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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Shady Rays – Running sunglasses review

Disclaimer: I received an pair of Shady Rays 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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Let me start out by saying I had never heard of this brand before but I will definitely be keeping an eye on them since trying out these sunglasses. In the recent maybe 6 months to a year I have started wearing sunglasses while running on super sunny afternoon runs or when its very humid and the gnats are out. I remember reading once in Kara Goucher ‘s Running for Women book how she mentions to run wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes and prevent some of those eye wrinkles. I never really thought about it till recently and hardly have worn sunglasses while running before but then again I used to be an early morning runner, still am but nowadays on a treadmill so I didn’t really require sunglasses for too many runs. Now though I do a lot of running after work and its blazing hot and super sunny so it’s pretty much a requirement.

I picked a pair of the signature series called blackout polarized, figure I could use them for everyday sunglasses as well as running sunglasses. In fact as soon as I got them in the mail I immediately opened the box and wore them out driving my daughter to swim class. Later that day I got to test them on a run, now Miami running definitely requires a sunglasses that does not steam up because we run in extremely humid and hot conditions probably 10 months out of the year. These were perfect for humid running, no fogging up or bouncing/sliding while running. I have yet to be able to try them out in a race condition but I could see them doing really well with faster running paces, and I will get to try them out in a few weeks for that.

On the website it says:  Our shades feature shatter-resistant (this is awesome for runners with small children who like to throw sunglasses on the ground often!), high-visibility Polarized lenses with durable construction that we stand behind with a Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Free Replacements if Lost or Broken. So they will actually replace your lost or broken sunglasses for free, only pay for the shipping charge! That is not even the coolest thing about this company. With each purchase you provide 11 meals through Feeding America to fight hunger in America! Now that is amazing!

I got a chance to wear them for at least 100 miles of running at this point and they do not disappoint me one bit. As a bonus they work very well in keeping gnats out of your eyeballs during the humid after the rain runs as well, because no one wants to stop 30x to pick out the gnats during a run 🙂

Interested in trying these beauties out, use the code BIBRAVE for 50% off your order of 2 pair of Shady Rays, basically thats a BOGO (buy one get one free) kind of deal! I’m thinking about getting another pair myself, trying to decide which frame/lense combo I should get, they have a fun wooden looking design now too!

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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. 

Run for cover

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of activities, tragedies and low mileage. About 3 weeks ago I ran over to the neighborhood nearby mine to see the FIU bridge be brought over and placed over the road, 5 days after it collapsed taking 6 lives. I traveled under that bridge 4 of those days, each morning with my toddler in the backseat of my car. It could have been us kept going through my head when I heard the news, it was a bridge to connecting my work place to the city of Sweetwater. For a few days I really had a hard time sleeping and I think that my stress from it was affecting my toddler. I know the miles could’ve helped but I required more sleep and no long run that weekend. The following week started out okay and was able to start my week full of running but by that Thursday I just wanted to rest. I was starting to get a sinus infection and did not run at all that weekend, the next week brought on all new challenges. Phoebe ended up getting a very high fever last Tuesday night and my next couple of days were spent trying to get it down and a mix of urgent care/children’s hospital visits. Now she is doing better and I have a little less stress about her health this week and starting to ramp up my mileage again.

Life sometimes gets in the way of your plans, fitness goals, workouts and as hard as it is to wake up early after slacking off for a few weeks due to a lot of stressful situations I am happy that I am feeling better and getting back to my mileage goals. I started out the year hoping to run 40+ miles each week to be able to hit 2018 miles before 12/31/2018 and even though I sort of see that goal slipping away I know it’s still possible with some determination. I also wanted to run the Keys 100 50k this year but I’m not really sure that I want to this year. Maybe next year I will be ready for it, I don’t want to slack off this summer or anything, in fact I want to work harder and work on my speed for the fall season of races. I plan on doing the Space Coast Marathon this year and that means that marathon training would be starting again in July! Summertime marathon training, that should be fun, I know this humid/hot hot heat running will make me stronger when the weather gets a little better. I plan on getting serious too about my strength training too which I have not been serious about in a very long time, probably contributing to my slowing paces.

Socially the last few weeks have been pretty busy, Phoebe has met and took pics with 3 different Easter bunnies and did an egg hunt and even rode down a large slide ride with my sister and her cousin, Logan. Despite my exhaustion and our rounds of illnesses in the past few weeks it hasn’t been too bad lately in gaining lots of experiences and adventures.

Also something that I have been involved with lately is helping train some of my workplace’s employees in running a 5k race. I jumped at the opportunity to help with pacing duties for the program and have really enjoyed helping others conquer their goals. We are about halfway through the program right now and they are training for the Corporate run 5k at the end of this month and most of the runners are doing very well. Most of them also are not new to running but a few are very new to run, a couple are just getting back into it and want the accountability of a group run session to help them stick with it. Just 6 years ago I was training using a c25k training app on my phone, it would’ve been more helpful if I would’ve had a group to train with. I have been running/pacing with the group 2 days a week now and get in a few miles beforehand because driving home to change and back would take at least 30/40 minutes. It’s a nice and easy way to give back to the running community by helping others become better runners.

KT Tape – my review

Disclaimer: I received KT Tape 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!

So for a few years now (maybe 4 or so) I have been seeing KT Tape on runner friends and I have always wondered about it, I even bought a pack on sale once just in case I would need it. I never opened it, it was the original KT Tape in the neon pink color, then I lost it somewhere when I started having some aches. Luckily BibRave gave me the opportunity to try out an array of products from KT Tape and just in time too!

Back at the beginning of January I started getting some medial shin splints in my left leg and I was unsure of how it happened. I have been training nearly the same way as a year ago and hadn’t experienced any shin issues during that time so I was confused. Inner shin pain after I finished a run when I was just walking around started to really freak me out, I thought for sure it was the dreaded stress fracture. I continued running and even ran a marathon and two halfs with the pain until I changed up the shoes I wore to work. That made a huge difference but I digress, I started using KT Tape when it was sent to me, first the gentle tape (my skin tone and softer than the pro tape) but my application was all wrong and decided to take it off after one run. The Gentle tape is useful to use for a day or two and very discreet to wear as it is similar looking to an ace bandage in the color but works stronger than any ace bandage. I think it would be especially useful for carpal tunnel taping since it is less noticeable in an office setting.  The KT pro tape all comes in a handy plastic box that will keep it safe when you throw it in your gym bag, very helpful for athletes on the go.

Next I tried out the KT pro Tape and got the application right for my specific aches and it worked like a dream, I wore it for 3-4 days before it started to slightly peel off and get some fraying from showers/drying. I thought it might take forever to dry after a shower but that tape dries very quickly and if you are in a rush I read that you can dry it even quicker with a blow dryer on the cool setting. I wear compression sleeves usually after my long/hard effort runs and did not want soaking tape under the sleeves but it never was an issue. It dried so quickly I did not even think about it. Due to the taping of my current issue it wasn’t so noticeable either. A lady that I am helping train in a couch to 5k program at work said she noticed but it was pretty discreet and wanted to know more about the tape. And that was when I was wearing the Pro tape in sonic blue! I gave her a rundown of the following info. Also if you need to remove the tape after a day or so for some reason use baby oil or remove it while in the shower for an easier and painless removal because this tape really sticks!

Here’s a breakdown of the KT Tape products I was sent to try out:

GENTLE TAPE: 100% Latex Free Cotton with Gentle Adhesive, Lasts 1-3 Days
PROTM: Synthetic Tape Lasts 4-7 Days
PROTM WIDE: 4″ Wide Stripes Lasts 4-7 Days (still haven’t tried this one yet)
PRO EXTREMETM: Extra Strength Adhesive Lasts 4-7 but works well in hot/humid conditions (so Miami 95% of the time!)
ORIGINAL: Cotton Tape Lasts 1-3 Days and is very similar to the Gentle tape.

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I am still trying out the Pro Extreme as I write this review and it works just like the Pro Tape but seems like it will stay on longer and work better in the hot humid conditions of most of my Miami runs. I think it will be very useful this summer if I am still having these aches, which I do not anticipate but luckily I have a solution if I do.

Another thing I really like about KT Tape is that you can go on their YouTube channel and find out how to tape pretty much every possible ache/injury you have and the instructions are easy for any non medical person (like myself). I have a friend who is also a runner and has used KT Tape to help tape her friends before big half marathons. She is a true believer in the power of kinesiology tape in general and prefers to use KT Tape brand over other brands. In the recent years I have noticed more and more taped up runners at races than 5 years ago, so if that doesn’t convince you that it works I don’t know what to tell you.

Want to try it out or do you already love KT Tape and want a great discount? Use the code : BIBRAVE30 to save 30% on your order at KTtape.com

 

305 Half Marathon – A Race Recap

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

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Race day attire (arm sleeves were not required)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First

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

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

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

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Oh

5 more!

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

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

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

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

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

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