Monday, January 26, 2015

Miami Marathon 2015 Recap #Miamifamous

2015 Miami Marathon race recap 
Mom & I on the red carpet
Well I still can't walk normal today, that must be a sign of a hard earned and unexpected Marathon PR. I want to start off by saying, I am so grateful to having such an amazing, supportive husband. Without him I would not be able to do what I love. The training, the races, everything would not be possible without him.

Race: Miami Marathon
Date: January 25th, 2015
Finish Time: 4 hours, 09 minutes
Distance: 26.2 miles
Gain/Loss: 1742 ft

We drove down to Miami Saturday (about 5 hours) and spent about 2 hours at the Race Expo. It was massive, as if I would expect nothing less from Miami than an "over the top" Expo. It was pretty cool walking down the red carpet surrounded by flags of all the countries that had people participating in the event.  There were runners from 80 countries, 6 of the 7 continents, and from all 50 states!
We didn't eat much all day since we were driving, and I was starving so we left to find some food. We had problems finding dinner so I ended up not eating my normal pre-marathon dinner. That made me a little nervous. We settled into the hotel around 5:30 and snacked on our dinner (chips with bean dip, hummus with pita chips and a slice of veggie pizza all bought from Whole Foods around the block from our hotel). I was so relieved and excited to run this marathon without any Lyme Disease symptoms to hold me back or hinder me. This was the first of the season that I didn't "feel" it for the race. That, on it's own, I knew would make the race so much better than my last 2 marathons.
The corrals at the start line

Woke up early Sunday morning after an expected sleepless night and debated what to wear. It was supposed to be 53 at 6 am and around 65 when we finished around 11. There was also light wind 5-10 mph. The great debate of pants/shorts hit hard! We both decided on shorts and tanks and I wore my arm warmers as well. Today, I will become a Marathon Maniac. That alone made this race amazing.  I kept that in my mind throughout the whole race. I was going to achieve my goal of 3 marathons in less than 90 days. Pretty exciting.
A view from the BLIMP of all the runners

We walked the 1.2 miles down to the start line at the American Airlines Arena on Biscayne Blvd. The corrals were crazy busy. The marathon was well organized, they were checking our BIBS to make sure you were in the right corral and the corrals gated off so people weren't going into the wrong corrals. We started about 25 minutes after the gun time in Corral F. There were so many people. The scenery of Miami in the dark (6am) was cool. So many flashing lights and colors, the architecture of the buildings was pretty cool too. There was a lot of "support" from local businesses and spectators. There were 24 aid stations with water and gatorade. Also roughly 10 stations with fresh fruit which was seriously amazing. They had cups of small peeled oranges, or pineapples at some stations, 1/2 bananas at others, some even had protein bars, GU chomps, pretzel rods and even cupcakes (provided by  the cutest little spectators)... such an awesome pick me up.

At mile 1 we encountered our first bridge. It was huge but the scenery was gorgeous. The sun was rising over the ocean and it was a beautiful site. The first 3 miles are ran across MacArthur Causeway. A long a line up of Cruises ready to depart later on the day. Around 6 miles we got to run along the Miami Famous South Beach.That was a cool site. Mom and I noted the cars that must've been left overnight due to too much partying. Bummer their car was going to be stuck most of the day while the Marathon continued!! Around mile 10 I remembered to enjoy the scenery. We were just running for fun, taking our time in hopes of finishing. The first 13 miles were at a very easy pace which included 2 bathroom stops (I wasn't feeling well, and with no breakfast my stomach was not happy about running). We had been staying near the 4:20 pacer in hopes of finishing near her. Mom mentioned she would be slowing down, and her feet were hurting. She had switched out her high arch insoles for a different pair this morning, she decided that was a huge mistake :(  She even joked about it being tempting to turn of with the 1/2 marathoners... I peeked over my shoulder to make sure she didn't ;)
The sunrise over the causeway

Mile 15 she started trailing a little and I assumed she would be back at my side by the next water stop. She wasn't so I just kept running. I passed the 4:20 pacer around then and continued running. I ran with the 4:15 pacer for a few miles, and lost them around mile 20. I was counting down "8 miles to go", "6.2 miles, just a 10k to go". I made one last bathroom stop around mile 22, shortly afterward because the race backtracked, I passed my mom who wasn't too far behind me. This gave me such a boost hearing her yell across the hwy "GO TONI!! GO!!" I was so excited to have seen her. I was still feeling pretty darn good. I was being silly to the photographers, and high-fiving spectators. They had beer around miles 9 and 23, beer? Yep this is Miami!
Some of the amazing fruit givers!
Haha. Mile 23-24 felt really long. I remember thinking I must have missed the mile marker it felt so long. It was probably the hardest part of the whole race. I knew I was going to come in around 4:15 which would be a PR for me so I kept picking up the pace more and more. I knew there was a chance and I was so excited to be that close to an unexpected PR. There were 5 bridges total for this "flat course". The final bridge being at mile 25 - SERIOUSLY?? I was so mad. Haha. I came over the bridge running faster and faster. I rounded the corner and could see Mile 26. OH MY GOODNESS I am almost done. Sprinting at this point I entered the finisher chute. I LOVE long finisher chutes. I ran down it pushing everything I had and crossed the finish line. I had no idea what my time was because of the delayed start, or where my mom was. I quickly checked the online live race updates while walking down the finishers chute... 4:09:35. WHAT!? I thought there must be a mistake, I refreshed 5 times and it stayed the same.
The after party!
The finisher chute was awesome, they had everything from pastries/bagels, cookies, protein bars, pretzels, fruit, Gatorade and water. Also tons of photographers. My mom crossed just a little behind me and we got our super cool finisher photos taken together. We had to hustle back to the hotel because of an early checkout time so we didn't get to enjoy the after party - but it looked amazing. It was huge and there was so much going on I wish we could have stuck around a little longer.

Miami Marathon for me, was the Race of the Unexpected PR.

I am excited  to say I am #Miamifamous and hope to run this beautiful, fun race again.

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