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.