Short Version: I finished in 2:22:13, which is almost exactly the same time I finished 2 years ago -- just a few seconds faster.
Pre-race: I arrived at the race start at about 5 am and had no trouble with traffic or finding parking. In an amusing anecdote, when I was parking and getting my stuff together, I was watching some younger people who were clearly just leaving a bar or club. In particular, I was watching this young couple who were fighting with each other; it was quite the quarrel, and at one point, the girl's boobs popped out of her tube top (which, at that point, was more like a tube middle since it was only covering her stomach). Did this bother her? Apparently not, because she didn't even attempt to stuff her boobs back into her top -- she just kept gesturing and yelling like mad. It was the most amusing pre-race show I've ever witnessed!
After observing that spectacle, I headed off for the race start. I tried to keep a sharp eye out for Dawn, who flew down from Chicago for the race, but I never spotted her. Understandable though, since it's hard to find someone among 18,000 others.
The race began at 6:15, and it took me about 12 minutes to cross the start line, and then the race was underway for me!
Race: The race was scenic and fun, just as it was when I ran it 2 years ago, but just like two years ago, the crowd was tough to run with, and I never once got to break away from the congestion. This means that I felt like I never got the chance to run my own race at my own pace, but after the first few miles, I just accepted the fact that this wasn't gonna be any land speed record, and I went with the flow. It was a slower pace than I would have preferred, but I knew that fighting the crowd by bobbing and weaving wouldn't help me much. So, it just turned into a strangely comfortable, easy-going 13.1 miles.
Favorite parts: Seeing the cruise ships in the first two miles, running through the Art Deco district in South Beach during miles 4-6, running over the bridge during mile 11 that brought the race back into downtown Miami where we were greeted by a very enthusiastic crowd, and lastly, the finish: The big crowd, the finisher's chute, the "spinning palm" medal -- good times!
Post Race: It was a bit of a clusterfuck getting out of the finishing chute and out of the crowd, but my primary goal post-race was finding a porta-potty. I'd had to pee since...pretty much the beginning of the race but every porta-potty along the course had a line, so I'd skipped it, which means I pretty much ran 13.1 miles with a full bladder. So, after the race, I made a beeline for the bathroom and the relief was almost as satisfying as crossing the finish line!
After that, I quickly walked the half mile back to the car and then drove home. By 10:30, I was home, showered and playing with Norah -- who thought the medal was an excellent toy to play with: Maybe someday she'll want to earn one of these for herself!
All in all, I enjoyed the race, but have decided that Miami is just not the race, for me, to attempt any kind of personal record. Which is fine. Not all races should be run for the potential time benefit, some are simply for the experience and I think Miami is a good one for that!