Prelude to Niagara Ultra 100km Marathon

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

~ Martin Luther King

Words to live by. In my case, words to finish my first attempt at a 100km Ultra Marathon.

Although this is a goal race of sorts, in so much as I have a goal, to run it and finish it, and hopefully so in 11 hours or less, it is not a goal race for which I have dedicated a large amount of time to.

Sure, I run and train a fair bit, and have devoted a few weekends recently to back to back long runs. And sure I have already done 3 marathons this year so what’s another race at a mere 2.4 x the marathon distance?

A lot!

[ This next bit was added on June 28 – post race. As I wrote my race report, I wrote this bit and realized it belonged here instead. ]

I decided to run the 100k because, again, like ‘Mt Everest’, it was there. I have run the 50k at this event a couple of times, as well as the marathon the first time we were there, and the 10k with Cam last year as I decided to take a break to focus on training properly for The Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon during the summer, not that that worked out well or anything. So this would make the 5th year in a row we’ve attended the Niagara races, and when I signed up in January, for what was supposed to be the 50k, I noticed there was a 100k event added. I waited a few days to sign up to give myself some time to think about it. Withing a week, after not really thinking too hard, I was registered for the big one. Double the longest distance I have ever run!

I figured, my main goal of running a personal best in Boston would allow me to train hard, get fast, run Boston, then get the mileage up even higher with some double long run weekends and I would be set. But when Boston became a bust, the new goal for a 2012 marathon PB and Boston re-qualifier, became the Toronto marathon in early May. That meant training for the 100k would be put on hold for another month or so, as I needed to focus on Goodlife, then recover from Goodlife, and keep in mind I had commitments to  be a Pace Bunny for  Ottawa at the end of May! So, as it turns out, Goodlife went well, i took an easy week afterward, built up again and did not taper for Ottawa, managed to meet my goal of 3:45 there and went out the next day for a 22km run. When that went well, I knew I had a chance to do the ultra 100k distance.

The next few weeks went well, getting the daily miles up and doing long run weekends of 30k + 42k and 29k + 53k. Then a weekend of 10/15 to rest up and a week of 2-5k runs to rest further. Going into the race. I was feeling ready.

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How To Hide From The City For 5 Hours

Yes folks, here it is, another installment for the “How To Series”

Last weekend, I completed my longest run yet. 51k actually. And it spanned 5 and a half hours! Mind you, a good 15 minutes of that was spent idle, for either  a washroom break, a stop to admire the views and snap a photo,  or a pop into a convenience store for a replenishment of supplies. In total, the run time was 5:15 minutes, for an average of 6:08 per km. Not super fast, but it was hot and it was the day after a 30k run. Hopefully, for the 100km race coming up, the fact I will be rested up, will make the distance a bit more bearable because at double the length of the run, I could not have gone another 49k on Sunday! Read more of this post


Ottawa Marathon – The Short Story

What can I say about marathon #29, and the 3rd of the year. I was the 3:45 Pace Bunny. I did not really taper for this event to make it feel more difficult, on purpose, in order to maintain training value for the 100k Ultra Marathon in Niagara-On-The-Lake on June 23.

That’s about is. Yes, I made my time 3:49:25. This was not the ‘closest’ to goal bunny time ever but it was a good run with some great people alongside, making their goal times. Some had Personal Bests, some made their Boston Qualifying times and a few others were really close on what turned out to be a fairly hot finish.

In other news, the weekend for Ottawa was a success, with record numbers and great race results – of which you can read more about here – and the city was alive and receptive to the influx of visitors as usual. It is always a good time and we always seem to have a good contingent of Beaches Runners there to share the good times with. This was the 7th time in 7 years that we’ve made it there for the marathon weekend and if all goes as planned, we will be there again next year.