The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire –Monica

Name: Monica

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 43 (to run Boston at age 45)

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’3”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 125

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Columbus

Tell us a little about the race. The Columbus Marathon in mid-October is a great place to BQ. The course is fairly flat and the weather in central Ohio in early fall tends to be dry and just right for a marathon. It’s a nice sized race with good organization and knowledgeable volunteers.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 10 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 10,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1400 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 18 or so. Lots of 5ks, a few 10ks, a couple of half-marathons.

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, Bob Glover veteran marathoner program from his running log.

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 official cross training per se but I walk my dogs many miles a week and compete with them in agility.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? I did modified Yasso 800s. Since I don’t have access to a real track, I did half mile repeats, either on the treadmill or on an indoor track that was 5 laps to the mile. I started with 4 at 10 weeks out from the race and increased by one repeat per week until I got to ten repeats a couple of weeks before the race. I did them at 5k race pace with 1:30 recoveries (or a lap and a half at the indoor track).

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Try to pick a race with a relatively flat course that tends to have good weather and that is relatively low stress for you to participate in. Control all the factors you can. Also, do not underestimate the power of believing that you can do it! My BQ came after they lowered the standards in the early 2000s. When I learned what time I would need to qualify as a 45-year old, I just knew that I could do it at Columbus. I am fortunate because my birthday is in mid-April, so some years I will enter a new age group on Patriot’s Day. Since you run the qualifying time for the age you will be on Boston race day, and you can run the qualifying time at a race that is more than a year before your Boston, this meant I could run my BQ for the 45-49 group when I was still 43. If I had a great day I could get a 40-44 time, but if not, I could still make the 45-49 time. This relieved some stress late in the race.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – Nancy Stedman

Amazing to read that Nancy smoked for over thirty years and then BQ’ed in her first marathon. Congratulations, Nancy!

Name

Nancy Stedman

Sex:

Female

Age (at the time of first BQ):

45

Height:

5′ 3.5″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

115

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Snickers (Albany, Ga)

Tell us a little about the race.

I was a smoker from age 12 to 43, usually a pack a day. BQd at my first marathon.

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?

2000 – 2500

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

2000-2500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

20

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?

Spinning. Helps aerobic capacity & leg strength/ turnover.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

Yes. Back then I utilized short races for speed work. I don’t do that now, because I avoid back to back hard effort/ long run days.

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

Just be consistent and run a lot, mostly easy, miles. Back off and adjust when necessary.

The BQ(Q) – Lisa

 

Name

Lisa

Sex:

Female

Age (at the time of first BQ):

46

Height:

5’7″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

110

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

NYC marathon 2005

 

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

7 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

5000

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

800

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

15

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, Hal Higdon intermediate

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 took spin classes regularly.

 

The BQ(Q) – Linda

Linda may now have the prize for the shortest time from taking up running to qualifying for Boston among respondents. Six months and four hundred miles! Something tells me there was some latent talent there! Thanks for sharing you story, Linda!

Name

Linda

Sex:

Female

Age (at the time of first BQ):

46

Height:

5’4”

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

125

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Napa

 

Tell us a little about the race.

My first marathon! Pouring rain, beautiful course, loved it. Got hooked.

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

6 months

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

400

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

300

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?

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?

I was training for my first Ironman…..and my first triathlon. it was a big year.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

no

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

run. just run.

 

The BQ(Q) – Kathy H

Thanks for your response, Kathy!

Name

Kathy H

Sex:

Female

Age (at the time of first BQ):

45

Height:

5’8

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

142

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

California International Marathon

What was your finishing time?

Tell us a little about the race.

(didn’t answer)

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

5 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

(didn’t answer)

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

1016

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

4

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?

Yes

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

Some. I half ironman triathlons May-September before the December marathon. Those are the only races I do; no running races.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

Yes. Integral to achieving the race time.

 

The BQ(Q) Stephanie W

The women 45-50 age group here at the BQ(Q) has been pretty sparse, really happy to add Stephanie’s story to the mix! Thanks for taking part, Stephanie!

Name: Stephanie W www.Joyinthefire.com, @IRun4MyCrazy.

Sex: Female

Age (at time of first BQ): 50

Height: 5’5”

Weight: 112

 

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

 

Marathon where I got my first BQ: “Leading Lady’s Marathon” Spearfish, S. Dakota, 8/17/14. My finishing time was 3:59:19. It took place downhill in the lovely Spearfish Canyon. As the name states, it is an all woman marathon. I was a little worried about the mountain air & not being used to it, but it wasn’t a problem at all. I finished 25 out of 126 finishers. The marathon was/is, the only distance offered. What was nice about this race is that I had actually paid to go the prior year but got injured, but the $ carried over to the following year. I may not have been as ready to have raced in 2013 anyway. I couldn’t have picked a better race to qualify.

 

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

 

I had been running for 7 years prior to my BQ. Most of those early years was just learning the basics and being more of a “recreational” runner. I got serious with my training after my first marathon in Kansas City in 2011. I realized that being a “recreational runner with no plan” was not going to get me the results I needed. I did not run in college or high school. Quite the contrary, I was clumsy & non-athletic!

 

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

Since I never really kept track of yearly mileage until a couple of years ago, I am not sure what my approximate lifetime mileage was leading up to BQ.

 

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

I can only say that that particular year(2014) I ended up with 1,288 miles for the year. It looks like I will exceed that by a little this year. I ran 2013 miles in 2013 (My goal).

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

 

I ran one half marathon, and one other marathon (for training purposes) in 2014 leading up to August 2014. Lots of miles/distances covered on my own. August 2013 to August 2014, I had ran an additional marathon & a couple 5k/4 milers.

 

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 not use a canned program but incorporated all of the “canned” programs I had used in years prior. My biggest influence came from Jeff Galloway and incorporating the run/walk method into my long runs. Psychologically it helped me to get through those runs. I also started listening to my body and rested when I felt I needed to and pushed harder when I felt like it regardless of what the “plan” was for any given day.

 

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

I did not start running with a club/group until this past spring (2015). I did however, use an online coach for the first quarter of the year 2014. His training outline kept me accountable & he utilized a lot of running by time instead of specific miles. I did a lot of treadmill running because it was in the winter, but I feel that having a professional coach helped enhance my training even if it was for a short time.

 

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

I didn’t do a lot of cross training except for bicycling & ab work. I feel that strengthening the core is very important for runners. I did abs every other day and biked 3 times a week.

 

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

I think speed work was instrumental in being able to finish strong. As much as I despise it, I was able to finish with a little kick in my step. I did “Yasso 800s” at least 2x weekly at the local track. Those with fartleks, tempo runs, etc. gave me the variation I needed. Also doing a couple long runs back to back on consecutive days every 2 weeks gave me the ability to keep going on tired legs.

 

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

Final thoughts: If a BQ is your goal, (and obviously it is the crowning achievement for most of us runners), never give up. Never tell yourself for one second that you “can’t.” I ran Boston 2015 and have qualified 2 more time since-August 29, 20l5 at Nebraska State Fair Marathon with a time of 3:20:00- (unfortunately not enough cushion to get in Boston 2016 with only 40 seconds). I then ran Twin Cities on 10/04/2015 and finished 3:55:20. Hoping with a 0:4:40 cushion I will have the privilege of running Boston again in 2017. Believe in yourself and keep on keepin’ on! Champions are made when you think you have nothing left in the tank!

 

The BQ(Q) – “O.R.M.”

Here’s a great BQ(Q) with the blogger “Obsessive Researching Mommy” on her recent BQ with some great advice on avoiding injury. Thanks ORM!

Name: O.R.M. researchingmommy.blogspot.com

Sex: F

Age (at the time of first BQ): 49

Height: 5’3

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 118

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time?

Tell us a little about the race. Vancouver 2015, 3:55. I was sure I was not going to BQ but surprisingly I felt like a million bucks from start to finish. By the halfway point, I felt so good that I realized I was going to do it and I think that fed into itself, giving me even more energy for the balance of the marathon. The course is challenging due to the ginormous hill at km 9 and the winding finish around Stanley Park.

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

I did no running in high school or college. In my early 30s I ran casually and did one 10K per year for three years. I’ve been training for Olympic distance triathlons for the past six years. This was my second marathon.

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

3400K recorded since 2011. No idea before that.

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

682 miles in 2014.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

A half marathon in the winter, a 10K three weeks out, and the marathon itself.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one?

If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Hansons all the way! Unfortunately I could only do about 65% of the scheduled training but I tried to finish all the long runs.

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

Mostly solo but easy runs with friends if available.

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

I did a little bit of swimming and a bit of cycling.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

I followed the prescribed Hansons workouts when possible.

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

Your biggest enemy is injury.  Here are all the ways to avoid injury:

  1. If you are doing Hansons, try to stick to the prescribed speeds. Do not go faster or slower. Recovery/easy runs are just that and if you run them too quickly, you are risking injury and are not achieving the specific purpose of the runs.
  2. Pick an easy course to qualify. The Vancouver marathon was not an easy course.
  3. Increase your cadence to around 180 to help avoid injury.
  4. If you are an older runner, go for maximal cushioning to prevent injury. Keep a collection of shoes and mix it up so for longer runs you are using maximal cushioning, speed work on cushioned but firmer shoes. This helps avoid repetitive injury.

If at all possible, find someone of equal ability to train with. This will help motivate you through the tedium of marathon training. On the day of the marathon: It will feel like you can’t go on any longer. Trust in your training. If you have 10K left, think that you run 10K every day. This is nothing.  The winner is the person who can endure the most discomfort. Run your own race and do not get carried away with the wave running their brains out at the start. Pace yourself evenly. Let them go. You will catch them later as they burn themselves out. You don’t need to stop for all the water stations. Drink according to thirst. On race day, try to enjoy the day and be present. Stay relaxed and remember that this is supposed to be fun. Smile and high five the spectators and thank the volunteers.

 

The BQ(Q) – Jane

Name: Jane

Sex: Female

Age: 45

Height: 5.4

Weight: 116.8

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

Melbourne Marathon, Australia 3:53:31 Debut marathon after running 4 half marathons over 18 months. I would have been happy with sub 4:30, I ran without pacing (no watch), no music and ran on my own, just listening to my footfall and breathing.

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

2 years

I was a ballerina, and then played some netball. At the age of 45 I decided to try jogging

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

4000km (about 40-50km per week)

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

2000km

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one?

I followed My Asics online plan. I ran about 4 times per week, Monday night tempo, Wednesday speed at the track, Thursday easy and Saturday morning long run.

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

I do run with a recreational running group for company.

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

I do a strength routine at home, mostly bodyweight exercises and some cycling.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

I only started speed work about a year ago; focus more on endurance and long runs.

The BQ(Q) – Dari W

Dari’s story of running a BQ after having recovered from cancer for the fourth time is deeply inspiring.  Read more about her story here.  Thanks for sharing this with us, Dari, I hope to see you on the roads next time I am on Cape Cod!

Name: Dari (Chilidogbeagle on RA)

Sex:  F

Age (at the time of first BQ): 48

Height: 5’6″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 129

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

Marine Corps Marathon 2011 – 3:54:48.  Registered for this race to cheer my self up and set a goal while completing radiation with my fourth time with late stage III metastatic cancer.  Ran it 8 months later.  Cried for a good portion out of gratitude.  I had also served in the Navy in DC back in the 80’s so the race had special significance on a different level, too.

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

2 years

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

3000 miles

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

Approx 1500 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?  

4 (2 1/2 marathons and a couple 5ks)

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

Shoot for 40-50 miles a week.  Modified Intermediate Higdon Plan

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

I’m a member of the Cape Cod Athletic Club and weekly hill workouts with them as well as the bulk of my long runs.

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

Rode my bike about 40 miles a week and mowed 10 lawns a week

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

Hill workouts and long runs done on the only hilly stretch here on the Cape helped a lot.

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

I’m lucky to be here and I know it everyday whether I show it or not.  I think it makes me feel like I have more to prove to myself and sometimes others.