February 4, 2014
Another half complete! Missed Part 1?
Race Goals (“A” least probable and “C” most probable)
Version 1 – two weeks prior to the half
I’ve had pretty good training runs as of late – easy 11-11.5 minute miles, which is how I came to my “A” goal (assuming ideal weather conditions). I arrived at my “B” goal by factoring in the heat, adding a minute to each mile.
- A – PR by 10 minutes
- B – PR by 5 minutes
- C – Break my 2012 Miami Half finish time, doable since I walked a majority of it
However, this past Wednesday I fell down the stairs after leaving the Maryland vs. Miami (a coincidence) basketball game and landed on both my knees. As you can see from the photo they were swollen, bruised and scraped.
It was tender to walk up and down stairs – I knew I would likely have to alter my goals. And alter I did (the heat + tender knees + stomach cramps = not a fun time):
Version 2 – updated during mile 1 of the half
- A – PR by 1 second
- B – Break my 2012 Miami Half finish time, still doable
- C – Do not pass out – finish the race
After our afternoon adventure in South Beach, we headed to Brickell (downtown Miami) for dinner. At the recommendation of Courtney, we tried to make reservations at Perricone’s Marketplace and Cafe; unfortunately all reservations were taken by the time I called (we walked in, but the wait time was about an hour long; too bad, it looked so cute and smelled so good-next time).
Instead we went across the street to Toscano Divino. It was very good and the service was excellent. Em and I split the caprese salad, and I had pici senesi (pasta and braised duck with tomato ragu). It was SO yummy!
Miami Half Marathon
We woke up at 4:30am and I had a banana, half a Luna bar and a bottle of water. Our hotel provided runners with bottled water and food (to go items in a box) – a nice surprise. At 5:20am we made our way outside to the start. Holy humidity! You could feel the thickness in the air – 87% according to my phone.
It took about 10-15 minutes to walk to the start – awesome view right?
So many runners, spectators, and volunteers at the starting line!
American Airlines Arena (home of the Miami Heat)
The marathoners and half marathoners started at the same location. With 25,000+ runners, there were 9 corrals. I think they were spaced out 5 minutes apart, as I started ~40 minutes after the gun.
The course is out and back (you start and finish at the same location). Runners start in downtown Miami, cross a bridge to Miami Beach, run along South Beach, and go through several neighborhoods before heading back to downtown Miami.
View from Mile 1 (on a bridge – probably the steepest incline of the entire course, but not too steep). The sunrise was gorgeous, but that also meant the sun would be beating down on me very soon.
At that point my mile split was around 12:30-45, I knew I would have to re-adjust my race goals at this point.
Miles 2 and 3, heading towards Miami Beach. The first water stop was around mile 3 (after the bridge), and every mile there after.
Another baby bridge towards Mile 4.
Miles 5-7 were along Ocean Drive, which runs parallel to South Beach. I wish I took photos of the beautiful art deco buildings, but that is when I started to fall apart (and wanted to cry!) . The heat was beating down on me, my stomach was hurting, and my knees were not very happy.
My HR hovered around 170-180 BPM. At the 10K mark (12:43 min/mile) I decided it was not worth hurting my knees or risk fainting (I do not fare well in heat). At that point I decided to run/walk (intervals) the remainder of the race.
Miles 8-11 beautiful water views – still hot hot hot.
Then it happened…at Mile 12 it started to rain! It felt SOOOO GOOD to finish the last 1.1 miles in the rain. The pretty triple spinner medals. If you look at the palm trees at the top of the medal, they form XII, the 12th running of this half.
My final time was 2:52:03, about 3 minutes slower than my Annapolis Half time. Although I did not reach my version 2A goal (which was essentially beat Annapolis), I was happy I was only 3 minutes off given the heat and run/walk the final half of the race. Based on what I was able to accomplish here and how I’ve been training, I know I can better my time 15-20 minutes when I am back to 100%.
Post race pics with Em! A sweaty mess – we did it!
- This is a nice winter getaway – especially if you are coming from freezing conditions!
- Beach conditions – PERFECT!
- Running conditions –HOT and HUMID! Weather differs year to year, and heat impacts everyone differently. This was expected for this northeast girl. Make sure to hydrate and prepare yourself mentally.
- However, it was super nice to start a race without throwaway clothes
- Miami race organizers did inform runners (by way of signs at each aid station) of running conditions; on Sunday it was yellow which urged runners to take precaution.
- The course is beautiful! If you like waterviews, this is for you.
- Volunteers were plentiful and there were water stations at every mile after the 5K. At this point I was parched – I would recommend bringing a small bottle if you know you would need water before then (miles 1-3 are over a bridge, I imagine that is why the first water stop is after this)
- There is a 5K race the day before the half if you have other family members or friends that would like to participate.
- If you are in it for the bling, Miami does have beautiful medals (unfortunately this year they fell short of medals, I believe a lost shipment, they will be mailing medals to those who did not receive one)
Given this was my second time running the Miami Half Marathon, I do not picture myself running this race again in the short term. Long term – YES (one day I will get through this race injury free)! Weather aside, I would recommend this race.
I leave you with my post race lunch – yum!
Do you like running in warmer weather? Any tips?
Have you participated in a race in which it was really cold or really hot?