Age (at the time of first BQ): 28
Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’4”
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 110
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Providence
Tell us a little about the race. It was my 3rd marathon. It was a good, well run race, in my hometown so no travel required, which I feel gave me a “home field advantage”. Small enough to have space running, large enough to always have someone nearby. Long stretches of no fans and quiet running by the ocean on a bike path. Some hills, but not too bad. I wasn’t actually trying for a BQ necessarily, but the conditions were perfect that day and I felt good, so decided to go for it about half way through the race.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3 years
Did you run in college or high school? No
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3000
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1500
Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 10
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 Generic marathon training plan from coolrunning.com
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? I did not do much cross training. Occasional hiking/walking on off days.
Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? I did not do any speed work for this marathon.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I’ve run 9 marathons now, 3 were BQ -#s 3 (Providence), 7 (Providence) and 8 (NYC). Performance varies due to so many things during such a long race. Traveling, staying in a hotel, eating at restaurants always results in slower marathon times for me (mostly, except NYC with perfect weather). I always do best at races where I can sleep at home, eat my normal food, and take a short drive to the race in the morning. Also, running on familiar streets or by familiar landmarks makes me feel more comfortable and relaxed. If BQing at a large race hasn’t worked for you, try to achieve a BQ at a local race.
Don’t underestimate the power of weather. The perfect weather always leads to a PR for me…bad weather (hot, rainy, snowy) typically adds 5-10 minutes to my marathon time.