Miami Marathon weekend – Tropical 5k & Miami Marathon – January 28-29

Disclaimer: I’m promoting & running Miami Marathon & Tropical 5k 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!

It has only taken me almost a year to complete this post – it’s a long one and other things got in the way of completing this one but here we go!

First up, Miami Marathon expo was held at Marlins Park, parking would’ve been $10 if I wouldn’t have had a friend (hi, Lissette) who lived close by so we walked over, about a half mile or less. We arrived and checked out the Miami sign with all the participants names on it, found my name and we went along the edge of the park to enjoy some yummy coconut flavored yogurt, coconut icee type of drink, honey stinger samples (im part of the hive) and free samples of sliced bread. Finally it was time to head into the park, we got the metal detector waved over us and we we were in. Not too much of a line for that part of our experience but when we got to the Tropical 5k packet pickup line. That line was extremely long and slow until someone must’ve said something and the line got broken down into more smaller lines. I even asked my friend to watch Phoebe in the stroller so I could go over and pick up my marathon bib since there was no line at all for the half/marathon bib pickups. I was back in less than a minute after picking up my marathon bib. We waited in the 5k bib line for about 30 minutes, where I ran into my running friend Matt and met a Oiselle teammates husband in line. Long line = lots of time to have conversations. When walking into the part of the park for bib pick up we noticed a long winding line of people leading to a higher floor, that was where the shirt pick up was at! Luckily for us I had Phoebe in the stroller and we were able to take the elevator up and come in from behind to skip the line and grab our shirts quickly. After that we walked around, running into many running friends and checking out some booths. There was a Brilliant Reflective booth, if you remember I did a review on their products a few months ago on here. I got a new iRun singlet for upcoming races and got Phoebe a purple Miami Marathon onesie. Fun fact: when we hadn’t yet announced my pregnancy to anyone we got a green Miami Marathon onesie for her back at the 2015 expo. Last year I looked but they didn’t have any baby or toddler clothing available, glad they brought them back 🙂 I would say this expo was problematic for a lot of runners, who were stuck waiting in a long line in the hot sun for their race bag/shirt. I still think their best location has been the Miami Beach Convention Center even though there’s terrible traffic to and from that location. Maybe they can plan for the Airport Convention Center instead next year? Below are some pics during training for Miami Marathon.

Next up : Tropical 5k on Saturday morning. We woke up very early and packed up Phoebe and the Bob running stroller. Headed over to the Children’s museum, where the start of the race was. I got there an hour early and was able to get parking and be able to rest and stay warm in the car for a bit before getting out and setting up the stroller. I went into this race with the idea that I was going to take it easy and Derrick would be running with the stroller so it would be less energy used from me in prep for the next day’s marathon. Well I do not think that my 8:02 pace was such a slow easy pace but I never felt that I was pushing my pace too much. Finished just under 25 minutes and headed over to Nikki Beach  to get some bagels and pretzels to munch on before heading back to the car. Got to see my Oiselle teammate, Margaret receive her 2nd place overall female award. Phoebe ran around a bit and then really wasn’t interested in getting back in the stroller. We waited in a 15-20 minute line for the school buses that were transporting us back to the Children’s Museum start.

The next morning I headed to the American Airlines Arena to park for the Miami Marathon. It’s usually a bit less crowded than the Bayside parking lot and cheaper but can be a little bit of a walk after a race. I didn’t realize that it was open for use of the bathrooms this year as it wasn’t open last year for us to use. I would’ve went in there instead of using the portapotties like I did. Met up with another 1k run club member and walked with him over to the 1k run club tent to leave my bag. I photobombed some pics and before long it was time to walk over to the start corral. I headed over to the E corral and actually got a chance to sit down on the curb and watch everyone for a bit before the race began and everyone started moving forward. At that time the weather was around 58 or so and the sky looked very very cloudy. I had my $3 purple fleece (thanks Target!) on and was still a little shivery but ready to start. Just before our corral started to move forward it started to lightly rain, I cringed. I usually discard my throw away jacket at mile 1 or 2 since I start getting too warm, this was not the case with this race, I didn’t toss that fleece until it was nice and soaked around mile 7, in South Beach. My hands stayed cold the whole time and I regretted not bringing throw away gloves with me. The rain started steadily around mile 1 and continued the entire race, going from slight drizzle to full on downpour. By the time I was leaving South Beach I was soaking wet and trying to keep my spirits up. Every time I felt like I was starting to dry a little bit, the rain would come back to soak me once again. I tried to have fun with the race and waved at the Oiselle cheer squad (You rock, Tricia) and enjoying the on course entertainment (the ones that were still available in the rain). I stopped focusing so much on my pace when I realized that it was going to be a very soggy 26.2 miles. Saw a lot of running friends along the way cheering, and some running the extra 13.1. After the half split the course became quiet and less runners around. Hector from iRun and his wife were riding bikes on the course and reminded me to not underestimate the weather and remember to drink enough water. It was nice and peaceful and there were some cheering squads along the way into the grove. An older runner from KY was telling me how he was trying to BQ but had to catch up to the 4:00 pacer. Strangely enough we talked about pee breaks and how even though it was raining peeing in your shorts would still smell, lol. Interesting people you meet along the route in a marathon. Around mile 20 the rain started getting heavier again and I somehow managed to pass Dr. Dribble & his pacer around mile 23, his hands bleeding from the dribbling of basketballs for 23 miles in the rain. Those were some grueling final miles but I powered through, determined not to stop, not even to use the bathroom. When I got to the final bridge  (with metal grates, aye!) on Brickell, I said now I will rest on my fast walk up this bridge and finish this race off running. First small walk in the 25.5 miles in the cold rain. I’m not sure why but it seems like it started to rain harder as I turned the corner onto Biscayne Boulevard, seeing the finish line through the hard rain. I do not remember the crowd roar quite as much as I did during my first marathon but no doubt it was there, even in the pouring rain. As soon as I passed the finish line I walked quickly to get my giant 15 years marathon metal and headed to the line of food. After 4 hrs I was tired and hungry and cold, I wanted to get through the line as quick as possible. It was a mess and there was no way to carry all the food that I had collected, luckily one of the volunteers noticed how people were struggling to carry their food and started handing us empty boxes from the food on the tables to carry our stuff. As soon as I left that zone I headed into the picture taking zone and waited a few minutes in the long but fast moving line to get my pic taken in front of the photo op wall from the official photographers. Then I rushed as fast as possible to the 1k miles tent to collect my stuff and get some Nuun in my body. When I got there many members were fast to tell me that I needed to get out of my cold wet clothes and helped me under a towel wrapped around me to get into warm/dry clothing. One of the items being an Oiselle teammate’s disco spandos (a very cherished item) since I had only brought a tee and another pair of shorts and a light jacket. I really didn’t expect it to rain the whole time and thought it would’ve warmed by up the afternoon, I was completely wrong. I was so cold and my lips were still so purple that I had to put on a rain poncho that I had brought with me and then another 1k friend put her NYC marathon poncho over top of that. That helped warm me up quickly and I began to feel like I could actually speak without shivering nonstop. I was so disoriented when I left the tent to make the almost mile walk back to my car that I totally forgot my EMC singlet and race bib at the tent. Luckily my Oiselle teammate, Margaret who had lent me her capris sent it back to me and I sent her back her pants a few days later.

 

Amazing race, horrible conditions, but maybe it was those conditions that helped me in running faster and running stronger than I had previously. Maybe also it was the good training I had prior to this race. I was confident going into this race with my many long park runs starting early with two 20 milers or so, nothing longer than that.

Let’s hope that Miami Marathon 2018 has great weather but with no rain!

If you are interested in running Miami Marathon 2018, in 2 months from now:

Register here and use code “BIBRAVEMM18” to save $5 on race entry to either race.

 

 

 

 

 

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Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips- A product review

I have been on the search for a product to make my Bob running stroller more visible at night. I take it to run clubs pretty often and now that the time has changed it gets dark pretty much before run club even starts. I always try to wear bright colors on my evening runs and especially so when I bring the little one along but I still don’t feel too safe. I have looked into wheel lights (not sure if they fit my stroller wheels) and installing flashlights to illuminate our path but haven’t came up with anything solid.

That is where Brilliant Reflective steps in, I received a set of the stick on reflective strips as well as the iron on reflective strips. Immediately I knew that I would be applying the stick on ones to my running stroller to help us be more visible on night and early morning runs. Not sure when I will be using the iron on ones as I do not know exactly what I want to iron them permanently on but I’m sure I will figure something out soon. Most likely I will iron them onto  some winter gear, but since it’s not really feeling like winter here yet, I’ll have to wait.

The brilliant reflective strips are very sturdy and easy to apply, I started with applying them around the stroller base and was done fairly quick and used all but one strip. The stick on strips come in 4 colors (black, red, blue, and purple) I got the black ones, which works well with the stroller because you don’t even notice they are added on in the daytime. The iron on strips come in the same colors as the stick on ones. I took a picture before applying the strips and one picture after and if you are not looking very closely, you cannot even tell a difference. The difference is when a flash of light hits them and then it is very noticeable where the stickers were applied.

I took the stroller out on an evening run, I do that fairly often when I cannot find someone to watch Phoebe in order to get my daily run in. We started running when the sun was just starting to set and before the final half a mile was done of our 3 miler it was already getting pretty dark. I’m so not a fan of this early sun setting season, I feel like my running gets a bit more dangerous to do and I usually shorten my weekday runs. My boyfriend was so kind to take these pictures while I ran back and forth along the road to get the best shot of how these reflective tapes work. Took some time to get the right shots as the flash is not the fastest on the iPhone 6s but I think it shows how the tape is visible in the darkness with a light shined on it. We even encountered a few cars while taking the photos and one of the pictures shows just how the tape lights up when the car is starting to pass by us. This is a great product and I will be definitely showing this post to all my mommy stroller runner friends, they could really benefit from this product as I have so far. I cannot wait to try it out again at run clubs this season. I plan on getting another pack of these stick on ones and putting them on my clothes as well to try it out, but I felt safer running with this on the stroller for sure.

For more info and to order Brilliant Reflective strips.

Use code “BIBRAVE25” for 25% off the full order (one time use per customer). The code will expire on Tuesday at 11:59pm.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips as part of being a BibRave Pro. All opinions are my own.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Turkey Day Miami – November 24, 2016

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Running this race on Thanksgiving Day morning has become a tradition for me, been running this race since 2012, the first year I started running. The first year I only ran the 5k and since then I have ran the 10k. Phoebe has already done this race twice now. Last year it was horribly rainy and although it started out a little drizzly it cleared up before the race began. I was crossing my fingers that I would not have to run the stroller through massive puddles again. I got to the race site early and met up with some of the other ladies in Every Mother Counts South Florida team. Parking is always a bit of a problem for this race but if you get to the site an hour early its a breeze, everyone else is stressing out and you are parked and can relax a bit.

 

I had the rain guard over the stroller for most of the run since the weather was sprinkly most of the way. But towards the end, in the last mile I believe I was able to lift the weather guard so Phoebe could get some fresh air since it was not raining anymore. A few years ago this race was very chilly, in the 50s but this year it was unseasonably warm. I like the out and back way of this course so you can cheer on and get cheered on by friends passing by. I finished at a respectable 54:36, which 6 minutes faster than last year’s time. There was a bit of clogging in the finisher chute, due to the race backdrop with photographers too close by. I can always expect some sort of line there but this year it was insanely long and I ended up slightly bumping someone as I tried to get through the crowd to get out into the open again. This guy ended up screaming at me for bumping into him and saying I need to pay more attention and not run over people. Very, very rude participant all because of the overcrowding in the area. Phoebe remained sleeping through it all and was finally able to escape the rude guy and the crowd. I met up with Derrick and some of our friends from the 1k run club and then we walked over to the Every Mother Counts tent to see everyone there. After some time there we headed to the food tents and I stocked up on the Picky Bars?! Again, at another local event! Never have I been so happy with the food options at a Lifetime Fitness event. Overall, another great Turkey Day race with my little running partner.

 

Honor Our Veterans 5k – November 5, 2016

This weekend was jam packed with races so I’ll start with the first race of the weekend and make another post about the 2nd one. This 5k was kind of a last minute race. I had originally planned to do a free 5k it was on Hollywood Beach, which is about a 45 minute drive for me. When I found I could get a discount on this race I decided it was a better idea to do this one since it’s only 5 minutes from home and I would most likely be doing it alone with Phoebe. It worked out great, just kinda sad that there were not awards for age groups because I totally would’ve placed in my age group. I am proud to say that it is now my fastest stroller 5k to date!

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When I walked outside Saturday morning I knew it would be a great race day because the weather was cool for once and not raining. I got there about 45 minutes early to pick up my race bib because with the timing company they used for this race they take back their timing chips after the race so only bib pickup the day of the race. I was a little nervous because this was the same company who timed the Derby 5k back in April and who totally left me off the results. I got my bib and took Phoebe with me to the bathroom, not an easy task in a tiny bathroom with a big running stroller but I got it done. As I was heading back to the starting line I overheard some college guys joking about how they would keep up with me and be fine for the race. I laughed in my head about this and thought “yeah right!” Later during the race I saw the group again and they were a mile BEHIND me, hehe. Their shocked faces were just the right amount of fuel to push through at a much faster pace for the next mile. Also the owner of Go Run, Doug passed me while on his bike pacing the top guys and mentioned that I had great form, it really helps when you get praise like that from a top runner. There was a lady in front of me the whole time but during that last .50 I managed to pass her and stay ahead of her. Sometimes like in Ragnar I like to count the amount of people I can pass in the last mile. Like usual, Phoebe was asleep after the first mile and continued to sleep for another 30 minutes after we finished.

Later when I checked my nike + run club app I discovered that I had ran progressive miles the whole race! That is amazing for me because I usually run the first mile the fastest and get progressively slower during a 5k. When I finished I grabbed a water for my Nuun, a granola bar, and a banana and went back to the finish line to cheer on the rest of the finishers. Overall I think it was pretty well organized and due to the small field of runners there was no weaving in and out to get through the walkers and slower runners, which is a pain with the stroller.

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Been a long time.

Lots has happened since my last blog entry, including getting pregnant & having a baby. My baby is now 6 months old, half a year has passed by already! Time is flying. Since my last posts I’ve done a couple half marathons and a full marathon (while pregnant). Lots of running, lots of miles to recap (if I can remember!)

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Completed 1000 miles of running and some walking in 2015 and am on pace to possibly double that amount this year. 2016 started quietly with a 16 mile day, split into 3 runs. Have already ran a couple of races while pushing my baby in the stroller, two 5ks, a 4 miler and a 10k so far.

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I will be updating more frequently so stay tuned!