Turkey Trot 2018

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year because it’s about food, loved ones, and gratitude. This year things were switched up a bit in my household; this allowed me to get a later start in the kitchen and created an opportunity for me to participate in Turkey Trot Miami on Thursday morning. I decided to go for the 10K because 10Ks are more fun than 5Ks, right?

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Packet pick-up was straightforward, although there was a bit of a line when I went around 1:00pm on the Wednesday before the race. There were start line corrals that required a colored wrist band for entrance and I was worried that because I registered late, I would have a later start. Thanks to prior registrations for other Chronotrack/Athlinks races, however, I was automatically given a wristband for corral B (8:30 to 10:30 pace per mile).

The race location at Tropical Park is close to my house so I thought an hour was enough time to get to the race parking lot. I was wrong as traffic was so backed up I worried I wouldn’t make it to the start line in time and ended up parking at a shopping center that was about a 10-minute walk away. To give you an idea for how bad the traffic was, a decision was made to delay the start time from 7:00am to 7:15am to give people more time to park and pick up bibs.

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I went into the race not feeling too well to my stomach and mindful of changes I need to make to my running form (thanks Jaguar Therapeutics!). First two miles felt strong, but way too fast for what I wanted to put out there that day. I slowed it down A LOT for miles three and four and then got a killer side stitch that hung out with me from miles 4.7 to 6.2.

There was a point - soon after the 5K course split from the 10K course - that I thought, “I would be really good if the race was done; I should have just signed up for the 5K.” I did what I always do when thoughts like this creep in and focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I was very happy when I finished, even if my finish line picture tells a different story.

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All in all, Turkey Trot Miami was a fun race. I wish parking would have been a little smoother and that the tent with Tito’s Vodka and cider was better announced (there was no signage that I could see), but it was great to finally do a race that had been on my bucket list for six years. Plus, I got to see and hang out with some of my favorite runners after the race.

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Next up for me is the Islamorada Half Marathon on December 9th. This half will be my 33rd and I’m looking forward to having lots of fun running my favorite distance.

Interested in reading more about my running adventures? Read my Chicago Marathon 2018 recap and my Miami Beach Halloween Half recap.

Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon

I signed up for the Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon on the Wednesday before the race. I hadn’t planned on running a double-digit run three weeks after the Chicago Marathon, but running is where I find comfort and strength and, after a tough week, a long run was needed to get a handle on life. Not only would I have 13.1 miles to myself, but I would also get a pretty cool medal at the end.

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The longest I had run between Chicago and this race was six miles, but I went into the race feeling confident that I could do the distance: if I can do 26.2, then surely I can do 13.1, right?Plus, the half marathon distance is my favorite distance, so I was pretty excited.

Packet pick-up was fairly smooth as it was just standing in line to get your bib and race shirt. Race morning was pretty smooth too with easily accessible parking close to the start line and plenty of bathrooms. There was, however, a change in the course this year with the start- and finish-line both at South Pointe Park instead of starting at Jungle Island and finishing at South Pointe Park. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love running on the beach boardwalk because the views and atmosphere are incredible, but part of the course had a lot of turns and there were two two-mile stretches in the second half of the race with no water support.

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My goal for the race was to "SLOW DOWN and enjoy the run.” This race wasn’t about time for me, but about finding gratitude for the ability to move and the ability to have that time to myself to do what I love. With that being said and because people do like to know numbers, I finished the half marathon (#32 lifetime half marathon!) in 2:06.48 (9:41 avg per mile). I felt amazing when I finished because I felt strong and solid the entire race.

Would I run the race again? Considering this is my second time running it, the answer is yes. I love creative medals and this race always has one of the coolest medals for its participants.

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The Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon was all about intentionally slowing down, taking it all in, and reminding myself that sometimes all you truly need to do is keep moving forward.

Next up for me is the Islamorada Half Marathon on December 9th! Anyone else running that race?

Interested in reading more about my running adventures? Read my Chicago Marathon 2018 recap.