When you go in with zero expectations and come out having a good time.
The last race I did in the Keys (Islamorada Half Marathon & 10K) was a complete fail. I felt as though I wasn’t cut out for this running business and just wanted to quit.
It sucks that I had already paid for this race registration and booked a hotel… so I had to do it. I told myself it would be a fun weekend in the Keys with my family and we would run for fun.
Road trips are always fun, but road trips with my sister and our motley crew are insane! I love when we travel together. It makes for a great time.
We of course stopped for the gorgeous views… I mean, if you don’t take pictures for social media, did it even happen?
When we arrived to Key West, we went straight to packet pick-up at Turtle Kraals. Packet pick-up went smoothly. No issues. They had a little expo going on and I window shopped. The kids had never been to Key West, so they wanted to see the free-roaming chickens and roosters and take pictures. Which we did… because, well, duh!
After packet pickup, we went to check in at Southwinds Motel Key West… before I get yelled at, Key West is very expensive when it comes to hotels & motels. This was the least expensive but still expensive. Plus we had stayed there before & it was great!
This time, it wasn’t so great.
Hotels.com had messed up our reservation. We had booked a room with 2 beds and they changed the booking to 1 bed. We let the front desk know, but they were fully booked because it was a busy weekend. We had brought an air mattress since my sister and niece were a last minute addition. We figured there was nothing else we could do but suck it up and make it work.
When we did a check of the bed, the sheets and mattress protector were dirty…like gross… like someone had puked on it. GROSS! My husband went back to the front desk and asked for new sheets and mattress protector. When they came to our room, we were told we had to leave and that a full refund was going to be given to us.
I. Was. LIVID. I called hotels.com and let them know what was going on and that they had changed our reservation. This wasn’t the first time it happened either. They were gracious enough to confirm the refund with the motel and use it towards a new booking. Everything close to that motel was fully booked and the only hotel we found was about a 20 minute drive and double the price. We had no other choice. I wasn’t happy about it, but I also wasn’t going to drive another 4 hours back home.
The drive to the hotel was so odd. There was suburbs, an industrial looking area, warehouses… so odd! All of a sudden we reach this beautiful entrance to the hotel. The diamond in the rough…
Oceans Edge Resort & Marina is gorgeous. There’s no denying it. They have like 6 pools, activities, views of the marina… this is a prefect spot if you just want to relax and not move for a few days.
Obviously, there was plenty of room for everyone now. We will probably be back for a grown-ups only weekend to just chill out. I still wasn’t happy about having to pay even more than what we had already spent, but… not too shabby!
After this debacle with the hotel, I told my family that I wouldn’t be doing anymore “racecations”. However, don’t quote me on that since I reserve the right to change my mind as many times as I like. LOL!
The hotel was so nice, we just relaxed the rest of the evening. Ordered some pizza and I knocked out since we had to get up early the next day.
4AM wake up for a 7:15AM race is normal, right? I take my medication, shower, get ready and wake up my husband. I figure we need at least an hour and a half to get where we need to be since there is always traffic on race day in any city. Parking in Key West is scarce to begin with so to look for parking and walk to the start line could take some time as well… 4 AM wake up… I’ll stick with it. I woke up my husband around 5 since he takes less time to get ready. No lie, the minute he gets in the shower, I get an alert that due to a thunderstorm that was rolling in the start had been pushed back by an hour. Oops!
My husband finishes getting ready and we lay back down for a bit.
Around 6, we leave because I need to eat something before we run. We head to Starbucks where I get my triple shot of espresso and a bagel.
We drive to the start line, find parking and it’s raining. Also, they had pushed the start another hour because of the thunderstorms.
The Half Marathon started at 9:15 AM and the 5K started at 9:30 AM. It was cold, windy and rainy… but man was it fun. I don’t know if it was because the temperature was bearable but I was able to run the 5K without stopping. I loved the views of this run. I did not stop to take pictures because I was so focused on being in the moment. Loved this race, loved the weather conditions (I’m a weirdo). The medal wasn’t all that great but whatever.
After the race, I got a massage from what I hope was a licensed massage therapist (joking! He was.) This is where I learned that my hamstring was super tight and that I could risk injuring if I didn’t take a few days off. I told him I had more races coming up and he said to stretch, ice it and take the week off. Boo!
After the race, we went back to the hotel and got ready for a short morning of sight seeing. We went to Fort Taylor and we went to the Southernmost Point. The kids were dying to get in the pool at the hotel so after our 2 destinations, we went back where they jumped in to a frigid pool. We told them it was cold, but they wanted to get in anyways.
Despite the one hiccup, it was a great trip with a great race. I remembered why I started doing races in the first place… for fun. To get out of my comfort zone. To push boundaries. To give me confidence. This trip was exactly what I needed to remember.
Thank you and goodnight.