Weston Rotary Club Half Marathon – December 11, 2016

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The whole reason I signed up for this race is because the West Palm Beach half marathon was cancelled this year and I really wanted to do a half marathon in December. I went into this half marathon with only one goal: under 2 hours. The weather was looking to be rainy all that weekend and it had started the Friday before. Even at packet pickup which was held in the same park beside where the race started it was drizzly. Running races in the rain is not something that makes me happy, chaffing usually happens and sometimes I even get sick afterwards. Packet pickup was a breeze, I brought Phoebe along with me and we ended up getting a vanilla bean frapp at a nearby Starbucks after. It was one of the fastest packet pickups that I had ever been to, literally I got out of my car and collected my bib in less than 2 minutes! Anyhow I spent the rest of the day trying to rest my legs but failing miserably as I chose to go by Target on the way home and get some Christmas shopping.

Race morning I woke up very early because the race was a bit farther from my house than usual, about a 45 minute drive to Weston. I got there an hour early and was able to use the port-a-potties before the race started. And these were were some very nice port-a-potties, that is one sentence I never thought I would write. LOL. PortaJane was the name of the company and all the potties were pink! They all had a small light, which is much needed when navigating those things, a mirror (haha) and a sink with running water by pushing down a foot pedal. And the toilet was flushable too, think a toilet in a motor home, it was just like that! As you can see I was pretty impressed with the bathroom options at this race, which is rare. Anyways back to the race stuff, Everyone lined up pretty well at this race which is a pet peeve of mine when a bunch of little kids or run/walkers line up in the front and I have to dodge and jump over them at the start.

I heard some complains about the course afterwards and although it wasn’t scenic like some of the other races in the past, it was easy and clearly marked. It was an out and back course in the shape of an L and as far as I heard no one got lost. Most of the time I enjoy out and back courses because I can see faster or slower friends somewhere along the course and be able to cheer them on but sometimes it does make me feel a little dizzy if I focus too much on finding people in the crowd.

It was overcast and drizzly for the whole race. No big downpours but just drizzly light rain the entire 13.1 miles, my feet were soaked by the end but I didn’t really notice it at the beginning. Thanks to feetures socks I didn’t acquire any blisters during the race. After I crossed the finish line and collected my medal I walked over to the covered patio of the high school where they were serving food. I now regret not trying the vegetarian breakfast wrap but I generally don’t trust things being handed out by high schoolers. I got a muffin and a banana and headed to the car to change out of my soggy shoes and replace my soaked singlet with a tee shirt for the drive home. I would definitely sign up for this race again, it had a smooth packet pickup, good bathroom facilities and a very easy course.

Later that afternoon I had to refuel and figured the best way would be to go to Jaxson’s Ice Cream parlour with Phoebe and some friends for a gigantic sundae! It was a good ending to my Sunday.

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Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips- A product review

I have been on the search for a product to make my Bob running stroller more visible at night. I take it to run clubs pretty often and now that the time has changed it gets dark pretty much before run club even starts. I always try to wear bright colors on my evening runs and especially so when I bring the little one along but I still don’t feel too safe. I have looked into wheel lights (not sure if they fit my stroller wheels) and installing flashlights to illuminate our path but haven’t came up with anything solid.

That is where Brilliant Reflective steps in, I received a set of the stick on reflective strips as well as the iron on reflective strips. Immediately I knew that I would be applying the stick on ones to my running stroller to help us be more visible on night and early morning runs. Not sure when I will be using the iron on ones as I do not know exactly what I want to iron them permanently on but I’m sure I will figure something out soon. Most likely I will iron them onto  some winter gear, but since it’s not really feeling like winter here yet, I’ll have to wait.

The brilliant reflective strips are very sturdy and easy to apply, I started with applying them around the stroller base and was done fairly quick and used all but one strip. The stick on strips come in 4 colors (black, red, blue, and purple) I got the black ones, which works well with the stroller because you don’t even notice they are added on in the daytime. The iron on strips come in the same colors as the stick on ones. I took a picture before applying the strips and one picture after and if you are not looking very closely, you cannot even tell a difference. The difference is when a flash of light hits them and then it is very noticeable where the stickers were applied.

I took the stroller out on an evening run, I do that fairly often when I cannot find someone to watch Phoebe in order to get my daily run in. We started running when the sun was just starting to set and before the final half a mile was done of our 3 miler it was already getting pretty dark. I’m so not a fan of this early sun setting season, I feel like my running gets a bit more dangerous to do and I usually shorten my weekday runs. My boyfriend was so kind to take these pictures while I ran back and forth along the road to get the best shot of how these reflective tapes work. Took some time to get the right shots as the flash is not the fastest on the iPhone 6s but I think it shows how the tape is visible in the darkness with a light shined on it. We even encountered a few cars while taking the photos and one of the pictures shows just how the tape lights up when the car is starting to pass by us. This is a great product and I will be definitely showing this post to all my mommy stroller runner friends, they could really benefit from this product as I have so far. I cannot wait to try it out again at run clubs this season. I plan on getting another pack of these stick on ones and putting them on my clothes as well to try it out, but I felt safer running with this on the stroller for sure.

For more info and to order Brilliant Reflective strips.

Use code “BIBRAVE25” for 25% off the full order (one time use per customer). The code will expire on Tuesday at 11:59pm.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips as part of being a BibRave Pro. All opinions are my own.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Miami Marathon & Half Marathon Weekend – 2016

Miami Marathon & Half weekend – Recap of it all!

Signed up for the Tropical 5k to run it slow with Phoebe in the stroller. Also for the nice looking gender specific shirt (but didn’t get the right one 😦  )  Unfortunately a week before she got a bad cold and could not do the race with me. Derrick & I ran the race, I was going to try to run it slow so that my legs would be fresh for the half marathon the next day. The last half marathon I had done was at the beginning of December and I felt like it was a complete failure, due to coming in at 2:06. But like every time that I try to restrain myself from going fast, I went fast. My first mile was 7:52 (way too fast) and from there I got slower and slower. Finish time: 25:18 – So much for resting the legs! I did this race back in 2013 and came in at 26:11. Back then I felt super fast lol. Anyhow the race ended, we grabbed our cold hard bagels & dropped my Nuun tab into my water. The medal is way prettier than it was back in 2013.

Checked the results & then jumped on a school bus and went back to Watson Island where we picked up our car and went home. Around 10:30 am headed to Wynwood to the Miami Marathon & Half Health Expo to pick up our packets. It looked like a daytime artwalk there was so much traffic down there. Brought Phoebe with us to check out the madness, and madness it was, very very crowded in the expo location compared to the previous years expos in the Miami Beach Convention Center. Picked up our packets and went over to Freshii for lunch.

Quick run down of how Sunday morning went:

3:15 am – Wake up Feed Phoebe

3:30-3:50 am – Pump 7 ounces of milk

3:50-4:15 am – Get dressed & ready for the race

4:15 am – Leave for the race

4:30 am – Get to AAA, find parking, hang out in the car for awhile, then venture out to use the toilets at the AAA. Except the AAA wasn’t open this year!! The only year that it was locked up tight, also the coldest year I’ve done this race. Last year was cold and we all ended up staying inside till 15 minutes before start time to stay warm. Major fail. Find a nearby port-a-potty and head back into the garage to stay warm in the car.

5:45 am – Head to Corral E (Moving on up from F last 2 years!)

6:14 am – Our corral gets to start line!

I have to say I wasn’t a big fan of the new course this year, I prefer the Venetian over the MacArthur. I haven’t ran over any bridges in quite a long time so this was very harsh on my legs. While running through South Beach we spotted CoatMan and Dr. Dribble. I was feeling fairly strong till we got back to running over the MacArthur, my brain was telling me I should just walk up the bridge instead of trying to run it but I didn’t. Sometimes you just have to override those thoughts and keep pushing through. This reminded me a bit of my first half marathon where I did not drink anything the whole race but in this race I didn’t eat my usual Honey Stinger chews either but I had them on me for post race at least. I guess the freezing cold weather didn’t mess with my hydration or nutrition needs or I’m evolving somehow to not require as many calories for a half marathon distance. I guess I will have to test it out on another day since I have just signed up for 2017 full marathon. It will be my 3rd full marathon & 3rd Miami Marathon.

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This year I ran as part of team Every Mother Counts/Oiselle Volee, I will post about that soon!

Finished the half in 1:58:25. My 2nd fastest half marathon. Hopefully 2016 brings a new half marathon PR and only sub 2 hr halfs. Overall I had a fun time, despite those bridges and now a few days later the soreness in my quads and hamstrings has gone away. Ready for another half!

Been a long time.

Lots has happened since my last blog entry, including getting pregnant & having a baby. My baby is now 6 months old, half a year has passed by already! Time is flying. Since my last posts I’ve done a couple half marathons and a full marathon (while pregnant). Lots of running, lots of miles to recap (if I can remember!)

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Completed 1000 miles of running and some walking in 2015 and am on pace to possibly double that amount this year. 2016 started quietly with a 16 mile day, split into 3 runs. Have already ran a couple of races while pushing my baby in the stroller, two 5ks, a 4 miler and a 10k so far.

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I will be updating more frequently so stay tuned!

 

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I haven’t updated in a very long time, but I promise I will get back into this blog now that I’ve signed up for a ton of Fall races.

Life lately in a short summary. Met an amazing guy on National Running Day, very fitting because he is a runner too! So all of my long runs have been with him lately instead of solo at the park in a million loops. Definitely helps the miles tick by when you have someone to talk to and get to know. Signed up for all the Florida Storm Series races, now I just have to wait to run them! Have been getting faster in my training runs and can’t wait to see how that makes my race times. A few weeks ago I was supposed to do a race on an airport runway but it got postponed/canceled last minute sadly.

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Last night went to a fabulous event in Wynwood that incorporated running & yoga, two of my favorite things! It was held at Pilathon, a pilates/yoga studio in the heart of Wynwood. We started the event by learning some Chi Running techniques from Bryan Huberty, it was pretty cool since I believe I already run Chi style. We ran around looking at the sweet art on the buildings in Wynwood & then did some sprint intervals. I definitely do not do sprint intervals and even though it was supposed to hurt, it felt good! I really need to start doing sprint intervals on the regular. Artist, Ron Sanchez took our group pic by a large Bob Marley wall painting stating Loveism beside it. Afterwards we ran back to Pilathon and hopped up on the roof for some rejuvenating power yoga with Cat Haayen. This was the 3rd time attending this monthly event and every time we do different things & new yoga moves. It’s always fresh and getting that high feeling from staring up at the sky while quieting the mind is heavenly. Also holding my guy’s hand during shavasana was pretty awesome too.

running selfie taken by Mr Run Club :)

Running selfie taken by Mr Run Club 🙂

Group shot with Bob Marley.

Group shot with Bob Marley. Photo credit: Ron Sanchez

With Monica & Caro after rooftop yoga. Sweaty & happy.

With Monica & Caro after rooftop yoga. Sweaty & happy.

I will be back to update my last race recaps from the Winter/Spring soon! Until then Run Happy!

Peace

Peace

 

Check out Pilathon‘s page for upcoming events

And follow Cat Haayen on Twitter

Run Wild – February 8, 2014

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

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Hop!

Hop!

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

4th place in age group.

4th place in age group.

Close Up.

Close Up.

Miami Marathon – February 2, 2014

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

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

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetastic.

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

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

Before the race selfie.

Before the race selfie.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

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

Almost to the finish line!!

Almost to the finish line!!

1st Marathon medal.

1st Marathon medal.

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

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

Here are my mile splits:

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