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Brian Double: The tortoise and the pacer bunny (Training for a 100km run)



_ Guest blogger Brian Double is training for a 100km from Ottawa to Montebello this fall. He’ll be checking in from time to time with udpates on his progress. You can read previous entries here. _

On October 4th, I’m going to run 100 km from Ottawa to Montebello to raise money to End Kids Cancer . Training to run 100 km is going to take a lot of work. I’ve never run anything like that distance and had never even raced a marathon…until this weekend.

Training for a marathon is pretty intense itself. I ran outdoors all winter– putting in my kilometres even when it hit -35C. I felt really good about my training. I had mixed in a good amount of trail running, including the amazing Wakefield “Quad Buster” ½ marathon , and I felt like I was stronger than I’d ever been. My long runs peaked at 35km.

During the last week before the Ottawa Marathon, I still hadn’t decided my goal time for the race. If I doubled my half marathon time, I’d come in at 3hr30. If I listened to an online calculator, I’d come in about 3hr40. I felt with my training I could do 3hr45. All said though, I figured I’d be happy with my time if I could race my first marathon in under 4 hours.

The day of the race, I woke up at 4:45am, put on my gear and ate breakfast – a bagel with natural peanut butter, a coffee and big glass of water. I was super nervous. My biggest supporter, my amazing wife, drove us downtown and we were at the starting line at 6:30am.



I had decided to line up with the pace bunny for a 3hr45 finish. If I felt good after the first half, my plan was to pick up the pace for the last half.

At 7 am, I took off to run 42.2 km with 7,000 or so other crazies. Yahoo!

I felt great – the crowds in downtown Ottawa were cheering us on. Actually, I felt so great I passed the 3hr45 pace bunny and pretty soon was following the 3hr40 pace bunny. The temperature was nice and cool. I took water and Gatorade at alternating stations. At about 9km, I had to stop for a pee. I guess I shouldn’t have drunk so much water before the race : ) I raced back to the 3hr40 pace bunny in no time at all. This was actually my fastest km of the race.

I loved the cheering stations with the drums. I could feel the energy pass from the drums to my feet. I ate one of the energy bars I’d brought. The sugar rush encouraged me to pick up the pace once more. Soon I could see the 3hr30 bunny up ahead. I could not keep the smile off my face

The tunes I’d chosen for between cheering stations really pumped me up. Who knew “ I am the Doctor ” from Dr. Who could be such a great motivator? Still felt amazing at the half way point so I kept up the pace. I was no longer passing anybody but was flying around the course. I ate my second energy bar.

At about 29km things started to go wrong. I was slowing down. My legs felt so heavy. People started passing me. Running is a very mental sport and staying strong mentally during a run requires just as much training as the physical aspects. I started to fade mentally and soon my run slowed to a walk. Ugh.

The crowd was still awesome. I loved giving high fives to the kids along the way. They gave me some energy back and I was alternating running and walking - luckily more running than walking. It was starting to get very warm so the cool sponges felt amazing.

I have to admit all those red dresses at 32km were pretty awesome.

The last 3km I owe to the cheering crowds, including my parents, my wife, my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. They were so loud and encouraging. The signs made me laugh “Just think – you don’t have to train tomorrow”. I finished the race at full tilt!

My finishing time was 3:52:32. I am a marathoner! I am proud of myself for completing a marathon, but know there is more for me to work on before the 100km. Pacing will be important, as will the mental training.

I rewarded myself with a beer on the patio.



My next event towards training for the 100km is a ½ marathon trail run with crazy elevation . Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Please visit my donation page to help End Kids Cancer.


_ Brian _ **

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** ** See also: ** Ottawa Sports & Recreation Guide

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