Slow and Steady wins the race... 300 to Boston in 5 years?

AntimonyER

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 4, 2016
Hey everyone! I am starting this training journal to help me on my way to hopefully qualifying for the 2021 Boston Marathon.

First a bit of personal history:

I am not what you would consider an athletic person. I played little league when I was a kid, but wasn't very good, my most common position was pinch runner, haha. I did make the middle school track team in 6th grade (everyone made it) where I ran the 400 x 4 relay, in which our team never won. But that was the end of my running career as a child. After that, I was about as active as rock, and by 30 years old, it showed: On January 1st, 2016, I weighed in at 300 lbs.
upload_2019-5-6_13-59-46.png

It was my new year's resolution to lose some weight. Not just some weight, but I wanted to get to a normal BMI (Which for me is 170lbs). I didn't have a plan but I knew the basics, eat better, exercise more. I had dropped some weight in the past by walking/jogging, and using meal replacement shakes, and so I started it up again. And just like the previous times, it worked, but not that great. By the end of the year, I had lost 35 pounds.
FB_IMG_1557167995141.jpg

January 1st 2017, I renewed my goal to lose more weight, but this time I turned it into a numbers game, I counted calories (used MyFitnessPal) and I started walking every day, and jogging 2-3 times per week. One year later, I was down 110 pounds total (75 more that year), and in the best shape of my life. I hit my original weight loss goal on July 4th, 2018, which also happened to be the first time I ran 13.1 miles without stopping to walk, with a time of 1:57:13.

The past year has been filled with both training and learning a lot about running, both from the members here, as well as friends, and even research. In February I ran a half marathon in 1:36:00, and followed that up with a 1st Place overall finish in my first 10k!

upload_2019-5-6_15-25-11.png

All of this led me to decide that my next major life goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It will be tough, even gaining a 5 minute increase this year with my 35th birthday, I will need to run a sub-3:05:00 marathon to qualify. And I haven't even run one yet. But I know with training, dedication, pure stubbornness, I will get there.

So with that, lets get the show on the road.
 

garneska

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
Congrats on the weight loss. I will share my brief story, i hope it inspires you. I have been running most of my life. In high school i was an athlete, basketball, volleyball and track. After college i ran to keep my weight down, though it was going up from high school. I ran my first marathon in 1999. Then i went on the disney kick and ran the marathon in 2003 and either half, full or both from 2007 to current. I was never fast and my marathon PR was 4:39 back in 2009. In 2016 i just wanted to get faster so i went on a diet. I lost 40 pounds in 2016. My first marathon after the weight loss was RnR New Orleans in Feb 2017 and i ran a sub 4 hour marathon. I am a bit older than you but i was about 10 minutes off the BQ pace and i was like what are you serious. I started a Dopeybadger plan and was looking for a BQ. After a few injuries my shot was Chicago in Oct 2018. This was also when they increased the BQ time. I always knew i needed to be that far under. My BQ time was 3:50 and i ran Chicago in 3:47:27. I am still hoping it is enough come Sep, but i think i will make it. Anyways it is a great goal and i am sure you can do it.

Excited to follow along and see you reach your goal.
 

KevM

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Congratulations on the weight lose and awesome goal for ‘21. Excited to follow along.
 
  • AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    Congratulations on the weight lose and awesome goal for ‘21. Excited to follow along.
    Thanks!

    Congrats on the weight loss. I will share my brief story, i hope it inspires you. I have been running most of my life. In high school i was an athlete, basketball, volleyball and track. After college i ran to keep my weight down, though it was going up from high school. I ran my first marathon in 1999. Then i went on the disney kick and ran the marathon in 2003 and either half, full or both from 2007 to current. I was never fast and my marathon PR was 4:39 back in 2009. In 2016 i just wanted to get faster so i went on a diet. I lost 40 pounds in 2016. My first marathon after the weight loss was RnR New Orleans in Feb 2017 and i ran a sub 4 hour marathon. I am a bit older than you but i was about 10 minutes off the BQ pace and i was like what are you serious. I started a Dopeybadger plan and was looking for a BQ. After a few injuries my shot was Chicago in Oct 2018. This was also when they increased the BQ time. I always knew i needed to be that far under. My BQ time was 3:50 and i ran Chicago in 3:47:27. I am still hoping it is enough come Sep, but i think i will make it. Anyways it is a great goal and i am sure you can do it.

    Excited to follow along and see you reach your goal.
    That's awesome! With the lowering of qualifying times, I think you are good as well! And I have read that weight loss is a great way to lower your times. In fact that is one of my phase one (Summer pre-training) strategies.
     

    AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    The Plan:

    Since I have yet to run a marathon, summer is not conducive to training for one in the deep south (I live near Savannah, GA), and family priorities mean traveling to one of the last minute marathons before the cutoff isn't in the cards this year, I decided I am not going to attempt to qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon. (Hence the slow and steady bit!) I have broken my plan into three manageable phases for the 2021 (I hope!).

    Phase 1 - Summer Pre-Training (Weight loss, mileage increase, and dietary/hydration learning)

    I do most of my running on my lunch break at work. With three kids in full extracurricular mode (DS12, DD10, DS8), a wife who works full time, and a two hour round trip commute, running any other time during the week means I lose some of the precious little time I have left with my family. But running at lunchtime in S. Georgia summers is an exercise in survival, and tempo runs or interval training aren't going to happen June-September at noon. When the kids are out of school and activities in June and July, I can sprinkle in a few early morning runs before work to get in a few higher paced activities, but for the most part, it will just be logging miles. I plan to work on increasing my long run distance over the summer (14 miles is the longest I have ever run in a session), as well as my weekly mileage.

    Additionally, I plan to shed some weight this summer. After hitting 170 on July 4th last year, I actually continued to lose a bit more, and hit 161 in late October. But since then I have put a few pounds on, and have bounced between 165-170 for most of 2019. Based on my height, Dropping down to 150-155 will help improve my pace, as well as making summer running easier.

    Finally I plan on learning what works for my body for nutrition and hydration during those long runs. Determining my sweat rate to know how to hydrate, and finding the sweet spot for fueling without causing stomach discomfort are big on my to do lists.

    Phase 2 - Training for 1st Marathon

    Living near Savannah, the Rock N Roll Savannah marathon is a very tempting 1st marathon. It was my first half, and I couldn't have asked for a better day that day (48-52 degrees and low humidity). But being in early November, even a 12 week training plan means those tempo runs and intervals have to start in early August, which for my schedule and running requirements, doesn't really work. I have narrowed down the choices to the Space Coast Marathon or the Kiawah Island Marathon. The Space Coast Marathon appeals to me from a personal level, as my dad worked for Kennedy Space Center when I was a kid, and it inspired what became my career choice. However the weather isn't as conducive to a fast run as the Kiawah Island one would be (warmer and more humid). I have a while to decide, and any helpful advice on this would be appreciated.

    As far as training, I used a McMillan Plan to train for my last 5K, and while life (read: flu) interfered with me seeing it through to the end, I was really happy with the progress I was making and it works pretty well with my schedule, so I am going to use their 12 week marathon plan to prepare for the marathon.

    Phase 3 - Learn and Try again

    While it would be awesome to qualify for Boston on my first attempt, I would be remiss if I didn't make a back-up plan. Learning from that first experience will be key. So with that being said, there are a BUNCH of options for the spring race around me. Myrtle Beach, Snickers (Albany, GA) and Skidaway Island Marathon are probably my top 3, with Snickers seeming to be the best BQ race of the three (wind is an issue at Myrtle Beach, and Skidaway suffers from same risk of high temps/humidity that Space Coast does). But being in early march, these give ample time to recover from the fall marathon, and implement what I learned from my fall attempt if need be.

    That's the plan for now, if you have any advice, I would love to hear it!
     

    AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    Run Report: For the past few weeks I have been dealing with the springtime warmer temps and humidity for my lunch runs. I am slowly getting acclimated to the temps/humidity, and no longer feel like dying when the T+D values exceed 140. Of course, that is just in time for those values to start touching 150 :crazy2:. Yesterday's run:

    5/6/2019
    Distance - 6.87 Miles
    Time - 0:53:01
    Avg Pace - 7:43/mi
    Avg Heart Rate - 155 bpm
    T + D - 81F + 64F = 145
     
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  • StacyStrong

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2018
    Awesome story!!! Good luck on your journey!!

    Can I ask what got you motivated to stick with the weight loss goals? As a new and a bit overweight (for my height) runner I'm struggling with that motivation. Also, do you mind sharing what your paces looked like when you initially began running? I'm so impressed with your speed now!
     

    AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    Awesome story!!! Good luck on your journey!!

    Can I ask what got you motivated to stick with the weight loss goals? As a new and a bit overweight (for my height) runner I'm struggling with that motivation. Also, do you mind sharing what your paces looked like when you initially began running? I'm so impressed with your speed now!
    I am an engineer (read: math nerd), and so by turning it into a numbers game (calories in vs. out, tracking every day, graphing my weight loss) I found a way that appealed to me to keep me motivated. It became a game to see how far negative I could go in a week. The best advice I can give is use what interests you to your advantage, and also don't deny yourself your favorite things. I have a huge sweet tooth, and while giving up sweets and filling my calorie allotment with healthy nutritious food would have physically been the best choice, mentally it would set me up for failure in a big, binge-filled fashion. So I endured a few hunger pangs in the morning with a lighter breakfast, and instead saved room for a scoop of ice cream in the evening after dinner.

    As far as pacing, the earliest I have tracked was about 9 months in to my weight loss (Fall 2016), I was around 265 pounds at that point, and I was jog/walking around an 12:00/mi average pace for around 4 miles on average. MY jogging pace was around 10:00/mi, with walking @ 20:00/mi for a minute or two to catch my breath in between.
     

    garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    I have run the half at Myrtle Beach. It is crazy flat and i really enjoyed that race, but you are correct the wind can kill you. I was lucky no issues with the wind that day. I have also heard Snickers marathon to BQ is very good. I considered it when my Oct 2017 marathon got scrapped due to injury. I decided to focus on Oct 2018 Chicago. Again heard good things about Snickers. i am with you, I have about 8 pounds to lose. I have been injured and just over training for my 50K i did in Feb. I feel like i am turning the corner and starting to get excited about running. Of course the weather is awesome now and soon it will be hotter than the blue blazes of h e double hockey stick. Let me know if you come up to Atlanta for a race. We are trying to do a dismeet run at the Atlanta 10 miler. It is Oct 20 or the 21.
     

    KSellers88

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2015
    I cannot wait to follow your journey! You're actually pretty close to me (Columbus, GA) and I've ran a lot of the races you've mentioned. I've done the full at RNR Savannah and Kiawah Island and would pick Kiawah for sure. My main issue with Kiawah was the lack of crowd support once the full split off from the half. The course is very flat and fast though. The course support was great and getting to/from the race was not an issue, I'd recommend staying on the island if you can though.

    I've run the Space Coast half and it is very flat as well and also has a lot more crowd support than Kiawah. Snickers is also another great choice, but I have not ran that one so I cannot provide any input. I definitely think one of those could give you that BQ you are shooting for. Maybe I'll see you at one of them one day!
     
  • AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    I have run the half at Myrtle Beach. It is crazy flat and i really enjoyed that race, but you are correct the wind can kill you. I was lucky no issues with the wind that day. I have also heard Snickers marathon to BQ is very good. I considered it when my Oct 2017 marathon got scrapped due to injury. I decided to focus on Oct 2018 Chicago. Again heard good things about Snickers. i am with you, I have about 8 pounds to lose. I have been injured and just over training for my 50K i did in Feb. I feel like i am turning the corner and starting to get excited about running. Of course the weather is awesome now and soon it will be hotter than the blue blazes of h e double hockey stick. Let me know if you come up to Atlanta for a race. We are trying to do a dismeet run at the Atlanta 10 miler. It is Oct 20 or the 21.
    Thanks for the info! The 10 miler sounds interesting, but unfortunately that coincides with our family trip to Pigeon Forge. I am quite certain I will make it to ATL for a race eventually though.

    I cannot wait to follow your journey! You're actually pretty close to me (Columbus, GA) and I've ran a lot of the races you've mentioned. I've done the full at RNR Savannah and Kiawah Island and would pick Kiawah for sure. My main issue with Kiawah was the lack of crowd support once the full split off from the half. The course is very flat and fast though. The course support was great and getting to/from the race was not an issue, I'd recommend staying on the island if you can though. I've run the Space Coast half and it is very flat as well and also has a lot more crowd support than Kiawah. Snickers is also another great choice, but I have not ran that one so I cannot provide any input. I definitely think one of those could give you that BQ you are shooting for. Maybe I'll see you at one of them one day!
    Thanks! The crowd can definitely give a boost, the Savannah RNR had a decent one. I am sure we will run into each other at a race someday, if not in GA, then a Disney one for sure (We are considering annual passes for 2021).

    Wow! What an amazing journey thus far. Good luck on the rest and I'll be following along.
    Congratulations on your weight loss and running journey so far!
    Love to read stories like this. I'll be cheering you on throughout this journey!
    Thanks for the kind words!
     

    KevM

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2018
    That’s an awesome. And well thought out plan. The one suggestion I might offer is to incorporate some from of strength training if you can. I’m finding that to be a great benefit to my running.
     

    AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    Run Report: Warm and humid, "easy" run.

    5/7/2019
    Distance - 6.45 Miles
    Time - 0:51:04
    Avg Pace - 7:55/mi
    Avg Heart Rate - 153 bpm
    T + D - 82F + 67F = 149
     
    Last edited:

    AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    Run Report: Warm and humid again, took a little off to make it an ACTUAL easy run compared to yesterday, and HR shows (weather was basically identical). And the downfall to running at lunch, a reduction in pace = a reduction in distance, as I am limited by time.

    5/8/2019
    Distance - 6.29 Miles
    Time - 0:51:01
    Avg Pace - 8:06/mi
    Avg Heart Rate - 142 bpm
    T + D - 82F + 66F = 148
     
    Last edited:

    LSUlakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2015
    Hey everyone! I am starting this training journal to help me on my way to hopefully qualifying for the 2021 Boston Marathon.

    First a bit of personal history:

    I am not what you would consider an athletic person. I played little league when I was a kid, but wasn't very good, my most common position was pinch runner, haha. I did make the middle school track team in 6th grade (everyone made it) where I ran the 400 x 4 relay, in which our team never won. But that was the end of my running career as a child. After that, I was about as active as rock, and by 30 years old, it showed: On January 1st, 2016, I weighed in at 300 lbs.
    View attachment 399185

    It was my new year's resolution to lose some weight. Not just some weight, but I wanted to get to a normal BMI (Which for me is 170lbs). I didn't have a plan but I knew the basics, eat better, exercise more. I had dropped some weight in the past by walking/jogging, and using meal replacement shakes, and so I started it up again. And just like the previous times, it worked, but not that great. By the end of the year, I had lost 35 pounds.
    View attachment 399200

    January 1st 2017, I renewed my goal to lose more weight, but this time I turned it into a numbers game, I counted calories (used MyFitnessPal) and I started walking every day, and jogging 2-3 times per week. One year later, I was down 110 pounds total (75 more that year), and in the best shape of my life. I hit my original weight loss goal on July 4th, 2018, which also happened to be the first time I ran 13.1 miles without stopping to walk, with a time of 1:57:13.

    The past year has been filled with both training and learning a lot about running, both from the members here, as well as friends, and even research. In February I ran a half marathon in 1:36:00, and followed that up with a 1st Place overall finish in my first 10k!

    View attachment 399203

    All of this led me to decide that my next major life goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It will be tough, even gaining a 5 minute increase this year with my 35th birthday, I will need to run a sub-3:05:00 marathon to qualify. And I haven't even run one yet. But I know with training, dedication, pure stubbornness, I will get there.

    So with that, lets get the show on the road.

    DUDE!!!! THATS AWESOME!!!!!! You have had an amazing transformation and must feel amazing these days! I have also used MyFitnessPal to drop lbs and it's such a great tool. In the grand scheme of things you aren't to far away from having to run your goal marathon to BQ. I'm not 100% sure where you live, but what race are you planning on running to BQ? I am also 35, but turning 36 in November. I was a little disappointed when they lowered BQ times. Our age group went from 3:10 back to 3:05. and while 5 minutes does not seem like much, it's a lot at that distance. I am in the getting back to shape phase now so my goal is much further away, my goal is to get there by 40. I look forward to checking in on this thread for inspiration! One last thing, do not get discouraged if you dont make it on your first attempt. It's a very difficult task to achieve on the first time. I have a buddy who runs sub 2:40:00 marathons, and did not make it his first attempt. Remember to learn from that first one if you dont make it and keep pushing forward. You got this!!!!
     



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