Miami Marathon 2019

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k and am promoting Miami Marathon 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!”

I am all signed up for both races of Miami Marathon weekend once again! This is the 3rd year that I will run both the Tropical 5k (as my shakeout run) and the Miami Marathon the next day 😉

Going to share a few of my favorite pics from my Miami Marathons/Tropical 5ks of the past (2013-2018)

 

Save $10 off registration with the code: BIBRAVE19 at checkout!

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Shady Rays – Running sunglasses review

Disclaimer: I received an pair of Shady Rays 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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Let me start out by saying I had never heard of this brand before but I will definitely be keeping an eye on them since trying out these sunglasses. In the recent maybe 6 months to a year I have started wearing sunglasses while running on super sunny afternoon runs or when its very humid and the gnats are out. I remember reading once in Kara Goucher ‘s Running for Women book how she mentions to run wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes and prevent some of those eye wrinkles. I never really thought about it till recently and hardly have worn sunglasses while running before but then again I used to be an early morning runner, still am but nowadays on a treadmill so I didn’t really require sunglasses for too many runs. Now though I do a lot of running after work and its blazing hot and super sunny so it’s pretty much a requirement.

I picked a pair of the signature series called blackout polarized, figure I could use them for everyday sunglasses as well as running sunglasses. In fact as soon as I got them in the mail I immediately opened the box and wore them out driving my daughter to swim class. Later that day I got to test them on a run, now Miami running definitely requires a sunglasses that does not steam up because we run in extremely humid and hot conditions probably 10 months out of the year. These were perfect for humid running, no fogging up or bouncing/sliding while running. I have yet to be able to try them out in a race condition but I could see them doing really well with faster running paces, and I will get to try them out in a few weeks for that.

On the website it says:  Our shades feature shatter-resistant (this is awesome for runners with small children who like to throw sunglasses on the ground often!), high-visibility Polarized lenses with durable construction that we stand behind with a Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Free Replacements if Lost or Broken. So they will actually replace your lost or broken sunglasses for free, only pay for the shipping charge! That is not even the coolest thing about this company. With each purchase you provide 11 meals through Feeding America to fight hunger in America! Now that is amazing!

I got a chance to wear them for at least 100 miles of running at this point and they do not disappoint me one bit. As a bonus they work very well in keeping gnats out of your eyeballs during the humid after the rain runs as well, because no one wants to stop 30x to pick out the gnats during a run 🙂

Interested in trying these beauties out, use the code BIBRAVE for 50% off your order of 2 pair of Shady Rays, basically thats a BOGO (buy one get one free) kind of deal! I’m thinking about getting another pair myself, trying to decide which frame/lense combo I should get, they have a fun wooden looking design now too!

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Coros Pace : multi-sport gps watch review

“Disclaimer: I received a Coros Pace multi sport watch 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!”

Let me start by saying I used to just rely on an app on my phone while running to track my time/pace/distance until about 3 years ago after I had my daughter, then I got a well known but slightly outdated gps watch and started using it. Probably not a great idea to get a watch after coming back from 6 weeks off and on the track of losing baby weight. But at the time I just hit start and would run, I never even figured or learned about all the features until years later. Then I got my Coros pace watch and wow, what an amazing watch, it does so many things that amaze me. I know I am behind in the gps watch world but this watch is a smart gps watch, I can even see texts, fb messenger messages and the weather on this thing! Your workouts all sync immediately to your phone so no waiting to see your pace splits or average/max heart rate info after you finish, super fast compared to other gps watches out there.

When I received this watch I was expecting to get in more pool time and start swimming and aqua jogging but so far only got in one short swim while wearing it. I will say I was a little paranoid about putting it under water but then got over it quickly and it works great. I need to learn more swimming moves, maybe Phoebe will teach me since she’s in swimming class now when she advances more and maybe my parent’s pool will be fixed before summer is over to get in more swim time with this watch. But that is not the feature that I was really looking forward to.

I wanted to try this watch mainly because of its wrist based optical heart rate monitor, I have been reading a lot about low heart rate running lately and wanted to see where I was with that. Surprisingly I have found while using this watch that my heart rate is pretty low while even going at moderate pace and even during a 5k where I was pushing the stroller I did not go over 185. The only thing that kind of annoyed me was that during the final half mile of the 5k my heart rate monitor showed extremely low heart rate, which was not possible for my fast pace at the moment. It was due to the huge amount of sweat on my wrist at the moment during the race, after I dried it off a little bit it started to work properly again but it was a bit annoying in the middle of the race to get low readings. So I will say in sweaty swampy conditions the heart rate monitor sensor may be too saturated with sweat to give a proper reading. Although it does seem harder for me to say within the aerobic threshold zone while pushing the stroller for longer distances, especially on humid days (which is pretty much all the time here!). It is super cool to know these stats and work on staying within a certain heart rate zone and there is an option to put an alert so that I know where I am within the zone every few minutes while on the run. I took off the alert for my treadmill runs recently but still have it alerting me while I run on the roads.

Also very cool feature is basically alerting me to everything that my phone sends alerts for: texts, facebook messages, weather alerts, slack messages, whatsapp messages. And the range between where my phone is and my watch goes pretty far so I can use the bathroom at work and get alerts when I don’t even have my phone with me! I can even ignore a call that is coming in to my phone from a click of a button on the watch.

Recently at a party all my friends were checking their heart rates by strapping on my watch and we were trying to figure out why certain people had such heart rates. So not only for fitness, this watch is a party conversation piece/game, seems the males in the group had higher heart rates than the ladies. Sometimes I just randomly check my heart rate while at work by using this watch.

The data screens can be customized to show heart rate on top with overall moving time on bottom, or pace/time. or distance/pace and you can switch through the screens while on the run too! A neat thing that I have noticed is that when I pause my run, this happens when I run to the park with my daughter to play in the playground I can still monitor my heart rate and see my distance, time moving/time paused info on the watch. I kinda like watching my heart rate slowly return to low after stopping while she plays. Each time you hit your exercise goal for the day it awards you an Exercise Time Goal Achieved badge on the watch and on the phone app you will earn badges for distances achieved for each of the sports (running, swimming, cycling) which is pretty cool. Will be earning all those running badges soon enough as I have a fall marathon to start training for soon!

I haven’t gotten the chance to try the cycling feature on the watch yet, currently debating if I really need a bike or not. Miami is not a safe place to ride bike so I am pretty fearful of riding around here, maybe if I go on vacation I will try out the cycling feature.

This watch is made by a well known cycling helmet company and is well made and comparable to other well known gps watch brands currently on the market. They are still releasing a few firmware updates for the watch so every few weeks there is new features being added to the watch, can’t wait to see what new updates are in store for June. But as of right now, I am in love with this watch and will not be using any other GPS watch to track my running/swimming/cycling progress. I would never wear my other gps watch while not running but this one I almost never take it off. Plus the battery life is amazing so I hardly have to charge it. I have had this watch for about a month and have only charged it 2x since and have used it to run pretty much everyday and sometimes twice a day and I have still never ran the battery lower than 27%. According to the official site the watch battery lasts for 30 days in standard mode or 25 hrs in gps mode so sounds likes it would be perfect for even up to 100 mile runs! Not that I am ready for that just yet but maybe a 50 miler next year?

You can find out more about this watch here. 

Athlinks.com – Success! Thanks for claiming your results! The new easy way to keep all your race results in one place!

I started running in 2012 and only did one timed race at the end of that year. I think I discovered Athlinks at the beginning of 2013 when I felt like I was truly a real runner. Everyone that has ever logged their race times in a notebook will be happy to have all this info on an easy to use website that has all those stats from far back.

A few years later they started adding other features like runner tracking and adding rivals/friends to your profile so you could see what races your friends are doing. Great motivation for signing up for a new race, to see how you do against another friend.

I really like that the website keeps track of your distance PRs so you don’t have to write it all down somewhere, which you will probably lose (if you’re like me!) . I like that my marathon PR is prominent on my profile, even if it’s not super impressive compared to some friends but makes me happy to go on the site and check it out.

Recently I had to merge two of my accounts into one with the email address that I am using now and it was super easy, I just emailed the help desk and they fixed my issue and put all my results in my gmail email account and pretty quickly too.

I am going to walk you through the whole easy process of claiming your results and adding yourself to the start list.

First off once you have created your profile on athlinks.com your page will look like this. Although I have had my account for awhile if you are anything like me it will fill up quickly with info. It shows my athlinks friends who are racing in June as well as my recent results as well as PRs for a few distances.

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I wanted to find my recent results from a 5k I ran in March since the one I ran a few weeks ago still have not submitted their results online for athlinks to use on their site just yet. So I typed in my whole name in the search window and put my birth year as a filter to find results with. The search brought up a few results from an Elizabeth Johnson as well as a Beth Johnson, I was neither so I went and searched a different way, by the name of the race I had ran.

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Found it when I searched out DRI Hope and got my divisions results, I actually stupidly left early from this race not realizing that I had placed in my age group so I missed out on the awards. But that is besides the point, I can find also my placing overall and in my gender on this page.

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Then when I click on my actual name it sends me to this page with more stats like weather for the race and the distance as well as split times for longer races of course. Since this was only a 5k it only shows the finish time split.

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After you have claimed your results, you will also get an email from athlinks about it, like below.

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Jumping to my 2017 Miami Marathon results page, you can see some of the splits for the full marathon and if you scroll down farther and Athlinks has sponsored your race photos for the event you will get your media for the event. Which is super cool because not only do you get to see your race photos in a little gallery and they are FREE, but you can see a video of yourself crossing the finish line! I am always super excited when athlinks is a sponsor at an event because then it means I will get great quality race pics as well as all my stats updated on the site fast!

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Ok so speaking of Miami Marathon, I noticed that we can already add ourselves to the start line for 2019 Miami Marathon and of course I already signed up for next years event just a few days after I ran this years marathon. Here is how to add yourself to the start line, first find the event you are going to race. In my case, its all of the ones shown below 😉

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Then click on said event and it will show average temps and start line schedule for the event. Plus it will give you the option to go straight to the registration page and sign up for the race (incase you havent already!). athlinks8

When you click on Join the Start Line there will be a pop up window with some questions, just basic info on what your goal time is and if you have anything you want to tell your athlink friends about why you are signing up for this race/goals/anything! athlinks9

I filled it out and I am really hoping that I can get this goal next year! Putting it out there in the universe usually can be helpful when trying to reach certain goals, and mine is a sub 4 hour marathon finally!athlinks10

Once you submit that info it will take you to a page with other people who have joined the start line of the same race and you can see what kind of goals people are chasing and it’s pretty cool when you recognize friends/running acquaintances on the list. athlinks11

 

Then once you are done stalking, er I mean looking through the Start Line List of your upcoming races it will pop up as an upcoming race on your athlinks home page, just to remind you when you log in. That’s always a good thing since it will keep your mind on the goal of that certain race. I will have my start line upcoming races pretty full soon, lol.

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Summer is pretty much here, so that means training will begin for quite a few athletes for the upcoming fall races so claim all your past results and start adding yourself to those Start line lists.

Add me as your athlinks friend/rival, whichever you think I am, lol.

My Athlinks Page

Aftershokz Trekz Air – bone conduction headphones – a review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz trekz air headphones 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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When I first started running I relied very heavily on music to power me through my runs and when for some reason the phone would go haywire with the music it would ruin my entire run/race. Once even during a half marathon I had music troubles and it really messed with my head, causing a pretty unimpressive finish time. Then there was the Miami Beach Halloween half marathon which holds my half marathon PR and I think was highly due to the great playlist my boyfriend made for me before that race. But soon after I was pregnant and did not feel safe running with headphones, very paranoid about safety for myself and my unborn daughter. Speed up to a few years later and still do not run with music due to safety factors and running with daughter in stroller. Until now!

 

When I found out I had the opportunity to review a pair of bone conduction headphones by aftershokz I jumped on the chance and I have to tell you I have been missing out on so much more energy in my runs! Finally a headphone that allows you to hear your music and your surroundings without an earbud threatening to fall out the whole time. Also what has always bugged me about the earbud thing is that after hours of using them they make the inside of my ears sore for hours later. I discovered this horrible thing when training for a 50k last year and doing a lot of training while on a treadmill. This is something that does not happen when wearing the aftershokz trek airs, they fit comfortably around your ears and do not bounce when running and cause no issues on long runs. I tried them out for the first time this weekend when doing a 10 miler on the treadmill, some mornings its necessary to stay off the roads and watch my toddler in the monitor to get in my run before she wakes and these were perfect. I listened to some music and then watched a movie, all without any issues connecting or hearing, and that is saying a lot because my treadmill is old and very loud!

 

Yesterday I wore my trek airs to the c25k program that I am helping pace in the afternoons after work and there was quite a buzz about them. Everyone asked me a million questions and was super interested in these bad boys! Plus I have to say even though I was listening to Rock Anthems channel on Spotify I ran a lot faster even though at the time I did not feel like I was running so strong yesterday. I ran faster than I did last Thursday and that is saying a lot because last Thursday I felt like I was flying.

 

Another morning I used them to listen to podcasts while running a 10 miler on the treadmill. It was a first for me, listening to podcasts that is, I had never done that before, I know I know, I am sooooo behind in the times but it was fun and I got to listen to some amazing runner women like Gabe Grunewald talk about running. Never had any issues hearing things while running on a very noisy treadmill. I do know that later on in the week I forgot to bring them with me on the treadmill and was forced to listen to a symphony of frogs croaking, ugh! I haven’t forgotten them again 😉

 

Also are great for using while watching a movie beside a napping toddler 🙂

 

So what exactly is this “bone conduction” stuff that allows you to hear without an earbud or headphone over your ear? Well I was curious about it too, it means that the headphones send mini vibrations through your cheekbones, directly to your inner ear, leaving your ear canals open. Which in turn makes them the safest headphone on the market, you can hear your surroundings and your music at the same time! They have even been redesigned to improve the bass and dynamic sound.

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Want to get $30 off on these? Check out this special link for this awesome promotion: bibrave.aftershokz.com

Also check out some of my fellow BibRave Pros reviews on the aftershokz trekz air :

Running For My Life

Trail Running Faith

Run for cover

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of activities, tragedies and low mileage. About 3 weeks ago I ran over to the neighborhood nearby mine to see the FIU bridge be brought over and placed over the road, 5 days after it collapsed taking 6 lives. I traveled under that bridge 4 of those days, each morning with my toddler in the backseat of my car. It could have been us kept going through my head when I heard the news, it was a bridge to connecting my work place to the city of Sweetwater. For a few days I really had a hard time sleeping and I think that my stress from it was affecting my toddler. I know the miles could’ve helped but I required more sleep and no long run that weekend. The following week started out okay and was able to start my week full of running but by that Thursday I just wanted to rest. I was starting to get a sinus infection and did not run at all that weekend, the next week brought on all new challenges. Phoebe ended up getting a very high fever last Tuesday night and my next couple of days were spent trying to get it down and a mix of urgent care/children’s hospital visits. Now she is doing better and I have a little less stress about her health this week and starting to ramp up my mileage again.

Life sometimes gets in the way of your plans, fitness goals, workouts and as hard as it is to wake up early after slacking off for a few weeks due to a lot of stressful situations I am happy that I am feeling better and getting back to my mileage goals. I started out the year hoping to run 40+ miles each week to be able to hit 2018 miles before 12/31/2018 and even though I sort of see that goal slipping away I know it’s still possible with some determination. I also wanted to run the Keys 100 50k this year but I’m not really sure that I want to this year. Maybe next year I will be ready for it, I don’t want to slack off this summer or anything, in fact I want to work harder and work on my speed for the fall season of races. I plan on doing the Space Coast Marathon this year and that means that marathon training would be starting again in July! Summertime marathon training, that should be fun, I know this humid/hot hot heat running will make me stronger when the weather gets a little better. I plan on getting serious too about my strength training too which I have not been serious about in a very long time, probably contributing to my slowing paces.

Socially the last few weeks have been pretty busy, Phoebe has met and took pics with 3 different Easter bunnies and did an egg hunt and even rode down a large slide ride with my sister and her cousin, Logan. Despite my exhaustion and our rounds of illnesses in the past few weeks it hasn’t been too bad lately in gaining lots of experiences and adventures.

Also something that I have been involved with lately is helping train some of my workplace’s employees in running a 5k race. I jumped at the opportunity to help with pacing duties for the program and have really enjoyed helping others conquer their goals. We are about halfway through the program right now and they are training for the Corporate run 5k at the end of this month and most of the runners are doing very well. Most of them also are not new to running but a few are very new to run, a couple are just getting back into it and want the accountability of a group run session to help them stick with it. Just 6 years ago I was training using a c25k training app on my phone, it would’ve been more helpful if I would’ve had a group to train with. I have been running/pacing with the group 2 days a week now and get in a few miles beforehand because driving home to change and back would take at least 30/40 minutes. It’s a nice and easy way to give back to the running community by helping others become better runners.

KT Tape – my review

Disclaimer: I received KT Tape 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!

So for a few years now (maybe 4 or so) I have been seeing KT Tape on runner friends and I have always wondered about it, I even bought a pack on sale once just in case I would need it. I never opened it, it was the original KT Tape in the neon pink color, then I lost it somewhere when I started having some aches. Luckily BibRave gave me the opportunity to try out an array of products from KT Tape and just in time too!

Back at the beginning of January I started getting some medial shin splints in my left leg and I was unsure of how it happened. I have been training nearly the same way as a year ago and hadn’t experienced any shin issues during that time so I was confused. Inner shin pain after I finished a run when I was just walking around started to really freak me out, I thought for sure it was the dreaded stress fracture. I continued running and even ran a marathon and two halfs with the pain until I changed up the shoes I wore to work. That made a huge difference but I digress, I started using KT Tape when it was sent to me, first the gentle tape (my skin tone and softer than the pro tape) but my application was all wrong and decided to take it off after one run. The Gentle tape is useful to use for a day or two and very discreet to wear as it is similar looking to an ace bandage in the color but works stronger than any ace bandage. I think it would be especially useful for carpal tunnel taping since it is less noticeable in an office setting.  The KT pro tape all comes in a handy plastic box that will keep it safe when you throw it in your gym bag, very helpful for athletes on the go.

Next I tried out the KT pro Tape and got the application right for my specific aches and it worked like a dream, I wore it for 3-4 days before it started to slightly peel off and get some fraying from showers/drying. I thought it might take forever to dry after a shower but that tape dries very quickly and if you are in a rush I read that you can dry it even quicker with a blow dryer on the cool setting. I wear compression sleeves usually after my long/hard effort runs and did not want soaking tape under the sleeves but it never was an issue. It dried so quickly I did not even think about it. Due to the taping of my current issue it wasn’t so noticeable either. A lady that I am helping train in a couch to 5k program at work said she noticed but it was pretty discreet and wanted to know more about the tape. And that was when I was wearing the Pro tape in sonic blue! I gave her a rundown of the following info. Also if you need to remove the tape after a day or so for some reason use baby oil or remove it while in the shower for an easier and painless removal because this tape really sticks!

Here’s a breakdown of the KT Tape products I was sent to try out:

GENTLE TAPE: 100% Latex Free Cotton with Gentle Adhesive, Lasts 1-3 Days
PROTM: Synthetic Tape Lasts 4-7 Days
PROTM WIDE: 4″ Wide Stripes Lasts 4-7 Days (still haven’t tried this one yet)
PRO EXTREMETM: Extra Strength Adhesive Lasts 4-7 but works well in hot/humid conditions (so Miami 95% of the time!)
ORIGINAL: Cotton Tape Lasts 1-3 Days and is very similar to the Gentle tape.

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I am still trying out the Pro Extreme as I write this review and it works just like the Pro Tape but seems like it will stay on longer and work better in the hot humid conditions of most of my Miami runs. I think it will be very useful this summer if I am still having these aches, which I do not anticipate but luckily I have a solution if I do.

Another thing I really like about KT Tape is that you can go on their YouTube channel and find out how to tape pretty much every possible ache/injury you have and the instructions are easy for any non medical person (like myself). I have a friend who is also a runner and has used KT Tape to help tape her friends before big half marathons. She is a true believer in the power of kinesiology tape in general and prefers to use KT Tape brand over other brands. In the recent years I have noticed more and more taped up runners at races than 5 years ago, so if that doesn’t convince you that it works I don’t know what to tell you.

Want to try it out or do you already love KT Tape and want a great discount? Use the code : BIBRAVE30 to save 30% on your order at KTtape.com