The BQ(Q) – Bob D

Name Bob D

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 39

Height: 5’10”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Loco Marathon (Newmarket, NH)

Tell us a little about the race. Advertised as fast and flat. Strava gave 861ft, garmin 504ft. Two loop race, miles 10-13 and 23-26 being on rail trail gravel. I think those miles from 10-13 helped save my legs for the second half grind. The trails were very muddy though which became more of avoid the puddles at all cost type of running. Pacers were setup for 7, 7:10 and other paces. I followed the 7:10 pacers for the majority of the race. There was some wind and drizzle, temps were decent though and no sun.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Started running Jan 2014

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 10000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? [Didn’t answer]

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3

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, 1 interval, 1 tempo, 1 slow long

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? None.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how? Speed or tempo type work on tuesday and thursdays. Long slow on saturday or sundays. Other days super easy.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Very odd cycle for me, I attempted a hadd style approach at first and was running decently fast long runs at 7:30/mi pace. Got burned out. Had some really poor long runs. Then rebooted, forgot about going for the BQ and just did Tuesday/thursday workouts and long runs slow (8/mi). Didn’t know how the marathon was going to go, simply decided race day I’d follow the 7:10 pacer and hope for the best. Took GU at the start, then at miles 4, 8, 12.5, 17, 21. Had one more but couldn’t stomach another. Carried my own gatorade water bottle + extra GU tablet dissolved in it. Took some aid station water but not much. Eventually I felt good enough around mile 23 that I felt like I could speed up a bit, didn’t work out though and barely gained a minute on the pacer. Finished sub 3:07 for a BQ below the new standard for 40 year old age group of 3:10. Also of note, I ran a 9/23 half in 1:28:46, was disappointed in that race as I thought I could go sub 1:28. Afterwards I sort of felt my body was geared more towards the marathon.

Number of 19+ long runs: 9
Number of 16+ long runs: 4
Number of 14+ long runs: 5

Max MPW: 71
Avg MPW from June 1 – Oct 28: 62
Avg MPW last 18 weeks: 63

Taper really was only skipping the long run previous weekend and taking a few days off week of the marathon and all easy 5-6mi runs.

 

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

 

The BQ(Q) John

Name: John

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 53

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5 11

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 146

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? The Woodlands Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. Home course. Live on and train on it year round. Usually bad weather to run. Warm and humid.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 40+ years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? don’t keep records but it’s a bunch

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? unknown-see above answer

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3

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

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Lift 3 times a week 5 times a week core

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? yes. one speed-fast day and long run with bq pace

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Get lean and run lots of miles. over 50. get a big base before you start running the bq paces. know your fitness pace, not the pace you want to run. time trial 5k and 13.1 and use daniel’s tables to figure out your bq race pace. don’t train with other runs. don’t make friends during the race, don’t talk to other runners. all business.Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The BQ(Q) – Dennis

Name: Dennis

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 47

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’0″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 141

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Revel Big Bear

Tell us a little about the race. I held my marathon goal pace for the first 25 miles, then died in the last mile and hobbled across the line just before my BQ standard.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 30 years of running, training for Boston for last 1.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 12000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1700

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 7

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, followed a program set up by Coach Paul of Revel Race Series

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I would cycle 1 day a week to keep some of the pounding off my feet.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I’d do a speed workout once a week.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? One thing that made a big difference for me over years past was consistency in training and avoiding injuries. I had to really focus on stretching and strengthening exercises to manage the little injuries along the way. I also decided to run 6 days a week. Hard days hard, easy days easy.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

What Are You Reading? For March 3, 2019 (Feat. Harari’s Sapiens, Newport’s Digital Minimalism and Tomlinson’s Elephant in the Room)

This month, I started a monthly newsletter of book recommendations call “What Are You Reading?”. I’ll be archiving the newsletter here on good old Milo.

If you want to sign up for the newsletter head on over here. 

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of “What Are You Reading?”, a monthly newsletter of book and article recommendations by me, Sean Sullivan. I am a father, husband, lawyer, runner and avid reader. My reading is a buckshot affair encompassing fiction, memoir, ancient and modern history, biography, theology, current affairs, self help, philosophy, genre literature in almost all its forms, diet books, and more. I’ll document it all here, but focus on the good stuff.

Ok, onto the books I read this month!

Recommended Books

Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind, Yuval Noah Harari This book comes with so much hype, and such rave reviews, I was sure I was going to be disappointed. I wasn’t. Harari’s sweeping history of homo-sapiens is rivetting from start to finish. The central thesis is simple. What separates us from other species is our ability to organize large groups, and our ability to organize large groups is because of our ability to tell stories. Said differently, narrative is what makes us the ultimate apex predator. I was not always convinced Harari was right, but I was always deeply impressed with the clarity of his argument and writing. This type of big idea book often comes and goes, but I think this one is here to stay for some time.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, Cal Newport I’m a big fan of Cal Newport’s work (I’ve read Deep Work, twice). This feels like his best book yet. Part evisceration of social media and what it does to our brains, part guidebook on how to live a less distracted life, this book is essential for someone like me who has trouble standing in an elevator for five minutes without checking his phone. Newport puts together an excellent mix of practical advice, reporting, and science. Halfway through, I deleted all social media from my phone. I feel better already.

The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America, Tommy Tomlinsin. Tomlisin is a lifelong reporter. It shows in this memoir of eating (and over-eating), love (and loss), and what it means to try to wrestle back a healthy life with a body that is fighting you, in a world that is trying to get you to hit the drive-through just one more time. Tomlinsin brings the crisp, direct, prose of someone who has written thousands of words on deadline. He couples that with the brutal, heartrending honesty of someone who has looked deep into himself and decided to make some changes. I devoured this in a couple days, seeing myself in many of Tomlinsin’s struggles and deeply impressed with his honesty.

 

Recommended Articles

Why Marlon James Decided to Write a African Game of Thrones, Jia Tolentino (The New Yorker) Marlon James is one of the more interesting writers today, moving from high literary novel to literary crime novel to, most recently, literary fantasy novel in the much anticipated Black Leopard, Red Wolf. This profile by tell you how a great writer develops and hones his craft. It is well worth your time.

A Post-Modern Murder Mystery by David Grann (The New Yorker) Many read this article when it came out years ago, but I did not. If you missed it too, this story of murder, post-modern thought, and police work in Poland will suck you in.

Other

I also read Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever, by Strauss Zelnick.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that this newsletter was inspired by the great monthly newsletter put out by Ryan Holiday, which you can sign up for here.

What Are You Reading: A Monthly Newsletter

I’m a pretty voracious reader. On average, I read over fifty books a year and for a long time now, I’ve been writing reviews of them on this website. I’m often asked “what are you reading?” or “I liked, X, what else should I read?”

Well, I’m creating a newsletter to answer those questions.

 Head On Over Here To Sign Up For The Monthly Newsletter What Are You Reading

Once a month I’ll send out an email with the books I’ve read that month, coupled with very short reviews and the standard note I use for the hundreds of book reviews I’ve done on my website of “Recommended”, “Recommended for the Enthusiast” or “Not Recommended”. I’ll also link to any especially interesting articles I’ve read or written that month. I’ll send the email on the first day of the month from my personal email account and will answer every email I get in response.

The goal is simple. Give you a quick read with some thoughts on books to check out (or avoid) based on my own admittedly idiosyncratic tastes. Hope you’ll join us!

Sean

 

Nelson’s The Red Parts

The Red Parts: A Memoir of a Trial
Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson wrote a book called Jane: A Murder about the brutal murder of her aunt allegedly by a serial killer who was targeting women in Michigan in the late seventies. As she was finalizing the book, and getting ready to go on a book tour to promote it her family received a call from the police. They had new information on Jane’s murder and they now believed the man long thought to have killed Jane hadn’t and instead another man, who’s DNA had been found on her body, was being arrested.

This is a book about the trail of this new suspect. Its about it means for a family to relive the grief of loss, and what it means to be a writer both documenting, and living through, the murder trial of a loved one.

This being Nelson, its about more than that, too. Its about modern policing, and the use and misuse of DNA evidence. Its about how you move on when someone you love is killed. Its about what it means to go home, or if you even can.

I read Jane: A Murder and The Red Parts back to back in the span of a weekend. If you’ve any interest in strong writing or crime, I suggest you do too.

Recommended

Nelson’s Jane: A Murder


Jane: A Murder
Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson is one of my favorite writers. Her book the Argonauts knocked me on my ass. Its still one of my go-to gift books. I’ve read almost everything she has written and honestly, you can’t go wrong. But if you want to start somewhere really excellent, I suggest the pairing of this book, Jane: A Murder and its pseudo-sequel, The Red Parts.

Nelson’s aunt, Jane, was a free spirit in a conservative town, who went on to college and then law school, only to be brutally murdered while on her way home to visit her family.

Nelson never knew Jane, she was born after Jane’s death, but the life that Jane could have had haunts Nelson’s family. As a means of making sense of it, Nelson goes on a search to understand who Jane was, what her death did to her family, and who killed her.

This book is deeply researched, whip smart, and so compelling I could hardly put it down. It’s the story of a woman who was brutally murdered. Who she was, and what she left behind, but its also a story about sexism and misogyny; ambition and trauma. I was blown away.

Recommended.

Maggie Nelson