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UPDATE: mission accomplished <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cool"><br><br><a href="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45633" target="_blank">http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45633</a><br><br><br>
heres my background. i've run 5 marathons, with my slowest being my first at 5:41<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Mad">x. this year, i lost 20# and put in a ton of speed work and hill training and was rewarded with a 22 min PR at NYC with marathon #5, running 4:15xx. i think that if it hadn't been that hilly, i probably would have approached the 4 hr mark.<br><br>
i've always thought that qualifying for boston was out of the question. as much as i could put in time and effort, sometimes sheer gut and determination just can't make up for lack of talent... but its been a secret, whimsical dream of mine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> qualifying for me would be 3:40.<br><br>
my question is this: in your honest opinion, do you think it is even remotely possible for me to qualify? don't be afraid to state your honest opinion.. i won't be offended <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cool"> i just want to know if i'm crazy to even have that thought lurking in the back of my head. but if you do think so, what do you think will help me achieve that? added mileage? 70 mpw? extended tempo runs? weekly massages? teehee. thanks in advance!
 

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I'm not sure, but have a different question: is it worth the effort?<br><br>
I was within 5 minutes of a BQ at various times, worked very hard at it, and suffered immense heartache when I failed. Trying hard and not getting it was really crushing a bunch of times.<br><br>
Then I just got one out of the blue - wasn't doing the Maniac thing at the time, had never run more than one a year. I decided a week before to "upgrade" a race from half to full marathon, and almost without knowing I was doing it got a BQ by 17 seconds.<br><br>
I ran Boston the next spring, and looking back on it the whole thing was not worth the heartache I'd put myself through over the years. I'm sure others would say differently though.
 

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Personally, I just like having goals. It keeps me upbeat. If I never ran Boston, I'm sure I'd get along fine, but it's nice to have it out there as something to reach for.
 

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Missy- My voyage of running is very similar to yours including the weight loss. At Marine Corp this year I hit 4:13 with a 15 minute stop at a med tent. Yes you can absolutely do it. Our plan was as follows:<br><br>
Run marine corp, rest/easy running for 3-4 weeks, and then bounce back to marathon training with a BQ goal of February. Yesterday, my 16 mile long run was PERFECT! Right on pace. I really think the back-to-back helped me because Marine corp served as a base-builder and now hitting the paces on my long runs are the biggest thing I have to overcome. We have 2 types of long runs. PACE: start the run 45 seconds slower than goal race pace and slowly speed up until the last mile is race pace. PACE+: run the entire long run 20-50 seconds slower than goal race pace. We do 2 weeks at PACE and then 2 weeks at PACE+. Also, extended tempo runs (ours are 8.5 miles) have been VERY helpful. We run these like this: 1 -1.5 mile warm-up, 6 miles starting at race pace and increasing pace with each mile by 10-15 sec., 1 mile slow cool down.<br><br>
I think you can absolutely do it! 100% You are closer than you know!!<br><br><br>
Hippo- I truly believe that the female qualifying times are not equal in difficulty to the male qualifying times. I think they are definitely more attainable. Brian has to run 1 min and 15 sec faster per mile to BQ than I do. There is no doubt in my mind that female or not, his is MUCH harder and not equivalent in effort or training to mine!
 

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Totally attainable if you're willing to put in the work. You're not too far off, if you feel like you could have run a 4 hour marathon.
 

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Your shorter race times (5k & 10k) will give you a good feel for your capability if you train hard. If you have any more weight to lose that will help as well. Also, depending on how long you've been running, you may have some improvement left by adding a couple of more years. I'm 57 and have been running for 10 yrs and am still setting PR's at HM and 10k. Last spring, without trying I came within 7 seconds of my 5k PR, set in 2000.
 

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Missy- I don't think its impossible. There's no telling how good you can get at the marathon. If your body can handle the training cycles, it could take 8, 10, or 15 tries to pop your best race. Obviously, there's no guarantees in the marathon race. Its no secret that one can be in the best shape of their life and never get the chance to show it due to weather and such.<br><br>
It's obvious you're willing put in the work. You just need the approach. IMO, instead of targeting a certain time goal (I.e. 3:40), find a phased marathon training schedule that has you train at your current fitness. A good indicator of a current fitness is a recent time trial or a short race. Use the result to select proper training paces for your workouts. Normally, if following a program, you will make an improvement every 3-4 weeks in the cycle. You're likely to improve a notch, or two, during a marathon season.<br><br>
Following such a plan will allow you to run your best marathon (for you) on race day. Repeat this cycle, for 1-2 marathon per year for a couple years and I imagine you can whittle your way down towards your ultimate goal.<br><br>
Conversely, targeting a 3:40 when not fit enough could lead to a blowup and an unpleasant race experience.<br><br>
Good luck with your endeavor.
 

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I need to add that Roots gave me this same advice and I listened! We were targeting Marine corp for the BQ but because of this advice we slowed our runs to be based on our current ability. We PRed Marine Corp by 30 min. and now a recent 10K and half marathon time have "shown we are ready to hit the actual paces in our training runs!!" Also, when we were running our training runs faster before Roots advice, we were getting frustrated because we could not physically hit all of our scheduled mileage or we would have like 2 runs on pace followed by a super crappy run where we had no legs. Thanks for this grounded response Roots!! and thanks for the same advice to me before!!
 

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Is a BQ possible?????<br><br>
Here's a real definitive answer:<br><br>
"I don't know"<br><br><br>
the thing is:<br><br>
"either do you"<br><br><br>
my observation without knowing your mileage, workouts, ideal weight, etc:<br><br>
You have continually improved your marathon time, so it's way, way too early to say that "you can't"<br><br>
Don't question it until you plateau. Not only have you not plateaued...you are taking "chunks" off your time.<br><br><br><br><br>
try my history: first marathon: 3:09 --- friends tell me sub3 is in the bag with more experience. Okay---3:07, 3:06, 3:10 (wtf), 3:08 (back in the right direction), 3:04, 3:03 (man, I worked my butt off running 80+ miles a week...maybe I can't do it).<br><br><br>
plan of action: a small change should do it, it's 3 freaking minutes!!! I ran the same training plan, but was religious about my recovery eating and gave up beer and snack food, went in the race 5# lighter. result sub 2:58:55
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
first off, i want to thank everyone SO very much for your thoughtful and insightful responses. everyone was very honest and also encouraging and i certainly appreciate that!<br><br>
after reading all of your responses i've decided.. why not put in the work and see what i come up with?? what do i have to lose? this is is a chick who 5 years ago would have never dreamt of running marathons, and certainly not shaving 1.5 hrs off my first marathon and finishing in 4:15!!<br><br>
in terms of weight loss, i am currently 125# and stand at 5'5". i've def plateaued in my weight loss and i'm happy where i'm at. i don't plan on actively trying to lose any more weight..<br><br>
i'll put in the hard work and push myself and see what i can come up with... and enjoy the journey along the way! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> i think one thing that def hit home was the fact that it may take years. i am 27 and for some reason, i had this notion that my BQ HAD to happen next year. if it happens in 3 years.. great! 5? great! never?? well, i'll then be able to say i tried.. i honestly don't think i'll be devastated. more than anything, i think i will be thankful just for my health and the ability to run. and regardless of the outcome, i will still be a marathon runner <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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As one who went from a 5:20 to a 3:35 to a 2:58, I believe this is possible for you. Of course you will have to put in the work. I went from just a little unstructured training to a structured training program that had quite a few 70 mile weeks. I spent one day a week at the track and except for recovery days all the other miles were at a high aerobic effort.<br><br>
I also lost some weight, but not a lot...I was skinny to begin with. I don't think you need to loose any more.<br><br>
What was your peak mileage and longest run when you trained for you last marathon? Is jumping to 70 mpw a big jump for you? If not, Pfitzinger has a great 70 mpw plan in his book.<br><br>
Victor
 

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I think that most folks could BQ IF they're willing to put in some serious work (some have to work harder than others). Ultimately there's only one way for you to find out and that's obviously to give it your best shot.<br><br>
I am in a similar boat, although I've only run 1 marathon at 4:52. Things really fell apart on me towards the end. I've got a decent layout on how to get to Boston; now comes the tough part.<br><br>
Would you be interested in starting a group of like minded folks? Ones who, on the surface, don't look like they're Boston material but are willing to bang their head against the wall untill it topples? We can share advice, tactics, mistakes and, of course, the oh so important support.<br>
C'mon, let's go to Boston!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana">
 

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I'm glad you said "most", because I think the men's standard leaves a few committed guys out, they can do everything right and it isn't going to happen until they can take advantage of the age standards. Womens standard is way, way easier, imho. A 3:10 open for men is more in line with a 3:25 women, and if you look at WR, AR, OT timess, you'd see that. and I'm sure many women are absolutely grateful that 3:25 is NOT the requirement, yet that's what Joe average has to face. 3:25 would leave quite a few committed women out.
 

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I had assumed that the efforts were fairly equal between men and women BQ. I've seen age grade calculators, is there a gender equivalency? How do you arrive at a 3:10 men equals a 3:25 for women?
 

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Cool. What kind of training did you do for your PR marathon?<br><br>
I did just a general ramp up of mileage. I did hills once per week for the most part and once per week ran a bit faster. LR were all LSD and I went up to 22 miles. I peaked just under 50 MPW.<br><br>
For my next marathon I'm generating a plan heavily influenced by Pfitz. It'll fall between his 18/55 and 18/70 schedule. I've recently started doing tempo runs at my specific pace to get the feel for them before I start official training (4 weeks from tomorrow!). I'm also going to do progressive long runs that start at an easy training pace, changes gears 2-4 times and finishes 15-30 seconds slower than race pace.<br><br>
I've got a tune up HM in April and I'll set a specific goal for my next marathon after that, but tentatively I should be able to hit the 3:50-4:00 neighborhood.<br><br><br>
I see you've got the 50 state goal. How often are you planning to race?<br><br>
In order t not hijack this, let's get a thread started. I'm a bit newer here - what's the best place for such a thread? What shall we call it? Loooong Road to Boston?<br><br>
Oh, and we're not misfits. We're highly deadicated runners who have more room for improvement than others. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Roots / toe jam on crusty feet / Fox-Runr<br><br>
Best advice of the month - Bust hardest to follow<br><br>
Easy runs - Easy and slow - I still often fail on this one. Of course this leaves me too tired to run my fast runs fast enough. ++++ You have to train at the fitness level you are now ....<br><br>
With these 2 truths - you will be served well - You will get to you destination faster and will less effort than most.
 
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