Friday, February 14, 2014


Miami was like a dream come true for me. I had been daydreaming of running Miami for about a year now. And on February 2nd, I did just that. I flew out on Friday evening, arriving late to the warmth of Miami. Despite not falling asleep until after 1am, I woke up bright and early Saturday morning. I was eager to meet up with my Strong Running Mama friends Elisa and Gail. We went to the expo together to pick up our packets and do a little shopping.

Elisa, Gail, Me

While at the expo, I decided to sign up for the 3:55 pace group. Signing up with this particular pace group wasn't about finishing the race in the given time. It was more about pacing myself at what I felt would be a comfortable pace and making adjustments along the way. Every marathon is different. You just don't know what's you're going to get along the way.

After spending a few hours at the expo, we headed out to the 11th St Diner to have lunch. We spent most of the afternoon walking around South Beach. It was an absolutely beautiful day. But I was done and ready to call it a day by 5:30pm. I was in bed by 8:30pm and set my alarm for 3am.

To my surprise, I slept pretty well. At 3am, I sprung out of bed to the sound of the alarm. I ate some raisin bread, a banana, and drank some water. I put on my running gear and was out the door by 4:45am.  I met up with Elisa and Gail. We were all excited for the race. It was going to be a warm cloudy morning. GREAT! We took some pre-race pictures and headed to our individual corrals.


As I was waiting in the corral, something felt terribly wrong with my stomach. I didn't have time to run back out of the corral to use the port-a-potty, so I decided to start the race and stop along the way. The race began at 6:15am and I crossed the starting line at about 6:24am. The first few miles of the course took us across the MacArthur Causeway bridge. As I crossed the bridge, in the distance I could see the mammoth cruise ships that were docked at the port of Miami. What a breath taking site. At mile 3, I had to stop and take care of business. Well that really sucked! There was no way I would catch up with 3:55 pace group... but I was ok with it. I continued on my journey through the streets of beautiful Miami.

I was at about 3.5 miles when I failed to see a dip in the road. I lost my footing and slid across the pavement. Shit, really, I can't believe I fell. Two runners came to my aid. Luckily, it was nothing more than scrapes to my right knee, thigh, elbow and hands. There is no whining in running. So, I dusted myself off and continued forward.

As I forged ahead, I took in the sites. Miami is simply beautiful, and humid. Boilermaker 15k humid. Thankfully, it was partly sunny. So the sun wasn't constantly beating on me. 

At about mile 6, I started doubting my ability to finish. "This can't be happening," I thought to myself. Thoughts like these usually don't come around until about mile 16 or 17. I starting seeing people to the side of the road receiving medical attention. Oh no, please don't let that be me. 

At about the half way mark, my left gluteus muscle started to tighten up. At this point I was walking through the water stations and stretching periodically. I continued forward. 

At about mile 15, the tightening in my gluteus muscles subsided. I got a little boost and my pace became a bit quicker. 

I was completely soaked in sweat. Between mile 18-20, I could see the dark rain cloud and then I felt the cool breeze. Yes! A little relief was coming my way. And then the rain came down. Thank you, Lord.

I had never been so happy to see that 20 mile marker. EVER.

With a 10k left, I broke down the rest of the race 1 mile at a time. As I got closer to the finish line, I felt stronger. In the last 3 miles, the crowds were thicker. Everyone was cheering for me. "GO SHEILA!" "You're almost there!" "Looking strong!" I was on my way to finishing my 6th marathon. "The finish line is around that last turn," yelled a spectator. I made my last left turn and there it was, waiting for me. Also waiting for me at the finish line were Elisa and Gail. Boy was I thankful to see their faces. I crossed the finish line and my 6th marathon was in the history books. 

Finish line

Every marathon has it's own distinct challenges. At first, I feared 26.2 miles. I guess I feared the unknown. But, on the flip side of being fearful, I am your typical Alpha bitch. I don't give up easily. Now I know to always expect the unexpected. When I run a marathon, it's about overcoming the different challenges that present themselves to me. Marathoning is about getting from point A to point B and being able to adjust to any situation. In so many ways, life is like a marathon. We are always adjusting to different situations in life. It's how we handle and overcome those challenges that allow us to accomplish our goals.

THANK YOU for stoping by,

Sheila AKA #MiamiFamous