Miami Half Marathon 2018: My Comeback Race


"To get up when you are down, to fight more intensely when
you are struggling; to put in the extra effort when you are in
sheer pain, to comeback when nobody expects you to, and to
stand tall when everyone is pulling you down are what make
a champion."   

- Apoorve Dubey


There were numerous reasons why I decided to sign up for this race. First, I needed a race that would jump-start my running season for the new year. Secondly, I wanted to run a Birthday Race and this one happened to be the weekend prior to my 37th birthday. Thirdly, 2017 was a rough year for me in which I was plagued with numerous injuries (torn glute, hamstring and calf) and I was suffering from post-NYC Marathon blues ... I really needed to get out of this funk. Lastly, I was eager to take any chance I could to escape the frigid NYC weather.

The last time I ran the Miami Half Marathon was back in 2012 and I achieved my personal best of 2:02:48. Going into the race this year, I already knew I wasn't aiming for a PR. All I was hoping for was to run efficiently for 13.1 miles with absolutely no pain. I wanted to actually enjoy racing again and doing it with a smile.

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All injured runners know what it's like to be on the sidelines dealing with major FOMO and watching others run. We all know how difficult it is to be around other runners who constantly talk about their upcoming races and their training programs. It made me feel even more depressed and withdrawn.  

I had finally reached a breaking point after having a disappointing finish at last year's NYC Marathon. I finally decided to listen and seek out help. I went through a vigorous 8 weeks of physical therapy, acupuncture, cryotherapy, stretching, foam rolling, taking supplements and most importantly- absolutely no running. After suffering for a year from injuries and going through 8 grueling weeks of rehabilitation, I finally was no longer in pain. 

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I headed down to Miami with some of my Harlem Run teammates. The morning of the race, it was already 75 degrees, humid and windy and the race only started at 6am. I knew I had to take it easy because I was coming from the frigid cold in the north and my body was not acclimated to this Miami heat. Plus I hadn't ran long distance since my last marathon.

I made sure I was plenty hydrated and had enough fuel to get me through. I also made sure I stretched while in my corral waiting to start. I usually don't listen to music while racing but I did this time. I needed to block everyone and everything out and just focus on me. I had to think about my strategy for this race. I focused on my form, my breathing and my pace so I could cross that finish line in one piece.

As I crossed the start line, I had all this adrenaline pumping through my veins but I remained calm. I broke the race down mile by mile in my head. OMG ... as I ran, I  realized I was running steady with no pain ... It's a miracle! Lol. All of my doubts, fears, disappointments and uncertainty completely vanished during the race. I was actually enjoying running and finally I could smile during a race instead of grimacing in pain.

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It sure was the best feeling crossing that finish line. When the race volunteer placed the medal around my neck, I shed tears of relief, joy and accomplishment. There were many times last year when it was hard to wake up and get out of bed every morning. I really believed that I wasn't going to be able to run again.

My will and patience was truly tested. I had to let go and did some deep soul searching. I had to trust the process and believe my time would come again when it was meant to be - and it did! Half marathon #29 in the books ... your girl is baaaaaaaack!!! 

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- Talisa

Talisa Hayes3 Comments