Miami Marathon 2019

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k and 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!”

I am all signed up for both races of Miami Marathon weekend once again! This is the 3rd year that I will run both the Tropical 5k (as my shakeout run) and the Miami Marathon the next day 😉

Going to share a few of my favorite pics from my Miami Marathons/Tropical 5ks of the past (2013-2018)

 

Save $10 off registration with the code: BIBRAVE19 at checkout!

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A few reasons to run A1A Marathon or Half in 14 days!

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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So last year I had a bit of bad luck and was unable to run this race but this year I am crossing my fingers that no bad luck will get in the way.

Here are some reasons why I think YOU should run this race:

1. Location: Fort Lauderdale Beach, starting in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and then running straight to the beach front. I have done other Fort Lauderdale half marathons that weave and wiggle through a bunch of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods but this one is great because it skips all those turns and goes straight to the beach. This is a pretty beach and you get to run beside it along A1A plus as an added bonus you get to run around Hugh Taylor Birch State Park also! What better way to hang out after a race than at a beer tent on the beach with a cool medal around your neck?

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2. Weather: usually it is nice around Valentine’s Day, in the past few years (excluding last year) the weather has been cool, as in 40-60s. I just checked the weather app and it looks like it will be in the high 50s-low 60s for race morning.

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3. Race Expo: This is a good one, comparable even to Miami Marathon’s expo. This one is sponsored by Publix so you know people are going to like this one. I went last year and had a really good time, even my toddler adored it and she didn’t even talk much then. No doubt it will be good with lots of good foods/drinks/things to try out and cool gear to buy before the race.

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4. The Medal: last but not least this is not the reason why most runners run races, or maybe I am wrong, maybe a lot of us secretly run races to get these cool ass medals. Who doesn’t like bringing their race medals to work on Mondays to show their coworkers, who are secretly jealous because they don’t run races too? These are always pretty unique medals and every year they choose a different ocean animal. This year’s medal is really spectacular looking,  it’s a jelly fish and has long dangling tentacles.

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5. I will be there: In case you want to meet a real bib rave pro and ask me questions about bibrave and how you can review and check out reviews for other local/national races. JK, I know you will choose reasons 1-4 on why to sign up for this race, but maybe you will see me on the course, rocking my BibRave orange tank and give me a little shout out, I will wave 🙂

Ready to sign up? Use the code below and save $$$ ! A1A Marathon and Half  will take you directly to registration. Check out the official page for more details.  Hurry, online registration  closes on 2/10 and the code “BIBRAVE” gets you 15% off both distances! If you are just not a distance runner/walker you also have a chance to run/walk the 5k on Saturday morning.

 

Fitbit Miami Marathon 2018 weekend – Expo & Race Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Tropical 5k

“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!”

Let’s talk about the shakeout 5k before the big Miami Marathon for a few. I have done this race 3x now, the first time it was the first time I dipped my toes into the Miami Marathon weekend festivities. I had only ran two 5ks by that time and was not sure what to expect. The views are great and the course is no nonsense and point to point. But do not worry because a school bus will bring you back to your car after the race or you can park at the finish line and get a ride to the starting line. Either way you wont have to run back another 3.1 miles after the race, unless you really want to 😉

The weather is spectacular, as in the 50s usually for this race which is ideal racing weather in my opinion. Perfect for a 5k pr but there is a slight bridge near the end of this race, I would say at mile 2.5.

Here are a couple pictures from my past Tropical 5ks (2013, 2016, 2017)

 

2018 I will be racing it again and no doubt the medal will be even prettier than last years, seems every year they get better and better for this race.

Maybe you want to do the half marathon or marathon the next day with me, well here is a $5 off code to use courtesy of BibRave : BIBRAVEMM18

 

 

3rd Annual Holiday Family Fun Day 5k presented by Mitchell & West LLC – December 3, 2016

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I knew I wanted to do some sort of holiday race this year but not per say with wearing an itchy Santa suit so I decided on this race. Going into this race I knew that I was never going to place as it always brings in all the speedsters in the area (I have seen pics from previous years). Also there is a mile option as well. I’m kinda thinking about signing up for that option as well next year. Awesomely enough the winner for both races was the same, Baptist Health South Florida Kendall Run Club pacer, Ethan Clary.

Anyways back to the race morning, I got ready and was on site an hour before the race, I wanted to make sure that I could hit up the Publix bathroom before the race started. I picked up my race packet, which was a super speedy process and headed back to the car to change Phoebe’s diaper. Of course when you choose something for a toddler to wear you must always keep an extra outfit on hand for any unforeseen issues. Just my luck Phoebe’s diaper leaked right before we got out of the car so I had to do a whole clothing change in the car before setting up the stroller.

The weather was pretty nice on race morning too, not too warm and slightly breezy, which was a bit of a problem on the final jaunt to the finish line. No one realizes just how difficult races with a stroller can be in windy conditions, I felt like I was going nowhere pushing 50 lbs of stroller/toddler. The course was different from the typical Coral Gables course around the Granada golf course and instead ran us through very shaded areas (awesome!) and in front of the Biltmore Hotel. For most of the race I followed a speedy girl whom I knew was finishing her long run at the 5k, figuring if I could keep up with her I could do pretty well. Well I did keep up with her pretty well and ended up with a new stroller PR! Official time: 23:58, 7:43 pace, almost an overall stroller less 5k PR, amazing! I stuck around to cheer on my friends still running the 5k and then for the mile race. Great event and I will definitely be back again next year, most likely doing both races, the 5k and then the mile race 🙂

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The start of the mile race. Speedsters are off!

The next day I had my first 20 miler of marathon training and by Monday morning I was feeling that speedy 5k + the 20 miler.

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

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

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

Starting line.

Starting line.

Race Recap – ZooRun 5k – September 15, 2013

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

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

Elephant rides with Allie.

Elephant rides with Allie.

Cheetahs German & Allie

Cheetahs German & Allie

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

Another dorky finish line photo.

Another dorky finish line photo.

One of the best 5k medals ever!

One of the best 5k medals ever!

We did it!

We did it!

The end.

The end.