My Johnny Miles Half Marathon Race Recap

Just as fast as I hit the registration button, the race was over like that! Well, almost that fast.

After taking a few days to put together my thoughts, I will start off by saying I reached my main goal of finishing my half marathon and having no hamstring pain. BIG WIN! I should be really happy with this but keep reading and you might understand why I’m not as happy as I should be.

Johnny Miles Race Weekend – Half Marathon

It was a small town event with a beautiful looped course on what was our first extremely HOT day of the year (25c to 28c). It was scorching outside with a slight breeze every so often. It was a weekend away for my running buddy, Krystol and I. We ate good food, hydrated liked queens and relaxed without kids around – it was kinda odd to be away without our kids and having nothing to do.

Johnny Miles Running Buddies

I slept okay the night before the race in the hotel but woke up around 5:15 AM not feeling well…trip #1 to the bathroom. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. Our alarms went off around 6:15 and I had trip #2 to the bathroom, still not feeling great. I felt sick. I felt nervous. I felt empty. (I’ll get to that shortly).

We did our things and got down to the race around 8am and had an hour until we started. The full marathon was supposed to start at 8am but they opened it up to FULL marathoners that wanted to started at 7am and beat some of the heat. I really wish they would have given this option to EVERYONE (half, 10k and 5k ers). It was bloody hot and was only going to get worse. Really, this is my only suggestion for next year…start earlier.

Okay…cue the tears….I need to back it up a bit for you to understand how my run was so horrible.

I was ready for this. I ran all the kilometres I could. I did all the speed work I could. I did strength training to get stronger and yoga to make my muscles feel better. With all that, nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen two days before the race.

Our dog Maclean, passed away Friday morning. She was sick but we didn’t know how sick. I had taken her to the vet’s on Thursday morning and by Thursday night she reacted poorly to medication but was improving over night (or so I thought). Friday morning after getting through the night, I told the girls to say “Goodbye and tell her you love her”….because honestly, I didn’t have a sweet clue what would happen at the vets later that day. I drove the girls to day care and came home to find my dog no longer alive. I freaked out a bit, called Saï as he was away, called the vet, called Krystol for help – she’s way more then a running buddy. She was gone. I’m come back to this another day.

Maclean 2002 2016

With a broken heart and empty soul I decided to run my half anyway. My husband was away for work and my parents were taking care of the girls. I thought running the race and getting away for the weekend would help but it didn’t.

The soul soother I was hoping for didn’t happen on my run. The first 5k was fine. My lungs felt great, my pace was great, I was ready…but my heart wasn’t, my mind was elsewhere. At 5k I took my first short walk (WTF?), by 8k I took a more serious walking break (pity party) and by 12km I was crying with tears down my face as I got passed by old guys. I wasn’t crying because they passed me but for the loss of Maclean and the desire to give up my effort.

The course was great. Half on the road, half on the trail with short hills and inclines throughout. Actually, it might be the perfect combination for a race but for me it was a struggle just putting one foot in front of the other. Seriously, one foot in front of the other was all I could focus on for a long-LONG time.

13k….15k…17k…. walk, walk, walk. Run when I could for 15-30 seconds and walk more. More walking then I ever wanted to do. Physically, I know I can do the distance but mentally I was done before I even started the race. I was drained.

By 18k I was just pissed off at myself. I could hear the finish line but still had to run in the opposite direction for a few more kilometres and then turn around. My Garmin kept moving forward in time yet I was just empty and broken inside. (I NEVER thought I would feel this way about losing our dog – NEVER!).

At 19k I ran through a sprinkler for the second time – best part of my run! I had people cheering me on by name as I was running by myself, they could read my bib. Honestly, that helped a lot. Two men called out “your almost there”….I replied with “I’m going for a personal worst”. They encouraged me some more and it helped a bit but they didn’t know I was hurting inside – no one did. I picked up my pace and then saw Krystol who got these shots of me:

johnny miles half marahon done

I picked up my pace again and turned the corner to the finish line. I had it all to myself (kinda cool, kinda weird). I could see the crowd of people and hear the MC but couldn’t bring myself to look up and enjoy it. I just push as hard as I could to finish the race, crossed the finish line and cried. I sat down and cried a little more then went to get some food and stretch on a patch of grass. That’s it…all done my fourth half marathon.

Krystol had, what I would call a great race for those conditions. She was on pace for a sub 2 hour half but just missed it as the heat took a toll on her.

Johnny Miles Weekend

I’m still empty, still sad but that will take some time. I’m not overly happy with my run but YES, I am thankful for completing another half marathon. My fourth half marathon, the hardest one to date. I still don’t know my official time and might not even bother to look it up. You may have seen my posts on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook about my slight disappointment but I only told half the story.

So………that my friends is my half marathon experience. Not the one that I dreamed about during my 400’s on the treadmill, not the one that I worked so hard for and never thought it would be mentally draining and the hardest run I’ve done to date. I’m thankful it’s done and that I’m strong enough to run that distance again pain free. However, I’m just empty and sad for losing our dog.

The end of Half Marathon #4.

PS. I’m 110% questioning my next half marathon in September and may drop to the 10k. I thought a lot about this during my run but haven’t fully decided yet on my next half marathons’ fate.

Happy Hump Day!

Anyone race, train or just enjoy the weather last weekend/this weekend?

Have you ever ran a race after a loss (be it an animal or person) ?