Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

Kevin's Road to the Daytona 100 - Part 1

November 14, 2023 Angie Brown
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
Kevin's Road to the Daytona 100 - Part 1
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What does it REALLY take to train for a 100-mile race, and how can such a feat contribute to a cause worth fighting for?

Sponsor Kevin's 100 mile race by clicking here.

Join us as we accompany our co-host, Kevin, on his vigorous journey to conquer the Daytona 100, a monumental 100-mile race in Florida. Not only does this episode offer a breathtaking exploration of stamina and benevolence, but it also illuminates how Kevin's ambitious venture raises awareness and support for those living with epilepsy during National Epilepsy Awareness Month. 

See endurance running in a new light as we dissect the process of preparing for ultra races, using Kevin's journey as our guide. We'll shed light on the significance of a robust base before embarking on ultra races, the mental and physical hurdles of racing against the clock at each aid station, and Kevin's goal of clocking 200 miles monthly for a year. You'll appreciate how his objectives have evolved throughout his training cycles and how he buckled down for the race in the last four months. 

From hydration to training at varied times of the day, from fueling strategies to weather prep, we've got you covered. We highlight the critical role strength training plays and discuss potential issues that might surface during a 100-mile race. Remember, it's not merely about crossing the finish line, but the journey and dedication that lead up to it, and the noble causes it underpins. As we wrap up, we tap into the mental fortitude required for a 100-mile race and how to manage the fears that come with it. Kevin's tale is not only about endurance but also about empathy, and that's a race worth running.

Sponsor Kevin's 100 mile race by clicking here.


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Speaker 1:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast special mini series Kevin's Road to the Daytona 100, Part One. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.

Speaker 1:

All right runners, welcome to a special podcast mini series that we're going to be doing to kind of catalog and track and follow Kevin along on his journey to the Daytona 100, which is a 100 mile race in Florida going from Jacksonville to the Daytona area. We'll say it doesn't actually end in Daytona, as Kevin pointed out to me.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it does not end around the racetrack.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but Kevin is doing this amazing thing running 100 miles. And when we tell people this, I think that there's a lot of people that think that runners are just crazy anyway, let alone people that run marathons, let alone people that run ultra marathons, let alone people that run 100 mile ultra marathons.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a long distance. It gets the most popular responses always. I don't like to drive that far. Oh yes, Always a good response.

Speaker 1:

Always a good response. But there's a lot of interest and curiosity about how do you run a 100 mile race, how do you even do that, and so we thought it would be fun to do just a little mini series where we kind of just chat with Kevin. So this is going to be. Some of them will be little mini interviews with me, some of them are going to be some of like Kevin's own training logs. We're not really sure we're going to kind of wing it as we go, but just to kind of catalog is the wrong word. What is the word I'm looking for?

Speaker 2:

I don't know, but this is just a chronicle chronicle.

Speaker 1:

Kevin's training journey to the Daytona 100. And he's decided to do this race and also use this race for a good purpose and to help raise money and raise awareness for people living with epilepsy. Do you want to talk a little bit about that? Sure.

Speaker 2:

I mean, the timing works out nice, because November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, so I've actually started posting things on social media which I haven't done in I don't know two or three years.

Speaker 1:

A while. It's been a while, yeah, so if you're not following Kevin yet, his Instagram is kevinbrownrl r on Instagram.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that covers me Um, but epilepsy is something that's been in my life for years now. Six years, no. Six years no almost seven I was going to say we're coming up on the anniversary, um, but back in 2017, I had a series of seizures and I had every test they could throw at me, because Angie had them put every test that they could throw at me, um and they said yes, because I was a crazy wife that was trying to figure out what was going on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I mean we did all of the testing and could not really come up with a good answer for specifically what is causing any of this, but I had them, what I had, my first one in.

Speaker 1:

March, april, august and December.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and throughout that time I was searching the internet, of course, also to try to find answers, because that's where you find all the answers when they run the tests and they won't give you an answer. And that's when I found that there's a lot of support out there in like the epilepsy community, and at first I was just searching for like seizures and seeing if I could find like another reason that might be causing it. But once I had the third one, then the doctor said well, at this point you have the diagnosis of epilepsy because you've had three seizures. I said, okay, so that's when I literally I found this website. I think I've been on it before, but that's when I was like I need to be on this website and figure out this world that I'm in and that's the epilepsy foundation and they have a lot of answers that are like good quality answers as opposed to rabbit holes that you could jump down on the internet. So that was a real supportive website that I was able to find with some good information.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and they do a lot for the epilepsy community with research and education and support and local chapters and childhood through adults, so there's a lot going on. It's a large foundation. I always like to investigate charities through different websites, like one in particular, charity navigatorcom, to make sure that these charities that we are donating money to and choosing to partner with are legit, and not just legit, but that they take the money and the money is actually going to good use, because there's a lot of charities out there that are just really poorly run and the money isn't actually going, doesn't actually get to the people that need it the most.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, not enough of it. It's too much as being lost on overhead, but it's a good charity and they're doing a lot, like you said, through all sorts of things through funding research, but also through support both of like people with epilepsy but also their support network, like the family that also has. That needs some support also. This was my health issue, but your journey also.

Speaker 1:

It was, and so there's a lot of good to this, and so Kevin has decided to use his race for good and to help bring more money and education and awareness and all of this to for people living with epilepsy. So if you would like to sponsor Kevin's race, if you would like to donate, you can go to Kevin 100.com right now and you can choose any amount that you would like to sponsor. Any, no amount is too low. So it's a minimum of a dollar because we have to. You know there's payment processing fees and all those kinds of things, so it has to be at least a dollar, but anything you would like to donate would be greatly appreciated and we will thank all of our sponsors with various things and it explains more on the website. So you can go to Kevin 100.com and check out that that and, you know, donate any amount that you feel comfortable with if you would like to support and sponsor Kevin's race.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and for people that kind of knew this story, everyone's well, they'll check back in with me and they're like well, how, how are things going? Somebody saw that I was posting about this recently and had not mentioned epilepsy in years, so they reached out like just directly to me of like is everything going okay? And I'm like, yeah, it's, it's epilepsy awareness month and well, I kind of go through what I do every day. I still have epilepsy. Like that's still a diagnosis that I live with on a day in, day out basis, and I think it's a good month to just bring that awareness that I'm certainly not alone in this. Also, Like the uh, the prevalence is is pretty high.

Speaker 1:

And you can still do amazing things even with this diagnosis.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's also why I'm trying to go for the hundred miles is to show that, yes, I have a diagnosis, but it doesn't have to limit me when I train intelligently.

Speaker 1:

And take care of yourself in other ways.

Speaker 2:

Yes, of course.

Speaker 1:

So let's talk about this training. Let's get into you know, when do you even start training for this Right, like that's? That's some of the early questions. When people find out that you're doing this is like, how do you even train for something like that?

Speaker 2:

Well, I started when I was 14.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 2:

And it's steadily built up with a lot of consecutive years ever since then, and that's, that's part of it.

Speaker 1:

And how. But how important do you think it is to have that kind of base, or how long of a base do you think is important before you get into ultra races? I know it vary. It varies for sure.

Speaker 2:

Definitely. It also depends on what it is that you're trying to do with it, Cause there's a lot of people that cover all these distances and they walk a good amount of it because it's still incredibly physically taxing, but they're they're trying to beat cutoffs at essentially every aid station, and that's a different way of approaching them. What I'm going for, and there's there's nothing right or wrong with it. That is certainly quite the challenge. I've heard plenty of stories on other podcasts that I listened to and that sounds exhausting as well, because it is, but it's different.

Speaker 1:

You're out there for so much longer yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, the race that I'm doing has, I think, a 31 hour cutoff on it. That is a long time to be out there and continuously moving down the road, but how long does it would you really need to prepare? It depends on your goal, it depends on the length of the ultra. So if you want to say a hundred miles and then it depends on, like, your starting point, but I would say that the answer is a year, is over a year.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so for you, knowing that you've been running since you were 14, you've done multiple half marathons and marathons, tons of races throughout your life. You have run probably hundreds of thousands of miles. At this point, like, I wonder maybe not hundreds?

Speaker 2:

of no hundreds of thousands. No because you're?

Speaker 1:

you probably average, like what 2000,. 2500 a year 2000 ish Okay. So you've run thousands of miles over your lifetime.

Speaker 2:

No, there's. Hundreds of thousands is an exaggeration. No, there's. There's an incredible ultra marathoner who posted when she cracked the hundred thousand mile mark Wow. And and she does distances that are way beyond what I did, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So yeah, no, I have not missed a hundred thousand Thousands and thousands and thousands of miles, right that you've run. When did you actually quote unquote start training for an ultra or for this ultra?

Speaker 2:

For this one. Yes, um, I would say I, low key started training for this one at the start of the year.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Because really knowing that the race was in December knowing the race was in December.

Speaker 2:

My goal was essentially to try to hit roughly 200 miles a month all year long, which is a big year for me. I generally average around 2000,. 200 miles a month, no 2000 miles a year, um, and I was going to up that and be closer to 2500. That's a big jump for me, like I've not had a month that's been less than like 185 since the start of the year, which is a lot of just week upon week upon week mileage, and I think that's one of the big things that you need for running a race this long.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would agree with that. And the other thing you did is you chose different goals for different cycles of your training throughout the year.

Speaker 2:

Well yeah, that was a huge thing is. At the beginning I was trying to remember exactly where my months broke down. But I had a cycle where I was just really focused for three straight months on getting as strong as I possibly could and every time I was in the weight room I was trying to hit more reps or higher weight and just really build up strength over a steady three month period. And you suggested that I should cut my mileage back on that also during that timeframe and I slightly pulled back on mileage enough that I could continue to build strength, but I didn't pull back all that much.

Speaker 1:

Did you pull back on speed?

Speaker 2:

I pulled back on speed.

Speaker 1:

Yes, so then you did reduce your training load.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Your running load because you pulled back on speed and you pulled back a little bit on mileage.

Speaker 2:

I pulled back slightly on mileage, but I definitely pulled back on speed because I was getting so much intensity out of the way that I was lifting, because I had not focused on lifting to that level before I'd done enough lifting to not get hurt and for this chunk of time I was really pushing in the weight room.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and so then, after you finished that weight cycle, then what did you move to?

Speaker 2:

After the weight cycle I want to say I moved to mileage, then speed and then I'm trying to tie it all together at this point. I think it's kind of how I did, that is, I went from mileage or from strength to cranking up some miles and then trying to get the speed down. Because this is one of the things out there is, when you're trying to run 100 quickly, one of the things that correlates remarkably well to it is how fast can you run a 5k, and most people don't think that your 5k and your 100 mile time correlate all that well, but they do Really. Yeah, if you lined up everybody at the starting line of the 100k and like of the people that are like going to push themselves and try and see how fast can I do 100. If you line them up in order of 5k, you get pretty close to their finishing places Interesting Like, closer than you would guess off of 5k versus 100 miles.

Speaker 1:

That's very interesting. So then, when you started to get into your race training cycle, when? How long have you been in your quote unquote race training cycle? Because you know we could say that you've been training all year for this, which is true.

Speaker 2:

Which is true.

Speaker 1:

Right. And then, when did you kind of start to become more race focused?

Speaker 2:

Maybe four months out, three or four months out. Okay, and then?

Speaker 1:

what does that transition look like and how long have you run up to this point? We're about a month out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so back at the beginning of September. Yeah, so that would be what nine, 10. Yeah, so that's like four months out.

Speaker 2:

So around there, I went for a 40 mile run over the weekend at the beginning of September and that was sort of like going to be the kickoff of if I can hit this and I feel pretty good and I'm fueling well during it. I think I'm going to be able to sign up for the race, because they're not cheap to run these races and there's a lot of commitment involved on my part and your part and the rest of our family. There's a lot involved in the setup of running this far. So I want to make sure that I was actually prepared to do it and prepared to get across the finish line. So I ran that that prep race of 40 miles and felt fine. But then I got sick right afterwards. But that was like the kickoff of my training is, if this goes well, I'll sign up and it went well. But then I got sick, like real sick, and didn't feel better for like three or four weeks.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you were really sick.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I mean I took off. I ran on the fifth Now, I ran on the I don't know whatever that Labor Day Sunday was. And then I ran again two days later and I felt like, okay, I looked at my mileage it was like a short, easy run. And then I didn't run again until like the 17th. So there was a long time off in that window there because I did not feel good and that was weird with this because I really wanted to hit this race. But I knew that the best way of getting prepared for it was not trying to push through illness. The best way of getting prepared for it was getting healthy again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then once you did get quote, unquote, healthy again to the point where you started running, your running didn't feel good for what, like a good month.

Speaker 2:

It was between the time I got so like I ran the 40 and get, then got sick, and it was probably October before I was actually feeling normal out on my runs again, which was weird because that was the back two weeks of September that I'm like I still don't feel right on these runs. Yeah so yeah, four weeks.

Speaker 1:

So kind of fast forward us, like, now that you're, you're kind of just running consistently again. What are the long runs look like over the last month? Like so right now, when we're recording this podcast, we're a month out, so like going to, you know, two months before the race. What are those long runs look like, and what does the rest of your training look like as well?

Speaker 2:

So like take like a normal marathon training plan and a lot of marathon training plans build up to a 20, I'm trying to consistently hit 16 to 20 miles every single weekend, like weekend upon weekend upon weekend, and fuel myself so much during those long runs that I can do a 20 miler on a Sunday and come back and run on a Monday, which that's been like.

Speaker 2:

One of the biggest things that I've done all year long is making sure that I'm fueling as much as possible on all of my long runs, every long run, every like moderately long run, just so much fuel on all these things so that I feel better the rest of the Sundays, that I feel competent and functional on Monday. I've been doing a lot of like Wednesday or Thursday off day because I'm like I've been running all week. I should probably take an off day because I'd like to take the off day during the week, but I also like making sure that I can run on the Monday following a long run, that I can hit speed on that Tuesday following a long run, and so then usually Wednesday or Thursday becomes an off day because it fits the cycle. Last weekend was my big one, last weekend was the like let's do a final big push and see how this thing goes.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and what did you do for that?

Speaker 2:

So I ran 20 on Saturday, and then the goal was to just run for four hours on Sunday of whatever that was going to get me. So I knew it was going to get me at least a marathon, and I ended up getting 28 miles in.

Speaker 1:

So you got 48 over the course of two days. And this is the interesting thing that I want to point out as well is you said you were hoping to run a marathon in four hours. For a lot of people that is like a goal time, but for you, that is trying to slow yourself down and try to hit a pace that you believe is sustainable for 100 miles. And that's not to make anybody else feel bad, because whoever's running a sub four hour marathon is an amazing accomplishment. I just want to put it in perspective, because you running for four hours and doing a marathon in that time is an easy pace for you, and I think that that was a really interesting thing to point out is that the goal was not to run as far as you could in four hours. The goal was to be as much in control and to maintain an easier pace for you during that full amount of time.

Speaker 2:

Right, yes, and hydrate as much as possible, Cause that was the one hiccup that I had back in September when I went really long. I fueled amazingly but I finished and I was just. I was definitely dehydrated for the rest of that day and the next day I did not get enough liquid in. So this time I was really focused on making sure that I was drinking enough. It was a lot cooler in the middle of November than it was at the beginning of September, so that helped a lot. But you know we're racing in December, so making sure that I'm taking in enough liquid is a big thing. And then I felt very much in control throughout all of it. So I was. I was a little bit ahead of the pace that I was aiming for, but that's going to be okay. Like I felt comfortable the whole time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then the other thing you did was run like kind of in the middle of the day which.

Speaker 1:

I think was also very important, because if you're going out there for 100 miles and you're starting at 6 am, you are running all day long, all day Right. So you have to be able to run at different points in the day. You can't just do all of your runs I mean I guess you can but I think it's a smart thing to do to be able to run at different points during the day, because then you fuel differently, you have, you know, hit the sun and the heat and all of the weather differently, and you're allowing your body to make some of those adaptations during training, so that it's not surprising for you on race day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean there's a lot of people that are like, oh, this works for me, I can have this as fuel when I'm out on a run and it seems like a good idea. And then it's three o'clock in the afternoon and the sun is beating down on you and chocolate goo does not sound like the best idea at all. Like I, I really some people are like eh, you know the different flavors of goo, they're all kind of gross and I like the chocolate flavor, I think it's delicious. But at three in the afternoon, like last ultra I tried to go for and you guys were like, oh, we've got a chocolate flavor. I'm like that sounds awful. That sounds like the worst thing ever. It's like hot chocolate in when? When was the last race? That was a May.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

It was in May. May, like May 21st, I think it was, I think, like 140 degrees outside and I was running on. I was running on the surface of the sun, that there were no clouds.

Speaker 1:

There was a Saharan dust cloud. There was a.

Speaker 2:

Saharan dust cloud. That was the cloud that was up there and I couldn't breathe and it was like, yeah, no, chocolate goo does not sound like a good idea at all. So knowing what what you want to eat under various conditions is certainly helpful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so how are you feeling right now, a month out?

Speaker 2:

Awesome, all right, yeah, and you know also really nervous and scared and excited and I have so many feels, um which there's a lot going on, because it's a thing that I've never done. I've tried this before and, as as cool as it was to run as far as I did, to know that I still had a third of the race left is somewhat daunting.

Speaker 1:

How do you feel confidence wise going into this race right now?

Speaker 2:

I feel pretty good. Um, I feel more prepared based off of training, more prepared based off of um, just the experience of the last one. I feel like it's tough to say I know what to expect, but I know more things that I can expect and I think I know a little bit more of how I might be able to troubleshoot different things. There were certainly things after the last time I tried this where I'm like all right, that's something needs to get fixed, that's something that needs to get fixed. So obviously there's going to be more issues that come up. When you try and run for that many hours, Problems are going to come up, but hopefully I avoid some of the ones that came up last time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we should do a brainstorm session. Like you and I have, like what went well, what didn't go well, and like things to avoid. Um, but I want to make these shorter episodes. Is there anything that you want to kind of leave us with for the next episode of this new mini series?

Speaker 2:

Um strength training for the win.

Speaker 1:

Yes, always a good one. You know that, and right now, do you believe you are going to achieve your goal of completing the day to know 100?

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, no, we're crossing the finish line. Heck yeah, that is definitely happening.

Speaker 1:

I believe it too, and I I feel differently about it this time than I did the last time too, and I'm not quite sure how to express that, but it just feels different this time around too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, we're crossing that line for sure.

Speaker 1:

All right, cool, so stick with us guys. The goal here is to get out a mini episode every week. Um, we've got four weeks, I think, left until Kevin's race, so stay tuned If you'd like to stay on the road to the Daytona 100. And if you would like to sponsor Kevin's race, head over to kevin100.com and sponsor any amount you would like. We appreciate that and thank you in advance for your generosity. All right, kev, you want to sign us off?

Speaker 2:

Get out there and run your life.

Kevin's Road to the Daytona 100
Preparing for Ultra Races
Preparing for an Ultra Marathon
Crossing the Finish Line