Well, it was one heck of a weekend! I hate that I wasn’t able to get this up yesterday, but time got away from me. Miami was pretty good to me.
Let’s start from the beginning…
We flew to Miami Friday night then took a taxi to our hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in the Downtown/Brickell District which was close to the race start and finish. The hotel was also close to the Metro Mover, but more about that later.
I was tired by the time we got to our room and it was pretty late. The Mr. met up with a college friend, Shaun for a drink and I went to sleep.
We ended up sleeping in on Saturday then grabbed some brunch. The morning also started with the typical open mouth shenanigan snapchats. I ordered the chocolate delight crepe and a soy milk cappuccino. The crepe was stuffed with nutella and sliced bananas and strawberries. I ordered a large green juice to go and it was off to the expo.
The expo was like one big party. The expo was held at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center in the middle of the Wynwood District. The vendors were awesome and they even had food trucks set up outside. We would have been all about some of the trucks, but we had just eaten. There was amazing street art everywhere too. I wanted to go to see the Wynwood Walls but it was already the afternoon and we had other plans.
After the expo we met up with Shaun and took some amazing pictures of the city from his condo. The view was incredible and it was neat to see the bird’s eye view of the course. We all headed to South Beach to walk around for a while and picked up some food. We had Mexican food which for me was a chicken burrito. I didn’t stick to my pre race ritual dinner and it kicked my butt the next day.
Shaun wanted us to see the city from the bay side, so we found this path and walked the bay. It was a chilly evening, but worth it. We turned in early and I was glad we did. I laid out my kit and added a long sleeve shirt last minute.
Race morning came early with a 4:20am wake up call. The race started at 6am and I had to allow time to get there on the Metro Mover. I took the Metro Mover on race morning and it was super easy. The Metro Mover is basically a free overhead train that runs all over the downtown area. We all packed on the train and headed to the start.
It was so cold! Miami got hit with the cold front that swept the rest of the country. Race morning temps were in the low 40s and the wind was 20 mph. I was a froze popsicle in my corral and hated life. I didn’t prepare for the cooler temps and had no idea it was going to be that cold. The wind made everything unbearable and I was seriously underdressed. I didn’t have a garbage bag or throw away gear or gloves or anything warm. I knew I was really cold when I seriously contemplated picking up sweatshirts or garbage bags that others had discarded in the corrals in front of me. I shivered for a good hour and a half before the start. I felt exhausted going into the first mile just from the cold.
There were two minutes between each corral and it was perfect. The corrals didn’t seem crowded and the course was evenly spaced nearly the entire time.
The first part of the race was a bit of a blur until we got to the MacArthur Causeway early in the race. It was beautiful! The sun was rising as we passed the area where all the cruise ships were and it continued to become more beautiful as the sun came up. I hit a portajohn right after the first mile or so because I wanted to enjoy the race without having to think about needing to go. The causeway is so long so we ran for miles before we go to the beach area. We ran through parts of Miami Beach then South Beach.
It was still so cold and seemed worse on the causeway because we were surrounded by water and there wasn’t anything to block the wind. My nose was running like a faucet, but I was trying to make the best of it.
There was music along the course and the crowds were great considering the weather was incredibly cold for Floridians. South Beach was gorgeous per usual and it was awesome to see all the Art Deco hotels and building up close.
After running down Ocean Drive, it was back on the causeway towards downtown Miami. The causeway was hillier than I expected and most people walked. You wouldn’t think of there being hills in Miami, but the causeway had a couple that wasn’t your usual Florida “hill”. The causeway made up about half the course, so it was a long route on the bridge.
Around mile 9 I started to feel awful. I was exhausted from shivering and being cold and my nose was still running. My nose was running so much that the drainage was making my stomach hurt really bad (sorry, if TMI). I had to start taking walk breaks to fight the urge to vomit on the course. I was sad. I wanted to have a really great race, but it became apparent to me early on that it wasn’t going to happen. I decided to take as many pictures and walk breaks as I wanted so I could just finish the race. I also had to keep reminding myself that I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon two weeks ago and had a bad virus the week before Miami.
It didn’t seem like we ran that much of downtown then I started to hear the finish line music. The split for the marathon and half marathon was in the home stretch of the race, so I knew we were close to being done. Before I knew it the race was over and I was meeting up with the Mr. at the finish line reunion area.
The after party was amazing! It’s been a long time since I really enjoyed a finish line party. There was a goodie bag of snacks available for us in the chute after the race, but there were also lots of vendors. There were lots of free stuff including Cuban black beans and rice. I wanted to cash in my free beer coupon, but the line was ridiculous so we passed.
After I stopped running, my stomach started to feel better. Because I didn’t feel great on the course I didn’t fuel very much at all. I had a couple gulps of water, one gulp of Gatorade and some pineapple on the course and that was about it. Looking back I think I needed a honey stinger waffle or something. I was hungry even before the race started even though I had my usual long run breakfast. I think my body was wearing down from the very beginning. I was expending so much energy just trying to stay warm that I could have used something even though it was only a half marathon.
This was my worst finish time for a half marathon yet, but oh well it was still my 5th half marathon. I think with the course I could have easily ran a PR, but not with the conditions of this year. I think if the weather had been different, I had been better dressed or I had not just ran a marathon things would have been different.
I ran Miami and it was awesome even with everything considered. The expo and the race were a great experience and I know I will run this race again. Everything about this race was easy and effortless. The organizers thought of nearly everything and made the experience fun and light.
The race itself was also really well organized. This was a pretty big race with about 25,000 participants. There were also a lot of folks running for charity which makes me happy.
Finish Time: 2:52 ish
After the race the Mr. and I decided to walk back to the hotel. It was only about 1.5 miles and I wanted to stretch out my muscles. We also knew the Metro Mover platform was going to be crowded and very cold, so it worked out. I wanted something else to eat so we stopped at Starbucks on our way back. I had a blueberry muffin and a green juice. I was worried that the coffee and sweeteners might be too harsh for my stomach.
I took a nap and we watched a movie, then we went out for a late lunch. Rosa Mexicana was perfect. I filled up on so much guacamole that I took almost all of my meal back with us to the hotel. Their tableside guac is the best ever! Thankfully we had a refrigerator and microwave in our room so I ate it for brunch before we left town for our flight.
This race weekend was so much fun even if it didn’t go how I expected. It was nice to get out of ATL and be in Miami for a couple days!