305 Half Marathon 2019

I’m promoting 305 Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

img_1990.jpg

Let me start by saying I have ran this race/course for the past 7 years and every year it still feels as challenging. Some years I have sub two hour finishes, some years I’m a few minutes behind, some years I just want to finish alive. This was my first half marathon back in 2013 and even though those bridges are challenging, I continue to sign up year after year.

Last year the race was more Miami than usual with a pots and pans PR station because everyone in Miami goes out in the streets with their pots and pans for the home team victories. This year was much like last years with the 305 feel with cafecito by the starting line and lots of great food vendors afterwards. There was a major hiccup that happened a few days before the race, the race medals were on a train for California and not Florida so the race management hustled and put together a temp medal till we can get the official 0 medal to complete our 3 year challenge. Also due to the UPS mistake they gave out $5 Starbucks gift cards as well as a code for free UPS my choice premium membership for a year. I look forward to getting my 0 medal in the mail in the next couple weeks.

Now back to the changes and things that were really helpful. Usually the port a potties are lined up at the end of the starting corral but this time they were actually put into the hard packed sand across from where the finish line was and there were huge lights to illuminate them. That is perfect, well almost lol, some sand got into my sock which was kind of annoying BUT I did like the fact that it was out of the starting corral area which really clogs up the area for runners.

The iRun pacers were great as usual, I tucked in behind the 2:00 finish time pacers and managed to stick with them for 8 miles, the pace was a little faster than I expected. But after the brief rain shower at mile 7 the humidity was getting very thick. The sun burning the rain off the pavement was just a bit much for me when I had to trek up one of the final bridges back to Miami Beach, the MacArthur and so I decided to take a little walk break up it or risk fainting from the humidity. After that the flat running was working well for me and I stopped slacking a little. I got to see my favorite running buddy, Harolyn at the mile 10.5 water stop, she ran over to cheer on her friends and ended up helping out at the water stop.

I got caught by a few photographers this year which doesn’t always happen when I am running with a pace group. One caught me when I was ascending the 2nd bridge of the course, caught the grit on my face haha. I really do not like hills/bridges because I am used to training in my very flat Miami neighborhood and don’t get to make it out to Key Biscayne for tackling the large bridge anymore with a toddler. Training is a lot different now than it used to be.

I hope that next year I will be getting a course PR during this race, that is the plan at least! Possibly a new half PR that is if I can get in some bridge training this year.

Onward to the finish line, where cold water, cold towels and temporary medals were handed out. After that you head into the post race party zone after getting some fruit/protein bars from the athlete food tent. At the back of the food tent was a chicken and rice food area, but I did not stop and try out that. I actually did not want to smell any food after finishing the rest.  In that tent I prepared my Nuun so that I could hydrate back to human. Tucked a banana securely into the pocket of my Oiselle pocket jogger shorts and my water bottle in the other pocket.  That is where we picked up our Starbucks card and letter from UPS about the medal mishap. I went immediately to the Florida Storm Series tent and picked up my category 4 medal, that didn’t take long at all and then walked around to see the different vendors. I ran into my Oiselle teammate Daniela’s parents who ran the 5k/half marathon at the Air Relax booth. I walked around and got some shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck and then went to the Yasso truck and had a greek froyo bar in my favorite Yasso bar flavor, chocolate chip cookie dough. After saying hi to a few more friends in the finisher area I walked back to my car and headed up. Everywhere in Miami seems to be under construction lately and Miami Beach was no different but luckily the traffic was not too terrible when I left at 9am.

I will be signing up for the 2020 race to complete my 3 year challenge, but I know that I will continue signing up for this race as long as I am able to run it. Claimed my results on athlinks right after the race and then by that evening the FREE race photos were available on the app! Sign up now for the best rates for next year’s 305 Half Marathon!

img_2054.jpg

 

305 Half Marathon, Are you in? (discount code too!)

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 find and write race reviews!

305 half marathon

Have you ever wanted to run a race that was mostly along the beach boardwalk/walkway and also over some challenging bridges? Well then the 305 Half Marathon is your race!

This was actually my first half marathon EVER, but it was called a different name back then in 2013. I trained for 3 months to get to this starting line and had no idea about these bridges but still somehow managed to pull off a 2:03 finish without even hydrating during the race. I did some things wrong during that race but did learn about taking in fuel at the right times, I started burning out at mile 9 that day, it was a great learning experience. Now I run with the pace groups (iRun)  for this race to keep me on pace for an under 2 hr finish.

305HalfMarathon-CourseMap-no-date-791x1024

This year we will be earning our “0” medal to be almost done with the “305” medals! After the 2020 race we will have a complete 305 medal for this 3 year challenge of sorts. But don’t worry if you missed last year’s race for some reason you can purchase the 3 and run a half marathon on your own time to “earn” it so you can have a complete series when you run this year and next year’s race 🙂

Haven’t signed up yet? You are in luck, I have a discount code to save $10 on the half marathon and/or $5 on the 5k race that morning. Both races are taking place at the same time so unfortunately you cannot run both to get double medals 😉 Use this code : BIBRAVE305

You’re welcome and I hope to see you out there in a little over a month!

 

305-2

Have you ever ran this race before? Or one of the other names this name has gone by in the past, Michelob Ultra Miami Beach Half Marathon? Allstate Miami Beach Half marathon? What do you find challenging in running a half marathon?

Miami Marathon 2019 Weekend

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k race & am promoting Miami 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!

Let’s start with Friday, Miami Marathon expo opens at Mana convention center in Wynwood, a district known for art galleries and hipster bars. I really like this area for the expo, even though parking can be a hassle it is generally cheaper than when the expo was held at the Miami Beach convention center in the past. As part of the VIP experience we had complimentary valet parking but I chose to get to the area early and scored a very close spot, on the street beside the Mana parking lot. Also as part of VIP we were able to enter the expo one hour before the general public. I got there around 11:30am so I had a nice walk around the displays for 30 minutes before it got pretty crowded. I checked into the VIP lounge and headed to the packet pickup area in the back of the convention center to pick up my race bibs for my two races. VIP participants get to walk a red carpet to pick up their bib, and it will probably be my only opportunity to walk a red carpet so that was a fun perk. Pickup was easy breezy and I received my VIP bracelet & swag bag to wear all weekend to take part in all the VIP events. Some things I knew that I could not attend like the cocktail party on Friday night since I was running the Tropical 5k early the next morning, plus I really don’t partake in alcohol so close to race days.

After I got my race bibs for Miami Marathon and Tropical 5k I took a walk down the AthlEat street to try out some new things and had a taste of my favorites like MaraNatha almond butter and Harmless Harvest coconut water. I walked back to check out the VIP lounge to rest my legs whilst charging my phone with the sofa! I sat down and checked out my swag bag containing a very nice full zip jacket with the Miami Marathon logo on the back, a stainless steel Miami Marathon branded tumbler, and a lotion/chapstick combo pack in a nice sized reuseable tote. After hanging out there for awhile I walked around to visit some friends who were working at the expo and ran into a couple more friends while walking around and checking out some of the booths. I got to try out the normatec boots, which I have always been curious about but never had the opportunity to try them out, I got a chance at the expo for 10 minutes while meeting another Bibrave pro. I returned to the lounge one last time, that’s when I discovered that I could’ve used the Normatec boots without a wait in the lounge. Facepalm. Okay, so now I know for the future if I sign up for the VIP experience again next year. Also they had massages available as well as treadmills to use to loosen up the legs while in the lounge. I picked up a vegan salad to eat while there as well as a Ten water for electrolytes. I am always terrible at hydrating the Friday before my race weekend so it was much appreciated. I stopped by the official merchandise booth and got Phoebe a Future Finisher tee (the same one I managed to lose last year at the expo) and tucked it securely in my Oiselle spike bag. The expo was getting pretty crowded when I left just before 2pm to head back home to get as much rest as possible with a toddler.

Saturday morning I woke up to torrential rains and cold weather. I put on my new Miami Marathon jacket over my Bibrave singlet and headed out, making sure to put my running shoes in a bag to carry to the car to keep my feet as dry as possible for as long as possible. Parking was easy at Watson Island, right beside the Children’s museum and waited around an hour till it was 7am and I had to get out of the warm and dry car to use the bathroom before the race. By that time the rain had pretty much stopped so I took of my poncho as soon as I finished in the port a potty and after crossing the starting line I threw it to the side to one of the spectators. Just before the 7:30am start it started sprinkling, which later turned into a more steady rain once I was around mile 1. It reminded me of the 2017 Miami Marathon weather, where it was 55 and raining the whole 26.2 miles. Ran into a couple friends along the course but hurried through the miles, reminding a young runner to watch running along the slippery white painted street lines. Pretty much ran across the finish line, grabbed my water and a medal and headed to the finisher photo opp quickly, got a pic and went to Nikki Beach for a bagel and banana and ran to the buses back to Watson Island. Usually I like to stay longer and take some pics on Miami Beach with my medal but with the weather being so horrible I thought it was best to head back as soon as possible to dry off and prevent any possible colds the 22 hrs before Miami Marathon began. Funnily enough the bus driver got a bit lost on the way back to Watson Island and hopped a curb but eventually we made it back to our cars safely. Then it was mom mode the rest of the day, went home,  showered and took toddler to swimming class before heading home and trying to slightly carb load and stay dry the rest of the day. It rained all of Saturday and the rain continued through the night, everyone I knew running the race was preparing for another 2017 sort of weather conditions.

Packed my race bag the night before and had my throwaway jacket ready as well as my rain poncho,  I figured I would use it at least for a few of the first miles. Alas race morning came and it was another soggy morning with a steady rain as I left my house for the AAA, where I would park. A week before we had received an email that being part of the VIP experience we would be able to park free on race morning but when I got to the ticket taker she said I should’ve had a neon yellow parking pass. I was not given one at the expo so I paid $5 like the past years. That was kind of annoying but at least I was prepared for it. I gathered all my stuff and headed to the 1000 Miles Run Club tent in the charity village to gear check my stuff and meet up with running friends for a group pic. We had a VIP gear check also but I just wanted to check my stuff with my running club tent instead since I would be heading back there post race to change into dry/warm clothes. Getting to the tent in full rain gear and a warm hoodie I began to notice that it was wayyy too warm to be wearing the hoodie was the rain was beginning to stop and the humidity was starting to creep back in. After dropping my post race bag at the tent I went in search of my Every Mother Counts teammates and said hi to them before heading back to the AAA again to use the bathroom.

Getting into the B corral was not as big of a problem as getting into other corrals in the past, that was another perk of having VIP, having an early corral so therefore an earlier start. Was able to wait and dispel my nervous energy with way too much chatter with my bibravepro teammate, Mike, sorry dude! I ditched my hoodie and rain poncho on the fence of the corral as soon as I got in there, it was getting toasty already and not raining at that point. I thought that it was both good and bad in the sense that we got to start earlier so the sun would be less brutal than say 10-15 minutes later start but then you had to think about all the super speedy runners in the same corral who would be passing you and the C corral. That was a big crazy, I didn’t get run over or anything but it did cause my brain to think that I was not running fast enough even though I was holding back a few of the first miles till I was hitting my marathon goal pace. The first couple of miles flew by as I ran up the McArthur and heard the sounds of the bagpipers at the very top, through South Beach, around the golf course and through the Venetian Islands. When reaching Downtown again right after the Venetian toll booth I was met with lots of cheers and lots of familiar faces. One of my Ragnar teammates, Shirlei handed me a cold mini bottle of water, I carried that water for a couple more miles, it was very appreciated. I also saw the young daughter of our Every Mother Counts local leader cheering me on with great force, those miles were faster miles as well, miles 11-12. For me mile 12 is kind of annoying to hear all the spectators screaming “ALMOST THERE!” when you still have another race to go. The cheer squads from Nike and Lululemon were out in full force for that mile so that kept the hype up. Right after the split between half and full marathon the streets become quiet without the spectators and you are fully able to open your arms. It is kind of a surreal and peaceful feeling, which is good because you still have 13.1 more miles to go before you are done. Then you see that bridge, and thinking hmm, was this a good idea? Don’t worry you will be seeing that bridge again, later on, prepare your mind for it. I also was hoping to see another Ragnar teammate, Esther at mile 14 as she had told me online she would be there with water and fuel if needed. And right under the mile 14 sign was my cheerful and vibrant friend, ready with a mini bottle of water and a piece of a banana. I gratefully took both and kept heading down Brickell, passing this extreme wind tunnel in front of the Fortune building (where Brickell Run Club meets every Tuesday night). I particularly enjoy the popsicles on the corner just past that every year and I continued on to till I got to Rickenbacker. At that point my energy was running a bit low even though I had been taking in my honey stinger chews every few miles like I had trained. Then as if a musical miracle Queen with Bowie playing Under Pressure started on a nearby speaker and anyone who knows me knows just how much I love Queen! I was jamming to that song the rest of that mile, as I ran farther from it but continued singing along with it as I went, the photographer caught me doing a bird like motion as I was hearing it. One of the great moments where music can help push you through what seems like impossible, with 10 miles to go things were looking brighter again. I don’t run with music very often anymore but at that moment I missed it. Onward through the grove, along Bayshore drive memories flooded in of running along that path for many, nearly all training runs in 2014-2015. One of the reasons I love Miami Marathon so much is because of all the great memories it brings back as I run along the course, from pre runner Lisa to runner Lisa times. Going through the downtown Grove area is always fun and scenic but the smells of breakfast foods was making me a bit nauseous. Guessing because my stomach was not in eating mode, but rather in running mode so I was not hungry and did not want to smell or think of food at that time. I took some walking breaks through those miles as my mind was getting tired, more than my legs. Through the Grove neighborhoods with families out in their front yards with water and snacks for us was fun, I didn’t see any beer stands this year, not that I would’ve been able to stomach that either. At mile 24 I finally found the pineapple chunks I had been looking for at mile 12, I must’ve missed them back there but I got these. Something else I remembered to do this year that sometimes I have forgotten to do in the past was thank the volunteers at all the stops. They are volunteering their time and for long hours they are on their feet so that you can have that hydration or fuel so always try to thank your race volunteers. Volunteering at a race a couple months ago changed my whole idea of volunteers and how important they are. It was at that point I made the decision that no more walking was allowed, no matter how much my mind was telling me I needed to walk instead of run. I breezed through the next couple of water stops and trust me I hit most of the water stops on my second half of the race that day. Just before mile 25 was the GoRun Miami crew with the owner Doug out there cheering me on, then not far after the iRun crew was out in full effect with one of their owners, Hector cheering me on! Also Alicia got some moving pics of me when I ran through there, love those peeps, maybe one day I will be able to make it to run clubs again and run with those speedsters. With less than a mile to go I came back to that bridge where I tried to help another 1000 miles member up it without stopping but she was having major leg cramps. I figured that I would walk up it but with the adrenaline pumping, knowing I was so close to the finish line, I climbed that bridge as fast as possible and got through it. A few more turns through the downtown buildings and I was in the finishing chute, I never try to encourage the crowd to get more cheery but this year I did, raising my arms to get more cheers from them and it was amazing!! As soon as I finished my friend, Oscar was there to help runners through the finisher chute, not to catch bandits like I originally thought. He congratulated me and even presented me with my 26.2 medal and walked me over to the food tent where he grabbed a vegetarian post race meal for me. Such an awesome race day and I didn’t even notice the humid windy weather as much, apparently I was so focused that I did not even see an Oiselle Volee teammate along the course who screamed to me. I tried to keep moving after but was stuck in a finisher photo line for a little bit but got to meet another VIP experience lady who I was able to direct to the post race tent.

I headed to the 1000 miles tent and got to talk to a few of my favorites before changing in their mini changing room. It was then that I noticed my left foot was covered in blood, apparently along the race I got a blister, it popped and that was where all the blood came from. I had no pain so just changed socks and shoes also and headed over to the VIP tent to see what they had. I don’t know how many others have this issue but for a couple hours after running a marathon I am not hungry at all. I walked around and looked at all the yummy food that I had no plans on consuming, they even had Belgian waffles and lots of other hot dishes. I chose a strawberry and a bagel, can you believe it, I picked a bagel from all the yummy food, a race staple from every race, small or large, haha. I brought the bagel home with me since I could not think about eating it yet, I did eat the strawberry while in the tent. I walked over to the massage/normatec boot tent area to see if I could get in some recovery treatment but the line was long and I did not feel like waiting around awhile so I walked back to the AAA. In the past my IT band has been sore after the marathon and I am usually walking pretty slowly back to my car but not this year. I don’t know exactly why I was feeling less creaky after the race but I think possibly it had something to do with not sitting on the side as soon as I finished like I saw a ton of marathon participants doing, I kept walking around for over an hour. Even after arriving home from the race, I did not feel like I was going to fall down when I got out of the car like happens a lot after long distance races. Drank my Ripple protein shake and got my shower so that I could take my daughter to visit her great grandma for a couple hours. I did get in a mini nap while there, 45 minutes and was eventually able to eat some pizza afterwards.

Something I did different for the race that you are really not supposed to do is wear new gear for race day that you haven’t trained in. Well I got some new Oiselle summer rogas in a douglas fir color and decided a few days before the race to wear them. I have ran in rogas for many years and love them dearly so I knew they would probably be fine and they were fine and worked well in the humid weather. Usually it’s not advised but these had a lot of pocket space so I knew they would be perfect for marathon distance, I highly recommend them. Now on the other hand my Every Mother Counts singlet did not treat my skin so well, and I train in it pretty often, chafe disaster under my arm. The singlet is a little big on me so it scraped me pretty well in the humidity but it will heal quickly, just momentarily painful.

I had to adjust my goal time since the weather was not a cool 55 like was originally expecting, nor was it raining, which could have helped also. My A goal was 4:00:00 finish time but my B goal was under 4:30:00 and would you believe it, I got my B goal by seconds! And I do mean seconds, 2 seconds to be exact lol.

I am already signed up for Miami Marathon 2020 and I urge you to sign up right now too since the prices are as low! Apparently they were lower if you signed up while at the expo but I didn’t even think about it, but next year I will sign up while at the expo. Also I really enjoyed the VIP experience and think that if you can afford it, it is filled with awesome perks that will make your race experience even more fun.

That’s a wrap, Miami Marathon 2019!

Want to read my previous race reviews for Miami Marathon:

Miami Marathon 2018

Miami Marathon 2017

Miami Marathon 2016

Apparently I didn’t review the 2015 race?

Miami Marathon 2014

Tropical 5k 2013

 

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!

IMG_4713

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!

305 savings

 

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!

305half

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!

IMG_2559

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.

Miami Marathon – February 2, 2014

A year ago I told my coworker that I had just signed up for a half marathon, at the time he had said soon you will be signing up for a marathon. At that time I said “No way! A marathon is way too much for me” actually believing that I could not do a full marathon. When I signed up for this race I had just finished the Tropical 5k, which is the 5k the day before the big race. There was a race blitz and I decided to sign up for the half marathon distance since it was 20% off by the time I got a chance to sign up. At the time I hadn’t even ran my first half marathon, yet was planning for a year in advance to run another one, the Allstate 13.1 Miami Beach was still a month away.

Fast forward to June, when I finally was cleared to start running again after my surgery I decided then that if I could survive such a big scare then I could run a full marathon. I started training a bit early in September since I was not sure how the holidays would go and effect my long runs. It is a good thing I did since lots of things came up the last few months of the year: a friend’s wedding & all the events that come with weddings, baby shower, unexpected races and travel. Since the Fall here is generally (not this year) slightly cooler than the rest of the year there are tons of races and I had to sign up for a lot of them I had to alter my long runs at times. For the most part I got in most of my long runs and two 20+ milers during training luckily still.

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetastic.

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetasticfood.com. Amazingly stayed on through sweat & rain!

mm6

When race day started to approach and I started to taper a bit it was a very strange feeling, since I hadn’t tapered for any races since March. I will admit I might have been a bit more agitated by things around me also at the time. Otherwise I was feeling very confident in my training and the goal was to just finish the race feeling good. I’m proud to say I accomplished that goal and was able to make my final mile the fastest in my splits.

Before the race selfie.

Before the race selfie.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Race day morning I got up early, I’d say 3:30am and got ready to leave for the race, packing a small bag of things I might need. I got a ride with my aunt, who was doing the half marathon that day, she kept being negative about how she was probably going to get a call from a race official to pick me up from the road. Those kind of comments do not get me down, instead they just make me more determined to prove them wrong. I dropped my bag off at my aunt’s Galloway group tent and headed to the AAA to use the bathroom. When there’s a real bathroom I will take it any day over a smelly port a potty and luckily I got there just in time for them to open up another ladies bathroom. Then I headed to find the F corral where I would wait till the race started, it was a bit confusing to navigate especially with sooooo many people waiting around. Eventually I found it and sat down on the curb to wait, I find resting my legs as much as possible before the race begins helps me conserve more energy. I’ve never been one to stretch and hop around before a race and it’s always worked for me. My friend Matt met up with me in the corral and we started out the race together. I did not want to start out too fast so he kept me slow for the first couple of miles till he dropped off at the first water spot to stretch out his legs. I never really understood why people put their names so big on their shirts for races till I did the same, at first it was a bit weird having strangers scream “GO LISA” but eventually it really really helped me. I liked all the crowd support right over the Venetian Causeway, a giant mob of cheering faces. I stopped at a few water stops in the first half but all the water stops in the 2nd portion, by then it was getting very very warm. Even when the race started at 6:30am it was already close to 80 degrees so I knew I had to stay as hydrated as possible.  Basically the first 12 miles were super crowded since 75% of the people were signed up for the half marathon distance. Just around the time of the split I saw a couple people start to walk, I started cheering and telling them to get going and finish the half strongly. By the time we split off it was desolate and only a couple runners ahead and a couple behind but pretty quiet. Less cheering squads except at the water stops, usually there were cheerleaders there which were helpful and cheered for me by name. I have to say the Coconut Grove residents who were out in their front yards cheering and giving everyone water/snacks were awesome! At around mile 16 in Coconut Grove the skies started getting dark and when the wind picked up I knew we were about to get some rain. Quickly I pulled out my phone to put it in a plastic baggie so it wouldn’t get soaked and my grandma was calling. I picked up and told her I had 10 more miles to go and had to get off the phone because rain was coming. Five minutes after I hung up with her it started pouring, so for the next 5 miles I ran through the rain. Ran by an awesome resident giving out ice cold beer just before the Rickenbacker Causeway but didn’t partake in any. I just wanted to keep up the momentum because I knew if I would slow down for too long I would get lazy and walk too much. That was the hottest part of the race, there is no shade out there with Biscayne Bay beside you. Back in Brickell I passed lots of brunch’ers who cheered me on drunkenly while stumbling down the sidewalk, that was pretty amusing. I was so happy to see that mile 25 sign that I increased my speed and it ended up being my fastest mile of the whole marathon! But that last mile did seem the longest with a steep bridge just before the final .40 , I trudged over it and once I turned the corner and saw that finish line arch I sprinted to it. Never had I felt so accomplished after crossing that finish line. I got my medal and put a Nuun tablet in my water immediately and grabbed a banana from the food tent. Then met up with my aunt and her running friends at the Galloway tent to rest, I knew I had to keep moving for a bit longer so that I wouldn’t get really stiff afterwards. By that time the side of my knee was aching and I was kind of hobbling around, my IT band. Never have I had a problem with it before, but probably going those 26 miles for the first time aggravated it. When I got home later that day I made sure to ice it and put my Zensahs on, seemed to help. For the next few days my quads and hamstrings were achy but nothing crazy, so I rested and did not run for 3 days after.

Almost to the finish line!!

Almost to the finish line!!

1st Marathon medal.

1st Marathon medal.

Got my trusty Zensahs on & still got all my toenails!

Got my trusty Zensahs on & still got all my toenails!

Here are my mile splits:

splitssplits2

Overall I felt that this marathon experience was a great one. I didn’t worry about my finishing time, this race’s goal was just about finishing and feeling good still. I succeeded and signed up for next year’s marathon again. Can’t wait!