about my mileage goals again. I started extending my long runs past that 13 mile mark and hit 50 miles for 2 weeks in a row at the end of the month. Still trying to get back into being a morning runner but my evening road runs are getting faster and feeling easier and the weather hasn’t yet started to cool down yet. I look forward to cooler temps, but I don’t expect to see that happening for another few months. I took a hands only CPR class and learned some new things, feeling confident I can help someone out in an emergency situation.

October has just started but going to work hard this month with waking up early again to run. I don’t yet know what I can promise myself for accomplishing this goal but no doubt I can figure something out. Now I am in the middle of marathon training for Space Coast Marathon and at the beginning of training for Miami Marathon. Not so smart but what are you gonna do when you want to do both marathons and they just happen to be only 8 weeks apart? Simultaneously marathon training, fun times!

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At the beginning of the year I made a goal to read at least 12 books this year, I figured it would be extremely hard because ever since Phoebe was born I feel like there’s no time to read. I am happy to announce that I am currently only book #35 for the year so maybe I will adjust my reading goal to 52 instead?

Haven’t signed up for Miami Marathon yet and want a discount on your registration? Use this code for $5 off – BIBRAVEMIAMI

 

 

 

Road ID – wrist ID pin-tuck style

Disclaimer: I received an Road ID wrist ID to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

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I have been wearing a Road ID since 2013, less than a year after I started running I made sure to purchase one. At the time I did not see too many runners wearing them but I wanted to be safe since I was running a lot on my own at dark o clock before work. I remember the first event I wore my Road ID ironically enough I did not even run it, I walked a Mercedes Benz Corporate Run 5k.

Since purchasing my first Road Id back in 2013, I purchased another one in 2014 to update the emergency call numbers and get an updated color. My original band was the silicone stretch band and I got it in black, when I updated I got it in a teal color and continued wearing that one (nonstop) till I received this new style. Another way to add a little flare to your wrist ID is to add a badge, they have a bunch of kinds and metal colors. You can see my previous band had a saturn badge, that is not currently available but maybe in the future they will bring it back and in a rose gold. Crossing my fingers, for that one 🙂

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 I wanted to branch out with my new Road ID and try out a different style so I selected a 13mm rose gold pin tuck wrist ID band. Usually I am not a gold wearing lady but I have lately been intrigued by the rose gold color so I went with it instead of my usual silver colored metals (or slate according to road ID). Right out of the box I could tell this band was more grown up and professional than the regular silicone band I had been previously using. It looks classy and is functional, I like my running gear to have both of those qualities! I was also looking at the leather buckle band but for ethical reasons (vegetarian/vegan) I passed but it did look nice, if there would be a faux leather band I may have selected that one.

 

I’m sure most users of Road ID just put it on when they are going for a run/ride but I wear mine all the time. I don’t want to forget to put it on plus something could happen anywhere, not just while I am running and I want the emergency personnel to know my info in case there is no one around that knows my name or info. I can imagine going to a grocery store and something bizarre happening and passing out and at least the workers/emts can contact someone from the two numbers listed while I am in an ambulance.

This is one piece of running gear that is a necessity in my opinion, especially while running on the road in crazy distracted driver territory, which is all of Miami! I know that some people may carry there license while running but I do not find it necessary as long as I am wearing my road ID. I haven’t ever had any issues of weakening silicone or turning of colors on the information plate of these either so they are super durable. I wear mine in pools and showers and is still looks new. After all this time of wearing it nonstop it has only came off once while I was sleeping since it is a pin tuck latch.

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Also while checking out at RoadID.com you have the option of making a donation to the 4 Paws for Ability charity which provides service dogs to children in need. How awesome is that? Donating to a great cause while getting a wrist ID to keep yourself safe while out.

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Comment below with other ways you stay safe on the run and I will randomly select a comment and provide  a $10 off code for one lucky reader to get their own Road ID!

 

Ultimately my favorite headphones : Aftershokz Trekz Air

“Disclaimer: I received some Aftershokz Trekz Airs  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

This is not my first pair of trekz air and definitely will be purchasing some for friends and family this week as there is a major sale going on at Aftershokz this week to celebrate dads (Father’s day is on Sunday!) and grads (all the college/highschoolers who graduated this month). Head over to aftershokz.com to take advantage of some great deals after reading this review.

In the past few months my road running has minimized as it’s harder to find time to get out there between work and kid duties and now I have the added obstacle of weather since its summer and super rainy season here in Florida. Also I got a treadmill and it’s not a squeaky old thing that makes a lot of noise so hearing my music and streaming movies/shows has gotten more enjoyable as well. I have ran through marathons of tv shows in the past few months thanks to the awesomeness of my trekz airs.

These things are awesome and don’t go in your ear so they won’t irritate your ears, that was a major issue I had with wireless headphones in the past. They are bone conducting meaning they sit in front of your ear but do not transmit the sound through your ear but rather through your cheekbones to your inner ear. Never blocking your ears from hearing danger around you or other things you might need to listen out for, like toddlers in baby monitors crying. It really helps me when I am doing a treadmill run and watching a tv show on my tablet and my toddler wakes and starts crying for me. I can then get to her to calm her before she has a total meltdown. Another parental advantage to these headphones is on those relaxing but tiring nights when you just want to zone out in your favorite tv show but cuddle with your little one you can easily. My daughter gets to cuddle up with me while watching her show on the large tv screen and I can watch my netflix/hulu not kid friendly language shows without disturbing her or teaching her some new words 😉 . That feature alone has come in really helpful since that time I let her watch G.L.O.W with me and she asked me what was a douchebag? LOL.

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I don’t spend as much time road running with music anymore but on the off chance I can when running with the stroller I need to keep my ears open for any erratic drivers. Now I can hear some music to fuel my pace as well as listen out for when my toddler needs me to stop so she can get some more snacks/water.

While traveling I have used these on a plane and had no issues hearing the shows/movies I was watching, even without using the provided earplugs for use in safe situations where you need to block outside noise out. My boyfriend even watched Birdbox using them on the flight back and had no issues hearing the movie fully. I haven’t let my toddler borrow them yet but I might when we fly to Seattle next month and have a long flight to get there. They might be slightly big for her tiny head but will probably work, will have to test out that soon!

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I have answered a phone call while running using these connected to my tablet and it gave me no issues in hearing the caller or picking up the call. All very simple and easy to use wireless headphone. Another thing that is super helpful about these things is that they are sweat resistant which is necessary in Miami. I produce what seems like gallons of sweat while running on the treadmill even and my trekz airs have never had any issues after being soaked from all the sweat on them. I just dry the sweat off of them with a paper towel and put them back in the zippered case they came with. I’m guessing I will be spending more time on a treadmill while on a cruise next month so I will not forget these and not forget to download some good shows before setting sail. Looking forward to the new season of Orange is the New Black and other good finds while traveling.

Do you have any aftershokz bone conducting headphones? How much do you love them? If you have not yet tried them hurry over to their website and get them on sale. Sale running from 6/9-6/16!

Have any recommendations for good netflix/hulu/amazon prime video shows/movies to watch? Let me know below in the comments.

Summer running plans: Road running or treadmill running?