Sooooo what's the fastest way for me to schedule in a trip anywhere? By race bribing me. For sure. So when Danielle (one of my best girls from law school) suggested coming to visit her in Miami.. during the weekend of the Miami Half Marathon... HOW COULD I RESIST?! Lauren (law school bestie) flew down from Baltimore to do the race with us. Ironically, the weekend was centered around the race and unsurprisingly when it came time to run we were feeling more like chilling and NOT running. That's why you pay for races and invest all the time/training into them- to keep you from backing out when push actually comes to... run?!
So Miami- i.e. warmest place in all of the US at pretty much any given time of the year was FREEZING day of race. At the expo they said it was the second coldest Miami marathon on record. Yay. We picked up Lauren from the airport on Saturday morning and headed straight to the Expo where we were starting to realize the long road that lay head of us. For the record- this is my third half marathon in four weeks in case anyone is trying to keep track. To say my legs are slow/tired/over it is basically the understatement of the year.
We bopped around the expo, grabbed our bags and then went to go grab food/mentally prepare for our journey.
So the PRO's/CON's of the Miami Half:
PRO's (the good stuffffff):
- the location- MIAMI. running along the water? check. running through south beach? check. running across bridges and onto beautiful islands? check. yah the course SURE didn't hurt your eyes.
- price- pretty cheap- I think around $100 (but let's be real- I sign up for about 100 races a year so they are all running together now! pun intended, unfortunately.)
- the expo was pretty easy to navigate and getting our bibs took no time
- the bag check was super fast/easy/organized to drop off and pick up
- race corrals were easy to get to
- it was crazy easy to get to the race start with FREE public transport (the people mover in Miami)
- hydration nation- there was hydration everywhere- I skipped it a few times because I just didn't need it
- the Miami Half Marathon medal is one of my favorites. bling, baby.
- photogs on course- there were a million and they seemed to time the cameras just right so they caught me on my game for almost all the pics and not looking like I was being chased to my death. ALWAYS a plus. I would have bought the photos if it was a good race (time-wise) for me- but I just couldn't justify buying them when I didn't actually do good at the race.
CON's (the negsss):
- getting to the expo in downtown Miami was fun. finding parking was even MORE fun.
- hydration was Gatorade on course... WHERE WAS THE NUUN, people?!
- FREEZINGGGGG- before and after race. like lose-my-will-to-live cold.
- dumb timing. I've definitely not been in race shape/able to race the last couple races- which is definitely NOT a boost to my ego. adding insult to injury is that the timing on course for my last two races have been off and have ADDED minutes onto my already slowwwww time. Lame.
So we got to the People Mover barely in time for us to make it over to the race in time for me to drop off my bag and then head to the right corral. I was assigned to Corral C based on the time I said I would do- and then I was frustrated to see the pace that I needed was actually in Corral B- so not terribly sure how they sectioned people off like that. I was about to start the race when I basically noticed that the people around me seemed like they were aiming for a different pace. It was super crowded in my corral and felt desperate from the start- like people just bobbing and weaving and I much prefer a not so insane start so I'm not terrified that I'm about to be tripped and go flying/get trampled before I even finish the first mile.
It was absolutely freezinggg when we started. And dark. You think that you're running in Miami and you need sunglasses. Well I was pretty much paranoid for the first few miles that I was going to trip since I could barely see in the dark and with my sunglasses. SMOOTHHHH.
I had decided before race since my legs have been slow-ish/tired lately that I would just do some marathon pace miles and run the rest easier. I did miles 1-5 and 13 at marathon pace for Boston- 7:25 and the rest I just bopped along. When the sun rose it was gorgeous running out there and I kept reminding myself- even on tired legs and basically no sleep for several nights in a row- that I am so blessed to get to do this. And that I really do love it- even though I was feeling grumpy and cold. Final time: 1:44:50.
So after I finished running- I ran back to find the girls and run them in. Somehow I missed D but ended up finding a sunny spot to stand in a mile back and wait for Lauren. At this point- all I wanted was warmth (well - that and a massage, and food, and a better time on my half- but the priority for sure was no longer being freezing). There were several different organizations out there running with some disabled runners and their support systems out on the course made me tear up so many times. Just so many incredible and loving people in the run world that inspire me constantly with their amazing attitudes and positive spirits.
After the race, life instantly felt better without a race looming over our quality time together. We cleaned up and dressed up and went out in the Miami Design District to binge on food.
Let's see if I can convince these girls to do another race with me. I may have to wait awhile since the pain of this last one is still wayyy too fresh. That being said, I have been overracing. Is that news to anyone? It's hard to get myself in the racing game when literally every week it's survival out on some half marathon course. I'm
"racing" a 10k this weekend (that word racing has been overused for the really chill way I have been handling my races lately) and then after that I really don't want to run another race until Boston (less than 100 days away). I need to put my head down. Get back to serious training and not interrupt the training flow with my RACE flavor of the week. Although racing will always be my one true love- my legs/body/mind are tired and need a well-deserved break to save up mental and physical energy for the biggest/most important race I'm about to do: Boston. I want to be excited and feel super ready for this race- so in order to feel fresh- I have to abstain from racing. You heard it here first, folks. Racing moratorium until Boston. I think.
Have an amazing day- and I hope you get out there and run. And to everyone racing this weekend- have a great race!