This past weekend was the Miami ING Marathon, a huge event down here in south Florida. The day before the big race they also hold a Tropical 5K, which I participated in on Saturday morning, aaaand [drumroll] achieved a new PR! Early on Saturday my friend and I woke up and drove to the Miami Children’s Museum, which is on its own little island off of the MacArthur Causeway. The Causeway is basically a bridge that takes you into South Beach. So, they close off the road and the run consists of 3.1 miles of running on a bridge surrounded by glittering turquoise water, massive cruise ships docked at port, and views of the city skyline. You run past Palm Island and Star Island [gorgeous private islands where famous people live] and then you head into South Beach toward Nikki Beach for the finish line. Basically, I could think of worse places to run; it’s beautiful! The starting line on Saturday morning: Pre-race pic of me and my friend Jessica: Start location, on my MapMyRun app: Pre-race I fueled up with a LÄRABAR [read why we like LÄRABARs here] and some black coffee with cinnamon. Once we got to the start line I was ready to run. It was a slightly chilly morning in Miami and despite my running leggings and long-sleeved Under Armour, I was a little cold. Soon enough, the race was underway and we were weaving in and out of other runners. I hate the start of races because they really slow you down. Despite the beginning crowds, once we emerged from the pack it was a nice and steady run and there weren’t too many people in the way after that. Jessica was a runner in college and is much faster than I am, so I was pushing myself to keep up with her pace.
After the first mile I started to feel pretty good. I had my music on and was just zoning out, looking at the huge cruise ships that we were passing every several hundred feet. Once we reached mile 2 I was starting to get a little winded but I wanted to keep up the fast pace. Although Jessica hasn’t been training, her natural running abilities and experience far exceed mine, and I was out of my comfort zone with the faster pace. However, my legs weren’t giving out, and the side stitch that started making itself felt in my abdomen wasn’t crippling at this point, so I pushed on.
Around mile 2.5 the bridge had an incline and I was starting to feel the cramp in my side a little more. But once I got to the top of that bridge and started making my way down the other side I got a bit of an energy rush and kept on going. Soon enough, the finish line neared and Jess and I crossed it at the same time after an all-out final sprint. I was amazed to see that we finished in under 25 minutes as my PR prior to this race was 25:21.
The final results came in and my time turned out to be 24:46, my best ever. That’s a 7:59 mile average. I could not be happier with this time! But, it makes me wonder why I haven’t pushed myself to run at this pace in the past. I only ran this fast because I was keeping up the pace with my friend. I usually run 5K’s alone, and I set my own pace. Lesson learned: push myself harder, because I can handle it.
Post-race they had quite a nice setup: bananas, apples, bagels, Dole fruit cups, and a huge outdoor lounge area with wicker couches in between all the palm trees. Because the race course was not a loop, we finished over 3 miles from where our car was parked. The race organizers had shuttles to take you back to the start line, but we opted to walk. On the walk back I found a Vita Coco bicycle parked on the side of the road with a pack of Vita Coco in its carrying cooler, so I grabbed one. Vita Coco is by far my favorite coconut water these days! I’m drinking much more of it now that I am running more. Once we got back to the car we decided on breakfast at Bryan in the Kitchen, where I ordered another coffee and a smoked salmon panini [amazing]. The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the Biltmore Hotel pool with friends. It is unbelievably gorgeous:
I hope everyone that participated in the Miami Marathon yesterday enjoyed the sights of running in Miami as much as I did during Saturday’s 5K. It was a nice departure from my usual local runs, and I’m glad that I ran with a friend who was faster than me, which forced me to push myself past my comfort zone.