The BQ(Q) – Eric H

Eric is about my height, and about my build, and about my age. A lot of great lessons in here! Thanks for taking the time to fill this out!

Name: Erik Hash (twitter @erikhash)

Gender: Male

Age (at time of first BQ): 38

Height: 5′ 10″

Weight: 170-175

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

I qualified at the California International Marathon Dec. 7, 2014 with a time of 3:08:37.  I needed sub-3:15 since I turn 40 in early 2016.  I had signed up for CIM on a bit of a whim while injured and used it as motivation to train through the fall.  I had set a PR in the half marathon in November.  Between the half and my Yasso 800 times everything pointed to being able to hit my time but I was pretty nervous going into the race because my mileage was down a bit compared to my prior marathon in May.  I lined up with the 3:10 pace group and tried to stay just in front of them early on to avoid the crowd.  I went out just a bit faster than I should have but not too terrible.  CIM is a net downhill course but does have a number of rolling hills that take a toll.  I managed to roll along with my pace pretty even in the low 7’s.  It started to warm up around mile 17.  I was trying to stay on top of my s-caps and fluids.  I definitely hit a wall at mile marker 21 and slowed a bit.  It felt like I was running 8 or 9 min miles but in reality I had only slowed to a 7:20.  I recovered at mile 22 and then had some mental battles, screaming internally “you didn’t fly halfway across the country to not finish this”.  I hit the wall again at mile 25 but still only slowed to another 7:20 mile.  At CIM you can see the turn for quite a long distance, so my focus was on a big flashing arrow.  Once I got through mile 26, I was able to kick it in through the finish.  I’ve never had that much elation and exhaustion at the same time.

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

I ran track and XC in high school along with 1 year of college XC.  Ran through college but then fell off with only occasional running between 1998 through 2009.  When I started I ran 2-3 times a week and built up to half and full marathons.  I could finish a marathon on 3 days a week.  It wasn’t until the start of 2014 when I made a conscious choice to run 6-7 days a week and started tracking my calories to lose 35 lbs that the running really fell into place.

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

Not sure on the lifetime mileage.  Somewhere between 5,000-10,000.

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

2,000+

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

10-12

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

No program.  I picked up tidbits here and there reading other peoples’ training logs on www.ndorfnz.com, a local website that pre-dated Strava.

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

No club or coach.  Almost all runs are solo.

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

No cross training before the BQ.  I’ve since added swimming and cycling into the mix.

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

I mixed in some tempo efforts and track workouts. I primarily stuck with 800 repeats, building up through the cycle.

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

A BQ wasn’t even a dream until I made a conscious choice to change things up.  I had to truly dedicate myself to the training and weight loss.  It was worth every bit of effort.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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