I'm so excited to launch my new blog series! Each week I will bring you a profile of a runner, ranging from marathoners to new runners alike. Some of my favourite articles to read are people's running stories, so I'm thrilled to use The Pacing Life as a platform to connect you with some of my favourite runners and their journey. This week I am profiling David (or Dave) Bedard, who also happens to be one of my best friends. He has completed marathons, half marathons and a range of shorter distances, and truly is one of the most positive and supportive people in my life. Without further ado, I'm pleased to introduce you to Dave as my FIRST runner profile!
Name: David Bedard
Location: Washington, D.C. (for now)
Years Running: 7
Why you run: A variety of reasons, really. I think I started because I wanted to stay active and I’m not really into “team sports”. I continue because I appreciate the feeling of a good cardio workout and love to see how far I can push myself. Running consistently has been a challenge for these past couple of years, however. Life (and myself), have prevented me from getting out the door on a regular basis. That said, as the weather is starting to turn, I am beginning to feel the running itch again.
Race distance of choice: Officially, I fell in love with the half marathon distance the first time I ran one. Unofficially, there is something about hitting the 17km mark that I love. I feel like my legs are finally warmed up and I’ve really hit my stride by that point. Maybe it’s a psychological trick I play on myself to keep at it, but knowing that 17km is my sweet spot, keeps me in the game at least until that point. From there, 21.1km, is a hop, skip, and a jump away.
PRs: Montreal Rock & Roll Half Marathon: 1:48
Ottawa Marathon: 4:06.42
Favourite Race: I am much better at picking which races I liked the least. Singling out something as my favourite is always a challenge ‘cause I grow to appreciate races for all different kinds of reasons. I will say that the Ottawa Marathon holds a pretty special place in my heart. Maybe it’s a combination of the lively crowds, the beautiful course, or the fact that it was my first full marathon that earns it a top spot. Whatever the reason, I strongly recommend you put it on the top of your list if you haven’t yet run it.
Favourite piece of running gear: I’m not a huge gear person, though I will say that I’ve learned the lesson the hard way when it comes to skimping on body glide. I keep that stuff close by whenever I’m training for anything over 10k.
Favourite running memory: Probably running through Brooklyn when I ran the NYC Marathon. After the gun goes off and you’ve crossed over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the race winds up and down these narrow, residential streets through Brooklyn before eventually crossing the Williamsburg Bridge to take you over to Manhattan. It was an unseasonably warm November day so it felt like every person had come out to watch the runners go by. The sheer number of spectators was almost as thrilling as running the actual race. It really was a good reminder that spectators are the secret ingredient to an enjoyable race.
Best running advice you’ve picked up along the way: When I first started running, just before my first “official” race, the mother of a dear friend of mine, who is both an avid runner and an inspiration, emailed me to tell me to not worry about anyone else on the course. That I’ve come a long way and I only have to run for myself… “It’s your race, and you run it how you want to”.
It sounds simple enough, but when you crawl out of your warm bed on race day and you’re standing there with a million butterflies in your stomach amongst *literally* a thousand other runners, it’s so easy to get distracted, excited, terrified by it all. And then once the gun goes off, you have all those other bodies to contend with and navigate around. This advice has always brought me back to the basics. It’s served as a reminder of why I run to begin with. It’s not performative or competitive (unless I’m gunning for a PR)…It’s my race and I run for me.
Favourite quote or mantra: When I was training through the sweltering D.C. summer for the Marine Corps. Marathon a couple years ago, whenever I found myself discouraged or dragging my heels, my husband would tell me to “run the mile you’re in”. It’s pretty simple, but it’s stuck with me ever since.
Goals: Right now, I’m aiming for a sub 3:50 for my next full (eventually), while also remembering to be patient and kind with myself.
Next race: Nothing on the books at the moment. Gotta fix that!
Favourite songs to run to: I LOVE pop music when I run. Right now I’m seriously into the entire Carly Rae Jepsen, E*MO*TION album. It’s perfect pop. Check it out!
Favourite podcasts and/or books (no need to be running related): I don’t listen to podcast when I run, but I’m currently subscribed to: Another Round, Serial, Planet Money, Hidden Brain, and Slate T.V. Club Insider – The Americans.