305 Half Marathon – A Race Recap

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 review find and write race reviews!

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Race day attire (arm sleeves were not required)

Going into this race morning I was a bit tired, had ran the DRI hope for a cure 5k on Saturday morning and ended up taking my daughter into a pediatric urgent care later on for a fever after coughing for a week. Spent a few hours there and ended up leaving with antibiotics and nebulizer liquid for her with instructions to give her treatment every 4-6 hrs and bring her back immediately for anymore fevers. Exhausted and not going to sleep till closer to 10:30pm, I woke up at 3:30am to get ready and head to the 305 Half Marathon. Luckily I had laid out my clothing/shoes and race bag was ready to go so I basically just got up, jumped in my clothes and ate some cereal before heading out.

 

By some miracle we had cool weather at the start, I was debating on checking a bag or not but ultimately changed my mind, also changed my mind about needing arm sleeves for the race (good choice!) I did sit in my car for awhile in my Every Mother Counts hoodie to wait as long as possible before heading out into the cool weather. This wasn’t the 55 degree weather was predicted originally on the weather channel app but rather 60-62 degrees. Not bad but when the wind whipped through the buildings/hotels on South Beach it could feel quite nippy. Not bad though as usually this race is quite warm or even kind of rainy, in the past 6 years, this has been the coldest it’s been for this race. So I basically walked quickly to the port o potties and peed before meeting up with another running friend, Stephanie (TheCookieRunner) at the Miami Beach clock and she gave me a cool Momentum bracelet that would remind me later in the race to Just Breathe. We talked for a little bit and then I headed into the starting corral, where it was warmer with all the people crowded in. Talked to my friend, Carmen before the start and vowed that I would try to stick with the 2 hour pacer as long as possible. Starting I felt fresh and the cool air helped me in staying ahead of the 2 hour pacer at least for the first 7 miles of the race. They gave the pacers speakers filled with Miami/running related songs and just general anthems to pump you up: PitBull, Enrique Iglesias, Beyonce, Cake, AC/DC to name a few I heard while running with the group. At mile 6 I saw our Every Mother Counts South Florida ambassador, Esther and was cheered on by her. I think the ascend up the MacArthur Causeway slowed me down a bit but then a friendly cheer from my friend/mayor, Harolyn around mile 10 helped me get back out of my head and speed up a little for the final 5k of the race. Along the way lots of iRun runners were cheering us on and at the end Frankie Ruiz was running back to find his fiance to cross the line together, got a high five from him as I passed. Then Hector from iRun was about half a mile from the finish line and urged me to go faster, so I followed his instructions and sped up to even kick it up a bit and not let some other runner (guy) pass me at the finish line!

Something I did different during this race that I haven’t done before in a half marathon was not take in any nutrition. I think it helped that I had half of a bowl from Chipotle the night before and cereal race morning that helped fuel my race. I brought my Honey Stinger chews with me but never took them out of my back pocket of my awesome pocket full Oiselle pocket jogger shorts. So weird but somehow it worked, I do train with them generally and use the starting at mile 6 but this time I just didn’t need them.

I crossed the line in just under 2 hours, like literally 40 seconds or so before the 2 hour mark, I pushed at the end a little and my splits show it but I did not feel totally depleted. The course was slightly different at the end, which I did not realize until we were running it, I’m glad because that running straight into the blazing sun at South Point Pier is no fun after 12 miles!  Right after the finish line after collecting your medal and water there was a pots and pans PR station where you could hit the pots and pans together in celebration for a new half marathon PR. I had no PR but saw a couple people taking advantage of hitting the pans. It’s been a couple years since Miami has celebrated in the streets with pots and pans from a Heat championship win or Castro death, haha So some folks were very eager to hit them. After that was a long line to take pic in front of the official finisher backdrop, but I had no time to stand in the line but I think it would’ve been nice to get that free photo. I got some pretzels and the food tent had the regular runner food: bananas, fruit cups, pretzels, cookies, bagels and then pastelitos, empandas and some other little hispanic dessert cups. Very cool but I was not really in the mood to eat anything and no sweets after the race. I really just wanted to get home to my sick toddler and get some rest time. I went to the Storm Series tent and collected my category 4 medal before looking around at the other sponsor tents and then heading back to the car. Took a couple pics first and headed back to the finish line for a cool pic of my medal when Frankie Ruiz and Carla Duenas were crossing the finish line together, caught a few pics and then headed back to the parking garage. The weather was awesome for the cool down walk back to the parking garage, almost a mile away. Did not have the extreme soreness when I got home and got out of my car after sitting down and driving for 25 minutes from South Beach like I was expecting.

Great race and afterwards got an email from Athlinks to remind me to claim my new half marathon result and check out my pictures later on that evening. If you do not already use Athlinks, you need to get create a profile and add all your race results from the past. You can have all your race results on one site incase you ever wonder what was your PR for a certain distance or how fast/slow you ran for that race. You can also add friends/rivals and see what races others in your area are doing, so cool. Plus the Athlinks people are super helpful and only a tweet away from solving any issue you may run into.

If you are interested in doing this race in 2019 right now the prices are the lowest they will EVER be. Register in the next 2 days and only pay $60! That is extremely low for a half marathon! I am posting below exactly how affordable prices are for the next week or so for the half marathon and the 5k option. So hurry so you can get your 3-0-5 medals and oh if you somehow missed this race but want the whole set of medals you can purchase your 3 medal when you register for the 0 in 2019!

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3 Or 5 reasons why you will want to run the 305 Half Marathon on March 4th!

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the 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!

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First

1. #3 medal with a Cuban link printed neck ribbon with moving jewel – the first of the 3 year medal series, for 305 half in 2019 you will get the 0 and for 2020 you will earn the 5, ending with the complete 305 series of medals that connect with magnets! How cool is that?! I definitely will be doing it all 3 year as this year is my 6th year running this race anyways 😉

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2.  Cafecitos will be provided on race day! A very typical Miami morning beverage to help wake you up.

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3. iRun pacers, the best pacers in Miami! The iRun Army will get you to the finish line in exactly the time you need/want! If you need a pacer, they will have about 11 pacers available for this race according the to RunMiami facebook video.

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Oh

5 more!

1. 305 Drive Ignited by Athlinks – a 400-meter speed challenge within the half marathon course starting at mile 3.05. Earn a cool 305 Drive hat for all 1st in AG winners!

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2. Eppa Sangria SupraFruta Bar, refreshing sangria post race, yum! Awesome upgrade from the typical post race Michelob Ultra beer from the past,  don’t worry if you’re into beer, it will be available too!

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3. Frankie Ruiz, Baptist Health Run Club leader/Miami Marathon co-founder will be celebrating his upcoming nuptials with his lovely bride to be, Carla Duenas by running the race and partying post race with all their run club/running family.

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4.  Miami inspired post race food like pastelitos and croquetas.

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5. Complimentary (FREE!) race photos courtesy of Athlinks! If you don’t already use Athlinks, check it out now and find and claim all of your past race results! Add race rivals and friends and find out about the hottest local races around.

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If you need anymore reasons, here’s a bonus one: Register and use the code BIBRAVEMB18” which gives $5 off!

305 Half Marathon

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 review find and write race reviews!

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I really like this pic because my friend, Vivi is the pacer shown.

In the past this race was called the Michelob Ultra Miami Beach 13.1 and Miami Beach 13.1 This was actually my first half marathon ever back in 2013. I have been running this race every year since! This race actually held my half marathon PR for about a year in a half at 2:03:34. Here are a summary of my experiences over the years:

2013 – My first half marathon ever – ran it only using my Honey Stinger chews, did not drink any water on the course, crashed pretty badly at the half way point. Cooler weather also, probably high 50s – low 60s.

2014 – 4th half marathon at that point – slower than my first time on the course – forgot my honey stinger chews in car. I carpooled with my aunt and her friends who were doing the race. Did okay but did not drink nearly enough water for the warm day.

2015 – 8th half marathon – ran it while almost 4 months pregnant with my boyfriend. We took it easy and I made sure to drink lots of water on the course, even stopped for a bathroom break at mile 10 – Slowest time on the course that year.

2016 – 12th half marathon – Course PR – It was a warm day but I fueled right and my boyfriend helped push me to a new PR. We actually started this race at the back of the corral because I wanted to use the porta potties and didn’t realize that the race was already starting! So started in the back and still earned a new course PR.

2017: 16th half marathon – Weather was on the cooler side of high 60s and did not warm up too quickly but the wind was intense 20 mph. Stuck with pace group, crowded in and stuck with the group nearly the whole time. At the end started to fade due to the wind and previous cold I had been fighting for a few weeks. Hector from iRun, pacer for the 2:00 group did not let me give up and almost pulled me to the finish line to get my under 2 hr finish. 2nd fastest time on that course.

Hoping for some cooler weather with no wind this year, crossing my fingers for another under 2 hr finish.

I have a discount code to share, use “BIBRAVEMB18” which gives $5 off half marathon race entry.

 

Fitbit Miami Marathon 2018 weekend – Expo & Race Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Miami Marathon – Training so far

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

Only 22 days away till the Tropical 5k, the kickoff race for the Miami Marathon and Half weekend! Marathon training so far hasn’t been as consistent as last year, maybe because now I have a very active toddler. Last year I ran a lot on the road to prepare for my race weekend but this year it has been more on the treadmill with Netflix to keep me company for the long miles. One of those reasons was because of a homeless person encounter at the park that I used to run my early morning/ dark o’clock miles at and I have been cautiously avoiding it since. I really hope to get more road miles after this training cycle has ended but will have to see how life pans out for me. I am not looking for a PR this time around, but rather a relatively easy going pace/have fun race. I am being serious and not looking to go out there and crush myself in the process of chasing a PR, I know that my training has been very lax and I am planning on racing this marathon with that in mind.

One thing that I have done differently this time around and maybe it has been a good thing was not going over 18 miles in training. I may break that tomorrow and go for a 20 miler but with 10 on the treadmill and 10 on the roads.

My pace has increased to a good marathon pace for me this week because of the cooler weather due to the Bomb Cyclone hitting the US at the moment. I just hope that the cooler weather sticks around and helps out my pace for the next few weeks. Also gotta go on a hunt to find a cheap hoodie to wear at the starting line incase we get some freezing temps again this year. I am really crossing my fingers for a 55 degree day that will continue and last at that temp without the torrential rain from last year! That would definitely be helpful but I am not holding my breathe because Miami weather is very unpredictable.

This marathon training cycle I have been using the Every Mother Counts Intermediate Runners plan and it has low weekly mileage which has been pretty helpful in my recent busy life. I do miss 40 mile weeks but I will return to them soon enough, gotta get to that 2,000 mile goal this year 😉 I am trying to keep my weekly mileage to 40 miles this year but we will see how that works out. I’m going to say it will be possible since I usually only taper my long runs and not my weekly mileage anymore but will definitely be cutting way back for a week or two after Miami Marathon. Gotta prep for A1A Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon in February and do not want to have to miss it again this year!

Oh and I almost forgot, use the code: BIBHOLIDAY when signing up for Miami Marathon or Miami Half Marathon and save $10!! Hurry before the 1/7 price increase! Discount code is good till 1/11!

Also do not forget to check out Athlinks and claim your race results! Bet you forgot just how many races you have ran or would just like an easier way of keeping track of your times? I have been using the site for years and now they allow you to add other friends/rivals for a little friendly competition.