Tropical 5k – January 27, 2018- Race Review

Disclaimer: I 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 review find and write race reviews!

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This is my 4th time running the Tropical 5k. Most years this race has been very cool at the start, even one year it was freezing cold. That was the year I had planned on pushing Phoebe in a stroller for the race, but it was too cold and she had a cold so that didn’t happen. Something you just cannot count on in Miami is the weather, this year the weather was cool at the start because of the 16 mph winds! Cool but humid, by the time the race was over, I was windblown and sweaty, not sure how that is even possible but this is Miami.

Weather aside you must get to this race early as the line to get into the parking area of Watson Island gets very crowded and packed quickly. You have options of parking in a grassy lot or paid paved spots right across from the Children’s Museum or even at Jungle Island which is about a half a mile on the other side of the causeway. This year I choose the grassy lot area but usually choose the paved parking lot, which was not too bad but it was a little walk to the starting line. I got there about an hour before the race started so I would have enough time to set up the stroller and take a bathroom break before the race began. The race start at 7:30am but the best advice is to get in the corral area by 7:00am or be prepared to squish through the entire crowd to get to your desired spot to start. My boyfriend was going to be running with the stroller for this race and he managed to get into the corral in enough time to not have any issues while I used the porta potty. I heard one person complaining that the porta potty was a bit unstable since it was kind of on a small hill beside the corral but I didn’t have any issues and got one with toilet paper, score!

Lined up and listened to a commissioner talk and heard a young girl sing the National Anthem before the race began, same stuff. The wind though was a bit much in some spots along the MacArthur Causeway as we made our way to South Beach. Great views of the cruise ships along the right side and cheering squads along the way. The plan was to take this race at an easy pace in order to not shred my legs for the Miami Marathon the next day and I think I did that at around an average 9 min mile pace until the final mile when I boosted the pace a bit.  Heard some friends along the way cheering me on but on a sprint to the finish line it’s hard to focus on faces so I just went with it. Collected my medal quickly and made it out of the (long) finishing chute in just enough time to get my phone out of my armband to get a pic of my boyfriend and toddler crossing the finish line. Perfect timing!

After I met them at the exit of the finisher’s chute we made our way over to Nikki Beach for the 5k after party. When we got there we had no problem with any lines and had an assortment of bagels/cream cheese/fruit cups/pretzels/bananas/granola bars. Typical runner food and of course coolers of water/gatorade also. We found a nice comfy couch area and relaxed a bit. I got my official finisher pic taken in no time at all even though there was a bit of a line, photographer was fast and efficient. Listened to a live band playing 80s hits and Bob Marley songs while we snacked. Then took a walk on the beach, which is right beyond the dunes/serpentine from Nikki Beach area. Got some pics there and then went to the bus line. In past years the bus lines have moved very slowly but this year they were ready for everyone and we made it onto a bus in I would say 10 minutes or so. These are school buses so if you have a running stroller as we did, probably a good idea to be the first on the bus and make your way to the back of the bus to take up a spot. There was another family right behind us on the bus that had their running stroller as well and were very helpful. Bus ride was quick and before we knew it we were back at the parking lot and driving home.

I truly enjoy doing the Tropical 5k the day before running a Miami Marathon or half because it really does help to shake out the legs with a short run the day before a big race. You never know what the weather will be like but most likely it wont be as warm next year, but like I said before, you just never know. Another great thing about this race is the free official photos at the end! These were courtesy of fitbit, who is the sponsor of the Miami Marathon for the next 3 years now! Hurry and sign up for next year’s race now and take advantage of the super awesome pricing.

And incase you are wondering, those super sweet shorts are spandos by Oiselle.

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Race Recap – The Color Run – October 12, 2013

After doing 2 other “colorful” runs this year I was a bit tired of being thrown colored cornstarch at me but decided to do this one last one for the year. Plus I really like this official Color Run as it has great sponsors and is very well organized. I knew it would not disappoint and I was running with my friend German, who I promised to not leave behind for once. Sometimes I can be a bit too competitive so since this race was untimed I figured this would be a perfect race to help me relax with my marathon training and do a fun run.

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Just did what the sign said, about 50x to get this one good shot.

Just did what the sign said, about 50x to get this one good shot.

The colors all blended to gray.

The colors all blended to gray.

Color Throw!

Color Throw!

Geared in our mostly white attire we set off in one of the first waves of the run. Before we got to the starting line they had passed out Color Run bandanas to wear or cover our faces while we ran through the colored dust. I wore mine as a headband but smartly German used his like a bandit and covered his nose and mouth when running through the color stations. It was held at the Homestead Speedway which was a nice change, sadly we did not run on the race track but rather through the surrounding area. Such a fun run and kept it at a slowish but moderate pace the entire time and even managed to do some backwards running while trying to take dusty pictures. German did this run without walking once, usually he takes small walk breaks during a 5k but not this time, so I was very proud of him. Afterwards we hung around and grabbed some Kind bars and Edy’s popsicles to cool down before the massive color throwing. Since of course we were starving when we left there, we hit the nearest Ihop which was interesting as we looked like crazy colorful aliens. Everybody in the place turned around and stared at us most of the time we were there, but some people asked us if we had done a color run. So that was a lot of fun, trying to explain why we were full of color.

At Ihop for a post race breakfast.

At Ihop for a post race breakfast.

Race Recap – RunWild 5k – February 9, 2013

This was a race that my aunt had recommended to me soon after I told her that I was starting to run. She told me that they had great sponsors and it was for a good cause. Plus a day at the zoo afterwards sounded like a pretty good incentive also. I hadn’t been to the zoo in a couple years so I said, why not. I even got a couple of my friends to sign up, new runners! Maybe I talk about running a lot on social media and got them excited about it but I’m really glad they came along. The charity this race benefited was the Chapman Partnership, check them out to see how you can help the homeless.

So the morning of the race started out very eerie, the city of Miami was covered in a dense fog. Some people actually described it as Silent Hill-like. After arriving at ZooMiami the fog had mostly lifted and my friends set off to pick up their race packets. The line for race packet pick was extremely long and hardly moving. The race actually started 20 minutes late so that everyone would get the chance to start at the same time, otherwise half the participants would have still been waiting to pick up their race bibs. Running on Miami time, I suppose.

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I bid my friends and aunt farewell and raced on. I know, I really should’ve ran alongside of them but I really wanted to PR on this 5k, unfortunately it didn’t happen. Probably due to the fact that I did my longest distance run on Friday morning, 12 miles, training for my half marathon. Now I’m positive I will be able to make it 13.1 miles in March. I was okay with my finishing time but I did realize that I started out waaaaaay too quick, beating my fastest mile PR at least. Dodging walkers and children at the beginning slowed me down a bit but after the 1st mile, there was no human obstacles. My finish time was 26.39, I was 168th overall and 6th in my age group. Everyone got a RunWild medal at the finish line, there was also a lot of good sponsors too. As soon as you finished, there were many volunteers handing out plenty of hydration such as water, Vitamin water and Coco Vita. I had some Alpina blueberry greek yogurt with granola on top, grabbed a banana, a KIND almond  & coconut bar and headed back to the finish line to wait for my friends. Almost right after I arrived at the finish line one of my friends was crossing, then a few minutes later the other one crossed. It was perfect timing so we all walked around together so they could gather some nutrition from the sponsors. I got a Miami Heat cheerleaders poster for a friend of mine from the actual cheerleader & our group had our pic taken by someone who got our names. Stupidly none of us asked where the picture was going to posted, so we will be forever googling our names to find ourselves. Haha.

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After the awards ceremony was over we took a nice walk through the zoo, getting lost and staying at the zoo much longer than we expected to. But hey, at least we got some time to take pics of the animals that we passed earlier, and some silly pictures as well. Still wearing our race bibs and RunWild medals we decided to get sushi for our post race meal and our waiter thought we had ran a marathon. We told him a 5k at the zoo and he ended up giving us a bowl of free cotton candy? Overall it was a really fun race that I will for sure do again next year.

runwild6                                                                                Veggie sushi

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RUNWILD                                                               My favorite race photo YET!

What is the most memorable place you have ran/walked a race at?

Race Recap – Color Me Rad 5k – February 2, 2013

This race came very last minute for me, my friend & her coworkers  were doing the race and wanted me to join in their team so I said sure why not. Not fully realizing until the last minute that I would be missing out on the long run part of my half marathon training two weeks in a row. So what did I do? I got up super early on Saturday morning, 5:30am to be exact and went running to complete 8 miles before I had to drive to my friend’s house and go to the race. Our wave didn’t start till 9:40am so I knew I would have enough time, just didn’t know if I would have enough energy or not. I figured I would complete most of my 11 miles before and then take it easy for the 5k. Well that’s not exactly how it went.

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beforecmr                                                                                  before pic

When we arrived at SunLife Stadium, we had to park at the far end of the parking lot, meaning we probably walked a mile to the starting line. We met up with one of her coworkers, who had organized and picked up most of the office’s race packets the day before. The rest were stuck in a long line to sign the waiver in order to be able to run, so lesson kids is dont wait till race day or you will be waiting in long lines for not typing out your name on an online form. We started on time, thinking it would be the last wave of the morning, leaving the rest of her coworkers behind to start probably an hour later. The first color station was not fully stocked and we hardly got any color on us at all.  We all agreed if we didn’t get color thrown on us immediately at the next one, we would get on the floor and roll in the color instead. Next station had green liquid color sprayed on us, it looked like slime but definitely left a cool pattern on our shirts. Following that one we went through a pink station that had the same issue as the first station so we made corn starch angels on the floor to pick up some color on our backs at least. It was probably pretty dangerous of an idea but none of us got stepped on so it worked out well. By that time our pace was around 8:40 a mile or so, quite fast for my idea of an easy fun run. It was race pace nearly! I was starting to fade a bit but kept up with the others who had fresh legs. There were quite a few human obstacles during this “fun run”, walls of participants walking, people just standing in the middle of the road making it quite hard to get by while still running. I understand that some people cannot run the whole way or at all, but please move to the right side so everyone that is running can get by comfortably. There was another spray on green station and then a do it yourself station with a bunch of color bags on a table that we could pick up and throw at each other or on ourselves. I grabbed a few pink bags, ripped them open and held them in the air to cover us more.

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Finally we reached the finish line, but it was hard to see with all the color floating through the air. It was not like other races where you are handed water right after crossing, I guess because most people were not sprinting to the line, but rather walking slowly to absorb as much colored dust as possible. It was a lil complicated but we found the water table and grabbed some of the Clif Crunh bars they had laid out. Then we walked further from the finish line and found the Naked Juice truck, where we partook in some fabulous juice. Overall it was a fun time, a bit different than The Color Run but on the same wavelength. Something I really liked about this race was the fit of the shirts they gave us, perfect fit, and I have never said that about a race shirt before, where they are the one size fits all unisex shirts, these shirts were heather gray, super soft & slight v and fitted for the female figure.

cmr7                                                                          after the color explosions

Thank you, Color Me Rad!

Have you ever done a “color” fun run? If so, which one have you done? If not, why not?

Race Recap – Tropical 5k – January 26, 2013

I apologize for the super lateness in this post, but here it is.

As part of ING Miami Marathon weekend, they have a 5k for ING runners to warm up and everyone else to run/walk the short 3.1 mile distance. Also you get a medal at the finish line, which to me was a big incentive since I have yet to get a medal.  Then again, I have also yet to race a half or full marathon either, but I am currently training for one.

Friday night I laid out all my race gear and checked weather.com, it showed a cool high 50’s morning for Saturday. That meant I would finally get to wear my long sleeve RunningSkirts top with a heart on the sleeve. If you don’t know already, I love all heart printed things, so I was overjoyed at the cool weather. Saturday morning I woke up at 5am, had a quick bowl of Kashi cereal, and was out the door by 5:30am, heading to the beach. The moon was full and peering between the buildings of downtown, made me think this was a sign of a great race day. The start was at the Children’s Museum and the finish line was at Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami Beach, it was my first point to point race.

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I met up with my friend there, about 10 minutes before the race began and we squeezed our way into the crowd, about 100 feet from the starting line. Excitement began to build as Bart Yasso spoke to the crowd just before the gun went off. Suddenly we were off, dodging and weaving around children and walkers, finally about 1.5 mile out we had a less of a crowd and could relax a little more into our pace. My friend’s calves began to cramp a bit since she had did some spinning the night before, so we slowed down slightly at the water stop. Then was the slight incline of the bridge, I never train on hills, which I know, I know I really should start,  that slowed me down considerably. There weren’t too many spectators cheering us on till we got closer to the finish line, I still laugh thinking about the very Cuban ‘Dale-eee’ sign someone was holding up at the end. Sprinted the last bit and finished with a new PR of 26:11!

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                                                               look at that determination lol

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                             With my race buddy, Ana, showing off our medals. I swear I’m happy!

race2                                                                 Right after, can you see sweat?

race3                                                                                        Close up!

We then walked over to Nikki Beach and enjoyed a banana, bagel and some oatmeal raisin cookies before walking out to the sand and looking at the ocean for a few minutes. It was a great ending to a race, how many people really get to see that after the finish line? Had an amazing morning, running on a great course with a friend. Might even do it again next year as a warm up for the ING half marathon. I’ve already signed up, what about you?

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Have you ever ran a race that ended in a beautiful location? Anyone signed up for ING 2014 Half/Full Marathon yet?

Runabout

July 2012:

A post that I wrote at the beginning:

Let me start by saying I never enjoyed running in P.E. classes in school and downright hated it when we had to run laps at bootcamp. Then for some reason I woke up one morning feeling like I wanted to run a 5k, maybe even one day a marathon. So of course I got online and started doing some research (Google is my drug of choice) and found that a lot of people used the Couch to 5K program/phone apps. Basically its the Galloway method of walk/run intervals until you are running the whole time. I’m currently using the 5K Runner app and the Nike + GPS app.

I’d like to think that I’m influencing people to start getting some exercise too. Only saying that because when I first started running at the park, no one was walking on the path, I could tell they were watching me from the playground area though. Now that I’ve been out there for 6 weeks I have actually seen one couple running together and a couple of groups of ladies walking around the course.

When I first started I didn’t know if I would be able to run even a minute without gasping for air. I think going to fitness bootcamp  has helped with my endurance too. About four weeks into my 5K Runner training I signed up for  The Color Run to keep me motivated.

2013 Update:

I have now ran four 5ks and am training for my 1st Half Marathon in March, the 13.1 Allstate Life Insurance Marathon in Miami Beach. I still can’t believe that I enjoy running this much, to put so much dedication into it. I now wake up at 6am four times a week to get in my run, alternating with pilates and yoga throughout the week when I find time and bootcamp every Sunday. Lately I have incorporated some biking to cross train with less impact to help my muscles recover faster.

I have to say that my first race was very inspiring, it was the Komen Race for the Cure race, just a day before what I thought would be my first race ever, The Color Run. I started off way too quickly but to this day that first mile out has been my fastest mile ever, I was just too excited to start slowly. I have since been practicing doing mostly negative splits on my training runs. I’m excited and nervous about my first half marathon but I know that I can do it!

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Yesterday’s 5K – Tropical 5k part of ING Miami weekend. My 1st medal. Came in 217th overall, 46th woman, 4th in my age group 😀

Do you run? If so, what is your next race? What do you use to motivate you to train?