Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Chris

Name: Chris

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 52, about a week before turning 53

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’ 10”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 165

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. Beautiful day, temperature was good. I ran nice and even splits, planning to hold 7:45 pace. Stayed on point with my nutrition during the race, avoided the wall and gutted it out for the last 5k. I executed my plan pretty well and was just slightly off my planned pace, ending with 7:52 pace per mile. Wanted to be under the BQ by 5 minutes, missing it by 9 seconds. Finished with a marathon PR of 3:25:08.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 26 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? About 22,000 miles. I started a running log in 1989

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

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Marathons? 13, including 1 Ironman.

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, Be Iron Fit, an Ironman training program, and a Nike Advanced 16-week marathon plan.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Training for an Ironman was without a doubt the most important aspect of my ability to become a better runner. It made me a much more well-rounded athlete and runner. I lost weight, didn’t just overtax my legs, and supplemented my running ability through building additional strength through cycling.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? The plan definitely had speed work built into it, but more important to my success was training by HR and staying in the appropriate zones.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? In a nutshell here’s what got me a BQ:
1. I stopped winging it and started following a plan.
2. I became a triathlete and Ironman and became a much more well-rounded athlete.
3. I learned how to fuel myself from Ironman and applied it to the marathon.
4. I started a running streak a year and 10 months prior to my BQ. It helped my body adapt to the workload and made me stronger.
5. Lastly, I was patient and got to the point age-wise where my abilities finally met the Boston standards.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Paul D

Name: Paul D

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 56

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’7

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 158

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mesa-Phoenix

Tell us a little about the race. The course was a net downhill. The weather was perfect. I ran with a friend that was shooting for the same time. He fell off the pace before 15 miles which sucked since he was the keeper of the time and had the wrist band with the per mile pace goals. I was running with my iPhone and Apple watch. They died before I had gone 12 miles. I ran the 2nd 1/2 of the race totally by feel and BQ’d with an extra 3.5 minutes. I knew I was close to a BQ so I pushed hard for the last 10K ( at least I thought I had even though the last 10K were actually a tad slower).

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,200

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2 marathons one 1/2 marathon and a 50K

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, Nike Run Club App.

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. But now I’m doing pushups to improve core and upper body strength.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Definitely! I did track workouts just about every Wednesday and tempo runs on Friday.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I never thought a BQ would be possible. I went from couch to marathon in less than a year. My first Marathon was 4:35 the second was 3:58, The next was 3:41:30 (1.5 minutes short of a BQ) . At that point I started to believe a BQ was possible. For my first two marathons I simply ran miles and got up to 80 miles a week. I actually dropped back on my mileage (50-60) and added speed work to get my BQ. I never stop until I’m at the top of the hill. I never cut a corner, and I always ran a little farther and a little faster than the plan specified. I did that so I would know that I did all that was required and more to hit that goal and had no reason to doubt myself. That plus I spent a lot of time determining and analyzing what pace I needed to run and how much weight I needed to lose to achieve the pace I wanted to hit. I got down to a low of 156 (158 at race time ) which seems heavy compared to the weight of a lot of the people that I’ve seen in this survey, but I managed to pull it off. I hope to have a 6+ minute pr when I run Boston 2020 I’m using the Boston Marathon Level 3 training plan this time around and have been doing 100+ pushups a day to add some upper body and core strength.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Kurt Stolberg

Name: Kurt Stolberg

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 33

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’5″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 199 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mississauga Marathon (Canada)

Tell us a little about the race. 21st marathon, 20th BQ attempt. 2 key changes:

1. Finally diagnosed with an allergy to ‘the environment’, so proper drugs helped me not breathe through a straw for the last 2-15km of the past few marathons. Couple that with a decent mileage base and #2,
2. Improved my cadence over 14 months preceding, from 158spm to 170spm. tip: whatever cadence you have, don’t let it slip as you get tired.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 14 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 11,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,185 miles

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? No, Loosely based on Hal Higdon Adv 1, but adapted for run-commuting (lots of 8 milers)

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 – it just gets in the way (hockey, canoeing, hiking)

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – got my vo2max up 4 pts in 3 months preceding the race

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Never quit! If you love running, just keep enjoying it, keep tweaking things, reading, researching, improving, rehabilitating after injuries, etc and with enough drive, anyone can get there if this late-in-range (33 year old, so sub-3) heavyweight (2.6lbs per inch) with 3 knee surgeries and many failed BQ attempts can.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

Your Occasional Stoic — Scarce anything connected with Nature will fail to give him pleasure

Observe what grace and charm appear even in the accidents that accompany Nature’s work. Some parts of a loaf crack and burst in the baking; and this cracking, though in a manner contrary to the design of the baker, looks beautiful and invites the appetite.

Figs, too, gape when at their ripest, and in ripe olives the very approach to rotting adds a special beauty to the fruit. The droop of ears of corn, the bent brows of the lion, the foam at a boar’s mouth, and many other things, are far from comely in themselves, yet, since they accompany the works of Nature, they make part of her adornment, and rejoice the beholder.

Thus, if a man be sensitive to such things, and have a more than common penetration into the constitution of the whole, scarce anything connected with Nature will fail to give him pleasure, as he comes to understand it. Such a man will contemplate in the real world the fierce jaws of wild beasts with no less delight than when sculptors or painters set forth for him their presentments. With like pleasure will his chaste eyes behold the maturity and grace of old age in man or woman, and the inviting charms of youth. Many such things will strike him, things not credible to the many, but which come to him alone who is truly familiar with the works of Nature and near to her own heart.

Meditations 3:2

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This mediation is a bit of an outlier, as thoughts on aesthetics don’t tend to figure large in the mediations. But here its aesthetics coupled with knowledge and appreciation of the natural world, something we know Marcus loved. We learn to see the beautify in even unpleasant aspects of nature but understanding nature deeply, and sitting with its awesome power. As I’ve written about before, this is something I’m personally looking to do more of. I crave the woods these days and a deeper understanding of natures beauty.

 

Review: Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons


Fathers and Sons
Ivan Tugenev

The novel that really introduced the concept of nihilism to the world. In many ways, this is a classic story. Father sends son away to school, son comes back, changed, with new ideas that feel dangerous to the father. They grow apart. But with time, and love, there is a sort of reconciliation.

This is, for a Russian novel of the time, not even particularly dark. Yes there is loss, and sadness, but at least some of our main characters find love and fulfilment, which is more than you can say of most of the works of Dostoyevsky.

I read this book as a young man when I was trying to get a feeling for what nihilism was. I asked all my smarty pants grad school friends and they suggested starting here. It probably isn’t the best place, for though nihilism is a central plot point in the book (its what separates the father and son) it isn’t very well defined. But then again, perhaps it is just not that easy to define nihilism.

This is worth the time if you’re interested in the history of nihilism, or deeply interested in Russian fiction.  Others would be better of looking at Dostoyevsky’s the Devils.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

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Turgenev

Your Occasional Stoic — Understanding and intelligence often leave us before we die.

Man must consider, not only that each day part of his life is spent, and that less and less remains to him, but also that, even if he live longer, it is very uncertain whether his intelligence will suffice as heretofore for the understanding of his affairs, and for grasping that knowledge which aims at comprehending things human and divine. When dotage begins, breath, nourishment, fancy, impulse, and so forth will not fail him. But self-command, accurate appreciation of duty, power to scrutinize what strikes his senses, or even to decide whether he should take his departure, all powers, indeed, which demand a well-trained understanding, must be extinguished in him. Let him be up and doing then, not only because death comes nearer every day, but because understanding and intelligence often leave us before we die.

Meditations 3:1

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Seize the day, not only because tomorrow you may die, but because even if you were to live, there is no guarantee that you will be as capable as you are today. Indeed, you certainly won’t for not only death, but old age, comes for all of us.

Robert Moses, Swimming

“Almost every day, sometimes twice a day, no matter how busy he was, Moses would swim. He preferred the ocean; he left time for a swim whenever he was over on Jones Beach; as soon as the causeway was completed, even before it was open to the public, he drove across it to swim in the ocean almost every day during the summer and, indeed, in spring and fall, too, no matter how cold the weather. He would change into a bathing suit in his car, jump our of his limousine and run down across the beach, waving a towel as happily as a boy, plunge through the first breakers, come up on their far side and swim so far out that his men shook their heads in admiration. Sometimes, heading home to Thompson Avenue at midnight, he would tell his chauffeur to head for Jones Beach instead, and there, after running across the deserted beach, he would swim far out to sea, utterly along under the stars.”

The Power Broker, Robert Caro

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Robert Moses

Your Occasional Stoic –The Duration of Man’s Life is but an Instant

The duration of man’s life is but an instant; his substance is fleeting, his senses dull; the structure of his body corruptible; the soul but a vortex.

We cannot reckon with fortune, or lay our account with fame. Put bluntly, the life of the body is but a river, and the life of the soul a misty dream. Existence is a warfare, and a journey in a strange land; and the end of fame is to be forgotten. What then avails to guide us? One thing, and one alone—Philosophy. And this consists in keeping the divinity within inviolate and intact; victorious over pain and pleasure; free from temerity, free from falsehood, free from hypocrisy; independent of what others do or fail to do; submissive to hap and lot, which come from the same source as we; and, above all, with equanimity awaiting death, as nothing else than a resolution of the elements of which every being compounded. And, if in their successive interchanges no harm befall the elements, why should one suspect any in the change and dissolution of the whole? It is natural, and nothing natural can be evil.

Meditations 2:17

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This life is fraught, and it short, and it is confusing and full of peril. If you live it without reflection, are you living it at all?

Your Occasional Stoic –To Worry About Any Particular Event is to Revolt Against the General Law of Nature

Man’s soul dishonors itself, when it does all it can to become an growth, a tumor as it were on the Universe. To worry about any particular event is to revolt against the general law of Nature, which comprehends the order of all events whatsoever.

Again it is dishonor for the soul when it has aversion to any man, and opposes him with intention to hurt him, as wrathful men do.

Thirdly, the soul affronts itself when conquered by pleasure or pain;

Fourthly, when it does or says anything hypocritically, feignedly or falsely;

Fifthly, when it does not direct to some proper end all its desires and actions, but exerts them inconsiderately and without understanding. For, even the smallest things should be referred to the end, and the end of rational beings is to follow the order and law of the venerable state and polity which comprehends them all.

Mediations 2:16

ROMAN ART

as part of collection, Roman Art from the Louvre, currently on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN ORG XMIT: KOD

A list of attributes described in the negative, as Marcus often does. Its fair to say he is more focused on what he should not do, then on what he should do. A helpful technique when you’re trying to coach yourself to better behavior.

Your Occasional Stoic — Beyond Opinion There is Nothing.

Beyond opinion there is nothing. The objections to this saying of Monimus the Cynic are obvious. But obvious also is the utility of what he said, if one accept his pleasantry as far as truth will warrant it.

Mediations 2:15

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Monimus, another slave turned philosopher, a cynic who was famous for “everything is vanity”. All that is inside of us is our opinion, all that is outside is our perception. Dorm room philosophy perhaps, but also true.