Kris came down for this race, cause let's be serious, it wouldn't be a race without her. And we met up at the expo. That was the most painful part of the whole race experience. The expo was at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This is pretty easy to get to, but then you have to find parking, on the Beach (well, in the city of Miami Beach). I absolutely HATE Miami Beach for this reason, no parking. I ended up paying $15 for parking. Which SUCKED. But I got my bib, and my shirt, which was so cute. I also found some new headbands from Bandiwear. I had been looking for more wide headbands like these.
Kris slept at my place, and we got up at 4am to start getting ready and heading out to the Metrorail. I was so glad we were able to take the Metrorail downtown. That way I didn't have to deal with parking and all those closed streets.
It was a cold, windy morning. I was so glad to have some more long sleeved running shirts. We also layered with compression socks under out capris. And our new headbands kept our ears warm too. And we rocked our Raw Threads half marathon shirts.
We walked over to our starting corral, which was right in front of the American Airlines Arena (where the Heat play), and across the street from the Freedom Tower. Gotta say it was a nice view. Then we waited and waited and waited. We were the last corral, so we ended up starting at about 7am. We got lucky to start as the sun was rising, so the views were amazing.
But little did I know that we would be running over the MacArthur Causeway. This is a huge bridge that connects downtown Miami to Miami Beach. Thankfully this was at the beginning of the run, and slowly but surely, I made it over to the other side. The first few miles, I was feeling good.
On the way down on the bridge a girl asked if she could pace us. We said sure! She was from DC, and it was her first half. She did great and kept up with Kris and I with our intervals.
We ran to South Point and then up Ocean Drive. When you think of iconic Miami, this is it, right across from the ocean, and all those art deco buildings. It was nice to be running down it when it was empty and quiet.
Then it seemed like it took forever to get to the other side of the beach and get on the Venetian causeway to make it back to downtown. Finally, we made it around to the convention center, and then on the opposite side of the gold course. It was getting closer. At about mile 9, I was starting to shut down. I was just tired and those early miles that seemed so easy were long gone. Luckily, Kris is usually stronger at the end of the race, so she kept up the pace and kept me going. The talking helps too!
Finally, we headed back to downtown, and I knew we were getting close to the finish line. The crowds were all so great. I'm used to Disney races, where the crowds are really controlled along the race, but here there were people everywhere. The signs were awesome, and the support was amazing.
At long last, I knew that Bayfront Park and the finish line were just around the corner. I told Kris, that I thought we might get a PR on this one, after hearing my app tell me what our time was after mile 13. And then, we finally reached that finish line. I checked after we finished and we did PR (just barely, but it counts)! Considering the wind and the two bridges that we had no idea were there that we had to cross, I call this a HUGE victory!
We got our medals too! I heard of some people that didn't get their medals after the half last year, so I was happy to get mine. Plus it's a spinning medal! Love those!
We headed back to the house and were tired and run-gry! We headed over to Lime and met up with Eddie and the kids. We celebrated with some frozen sangria! We earned it!
I had fun at this race, got a PR, and got to see the pretty parts of Miami without all those pesky crowds. I have to say that even if I don't do this race next year, I might just go out to cheer on the runners. Gotta support my hometown race!
Big HUGE thanks to David Pope, Kris's Dad, for the race pics!!