Nancy’s story of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Name: Nancy

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 39

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’2″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 110

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Poconos

Tell us a little about the race. Mostly downhill, but some small hills at the end that kill after you’ve burned up your quads doing so much downhill in the beginning

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 21 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 17,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,200

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2

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, Hanson’s Beginner

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No, very little cross training, although I spend very little time sitting during the day

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, as part of Hanson’s plan. Although I did all of my speed work on the treadmill. I also eased into the speed work because Hanson’s has you do your first speed workout at 12 X 400. No way I could do that without working up to it, I’m almost 40 years old, I don’t want to get injured.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? This was my seventh marathon, although I had been close before. I think what really helped was staying next to the pacer the whole way. I stayed next to the 3:40 pacer, but lost him mile 21 or 22. The 3:45 pacer caught up with me but helped to push me to stride it out at the end. It was hard, no doubt, I was DEAD, but I just turned off my mind and went into robot runner mode.

I wish I had stuck with pacers for previous races–I just lacked the confidence to do it, or I would try to do negative splits. Just go all out, you have nothing to lose. If you DQ, you DQ, oh well, at least you tried to get the time you really hoped for.

Although I BQ’d, I only BQ’d by 45 seconds so I probably won’t get in. Oh, well, gives me something to work toward in future races.

I think I have read EVERY one of the BQ stories on this website, they have all been so inspiring! I have also gleaned good advice that I have applied to my training (like fast leg turnover, and running less hilly race courses.)

I still get teary eye’d thinking about the race. I’ve poured my heart into running, if you’re reading this I think you know what I mean. Don’t give up!!

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

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