Monday, 13 October 2014

Valley Harvest Marathon Recap!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend everyone!!!

Yesterday's marathon was my big #10! And it was sooo easy! LOL....totally kidding! Can you imagine being able to actually say those words?! My marathon was anything but easy to be quite frank. I love how Meg @ Meg Go Run says that may make me 'Crazy x 10!' I'll take it! ;)

The stats and the bling! Hey, I've always wanted to run an Ultra. ;)
Let me give you the low down:

The Acadia track at Sunrise
Wolfville welcomes the Runners!

Don't I look calm and collected while braiding my hair in the backseat of my car??? lol.
As an FYI I was not wearing booty had just shifted up obviously. LOL
 Ready, Set......I want to puke!
I hope you like my homemade arm warmers! Men's black dress socks from Target with the toes cut out. They make great throw-aways! Nick gave me this idea at Boston last year and I thought it was perfect!
Matt and I headed up to the start area on the track and I got ready to go. At the sound of the horn on the most perfect weather day in Wolfville, we were off!

The start was very tight as we headed for our loop of downtown before heading out onto the field roads. I noticed at the first Km marker that something was wrong with either my Garmin or the distance markers. I was hitting the mile marks with my watch before we were actually seeing the by almost 400m! Apparently the lead bicycle took us a wrong turn which resulted in the course being long. :S

I found Nick who was pacing the 1:45 1/2 in the crowd in hopes to keep myself on pace and not get pulled ahead with the crowd.

The below pic is at about 2.5 miles or so and you can actually see him in the pink bunny ears and green shirt on the left. Hey there I am on the right! #89 :)
Once again Tim Chessnutt snapped great shots of the race!
I kept my arm warmers on until about 7-8 miles. At almost 7.XX miles I saw Marg blazing past the 1/2 marathon turn around point (which was more than half way because it wasn't a straight out and back. I saw so many people I knew on course and got thumbs up and 'way to go's' from friends. That's one of the reasons I love local marathons/races.

Immediately after that point I downed an orange Gatorade and there was a plummeting downhill. Recipe for disaster! Mega side stitch. :(  First unplanned forced walk break of the day, lol. I watched my pace climb and whined a bit. Then I got over myself and waited for it to dissipate as I began a slow jog. The stitch came back between miles 11-13 with a vengeance and I was once again brought to a walking pace. At least I got to take in the incredible scenery! The Valley is by far the most beautiful course I've run. It has farm fields with horses, pumpkins, apple orchards, rivers, and gorgeous fields of corn. The prefect Fall marathon. As long as you don't mind a scattered hill or two, or three, or four...... ;)

I hit the half way point (according to my Garmin and not the mile markers) at 1:46:29. I was relieved that my pace hadn't fallen too far off of plan. After this point I said "goodbye" to the stitches and "hello" to some new trouble, lol. "Hello fire burning calves and feet!" I say that with utmost sarcasm. I had K-taped my plantar fascia area on both feet since I think I may have the beginnings of Plantar Fasciitis. :S womp womp. The almost injury itself didn't cause me any trouble during the entire marathon and actually feels pretty good today. But the crazy up and down hill sections caused a lot of friction on the soles of my feet and they were starting to get that 'almost blistered' feeling. I DID get one ginormous blister on my left baby toe that decided to burst along the lovely! ;)

I highly considered stopping and taking off my sock and shoe to check it out, feel sorry for myself and call Matt to come get me. Then I decided that with only 5.XX miles to go I was going to pull up my big girl panties and get this job done! I kept telling myself to forget about the foot and keep going! It worked.  Sort of, lol.

I saw Ron at a very late stage in the game....mile 21 ish??? I was really hurting! Is this a grimace or a smile? Who can tell? ;)
Ron always has the most clever facebook captions: "Girl Goes Marathoning" he called this one...nice!

I was starting to get motivated with only a few miles left to go. I began thinking of my friends and Matt waiting for me at the finish and my pace quickened. I even clocked a 7:45 mile at mile 23! What?! That should make up for the ten minute miles I logged when walking, lol. 

What also helped was a support crew for a woman running well ahead of me who were running/driving alongside of her to pull her through. She, along with the rest of us, were exhausted and fighting to get over the wall. It was tough yesterday. They were cheering me too and they have no idea how much it helped me to finish strong. I even thanked them at the finish line since they probably didn't all know who I was and they STILL offered great motivation! That's another reason I love this running community.

I saw the University miles up the road....exaggeration It just feels like "miles." Once you see Acadia you still keep going up a slight incline and then take a sharp left onto the track where you then must run a 3/4 lap to finish. I could literally hear Courteney all the way up the other end of the track yelling my name! LOL. FYI finishing on the track is super cool!

Finishing my tenth marathon was no easy task! Somehow you forget the pain when you see the finish and hear your name on the microphone. I've literally replayed it a hundred times in my head already.

I had to put this photo up since I look hilarious! Dehydrated, cramped, disoriented and most certainly delirious...but heck I was happy, LOL.

I demanded that my shoes had to come off immediately. My feet felt like they were ballooning inside my shoes. WARNING: Taking compression socks off post marathon might cause abdominal spasms! True story, just ask Courteney, Matt, Jason and Katie, lol.
Sharing Sweat Stories. Courteney ran her first half yesterday!!! 
 Meeting IG friends! She ran the 1/2 in 1:33!!!!! :0
I hope my facial expressions didn't scare Amy away. :S
 Chatting up fellow finishers and rehashing the last mile.

Hey look, it's Nick and Winner of the full Craig!
 Courteney and I

This photo made me laugh since I have no clue what we're doing! LOL

My biggest fan. <3 Matt got a first place age group win in his 5k!

Marathon #10: 3:39:26, 28th overall, 2nd in my AG. They Valley puts on such a great event every year! They have a kid's run, 5k, 10, 1/2, full and Ultra 50k marathon.

Celebratory lunch at Paddy's Pub.
I look like a hot  mess!
 Blueberry Ale with real blueberries in it!

Memphis pulled pork and sweet potato fries come to me!!!

Hey look it's Mark running Emcee! This guy is the best race Emcee in the world!!! I know I'm close to the finish line when I can hear his voice in the air.

Lola and I spent the rest of the day doing this...literally.

And then some of this. :D

Congrats to all runners who raced yesterday! I hope your weekend was extra awesome and filled with miles. Thanks for reading my race rambles and have a lovely Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend!

Happy Running,
Heather :)


  1. I love the pic of us on the field as I have no idea what we were chatting about either! Way to push through the pain and finish. I have to say that knowing someone was waiting for me was a HUGE motivator!! I thought it was super cool when that lady said she just started following your blog!!!

    1. Thanks Courteney! Yesterday was a great day from start to finish....well maybe not the stomach muscle spasm, but the rest was great, lol!

  2. Congrats on an awesome finish! Looks like you had a beautiful day weather wise! We've also made arm warmers before out of little girl tights. They are perfect for throw aways. Congrats to Matt for finish first in the 5k!

    1. Thanks so much! We had fantastic weather for the race!

  3. Congratulations on your 10th marathon!! I'll be using the men's black sock idea for Niagara Falls. :)

    1. Thanks Janice! I can't wait to hear all about your marathon in 12 days!!! You should do a blog recap!

  4. Congrats! You are such a badass ;)

    1. Thanks Emmeline! I felt more like a cry baby yesterday at some points but I was happy to shift gears near the end with a strong finish.

  5. Congratulations on your 10th! I love that you keep it completely real on your blog. That's why yours is absolutely one of my favorites. Sometimes, bloggers make it seem like marathons are SO easy, especially when they've run several. I like how you are so completely honest with us. You're lovely!! Enjoy your Monday and Happy Thanksgiving!!

    1. Thanks Rachel! This comment really made my day. :)

  6. Congrats on your 10th marathon Heather!!!!! I loved reading your recap! It made me feel a little better about not running mine, gives me inspiration and motivation!!! :)

    When I ran my first half, we had to do a lap on the track to finish and let me tell you, I was not happy about it. I wanted to be done. But I saw my dad and he yelled to me "What? Did you like just run a half or something? LET'S GO!" Made me run faster for the finish line :)

    Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey :)

    1. Thanks Heather! I get a ton of motivation from other people's recaps as well. :)

      It is so encouraging to have people you know and love at the finish line.

  7. Omg, that look in the back of the car pre race must be one of your scary teacher looks! ;) Side stitches are the WORST. I am so scared I will get one during a race because when I get one, they are bad and it is like being stabbed. I would have to walk. How do you get rid of them? I just breath deep and slow but I don't know if that helps. You are the best post race food ever. Oh, just so you know, saying you were crazy x 10 is a compliment. :)

    1. Best compliment ever! ;)

      The only things that really work for me are to warm up really well for a short fast race and in a marathon not increase my pace too quickly/suddenly after drinking. Downhill seem to aggravate my side stitches the most. :S

    2. I can't find any rhyme or reason why I get mine...

  8. You write the best race recaps, they're always so positive and fun even if you're talking about blisters (which I am so sorry you had to deal with)! What's the deal with blisters anyway? I always wear the same socks and shoes on race day as in training and yet I ONLY ever get blisters on race days. I don't get it!

    Hope your PF continues to stay calm! Enjoy your Thanksgiving!!!

    1. Thanks Kristina!
      I am totally with you on the sock thing...what IS up with that?!?!

  9. HUGE CONGRATS to you on your 10th (and crazy fast) marathon!! Love this recap and I was so excited to read it this morning!! Have a lovely day of relaxation today and make sure to eat tons of turkey!

    1. Thanks Kris! I DID eat a ton of turkey. :D

  10. Way to stick with it, girl! I kind of laughed at "only 5 miles left" because yeah, that doesn't seem like much when you're running 26.2, but it's still 5 whole miles...and at the end of 26.2! (Does this even make sense? I can't explain what I mean!)

    I know that "almost blister" feeling all too well. Congrats on a strong finish!!

    1. That makes complete sense! At the time 5.xx miles didn't sound TOO far, but by the last 3/4 mile I was so ready to be done!! LOL

  11. I love your recaps :) What great pictures! Great finish time, I can't believe you had to run more than 26.2?! Not fair! You are right though, you qualify as ultra runner")

  12. 10 marathons is a huge accomplishment! Congrats, Heather!

  13. Hey!! I just came across your blog. Wondering if you think this race would be a good first marathon ???