305 Half Marathon 2022

Disclaimer: I promoted 305 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!”

Two years ago this was my final race before the Covid pandemic hit the US. The last time things were “normal”, before we were hoarding toilet paper and covering half our faces. Who would think that 2 years later is it is still not the same but running races is getting a bit back to normal again.

Packet pick up –

Super easy, I went to the first day of packet pick up when it was by my house so very convenient and so fast. Showing the QR code as soon as I got to the head of the line (there was no line when I went) and was quickly handed my bag of goodies and 2 bottles of jelly bean vitamins with my bib. One of the fastest packet pickups ever!

Race morning –

Parking –

Parked in one of the designated parking garages that I always park in when doing races in South Beach. Unfortunately since it is also considered Spring Break in Miami the parking rate was $20! That sucked big time and now I know what my parking strategy will be next year for this race, and it will not include this parking garage.

Bathroom/Pre race stuff

Porta potties were plentiful and most of them under lighting, always a good thing. Got in and out in a second, no lines for these when I went. There was also a little kiosk for free cafecito, because that is so Miami. I went to the packet pick up area to meet up with my fellow BibRave pros: Fernando, Phil, Apryl and Sarah. Found Phil and Felipe first and then walked closer to the starting line and found Apryl! Sarah arrived a little later because she was doing the 5k and running for two 😉 so we didn’t get to see her for the pre race photo.

Entertainment on the course/Race

I do not run with music anymore so I rely on the interesting sights around me and the on course entertainment, there were a couple of djs on the course and great volunteers at the water stations. Always thank the volunteers! I knew early on this race was going to be a slow on, I had a stressful week and was not carbing up enough or training well for this one. I didn’t have any long runs at all between this race and Miami Marathon and it was apparent at mile 4. The wind was okay on the first part of the race, but around mile 7 I got the headwind and it was torturous. The bridges ate my legs up and then I pulled my left glute on the 2nd bridge, after that I knew I would be walking up those bridges and feeling the ache in my glute for the rest of the race. This is the first injury I have had during a race and it was pure grit keeping me moving to that finish line when all I wanted to do was walk the rest of the way. I finished the race at the same pace as I did it the year that was I was pregnant and made a port a potty stop along the way, yikes! Anyways a wise friend told me that I should not focus on the time since when its all said and done we all get the same race shirt and same medal but to be proud to achieve a finish. I gotta remember that more and enjoy the journey and the things I see along the way. Luckily I only seen one person down due to the heat I believe, at the 12.3 mile area but she was being helped by police. That finishing chute always feels good even when you are not feeling so well with pains lol. Got my medal and collected the post race food, and headed to get my pineapple series race medal. So grateful for the gear check bag they handed me to put all my post race foods and bonus beach mat in. Took a race pic with two of the BibRave pros, Phil and Fernando and headed to the beach to try to get a good pic of my medals. It was pretty windy so my medals were blowing all over the place while I was trying to get that good shot. Met up with some of my 1k teammates: The prez and the mayor of Miami running.

Overall always one of my favorite races, and this course was my first half marathon back in 2013. Challenging but doable if you actually train for it. Next year I will be back and hopefully trained better for it.

Check out my previous posts about this race series:

305 Half 2020

305 Half 2019

305 Half 2018

Are you a fan of hilly races or do you like flat and fast courses better? Let me know in the comments!

Miami Marathon Weekend 2022

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Tropical 5k 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!

Mid March 2020 everything shutdown due to the start of the covid 19 pandemic, I had just completed my 2020 Miami Marathon and all races went on hiatus till mid 2021. Miami Marathon 2021 had to be canceled due to the pandemic with options to defer and race your chosen race virtually. I took the option of deferral and the virtual option, Running a marathon a treadmill is not all the fun like running in person in a race atmosphere. Luckily I signed up with my deferral code as soon as the race opened in April 2021 and did not have to join the 5000 participants on the waiting list. They minimized the amount of runners to keep it from getting too crowded. It did help with crowding and overall enjoyment of the experience, especially with the pandemic still a problem.

My training over the summer/fall did not go always as planned, in August 2021 I got the covid-19 delta strain and was slow to come back to my running. My lungs were just not the same and I lost a lot of endurance during the weeks I was recovering. I knew I had a marathon to train for but I was not going to overextend myself to do it, I always remember my former coach saying “Its better to be undertrained than overtrained.” I got up to about 14 mile long runs in my fall training block but relied a bit on a 6 hr hilly ultra to help with some hill training in early January 2022.

Race Expo

This year the race expo was at the Miami Beach Convention Center again, it hadn’t been there since 2015! I felt like in the past years the expo was bigger but I heard through the grapevine that a lot of vendors dropped out last minute due to covid restrictions and such. Perhaps next year it will be bigger and better as we covid things get a little better. Anyways traffic into Miami beach was a bit more than typical beach traffic but once I got by the convention center, parking at the nearby parking garage was easy and quick. I got to the expo about 10 minutes after it opened, and it was packed! I guess everyone had the same idea as I did to get there early lol. Oh well, there were some long lines for specific bib numbers and the tropical 5k but overall the lines move pretty quickly for bib retrieval and there were no lines for shirt pick up. Thanks to Bibrave I got entry to the VIP Experience and compared to past years it was not quite the same, smaller area and not as much gym equipment as in the past and no massage boots :'(. That really was something I was looking forward to, but moving on, the swag for the VIPs was pretty good, We got a small messenger bag with Miami Marathon labeling and a soft bomber style jacket embroidered with Miami Marathon. I walked around the expo once and then returned to the VIP area where I ran into a friend of mine, one of the 20 year streakers, Tony Jones. I was interested in the new thing in the VIP lounge, last time there was nail art and this year it was fast braids. I chose the two french braids style and had a nice conversation with the stylist/salon owner about hair stuff and how she was not a runner but a yogi. After I got my fast braids I walked around the expo more and checked out the vendors. One that really stood out to me was the Sneaker Impact booth where I talked to the owner about his company and how they are saving our sneakers from landfills to send to other countries to provide shoes for adults and children to be able to attend work and school. I will be packing and shipping him some shoes this weekend! I tried some food samples from the eat street area of the expo and walked over to the Miami Marathon museum area where they had all the previous year medals on display and old flyers/articles of past years winners and original course. Also a wall to display the 20 year streakers, very cool, wish I would’ve been part of that but 20 years ago I was not a runner. The official merchandise area was bigger than in the past and it was very busy, I bought my daughter a Future Finisher shirt, as I have been doing since before she was born (It was actually the way I announced my pregnancy to my family, Miami Marathon onesie). Ran into a lot of runner friends who I had not seen in the 2 years or more since the pandemic began. I spent about 3 hours walking around and checking out the stuff before heading home to rest my legs a little before Saturday’s 5k.

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This year I did not park at Jungle Island, which I had been doing for the past few years due to the closeness of the start line, I parked in Miami Beach. They had shuttles from 2 nearby parking garages to the start line so I got to the parking garage early and met up with my friend, Caroline. Fun fact: We have been IG friends for a few years I’d say but I hadn’t met her till race morning. We walked to the buses and chatted till the race started. Plenty of port a potties at the starting line and remarkably no long lines when I went. Ran into JetSetSarah (local runner/travel writer/fashionista) as we walked around and a couple of others before we headed towards the front of the corral. We got there 45 minutes before start time and it was a good decision because it started getting crowded early, I did see a lot of masks before we started which was a good sign that everyone was keeping safe. I had mine on when it started getting crowded and put it in my pocket when we started. I tried to hold back but my first mile was obviously too quick and I had to force myself to slow down the next 2 miles, why is it that 5ks feel so much harder than longer distances? Is it because we have to run that much faster? Probably. I had an ok finish line for running the day before a marathon and collected my medal and bottle of water. Can I just say I love that the bottled water was in a recyclable bottle this year BUT those bottles were impossible to open with sweaty post run hands! I had to ask a very quick runner who was just spectating to open my bottle before I continued on towards the beach. I took a couple pics of my medal on the beach when I walked to the Nikki Beach area where the finish line party usually is and found it deserted. Found Carolina again and we found the tiny area where they were giving some post race snacks at and I collected some cookies/pretzels and a banana before we walked back to our cars in the parking garage. Fun race but I had to rush on home to take my daughter to swim class, #momlife. Later I took her to a nearby carnival and she rode some rides with a friend while I carb loaded with an elephant ear and took way too many steps.

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I woke up very early, 3:05am (haha) and gathered all my stuff that I laid out the night before. I had my waffle and water before I left. I know they say to never do anything new on race day but I will admit I wore some Oiselle pocket joggers that I had just got a few days before, so they were brand new, unwashed and unworn yet. I mean I have worn the style for a couple races now and knew they were going to work out well for me for this race as they do not ride up, the best! The only chaffing I got was from the line logo tag on the bottom of the shorts. I did use KT tape Chafe Safe on my body before I left the house also and that stuff really works! Got to the FTX arena (formerly AAA/Home of Miami Heat) by 4:15am and parked for $5. I am so glad that they give this as a parking option as all the other parking options around that area are $10-$20 on race morning, the only thing is that you have be parked before 5am since the starting corrals are right in front. Relaxed in the car for 15 minutes and then started over to the charity village/team tent area. Hit the port a potties and met up with my BibravePro teammate, Sarah, who is also part of 1k run club. We headed over to the 1k tent by the water, later when the sun was up, it was a great view of the bay. I dropped off my bag of extra clothes and car keys at the team tent and chatted with a couple of runner friends. Then Sarah and I walked over to the FTX arena to use a real toilet before the race started, the first bathroom we walked into had a bit of a line so we went to the next one where we had the whole bathroom to ourselves, we hurried to our B corral (another perk of the VIP experience) and found Phil, our BibRave teammate.

The excited energy in the corral was palpable and everyone started hopping up and down to warm up, and we were off soon after 6:10 or so. An earlier start is a great, because once that sun comes out, it really gets you. Luckily I was already at mile 5 or so before the sun really started coming out. That first mile and running over the McArthur is quite an experience, especially after many years of running this race I know to expect the bagpipe playing at the top of the bridge. Couple of friends said hi as they passed on the first few miles of the race. There were a couple of runners who took some spills, one right at the start, about 15 feet after crossing the starting line and another one on those armadillo bumps on the Venetian. I hope they were okay, I kept well away from those armadillo bumps while I was running. I started taking in water around mile 6 of the race, and hit every other water stop till the halfway point of the race. Around mile 12 when all the spectators are screaming “almost there” Umm nope, there were a couple of runners sprawled out on the sidewalks, I’m guessing heat related since the humidity was at 90% at the start. I really tried not to get that into my head as I rounded the corner at the course split and headed for the big bridge on Brickell. There used to be spectators who would bring ice pops in a cooler around the Fortune building, where Brickell Run Club meets but I haven’t seen them in a couple of years, if you are reading this, please come back and give us ice pops at that corner again!! Thankfully two years ago the course was changed up a little bit so we are not running into direct sunlight at mile 23 and under the Rickenbacker bridge but instead running under it at mile 16. At mile 17 I knew one of my 1k teammates and overall running angel, Betty would be out there supporting the FDC team and runners so I stopped by for a quick hug and some kind of sugar, she gave me a cup of coca cola (I never drink soda!) and a mini bag of skittles. Seems like the cola helped me, must’ve been that caffeine!

By the time I reached Coconut Grove I was incorporating my ultra race technique (run/walk) and stopping at all the water stops. At mile 22-23 one of the police officers must’ve been pretty bored by the time we passed through because he was joking that if we walked he would give us a ticket and said “I’m watching you [bib number]”. That kept me moving a little but I walked right after we got passed him, Ha! Once we got out of the neighborhoods and closer to the finish line, the buildings started blocking out the sun and it got cooler and shady. Just before my final mile I heard my name and looked over to see my friend Carolina waving at me. I waved and determinedly kept running through the looooooong finish chute. Saw Phil waving from the VIP stands before I finished too. It really is an experience at the end of the race when you are running around that final curve and all those strangers are cheering you on, you really get a little feeling of how it feels to be a rockstar at that moment. So much fun! Got my medal and continued walking to get a water from a friendly volunteer who kindly opened it for me when I mentioned how the bottled were hard to open. Afterwards I collected my vegetarian DeliverLean meal and headed to the 1k tent to celebrate. Dropped my Nuun tablet in the water bottle and kept walking around. Took some pics with my new medal and then walked over to the VIP tent area to check if I could get a leg massage. The line was long for the massages and talked to some others in the line who came up with a good suggestion, there should be a line for half marathoners and full marathoners. Definitely both groups need a good massage after, but marathoners more so because of that extra distance. Picked up a vegan meal from the tent and started walking to the FTX arena to my car, about 2 hrs after I finished the race. There were lots of people dancing along to the entertainers on the stage and the beer tent was looking full when I left around noon.

I’m already signed up for the 2023 Miami Marathon! Hurry and sign up soon before the 2500 early access spots are taken! The race is going to be capped at 18,000 and you definitely want to be Miami Famous!

It’s Not Miami Without YOU! Who’s in for Miami Marathon 2023? Drop me a comment below or just tell me I’m crazy for running 26.2 miles in this heat. LOL.

Grandma’s Marathon Virtual 26.2 : Why I am running

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Grandma’s Marathon virtual marathon 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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This year I started the year hopeful and thinking maybe I could run a marathon a month, whether the race distance or during a race and I started at the beginning of January by running a 6 hr ultra marathon, completing the marathon distance and then almost hitting 30 miles as well. Things changed soon afterwards, my grandmother took a turn for the worst, she had been in the hospital since right before Thanksgiving. There would be good days and then bad days with her recovery/health and on January 10th, she lost the battle and passed away. Most may not know but this was the closest grandparent I had and my last living one. Sure we would argue sometimes but we did get along as well. I remember during my first marathon back in 2014 she called me when I was around mile 16 to tell me that she saw on the news that it would start raining soon. I said “Uh grandma, I’m still running, but I don’t have too much more to go, 10 miles” and got off the phone with her. I did put my phone away in my plastic baggie and just in time too, the rain started pouring down for the next 6 miles or so of that race. She only attended one of my races but that was due to her own transportation issues, it was a good race too, an inaugural race and I ended up winning 1st in my age group. She would always like to see the different medals I earned after races. She is the reason I am doing this race.

I ran a 5k the week after the ultra (not a great idea) I had dead legs. A few weeks later I ran Tropical 5k and Miami Marathon without any issues. February was uneventful till mid/late month and that’s when my daughter got Influenza B (the flu!) and a few days later I got it as well. Not a lot of running happened that month, 10 days later I ran the 305 half marathon and did fairly well for still recovering. Mid March brought my city into lock down due to Covid-19 and my only outing was restricted to grocery shopping. When the gyms closed the sidewalks became crowded and running outside became somewhat of an obstacle course. More treadmill running happened for me also because my daughter’s preschool closed and I started teaching her from home while also working a full time job. Running takes away a little of the stress I am experiencing now with extra work and more jobs than usual.


Training for this race has been mainly done on the treadmill and even though I haven’t ran any distances over 14 miles so far in this training block I am fairly certain I will survive the race. I used to train for marathons with multiple 20 milers but in the last few years I haven’t had as much time for such long distances and I have done okay during my marathons. I am planning on running this virtual marathon on the treadmill so that will be a new challenge for me. I have only ever ran a 22 miler on the treadmill once back in 2013 when I was training for my first marathon!

Should be fun to earn this medal not only because of who I am running this race for but also because this is a very well known race in the running community. I personally have never been to Minnesota but I plan on making a trip there one day when it is safe to travel again and hope to run this race in real life. Some friends of mine have ran this race before and have given me tips on the course and how to adjust the treadmill incline for more accurate running conditions.

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I plan on filling a couple of reusable water bottles with water and Nuun and putting my Honey Stinger chews within reach in case I need a boost of sugar during the race. I am not sure if I am going to watch movies/tv shows or read a book while running this race as that is how I have recently been training while running on the treadmill. With lots of miles with no scenery change I am going to need some sort of brain distraction, also I heard there is an app that will allow you to see the course as you run it, I might try that one too!

Do you have any tips on long long runs while on the treadmill? Please send them my way in the comments below.

305 Half Marathon – March 1, 2020 – Race Review

I’m promoting 305 Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Miami Marathon 2020

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Miami Marathon and received free entry to Tropical 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Writers Block not Runners Block

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

305 Half Marathon 2019

I’m promoting 305 Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

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Let me start by saying I have ran this race/course for the past 7 years and every year it still feels as challenging. Some years I have sub two hour finishes, some years I’m a few minutes behind, some years I just want to finish alive. This was my first half marathon back in 2013 and even though those bridges are challenging, I continue to sign up year after year.

Last year the race was more Miami than usual with a pots and pans PR station because everyone in Miami goes out in the streets with their pots and pans for the home team victories. This year was much like last years with the 305 feel with cafecito by the starting line and lots of great food vendors afterwards. There was a major hiccup that happened a few days before the race, the race medals were on a train for California and not Florida so the race management hustled and put together a temp medal till we can get the official 0 medal to complete our 3 year challenge. Also due to the UPS mistake they gave out $5 Starbucks gift cards as well as a code for free UPS my choice premium membership for a year. I look forward to getting my 0 medal in the mail in the next couple weeks.

Now back to the changes and things that were really helpful. Usually the port a potties are lined up at the end of the starting corral but this time they were actually put into the hard packed sand across from where the finish line was and there were huge lights to illuminate them. That is perfect, well almost lol, some sand got into my sock which was kind of annoying BUT I did like the fact that it was out of the starting corral area which really clogs up the area for runners.

The iRun pacers were great as usual, I tucked in behind the 2:00 finish time pacers and managed to stick with them for 8 miles, the pace was a little faster than I expected. But after the brief rain shower at mile 7 the humidity was getting very thick. The sun burning the rain off the pavement was just a bit much for me when I had to trek up one of the final bridges back to Miami Beach, the MacArthur and so I decided to take a little walk break up it or risk fainting from the humidity. After that the flat running was working well for me and I stopped slacking a little. I got to see my favorite running buddy, Harolyn at the mile 10.5 water stop, she ran over to cheer on her friends and ended up helping out at the water stop.

I got caught by a few photographers this year which doesn’t always happen when I am running with a pace group. One caught me when I was ascending the 2nd bridge of the course, caught the grit on my face haha. I really do not like hills/bridges because I am used to training in my very flat Miami neighborhood and don’t get to make it out to Key Biscayne for tackling the large bridge anymore with a toddler. Training is a lot different now than it used to be.

I hope that next year I will be getting a course PR during this race, that is the plan at least! Possibly a new half PR that is if I can get in some bridge training this year.

Onward to the finish line, where cold water, cold towels and temporary medals were handed out. After that you head into the post race party zone after getting some fruit/protein bars from the athlete food tent. At the back of the food tent was a chicken and rice food area, but I did not stop and try out that. I actually did not want to smell any food after finishing the rest.  In that tent I prepared my Nuun so that I could hydrate back to human. Tucked a banana securely into the pocket of my Oiselle pocket jogger shorts and my water bottle in the other pocket.  That is where we picked up our Starbucks card and letter from UPS about the medal mishap. I went immediately to the Florida Storm Series tent and picked up my category 4 medal, that didn’t take long at all and then walked around to see the different vendors. I ran into my Oiselle teammate Daniela’s parents who ran the 5k/half marathon at the Air Relax booth. I walked around and got some shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck and then went to the Yasso truck and had a greek froyo bar in my favorite Yasso bar flavor, chocolate chip cookie dough. After saying hi to a few more friends in the finisher area I walked back to my car and headed up. Everywhere in Miami seems to be under construction lately and Miami Beach was no different but luckily the traffic was not too terrible when I left at 9am.

I will be signing up for the 2020 race to complete my 3 year challenge, but I know that I will continue signing up for this race as long as I am able to run it. Claimed my results on athlinks right after the race and then by that evening the FREE race photos were available on the app! Sign up now for the best rates for next year’s 305 Half Marathon!

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305 Half Marathon, Are you in? (discount code too!)

Disclaimer: I’m promoting 305 Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

305 half marathon

Have you ever wanted to run a race that was mostly along the beach boardwalk/walkway and also over some challenging bridges? Well then the 305 Half Marathon is your race!

This was actually my first half marathon EVER, but it was called a different name back then in 2013. I trained for 3 months to get to this starting line and had no idea about these bridges but still somehow managed to pull off a 2:03 finish without even hydrating during the race. I did some things wrong during that race but did learn about taking in fuel at the right times, I started burning out at mile 9 that day, it was a great learning experience. Now I run with the pace groups (iRun)  for this race to keep me on pace for an under 2 hr finish.

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This year we will be earning our “0” medal to be almost done with the “305” medals! After the 2020 race we will have a complete 305 medal for this 3 year challenge of sorts. But don’t worry if you missed last year’s race for some reason you can purchase the 3 and run a half marathon on your own time to “earn” it so you can have a complete series when you run this year and next year’s race 🙂

Haven’t signed up yet? You are in luck, I have a discount code to save $10 on the half marathon and/or $5 on the 5k race that morning. Both races are taking place at the same time so unfortunately you cannot run both to get double medals 😉 Use this code : BIBRAVE305

You’re welcome and I hope to see you out there in a little over a month!

 

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Have you ever ran this race before? Or one of the other names this name has gone by in the past, Michelob Ultra Miami Beach Half Marathon? Allstate Miami Beach Half marathon? What do you find challenging in running a half marathon?

Miami Marathon 2019 Weekend

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k race & 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!

Let’s start with Friday, Miami Marathon expo opens at Mana convention center in Wynwood, a district known for art galleries and hipster bars. I really like this area for the expo, even though parking can be a hassle it is generally cheaper than when the expo was held at the Miami Beach convention center in the past. As part of the VIP experience we had complimentary valet parking but I chose to get to the area early and scored a very close spot, on the street beside the Mana parking lot. Also as part of VIP we were able to enter the expo one hour before the general public. I got there around 11:30am so I had a nice walk around the displays for 30 minutes before it got pretty crowded. I checked into the VIP lounge and headed to the packet pickup area in the back of the convention center to pick up my race bibs for my two races. VIP participants get to walk a red carpet to pick up their bib, and it will probably be my only opportunity to walk a red carpet so that was a fun perk. Pickup was easy breezy and I received my VIP bracelet & swag bag to wear all weekend to take part in all the VIP events. Some things I knew that I could not attend like the cocktail party on Friday night since I was running the Tropical 5k early the next morning, plus I really don’t partake in alcohol so close to race days.

After I got my race bibs for Miami Marathon and Tropical 5k I took a walk down the AthlEat street to try out some new things and had a taste of my favorites like MaraNatha almond butter and Harmless Harvest coconut water. I walked back to check out the VIP lounge to rest my legs whilst charging my phone with the sofa! I sat down and checked out my swag bag containing a very nice full zip jacket with the Miami Marathon logo on the back, a stainless steel Miami Marathon branded tumbler, and a lotion/chapstick combo pack in a nice sized reuseable tote. After hanging out there for awhile I walked around to visit some friends who were working at the expo and ran into a couple more friends while walking around and checking out some of the booths. I got to try out the normatec boots, which I have always been curious about but never had the opportunity to try them out, I got a chance at the expo for 10 minutes while meeting another Bibrave pro. I returned to the lounge one last time, that’s when I discovered that I could’ve used the Normatec boots without a wait in the lounge. Facepalm. Okay, so now I know for the future if I sign up for the VIP experience again next year. Also they had massages available as well as treadmills to use to loosen up the legs while in the lounge. I picked up a vegan salad to eat while there as well as a Ten water for electrolytes. I am always terrible at hydrating the Friday before my race weekend so it was much appreciated. I stopped by the official merchandise booth and got Phoebe a Future Finisher tee (the same one I managed to lose last year at the expo) and tucked it securely in my Oiselle spike bag. The expo was getting pretty crowded when I left just before 2pm to head back home to get as much rest as possible with a toddler.

Saturday morning I woke up to torrential rains and cold weather. I put on my new Miami Marathon jacket over my Bibrave singlet and headed out, making sure to put my running shoes in a bag to carry to the car to keep my feet as dry as possible for as long as possible. Parking was easy at Watson Island, right beside the Children’s museum and waited around an hour till it was 7am and I had to get out of the warm and dry car to use the bathroom before the race. By that time the rain had pretty much stopped so I took of my poncho as soon as I finished in the port a potty and after crossing the starting line I threw it to the side to one of the spectators. Just before the 7:30am start it started sprinkling, which later turned into a more steady rain once I was around mile 1. It reminded me of the 2017 Miami Marathon weather, where it was 55 and raining the whole 26.2 miles. Ran into a couple friends along the course but hurried through the miles, reminding a young runner to watch running along the slippery white painted street lines. Pretty much ran across the finish line, grabbed my water and a medal and headed to the finisher photo opp quickly, got a pic and went to Nikki Beach for a bagel and banana and ran to the buses back to Watson Island. Usually I like to stay longer and take some pics on Miami Beach with my medal but with the weather being so horrible I thought it was best to head back as soon as possible to dry off and prevent any possible colds the 22 hrs before Miami Marathon began. Funnily enough the bus driver got a bit lost on the way back to Watson Island and hopped a curb but eventually we made it back to our cars safely. Then it was mom mode the rest of the day, went home,  showered and took toddler to swimming class before heading home and trying to slightly carb load and stay dry the rest of the day. It rained all of Saturday and the rain continued through the night, everyone I knew running the race was preparing for another 2017 sort of weather conditions.

Packed my race bag the night before and had my throwaway jacket ready as well as my rain poncho,  I figured I would use it at least for a few of the first miles. Alas race morning came and it was another soggy morning with a steady rain as I left my house for the AAA, where I would park. A week before we had received an email that being part of the VIP experience we would be able to park free on race morning but when I got to the ticket taker she said I should’ve had a neon yellow parking pass. I was not given one at the expo so I paid $5 like the past years. That was kind of annoying but at least I was prepared for it. I gathered all my stuff and headed to the 1000 Miles Run Club tent in the charity village to gear check my stuff and meet up with running friends for a group pic. We had a VIP gear check also but I just wanted to check my stuff with my running club tent instead since I would be heading back there post race to change into dry/warm clothes. Getting to the tent in full rain gear and a warm hoodie I began to notice that it was wayyy too warm to be wearing the hoodie was the rain was beginning to stop and the humidity was starting to creep back in. After dropping my post race bag at the tent I went in search of my Every Mother Counts teammates and said hi to them before heading back to the AAA again to use the bathroom.

Getting into the B corral was not as big of a problem as getting into other corrals in the past, that was another perk of having VIP, having an early corral so therefore an earlier start. Was able to wait and dispel my nervous energy with way too much chatter with my bibravepro teammate, Mike, sorry dude! I ditched my hoodie and rain poncho on the fence of the corral as soon as I got in there, it was getting toasty already and not raining at that point. I thought that it was both good and bad in the sense that we got to start earlier so the sun would be less brutal than say 10-15 minutes later start but then you had to think about all the super speedy runners in the same corral who would be passing you and the C corral. That was a big crazy, I didn’t get run over or anything but it did cause my brain to think that I was not running fast enough even though I was holding back a few of the first miles till I was hitting my marathon goal pace. The first couple of miles flew by as I ran up the McArthur and heard the sounds of the bagpipers at the very top, through South Beach, around the golf course and through the Venetian Islands. When reaching Downtown again right after the Venetian toll booth I was met with lots of cheers and lots of familiar faces. One of my Ragnar teammates, Shirlei handed me a cold mini bottle of water, I carried that water for a couple more miles, it was very appreciated. I also saw the young daughter of our Every Mother Counts local leader cheering me on with great force, those miles were faster miles as well, miles 11-12. For me mile 12 is kind of annoying to hear all the spectators screaming “ALMOST THERE!” when you still have another race to go. The cheer squads from Nike and Lululemon were out in full force for that mile so that kept the hype up. Right after the split between half and full marathon the streets become quiet without the spectators and you are fully able to open your arms. It is kind of a surreal and peaceful feeling, which is good because you still have 13.1 more miles to go before you are done. Then you see that bridge, and thinking hmm, was this a good idea? Don’t worry you will be seeing that bridge again, later on, prepare your mind for it. I also was hoping to see another Ragnar teammate, Esther at mile 14 as she had told me online she would be there with water and fuel if needed. And right under the mile 14 sign was my cheerful and vibrant friend, ready with a mini bottle of water and a piece of a banana. I gratefully took both and kept heading down Brickell, passing this extreme wind tunnel in front of the Fortune building (where Brickell Run Club meets every Tuesday night). I particularly enjoy the popsicles on the corner just past that every year and I continued on to till I got to Rickenbacker. At that point my energy was running a bit low even though I had been taking in my honey stinger chews every few miles like I had trained. Then as if a musical miracle Queen with Bowie playing Under Pressure started on a nearby speaker and anyone who knows me knows just how much I love Queen! I was jamming to that song the rest of that mile, as I ran farther from it but continued singing along with it as I went, the photographer caught me doing a bird like motion as I was hearing it. One of the great moments where music can help push you through what seems like impossible, with 10 miles to go things were looking brighter again. I don’t run with music very often anymore but at that moment I missed it. Onward through the grove, along Bayshore drive memories flooded in of running along that path for many, nearly all training runs in 2014-2015. One of the reasons I love Miami Marathon so much is because of all the great memories it brings back as I run along the course, from pre runner Lisa to runner Lisa times. Going through the downtown Grove area is always fun and scenic but the smells of breakfast foods was making me a bit nauseous. Guessing because my stomach was not in eating mode, but rather in running mode so I was not hungry and did not want to smell or think of food at that time. I took some walking breaks through those miles as my mind was getting tired, more than my legs. Through the Grove neighborhoods with families out in their front yards with water and snacks for us was fun, I didn’t see any beer stands this year, not that I would’ve been able to stomach that either. At mile 24 I finally found the pineapple chunks I had been looking for at mile 12, I must’ve missed them back there but I got these. Something else I remembered to do this year that sometimes I have forgotten to do in the past was thank the volunteers at all the stops. They are volunteering their time and for long hours they are on their feet so that you can have that hydration or fuel so always try to thank your race volunteers. Volunteering at a race a couple months ago changed my whole idea of volunteers and how important they are. It was at that point I made the decision that no more walking was allowed, no matter how much my mind was telling me I needed to walk instead of run. I breezed through the next couple of water stops and trust me I hit most of the water stops on my second half of the race that day. Just before mile 25 was the GoRun Miami crew with the owner Doug out there cheering me on, then not far after the iRun crew was out in full effect with one of their owners, Hector cheering me on! Also Alicia got some moving pics of me when I ran through there, love those peeps, maybe one day I will be able to make it to run clubs again and run with those speedsters. With less than a mile to go I came back to that bridge where I tried to help another 1000 miles member up it without stopping but she was having major leg cramps. I figured that I would walk up it but with the adrenaline pumping, knowing I was so close to the finish line, I climbed that bridge as fast as possible and got through it. A few more turns through the downtown buildings and I was in the finishing chute, I never try to encourage the crowd to get more cheery but this year I did, raising my arms to get more cheers from them and it was amazing!! As soon as I finished my friend, Oscar was there to help runners through the finisher chute, not to catch bandits like I originally thought. He congratulated me and even presented me with my 26.2 medal and walked me over to the food tent where he grabbed a vegetarian post race meal for me. Such an awesome race day and I didn’t even notice the humid windy weather as much, apparently I was so focused that I did not even see an Oiselle Volee teammate along the course who screamed to me. I tried to keep moving after but was stuck in a finisher photo line for a little bit but got to meet another VIP experience lady who I was able to direct to the post race tent.

I headed to the 1000 miles tent and got to talk to a few of my favorites before changing in their mini changing room. It was then that I noticed my left foot was covered in blood, apparently along the race I got a blister, it popped and that was where all the blood came from. I had no pain so just changed socks and shoes also and headed over to the VIP tent to see what they had. I don’t know how many others have this issue but for a couple hours after running a marathon I am not hungry at all. I walked around and looked at all the yummy food that I had no plans on consuming, they even had Belgian waffles and lots of other hot dishes. I chose a strawberry and a bagel, can you believe it, I picked a bagel from all the yummy food, a race staple from every race, small or large, haha. I brought the bagel home with me since I could not think about eating it yet, I did eat the strawberry while in the tent. I walked over to the massage/normatec boot tent area to see if I could get in some recovery treatment but the line was long and I did not feel like waiting around awhile so I walked back to the AAA. In the past my IT band has been sore after the marathon and I am usually walking pretty slowly back to my car but not this year. I don’t know exactly why I was feeling less creaky after the race but I think possibly it had something to do with not sitting on the side as soon as I finished like I saw a ton of marathon participants doing, I kept walking around for over an hour. Even after arriving home from the race, I did not feel like I was going to fall down when I got out of the car like happens a lot after long distance races. Drank my Ripple protein shake and got my shower so that I could take my daughter to visit her great grandma for a couple hours. I did get in a mini nap while there, 45 minutes and was eventually able to eat some pizza afterwards.

Something I did different for the race that you are really not supposed to do is wear new gear for race day that you haven’t trained in. Well I got some new Oiselle summer rogas in a douglas fir color and decided a few days before the race to wear them. I have ran in rogas for many years and love them dearly so I knew they would probably be fine and they were fine and worked well in the humid weather. Usually it’s not advised but these had a lot of pocket space so I knew they would be perfect for marathon distance, I highly recommend them. Now on the other hand my Every Mother Counts singlet did not treat my skin so well, and I train in it pretty often, chafe disaster under my arm. The singlet is a little big on me so it scraped me pretty well in the humidity but it will heal quickly, just momentarily painful.

I had to adjust my goal time since the weather was not a cool 55 like was originally expecting, nor was it raining, which could have helped also. My A goal was 4:00:00 finish time but my B goal was under 4:30:00 and would you believe it, I got my B goal by seconds! And I do mean seconds, 2 seconds to be exact lol.

I am already signed up for Miami Marathon 2020 and I urge you to sign up right now too since the prices are as low! Apparently they were lower if you signed up while at the expo but I didn’t even think about it, but next year I will sign up while at the expo. Also I really enjoyed the VIP experience and think that if you can afford it, it is filled with awesome perks that will make your race experience even more fun.

That’s a wrap, Miami Marathon 2019!

Want to read my previous race reviews for Miami Marathon:

Miami Marathon 2018

Miami Marathon 2017

Miami Marathon 2016

Apparently I didn’t review the 2015 race?

Miami Marathon 2014

Tropical 5k 2013

 

Run Virtually using Zwift app & foot pod – A review

Disclaimer: I received an zwift foot pod 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!

The Zwift app is a very, very cool option for runners/cyclists. It allows you to train while competing against others from all around the world and all you really need is a bluetooth enabled treadmill or footpod and the app! It’s like a video game for athletes that will allow you to run in different places while running against friends/strangers to keep your motivation up. Also you are able to customize your avatar to look pretty much like yourself and along the run/miles you log you will get more clothing/gear options for your avatar.

This is definitely something that I am going to take with me on my cruise next year so I can train but not get totally bored while running on a treadmill. Also will help my weekday runs become not so boring. Just hoping that there is an app option for the amazon fire by then, crossing my fingers here!

There is so many stats that you can watch while you run virtually on here and I imagine it’s the same way for the cyclists, I am tempted to try it out on my bro in law’s stationary bike to see how it looks from a cyclists point of view. You can watch your place and see your mile splits as well as watch yourself on the leader board change, all while running through some crazy places. In the 6 miles I first tried it out on I was running by a beach, through an aquarium, through a forest, around a mountain and then on a path while it was snowing all while actually sweating it out in 80 degree weather on a treadmill in Miami! I do not know who came up with this concept but I love it and I’m pretty sure most people will like this, especially former gamer/now athletes.

Their slogan is serious training made fun and I have to agree that it was fun but there were a couple of issues along the way that I ran into, sometimes my foot pod would not read that I was still running so that slowed my pace down considerably. I have to try a few more things to see if maybe it is on my laces too tightly and not reading my steps properly.

Ran a schedule group tempo run with my BibRavePro friends and everything worked out and ran some pretty quick paces to keep up with the group. I liked the workout format and the fact that it was telling me when to speed up on the treadmill and when I should slow to cool down a bit before I finished. It was like being coached in person but this required some reading, which on an iphone 7 while running 9:00 min miles was not the easiest task. I think that if you are going to try this app out, let it be on a laptop or tablet or just anything bigger than a phone.

Also even though you can still run and cycle on the Zwift app to get more interactive with others and sign up for certain runs/training you should also get the Zwift Companion app to get the most out of it. So that is two apps, one to sign up for scheduled events and one to actually do the running/cycling. Now I am definitely a fan and going to take this with me on an upcoming trip where I may possibly have access to a treadmill. Going to get in some real training and not just easy road runs while on winter vacation.

Use “BibRave15″ good for 15% off the cost of the Zwift RunPod at Zwift.com. It is good for 1000 Pods only.