Orange Mud Transition & seat wrap -Version 2.0 – no more sweaty seats – a review

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Transition seat wrap towel 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!

I don’t know about you but when I run long distances in training or short distance races I get very sweaty, this is Miami so pretty much everyone gets sweaty. Well, except for Phoebe who is cooled down in her running stroller while I do all the hard work of pushing her along for the race usually. So for almost as long as I have been running, I have kept a bath towel in my car for the post race/run drive home but now there is a product that is multi-use, the Orange Mud Transition Seat wrap towel. The problem that I always encounter with a regular bath towel over the seat is that it falls down constantly not protecting the back of your seat so you are constantly adjusting it while driving. This towel does not have this issue at all because it has a zippered headrest part that fits securely around the headrest to prevent all the slipping that normal towels will do. There are 10 colors to choose from, I choose red because it matched the exterior of my car but considered the black one as well since it would match my inte

I have been wanting to try out some Orange Mud products for awhile but just had not decided on which one to try, but this one is perfect for me and I can keep it in the back of my vehicle all the time (after being washed, of course). The other day we found another use for it when my toddler, Phoebe requested a blanket to keep warm while in her car seat, I threw her over the Orange Mud towel and she cuddled up in it. First way I used my new towel/seat wrap was after volunteering for a local 5k/10k I placed it on my car for the 40 minute drive home. That was a typical humid Miami race but with some sprinkles at the beginning, it was my first time volunteering at a race and it was a lot of fun, will definitely be doing it again in the near future!

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This weekend I did a short but very rainy at the start and humid 5k and the towel was much needed for the drive home. I even was able to change my soaked in sweat & rain shorts from under it in a parking lot before driving home (sorry, no pics of this!). So not only does it save your seat from your sweaty (butt) body but you can change underneath it discreetly without any issues. I haven’t attempted to change tops under it but I do not anticipate that there will be any issues with that either. It is definitely something you want to keep in your race day bag!

I think this seat wrap towel would be good for anyone really because you never know when you will need to protect your car seats or change quickly in a parking lot/in your car. From talking to running friends, they have sworn by this towel for years, I didn’t even know that it existed or I would’ve gotten one years ago when I first started running. Luckily I got a new car a year ago and haven’t sweated in these seats too much. Would’ve been very beneficial earlier this year when I was training the group in 5k distance and would have to drive home still a bit sweaty afterwards. But now I do not have to worry about that and am going to get another one for when my boyfriend runs races with me.

What’s even better is that I have a code for you to use to get 15% off of this towel or any Orange Mud product on their website: OMTRX” Transition Seat Wrap Towel 

Keep your car seats sweat free and change clothing ANYWHERE!

Want more info and to chat with other bibravepros? Joins us on twitter for Bibchat next Tuesday at 9pm est and use hashtag #bibchat

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An Ode to Oiselle Roga Shorts

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Disclaimer – I was not gifted these shorts to review,  I have bought every pair of these shorts shown in the post. They are my favorite kind of shorts and I will continue to buy more as long as they keep making them (please never stop!) 😉

I have been thinking of making this post for years now!

My introduction to roga shorts started in the summer of 2014, I had heard of Oiselle for a few months at that point. It must’ve been when Kara Goucher joined Oiselle that I really took note of the company, run by a women, only women’s running/performance clothing. So thank you, Kara, for being the introduction I needed to this obsession. I remember subscribing to the emails and wondering if I would ever have the guts to run in shorts because the roga shorts looked really comfy and cool.  A few months before I joined the Oiselle Volee team I went on vacation to Washington DC and went to a running store that had some rogas on sale! I don’t remember the other colors they had but I grabbed a pair of burgen (burgundy color) ones and bought them immediately. I would be lying to say that I wore them to run on that trip, I didn’t but I did bring them along with me on a side trip to Philly that same vacation and used them to hang out and sleep in even! They were so comfy I figured if I never had the guts to wear them out to run I would be living in these shorts for hanging out at home.

Fast forward to a few months later and I had bought a couple more pairs, I started wearing them for walks with my boyfriend and out in public and it had been years really since I had owned a pair of shorts. My confidence was starting to grow with these shorts, who would’ve thought that would happen? Not me, for sure! A couple months later I started running in these shorts, starting with treadmill runs and then later on for evening runs (one memorably disaster of a run when I tripped and hit my head I was wearing these shorts even!).  When I found out that I was pregnant, the roga shorts became my go to short to run in, the capri tights I ran in were starting to constrict the belly too much and summer was hitting early and I was suffocating outside. I did buy one pair in a larger size but realized after one run that they were too loose and I could stick with my regular size throughout the pregnancy since they were low slung and the waistband was not tight under the belly. I ran a couple half marathons and some shorter race distances in 2015 wearing them. After that I never wore  capris/tights again unless it was freezing outside and even when it was 45 degrees for a 5k once I wore my rogas lol.

In 2017 I wore my rogas for the marathon distance at Miami Marathon, the cold rainy year and also the year I got my marathon PR. Was it the rogas or the weather that helped me PR by 40 minutes? Who knows? Maybe equal? I have worn other Oiselle shorts for races but I swear by the roga shorts.

I used to worry about chafing with shorts but that rarely has ever happened to me while wearing these magical shorts. They have performed through extreme downpours and major heat. I have even extended my love to other variations of the roga short family in the recent years: toolbelt rogas (for all the pockets), mac rogas (for all the shortness & air) , summer rogas (lightweight & airy), and recently OG rogas (like a go tank for your booty) . They also make a longer roga short that would work really well for hiking or running if you want more length to your shorts but I haven’t really tried them. And if you aren’t into shorts, they even have a couple different kinds of roga skirts (with short or with a brief under)! A year or so ago they even released a roga dress, basically a dress made out of the stretch woven fabric they make the rogas of! Is there any end to the awesomeness of roga material?  I hope that Oiselle never discontinues this awesome short/fabric and makes more awesome prints and more colors. You can never have too many rogas!

In daily life I get home from work and immediately change into roga shorts even if I am not going for a run after work, rare but it happens at times. I wear these shorts when taking my toddler to swim class and grocery/Target shopping days. They are comfy and don’t look like running shorts so you can definitely get away with wearing them nearly everywhere. In the 4 years I have been wearing my original burgen roga shorts and would you believe they still look as new as the day I bought them. Through the washer/dryer every time and still as awesome and stretchy as ever.

Here is the story of how the roga shorts came to be! Basically these shorts are a hybrid between a yoga pant and a running short, comfy like a yoga pant with the wide waistband but with the performance stretch and fit of a running short without all the bulk. I am glad the first running short I tried was a non poofy roga short instead of diaper butt  running shorts, I was lucky! But it’s never too late to change it up and try the roga shorts. These ultra stretch woven shorts dry super quickly after you stop running, I have even known some women who wear them to paddle board. Overall these are my favorite shorts and I hope to continue wearing them and setting PRs in all distances.

Get to shopping – here is the link the best running shorts : Oiselle

 

UnderArmour HOVR Sonic NC

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of UnderArmour HOVR Sonics NC shoes 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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So first thing is first, I really did not expect to ever own a pair of white running shoes but here we are and they are very white! The color aside I was not sure how I would like them. It did take a few runs before they felt broken in for me, which wasn’t too bad but I have been spoiled by some other running shoes that felt broken in out of the box. I think also it might have been my feet had to get used to the higher drop on these shoes. I am used to a 4 mm drop and these are 8 mm drop but after a couple of runs in these I didn’t even notice it.

These shoes are made with a lightweight fabric upper and lots of ventilation holes on the sides so they are perfect for warm climates like Miami. I have never felt my feet heating up in these shoes like other running shoes I sometimes wear. I do not like feeling sweat in the bottom of my shoes after a long humid run, worst feeling and good way to get some feet blisters, something I have definitely never encountered while wearing these shoes!

Responsive ride and neutral shoe so perfect for those who do not over pronate and are looking for something with some bounce but still want a firm running shoe. I will admit they felt heavy the first few runs in them, but that may have also been that sometimes I wear them for my 2nd run of the day and at that point my legs are pretty tired from early morning runs and working all day.

I would have brought them on my recent vacation but decided against in so that I could keep them white as long as possible. When running in Aruba white does not stay white for more than a few seconds, half of the roads I ran on were dirt so basically trail running most of the time. Dust is everywhere so I didn’t bring them with me but I did miss them which surprised me a bit.

At this point I have put in between 50-100 miles in these shoes and they are still remarkably clean but maybe that’s because I tend to not wear them on rainy days. Either way these shoes really have changed my mind about UnderArmour running shoes. So if you are looking for a quality running shoe with a low break in period of time, snatch these up.

Also there is a connect version of this shoe, which basically means you can track your steps, pace, stride length, distance and cadence with the connect version using the map my run app. Pretty cool and that version of the shoe only costs $10 more dollars if you are into all the tech and like to run watch less but want to know all the stats.

 

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.

Fitbit Miami Marathon 2018 weekend – Expo & Race Review

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Over the years this race expo has been held in 3 different locations, well that’s since I have been running this race in the past 5 years. 6 years if you count the year that I did the Tropical 5k only. Mana Convention Center is actually my favorite expo location for this race. The parking might be a pain somewhat as you  have to find street parking and use a meter/parking app but its way less crowded to get to than the Miami Beach Convention Center with all that traffic to get there and not as confusing as the Marlins Park one was. The first Miami Marathon expo I went to here I remember it being a very windy day and surprise, again it was a very windy afternoon as I walked to the expo from parking a few blocks away. I brought my toddler again this year to pick up 4 race bibs between my boyfriend and I. Upon walking into the convention there is all the typical vendors for shoes (I hope you already have your shoes for your race before going!) and Geico, running store booths, massage booths and the food trying booths (yum!) I walked past them quickly in order to pick up the packets because even though it was still only about an hour into the expos start I knew that the longer I waited the longer the line would be. Before leaving work I had printed out copies of our bib numbers so it would be easy to pick up the packets but then promptly forgot them in the car and remembered when I got into Mana (mommy brain is real, people!) Luckily there is a convenient computer bib look up zone with very helpful volunteers so I was able to look up all 4 bib numbers quickly and head to the bib number pick up line. I went to the marathon line first because I know those get busy and was able to get my bib in like 2 minutes of waiting. The line was quick and went over to the Tropical 5k line to get my bibs there and that line was pretty quick too but longer because that race was the next day. In less than 5 minutes after entering the expo, with a stroller, I was able to pick up all the bibs I needed for the weekend of racing.

I then walked around the expo, saying hi to running friends and running store friends. My toddler got to take a pic with the Geico Gecko and I was able to find my name on the Miami Marathon letters for a quick selfie. The one thing that I ended up buying was a toddler shirt saying Future Finisher, it’s kind of a thing since I found out I was pregnant  and bought the first future finisher baby onesie secretly. Of course I stupidly gave the bag with the shirt to my toddler, who quickly lost it without me realizing till I was home and she was napping (AAHHH!) So someone went to the expo and got a free toddler shirt that they found. That was the only negative to the Miami Marathon expo and it had nothing to do with organization on their part at least. It was pretty cool that this year they had a few areas where you could do fitness classes or lift weights while hanging out at the expo. I don’t know if I would want to try a new exercise out a few days before running a marathon but I’m sure it was popular with a lot of people. Outside there was a bag check area for the runners coming directly from the airport to the expo (very helpful and there were quite a lot of bags there) and a bike valet zone in case you wanted to ride to the expo and wondered where to park your bike. Also there were 3 food trucks incase you were in the mood for trying a fun new food, I do have to say that the Jamaica food truck’s wraps looked pretty tasty! I stopped by the Athlinks booth and asked them about the race day app, which they told me works with runners carrying phones but that the regular Athlinks app would help me track runners without their phones gps. I looked at the features and learned that you can also see/download your FREE finisher pics on the app too! I have had an Athlinks account for years now and love that now I can use the app and claim and find my results even faster than using a regular pc.  Anyhow after I left there after having some Harmless Harvest coconut water (the best coconut water, IMO) and getting a sample of Hemp Hearts (love these!) We walked back to the car while taking pics with some of the Wynwood art on the walls and sidewalks, my toddler really enjoyed this part of the trip. I actually saw a ton of runners taking selfies and pics with the art walls. Quickly drove home, as quick as traffic would allow and got in a short nap with the toddler.

Next morning I headed to the Tropical 5k, which I recapped right here.

Now Miami Marathon morning, woke up at the early hour of 3am! Way earlier than any of my early morning training run wake ups have been and left my house by 3:45am. Early enough to be in the race area and parked in the American Airlines parking lot (only $5) before 5am. Walked over to the 1k booth and hung out with friends with some porta potty stops along the way. Pro tip: there is no line for the porta potties in the charity village area and you can get a nice warm up walk to get there and back to the finish line after. First thought: it is quite windy, looking at the skies all I can see is grey clouds, unsure if they are rain clouds or regular pre dawn clouds. Just making sure my phone didn’t get damaged I put it in a plastic sandwich bag in my armband before starting.

As usual the first 12.5 miles were crowded and the first 5 were almost nonstop elbow smashingly close. At mile 3.1 I missed the 5k timing mat and had to run back to cross it to not miss any splits on tracking, the mat did not stretch all the way across the bridge in that area. All the other timing mats were right in my way and no way I could have missed them, I don’t understand how anyone could have missed any of the others on the course. The first part of the race has you running over the MacArthur Causeway and in that 20 mph winds, it was very rough. Nothing like being battered by winds in the first 2 miles of a marathon, only 24 more to go, right? The next couple of miles are through South Beach, which was nice as it was around the time that the sun was rising. Around mile 9 I saw a fallen runner being taken care of by paramedics, I’m guess it was dehydration as the temps were starting to heat up by that point in the race. Later they raced by in a mule with said runner in the back, scary to see but glad all the runners in that lane got out of the way, I may have yelled to get their attention to get out of the way of the incoming ambulance. Lots of great views  and then we were heading across the Venetian bridge. It was there that I saw the Every Mother Counts crew cheering at mile 11 and that helped give me a little bit of a boost to get through the next couple of crowded miles before the split. A few miles later was cheered on by Doug, owner of GoRun, always nice to see a familiar face that knows your name out there. Something that is never cool and always happens just before the half/full split is the bystanders who think they are helping but unfortunately not for the full marathoners, start screaming “Almost There!!” I did make sure to yell out “You mean, almost HALF way there” as I finally made it into the full marathon chute. After that you can stretch your arms out and shake off all that crowding and you are in a quieter zone. You have a bridge soon after the split which is expected but what you may not realize is that you have to cross that same bridge again just before you finish.

The course was changed a bit from the past when we would run down Brickell and cross the short but steep Brickell bridge. Strangely in the past marathons I would speed up around this point, I guess the freedom of less crowding but this year I started to slow. I believe the slowing down was not really due to my terrible marathon training this year but rather the humidity started to get pretty high around this time. Around the Brickell area there was a corner stop with ice pops and I made sure to grab one, it was the best ice pop I had ever tasted, I could tell I was starting to dehydrate at that point. It was still pretty cloudy through most of this race but there were some times when I felt the sun, one of those times was while coming back from under the Rickenbacker bridge area. I started to really slow in the Coconut Grove area and it was strange because I wasn’t having any aches at all, but rather the heat was starting to get to me. I have trained in the temps this whole time but maybe less in the elements as a lot of my long runs were done on a treadmill. Something I will not be doing the next time around but rather more long runs on the street, even if it means bringing the BOB running stroller & toddler along for the miles. It was around mile 17 or 18 I saw another runner friend who was being the guide for a visually impaired runner and ended up running almost the rest of the remaining miles with them. They took walking breaks and usually some walking breaks through the water stops which really helped me. Since the heat was getting pretty crazy there, I started stopping for water at all water stops after mile 15. I was not taking a chance of getting dehydrated and having to be rushed away on the back of an ambulance and there were plenty racing by us as we ran up Bayshore drive. Along the way it was nice to zone out a bit about the running part and just chat with others while the miles slowly passed by.

Finally we were out of the Grove/Key Biscayne area and heading up Brickell to move onward to the last 2 miles. Those were some very very long miles, but when I got over that last bridge, the one we crossed twice, and I walked up/ran down, the buildings were blocking the sun a bit and helped with the overheated feelings. At the final mile was a group of iRun runners who had completed the half marathon and were back out there to cheer and Hector, one of the owners of iRun cheering me on as I ran through that final mile. They said I was looking strong but I was just chugging along just trying to get to the end in one piece. I never felt like I was going to collapse through the whole race or anything, just exhausted from the heat and ready for it to be over already. Since the race weaves through the downtown area and not a straight shot as it was in the past it was getting kind of overwhelming as I would turn another corner and still be like where is the finish line. Finally in the last stretch, there was a 1k running friend who had a megaphone and was calling out “Go Running Mama!” as I passed by for that final boost before the finish line. When I saw the finish line I just tried to run as fast as possible, that was my idea of a sprint at the moment and so elated when I finally had crossed over and my finish line pics show just that, haha!

I wasn’t sure if I had my 2nd best time of 2nd slowest time until I checked the official time on the Athlinks app but that was later on when I finally sat down. I picked up my new medal, making sure that all parts spun (issue earlier in the weekend about that) and headed to the food tent. Last year the food tent was a mess and I had to juggle all my food in the cold freezing rain but this year it was much better and (yay!) no cold freezing rain either! They had boxes of DeliverLean meals ready to pick up, at first I looked at it and it said something like Turkey sandwich and I guess one of the volunteers could see my face “oh damn, meat” and asked if I was vegetarian they had meals for us too. Finally, a meal option for vegetarians at a race! Best news ever! I got my pasta meal box and some pretzels and oatmeal cinnamon cookies and quickly went to another tent where they had cold water. I got a cold water bottle and went in search of  a place to put all my stuff down to better organize it for carrying back to the 1k tent to eat. I dropped my Nuun tablet into the cold water bottle also and was happy I didn’t have to wait long before getting re-hydrated. They also had Gatorade bottles available but I almost never drink Gatorade so I passed on it. Then I walked sorely back to the 1k tent where I could put my stuff down on a table and start snacking on some cookies. I stayed standing for a long time while I gave my body time to slow down a bit and get readjusted to not running. I know better than to sit down right after a long distance race, one thing I learned really quickly after my first half marathon. After about 25 minutes or so I decided it was time to sit and rest a little, it was at that time that I looked up my boyfriend’s splits and could see that he was nearing the finish line. I continued to watch the app while I ate my cookies and drank my cold Nuun infused water until he finished and came to the 1k tent to find me. After that I got my gear bag and was trying to debate whether I should change clothing or not, I ended up not choosing to change clothing as it wasn’t cold and I really didn’t want to see what would happen if I tried bending to change, haha! Took a porta potty break and then went to the Florida Storm Series tent to collect my Cat 3 medal of the series. At the 305 Half I will be collecting my Cat 4 medal so in about a month I will have 2 more medals.

Another reason to park or not park at the American Airlines Arena is the walk back is a good cool down, re stretch your muscles walk before the drive home but can be terrible if you can barely walk. Luckily it was a good cool down walk for me and not the latter, also it makes it easier to leave the downtown area also. All in all this was not my best marathon and not my worst. The conditions were brutal but I endured the wind and heat and conquered my 4th marathon to date! Miami Marathon 2019, I am coming for you and will hopefully be PR ready. Now I just need the weather to cooperate and I will be good. If you haven’t signed up for next year’s race, what are you waiting for? Right now the prices are the lowest they will EVER be, so sign up now!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!