Race Recap – Susan G Komen Race for the Cure – October 19, 2013

I’ve walked this race a couple of years and last year it was my first running race.

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Even though it was not technically timed it still counted as my first ever race. This year they added timing chips if you signed up as a runner, not a lot of people signed up as runners. As this a huge event with lots and lots of walkers I knew it would be challenging to dodge walkers and strollers most of the way. My aunt signed up too so I went with her, we got to downtown Miami about 6am. Walked around for 2 hours before lining up to race, that was a mistake I now realize. By then I had walked out all my breakfast calories and would be running on near empty. As I sometimes do I took off way too quickly at the beginning, marking my fastest mile according to my NikePlus app but also the reason I blew up a mile and a half into it. I ended up walking up the bridges and part of the way up another. There is a small somewhat steep bridge on the course and it gets me every time. I finished but was pretty disappointed in my time, I grabbed my water and a banana from the food tent and sat on the hillside to watch for my aunt to finish. I am pretty good at guessing what time my friends and aunt will finish and I was by the finish line chute when she crossed the line. Overall I was disappointed in my performance at this race, I know not every day will be a great race or PR but I just felt really bad about this 5k. But there’s always next year, when I will hopefully take on that bridge without stopping. First race in my new pink Brooks PureConnects.

Starting line.

Starting line.

Race Recap – Hyundai Hope on Wheels MCH 5k – September 21, 2013

The course for this race was familiar to me, as I had just ran the MS 5k back in April. Right around the golf course in beautiful Coral Gables, starting and finishing by city hall. I was pretty excited as the last time I had ran this course I had placed 3rd in my age group. Earlier that week I had convinced my friend Romney to run this race, this being his first timed 5k race.

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With Romney & MJ

With Romney & MJ

Even though the start time was at 7:30am the day was already very humid and hot. The usual Miami weather, but unlike the race the weekend before there was not a cloud in the sky, blazing hot sun. Luckily the beginning of the race was under the large shade trees but heading back towards the finish line the sun was directly in everyone’s eyes. Not the best finish to a race but sprinting to the finish helped me pass quite a few people apparently. Not only did I set a new 5k PR but I also finished the race an entire minute faster than the ZooRun 5k from the previous weekend. Once I finished I grabbed some water and a banana and went back to the finish line to cheer on others while I waited for Romney & MJ to cross. Earning a medal for a 5k is definitely cool and this race proceeds helped out Miami Children’s Hospital. I can remember when my sister was sent to that hospital when she broke her leg and had to be put in a body cast, but that’s a story  another time.

Cute medal

Cute medal

Race Recap – ZooRun 5k – September 15, 2013

Earlier this year, in February I did the RunWild 5k at ZooMiami so I knew this would be  a fun race. Plus this time I was better prepared to race, mentally and physically than my 4th of July race.

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I also got to use my Brooks Pure Connects to race for the first time, I had done some speed work in them beforehand so I knew they could handle a race. German came along with me for this race (we are pretty much neighbors) and we met up with Allie and my aunt. The weather was slightly cooler despite this race starting at 7:30am, but it probably had to do with the storm brewing overhead. At the sight of the rain clouds above us I put my phone in a plastic baggie (cheap way of waterproofing) just before the start. I brought a drawstring bag that I was hoping German or Allie would carry for me during the race with my camera and flip flops for afterwards. They did and used it to carry their stuff as well since they walked portions of this race.

Elephant rides with Allie.

Elephant rides with Allie.

Cheetahs German & Allie

Cheetahs German & Allie

Just before the race there was a moment of silence for those lost in September 11th and for the Boston Marathon bombing victims, a nice gesture to start a race. As soon as the race started the rain started falling and lasted for basically the first mile. Finally once it stopped the humidity came back but I pushed through my mind telling me that I could walk if I needed to. I did not walk at all during this race, I may have slowed down slightly but I did much better at this race than I had at the last Zoo Miami race and way better than the 4th of July race. As soon as I finished they gave us medals, which are very very nice and creative medals. Probably one of my favorite from this year actually. There were volunteers handing out icy cold towels and before he gave me one he asked “Are you a runner? You dont even look like you ran” I’m pretty sure he was kidding because I most likely had a very flushed red face afterwards. I walked around, got myself a banana, bottle of water and waited for Allie & German to finish. I was pretty sure they would finish about 8-10 minutes after me and I was right! Then we walked around and checked out the sponsor tents and took a pic by a finisher sign for the race. Picked up some buddy fruits and went to find the results. I was not sure how well I did but I knew that I did pretty well. I was 4th place in my age group so that was pretty satisfying. After walking around a little bit more we went back into the zoo and checked out the animals for a little while till we got tired. I changed out of my PureConnects and let my toes breathe a bit before walking around too much.

Another dorky finish line photo.

Another dorky finish line photo.

One of the best 5k medals ever!

One of the best 5k medals ever!

We did it!

We did it!

The end.

The end.

Race Recap – Color Mania 5k – April 13, 2013

Another color run – this one was Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah, I had never been there before so it was kind of cool to see while running through colorful cornstarch. This run I did with my friends Jenny & German, both were new to this color type of run, last race they did was the Zoo 5k back in February. A few days before I made us each tutus made with tulle & German didn’t protest too much about having to wear a tutu and while running girls kept complimenting him. Haha.

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All clean & white in our tutus.

All clean & white in our tutus.

We got to the park pretty early but while lining up we noticed that it looked like rain clouds above us. Everyone was hoping for the best, that it would not rain during this color fest we were about to run through. I have done 2 color fun runs before so naturally I compared them and this one was on the low side since it had no sponsors at all. We were in the first wave so we got to be the first ones out, which I’ve noticed from the February race was a good thing since they would hopefully not run out of color to throw at us before we started. That was not the case with this fun run and we got drenched in color. We ran at a moderately slow pace of around 11-12 minute miles but the ground was quite uneven in spots and nearly twisted my ankle a couple of times. Good thing I wore my Adidas trail running shoes, they probably handled the terrain a lot better than most of the runner’s shoes did. Overall it was a fun experience due to the amount of color tossed on us and the company of friends. After the race they had a mini color toss every 15 minutes or so and we gathered a bit more color.

Colorful at the end!

Colorful at the end!

We left there around 10:45am or so and headed to find somewhere to eat since the clouds were getting darker and we didnt want to get caught in a storm. We got to the Miami Lakes Ale House just as the rain started and had to run yet again, but this time to avoid being totally soaked to get into the place. There were a couple other Color Mania runners there as well. While we were eating it was raining so hard the roof sprung a leak and started leaking right by our table, we laughed and moved to another booth.

Pic stitch that Jenny made.

Pic stitch that Jenny made.

Race Recap – iRun 5k/10k – March 3, 2013

When I noticed there was another 10k race in Miami, I knew I had to sign up since the Carnaval 10k was shortened and not a true 10k, I wanted to race a real 10k before my first half marathon. Although most people probably would not have done a race 6 days before their first half, what can I say, I’m a risk taker. Anyways another reason I wanted to do this race was because Adidas was one of the sponsors and I love Love LOVE all my Adidas gear. I signed up for this race about a month before, wondering how the course would be since the course map showed a neighborhood, not used to that at all. I picked up my race packet a few days before the race, it included an iRun temporary tattoo & a bag of coffee beans. irun1

irun2                                                                       I love this iRun tattoo 🙂

The morning of the race it was chilly, I was prepared to wear 3 layers again but took off the compression core layer in the car before getting out. It was around 55 or so when the race began at 7am, so the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon. I have to say it was a very good race to run before my half, super well organized and everyone was very sweet, and no need to dodge and weave walkers at the beginning! 3 water stops as it was a double loop for the 10k runners, one loop for the 5k. We ran by some restaurants I had ate at before, including Andiamo’s, best pizza in Miami & through neighborhoods. I liked that some people were outside of their houses, staring bewildered at us all running & later on the second loop, they had brought out chairs to watch everyone. I liked the way the volunteers would urge you to go faster just before the finish line and all the people cheering when you crossed it. Very very awesome. After the race I kept moving and got a Smoothie King sample & banana and walked back to the finish line to watch everyone. Another great thing is that the porta potties had toilet paper AFTER the race too! And all finishers got medals! Fun time and great race, I will definitely be doing another iRun event, I wish I lived closer & could do their weekly runs too.

irun3                                                                            a new medal!

irun4                                                                     later in Starbucks, mirror pic.

What’s in your #FitnessCloset?

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I read a post recently by Heather of Through Heather’s Looking Glass about what was in her fitness closet, and it gave me the idea for this post. Originally this blog topic was started by Brian of  Pavement Runner. So I started looking through my room, most of my exercise gear is in drawers so I took it all out and organized it better for the pictures at least. I’d say most of my fitness gear was bought in the last 1.5 years as before that I didn’t work out too consistently other than yoga & pilates before that. I really didn’t need real exercise gear since I would mostly exercise inside my house. I’ve realized that Adidas pretty much owns me, I just can’t help but buy more of their stuff, it lasts and fits great. Also I have lot of C9 for Target stuff, I adore Target so it was only a matter of time before I would discover their fitness clothing section. Now onward to the pictures:

IMG_1027              As you can tell when I find a shoe I like I buy more than one pair, 3 pairs of Adidas Oscillation running shoes & 2 pairs of Adidas Kanadia trail running shoes.

IMG_1032Lots of tank tops,  I live in south Florida, it’s almost always summer here. All Adidas on the left side. C9 by Champion for Target on the right side with one New Balance tank on the bottom.

IMG_1034Tee shirts for running. Left side “I Run This Body” shirt from Saucony. Top right side C9 by Champion and bottom Adidas Go Run shirts.

IMG_1037  This year’s race shirts & some yoga pants. My favorites are the two gray ones 🙂

IMG_1029Running tights – 3/4 length – I love to run in these & Adidas makes the best ones, my favorites are the tech fit ones. Basically almost all Adidas (3 rows) and some Nike, C9 ones on the far right.

IMG_1036Running skirts & shorts. Don’t wear these too often, sometimes for races. Can’t wait to wear my RunningSkirts polka dot skirt!

IMG_1030Cold weather gear – I don’t get too much use out of this, as we hardly get any cold days in Miami, I’ve maybe used this stuff about 10-12x in the last year. Adidas jacket, C9 Jackets & half zip ups, RunningSkirts reflective heart on sleeve shirt and Adidas climacool long sleeve. Long tights: Adidas & c9 for weather 40-50.

IMG_1039Compression socks by RunningSkirts, Zensah calf compression sleeves (I adore these), 2 of my 4 yoga mats: Eko Manduka & Diane Von Furstenberg NM + Target, my Gaiam foam roller (my new love), 5lb dumbbells & 3 lb dumbbells.

And that’s my fitness closet so far, make sure to check out Pavement Runner’s blog post for links into other’s fitness closets.

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?