Miami Half Marathon 2016 Recap

Hi there! Sorry I’ve been gone for a few days. Last week kicked my butt. Adam and I worked all day on Thursday and then drove up to Orlando. We didn’t get there until after 11pm and then we had a full day on Friday. More on that tomorrow!

On Saturday we drove home from Orlando and I had to go to bed almost right away! Since I didn’t book a hotel room for the Miami Half this year I bought a shuttle ticket which ran from the Miami Beach Convention Center to the start and finish. (Trying to  drive and park around the starting line while dealing with closed roads just didn’t sound fun).

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In order to catch the shuttle by 4:30am I needed to leave my house by 3:30am… which meant a 2:30am wakeup call. OMG. That was rough but by 5:55am I was safely tucked away inside my corral right next to the American Airlines Arena, home of my beloved Miami Heat!

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You know how they say you should stick to the same routine every race morning? Well the extra early wakeup call on Sunday threw me off guard. It made me think I could eat eggs for breakfast since I would have enough time to digest them (?). Let’s be honest, I don’t know how digestion works. I do know eggs sometimes give me GI issues but that I really wanted to eat eggs on Sunday morning. With a hazy, sleepy brain I decided I could totally do it and be fine.

Bad idea. I won’t get into the sordid details but by mile two my stomach wasn’t happy about the eggs. The line for the port-o-potty cost me 4 minutes and my stomach still didn’t exactly feel good. I would go on to make additional, shorter stops a couple more times. Ugh. At least Miami looked pretty while I looked for anything to take my mind off of my stomach.

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I was only able to eat half a Gu right before mile 9 and I could only take a couple of sips of Gatorade and water throughout the whole race. The lack of fuel surely didn’t help in the final miles although I tried very hard to keep up a positive mental attitude.

The course for the Miami Half was new this year due to construction on the Venetian causeway – but it really wasn’t terribly different than last year. I would say I enjoyed the views and the course just as much as in 2015 when I set my current half marathon PR.

The only downside to the alternate course was having to run the MacArthur Causeway twice. The first time up is not a big deal, but facing this bridge again at mile 10 was not so much fun! As I was approaching it I slowed down to snap this pic but of course it doesn’t look nearly as big in the picture as it is in real life!

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Whoever thought putting a race photographer at the top of the bridge at mile 10 was a good idea clearly doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a runner. I would have preferred to see the photographer at the bottom of the bridge when I was recovering from the climb and picking up a little steam! Oh well, what can you do but smile and pretend to not be dying! I tried my hardest! 🙂

To be honest around this time I was pretty frozen and not feeling much at all! I stupidly tossed my throwaway jacket and top at the start of the race assuming I would warm up in the sun. Unfortunately that never, ever happened and I was freezing the entire time. I think my arm must have went numb from the cold + wind because after a certain point I didn’t even feel my Garmin buzz with mile splits.

Somewhere around mile 11 I was struck with emotion and shed a tear or two. I remembered the exact moment last year when I knew I was not only going to PR but that I was going to PR pretty big. I remembered that I was getting kind of tired but I told myself “this is where you determine how big that PR is going to be” and then I kept on trucking along.

I remembered that at mile 12 I passed a girl wearing the same sparkle skirt and she gave me a thumbs up. I remembered entering the finisher’s shoot and hearing Will Smith’s “Miami” blast through my earbuds and thinking it was just so appropriate. I remembered walking to the Results tent and getting the print out with my time and texting Lauren right away since she was coaching me at the time. Last year I ended this race on a total high… and I wouldn’t have any of those feelings or experiences this year.

All of that didn’t really make me sad though, it just made me emotional. You could say after the Miami Half last year the rest of my running year was one frustrating thing happening after another. I felt like I never really gained any momentum and it’s not too surprising that I haven’t had a great race season.

I finished the Miami Half Marathon with one of my worst finishing times ever: 3hr 20min. Of course that includes all of my bathroom breaks, including my 18+ minute mile 2. It is what it is. I finished and let out a big sigh of relief. I think the look on my face says it all: I’m sort of happy, I’m sort of upset and I sort of need to use the bathroom. 3hr 20min is way off from the previous year’s race where I finished in 2hr 57mins. WOW. What a difference a year can make.

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I could definitely whine about my bad racing season, but at the same time a lot of things went really well for me last year outside of running. I traveled to a few new places, I experienced career growth and just generally learned to enjoy my life.

Having a bad racing season reminded me that I run because I just like to do it. I don’t need to knock down PRs all the time to find motivation to keep on training. I’m always going to run just because.

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I believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know why I had to have a bad racing season but I’m sure it’ll become apparent at some time.

Now my focus is to run two more races this season: the A1A Half Marathon next month and then the Miami Beach Half in March. After that I’ll close the chapter on 2015-2016 and start clean.

27 comments

  1. Heather @ GirlGoesRunning

    Congratulations on your half Kristina!!! I absolutely think this year was their best bling yet! Gorgeous <3 I'm sorry you were having GI issues. 🙁

    I remember Matt and I having to catch the shuttle bus at crazy o'clock and there were people still outside on the street partying!!!! LOL. We did have lots of fun though. What a cool course! Miami was Matt's first full marathon.
    Heather @ GirlGoesRunning recently posted…Sunday Stuff 🙂My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Thanks Heather! I hope you’ll come back to run Miami again someday! 🙂

  2. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    That sure is an early wake-up time for this race! Sorry it didnt go as well as you would have liked, but its still an awesome accomplishment! I think all races like this give us alot to learn from them. Hopefully your upcoming races will be great!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…The Blizzard and Weekly Workout RecapMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Thanks Lisa, I know you’re right. Every race teaches us something that will help in a future race!

  3. Laurel

    Congratulations on your half and on keeping a positive perspective on it. There is always the next race!

    1. Kristina

      Thanks very much Laurel!

  4. Heather

    I have made the mistake of eating eggs before a run before. Never again. I don’t know what it is about eggs, but they do not go well with running.

    I’m sorry that you had a disappointing race. Try not to let it cloud your head too much. You were injured just a few months ago and are still regaining the fitness that was lost. A much different situation than you were in last year when you were coming off of a perfect season. I think if you keep putting in the work (and stay away from the eggs!) you will still have a shot at a PR in February or March. And if not you can come run the Disney World Half Marathon with me next January, it will be on my birthday 🙂
    Heather recently posted…Vacation highlights and the return of running!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      I’m so glad to hear other people have had issues with eggs before. I didn’t realize it was as common as it seems to be. I wonder if it’s all the protein (eggs are protein-y right?)!

  5. Kerry

    Congrats on another half marathon! Not all races can be perfect, but it sounds like you had fun out there regardless. I guess it’s a good lesson about the eggs. I would have made the same assumption given the super early start. Oh… and that medal is pretty sweet! 🙂

    Can’t wait to see ya at A1A!
    Kerry recently posted…Colfax Marathon Week 2: Kickin’ Butt!!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Thanks very much Kerry! I can’t wait until we earn the super sweet A1A medal next month! 🙂

  6. karen

    Congrats on number #8 🙂 You got to the end and stayed the course!
    I hate having tummy issues, I have been there…
    but there will be more races and chances to not eat eggs, we live and learn.
    That is so early!! I am impressed – that is hard especially when you are not a morning person.
    I get emotional during races too – it is funny how races can make us cry.

    1. Kristina

      Thanks Karen!

      The emotional thing is crazy. I was like KEEP IT TOGETHER KRISTINA, A RACE PHOTOGRAPHER COULD BE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! haha

  7. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Congratulations on finishing despite the GI issues. That can really, really mess you up. I am sure you were dehydrated and just running out of fuel.

    That bridge looks pretty big in the picture, I can’t imagine how big it is in real life!

    Just like you, I enjoy running just to run. 🙂 Sure, having great races is fun too, but running gives us so much more than that!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Adventures on the TreadmillMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      This whole race reason I have felt disappointed in myself, but at the same time I’ve been happy to confirm that I like running and will do it no matter what. And if I couldn’t run I think I would just walk! I just like the whole package – being outside, having time to myself, being active, just ENJOYING LIFE!

  8. Running schlub

    Bad races happen to all of us. I take them as rough as anybody son I won’t say “keep your head up” and all that bs….but I really try to take positives out of all my runs including the bad ones. Plus I’m trying to be better at the whole “running is a blessing” thing so there is always that. But bad runs still piss me off lol.
    Running schlub recently posted…The Meaning of RunningMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      LOL

      Yes yes yes! ME TOO!

  9. Susan

    Great job, friend. Proud of you for staying strong and finishing the race! Every run, every race has a purpose. It might not be obvious in the moment, but trust that. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristina

      Thanks Susan! It’s hard to see the lesson every time, but I’m sure it’s in there. Maybe it’s just coming to the realization that no matter what I’ll want to run and be a part of the running community!

  10. cheryl

    That’s how it is with races, you win some, you lose some, and some you just have to go to the bathroom during…I find those the most traumatic. My only DNF was due to GI issues–
    Congrats for hanging in there for the whole 13.1.
    I know what you mean about the pictures not capturing the essence of the overpass. I have to say, It looks big to me, so I can imagine!!
    cheryl recently posted…A different kind of workoutMy Profile

  11. Cocomama

    Only runners can finish a 13.1 mile race and be upset about it. And only other runners can commiserate and understand all those feelings. I’m so sorry you had GI issues–having to stop again and again when you feel good (enough) otherwise is such a bummer. I never would have thought that eggs eaten FOUR hours before a race could haunt you like that but I also know nothing about digestion.

    Congrats on your finish doe!!
    Cocomama recently posted…Less Is MoreMy Profile

  12. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    Ooh I feel like I have so much to say! First of all, congrats on finishing ANOTHER half!!! You’re a rockstar. I’ve found that eggs right before a run upsets my stomach, too, and usually I can eat them without trouble. I’ve done that same thing where I thought the extra time to digest would mean I could eat something new or different. Rookie mistake, but we all make them!

    I totally get getting emotional as you relive the course…especially if you know you’re not going to complete it as quickly as you’ve done in the past. I’m glad it was a good kind of a emotional for you!

    Those cameras at the top of bridges are the WORST. Ugh. Even if you’re feeling strong, you end up looking like that “what I really look like when I run” meme haha.

    I’m like you…even if I don’t PR my races, I still love training and running. I don’t need a PR to keep going, either. Some people don’t get that it’s not always about a PR, it’s just about moving forward.
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Am I Marathon-Training?My Profile

  13. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    Oh no, so sorry to hear about GI issues! That’s the worst feeling. Why on race day, right?? Sounds like a tough race, congrats on getting it done and crossing that finish line! And tossing your jacket too early? booooo!!!
    We had a race in town that also had someone taking pictures at the top of the hill. WTF? Maybe better camera angles. Although I have to agree with you, it did make me push to make sure I looked like I was actually running hard, and I was smiling… so maybe it’s all for the best! I ran a race with my husband in super heat one time and we were beat – but as soon as we saw the photographer ahead we busted out some speedy looking runs! (and then promptly stopped after we passed him…)
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted…Training Tuesday – Glass City Marathon 13 weeks, 1/26/16My Profile

  14. Jennifer

    Congrats on the half, Kristina! Wish I could have made it and ick to the GI. Thanks for the describing the course changes, when I heard about it I had no clue what the Venetian Causeway was. I can’t believe your season is coming to a close, now come up north for next year 😛
    Jennifer recently posted…Gate River Run 15K Training Week 2 – 1/4-1/10My Profile

  15. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    How on earth did you wake up at 2:30AM!!! Eek! I probably would have just pulled an all nighter. Haha. I guess the sleep you get two nights before the race is the most important sleep – at least that’s what I have been told. Way to get up and get going (that’s a long time to be awake before the actual race starts).

    So sorry to hear about your GI issues. I hate when uncontrollable things like that happen. We can control so many factors when it comes to running, but there are still a handful of things we can never predict (body, mind, weather, terrain). Way to push through and finish strong. You earned that medal!!!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Life With Axel and Other UpdatesMy Profile

  16. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola

    I still think it is amazing that you gave it your best!
    Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola recently posted…Hello From The Other SideMy Profile

  17. Emma @myfullfatlife

    Hi Kristina,
    Congrats on your run! Your medal is beautiful!
    I’m sorry you had stomach issues on race day. Good job for keeping at it and your next race will go better!

  18. Hollie

    I’m sorry you had those stomach issues on race day, that is never fun. Nice work at your half marathon though and overcoming it. Hopefully your next race will go even better.
    Hollie recently posted…How to Be a Better RunnerMy Profile

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