A1A Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon Expo

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So since about Tuesday night I hadn’t ran since I seemed to pick up this horrible virus/cold/bad germs from my toddler with the idea that a lot of rest would heal me up before race day. Off I headed to the race expo, which is about a 45 minute drive away from my house with my toddler. I did not anticipate the traffic getting into Port Everglades and I had never been there since I have never been on a cruise. Major traffic right at the entrance, unknowing that there is another entrance to the convention center, I just went where my apple maps told me to go. I pulled into a massive parking garage with no real signage about pricing on the outside (I didn’t see anything) but with a ticket to take when parking. I had only planned to spend an hour or less anyways so figured if there was a fee it would be a low rate since I was barely there.

First con of the expo: paying to park to get your race packet. Or maybe sharing a garage with lots of overnight parked vehicles. It was somewhat difficult to find parking and pretty dark, not something I like to do with my kid in a stroller, just doesn’t seem safe. I think that in the future it would be nice if they could have some sort of discount or fee waived for packet pickup vehicles if they show their bib at the end. I was very surprised when pulling out of the garage to finally see pricing in tiny print on the cashier window. 0-1 = $3, 1-3 hrs = $6! So I basically paid $6 to park for a little over an hour! Pretty ridiculous, in other race expos I have paid way less for more time spent looking around at the vendors. I was hardly there because after 30 minutes or so I was starting to feel very weak due to being sick and needed to leave.

Actual packet pick was so easy, there was no line for my last name initial and got my bib and shirt in a minute or less. Everyone was nice and fast, no issue here. In fact I would say this was one of my pros of this expo: speedy packet pickup. If I wasn’t interested in looking around and taking some pictures I would have been out of there in 15 minutes or less, which would be good for someone in a rush.

Backing up to as soon as I stepped into the expo, there was some massage tables and people getting massages to the right of the entrance and some Lexus cars to the right. One of which was wrapped in all the participants name, which was pretty cool in my opinion. I found my name quickly and got a pic with it. As soon as I was done I walked right to the pack of the room and picked up my race packet. There were plenty of volunteers helping direct runners and visitors, which was nice and helpful. Usually expos are such a huge mess of everyone crowding around certain booths and just generally a headache. This one was set up well with enough space for me to push a stroller through without any issues.

I walked through every aisle, checking out different booths with other race info and tried to hit up a couple of photo ops in the process. Also got to try a few new things, one that really stood out was the Yasso Frozen Yogurt booth, where I got to try a chocolate chip yogurt bar. Yummy, and of course I shared some with my toddler because I did not want a meltdown to happen. They also gave me some coupons, which I used when I went to Publix right after the expo to get some groceries. I love finding new food favorites at race expos. There were a few more things and some wheels to spin to win certain things. I spun the wheel at the Publix booth and chose a snack container because with a toddler, snack time is all the time!

Another pro of the expo was the cool 13.1 and 26.2 signs that were set up so runners and their families could take pictures by. I liked that and liked it even more that I didn’t have to wait in line to get a pic with them. I didn’t realize till later that there was a wall behind that for runners to sign their name and write things on, I missed that part.

I would say that the expo had a lot of pros but a few cons like the parking fee situation. I did not collect as many freebies as are available at some expos but I really do not need any more junk. I have enough plastic promotional water bottles to last me a lifetime at this point!

The night before the race I kept going back and forth about whether it was smart to run the race while still feeling very sick and congested. The decision was made for me when my daughter kept waking up multiple times during the night and even after giving her tylenol to get her fever to go away, the temps kept spiking to the temp of 102.9. It was at that point that I said it was not safe for me to run in my current health plus I was going to have to take my baby to the ER to get her high fever checked out. So at 3am I made the decision and a few hours later when the fever was still very high I took my daughter to the children’s hospital to get checked out. Her diagnosis was upper respiratory infection with the beginning of an ear infection. I have since been to get checked out myself and they are ruling what I have as an upper respiratory infection with some water in my ears. My recommendation from the dr has been rest and lots of hydration as well as an inhaler to get rid of this cough. Luckily I have been doing that because I really, really want to get better and miss running.

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My planned attire for the A1A half marathon and race bib.

 

 

Sunday afternoon I spent having some serious FOMO about those A1A race medals but also reading about multiple incidents of people needing medical help from the hot and humid conditions for the race. Still sad I had to miss the race but there’s always next year!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to A1A Half 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!

 

 

 

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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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Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

I haven’t updated in a very long time, but I promise I will get back into this blog now that I’ve signed up for a ton of Fall races.

Life lately in a short summary. Met an amazing guy on National Running Day, very fitting because he is a runner too! So all of my long runs have been with him lately instead of solo at the park in a million loops. Definitely helps the miles tick by when you have someone to talk to and get to know. Signed up for all the Florida Storm Series races, now I just have to wait to run them! Have been getting faster in my training runs and can’t wait to see how that makes my race times. A few weeks ago I was supposed to do a race on an airport runway but it got postponed/canceled last minute sadly.

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Last night went to a fabulous event in Wynwood that incorporated running & yoga, two of my favorite things! It was held at Pilathon, a pilates/yoga studio in the heart of Wynwood. We started the event by learning some Chi Running techniques from Bryan Huberty, it was pretty cool since I believe I already run Chi style. We ran around looking at the sweet art on the buildings in Wynwood & then did some sprint intervals. I definitely do not do sprint intervals and even though it was supposed to hurt, it felt good! I really need to start doing sprint intervals on the regular. Artist, Ron Sanchez took our group pic by a large Bob Marley wall painting stating Loveism beside it. Afterwards we ran back to Pilathon and hopped up on the roof for some rejuvenating power yoga with Cat Haayen. This was the 3rd time attending this monthly event and every time we do different things & new yoga moves. It’s always fresh and getting that high feeling from staring up at the sky while quieting the mind is heavenly. Also holding my guy’s hand during shavasana was pretty awesome too.

running selfie taken by Mr Run Club :)

Running selfie taken by Mr Run Club 🙂

Group shot with Bob Marley.

Group shot with Bob Marley. Photo credit: Ron Sanchez

With Monica & Caro after rooftop yoga. Sweaty & happy.

With Monica & Caro after rooftop yoga. Sweaty & happy.

I will be back to update my last race recaps from the Winter/Spring soon! Until then Run Happy!

Peace

Peace

 

Check out Pilathon‘s page for upcoming events

And follow Cat Haayen on Twitter

Run Wild – February 8, 2014

Running a 5k six days after my first full marathon seemed like a dumb idea when I signed up for this race about a month before. Luckily it ended up really well for me. I usually really hate races that start later than 7:30am but I did this race last year and had a lot of fun so I tried to not be too bothered by the 8am start time. Plus races at Zoo Miami are a lot of fun, getting to run by all the animals. Sometimes I even go and walk around the zoo afterwards but this year it was just too hot by the time the race was over. My aunt said she would be there but I never saw her till after the race was over, I did run into Matt and a girl from FIU Run Club. It was her first 5k race so she was pretty excited. I lined up 10 minutes before it started and the announcers kept telling people to not have their kids up at the starting line but most people did not listen. That is the issue with zoo runs, the beginning is always a mess with dodging and practically jumping over little kids or strollers but then it gets better when you get around them.

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Hop!

Hop!

I felt pretty strong despite only doing one post marathon run before this race. Another great thing about zoo races is that they almost always have finisher medals. Finished the race, jumping over the finish line timing mat, seems to be my signature move. Haha. I got water, picked up some reusable bags, coconut water, some greek yogurt and a banana before heading back to the finish line to see my friends cross the line. Then I waited on the side to see my aunt and her friends cross the finish line, cheering them on as they reached it. Afterwards we took way too many pictures and waited in line for some yummy baked goods from Corner Bakery Cafe. Then watched the awards ceremony, and they started giving awards to the top 4 in each age group! So I ended up being called up and cheered on for my 4th place finish! Wish all races would have top 5 finishers in every category. The course for this race was a little bit short, and they told everyone at the start of the race, this was a new PR for me. Who would’ve thought I would PR less than a week after a marathon!

4th place in age group.

4th place in age group.

Close Up.

Close Up.

Miami Marathon – February 2, 2014

A year ago I told my coworker that I had just signed up for a half marathon, at the time he had said soon you will be signing up for a marathon. At that time I said “No way! A marathon is way too much for me” actually believing that I could not do a full marathon. When I signed up for this race I had just finished the Tropical 5k, which is the 5k the day before the big race. There was a race blitz and I decided to sign up for the half marathon distance since it was 20% off by the time I got a chance to sign up. At the time I hadn’t even ran my first half marathon, yet was planning for a year in advance to run another one, the Allstate 13.1 Miami Beach was still a month away.

Fast forward to June, when I finally was cleared to start running again after my surgery I decided then that if I could survive such a big scare then I could run a full marathon. I started training a bit early in September since I was not sure how the holidays would go and effect my long runs. It is a good thing I did since lots of things came up the last few months of the year: a friend’s wedding & all the events that come with weddings, baby shower, unexpected races and travel. Since the Fall here is generally (not this year) slightly cooler than the rest of the year there are tons of races and I had to sign up for a lot of them I had to alter my long runs at times. For the most part I got in most of my long runs and two 20+ milers during training luckily still.

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetastic.

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetasticfood.com. Amazingly stayed on through sweat & rain!

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When race day started to approach and I started to taper a bit it was a very strange feeling, since I hadn’t tapered for any races since March. I will admit I might have been a bit more agitated by things around me also at the time. Otherwise I was feeling very confident in my training and the goal was to just finish the race feeling good. I’m proud to say I accomplished that goal and was able to make my final mile the fastest in my splits.

Before the race selfie.

Before the race selfie.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Race day morning I got up early, I’d say 3:30am and got ready to leave for the race, packing a small bag of things I might need. I got a ride with my aunt, who was doing the half marathon that day, she kept being negative about how she was probably going to get a call from a race official to pick me up from the road. Those kind of comments do not get me down, instead they just make me more determined to prove them wrong. I dropped my bag off at my aunt’s Galloway group tent and headed to the AAA to use the bathroom. When there’s a real bathroom I will take it any day over a smelly port a potty and luckily I got there just in time for them to open up another ladies bathroom. Then I headed to find the F corral where I would wait till the race started, it was a bit confusing to navigate especially with sooooo many people waiting around. Eventually I found it and sat down on the curb to wait, I find resting my legs as much as possible before the race begins helps me conserve more energy. I’ve never been one to stretch and hop around before a race and it’s always worked for me. My friend Matt met up with me in the corral and we started out the race together. I did not want to start out too fast so he kept me slow for the first couple of miles till he dropped off at the first water spot to stretch out his legs. I never really understood why people put their names so big on their shirts for races till I did the same, at first it was a bit weird having strangers scream “GO LISA” but eventually it really really helped me. I liked all the crowd support right over the Venetian Causeway, a giant mob of cheering faces. I stopped at a few water stops in the first half but all the water stops in the 2nd portion, by then it was getting very very warm. Even when the race started at 6:30am it was already close to 80 degrees so I knew I had to stay as hydrated as possible.  Basically the first 12 miles were super crowded since 75% of the people were signed up for the half marathon distance. Just around the time of the split I saw a couple people start to walk, I started cheering and telling them to get going and finish the half strongly. By the time we split off it was desolate and only a couple runners ahead and a couple behind but pretty quiet. Less cheering squads except at the water stops, usually there were cheerleaders there which were helpful and cheered for me by name. I have to say the Coconut Grove residents who were out in their front yards cheering and giving everyone water/snacks were awesome! At around mile 16 in Coconut Grove the skies started getting dark and when the wind picked up I knew we were about to get some rain. Quickly I pulled out my phone to put it in a plastic baggie so it wouldn’t get soaked and my grandma was calling. I picked up and told her I had 10 more miles to go and had to get off the phone because rain was coming. Five minutes after I hung up with her it started pouring, so for the next 5 miles I ran through the rain. Ran by an awesome resident giving out ice cold beer just before the Rickenbacker Causeway but didn’t partake in any. I just wanted to keep up the momentum because I knew if I would slow down for too long I would get lazy and walk too much. That was the hottest part of the race, there is no shade out there with Biscayne Bay beside you. Back in Brickell I passed lots of brunch’ers who cheered me on drunkenly while stumbling down the sidewalk, that was pretty amusing. I was so happy to see that mile 25 sign that I increased my speed and it ended up being my fastest mile of the whole marathon! But that last mile did seem the longest with a steep bridge just before the final .40 , I trudged over it and once I turned the corner and saw that finish line arch I sprinted to it. Never had I felt so accomplished after crossing that finish line. I got my medal and put a Nuun tablet in my water immediately and grabbed a banana from the food tent. Then met up with my aunt and her running friends at the Galloway tent to rest, I knew I had to keep moving for a bit longer so that I wouldn’t get really stiff afterwards. By that time the side of my knee was aching and I was kind of hobbling around, my IT band. Never have I had a problem with it before, but probably going those 26 miles for the first time aggravated it. When I got home later that day I made sure to ice it and put my Zensahs on, seemed to help. For the next few days my quads and hamstrings were achy but nothing crazy, so I rested and did not run for 3 days after.

Almost to the finish line!!

Almost to the finish line!!

1st Marathon medal.

1st Marathon medal.

Got my trusty Zensahs on & still got all my toenails!

Got my trusty Zensahs on & still got all my toenails!

Here are my mile splits:

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Overall I felt that this marathon experience was a great one. I didn’t worry about my finishing time, this race’s goal was just about finishing and feeling good still. I succeeded and signed up for next year’s marathon again. Can’t wait!

Running on vacation.

Since starting to run I hadn’t taken too many trips, but definitely not any longer than a day or two at the most. For new years this year I went to visit a friend in DC and decided I could get in a couple of runs while there. I was at the end of marathon training and needed a semi long run at least one of the days I was visiting. I had ran 12 miles the day that I left Miami so that I would be relaxed on my flight and not feel antsy. Two days later I got up around 9am and got ready to run, I had looked it up on my phone to see which would be the easiest way to not get lost going to the Lincoln Memorial. Found a straight shot that took me by the Capital also and took it. Now I see why locals in big cities get annoyed with tourists, they block the entire sidewalk when you are trying to get by. I suppose I looked like a local too until I took out my phone at the Lincoln Memorial and snapped some pics with Abe. Friends commented when I posted the pics on Facebook asking why I wasn’t relaxing on my trip. Running actually relaxes me plus I got a chance to see the city from a different perspective than I have before. I hadn’t ever ran anywhere from my friend’s house before, always taking the metro anywhere I needed to go. It was nice seeing the city and running by the locals, getting a chance to cross the roads with the long crosswalk lights. That first day I ran a little over 7 miles and stopped at SweetGreen for a spicy warm salad. It was around 45 degrees out that day and I was frozen. I hadn’t ran in that kind of weather since the February before.

with Abe.

with Abe.

yummiest salad i've ever had!

yummiest salad i’ve ever had!

The next Monday I got in a shorter 3.5 mile run to the Capitol and back. My pace was faster too because I got out earlier before all the tourists hit the streets. It didn’t feel as cold that day but I’m pretty sure it was the same temp as the run before. I was really hoping for it to start snowing one of the days while I was out for a run but alas snow in DC does not seem to be in the cards for me. It sucks that I didn’t get a chance to partake in a November Project workout while I was there.

The Capital.

The Capital.

I personally loved running while on vacation and plan on doing it again next time I go on vacation. Such a fun way to explore the city and get in a good workout too.

YMCA of Homestead Jingle Bell Run 5k – December 14, 2013

Starting line.

Starting line.

Onward to race #2 for the day. This race is actually really special to me because it is the first race my parents have ever attended. Arrived early at Baptist Hospital in Homestead, where the starting line was. I decided to be festive for this race and wear a santa hat, which I later realized was a dumb idea since it was over 80 degrees out and my head needs to breathe. About a mile into the race I just wanted to rip the hat off but kept it on for finish line photos. Convinced a friend from run club to run this race and ended up running it with him the whole time. We are used to running the same pace at run club so the goal was to stay with him and kick up the pace at the finish line. I talked most of the way, not that he could probably hear me as he was wearing headphones but still kept my mind from focusing on the pain of running so quickly. I even mentioned that we might actually place high in our age group when we were about a mile from the finish line. Well I set a new 5k PR that day and placed 1st in my age group. The first time ever being 1st! Plus we set a course record for our age groups as it was the first race on that course and the first year of this race. Never had I felt more high from racing than that moment, plus my parents and grandmother were there to see it happen. We got Christmas ornaments with the race info on it at the finish line. There was also free local craft beers but I did not partake in those this time, but I did have some pizza from The Big Cheese when I went into the YMCA for the awards ceremony afterwards. After carbing up and getting my medal I headed home to change and get ready to go out with some friends for a night of dancing. This race was dedicated to Angelika, who loves all things Christmas related.

Finishers received this ornament.

Finishers received this ornament.

pizza!!!

pizza!!!

#1!

#1!

Close up of medal & my cute polka dot running skirt.

Close up of medal & my cute polka dot running skirt.