Jan 31, 2017

2017 Tropical 5k Recap

I never had any intentions of doing the Tropical 5k. But then I saw that it could count as part of the Florida Storm Series, which means more medals. I had already done the Ft. Lauderdale 13.1 and the Turkey Day 10k, so I only needed 1 more race to get the Category 3 medal. Who am I to turn down more bling? Especially when it's just a 5k! I signed up and was ready for my category 3 medal.

The 5k is on Saturday, and though I scoured all of the information that was sent to me and the website, I didn't see it listed anywhere if they had day of packet pickup. So, to be safe, I left work a little early on Friday and headed to Marlins Ballpark for the expo. I had been to the Miami Marathon expo a couple of years ago when I did the half. Then it was at the Miami Beach Convention Center, meaning most horrible parking of all time. Marlins Ballpark was a WORLD of difference. Parking in the garages (I had to pay parking, but they were sure to tell you the rate in the pre-race info) was easy and painless. I picked up my number, and checked out all the vendors. And I may have picked up a few things too. 

I headed home and started to prep my race day outfit, but it was gonna be 50! That's coooold for this Caribbean creature, so long sleeves were needed. I also pulled out my gloves, cause I'd rather have them then not. I went to bed early and go some sleep before my early morning drive to the beach. 

I headed to the beach in the dark and the ride was pretty smooth. I really only hit traffic when it was the exit to get to the start. The start was at the Miami Children's Museum. There was some parking there, and more across the street at Jungle Island. 

I was lucky enough to get one of the last spaces at the Children's Museum, and those spaces were free. Score, free parking!

It was chilly out there, but I started walking towards the Museum building and the start. That's when I saw a few tents with race day packet pickup. They really could have mentioned this in the emails and the website. Especially for those only doing the 5k, going to the expo isn't really necessary.

I headed back to the start and got into the corral and waited. I found a friend out there, and we chatted and caught up a little before we started. 

The anthem was sung and it was time to get going. It was crowded. Really crowded. I always start with a 5 minute walk, and I might have gotten elbowed a couple of times. My intervals started soon enough, and I was off. I was glad to be running cause I wanted to warm up. 

The course was great. It was across the causeway to South Beach and alongside the port where all of the cruise ships are. By the time Runkeeper told me it was mile 1, my pace was already fast. I knew it would be with the cold, but it was really good. I wasn't pushing too hard either. 

Mile 2 came up and I was shocked at my pace again. I knew what my PR was for the 5k was (36:38), and thought I can get a new PR, probably by a few seconds. At about mile 2.5 there is a slight uphill, then a gradual downhill while you get off the bridge and onto the mainland of the beach. I decided to let gravity do it's thing, and ran down the entire downhill, ignoring my intervals.

We went a little farther down the street, and I started up my intervals again. Then we turned and there was the finish. I ran all the way til I crossed the finish. It was crowded when I came in, but I think I might have one decent pic.

I crossed and remember looking back and seeing 36:0?. I knew I did it. But overly cautious me, needed proof before I celebrated. 

I headed out to get my medal and here's where the good race got messy. There were hoards of people trying to get medals, and not enough handing them out. I had to search for a bottle of water. There were just buckets on the floor with gatorade and water. No one was handing them out, and I had to push myself through a crowd to get one.

Then there was another hoard by the race pics. I know the storm series has free pics, which they will even post to your Facebook for you. Pretty cool, and since I was there alone, I waited for my pic. There were people that were skipping in front, hogging the background. So rude.

Once I got out of that mess, I walked about another block to the beach. The after party was at Nikki Beach at South Point (the most south point of South Beach). I headed onto the sand for some pics on Miami Beach. Then I headed to Nikki Beach for some food and to grab my Category 3 medal. I looked around for the marketing tent, which is where the pre-race email said the medals would be. I didn't find it, so I asked one of the race staff. He called in and told me that I could pick up my medal the next day at Bayside. That is the day of the half and full marathons in downtown Miami, not closer at all. I told him I was only doing the 5k, and I only did it for the medal. He said I could contact the race office and have it mailed to me.

I headed back to the shuttles back to the start, since this was a point to point race. The shuttle took a bit to get there, but while I was waiting I checked the website, and there it was. My new PR! 35:11!! And then before I knew it I was headed back to the start and my car. 

The race itself was great. Flat, cause let's be serious, this is Miami, we're at sea level. But the communication and definitely the post race area needed help, badly. This isn't the first race, so I'm not sure why it was so disorganized. But I'd def give the Tropical 5k a second try.

Jan 6, 2017

2017 Running Goals

I'm a runner. There, I really said it. People ask me about running. People ask me when my race is. And just today I gave a facebook friend a tip since this is one of her first races (told her not to post her whole bib pre-race. Beware the race bandits!). So it's official, I run, I'm a runner.

And this runner has been thinking about her running goals for this year. These are big scary goals people. Like really racing, really training, get faster, get the hell out there goals. And if I tell everyone, ok mainly you, my lovely readers, I gotta do it right? So here goes....

2017 Running Goals

1. Run 500 miles this year.
This is totally doable. I've been adding in mid-week runs, and as long as I stay strong through the heat of summer (I noticed that last June I totally slacked, but August was good....).

2. Mid-week runs.
I have them on the schedule, and I need to get them in. They really do make a difference, even when they are slow and easy.

3. Keep getting faster.
Really work on my speed (and investigate how to really do that), and keep going faster!

4. Race in a new state.
Got New Orleans and Chicago already on the slate, so this is happening!

5. New half PR.
Looking for a race to aim for that PR. Probably in the fall.

And my so far races for this year... (Which I'm all actually registered for, cause I love me a sale.)
January 29th - Tropical 5k
February 5th - Rock n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon
March 4th - Best Damn Race 10k Orlando
April 21st - Star Wars: Dark Side 5k
July 15th - Rock n' Roll Chicago 5k
July 16th - Rock n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
November 23rd - Turkey Day 10k

Wish me luck and here's to running my ass off this year.

Dec 31, 2016

The Good in 2016

2016 was a hot mess. Not just all the celebrity deaths, the election, the things going on in the world, but also so much going on in people's families, at work and life in general.

I started the 100 happy days challenge recently to try to find some good within all of the crazy. And I figured looking at the good that came in 2016 will help. So here are 16 good things that happened in 2016:

1. Went to Disneyland

2. Met Jenn in person

3. Got a new half PR

4. Saw the Dixie Chicks

5. Started a new job

6. I'm running faster (about 12-12:15 min./mile pace)
7. Got 13 medals this year

8. Killed 21 day fix extreme this summer
9. Girls weekend with Kris at Old Key West resort

10. Saw the Main Street Electrical Parade before it re-retired

11. Joined my new OrangeTheory Fitness studio & love it
12. Completed "Hell Week" at OrangeTheory

13. Got a new 10k PR, and really raced for it!

14. Saw the welcome show at the Magic Kingdom

15. The Hamilton Mixtape

16. Only 1 day away from completing the FF Holiday Challenge!

Aug 3, 2016

Tinkerbell 10k & Kids Race Race Recap (Part 3)

When Kris and I decided to sign up for the Tink half to get the coast to coast, we figured we might as well do the challenge. I mean more bling is more bling. LOL I'm telling you we're not the smartest girls sometimes. This would be my second RunDisney challenge and Kris's first. I was a little hesitant about it all, since I caught a cold the week before and hadn't done any workouts for a week (to try to kick it out of my system). Thankfully, I was feeling better by the time we got to California.

And I would like to thank our internal East Coast clocks to making the early wakeups not as hard. The 10k started at 5:30am, so we got up at 4 to be out the door by 4:30. We were getting dressed, and adjusting our wings, when I heard it, the rain. UGH, I hate rainy races. We threw on ponchos over our costumes (wings and all), and headed out.

Thankfully, Disneyland is waaaay smaller, so we just had to cross the street to the Disneyland property and then walk back to the start line, which was by one of the on-property hotels. The rain wasn't too hard, and by the time we reached the corrals it seemed to have let up. We took off our ponchos, and stuffed them into the back of our skirts. We had wings and Mickey ears, and were ready.

Now, I'm totally used to the pre-race at Disney World, with DJs blasting music and characters waiting for photos, but there was none of that. Here it was just get to the corral and that's it. Thankfully, the walk from our hotel to the corral was less than the pre-race area to the corrals at Star Wars, so that was a plus. At WDW (Walt Disney World) the 10k corrals take forever to get going, but these were off within minutes of each other. We were in corral C and before we knew it we were off.

The first part was through some streets and around to get back to the parks, and before I knew it I heard my name behind me. I turned around to see my west coast friend (who I had never met in real life), Jenn! She handed me a Momentum band and ran off. It was so cool to see her during the race!

We were at mile 1 pretty fast, and then we were turning back towards the parks. We came in through the back of the parks, and before we knew it, we were in Disneyland. We ran through the park, which was tight, but we really just wanted to take it easy and take pics, and we did.

Then we came around to the back of the castle!

As you may have seen in my Princess Half recap, I slowly, slowly walked through that castle. Here I walked freely (and had to take video to document it).


And, we decided to stop for a castle pic. We had wings and Mickey ears on, it's like we had to.

Then we stopped by the Haunted Mansion to snap a pic there.

There were a few characters on the course, but they were all fairies, so we decided to skip them. Instead we totally posed for the cameras. It's so easy to see the PhotoPass guys now.

Soon, we were in California Adventure! This was our first time seeing this park, since we hadn't been in there yet.

We stopped for a shot with Walt & Mickey and were totally all about the pics here. We hit the backlot of the park, where strangely there were no characters. Totally missed opportunity Disneyland.

And then we rounded the corner and saw these mountains that looked amazing... Cars Land! I have to say that this place is taken right out of the movie. It's crazy how exactly the same it looks. The Imagineers "se la comieron" with this. At this point it was less about the running and all about the pics.

Then we were at Paradise Pier, also known as the area with the roller coaster and ferris wheel. This area is too cute.

We were headed towards Downtown Disney and the finish line wasn't too far away.

Part 1 of the Pixie Dust Challenge was done. It was a great race, especially since we got to see so much of the parks.

Plus, it was the first time I ran in wings and Mickey ears... both of which were awesome looking and didn't bother me at all. Glad I used them for the 10k and not the half though, 13.1 miles with wings might have gotten annoying.

I felt great at the end of this race, which was awesome since we had another race the next day.

After the race, we ran to the hotel, took off our completely useless bottom layer (It turned out to be a little too hot for a long sleeve top and tights), and re-donned our fabulous wings to go to V's Kids Races. She did awesome, and was super fast. Of course, it's cause she had wings ;).

We were done with the kids races and wanted to get back to the hotel, but the other kids dashes were still going on, so we were trapped. Another Disneyland runDisney fail. I know you're limited on space, but blocking the way out with the kids race courses wasn't the smartest thing. Lots of tired and cranky kids just wanting to move. We got through the crazy and went to the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney and got some beignets for breakfast, and coffee, of course. Then I waited to meet up with Jenn!

We sat and chatted for an hour that seemed like 15 minutes. It's amazing how meeting you can someone online and then you just click with them. It seemed like we had known each other forever. This girl is just so amazing. We needed way more time! But it was time to meet up with the family for a day of fun at California Adventure.