Thanks to fellow RAer Jane for agreeing to do the questionnaire and congrats on your BQ!
Age (at the time of first BQ): 53
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.
My first BQ was at the 2006 Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA. I finished in 4:02:17, I needed a 4:05 that year. It was my 3rd marathon in 2006, I ran Boston in April with a waiver from our running club in 4:39, and the Vermont City Marathon in May in 4:31. I was really shocked when I was able to cut off enough time to BQ.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
I was never involved in sports growing up, I had to work all thru high school and college. Then I was busy working and raising a family. In 2000 I saw an ad for a woman’s walk-run group starting up and thought it would be a great way to meet people, and, I got hooked! I then joined the local running club where I received lots of advice and encouragement, and 6 years later I BQ’d.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 7,600
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
16, a lot of them were club races
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?
I had tried almost every plan out there trying to qualify with no luck.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
The year I ran Baystate, they offered free coaching which I took advantage of. My coach was Nate Jenkins and he set up a plan for me based on running for time, not miles. I have used the plan ever since, and have qualified every year (this year I have a -12 min BQ). He had me running almost everyday, with one day off every other week.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
No cross training even though I know I should!
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
I think weekly speed workouts are very important which I do with my local running club. Also, my favorite part of the plan was that my long run was never more then 17-18 miles (2.5 hours). I would have a 10 miler (1.5 hours) the day before, and 1 hour run the day after. I learned to run on tired legs, but always felt I had time to recover.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
I think sometimes people try too hard, and just focus on the BQ. They forget to have fun with their running, to relax and just enjoy the journey. Two of my best qualifiers happened when I was sick, or hospitalized during training, so I changed my goal to just finishing, and ran some of my best times.