Sunday, 16 June 2013

Johnny Miles Marathon 2013

Hey guys,

Today was the 38th annual Johnny Miles Marathon and Matt and I took part.  This was our fifth Johnny.  I've done the 1/2 there three times, the 10km once and today I ventured off into the full 26.2 miles or 42.2km.  I know, I'm crazy....just kidding.  They had to make course route changes this year due to construction, therefore we were going in with very little knowledge of the course.  The course is a 4 loop course of slightly more than 10km per loop.  This was also the case in the past on the old course as well.

All the gear!
At six thirty this morning we left and drove down to New Glasgow to take part.  It was a very sunny beautiful day, which is great spectator weather! Not so much for someone running a full marathon.  We'll get to that later, ;) 

All ready to go...sort

I wasn't sure  how I'd run today based on a few runs I'd had in the past few weeks. I'd broken my 1/2 marathon PB @ Blue Nose and did a fast-ish 5km run last Saturday. Not to mention the Boston Marathon back in April.  But, my legs felt very good today and I felt strong.  When we stood at the start line in the blazing sun, I knew today's marathon would not be about the clock.  I would focus solely on completing the entire run without passing out in a ditch from heatstroke! Matt said he knew it would be a hot run in the parking lot when we left to walk up to the start line.

Of course when the gun goes off the crowd 'pulls' you ahead....even if it means deviating from your paceband, which I turfed early in the race due to high temperatures.  I finished mile 1 in fast once again.  I just expect to go out too fast now.  During the first loop I felt fantastic and that I could have ran all day long.....HA!  I hope you noticed I said, "First loop."  When I was finishing loop one I heard Nick yelling "Heather! You're second female!" in the crowd, but I couldn't see him in the crowd.  Finally I noticed him with a camera and I waved.  As I turned to begin the next lap, a few other people cheering on the side of the road shouted, "Second female overall!"  I was like, "Cool!"

Loop two involved me getting passed by many speedy runners and I was like, "What the heck? Where are these Olympians coming from?"  Soon realizing they were running the half marathon and were running at faster I was okay. :D especially when some skinny chick zoomed by me in a sports bra with abs of steel...she finished the 1/2 marathon in 1 hr 20 min!!!

The loop was much more other words, "hilly" than I had expected.  Add up the heat with the hills =  one exhausted girl who was looking for any excuse to quit after lap 3 and call it a day!  Seriously.  I came upon three ladies doing a run/walk in the half marathon and they were walking three abreast.  One of them heard me coming from behind and said, "Where do you want to go?" like left or right she meant.  I replied, "HOME!" and they burst out into a belly laugh. :)  "Best answer!" One of them said. 

This third lap was difficult so I just decided that in order to 'get it over with' I'd have to just go faster.  I tried that.  It did not work.  You see, in a marathon when you feel like you're flying, you're just maintaining pace.  When you feel like you're maintaining pace, you're actually slowing down.  And when you feel like you're slowing down, you're REALLY slowing down.  So when I tried to go faster, I went through each stage I listed above. 

Almost at the start of the fourth lap I passed by two 1/2 marathoners who said, "Go Girl! You look awesome!" Fellow runners are so lovely.  I replied, "I feel like crap!" They laughed. :)  Then I saw Shauna and Roselle......who by the way are a fabulous cheering squad.  They had finished their run and went to cheer on friends. :) I told them that I was 'roasting!' 

I knew lap 4 was going to truly be a test.  A mental game.  I had prepared myself to expect challenges in the race, but I wasn't quite as prepared for the heat, and accompanying 'heat cramps.'  Those are so not fun! I felt one just kind of kinking in my left calf muscle as I climbed one of the hills...oh darn! I became terrified, and if you've ever had them, you know why.  Heat cramps, or any sort of leg cramp, will bring a marathoner to a screeching halt.  For real! It appeared to dissipate and I continued on.  

Coming upon a water stop that had previously been worked by a group of young university guys, I noticed that no one was there! It was super hot and I was cramping now in my quads so I limped over and took two cups of water....which were very warm! :S I drank one and poured the other over my head.

I ran on and on concentrating on one step at a time and focusing on the finish.  Then a man on a bicycle came up to me and asked if I was on my last lap.  I told him 'yes' and that my Garmin was reading 25.5miles.  He said I was running well and that I was FIRST FEMALE!! I had been told many times that I was in second....weird.  He asked me my last name and said, "I'll go tell them you're coming." I of course then looked behind me and no one was in sight.  I saw the finish line about a 100 metres away and heard the announcer say, "If I could just have everyone's attention straight ahead you will see our first female full marathon finisher!" It was totally cool! I even got to run through the ribbon.  I also received a crystal trophy....well, I'm sure it's not real crystal, but it's sooo pretty. :) 

 I finished in 3 hrs 42 minutes.  I know what you 'faster' marathoners are thinking: "Really, that was the first female time???"  Well, as Nick and Matt told me: "In a hot hilly race like that, you don't go by time, but it's who crosses the finish line first!" So that's what I'm going by ;)
Matt's all done Marathon #10!!!

Marathon #6 swag ;)

Okay, I have to go now to do some report card times. Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Running,
Heather :)


  1. Loved this entry....I felt like I was there running with you when you found out you were in 1st Awesome!

    1. Thanks Laura! It sure was a tough run and I cried as

  2. I agree with Laura....I love reading your recaps....I almost cried when I read this part....I can only imagine how you must have felt. Did you get to run through the sprinkler that some guy set up????

    1. Thanks! I did embrace the sprinkler 3 times!!! It wasn't there in my last lap :(

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Heidi! I'm not super psyched about my time and if I knew I was in first, I would not have walked so much the last 6 km! It was so much fun running up the finish chute though!

  4. Yeah, I almost cried too! I can't imagine ever being in a position to WIN a marathon! Amazing!

    Great recap!

    1. Thanks Erin! I never ever thought I would either ;)

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