Coros Pace : multi-sport gps watch review

“Disclaimer: I received a Coros Pace multi sport watch 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!”

Let me start by saying I used to just rely on an app on my phone while running to track my time/pace/distance until about 3 years ago after I had my daughter, then I got a well known but slightly outdated gps watch and started using it. Probably not a great idea to get a watch after coming back from 6 weeks off and on the track of losing baby weight. But at the time I just hit start and would run, I never even figured or learned about all the features until years later. Then I got my Coros pace watch and wow, what an amazing watch, it does so many things that amaze me. I know I am behind in the gps watch world but this watch is a smart gps watch, I can even see texts, fb messenger messages and the weather on this thing! Your workouts all sync immediately to your phone so no waiting to see your pace splits or average/max heart rate info after you finish, super fast compared to other gps watches out there.

When I received this watch I was expecting to get in more pool time and start swimming and aqua jogging but so far only got in one short swim while wearing it. I will say I was a little paranoid about putting it under water but then got over it quickly and it works great. I need to learn more swimming moves, maybe Phoebe will teach me since she’s in swimming class now when she advances more and maybe my parent’s pool will be fixed before summer is over to get in more swim time with this watch. But that is not the feature that I was really looking forward to.

I wanted to try this watch mainly because of its wrist based optical heart rate monitor, I have been reading a lot about low heart rate running lately and wanted to see where I was with that. Surprisingly I have found while using this watch that my heart rate is pretty low while even going at moderate pace and even during a 5k where I was pushing the stroller I did not go over 185. The only thing that kind of annoyed me was that during the final half mile of the 5k my heart rate monitor showed extremely low heart rate, which was not possible for my fast pace at the moment. It was due to the huge amount of sweat on my wrist at the moment during the race, after I dried it off a little bit it started to work properly again but it was a bit annoying in the middle of the race to get low readings. So I will say in sweaty swampy conditions the heart rate monitor sensor may be too saturated with sweat to give a proper reading. Although it does seem harder for me to say within the aerobic threshold zone while pushing the stroller for longer distances, especially on humid days (which is pretty much all the time here!). It is super cool to know these stats and work on staying within a certain heart rate zone and there is an option to put an alert so that I know where I am within the zone every few minutes while on the run. I took off the alert for my treadmill runs recently but still have it alerting me while I run on the roads.

Also very cool feature is basically alerting me to everything that my phone sends alerts for: texts, facebook messages, weather alerts, slack messages, whatsapp messages. And the range between where my phone is and my watch goes pretty far so I can use the bathroom at work and get alerts when I don’t even have my phone with me! I can even ignore a call that is coming in to my phone from a click of a button on the watch.

Recently at a party all my friends were checking their heart rates by strapping on my watch and we were trying to figure out why certain people had such heart rates. So not only for fitness, this watch is a party conversation piece/game, seems the males in the group had higher heart rates than the ladies. Sometimes I just randomly check my heart rate while at work by using this watch.

The data screens can be customized to show heart rate on top with overall moving time on bottom, or pace/time. or distance/pace and you can switch through the screens while on the run too! A neat thing that I have noticed is that when I pause my run, this happens when I run to the park with my daughter to play in the playground I can still monitor my heart rate and see my distance, time moving/time paused info on the watch. I kinda like watching my heart rate slowly return to low after stopping while she plays. Each time you hit your exercise goal for the day it awards you an Exercise Time Goal Achieved badge on the watch and on the phone app you will earn badges for distances achieved for each of the sports (running, swimming, cycling) which is pretty cool. Will be earning all those running badges soon enough as I have a fall marathon to start training for soon!

I haven’t gotten the chance to try the cycling feature on the watch yet, currently debating if I really need a bike or not. Miami is not a safe place to ride bike so I am pretty fearful of riding around here, maybe if I go on vacation I will try out the cycling feature.

This watch is made by a well known cycling helmet company and is well made and comparable to other well known gps watch brands currently on the market. They are still releasing a few firmware updates for the watch so every few weeks there is new features being added to the watch, can’t wait to see what new updates are in store for June. But as of right now, I am in love with this watch and will not be using any other GPS watch to track my running/swimming/cycling progress. I would never wear my other gps watch while not running but this one I almost never take it off. Plus the battery life is amazing so I hardly have to charge it. I have had this watch for about a month and have only charged it 2x since and have used it to run pretty much everyday and sometimes twice a day and I have still never ran the battery lower than 27%. According to the official site the watch battery lasts for 30 days in standard mode or 25 hrs in gps mode so sounds likes it would be perfect for even up to 100 mile runs! Not that I am ready for that just yet but maybe a 50 miler next year?

You can find out more about this watch here. 

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pjuractive 2skin – anti chafe gel review

Disclaimer: I received some samples of pjuractive 2skin 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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I used to be shocked about chafing issues before I had a baby and then after I learned really quickly how horrible chafing really was. I also used to wear capris for running before I was pregnant so that probably deterred some possible chafing. I learned postpartum what kind of chafing could happen when running in the hot, humid nearly year round Miami weather. Not sure what changed post baby besides my body but possibly the fact that I was exposing more skin than before. Either way I discovered it a few months after having my daughter on a particularly toasting late summer/early fall morning run. I always wear Oiselle bras and decided to wear the team bra for this 13.1 training run to see if I could wear it under my singlet for an upcoming half marathon. I had not had any issues prior with my Oiselle bras and chafing but when I took off my tank top I could see raw red skin and when I jumped in the shower, ouch! It was then that I discovered I had to do something about this chafing thing that I never had experience with before.

 

Of course I tried all the typical stuff that I could find at Target or the pharmacies but everything would rub off or sweaty away after more than 5 miles. I was really beginning to think that perhaps I was stuck just incurring under bra chafe scars forever, and in Miami there is rarely a cool weather run where you don’t sweat. I don’t have chafing issues when its cold out but this fall/winter there was only one week of 50 degree weather here and even then I was sweating. I do a lot of treadmill early morning runs so I can keep an eye on my daughter while she is still sleeping and the treadmill is outside on a patio. So I get all the warmth of humid mornings and sweat more than running on the streets so I was starting to get some crazy chafing from my armband where I keep my phone to track my miles.

Then this January I got the opportunity to review this anti chafing product so I jumped, or really ran at the chance in hopes that I could finally be pain free in the shower after a training run/race. At first I was very skeptical about how it would work and if it would work but I am happy to report that it does work, better than anything I have used in the past.

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First trial run – a short 3 miler in the late afternoon – figured I should try it a few times before I used it for Miami Marathon a few weeks later. Worked well for the warm day.

Second trial – humid morning treadmill run – 7 miles – longer run than usual wearing a singlet/tank that usually can get pretty chafe friendly when it is warm, finished with no arm chafing and no thigh chafing.

Third trial –  Miami Marathon, basically 26.2 miles of warm and windy running conditions. I failed to realize that I needed to put the 2skin under the bottom of where my phone armband lies and missed a spot under my opposite arm and boy did I realize it on that post race shower! Oooouch! Everywhere else that it was applied had no issues and no chafe burns but those spots that I missed did. I also let my boyfriend use some of my small trial pack on his chest, men get the bloody nipples issue during marathons often and especially in the humid weather. He usually uses medical tape because the other anti chafe stuff does not work well for him either, anyways he did not have any bloody nipples at the end of the race and he was out there on the course even longer than I was. So men, it works for preventing the bloody nipple thing too!

 

Fourth trial – A1A half marathon this past weekend. I hadn’t really been running too much in the past few weeks so for the short runs sometimes I would skip using it but for this race I knew I had to apply it liberally. The weather report was showing 71 at the start and quickly getting warmer as the hours passed so I applied the 2skin to my arm where I failed to for the marathon a few weeks earlier and under my arm where I had gotten chafed also. This half marathon was even warmer than Miami Marathon and super humid at the start with some drizzly weather in the first couple miles and I got no chafing whatsoever! Hooray! Finally found the winner for anti chafe gel that I have been looking for now for almost 3 years! I brought the small pump bottle along with me in my race bag for this race and I will keep that bottle in my race bag until it runs out and I have to buy more! Luckily you do not need to use a lot to get the job done 🙂

I haven’t ever done a triathlon but from what I have read on the pjuractive website and other reviews about this product is that it is great to use for this multi sport event. Maybe one day I will do one and would definitely be using this product for that kind of race.

This is how it works! It’s long lasting and does not block your pores and all that is required to remove it from your skin is soap and water and most likely you will be using that after a run/sweat session/race anyhow! Want more technical info, check this link for more info about 2skin.

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!

A1A Marathon & Half Race Review

Disclaimer: I received free entry to A1A Half marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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Now on to this weekend’s events: On Saturday I attended the Publix Health & Fitness expo for the A1A Marathon and Half with my toddler. It was slightly different this year than last, this year our names were all on a huge poster instead of a car like last year. Packet pickup was a breeze, no long lines for me, but I did get there as soon as it opened pretty much. Some vendors were still setting up their booths when I got there but most were ready and willing to offer lots of samples. One of the first booths we came to was the Honey Stinger booth, I love Honey Stinger chews and waffles and train for long distances and races with the chews so I took a couple new flavors to sample and gave one to Phoebe. The guy at the booth kindly gave her a brand new box of a new kids line of waffles they just came out with, she was super excited about it! Treo had a yummy birch water drink, I tried a sample and went back for a full size drink to share with my daughter. Geico was out there and got another pic with the Geico Gecko, who my toddler could not stop talking about when we got home from the expo. Also won a Team Geico shirt, they promised to provide a free massage if you were wearing their shirt when you crossed the finish line, it was a little warm for a shirt with sleeves yesterday but still a great quality training shirt by Brooks. I will be running around Miami wearing my team Geico shirt for sure, and I am a policy holder too, haha! So we left there with some new products to snack on and my race bib fairly quickly, I had some mom weekend errands to run (Target, of course) so had to hustle out of there kind of quickly. My tip to you about the expo is go on the Friday that it opens or early Saturday to beat some of the crowds if you are interested in seeing everything and getting your race bib quickly.

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Race morning, my wake up time was 3:15am in order to leave my house by 4am to get parked and situated at least an hour before the race started. So timing was good and I made it up to Fort Lauderdale (a 45 min drive from Miami) and parked in the parking garage that I always park at for Fort Lauderdale races. Unfortunately I assumed that the race would be starting where most of the Fort Lauderdale halfs I have run have started in the past, umm, no, so guys, please check the address of the starting line BEFORE you park. So I decided to walk over to the McDonalds across the street to use the bathroom and of course that was locked up and the store does not open till 6am (when the race starts) but luckily I met two ladies from out of town and walked over to the starting line (about half a mile from where I parked) with them. The port a potty situation was a weird one, they were lining the sides of the starting corrals but there were lines for the potties in all different places, nothing like I have seen in the past. I was able to use the bathroom before I started the race and meet up with fellow BibRavePro, Dawana. Always fun to meet up with other pros, whether local or semi local, we both agreed to have no goals going into this race due to the high humidity and warm weather.

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The race had a slightly staggered start in the corrals, they would let a big group go and then stop the next group till the first group had a bit of a head start in order to minimize the possibility of trampling. I did not mind, it would’ve been annoying if I was going to run with a pacer that was well ahead of me but that was not the case. I always want to start out slow and get faster as I go but that almost never happens. I just looked at my mile split times for the race and my fastest mile is my first mile. I really liked the part where the course went into Birch State Park, I had never been there before and now I want go back and take my whole family to check it out. Definitely was cooler in the woodsy area and scenic, but the race never got extremely hot due to the overcast skies.  I was pretty even paced till the halfway point when I slowed down, also I met up with an Oiselle Volee teammate on the course that I never met before and we ended up talking about kids and races. It definitely helped those humid miles go by quicker when not focusing on how many miles are left, I ran with her until the last mile when she wanted to sprint to the finish. I wanted to take it slow and looked more at this race as training run because I have another half in two weeks and am not really sure I was in the best half running shape after running Miami Marathon only 3 weeks ago. It’s usually not advised to run race miles till 26 days after a marathon, not sure if it has been that long.

After crossing the finish line I had no issue getting water & Body Armor before collecting my awesome new jellyfish medal! Definitely one of the coolest medal I have ever earned from running a race, in fact it might be the coolest most unique medal ever. I have a few favorites and this one has joined those ranks. I haven’t ever had a medal with rubber moving parts, and the tentacles on this one are soft rubber.

I walked through the post race party area and first came to the Michelob Ultra beer trucks that were handing runners plastic cups full of beer, I passed on that. Kept going to see a Bubba Burger truck with a few burger options including a veggie burger option but passed on that too because I really did not think that having a “burger” after just finishing a race was a good idea. I did however have a slice of a cheese quesadilla from the Mission tortilla tent, because I think my body needed some sort of cheese at that moment, haha. I also took a carton of Vita Coco coconut water and a banana from the Publix tent, put them in my awesome Oiselle pocket jogger shorts that you can stuff full of stuff due to the crazy amount of pockets on them. I walked over to the beach to take some pics and just relax away from all the noise for a little bit. I did enjoy the cover band that was playing some old 90s rock songs every time I passed by, I like that kind of entertainment. Took one more walk around the post race area and talked to some friends who had just finished running the race also and made a little pit stop in the beach bathroom building before heading across the street to catch the bus back to the starting line. While on the bus I started to feel a bit sick but I figure it was due to the fact that I was finally sitting down after running a warm race, I felt much better after getting off the bus, even with the hot sun on my face as I was finally able to use my Goodr sunglasses to walk back to my car. I made sure to eat that banana that I got from the race food tent before driving home just in case I was going to start feeling bad on the 45 min drive home. I even considered going to the Starbucks drive thru that we passed while on the bus ride back to the parking area, but changed my mind as I just wanted to get home and wash the sweaty salt off my skin. Today I just heard there were a lot of DNFs at the race yesterday, most likely the marathoners as it was quite humid but surely started getting hotter during their second 13.1.

So while I went into this race with a sore, achy shin for the past few weeks, I ran the race with no pain at all and was not even limpy after the race like I have been after some runs in the past few weeks. Hoping this means that I am on the road to recovery with the shin splints and that it was just because of wearing the wrong shoes to work in the past few months. I know in the past few years most of the time this race is a very cool weather race, in fact I think a few years ago it was in the 40s when it started, so hopefully when I run it next year it will be cooler.

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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.

 

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.

Medal Monday – Palm Beaches Marathon & Half – December 3, 2017

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Palm Beaches Marathon & Half 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 signed up a year ago after it was announced that the 2016 race would not be held but that they were under new management and offering a low race price and free in training shirt for signing up for this new Palm Beaches marathon & half. At that time I booked a host hotel and planned on spending the Saturday in the Palm Beaches before the race. A week ago I traveled to the Space Coast Half marathon and decided against staying overnight at another hotel. No other reason really than just getting to sleep in my own bed the night before a half marathon. I knew going into this that I would be forced to drive up the day before to pick up my packet. I guess that is one way to get the surrounding county residents to stay in the palm beaches for the weekend but it was just not really possible this year. Maybe next year if I do the race again.

Anyways onward to the packet pick up stuff, it was held in a small building in a big mall like complex known as City Place in the downtown WPB area. Parking in a nearby parking garage was a breeze and parking was free for the first 60 minutes which is another plus that I wish most races would have. I didn’t plan on spending more than maybe 30-45 minutes to pick up the race packet so I could get home and get some other Saturday morning errands done. Found some signs pointing to where packet pickup was and followed some runners (their shoe choices are usually a dead giveaway!). Also had my toddler in tow so we werent quite as fast as normal but still did not take long to get my race bib and race shirt. Probably about 5-8 minutes, no line to pick up my bib and then went into this rotunda area where we picked up gear check bag and then the race shirt in another area. The full marathoners had an option of short sleeve or long sleeve shirt, which I thought was pretty cool. Not that this race ever gets chilly enough to require a long sleeve shirt afterwards but still nice for training purposes in the winter months. Half marathoners get an orange shirt and the full marathoners got a royal blue shirt. In the past some of the shirts I have gotten for this race are nice and some kind of boring, this one leans towards maybe not so interesting. So we walked around a bit and looked at some of the booths but this expo was tiny compared to the ones I am used to from Miami Marathon and even Space Coast Marathon had a larger expo with more to see. Maybe since it’s the first year for this crew they are just getting started and didn’t have as much experience in race expo stuff. They had a good variety of race branded gear from what I saw but I rarely purchase race shirts at expos. During the race though I saw a lot of those shirts being worn so must’ve been pretty good quality for running in. Right before I left I asked one of the official pacers to take my pic with my toddler in front of the official backdrop, he saw my Volee shirt and said “Oh Oiselle girls, head up wings out!” so he was definitely familiar with Oiselle!

Now for race morning, I woke up super early at 2:45am in order to be ready to leave my house by 3:30am for the drive up to West Palm. I took the Florida Turnpike and was able to get a prime parking spot very close to the starting line by 5:15 am, which is perfect because I love being at races at least an hour early. It took me 3 minutes to walk over to the port a potty area, I brought some Starbucks napkins with me anticipating no toilet paper but I guess I was early enough to get to be the first user of the port a potty! Hooray, it was almost like breaking the tape in a race, being able to unwrap the toilet paper for the first time in a port a potty. I have never done that before! And every runner knows that its hell to have to use a port a potty after 50 other people have used it, ICK! Just my luck as soon as I left the port a potty area I walked by a regular running water bathroom, FACEPALM! Yeah so I kept that bathroom in mind later on when the race was getting close to start time to get in a last minute pee, of course at that time the toilet paper was in low supply and the line was long but still less stinky and dark than those port a potties. I met up with an Oiselle Volee teammate, Amy right before and we walked over to the start/finish line. In the past for this race the starting line was a bit farther down the street but this time it was the same as the finish line so that was something different but convenient for me.

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Start time was delayed till around 6:20ish instead of the original start time of 6am, it was blamed on the full moon/king tide possibly having some of the course under water too early on. I am all for a slightly delayed start if it means that my shoes will not be soaked 2 miles into the race, no one likes running in soggy shoes. I stuck with the 4:00 marathon pacer for most the race but then fell back a bit around the halfway point. Something else new about this race was the course was different than than the past 3x I had done the race. This year we cross over two bridges, although they are not steep bridges they are still a bit of an incline. I never hardly train on bridges/hill so it was a bit of a small challenge for me, plus my hamstrings are still not healed up from Space Coast last weekend. Between mile 2-5 my right foot had gone numb, I just kept running but was a bit concerned about it since it is super uncomfortable to run with a numb/sleeping foot! Someone in the pace group I was running with decided that it would be a good idea to wear jingle bells around her waist, super annoying! Please do not do this unless its a short 5k as it is very annoying to all that are running with you, right up there with change or keys rattling in your pockets the whole time. I decided that it was getting to me and with the numb foot I needed to hang back a little bit to not hear those damn bells in my head. Around that point I saw my other Oiselle teammate & best cowbell/cheering squad of one, Tricia with her Oiselle cowbells cheering in the median, gave me a bit of a boost to get through the 2nd half of the race. The second part of the race was an out and back course that turned around by a FPL energy center and through a park beside the water. I was able to cheer on the iRun ladies, Ana & Michelle who came in 1st and 2nd overall female in the half and able to cheer on Amy who was going for marathon #8. Spoiler alert: she ended up 2nd in AG for the marathon when she just wanted to take this marathon easy! With about 2 miles to go people started talking about a fire, suddenly I turned my head and down a side street I could see a giant black cloud of smoke coming from the area. A few started running towards it but the majority did not, guess those that ran towards it were first responders doing the race. At this point in the race I was grabbing water cups from all the water stops and just ready to be done. Luckily there were plenty of hydration stops on the course and some even had gels for those who needed them. Something a bit heartbreaking about this course is that at mile 12.50 you run passed the finish line, so you see people finishing and think where the heck is the turn around point for me!?! I imagine it’s even more heartbreaking for those doing the full since it’s right there and you have to keep going, haha. Luckily it is not that way at Miami Marathon, at least you cannot see the finish line when you are breaking away to do the full.  Again I got to pass Tricia and her crazy cowbelling before I got to the finish line to collect my new shiny medal. Not my under 2 goal that I have been going by lately but only a little more than 2. Official time – 2:04:42

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At the finish line I grabbed a cold (YAY!) bottle of water and my medal. They were also giving out mini towels so I grabbed one to wipe away a little bit (no, really A LOT) of sweat before heading to the food tent. It was a small tent but the line moved quickly for the most part and they had a pretty good selection of food, the typical bananas and bagels but also pancakes/waffles/sausage options also. Oh and how can I forget, mimosas!! I definitely drank one of those down, probably a bit too fast but the orange juice actually tasted great after that long hot run and I’m sure the champagne helped a bit too! I grabbed a granola bar and went to congratulate the top 2 ladies on their awesome half marathon finish. Then I hit the bathroom for one last pee stop before heading back on the long  trek home. Personally I think I should’ve stayed overnight in Palm Beach for a little less driving and a lot more relaxing. Maybe next year?