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!

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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.

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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.

 

Miami Marathon weekend – Tropical 5k & Miami Marathon – January 28-29

Disclaimer: I’m promoting & running Miami Marathon & 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!

It has only taken me almost a year to complete this post – it’s a long one and other things got in the way of completing this one but here we go!

First up, Miami Marathon expo was held at Marlins Park, parking would’ve been $10 if I wouldn’t have had a friend (hi, Lissette) who lived close by so we walked over, about a half mile or less. We arrived and checked out the Miami sign with all the participants names on it, found my name and we went along the edge of the park to enjoy some yummy coconut flavored yogurt, coconut icee type of drink, honey stinger samples (im part of the hive) and free samples of sliced bread. Finally it was time to head into the park, we got the metal detector waved over us and we we were in. Not too much of a line for that part of our experience but when we got to the Tropical 5k packet pickup line. That line was extremely long and slow until someone must’ve said something and the line got broken down into more smaller lines. I even asked my friend to watch Phoebe in the stroller so I could go over and pick up my marathon bib since there was no line at all for the half/marathon bib pickups. I was back in less than a minute after picking up my marathon bib. We waited in the 5k bib line for about 30 minutes, where I ran into my running friend Matt and met a Oiselle teammates husband in line. Long line = lots of time to have conversations. When walking into the part of the park for bib pick up we noticed a long winding line of people leading to a higher floor, that was where the shirt pick up was at! Luckily for us I had Phoebe in the stroller and we were able to take the elevator up and come in from behind to skip the line and grab our shirts quickly. After that we walked around, running into many running friends and checking out some booths. There was a Brilliant Reflective booth, if you remember I did a review on their products a few months ago on here. I got a new iRun singlet for upcoming races and got Phoebe a purple Miami Marathon onesie. Fun fact: when we hadn’t yet announced my pregnancy to anyone we got a green Miami Marathon onesie for her back at the 2015 expo. Last year I looked but they didn’t have any baby or toddler clothing available, glad they brought them back 🙂 I would say this expo was problematic for a lot of runners, who were stuck waiting in a long line in the hot sun for their race bag/shirt. I still think their best location has been the Miami Beach Convention Center even though there’s terrible traffic to and from that location. Maybe they can plan for the Airport Convention Center instead next year? Below are some pics during training for Miami Marathon.

Next up : Tropical 5k on Saturday morning. We woke up very early and packed up Phoebe and the Bob running stroller. Headed over to the Children’s museum, where the start of the race was. I got there an hour early and was able to get parking and be able to rest and stay warm in the car for a bit before getting out and setting up the stroller. I went into this race with the idea that I was going to take it easy and Derrick would be running with the stroller so it would be less energy used from me in prep for the next day’s marathon. Well I do not think that my 8:02 pace was such a slow easy pace but I never felt that I was pushing my pace too much. Finished just under 25 minutes and headed over to Nikki Beach  to get some bagels and pretzels to munch on before heading back to the car. Got to see my Oiselle teammate, Margaret receive her 2nd place overall female award. Phoebe ran around a bit and then really wasn’t interested in getting back in the stroller. We waited in a 15-20 minute line for the school buses that were transporting us back to the Children’s Museum start.

The next morning I headed to the American Airlines Arena to park for the Miami Marathon. It’s usually a bit less crowded than the Bayside parking lot and cheaper but can be a little bit of a walk after a race. I didn’t realize that it was open for use of the bathrooms this year as it wasn’t open last year for us to use. I would’ve went in there instead of using the portapotties like I did. Met up with another 1k run club member and walked with him over to the 1k run club tent to leave my bag. I photobombed some pics and before long it was time to walk over to the start corral. I headed over to the E corral and actually got a chance to sit down on the curb and watch everyone for a bit before the race began and everyone started moving forward. At that time the weather was around 58 or so and the sky looked very very cloudy. I had my $3 purple fleece (thanks Target!) on and was still a little shivery but ready to start. Just before our corral started to move forward it started to lightly rain, I cringed. I usually discard my throw away jacket at mile 1 or 2 since I start getting too warm, this was not the case with this race, I didn’t toss that fleece until it was nice and soaked around mile 7, in South Beach. My hands stayed cold the whole time and I regretted not bringing throw away gloves with me. The rain started steadily around mile 1 and continued the entire race, going from slight drizzle to full on downpour. By the time I was leaving South Beach I was soaking wet and trying to keep my spirits up. Every time I felt like I was starting to dry a little bit, the rain would come back to soak me once again. I tried to have fun with the race and waved at the Oiselle cheer squad (You rock, Tricia) and enjoying the on course entertainment (the ones that were still available in the rain). I stopped focusing so much on my pace when I realized that it was going to be a very soggy 26.2 miles. Saw a lot of running friends along the way cheering, and some running the extra 13.1. After the half split the course became quiet and less runners around. Hector from iRun and his wife were riding bikes on the course and reminded me to not underestimate the weather and remember to drink enough water. It was nice and peaceful and there were some cheering squads along the way into the grove. An older runner from KY was telling me how he was trying to BQ but had to catch up to the 4:00 pacer. Strangely enough we talked about pee breaks and how even though it was raining peeing in your shorts would still smell, lol. Interesting people you meet along the route in a marathon. Around mile 20 the rain started getting heavier again and I somehow managed to pass Dr. Dribble & his pacer around mile 23, his hands bleeding from the dribbling of basketballs for 23 miles in the rain. Those were some grueling final miles but I powered through, determined not to stop, not even to use the bathroom. When I got to the final bridge  (with metal grates, aye!) on Brickell, I said now I will rest on my fast walk up this bridge and finish this race off running. First small walk in the 25.5 miles in the cold rain. I’m not sure why but it seems like it started to rain harder as I turned the corner onto Biscayne Boulevard, seeing the finish line through the hard rain. I do not remember the crowd roar quite as much as I did during my first marathon but no doubt it was there, even in the pouring rain. As soon as I passed the finish line I walked quickly to get my giant 15 years marathon metal and headed to the line of food. After 4 hrs I was tired and hungry and cold, I wanted to get through the line as quick as possible. It was a mess and there was no way to carry all the food that I had collected, luckily one of the volunteers noticed how people were struggling to carry their food and started handing us empty boxes from the food on the tables to carry our stuff. As soon as I left that zone I headed into the picture taking zone and waited a few minutes in the long but fast moving line to get my pic taken in front of the photo op wall from the official photographers. Then I rushed as fast as possible to the 1k miles tent to collect my stuff and get some Nuun in my body. When I got there many members were fast to tell me that I needed to get out of my cold wet clothes and helped me under a towel wrapped around me to get into warm/dry clothing. One of the items being an Oiselle teammate’s disco spandos (a very cherished item) since I had only brought a tee and another pair of shorts and a light jacket. I really didn’t expect it to rain the whole time and thought it would’ve warmed by up the afternoon, I was completely wrong. I was so cold and my lips were still so purple that I had to put on a rain poncho that I had brought with me and then another 1k friend put her NYC marathon poncho over top of that. That helped warm me up quickly and I began to feel like I could actually speak without shivering nonstop. I was so disoriented when I left the tent to make the almost mile walk back to my car that I totally forgot my EMC singlet and race bib at the tent. Luckily my Oiselle teammate, Margaret who had lent me her capris sent it back to me and I sent her back her pants a few days later.

 

Amazing race, horrible conditions, but maybe it was those conditions that helped me in running faster and running stronger than I had previously. Maybe also it was the good training I had prior to this race. I was confident going into this race with my many long park runs starting early with two 20 milers or so, nothing longer than that.

Let’s hope that Miami Marathon 2018 has great weather but with no rain!

If you are interested in running Miami Marathon 2018, in 2 months from now:

Register here and use code “BIBRAVEMM18” to save $5 on race entry to either race.

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical 5k

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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!

Race Recap – Tropical 5k – January 26, 2013

I apologize for the super lateness in this post, but here it is.

As part of ING Miami Marathon weekend, they have a 5k for ING runners to warm up and everyone else to run/walk the short 3.1 mile distance. Also you get a medal at the finish line, which to me was a big incentive since I have yet to get a medal.  Then again, I have also yet to race a half or full marathon either, but I am currently training for one.

Friday night I laid out all my race gear and checked weather.com, it showed a cool high 50’s morning for Saturday. That meant I would finally get to wear my long sleeve RunningSkirts top with a heart on the sleeve. If you don’t know already, I love all heart printed things, so I was overjoyed at the cool weather. Saturday morning I woke up at 5am, had a quick bowl of Kashi cereal, and was out the door by 5:30am, heading to the beach. The moon was full and peering between the buildings of downtown, made me think this was a sign of a great race day. The start was at the Children’s Museum and the finish line was at Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami Beach, it was my first point to point race.

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I met up with my friend there, about 10 minutes before the race began and we squeezed our way into the crowd, about 100 feet from the starting line. Excitement began to build as Bart Yasso spoke to the crowd just before the gun went off. Suddenly we were off, dodging and weaving around children and walkers, finally about 1.5 mile out we had a less of a crowd and could relax a little more into our pace. My friend’s calves began to cramp a bit since she had did some spinning the night before, so we slowed down slightly at the water stop. Then was the slight incline of the bridge, I never train on hills, which I know, I know I really should start,  that slowed me down considerably. There weren’t too many spectators cheering us on till we got closer to the finish line, I still laugh thinking about the very Cuban ‘Dale-eee’ sign someone was holding up at the end. Sprinted the last bit and finished with a new PR of 26:11!

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                                                               look at that determination lol

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                             With my race buddy, Ana, showing off our medals. I swear I’m happy!

race2                                                                 Right after, can you see sweat?

race3                                                                                        Close up!

We then walked over to Nikki Beach and enjoyed a banana, bagel and some oatmeal raisin cookies before walking out to the sand and looking at the ocean for a few minutes. It was a great ending to a race, how many people really get to see that after the finish line? Had an amazing morning, running on a great course with a friend. Might even do it again next year as a warm up for the ING half marathon. I’ve already signed up, what about you?

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Have you ever ran a race that ended in a beautiful location? Anyone signed up for ING 2014 Half/Full Marathon yet?