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.

Advertisements

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.

IMG_5524

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!

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

 

A1A Marathon & Half Race Review

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

IMG_3800

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

img_3867.jpg

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

IMG_3802

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

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

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

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

IMG_3810

 

 

Fitbit Miami Marathon 2018 weekend – Expo & Race Review

IMG_2710

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 – 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 – Training so far

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k race 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!

Only 22 days away till the Tropical 5k, the kickoff race for the Miami Marathon and Half weekend! Marathon training so far hasn’t been as consistent as last year, maybe because now I have a very active toddler. Last year I ran a lot on the road to prepare for my race weekend but this year it has been more on the treadmill with Netflix to keep me company for the long miles. One of those reasons was because of a homeless person encounter at the park that I used to run my early morning/ dark o’clock miles at and I have been cautiously avoiding it since. I really hope to get more road miles after this training cycle has ended but will have to see how life pans out for me. I am not looking for a PR this time around, but rather a relatively easy going pace/have fun race. I am being serious and not looking to go out there and crush myself in the process of chasing a PR, I know that my training has been very lax and I am planning on racing this marathon with that in mind.

One thing that I have done differently this time around and maybe it has been a good thing was not going over 18 miles in training. I may break that tomorrow and go for a 20 miler but with 10 on the treadmill and 10 on the roads.

My pace has increased to a good marathon pace for me this week because of the cooler weather due to the Bomb Cyclone hitting the US at the moment. I just hope that the cooler weather sticks around and helps out my pace for the next few weeks. Also gotta go on a hunt to find a cheap hoodie to wear at the starting line incase we get some freezing temps again this year. I am really crossing my fingers for a 55 degree day that will continue and last at that temp without the torrential rain from last year! That would definitely be helpful but I am not holding my breathe because Miami weather is very unpredictable.

This marathon training cycle I have been using the Every Mother Counts Intermediate Runners plan and it has low weekly mileage which has been pretty helpful in my recent busy life. I do miss 40 mile weeks but I will return to them soon enough, gotta get to that 2,000 mile goal this year 😉 I am trying to keep my weekly mileage to 40 miles this year but we will see how that works out. I’m going to say it will be possible since I usually only taper my long runs and not my weekly mileage anymore but will definitely be cutting way back for a week or two after Miami Marathon. Gotta prep for A1A Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon in February and do not want to have to miss it again this year!

Oh and I almost forgot, use the code: BIBHOLIDAY when signing up for Miami Marathon or Miami Half Marathon and save $10!! Hurry before the 1/7 price increase! Discount code is good till 1/11!

Also do not forget to check out Athlinks and claim your race results! Bet you forgot just how many races you have ran or would just like an easier way of keeping track of your times? I have been using the site for years and now they allow you to add other friends/rivals for a little friendly competition.