Last year, 896 Illinoisan runners represented at the 2018 Boston Marathon, so this year, we wanted to talk to a few of them heading out there in 2019. Each week, we’ll highlight a new athlete; from first timers to veterans, learn about their goals and training plans, and cheer for them on April 15!
- How did your running career begin?
In high school, I couldn’t understand why anyone could run for fun, but as soon as I raced a 5k in my 30s, the thrill of competing was an instant rush and I was hooked. I did my first full in 2011, where I bonked at 16 miles but came back determined to finish in 2012. I’ve now completed over 200 races for my career.
- Tell us about your journey qualifying for Boston.
I ran Boston in 2014. It was the year after the bombing, and you never saw a more secure city in your life than on that day. I finished in 3:06:50 and was disappointed I couldn’t break 3 hours. After running a PR at Milwaukee 2015 in 2:54:35, I thought I could do a similar result in Boston 2016, but instead I went back and had my worst marathon ever. I’ve now completed nine marathons, with my latest qualification coming this past April in Las Vegas at Mt. Charleston for round three.
- What does your training plan look like?
My training plan is very different than most marathoners as I am a low mileage trainer; my body breaks down and is more injury prone. The most I’ve ever run in a week training for a marathon is 52 miles. My base starts at just 25 miles a week. I run almost all of my miles at marathon pace – I find it difficult to ask my body to go 30 seconds faster or more per mile on race day when I’ve trained at a much slower pace. I’ve only done one 20 miler before each race but for Boston 2019, I plan on adding another one about four weeks out instead of the 16. I tend to be a lone wolf while running, no headphones or other distractions. I’m in sales so I welcome the peace.
- What are your goals for the 2019 race?
Boston is a special race and I’m doing it a third time as I’ve yet to figure out the right way to run it. I’d like to go sub 2:55 as my last three marathons are all in that range, but mostly, I want to avenge my disaster from 2016. Weather is the biggest factor in how a marathoner fares, so here’s hoping 2019 won’t be like 2016 or 2018.