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.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Eve Pullar

Name: Eve Pullar

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’9

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 130

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Christchurch Marathon (New Zealand)

Tell us a little about the race. Flat course, started with the 10km and half marathoners before breaking away at about 15km. Very wet and windy day

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 8 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Unsure – probably about 15000km (sorry I only use the metric system!) *that’s about 9320 miles* ~ Sean

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? Approx 2800km *that’s about 1739* ~Sean

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2 half marathons and 1 full marathon in the 12 months preceding (not counting BQ 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? 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? Yes

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes

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

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Haley W

After a bit of a hiatus from this project, we’re back with Haley’s story of qualifying for Boston at her sixth marathon.

 

Name: Haley Walker

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’8”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 168lb

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago

Tell us a little about the race. It was an amazing, magical, effortless day. 1min negative split!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 6 years or so – it was my sixth marathon, started with half’s in 2013 and then did my first full in 2015, qualified in 2018

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,800

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1162

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 6

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, I trained with a small local group…our motto: 1) less is more 2) be religiously consistent 3) cross train!

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Weekly swimming and biking – dabble in triathlon, primarily a runner

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – weekly(ish) speedwork or tempos…short (500-1000m, 4-6k total)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t get too obsessive I guess?

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Haley Walker

Name: Haley Walker

 Sex: Female

 Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

 Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’8”

 Weight (at the time of first BQ): 168lb

 At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago

 Tell us a little about the race. It was an amazing, magical, effortless day. 1min negative split!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 6 years or so – it was my sixth marathon, started with half’s in 2013 and then did my first full in 2015, qualified in 2018

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,800

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1162

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 6

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, I trained with a small local group…our motto: 1) less is more 2) be religiously consistent 3) cross train!

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Weekly swimming and biking – dabble in triathlon, primarily a runner

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – weekly(ish) speedwork or tempos…short (500-1000m, 4-6k total)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t get too obsessive I guess?

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The BQ(Q) — Erin

Name: Erin

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 19

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’4″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 104

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Philadelphia Marathon 2013

Tell us a little about the race. My time was 3:34:38. The weather was perfect – average temp of 57 degrees throughout the race. The course was relatively flat with a total elevation gain of 557 ft (by my GPS).

The first mile was extremely hectic because I ended up at the back of the corral and had to pass a lot of people. The first ~7 miles overall were very congested, but the crowd support was also terrific. The first 13.1 miles overall felt like they went by quickly, and miles 14-17 were uneventful as well.

Around mile 18 was when I started feeling not great. By mile 20, I was nauseated, and my legs were really hurting. I was worried that I would give up and start walking, but I started talking out loud to myself, saying things like, “I am going to qualify for Boston today.” This definitely made me sound crazy, but I think it helped.

I was excited to get to mile 24 where a few of my friends would be cheering for me. Two friends jumped in there and paced me from miles 24-26. I was in so much pain that I closed my eyes a few times. When I crossed the finish line and saw 3:34:38 on my watch, I felt euphoric. I gave that race everything I had, and I did it. I even got 2nd place in my age group.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? About 4 years on and off. I was not a naturally fast kid, but I had always wanted to be one of those people who could run for miles without getting tired. I joined high school track because it kept me accountable in reaching this goal (I was by far the slowest person on the walk-on team). I started running consistently about 2.5 years before my BQ.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3706

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1436

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 13

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 I was running with a (social, not competitive) running club at the time, and I mostly just tried to run as much as possible. On average, I ran 5-6 miles 5-6 days per week, and this sometimes include two runs in one day (I felt like the feeling of running on tired legs really helped me mentally on race day). I did two 20 mile long runs but otherwise did not follow a consistent long run schedule. I also raced a half marathon, four 6ks, and a 10k (in that order) in the 3 months leading up to the marathon.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? I was part of a CrossFit gym during that time but only went maybe 5 times in the 3 months leading up to the race. Cross training was not a priority.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any way I could have BQed without speed work as I am naturally not a very fast person. I did 5 track workouts and 6 races in the 2 months leading up to the marathon. (I definitely wasn’t full-out “racing” all 6 of those races – some were more like tempo runs.)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? The mental part is no joke. Just as much as you prepare for the physical challenge of the race, prepare yourself for the mental aspect.

Try meditation – learning to quiet your mind and control your thoughts will help when you feel like walking during miles 20-26. I also recommend getting used to running on tired legs, like doing a workout after an easy run earlier in the day.

Also, practice telling yourself the story of how you will qualify. When I felt like dying during the later miles, I kept thinking to myself, “After this is over, I don’t want to be telling my friends how I was on track to qualify until mile 20 and then couldn’t quite do it. I want to tell them the story of how everything started hurting at mile 20, but I was able to go on, even despite that, and qualify.”

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The BQ(Q) – Megan Capitano

Name: Megan Capitano

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 120

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mountains 2 Beach

Tell us a little about the race. May of 2018, mostly flat course though the advertise it’s all downhill(not true)

Ventura, Ca so mild climate

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 1-2 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Approximately 1000 miles/yr

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1000 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 full marathon to qualify, 3 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? 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? Yes, Cycling, basketball, gym- always tried to incorporate some kind of alternative activity than just running 5-6 days/week

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really, basketball helped a little bit

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Relax about it, meet other runners and have the confidence that you believe you can do it, and have fun! It’s the journey, not the destination!

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Vanessa Jimenez

Name: Vanessa Jimenez

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 25

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 125

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Napa Valley Marathon  

Tell us a little about the race. It was amazing weather for the race: low to mid 30’s at the start and low wind. I started out slower than I wanted for the 1st mile because of the crowd of people, but hit my stride by mile 2. From there on I just zoned in on what I had been doing in training. I took gels at miles 6,13, and 19 and rotated between Gatorade and water at aid stations. I averaged around 7:50 pace up until mile 22 when an excruciating side cramp killed some of the fun. From then until the finish it was all I could do to just keep moving along. I’m not proud to say that I did walk about 100 feet somewhere around mile 24 but I picked it back up and continued on, hitting my goal of a first marathon BQ at 3:30:40!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Off and on since middle school- 13 years-ish

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? No idea

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? Not sure- about 500 miles total since I began training for the race

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Just the marathon and a 5k about 8 months prior

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 Higdons novice 2

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 teach and take many Pure Barre classes which is a fantastic low impact cross training for running

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? No, the only speedwork I did was some tempo runs

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Set a realistic goal, but let yourself dream a little. Do the training and trust what you’ve already discovered your body can do. Growing up as a dancer, I view a race as a performance. Follow everything you did in rehearsal, just throw in that extra level of sparkle and passion, and if you screw a few things up, there can always be another performance.Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art