Miami Half Marathon Recap

Big hello on this Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start! Only 125 days until Memorial Day, my official start to summer. I don’t go by the summer solstice! :)

Today’s post will be a quick recap of the Miami half marathon and our weekend down in the sunshine state.


The race on Sunday was one to remember- not only for the record-breaking cold temperatures in Miami that morning, but I was very happy to run a PR (1:40)!


The race started at 6am for both half and full marathon. When I ran the marathon in 2012, I appreciated the early timing of the race given the heat (it was 70 degrees at the start that year!). But this year, the course only warmed up slightly after the sun rose at around 7am. Temperatures overall were warmer than home (Boston), so I am not complaining, but 40 degrees and windy feels cold for anyone!

Mark and I were in different corrals, so I started a few minutes ahead of him. Just after 6, we were off!  The course started on the Miami mainland at the stadium where Miami Heat plays. We then crossed over a causeway by Star Island (I didn’t spot any celebs at this early hour), then up Miami beach along ocean drive, and crossed back to the mainland close to where we started. It was a very scenic course to say the least! 

IMG_2354Ocean Drive

This is the first time I followed a race strategy for a half. I typically treat halfs as training runs for a full marathon and don’t think much about the race itself, which is fine in some cases. But it was fun planning a race strategy with my coaches for the Miami half. I know that having this plan significantly helped me run my PR. I was very happy to run a negative split, running the first 10k @7:49 minute miles, finishing the race @7:42 minute miles.

I followed the plan as closely as possible, which included:

  • Maintaining an average planned goal of roughly 7:45/mile pace, so starting out closer to 7:50-8:00/mile (even though this will feel slow, especially on flat ground).
  • Maintain that pace for the first two miles before pushing closer to 7:45/mile through at least Mile 7.
  • After Mile 7, I could gradually start to speed up, pushing closer to 7:30/mile and, finally, for the last 5K or so, going for it and pushing with whatever I had left.
  • Miami half was a flat course with the exception of three “inclines” (bridges), so I was able to quickly lock into a solid pace and maintain it for most of the course. I kept reminding myself to not to start out too quickly! I need to continue to remind myself this at Phoenix Marathon.

My pre-race meal included: most of a bagel with PB& banana, and I had one GU during the race around mile 7. I drank water at all stations except for mile 4 where I grabbed Gatorade accidently. If I am eating GUs along the course, I typically only stick to water. Usually I’d have two GUs total, but did not feel like I needed a second one during this race.

I listened to a variety of top 40 and 80s hits which kept me going, but turned off the tunes close to the finish line to hear the announcer, etc. I enjoyed finishing without music and have to remind myself to turn off the tunes at the next race!


Since the race started so early, I was back at the bag check just after 8am, and met Mark soon after. We had the rest of the day to relax, get some delicious food and drinks over brunch at the beach, explore the area, and watch the Pats sadly lose to the Broncos. Not sure if I will be watching the super bowl after that! It was fun to watch the game at an outdoor pub, and luckily we weren’t the only Pats fans in the house!



Miami has finally warmed up, and we are off to the beach in a bit. Back to reality tomorrow. Enjoy your day!!

IMG_2336IMG_2358IMG_2357Daylight and sunset@South Beach this weekend

How was your weekend? Anything exciting happen?

Tell me about your last PR! 

When you race, do you follow a race strategy or do you usually just go by feel?




  1. YAY congrats on your PR! I’m hoping to PR for my half in March–I need to beat 2:08 from my race last year, and I think I can do it! I definitely need to sign up for this half in Miami–my parents live right in South Beach, and it’d be a perfect way to escape the cold. Congrats again!


  2. I feel like I want to run this race now! Congrats on your PR :)
    My last PR was Columbus in 2015. I ran it mainly by feel because I hadn’t really trained much for it. I had a very vague strategy and just fell into a somewhat comfortable pace and decided to see if I could hang onto it. It was probably my most relaxed mindset going into the race.


    1. Thanks so much, it’s a great race to run as a little getaway! Congrats on Columbus as a PR! It’s interesting that sometimes having a relaxed mindset and even going watch-less can lead to great races. Thanks for your comment!


  3. Nice PR! I ran my first Ultra 100k a few weeks ago so I guess that’s a PR 😜👍 I am running a 100 mile race Feb 6th here in Texas so guess that will be my next PR 😜 Have a blessed week..!


  4. Great job on your PR! I usually have at least a loose race strategy going into races, but I try not to be too rigid. I don’t have a Garmin, so it’s hard to be too terribly rigid when you can only check your pace at pre-determined spots.

    The Broncos/Pats game was a nail-biter! I was on the other side of it, so I was happier with the outcome. The Pats played a great game, though, and their final drive was seriously impressive.


  5. Nice job! Congrats on the PR :-D 40 degrees sounds balmy to me right now, that must have been lovely to run in! Earlier in the month I PR’d in a 5K race and that was pretty exciting… I hadn’t been able to beat my previous PR for over 2 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on the race and new PR!! That’s a fabulous time and really when a race strategy just goes perfectly. Football, yeah we couldn’t stand to even watch the nfc title game, we would have crushed AZ too…I doubt we will watch much of the SB. Enjoy the rest of your trip in the sun!


  7. Congratulations on the PR – really well done! That must have been a great experience. I was on a business trip in Miami a couple of years ago and took the opportunity to run along South Beach early one morning, I loved watching the sunrise over the ocean :)

    My weekend was a little different, a 20K trail run just outside Berlin which involved lots of slipping around on the ice – I just about managed to stay on my feet!


  8. Great job in the race. You are a speed demon! A 1:40 half is super impressive. The Patriots could’ve used you on a couple of those passes that Brady overthrew by a step. You could have caught them.


      1. City of champions! I was depressed about the loss for about 15 minutes. Then I decided to focus on my wife and daughters instead and wasn’t depressed anymore. And then I counted how many days until Red Sox season.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wooohooo!!! Great job with that strategy! Congrats!
    I did something similar in the SF Half last year. My goal was soemthing between 2:05 and 2:10, so I ran with the 2:10 pacer and told him to not let me go until mile 6!!! Hahaha it was hilarious because I didn’t expect him to really do it and around mile 4 I was speeding down a hill and he yells: hey redshirtgirl, slow down!!!! So I slowed down and stayed with him. At the mile 6 marker he told me, are you ready? I smiled, said thank you and took off. I ran a 2:06 half that day, not a PR, but I felt awesome just because I was able to stick to the strategy (with the help of this awesome pacer) and memorize what would be my marathon pace months later! 👍
    Congrats again, following a strategy isnt easy!


    1. Awesome, great job! Exciting that you’re running the full next year! I ran the full in 2013 and it was a very HOT day. I thought the weather for Sunday’s race was cold but perfect for running. Good luck!


  10. I PR’ed this weekend too with a 1:40 in LA! Sounds like you ran a much smarter race than I did though. I went in with very little strategy and it HURT…A LOT. Congrats on a great race and a PR! At least the weather here in Boston isn’t as cold as it was when we left?!?


    1. Wow, great job and congrats on your PR!! I ran the LA marathon a couple of years ago and found it to be super hot & hilly! Hope you had better conditions. The weather is super nice here in Boston– and we didn’t get too much snow! Let’s hope it stays like this! :)


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