The BQ(Q) – Don G

While I figure out how to balance raising a tiny human with working, logging miles and not losing my mind, here’s a BQ(Q) from Don G.  Thanks for taking the time to fill this out, Don!

Name: Don G

Sex: Male

Age: 61

Height: 5 11

Weight 175

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.

Spinx Run Fest in Greenville, SC in Oct 2012.  This was my second marathon in 9 weeks.  Epic fail at Quebec marathon in August (heat and over exuberance).  Goal was no longer to run fastest marathon, simply a BQ-5.  Finish time was 3:47:30 for a 3:55 BQ.  Ran a controlled pace from the start with splits of 1:52:30 and 1:55:00


How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?


I had two running lives.  The first was in my early 30’s and lasted about 6 years.  During that time I ran 3 marathons, including my PR of 3:01 which was also my first.  My pursuit of a BQ during that time included a fail at Marine Corp in 1982 and then a DNS at the Citrus Bowl in 1986 due to illness, after which came a 22 year hiatus.  I began running again in 2008 when DS began running xcountry and track in HS.  Had no intention of running another marathon, much less a BQ attempt until DS ran his first marathon at the age of 18 in a time of 2:42.  He was going to Boston and I wanted to go with him.  Quebec would have made the cut-off for 2013 but as noted above that wasn’t to be, but made the grade for 2014.  DS re-qualified so 2014 will be our year together.


What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 

14,000 ish.  9,000 or so in the 80’s and then 4,500 since 2009


How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?



Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 



Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

Used Pfitz 18/55 as a base for Quebec (meaning I followed it loosely) and used Higdon’s 8 weeks between marathons for Spinx.


Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? 



Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? 



Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how? 

Most weeks included some speed work – tempo runs, or 800s.


Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

My BQ was 30 years in the making – it is never too late.


Running a BQ requires two main elements – genetics and desire.  Unfortunately we have no control over that first one, which determines how fast we can run and our propensity towards injury.  Of course we can greatly influence these, but only within the limits of the inherited ability.  The second is simply how bad do you want it; how hard are you willing to work?  Some will have so much of the first that little of the second is needed.  But many more will be right on the cusp – where training and dedication will be the prime determinants of their BQ attempt(s).  These are the true champions of the BQ.


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