Miami Marathon 2006

This was another marathon weekend for me.  Amy and I spent the past week at our friend Jared Polis’s apartment in South Beach getting acclimated. I ran the Miami Marathon today – knocking another state of the list in my quest to run a marathon in every state by the time I turn 50 (I’ve done 6 and I recently turned 40.)

South Beach has been a trip.  When I was a kid, my dad’s parents lived in Hollywood Hills and I remember never being allowed to go to South Beach because it was “too dangerous.”  I’ve been here several times over the past few years and dig the scene, even though I’m not a late night party guy.  Jared’s place is perfectly located on the corner of 14th and Ocean, which happens to be the turn at the 6 mile mark of the marathon. 

I was anxious this time around – my last marathon was New York on November 7th – so there wasn’t much time between marathons.  My longest training run this cycle was 2:30 which is shorter then my normal long run (3:00 – 3:30), although I did it on a treadmill in a room that was 90 degrees to try to simulate the heat, followed by a 2:00 run the next day.  The rational part of my brain knew I was ready; the irrational part got spun up a little.

The marathon was well organized and sponsored by ING, the same lead sponsor for the New York Marathon.  It was much smaller (about 10,000 runners total – half doing the marathon; half doing the half-marathon).  The course starts in downtown Miami, starts early at 6am, cruises over the MacArthur Causeway to South Beach, through Miami Beach, back over The Venetian Causeway, through downtown (where the half marathon ends), to Coconut Grove, and then back to downtown. 

Since I felt a little nervous, I went out slow with a goal of finishing in 5 hours.  I put the Coverville 2005 top 40 countdown on my iPod Shuffle and settled into a rhythm.  When I passed 14th and Ocean, I stopped for a minute, gave Amy a kiss, and grabbed a Clif Bar from her.  I continued to cruise through the half way point and started feeling strong, at which point my headphones broke.  I continued music free and – at 16 – decided to pick up the pace since I felt that 4:45 might be in sight.  At 19 miles I knew I had made a mistake and backed off, but still ran out of gas at 21 and slammed hard into the proverbial wall.  My lonely miles are usually 13 to 18 – today is was 21 to 24.  It had gotten hot, my legs were completely stiff, and my brain wasn’t working any more.  I got a brief second win at 24 and saw that 5 hours was still a possibility so I pushed it as hard as I could for the balance of the run.  When I encountered one of the only hills on the course at 25.75, I knew I wasn’t going to make 5 hours, but kept up the effort, enjoying the thrill of cruising by my fellow runners.  The finish line finally came into sight and before I knew it, I was done.

Six down, a bunch to go.  Next up – the 110th Boston Marathon.

  • Dave Jilk

    Congrats Brad!

  • JB

    Great job, Brad … way to tough it out…

  • very impressive, Run Brad Run!

  • Herb Morreale

    Nice job. I’m gearing up for again. Let’s knock out a few long runs together as you gear up for the next one. Nice work. You’re an inspiration, in many different ways.

  • Rob Wilson

    Doesn’t one have to qualify for Boston? I remember running a qualifying time many years (and pounds!) ago, then kicking myself for not taking advantage of it. Have you hit one of their times?

  • Brad:
    if you ever get in to cycling, lets do a century together! …err that is if I ever back into shape.

  • Rob – while you have to qualify, they do have a limited number of “charity numbers”. You have to commit to raising a certain amount of money and working directly with a charity – I’ll be running with The Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center –

  • mfleckenstein


    Congrats. Six marathons under your belt alone is an accomplishment. Love your committment to 50 in 50 states. Love hearing (err, reading) about each one on your blog…although, words never really do it justice. After all, it’s impossible to truly articulate that feeling when your mind turns to bubble-gum and your just happy you can remember your own name (or at lesat you think you can).

    Anyway, Kudos on another down!

  • Rob Wilson

    Good to know re: Charity Numbers. Congrats and best of luck – I did two races many years ago and have been pretty much out of it since then…maybe it is time to get back into it!

  • congrats brad…i’ve only done one (portland), but am trying to psych myself up for another one 🙂

  • So, when running a marathon, do you actually see much of anything around you or does it all become a blur.

    Curious what you thought of the rest of my beloved adopted hometown, since you ran about one block from my home when you went throught the Grove.

  • Well – I usually see things until my brain turns into mush (or bubble-gum, or tofu) – which happened in Miami around mile 21 (or right after I left the Coconut Grove shopping district on my way back to downtown.) I considered stopping in at Mercy Hospital (around mile 23) but kepts going. The Grove was nice – people were hanging out on the front lawns cheering us on, playing music, and occassionally handing out ice.

  • congrats brad – at this pace you’ll be reaching the 50 states in no time. and i’ll be jealous for years.

  • Congratulations on the marathon. Hmmm – 6 states by 40, and 50 by 50. Seems like you have a shot. As for me 1 by 57, perhaps I could do 50 by 70?

  • Congrats on the 6th marathon. I too am on the 50 state quest. NYC was my 5th as well. Don’t have the next one planned yet. Keep up the good work and plan well.

  • Rich Weissmark

    I live in Hollywood and have for most of my life. I’m also a regular reader of your blog. Yes, I’m a FeedBurner statistic. If you’re ever in the area again and would like a tour through good old Hollywood I’d be happy to show you around.

    -Rich Weissmark

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