Run Wild – February 8, 2014

Running a 5k six days after my first full marathon seemed like a dumb idea when I signed up for this race about a month before. Luckily it ended up really well for me. I usually really hate races that start later than 7:30am but I did this race last year and had a lot of fun so I tried to not be too bothered by the 8am start time. Plus races at Zoo Miami are a lot of fun, getting to run by all the animals. Sometimes I even go and walk around the zoo afterwards but this year it was just too hot by the time the race was over. My aunt said she would be there but I never saw her till after the race was over, I did run into Matt and a girl from FIU Run Club. It was her first 5k race so she was pretty excited. I lined up 10 minutes before it started and the announcers kept telling people to not have their kids up at the starting line but most people did not listen. That is the issue with zoo runs, the beginning is always a mess with dodging and practically jumping over little kids or strollers but then it gets better when you get around them.

rw1

Hop!

Hop!

I felt pretty strong despite only doing one post marathon run before this race. Another great thing about zoo races is that they almost always have finisher medals. Finished the race, jumping over the finish line timing mat, seems to be my signature move. Haha. I got water, picked up some reusable bags, coconut water, some greek yogurt and a banana before heading back to the finish line to see my friends cross the line. Then I waited on the side to see my aunt and her friends cross the finish line, cheering them on as they reached it. Afterwards we took way too many pictures and waited in line for some yummy baked goods from Corner Bakery Cafe. Then watched the awards ceremony, and they started giving awards to the top 4 in each age group! So I ended up being called up and cheered on for my 4th place finish! Wish all races would have top 5 finishers in every category. The course for this race was a little bit short, and they told everyone at the start of the race, this was a new PR for me. Who would’ve thought I would PR less than a week after a marathon!

4th place in age group.

4th place in age group.

Close Up.

Close Up.

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Running on vacation.

Since starting to run I hadn’t taken too many trips, but definitely not any longer than a day or two at the most. For new years this year I went to visit a friend in DC and decided I could get in a couple of runs while there. I was at the end of marathon training and needed a semi long run at least one of the days I was visiting. I had ran 12 miles the day that I left Miami so that I would be relaxed on my flight and not feel antsy. Two days later I got up around 9am and got ready to run, I had looked it up on my phone to see which would be the easiest way to not get lost going to the Lincoln Memorial. Found a straight shot that took me by the Capital also and took it. Now I see why locals in big cities get annoyed with tourists, they block the entire sidewalk when you are trying to get by. I suppose I looked like a local too until I took out my phone at the Lincoln Memorial and snapped some pics with Abe. Friends commented when I posted the pics on Facebook asking why I wasn’t relaxing on my trip. Running actually relaxes me plus I got a chance to see the city from a different perspective than I have before. I hadn’t ever ran anywhere from my friend’s house before, always taking the metro anywhere I needed to go. It was nice seeing the city and running by the locals, getting a chance to cross the roads with the long crosswalk lights. That first day I ran a little over 7 miles and stopped at SweetGreen for a spicy warm salad. It was around 45 degrees out that day and I was frozen. I hadn’t ran in that kind of weather since the February before.

with Abe.

with Abe.

yummiest salad i've ever had!

yummiest salad i’ve ever had!

The next Monday I got in a shorter 3.5 mile run to the Capitol and back. My pace was faster too because I got out earlier before all the tourists hit the streets. It didn’t feel as cold that day but I’m pretty sure it was the same temp as the run before. I was really hoping for it to start snowing one of the days while I was out for a run but alas snow in DC does not seem to be in the cards for me. It sucks that I didn’t get a chance to partake in a November Project workout while I was there.

The Capital.

The Capital.

I personally loved running while on vacation and plan on doing it again next time I go on vacation. Such a fun way to explore the city and get in a good workout too.

Race Recap – Race To Stop MS 5k – April 7, 2013

This post is 5 months late, read the previous post to see why. (Now it’s 10 months late. Oops!)

I decided to get to the race an hour early, I’m usually early but not quite that early usually. I arrived in Coral Gables just as they were setting up their booths to hand out the race bibs. So I picked up my race bib and walked around a bit. A guy was walking around trying to get people to take a survey and they would get a neat bag that is good for cycling so I decided to take the survey. It took about 5 minutes and it was about an MS medication, I had just met someone a few months before that actually has MS so I learned a little about the disease that morning. I put all my stuff back in my car and prepared for the 8am start time. A late start in my opinion, I’m used to 7-7:30am start times since the weather here is so hot & humid by 8am. I lined up and was a little bit nervous since I had never run this course, but had biked a part of it a few years before.

Starting line.

Starting line.

Starting out it felt like every other 5k I’ve done, I started out really quickly, but this time I didn’t stop to walk at all. Finally I was running like I have been doing in my training runs for awhile now. Passing so many people really gave me a confidence boost, but what was better was the mile timers that showed me I was really going fast! The course led around a golf course and then through a neighborhood. First part of the race was done in the shade of all the lovely Coral Gables trees but the second half was sun glaring in the eyes to the finish line. When I ran through the finish I knew I had PR’ed but what I did not realize was that I had won an age group award! Never did I think that I would win any medals besides finisher medals. But after I walked around a bit, drinking water I decided to go look at the stats they were posting on the wall of the nearby City Hall. I was shocked and overwhelmed when I realized that I had placed 3rd in my age group!!! Best running moment ever. Only thing that sucked was that I couldn’t share the moment with any friends or family. I’m hoping that one day my family shows up to see what joy running truly gives me.

Coral Gables City Hall

Coral Gables City Hall

My super dorky finish!

My super dorky finish!

Picture of my 3rd place medal.

Picture of my 3rd place medal.

Race Recap – 13.1 Allstate Miami Beach – March 9, 2013

Sorry this post is a month late, I’ve been slacking off big time lately on this blog, but no fear, I am back!

Finally the day had arrived for my first half marathon, I had been training pretty seriously for the past 3 months, not even having any alcoholic beverages during training. I figured it was a much needed detox from all the holiday parties I had attended the month before. I tapered the week before and ran a 10k six days before, I was pretty confident I would finish, my goal was to finish in 2:30 or better.

13.5

On the morning of the race, I woke up at 4am to get ready & eat something, I left my house around 4:30am and got to Miami Beach around 5am, where the clubs were still hopping and people were stumbling into the street. I found a metered parking lot and when I went to pay, it said the meters didn’t start till 9am. Free parking! I walked over to the start line, used the porta potty before it got really crowded, another good reason to get to a race an hour early.

13.6                                                              early morning starting line

The race was supposed to begin at 6:15am but started closer to 6:20am as the directors had to get police clearance for us to start, then all the elites started 2 minutes before. I lined up close to the 2:20 pacer, hoping that would keep me paced correctly and get me to achieve my goal of 2:30 or better. But as soon as the gun went off, I sped out of there quicker than I wanted to, but I was pumped after not running for 2 days before. At about mile 3.5 I encountered the first and most deadliest of bridges, The Julia Tuttle Causeway, it was hell since I’ve had no hill training, since I live in flat Miami and we hardly have any bumps in the ground. I survived it but it slowed me down a lot, to the point that I was even walking along the bike path at some points. After that bridge was conquered, everything seemed a bit easier for awhile. Ran through some streets in Wynwood/Downtown and saw some places I would like to go to, like Bunnie Cakes, an organic & vegan bakery. Around mile 8.5 I ate 2 Honey Stinger chews for energy but was starting to fade. I know around those next few miles I slowed down a lot. I knew I was not going to negative split and I couldn’t calculate my finish time, my mind was starting to go mushy. Around mile 9.5 the 2:00 pacer group from iRun caught up with me & kept urging me to keep running. I was at the point that I just wanted to walk for a few minutes to get my mind back into it. The pacer grabbed my arm and pulled me to run again, so I started running again, and got a bit ahead of them, maybe 100 feet or so. After a couple minutes I started walking again and they caught up with me again, and grabbed me and urged me to keep running with them. I stayed with them for a few minutes and eventually slowed down and watched them ahead of me. I think it helped that the pacer was a cute guy, that definitely was a motivating factor. The last 2 miles were the roughest I think, up until that race, I had only ever run 12 miles in training. There wasn’t too many people out at 8am on a Saturday, which was surprising. I did see a surfer heading to the beach just before I made it to the finish line, not sure how well the waves were though since it wasn’t very windy.

13.3                                                             in the zone – almost to the finish line!

Finally when I started seeing more people ahead, I knew the finish line was close by, I tried to push it for the last little bit, not sure how fast I was going though. I was probably starting to get dehydrated because I don’t like to drink water during a run, and for sure my glycogen was burned. I crossed the line while Rancid’s “Ruby Soho” was playing & almost could not believe the numbers on the clock. I finished my first half marathon at 2:03:34!! At that point I think the runner’s high hit me, because as I was walking to the food I noticed the 2:00 pacer and I went up to him and thanked him for helping keep me motivated out there. I grabbed a banana, water and headed out of the crowded food area. I went right to the Naked Juice truck and got a juice sample, collected some free Neutrogena sunscreen. Then I made a big mistake, I found an empty Boucher Bros cabana and sat down on the lounge chair, my legs were just so tired by that point, running 13.1 miles and then walking around for around 10 minutes. I figured I would be okay since I had slowed down slowly and walked a bit after I finished the race.

13.8                                                                           showing off my new medal

13.10                                                        the resting my legs right after: mistake!

After watching the elites awards ceremony, being shocked at their finishing times I got up to walk back to the car. Suddenly the soreness came over over me as I walked back to the car, my ankle started aching and I started walking like an old lady. Haha. Also walking back to the car I was almost hit by a big truck and a car, nice, I survive 13 miles but then get killed by a car, I can see that headline now. So I left Miami Beach before I got a parking ticket, I wanted to go to Coldstone’s but apparently they don’t open till noon. Sad. Went home, ate something and took a nice long nap and prepared for a night out with the girls. Little did I know we would stay out till 6am on Sunday, ha!

Overall I was very happy with the organization of the race, and I may try to start learning to drink water on my training runs. I’ve already signed up for the 2014 13.1 Miami Beach, and might sign up for the 13.1 Ft. Lauderdale that’s happening in November, I want to collect some of the Florida Storm Series medals. I can’t wait!

13.9                                                                            close up

13.12                                                 my favorite picture from the race – on the 2nd bridge

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?

fitness_closet_thumb

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.

Running Down A Dream – An infographic about running

An interesting infographic I found recently:

running-toward-a-better-you-infographic                                                                    Click the image to see it bigger

What is your reason for running? Or reason that you do not run currently? What are u waiting for?