Snapshot Challenge Saturday

When we ran in the Miami Half Marathon a few weeks ago, it began at 6:00am. By the time we started running and made our way onto the MacArthur Causeway (which leads into South Beach), the sun was rising, and the cruise ships were docked. Although the photo is a bit blurry, it was a beautiful sight, to say the least.

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Running For A Cause: Miami Half Marathon

Yesterday, my brother, sister, and I participated in the Miami Half Marathon for the second year in a row. We wanted to run in an attempt to raise money and awareness for Misioneros Del Camino—a cause that is very important to us all. After months of training, the big day had finally arrived! And go figure, it just so happened to be the coldest day of the year here in South Florida (which we were very thankful for).

We woke up at 4:00 in the morning to get some last minute carbs and protein in for breakfast, and made our way over to the American Airlines Arena, where the race was set to begin at 6:00am. When we arrived, we walked over to our assigned corral, and were in the company of 25,000 runners from over 80 countries!

Running throughout South Beach, Downtown Miami, and Brickell was invigorating, and the sights were incredible! What I enjoyed most about the event was the amount of individuals on the sidelines and all throughout the streets who cheered us on. Complete strangers spent their entire morning motivating us to keep on running. It was absolutely beautiful, and it made the event even more memorable. And running alongside thousands of individuals from all over the world, and working together to reach a common goal by pushing one another forward was incredible. After 12 full weeks of training and 173.06 miles completed, we crossed the finish line and were finally ready to rest!

This experience was definitely one to remember, and seeing how many loved ones came together to help support our cause has left me speechless. We were able to raise over $2,700 these past few weeks, which will help provide four children special education and daily therapies for an entire year—all for free at Misioneros Del Camino! Thanks to everyone’s help, we have been able to positively affect the lives of numerous children, and we will be able to help give them hope for a brighter future; one which they deserve! I could not be any more grateful or appreciative, and for that, I thank you all.

South Beach Food and Wine Festival

Two weeks ago, my mom took my brother, sister, and me to the South Beach Food and Wine Festival and it was an incredible experience, to say the least. There were countless restaurants from all across South Florida passing out food and everywhere you turned, there were different bars passing out all kinds of alcoholic beverages. The assortment of food and drinks was so diverse that we had to take a short break after every few restaurants, just so that we could continue sampling everything there was to offer. We also encountered various celebrity chefs from Food Network that were in attendance at the event. Every hour of so, a different chef would give a cooking demonstration, so just in the short time we were there, we saw Giada De Laurentiis, Rachel Ray, Aaron Sanchez, Guy Fieri, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Carla Hall. As you can see pictured below, we tried enough food to last us until next year’s festival! It was definitely an event to remember!

Completing My First Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon (13.1 miles) and it was such an incredible experience, to say the least. To have weeks of training pay off and to say that I was able to accomplish something I would have never thought possible, was extremely reassuring and motivating. We arrived at the American Airlines Arena, at 5:00 in the morning, along with 20,000 other runners from eighty countries and all fifty States. The race officially began at 6:15 but since my brother, sister, and I were assigned to the last corral, it must have been close to 6:50 by the time we finally started. We crossed the Miami Causeway, passing by the Port of Miami where all of the cruise ships were docked. As we made our way into South Beach, we ran along Ocean Drive, home to the Versace Mansion as well as the Miami Art Deco District. From there, we cut through a few streets which led us to the Venetian Causeway, before passing through Downtown Miami and finally arriving back to the Miami Airlines Arena.

The nonstop energy from the runners, and the support from local spectators are what truly made the half marathon so worthwhile. People held posters, passed out energy chews, and offered high-fives as we ran past them, but hearing their cheers and words of encouragement helped us make it to the end. Some of the more comical posters like “Chafe now, brag later,” “Why do all of the cute ones always run away,” and the ones pictured below showed how supportive the locals were, making the event that much more enjoyable. It was beyond rewarding to cross the finish line and know that hard work and determination really did pay off. Not to mention, with the help of family members, friends, and fellow bloggers, we were able to raise $1,200 and counting for Misioneros Del Camino, a home to abandoned, neglected, and abused children in Guatemala.

Setting a goal and working towards it, achieving the goal, and running for a cause has been an unforgettable experience and I am so glad that I was able to follow through with it. I can’t help but wish that running in a half marathon was on my bucket list so I could say I successfully completed it. However, it was still rewarding, nonetheless! While describing their running experience, I heard someone after the marathon exclaim that the only person who ever doubted her crossing the finish line was herself. But it just comes to show that when you have your mind set on something, all you need is persistence and a little support to help you reach your goal. In an attempt to make myself sound like a master runner, I won’t tell you what kind of pain my legs were in after the race and how difficult it was to get into and out of the car on the way home. I’ll instead mention that I’m considering signing up for another half marathon in the near future, so it’s looking like this will be the beginning of a great running experience!