How Cecilia Qualified for the Boston Marathon

Name: Cecilia

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

Height 5’6

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 142lb

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? BMO Vancouver Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. It was a beautiful day – 50-60 degrees and sunny. The Vancouver course is deceptively tough – 2 big downhills and one uphill in the first half and then a lot of curves and wind in the second half. I intended to stay behind the 3:15 pacer for most of the race, but felt great and got a little excited after climbing the hill at 6 miles so I pushed ahead of him and cruised through the half at 3:12 pace. By miles 18-20 it was becoming clear that was a mistake. The last 10k around Stanley Park were a battle as the wheels slowly fell off, and the sun and warmer temp made me feel like I was going to throw up. I held it together enough to finish in 3:18.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 15 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 11000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 4

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Yes More or less followed Pete Pfitzinger’s 18/55 plan from Advanced Marathoning

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? I do triathlons in the summer, so I mostly did some biking and a little swimming on some rest days. I have a short bike commute to work every day also. I did less as I got more tired in the heart of the training plan.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. I did track workouts with my triathlon club, especially in the last 6 weeks leading up to the race. I also did tempo runs on my own, for longer distances than I’d ever done before.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Be consistent, but don’t be afraid to mix it up or try something new and exciting when you need a change – sometimes that’s how you find a breakthrough.

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