I woke up at 4am, before my alarm, and decided to get ready. I layed out all my stuff the night before. The forecast said there was a 40% chance of rain. It was going to be hot and humid. I think the weather was going to be 68-72 degrees. My ideal weather for a race is 60.
We left and drove over to Bayside and found parking close to the start and finish. (Another $15) The start and finish were on the same street just a few blocks from each other.
Out hotel didn't have coffee. (The nerve!) So we hit up a gas station for some coffee to get things going. Runners, you know what I mean.
We headed a few blocks over to the bag check. I checked a long sleeve because sometimes I get cold after races, some flip flops, aleve, and shorts.
We then, hit up the porta-potties and there were long lines. The lines moved prety quickly and we did our thing.
Post-porta potty smiles.
We had a few minutes to sit until we were told to move to our corrals. There were about 20,000 total runners and it was hard to find where exactly my corral was.
After the opening ceremonies, I waited about 20 minutes before my corral (the turtle corral) started moving. This was the longest wait ever. I was thirsty already.
Off we go. We headed over a bridge to SoBe. The cruise ships were all lit up. It was so pretty. I took some really good pictures.
Then as we were on SoBe, I tried to take some self portraits of me running. That one turned out really good to. Really, I'm kidding.
On SoBe, there weren't that many spectators. It was then, around mile 4-5 that my hopes of doing the full were down the tubes. I was keeping a marathon pace just in case I felt good enough to run it, but wasn't feeling 100% healed from my injuries. So I decided to run comfortably, as this was not going to be a PR race.
I loved running down Ocean Drive past all of the famous hotel/restaurants. There were some "interesting" aromas coming from the hotel rooms. I will leave it at that.
Running on Ocean Drive.
We ran through various neighborhoods and finally headed over a small bridge back toward DT. At this point I stopped trying to take blurry pics with my phone. I managed to finish in 2:16:24. Not my best time, but certainly not my worst. I am just thankful to be able to run.
Since my friend was running the full marathon, I decided to watch the other runners come in. I love watching the pain/agony/pride/and accomplishment on people's faces as they cross the finish.
Running is so much more than a sport. It is a way of life. It pushes you beyond your limits. It makes you believe that you can truly do anything you set your mind to.
After finding my friend, we met some of the group from our area for lunch at a nearby hotel. I'm the jolly green giant on the far right.
I would definitely run this race again. I think there were more then enough water stops. I would try to stay closer to the the start and finish lines to avoid to have to pay so much for parking throughout the weekend. Although we didn't make a vacation out of this, there are plenty of things to do that are family friendly. Although, the woman who took off her top at the gear check or the man who changed his shorts barely covered by a trash bag were not "kid-friendly". I think I'm going to have nightmares.
Oh, and it would help if you know a little Spanish in Miami. It's the primary, not the secondary language over there.