Tag Archives: Miami ING Half Marathon

Race Review: Miami ING Half Marathon

Sunday morning started with a 4:15am wake-up to get ready for the race. I did the same thing as always – got ready and made my PB&Js. About an hour later, we headed out to the race start. And for the first time ever, I discovered the glory that is staying at a hotel within walking distance to the starting line.

Unfortunately, I cannot walk and take pictures at the same time, so most of my pictures are blurry. I’m lucky I get one foot in front of the other.

I asked Michelle and Melissa to walk in front of me and turn around for a picture. I swear to you they both started running. Who does that?

Michelle and I found our corral, or what we thought was our corral since the signs were confusing, said our goodbyes to Melissa, who was in the “fast as shit” corral, and waited for the start.

The race started at 6:15 and even that early, it was extremely humid. Miami doesn’t believe in seasons, I think. The entire day was overcast which I was thankful for because I know it could have been much worse.

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I didn’t feel good or bad during this race. I guess I just felt like I was going through the motions. I tried to increase my pace but every time I checked my Garmin, I just couldn’t get below a 10:00 minute mile. It was disheartening and I checked out mentally pretty early on. I hate that. My mental state makes or breaks a race for me. Every time.

But enough about my crappy running. Let’s talk about the race. Specifically, the things I didn’t like. Like how the whole race was packed with runners and never thinned out. I was dodging people for 13 miles.

The first water stop didn’t appear until mile 3, which I thought was a little crazy, especially with the humidity. And honestly, any Florida race should know better.

The water stops weren’t long enough (one thing Las Vegas RnR got right) so everyone was crowded at the tables trying to get water and none of the volunteers were prepared. I usually had to wait for them to pour my water – and I made sure to thank them all because I’m sure they were as frustrated as I was.

There were also these little water pouches available at each water station.

I tried one of these at the expo and it tasted like plastic but I still kinda liked the idea. That is, until it was put into action. Everyone was throwing unfinished pouches on the ground, so running through water stops was like running through a mine field.

I almost slipped on my ass twice. These things are a horrible idea for races. Not to mention that the volunteers were throwing them like footballs to the runners, so I felt like I was dodging little death torpedoes as they flew over my head.

And now for the things I liked. The course was amazing. I think Michelle said in her recap that you could tell the course was designed by runners and it is so true. There was always something to look at and it was gorgeous. It definitely gave me an appreciation for Miami that I didn’t get from my first visit.

We started out running by the port of Miami. It was dark when we ran by, so it was really cool seeing a fleet (about 6, is that enough for a fleet?) of cruise ships all lit up.

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We ran through South Beach, by cute restaurants and shops, between skyscrapers, over several bridges with amazing views of the water and the city, and we even ran through a toll booth, which I thought was kinda fun.

Firemen showing their support. Smile

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Also, crowd support was amazing through the entire race. It blew away both Rock ‘n’ Roll races I’ve done. There were even 2 high school drumming bands out that I think were a highlight for me.

I crossed the finish line to a disappointing 2:21:07. That’s 3 minutes slower than Vegas and 18 minutes off my PR. But at least I looked pretty bad ass doing it.

Oh right. No I didn’t.

After the race, I walked through the finisher’s shoot (which was thankfully nice and long, unlike Vegas) but a backup still happened as everyone was trying to get their medals.

Then everyone’s friends and family were waiting for the runners just outside the medal area, and they were all lined up on either side making it impossible to get through which was super annoying.

There were a lot of goodies afterwards. The usual food, beer, and Pollo Tropical. And the cookies. Oh man. The cookies.

After getting through the crowd, I found Michelle and Melissa and we hung out for a bit.

To make a long story short (I know. Too late), we took some pictures, had a couple beers, talked to a weird stranger, lost Melissa, found her again, and walked back to the hotel while watching the marathoners run in and taking in some scenery.

And a little ING humor.

Overall, I really liked the race. Would I do it again? Maybe. But not anytime soon. I definitely think ING races know what they’re doing and this is the type of race I expected, but didn’t get, out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series.

Now it’s time to improve my pace and get ready for Gasparilla in March. Smile

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The Day Before

Let’s back this up to the weekend for a little bit. If you read Michelle or Melissa’s blog, you might be sick of hearing about this already. So I guess this post is for those of you who don’t and for me when I’m old and forgetful and want to remember that weekend when I ran a race slower when I was sober than when I was drunk.

Saturday started when my chauffer picked me up at the house and we left for our 4-hour drive from Orlando to Miami. Besides almost dying 3 minutes into the drive when someone cut us off, we made it safely to the hotel (Hyatt Regency) where we planned on meeting up with Melissa. Now, Michelle and I had never met Melissa before, but when we heard she was going to run the race with us, we asked her if she wanted to share a hotel room. She said yes in about 2 seconds and we’re still grateful she didn’t turn out to be a total creeper.

At the hotel, we said our hellos and checked into the room where we had a pretty sweet view of the city.

And then we promptly left to walk to the free shuttle service that brought us to the expo. We didn’t quite know where we were going, so when a strange man carrying all his luggage told us to follow him. We did.

Luggage guy was running the race too (and had run several of the other races Michelle and I have done) and we were all happy he didn’t seem interested in murdering us. When we got to the shuttle area, we had about 10 minutes to kill before the next one arrived. And that’s when I saw the petting zoo. With OMGcutebunnies!

And goats.

Sorry about the pig butt. I almost feel like I should put a sunburst on that thing. Anyway, Michelle and Melissa were totally not as interested in the petting zoo as I was so they didn’t even walk over to see it because they have no souls.

We got on the shuttle (ahem, school bus) shortly after and the 7 mile drive to the expo took forever. Miami traffic blows. But we were happy we weren’t the ones driving in it.

We got to the expo and did our expo thing. We picked up our bibs and t-shirts (They let Michelle and I change out our shirt size no problem. Usually expos are really picky about that.) We looked around for a bit and I bought a pair of Wright socks, which were $3 cheaper than at the running store at home. Other than that, it was really crowded and nothing special. Your basic expo.

We hopped the shuttle back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We were starving and didn’t want to walk anywhere, so we ate at the hotel restaurant. We had a little bit of a wait, so we did the only smart thing to do the night before a race. We ordered a drink.

Hello Coconut Lime Cooler, you delicious devil you.

I say you can never have enough filters on a picture.

Once we were finally seated, we all decided to have the Latin buffet.

It was really good but probably not the best idea for a pre-race meal. I had salad, yucca, rice and black beans, chips with house-made guacamole, and some pasta thing. Because I guess pasta is Latin now.

Pork and chicken were also served along with the buffet, but it was nasty. We all decided it would be more fun to be poked in the eyeball with a fork rather than eat it.

After we stuffed ourselves, we all agreed we were too full to eat another bite. That is, until Melissa found a couple cookies she wanted to have her way with. (I think she gets to know them first.)

Then back at the room, she and Michelle had their way with a pillow they both kept calling by our waiter’s name. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on there. I do know, however, that pillow has been touched by many, many strange hotel hands. And now, two sets of lips.

After the pillow molestation, we all called it a night since we had an early wake up for the race. 🙂

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Half Marathon #11 Done

The good news is, I survived half marathon #11 and discovered an untapped talent of balancing a beer, a phone, a napkin, two cookies, and a granola bar in one hand.

The bad news is, I can run a faster race when I’ve been drunk for two days and eaten nothing but greasy burritos, burgers, and lo-mein. (Wait, maybe that’s an untapped talent too?)

The good news is, three Red Bulls kept me awake enough for the four-hour car ride back from Miami with Michelle and for a concert that night with the hubs in which I did NOT lose anything.

The bad news is, my cold might be back, I’m super tired, and now I need to get through a day at work. So, I’ll be back with more about my crazy fun and crazy tiring weekend a little later. 🙂

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Death by Eurythmics

1.  Well, it happened. It’s race week and I’m sick. Not like I expected to win the Miami ING Half Marathon, but I at least wanted to do better than my last drunken burrito-filled half marathon. I’ve done some speed work, but not nearly as much as I’ve wanted to. So, I’m pretty sure I’m doomed this weekend. All I know is that I will crawl 13.1 miles to get that sweet, sweet medal.

So shiny!

2. Speaking of the half marathon this weekend, I finally get to meet one of my absolute favorite bloggers! I’ve been reading her blog for almost a year now and I’m pretty sure we’re secret besties because we are both equal parts OCD and crazy. We’ve never met in person, so that doesn’t make it creepy at all that we’re sharing a hotel room.

3. My weekend won’t end at the race either. When I get home from Miami on Sunday, hubs and I will be heading down to the House of Blues (also known as the taker of iPods) to see The Kills in concert. Not only have I been waiting for them to tour anywhere near me for awhile, but I also can’t wait to see what else I can possibly lose at the show.

How many of you have no idea who The Kills are? Smile

4. Now that my iPod is gone, I listen to Pandora all day at work. I didn’t know it was possible to shuffle that much Eurythmics from 8am to 9am, but Pandora has managed it. So, I’m taking the plunge and putting my music on my Droid for now. I’m not a fan of putting music on a phone. I like having a separate iPod for that. I listen to music so much that I constantly worry about my phone battery dying at just the wrong time and not being able to call for help when I’m trapped under a boulder.

5.  I can’t listen to Pocketful of Sunshine without thinking of Easy A. (Pandora likes playing that one too.) I’ve even given myself ample time away from the movie. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen it and still when that song comes on – it’s all I can think about.

6. At what point have you eaten too many carrots?

I ate that whole bag yesterday with some plain Greek yogurt/Ranch dip mixture. I actually bought those carrots for the bunny but I’m trying not to eat out this week and desperate times call for desperate measures.

7.  Hubs and I saw Bad Teacher over the weekend.

We were fully prepared for it to suck and planned on turning it off 30 minutes in and renting Rise of the Planet of the Apes instead. But we actually made it through the whole movie. And it was pretty funny.

8. Being Human is back on. FINALLY. Does anyone else watch this? It’s on SyFy (there’s a British version too) and I wrote a post about my love for this show last year. I’ve been waiting for it to come back because I don’t have enough to watch already.

Anyway, if you like ghosts and werewolves and vampires that share an apartment together while hi jinx ensues, you’ll probably like this.

And I know that just sounded dumb. But it’s actually good. Pinky swear.

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