The BQ(Q) — Matt

Name: Matt

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 42

Height: 6′ 2″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 173

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tacoma City Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. A true test of grit. A very hilly first half. Tactical errors made in the first half will contribute to a horrible second half slog. After bonking hard in 2018 on this course, I made it my personal mission in life to take my revenge out on this course in 2019.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? I’ve been training and running marathons since 2011. Did not entertain the thought of BQ until 2016.

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 23,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 3,500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 5

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, A mixture of Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20, Pfitz, and Hansons. I ran my easy days EASY, and my hard days HARD. A lot of tempo and lactate threshold work and strategic marathon paces mixed inside of my Long Runs.

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. A mile spent cross training, is a mile I could have spent building volume by running.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Absolutely. Once a week I did 800 to 1200 meter intervals. These sucked. They need to. Also, once a week I did tempo/lactate threshold work, around 20% of weekly volume.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? If you’re serious about getting a BQ but you keep missing the mark do an honest self evaluation. If you need to clean up your nutrition and drop some weight, do it. If you are neglecting sleep, don’t. If you have time to add more weekly miles, do so. If you are frightened of some of the more advanced speed work, don’t be. Have a nutrition plan for race day and practice it during some of your longer and difficult long runs. Marathons suck, don’t make them suck more by coming to the start line under-fueled and unprepared.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The BQ(Q) — Blake Boswell

Name: Blake Boswell

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 25

Height (at the time of first BQ): 6’2″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 161

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?  Carmel Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. The race was in the middle of off and on rain, including a couple downpours. Winds were high and sustained. Course was relatively flat with only approximately 450 feet of elevation.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 2.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 4500

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1600

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? Yes, Jack Daniels’ Plan A

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Biking in the off season

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, 2 workouts a week on average

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

 

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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