The BQ(Q) – Ron

Name: Ron

 

Sex: Male

 

Age (at the time of first BQ): 56

 

Height: 5”10”

 

Weight (at the time of first BQ):158

 

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Fox Valley Marathon, St Charles, IL 3:37:38

 

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

23 years

 

Did you run in college or high school?

Ran track and XC my last year in HS

 

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

12,000 miles-injuries every few months.(back issues)

 

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

1722 miles in 2010

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

(didn’t answer)

 

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, give us an idea of what your training philosophy was.

 

Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning UP to 55 miles per week

 

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

I have been part of a running club for twenty two years.

Did cross training play a role in your training?

No cross training. I did start running ultras in November of 2010.

 

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

The most helpful part of the training was the mile repeats. I used the McMillan calculator.

 

I was on the verge of  over training, The last 3 weeks I had to cut mileage from 45-55 to <30 mpw.

 

 

 

 

The BQ(Q) – Dave E

It’s the return of the BQ(Q). I have a couple of these in the hopper waiting to go up, but I am always looking for more people interested in doing this survey. Thanks Dave for taking part!

Name:  Dave E / www.beachesrunner.com

Sex: M

Age (at the time of first BQ): 42

Height:  6′ 1″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 195

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race. 

Mississauga – 3:19:10 Spring Race, 16 minute PB

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

3 years, no HS running, played a lot of hockey with some light running as training

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

4500 miles

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

1800

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?

Hal Higdon Intermediate 2, hard on the hard days, easy on the easy days, long midweek runs

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

Group runs, and as well, I coached a marathon clinic

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

Core strengthening, some swimming, some cycling

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

RUN MORE, run with a group, preferably faster runners

BQ(Q) – Mike G

A great BQ(Q) with legit fast denizen of running ahead MikeyMike. I gotta quite this awesome passage:

That’s the question I think a work-a-day hobbyjogger has to always ask: am I willing to do the work?  Because for nearly all of us the limiting factor is not our God-given talent or genetics, it’s simply how hard we are willing to work–to what extent we are willing to prioritize running against all the other things we have in our lives.  It’s a tricky balance to get right but one that I think makes it all a little more interesting.

Thanks Mike!

Name: Mike G / Hobbyjogger Chronicles

Sex: M

Age (at the time of first BQ): 30

Height: 5′ 9″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): not sure…160 ish.

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race.

It was at the 2000 Baystate Marathon, on the old course that started and finished at the Greater Lowell Tech School in Tyngsboro.  It was only my 2nd marathon–the first being Big Sur in 1999 which I ran almost on a lark, woefully under trained.  I decide in the spring of 2000 that this was the year I wanted to finally qualify for and run the Boston Marathon.  Originally I wanted to run Chicago with a buddy but he got injured almost right away so I changed plans to Baystate so I wouldn’t have to travel.  I followed a plan that I found on the race website, I think it peaked at about 65 mpw.  I had no idea what I was doing and I was hurt and running through injuries the whole time.  Luckily I didn’t know any better and wasn’t aware of any online running message boards where people would have told me how crazy I was for trying to BQ in only my 2nd marathon when my first had been a 3:40.  I needed a 3:10 to qualify (I didn’t even know about the “59 second rule” and ran a 3:09:40.  It took absolutely everything I had.  At the time it was definitely the highlight of my athletic life.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I always ran a bit for fitness, but that was about it.  I had run in high school but that was really sprints and middle distance (800m) so no real distance background.

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

Maybe 10,000 miles if you include 4 years of high school track 12 years earlier

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

Not sure.  I wasn’t running at all really before I started my 16 week or whatever marathon training.  Probably 7-800.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

1 including my BQ marathon.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

Like I said above, I found a training plan on the Baystate website.  It was written by John Barbour who at the time was the coach of the Greater Lowell Road Runners.  If I recall it was a fairly standard “intermediate” marathon plan.  It focused on tempos and a weekly long run and a lot of easy distance.   I actually bagged a lot of the workouts because as I said I was constantly battling little injuries.  My preparation was not ideal by any stretch.  Looking back I was so unprepared but I didn’t know any batter.  I felt like I was right on the edge of major injury or breakdown that entire summer/fall leading up to it.

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

Nope.

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

Not really during my marathon build-up although I probably had pretty good basic fitness just from being athletic my whole life.  I had done a ton of skiing, mountain biking, some running and other sports.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

The thing that strikes me most now, looking back, is how hard I thought I was working and how impossible it seemed at the time.  And now, 10 years later, I’ve actually lowered my marathon PR by a full 20 minutes from that 3:09:40.  Training really is a progression and every time you reach a new level you need to really look down the road at what’s next.  I’ll be the first to admit that it was easier for me to BQ than for a lot of people but the thing is I didn’t stop there.  If I look at where I started, with a 3:40 at Big Sur, then a 3:09 at Bay State a couple years later to now having run 2:49 last fall at age 40 I think that proves that over the long haul training really works.  And I still feel like, if I was willing to put in the work, I could do a lot better.  That’s the question I think a work-a-day hobbyjogger has to always ask: am I willing to do the work?  Because for nearly all of us the limiting factor is not our God-given talent or genetics, it’s simply how hard we are willing to work–to what extent we are willing to prioritize running against all the other things we have in our lives.  It’s a tricky balance to get right but one that I think makes it all a little more interesting.

The BQ(Q) – James D

James is a triathlete and trainer, thanks for taking part in the survey!

Name: James D Power Multi Sport Twitter

Sex: Male

Age (at time of BQ): 37

Height: 5’ 8”

Weight: 160

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your time? Tell us a little about the race.

Mardi gras Marathon (Rock and Roll New Orleans).  Late FEB, flat.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I started running when I was 30 to lose weight.  I quit smoking (smoked for 13 years) and lost about 65 pounds.

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

Maybe 5000 miles

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

About 1000

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

In my build for Mardi gras I raced a lot – in my 10 week training plan I raced 6 times – 1 12k, 3 half marathons, 1 25k and 1 30k.  I PR’d every race.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

I followed a FIRST (Furman) with many high volume blocks.  I guess the Furman was in name only – I wanted three well-defined workouts each week consisting of a speed session, a hard tempo and a challenging long run.  However, I work for a university and get a lot of time off over Christmas.  I ran several 3 day blocks (ultra runners call them back-2-backs) of around 50 miles (10 / 15 / 20 or 15 / 15 / 20 – at a very easy pace) and then recovered for 2 days.  I also raced a lot, these were my hard tempos, and hard long distance runs.  For good measure, I did speed work for 5 weeks consisting of Yasso 800’s.  I guess, looking back, I threw the kitchen sink at it.

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

I ran with everyone.  I am in a running club but I am self-coached.

Did cross training play a role in your training?

If so, how?  Being a triathlete I do bike and swim a lot, however, for my marathon builds the swim and bike take a back seat.  I did it some but nothing was planned.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Perhaps my BQ came too easy (first marathon – I needed a 3:15:59 and ran a 3:08:44 with even splits) but I think the necessary components are a consistent build, the hard runs need to be hard (that is for mental prep as much as anything else – I really need a race to perform well), and staying injury free.

The BQ(Q) – Ginny

Thanks Ginny from Happy Feet 26.2 for filling out the questionnaire!

Name: Ginny Happy Feet 26.2

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 41

Height: 5’ 10

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 143

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your time? Tell us a little about the race. St. George, Utah, 3:49:17 (needed 3:50:59) – the best marathon out of 19 so far.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I started running my senior year of high school (1986).  I have run off and on since then.  Dec. 2003, I walked my first marathon, Feb. 2005 ran my first marathon, fall 2005 became obsessed with qualifying, fall 2009 finally did it – my 15th marathon,  April 2010,  I RAN THE BOSTON MARATHON.

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

I have no idea.

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

1300-1400

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

16 – various distances

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

I created my own schedule.  Alternated hill repeats and track.    Hard run, followed by 2 easy days.   It was a rotating schedule.  My long runs came up every 9 days, tempo every 9 days, hill repeats or track workouts every 9 days.  (not the standard long run every Sat. or Sun)

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

My running partner was preggo, so I trained mostly solo for this one.

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

Unlimited yoga the month before the marathon.  Prior to that, 1-2 classes per wk.  Walk or easy bike for recovery.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

I max’ed out with 63 miles before my BQ race.  This was my highest mileage, at that time.  For me to BQ, it was a total package effort.  I lost some lbs., I had 2 recovery days after each hard workout, I did unlimited yoga, I hit new high mileage, I incorporated ice baths after hard workouts, I improved my nutrition, and I trained year around.  I also believe racing shorter distances is an important part of training, but not to “over race” leading up to the marathon. Keep running, keep dreaming, it CAN be done even when you don’t have natural talent to BQ.   

The BQ(Q) – Tim E

Anyone who says big dudes can’t get a BQ hasn’t met Tim. At 6’5” 209, he got it done. What is your excuse? Thank you Tim for filling this out!

Name: Timothy E

Sex: male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 41 qualified / 42 age running at Boston

Height: 6’5”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 209

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race.

Wineglass, Corning, NY — for me [being a Clydesdale], temps are the most important factor.  I can easily lose more than 10lbs of sweat during a long run in the summer … Corning weather was just about perfect — started in the high 30’s and probably was 58 and sunny at the finish.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I ran XC in HS but it was really a way to kill time for basketball as opposed to someone who considered themselves a serious runner.  [I was a mid-pack runner at best — I feel like I train so much more intelligently now.]  Anyway — I didn’t run at all for about 20 years … got fat and lazy.  Started running again about 4-yrs ago.  I would say that I had been running consistently for 2.5 years before I qualified.

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

Really no clue

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

In the 12 months prior to Wineglass I certainly ran more than 2000 … from January to January  I ran about 1800 and ran about 2400 the year of the BQ for the same period

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

I signed up for 2 marathons — the Spring marathon I DNF — temps hit 80 and I just pulled the ripcord.  I also ran 3 halfs; 1 10miler; 2 8k’s; 1 5miler and 2 5k’s [so I guess that’s 11 races]

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

Nope

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

I used to train with the North Jersey Masters [Tuesday nite speed] but I really like running early in the AM … I have a “coach” who sends me workouts [even to this day] … I tend to follow them, but frankly, at this point, I know the drill and could do it myself however I really like the idea of feeling like you are letting someone down if you don’t do the work.  It simplifies my life and allows me to wake up and say — I got 10 miles this AM including a 4 @ tempo pace.  I also have read extensively — books; blogs and, of course the posts here on RA.

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

nope — none

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

I feel pretty lucky that I have 3-4 guys that I do the majority of my running with … if I do 60m in a week I bet 40+ of those miles are with buddies.  We bullshit for hours and it makes the running something that I really look forward to b/c we spend hours busting each others chops.  My point in mentioning this is that having others to train with is a true motivating factor for races and tough workouts.  2 of my training partners are right on the cusp of sub 3hr marathoners but I can kick both of their asses in a 5k — so we have fun with some good competition mixed into it.

 

BQ(Q) – Candice S

Candice is another regular at the great running website runningahead. She is also really, really fast. Its nice to see that even the fast people had to start somewhere. Thanks for taking part, Candice!

 

Name: Candice Schneider Breaknthree

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 23

Height: 5’6

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 117 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race.

I wasn’t always the marathoner I am today (3:09:18 PR as of fall 2010). I ran my first BQ at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN in 2008 in 3:39:17, just barely making the cutoff. I was living in Nashville at the time, as I am originally from TN. It was the one year anniversary of my first marathon (same one, too), and a completely unplanned race for me. When I ran my first marathon I attempted a BQ, and it took until my 4th try to actually get it right. I had the speed, but I didn’t yet have the endurance to go along with it. My goal spring race in 2008 had actually been the Go! St. Louis marathon 2 weeks before Country Music. I was unfortunately plagued with some terrible stomach distress during the Go! St. Louis marathon after running 18 miles on pace. I was so frustrated that I jumped into Country Music 2 weeks later and finally BQ’d. 3 years later, I am going back to Go! St. Louis (2 1/2 weeks from now) to run it again. This time I am going as a woman who is faster than the men’s open BQ standard, instead of someone who is trying (what she thought) was her best to just get the open women’s BQ. I have also been accepted to run as an “elite,” as their standards are women who are sub 3:10 get an elite start. It sort of feels like… fate, I guess. I never dreamed I’d be half as fast as I am today. I never dreamed i’d be dreaming of being even faster than this…

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I had been running consistently since the fall of 2006. Before that I would run 2 or 3 miles sporadically. I have always been active and running was something I was always just able to go out and do if I felt like it. But I never saw a need to go more than a couple of miles 🙂  I think this comes from a background of soccer and other sports. It took until 2006 for it to occur to me that running could be a competitive outlet, and that was when I signed up for my first race. As mentioned I had previously played soccer, and needed something since that was over to stay in shape. Up until I signed up for my first race… running was just something I supplemented workouts at the gym with.

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

~2600 lifetime miles (I now typically run more than that per year)

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

~1300ish

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

I had only ran 2 races that calendar year before the BQ. An 11.2 mi race, and the Go! St. Louis Marathon 2 weeks before.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

I loosely followed the Pfitzinger Advanced Marathoning 55/18 program. I honestly didn’t know a whole lot about what I was doing. I now realize that, personally, to develop speed I have to run daily, run a lot, and do quality speed workouts regularly (intervals, & tempos). The combination of these things is what helped me to shave off 30 more minutes from my BQ time.

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

I did run with a group every Saturday. We ran our long runs together, we also did track workouts on Tuesday evenings. I miss them dearly (I moved to Minnesota). The guy who started the group was a 2:30 marathoner back in his prime. I considered him a coach of sorts, he was always helpful and willing to give advice. Very supportive. I probably wouldn’t have done half as well in those first few marathons without his help. He wasn’t necessarily a believer in high mileage though. My husband Ben S, a 2:28 marathoner, coaches me now. A FIRM believer in high mileage, and a slave driver 😉 Without Ben, I might still be 30 minutes slower.

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

It did actually. In the spring leading up to my BQ I started training in hopes to compete in a season of triathlon over the summer. I was swimming and biking a lot. I only did triathlon that one season though (summer ’08). I am a much better runner… I did pretty well but it didn’t really end up being my thing. I didn’t love it enough. I do still think often about doing an Ironman one day though. Maybe when I’m older and can’t put in as many miles running. First and foremost I want to be the best marathoner I can be.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

The best advice I can give is to not be lazy with your training. If you think you’re giving it all you can give… you’re probably wrong. You can give it more. Just like anything else in life. Before I BQ’d I was putting in anywhere from 35-55 miles per week, and I felt like that was a lot, and that I was working as hard as I possibly could. Now, during training I regularly put in 70-80, sometimes 90 miles per week, and I know I can (and have to) do better than that if I want to get to that next level. My point is, if what you are doing isn’t working for you, do more. Run more. Do more speed workouts. Be consistent. Give it time. And don’t give up! The runner you are meant to be will show itself to you when you have exhausted every possible strategy. You will get that BQ (or PR, or whatever) if you MAKE yourself get that BQ. If you want it bad enough. But you have to want it bad enough…

The BQ(Q) – Stephanie T

Stephanie is a close friend and a woman who has given me enormous help and encouragement in my running. Thanks Stephanie for agreeing to fill this out!

 

Name: Stephanie T

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

Height: 5’-5”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 135

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your time? Tell us a little about the race.

My first BQ was NYC 2005. I ran 3:34:35, which I surprisingly just had to look up. It’s strange, I don’t remember a lot about this race now, aside from wanting to both collapse and do it all over again when I finished. I also know that I made the classic mistake, despite knowing it was the classic mistake of a first marathon, of starting out too fast – I think I was aiming for 3:30 and slowed down considerably in the last 10k. This was the third time I had decided to train for a marathon – my other two attempts were aborted by injury (the first came early in training, was fairly minor, and just revealed how I had no idea what I was doing at that point; the second came fairly late in training and was fairly serious), so crossing the finishing line was just extremely satisfying that day.

 

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I had been running consistently since fall of 2002, when I moved to NYC without a job and going for a run became a way to both kill time and explore the city. Before that I had run a half-marathon in the summer of 2000 (1:51:59) that I kind of trained for, and ran casually with no race goals between 1999 and 2002. Before that I ran low mileage as training for team sports from 1990-1999.

 

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

Maybe 4000? 4500? I really have no idea. Are we counting every time I ran 3 miles at age 14?

 

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

I’m going to guess about 1750. I had a serious injury in July 2004 and didn’t really return to running until that November, so my mileage probably wasn’t that high in the winter. I think I was up to 40 mpw – which was my base before I started marathon training — by March.

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

Twelve in the ten months before my November marathon.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

I did. I used the NYC Marathon Advanced A plan, which starts with a 40 mpw base and goes up to a 60 mile week. It also has a fair number of 20+ mi runs, compared to other plans. Knowing myself, I know that the best way for me to train is having a preset plan that I adhere to without a second thought once it’s begun. However, this could now be a plan that I make for myself, and certainly wouldn’t be this exact plan that I used, which doesn’t prescribe any kind of variety (or speedwork) in the runs.

 

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

I started running with a club the year that I ran my first marathon, and it made a huge difference to be around people who placed the same priority on running and racing as I wanted to. I don’t tend to run into a lot of competitive runners or people who take athletics seriously in my day to day life, and without the support of people who had similar goals, at times it had felt like pushing water uphill explaining to everyone in my life why I HAD to get my run in for the day.

 

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

Not at all, even though I do think it’s probably a good idea. I’m semi-retired from marathon running these days, and now do a LOT of cross-training. It’s dramatically strengthened my entire body – arms, core and legs, and were I going to run a marathon again, I’d definitely want to maintain the strength that I get from those workouts throughout my training. On the other hand, given that successful marathoners run tons and tons of miles, I’m not sure I could bring myself to substitute miles with swimming or spinning during my official marathon training period.

 

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

Don’t forget the shorter distances! A BQ might be what you’re shooting for, but there are a lot of opportunities for successes and new PRs along the way that can be just as satisfying as a great marathon – and will be critical to building the base you need to BQ. More simply, just commit to getting out the door as your schedule dictates. No matter what. Bad weather, vacations, special events, hectic days — they happen, but your run can happen too.

The BQ(Q) – George

George was kind enough to email me with his BQ story. Thanks George, and good luck in Boston!

Name: George (MarathonGeorge)

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 54

Height: 5”10”

Weight (at the time of first BQ):150

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago 2009

Tell us a little about the race.

I was lucky, perfect weather conditions, cold at the start and I was freezing as soon as I stopped running. I ran almost perfectly even splits for the whole race, never wavering by more than a few seconds from my goal pace.  I did follow, sort of, a pace group but it was more like a group of runners who I was near most of the race.  There would be times, like water stops, where I would be ahead or behind the group but we always seemed to sort of end up around each other. I debated pace a lot before the race and needed a 3:45 to qualify. All of my training had been done with a 3:30 goal in mind. I just knew I had a 3:30 in me. However in the weeks leading up to the race I went back and forth, go safe and conservative and run to the 3:45 or do what you think you are ready for and risk blowing up. I went for the 3:30.

Read the whole story here: http://wp.me/pIhgU-1

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

10 years

Did you run in college or high school?

Nope, I was a swimmer – although we did a tiny bit of running during preseason.

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

13,500

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

1,567 so far that year and I went on to run a total of 1,730 that year. Ran 1,600 in 2008

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

10

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, give us an idea of what your training philosophy was.

After 4 attempts using mainly Hal Higdon’s programs I finally got a local coach, Fernando Braz. He had me on a marathon program from January 1 to the October race. Most Tuesday nights I ran at the track with the group of runners he was training. His program was more demanding physically, although not a lot, and also focused on mental preparation. Overall philosophy would be a mix of long runs, endurance runs, speed work and solid base building. We also did more running at Marathon Goal Pace than I had in the past particularly at the end of long runs. For example, do 15 miles easy and then run 5 at MGP to finish a 20 mile long run. I firmly believe that Fernando made it possible for me to BQ and without him, I might not have reached the goal.

Here is a quote from my log:

My confidence grew with each week.  The plan was hard but I was doing well, feeling strong, feeling fit and injury free.  But even so, doubt always has a way of creeping into your mind.  Then there was a test that changed my mind. With 6 weeks to go, one of those hard Saturday long runs, this one 23 miles with the last 5 at marathon pace.  I ran a route that had me at the PA track after 16 miles.  I wanted to know just what my pace was over that final 5.  After one mile I thought, “Can I do this?” My second was sub 8 minute, as was the third, with the final two at 8. The last 5 miles of a really tough run in fewer than 40 minutes?  Wow, my confidence was sky-high, with 6 weeks to go.

That is what Fernando did for me – physical and mental preparation.

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

As well as using Fernando I belong to the Merrimack Valley Striders which was a way to connect for local races.

Did cross training play a role in your training?

I don’t stretch, cross train, do ice baths, use a form roller – I run – just run and I run for fun.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

Really, if I can do it anyone can. I am not a super athlete, was no high school star, and did very little in college. I went through most of my adult life hardly doing anything athletic. But then at 45 or so took up running just because I was a little big and wanted to be healthier. I suppose in some ways age makes it possible. I am sure even when I was young I could have never managed a 3:10 but a 3:30 to 3:45 seems doable.

Goals work – set a goal – have a plan – work hard at it. I started 2009 with the goal to BQ and I focused all of my efforts to that goal. I made every training session and every race help me move towards that goal and I tried to keep that same focus in food, sleep, and mental preparation. Boy, achieving that goal was super fun. One of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Since I BQ’d I think of myself differently, I really am a marathoner, I qualified for and ran in the greatest marathon.

The road to the Super Bowl of running was not easy.  Luck played a huge part, no injuries, no colds. Training was absolutely key, without Fernando it would not have happened. But then on race day it was about executing the plan.  I am too old to make any mistakes; the margin for error is very small.  But it worked.  The race was just like a long training run.  I have done it before, only this time I had 45,000 companions.