The Miami (Famous) Marathon

I review this race with mixed feelings; excitement, disappointment, heart and some regret, but with a pretty cool medal! 

IMG_4193I think I have a lot to learn about races, expectations, course differences, weather inhibitions and a host of other tiny seemingly unimportant details that are in reality super important, so don’t judge me too harshly as I already did. Plus, this was just my second marathon.

In all fairness the race wasn’t bad, but it was long, hard on my foot and quite warm.  I’m careful not to say hot, as I had feared it would be much hotter than it actually was.  Somehow it was 78 degrees and not breathing fire and gosh, was I ever so thankful.  Heat aside, I had major shoe issues with my right foot.  You would think the injury right? Wrong.  I made sure to wrap my ankle, wore my ankle sleeve and heel inserts to take care of my still-recovering injury but went and added insult to injury by running in a pair of sneakers I had never run a full marathon in.  After mile 13, every right step felt like I was stepping on a sharp object, by mile 18 I was super ready to remove said sneaker and run bare-footed.  I held off only because I didn’t want to spend time, better spent running, taking my shoe off.  I shouldn’t have minded that, as I pretty much ended up walking when it became near impossible to run the last few miles and I had to run-walk to the finish line.  My bad, my fault.  As with New York, I had such high hopes for this marathon as it was so scenic and a new course too; I should have been in my element and ace it. On the other hand, I have a pet peeve with running prolonged stretches without variation.  This race had quite a few of those, which of course was made worse by my shoe aggravation and the heat.  Nevertheless, help came in the outpouring of love and support from those cheering on along the route and those who handed out fruit, power bars, wet rags, ices and had their personal spray stations going on, these are the people who make my run possible and worthwhile.  It’s the essence of running that I’ll always appreciate and love; people coming together in recognition and support of and to encourage those who step out and take a chance at something great.  Then there was the brief but timely, just-like-God, shower, which couldn’t hurt and cooled things down some.  We, on mile 21, were thankful.  But if I was feeling sorry for myself, it all ran away, when I got within the last 100 meters and had the opportunity to help a fellow runner complete his last steps to the finish to claim his medal and me mine.

I promise you, not a day goes by that I don’t learn something and as it turns out there were a lot of lessons learnt that day. Lessons that I’ll take with me on my next race, The Rock and Roll DC Marathon, next month. You see my eye is still on the prize: Boston 2015.

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Running Miami

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Less than twenty-six days stand between me and 3:25, my projected finish time for the Miami Marathon on February 2. I feel pretty confident I can achieve this time despite my last result here in New York, as nothing is more motivating to me than failure. Some may say The INGNYC Marathon wasn’t a failure and maybe so, given my injury and all, but I see Miami as an opportunity to redeem myself – to no one but me.

Training this time around hasn’t been so easy. Post the NYC run, I was still struggling with recovery from my ankle injury and was forced to take pretty much all of November off while I resumed running on Thanksgiving Day. Then along came Christmas and my Georgia trip, where I managed to squeeze some running in but not aΒ lot. Β Back to New York and it’s been crazy cold, snowing, even frigid at times; not-so-great weather for running outside, but here too I’ve been trying. I’m looking at the days dwindling away and I’m like..”wait!” But of course time waits on no one, least of all me, and I’m getting quite antsy here trying to get my miles in. I’m not too worried though, I’m relying on God, determination and self motivation to get me up-to-speed and across the finish line in record time.
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In the final weeks leading up to the big day, I’ll be altering my regime somewhat to accommodate, what I pray is, a healthy and whole ankle. Not that my training plan for New York wasn’t ideal..it was and worked great in spite of the circumstances, but I really couldn’t reap the benefits then. So I’m speeding things up a bit, with the promise of ‘nicer’ weather on the way. A long run this weekend is long overdue followed by a shorter recovery run on Sunday. Thereafter, I’m planning five days of running next week; to include another long run and then on to some short tempo runs the following week. As I taper down leading up to race day, I also plan on stealing a day for some cross training, which will provide the necessary variety to keep me sane. My diet will see some slight changes as well, as I increase carb intake and amp up hydrating methods to include coconut water, tomato juice & smoothies..I love! Finally, stretching, stretching and stretching; very important to avoid injuries and to keep my muscles agile and relaxed.

Beautiful Miami, you inspire me!

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