Monday, 16 June 2014

The 2014 Johnny Miles Marathon

Wow, it's only Monday and I already feel exhausted! But in a really good way of course. 

Nothing quite compares to the Marathon high. Nothing. And then finding out today that I've been placed at the school that I ranked as my #1 pick just amplifies the relief. :) 

So let's get this show on the road! 

My Marathon
Only lunatics set their alarm for 4:05 a.m. on a Sunday right? ;) 
Well then call me crazy! With an 8:00 a.m. start (which I loved by the way) we had to leave our house at 5:00. I managed to fuel up on my oatmeal and coffee, tape and lubricate, get dressed and make some fashionable rain accessories:

Flat Matt and Flat Heather are ready to hit the streets of New Glasgow!
 We picked up Sam and off we went!

It rained cats and dogs the entire way there.....and the rain pretty much stuck around for the entire marathon. Good thing I'm not made of suede! ;)

We were the first people to show up to get our race kits and we even got to use the normal bathroom facilities before the barricaded off the door. Pweph!

We braved the showers so that photographer Matt could get some great shots during our pre-race photo shoot. (Photos stolen from Sam!).

I was super pumped for Sam and Steve since it was their FIRST MARATHON!!! And they both had stellar runs:

This was Marathon #9 for me and I secretly wasn't even sure I'd finish! I have raced a total of 71.1 miles so far in 2014 (post marathon it's now 97.3 racing miles) and logged 815 miles including training runs for the year. Yikes!

With the go ahead of my PT and Masseuse I felt confident that I could run a smart race and enjoy it. I knew I wouldn't be blasting out any BQ performance so I really ran the marathon for the awesome experience. And it was. :)

When I heard the fabulous emcee, Mark Stein, say "And they're off for the 39th running of the Johnny Miles Marathon!" all of my questions and doubts left and I entered the zone. I had shivers and I was reminded why I love doing Marathons.

I always feel so strong and confident during the first mile of a marathon. I have no idea why, because some 20 miles later I'm always crying for my mommy and questioning any decision I have ever made and wondering how I could have ever talked myself into But you know what, it's always worth it in the end.

Thanks so much to Nick for these cool shots!

This song kept me super pumped for the first few miles on repeat....I LOVE it!

The runners spread out quickly and the marathoners had the looped course to themselves for an hour until the 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathoners made their presence known. Some sections were a little lonely since the rain probably deterred many spectators from coming out. I have to hand it to the hard core ones who did and the volunteers who manned the aid stations....Kudos!

I was super surprised how great my legs felt during the race. Mentally though, I had had a very stressful few days leading up to Marathon Weekend with job applications and end of year duties. Training your brain is crucial in a marathon and when you've expended all your mental energy in other areas it's hard to push through those last few tough miles. But somehow I did it.

I didn't have any leg cramping during this race....Yippee!!! But I did experience a side stitch between miles 7-10 that wouldn't let up. :( I decided I'd actually walk it out. Yes walk! It seemed to dissipate after a while and I said 'Good riddens!'

Matt was cruising through the 1/2 when he zoomed by me during his first lap. I noticed how dirty he, and a few others, were on the back of their legs and thought it was from all the fast running they were doing. Nope. Turns out everyone was splattered in Including myself.
My last lap was the absolute toughest. I started to feel super tired and thirsty. Since I had already completed 3 loops I knew bang on where every single station was and I eagerly awaited each one.

I saw Nick and Kevin at their jelly bean cheering station with just under 2.5 miles to go. Nick was holding a red Solo I thought it was water and I reached out to grab it. He yells, "Heather it's BEER!" I didn't even care and I took a big gulp. Man was that ever refreshing, lol. He said, "I'll have more when you come back!" Since I had to run further up the street and turn at the pylon turn point. Another guy who'd been running close to me for the previous few miles heard the word beer and before I knew it we were both enjoying a tasty beverage on the way to the finish.

With one mile to go I felt a little burst of juice go into my legs. I always love the last bits of the marathon. Everyone is so super psyched for you and you just feel so victorious. Running up the finishing stretch at Johnny is super cool!

My official time was 3:44:19, 5th woman overall. :) Marathon #9 is in the books!

Any suggestions for #10??? 

Obviously celebratory nachos and beer were in order for Matt's steamin' 1/2 in 1:25 and my marathon. 

I am feeling pretty super today.....definitely a zillion times better than post-Boston!!!

I don't know what's next for GGR but I'll surely keep you posted. Thanks for reading til' the end on this super long post and have a wonderful day!

Don't forget to check out Sam's post of her FIRST MARATHON!

Happy Running,
Heather :)


  1. EDMONTON MARATHON... August 24 :) I hear there are some super sweet bloggers there too... ok, maybe one super sweet bloger... well, me. GREAT race and congratulations!! I can't wait to hear what is next!

  2. Wonderful re cap! I like that you just ran to enjoy it. :) Love the song you listened to. Marathon #10.... Harrisburg, PA ;)

  3. How do placements for you work? Do you have to apply for a job each year and then you get placed? I'm glad you got your first choice!!

    HOORAY for the race! OMG you did such a great job...I am soooo excited to get to run a marathon. Reading your recap and Sam's have me so stoked!

    1. Hi Ali, for getting placed we are put on a priority list because of our aggregate seniority and after ranking jobs we get our top pick that's left when they get to our name. I was #15 on the list this year which is pretty good and I'm happy with my placement. :)

  4. Love the recap! And love your outfit. And the celebratory nachos!! You are such a machine, share with me your late in race determination when I turn into a baby at mile 20 ;)

    1. Ha, for this marathon I thought of how the Hungry Runner Girl's sister ran 5.5 miles with her in FLIP FLOPS AND JEANS! Think of that and it will work. I promise! LOL

  5. It think its great that you got to enjoy the race and drink beer! LOL

    I'm sure you've got some ideas up your sleeve as to what is next...can't wait to hear what it might be!

    1. I have a few ideas swirling around. ;)

  6. #10 will be a big one, that's so crazy--> 10 marathons!! I can't wait to do #2 hahaha!
    Fun recap! :)

  7. YAY! Congrats on #9 and another in the books! Congrats on getting placed at your #1 school choice too. Your Summers starting off on the right foot (no pun intended..haha)

  8. Great job on the marathon. Beer! That's great. Ha ha. Do you hope to run another marathon this year? I would go somewhere special for #10! Not sure where :)

    1. Yes Crystal, I'm hoping for a Fall Marathon :D

  9. Congratulations on a great race in the rain!! And congratulations on getting placed at your school of choice :)

  10. Awesome recap. I know things like rain always make a run tough but you handled them really well and killed that run. Great job.

    Love the beer aid station, I think I would have better runs if beer was at my closing aid stations lol

  11. Congratulations on another GREAT race!! Beer sounds like a great almost-done race treat ;)

    Number 10 should be BIG!... Hmmm.... what's your dream race?

    1. I don't really know, isn't that crazy?! Boston is always #1 on my list, but I'd like to do another international marathon that was super Dublin, or Athens.

  12. Congratulations on getting your number one school! And congratulations on another great race! I love your positive attitude. This was a really fun recap to read.

  13. Congrats on an AWESOME marathon! It sounds like such a fun day, and heck ya for beers on the course! That must be what friends are for :)

  14. Well done!!

    Glad that you got the placement you wanted! I have to wait so long (late August) before I know where I'm heading to in September.

    LOL to grabbing a sip of beer during the race

  15. congrats on #9! too bad it was raining the entire time!
    and I love the shorts you raced in!

  16. Congrats! Great race, especially for being in the rain. And congrats on getting the school you wanted! As for #10... come to Colorado and run with me in September!

  17. Wow great race!! You did great considering you were taking it easy lol!! Yay for getting the school you wanted too--I'm also a teacher and know how relieving it is being somewhere you wanted

  18. Amazing job!! I'm still amazed that you did so well on such a soggy day. Especially after such an early start. Though sleeping in your own bed would definitely be the morning of drive.

    Also, congrats on the job! Exciting stuff :)

    I vote Maritime Race Weekend! Come pace me (haha kidding, I could never keep up! But still...)

  19. Congrats on the fabulous finish! I love your finisher photo you just look so darn happy it's inspiring :) Great song, I love to find a song that makes me want to run and put it on repeat too.