fail to BQ over and over and it hurt!
2016- I was so close 3hrs 15min fail apart in the last 10K.
2015- Stay with the 3:10 pace group most of the race but fail apart the last six miles.( 3hrs 31 min)
2014- Felt good most of the race but just could not reach my goal of 3hrs 5min ( 3hrs 20min)
2013- Was my second marathon I thought this was going to be easy after I train hard boy was I wrong only 3hrs 33min
2012- My first Marathon I had no goal to BQ just want to prove my boss wrong and finish.
My friends and family must have got sick of me talking about boston and running a BQ. Even my co-workers at both Jobs know what a BQ is now! I thought to myself what will work? after all my boston dream is still alive and I have PR in all my Marathons except but one. What could help me to get over the hump and BQ. I knew that the problem was always the last six miles. My legs always just gave out and could not give me the power to finish strong!
I started my training a little early this year the last week of December my goal was to get in a little more miles. I have never been a 50-60 miles per week runner have run very low weekly miles 30 to 35 per week. Just don’t have time to put in a 60 miles a week when you have two Jobs and a mother to take care of. I went to strength runner a very popular blog about strength training and sign up for his team. Why not be part of a running group I thought.
I decided to use one of his running plans for moderate marathon runners.( that are very busy people) He tells his team you don’t have to follow it to perfection but just 80%. This was just a good blueprint to have without having a coach. I know how to train for a marathon after all every year except but one I have PR.
I knew the green smoothies movement was big because of JJ smith book ten day green smoothie cleanse and the simple green smoothies blog. My goal was to start a side coaching business so I did a lot of research on green smoothies. One day I came across a website powered by green smoothies and he talk about how he use green smoothie to do a experiment of some endurance athletes to see if green smoothies could help their performance. This caught my attention because it was a documentary.
He put them through this six week experiment where they could not change their diet but just drink a quart are two of green smoothies for six weeks. He conduct more tests with his medical team. After six weeks the runners who follow his green smoothies plan all was able to run light on their feet and break through the wall. I thought to myself maybe this will help me to run strong the last six miles of my marathon. This was the only reason that kept me from BQing in the past.
I than send him an e-mail and told him about my goal on trying to run boston and my experiment of following his plan. He say it’s simple just drink one are two quarts a day and this will help you to feel lighter on your feet. Why not give it a try I told myself?
My goal was to find the most cheapest way of doing this experiment without having to invest a lot of money in a high price blender. I don’t know if this going to work and spending $200 on a blender is not in my budget right now. I was in walgreens one day and saw a blender for $29.99 call the Magic Bullet Mini. I than went to amazon (same price) to look at some of the reviews and it was perfect for making smoothies. This is what I need! Great for a newbie green smoothie maker.
The next step was finding recipes he has several recipes that he gives you in an e-book. I really did not used them because I could not find the ingredients at save a lot. I did used one recipe from the ladies over at simple green smoothies about how to make your first green smoothie. All of my ingredients that I used doing this experiment came from save a lot. The store has fresh spinach, Kale, frozen blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, unsweet almond milk, walnuts. This is good for a newbie smoothie maker you just need some green leaf, fresh fruit, water, blender to start.
My first smoothie I made came from the simple green smoothie website. They call it the beginner luck green smoothie.
6 to 8 oz of water
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 peeled banana
Only 5 weeks left in my training my goal was to drink at least two cups of green smoothies a day. I did not have no specific time on when I drink the smoothies just made sure to drink two before the end of the day. I drink my first green smoothie on a saturday right before a 18 mile long run. I felt good after the finish there was no running cramps like in the past. Early on in my training I would get legs cramps on my long runs and had to slow down.
I drink two a day so my PH level went up after testing with PH Test strips. My long runs was getting more faster and I did not have dead legs at the end like in the past. There was one 20 mile long run I was able to pick up so much energy in the last 4 miles. Now I still felt sluggish from not getting sleep working two jobs. I always say nothing will give you more energy than rest. Sleep is important and your body needs it big time!
My worst long run of the year was when I hit the wall and could not finish a 23 mile long run. I have learn when my body is rested it can do some amazing things. I will give a full recap about the race in a post call Marcus 2017 spring marathon recap.
I will started with the last six miles which is the wall for most runners. I have run even throughout the race and felt a lost of energy for the first time. I look at my watch and saw my pace had went down big time from 7:05 to 7:34 miles. My self critic was saying here we go again the wall is going to defeat me. My race goal was set high so the BQ goal was still alive. My focus was to calm down and re-think my plan. Option A was 3hrs 4 min was out. What about option B of running 3hrs and 10 0sec which is my BQ for my age group. I knew this was still possible but I need to get my pace back up from 7:34 to at least 7:13 miles.
Since I focus on running a time goal fastest than my BQ this was money in the bank. (Still a little ahead of 3hrs 10 min time) My legs was not as fatigue like the past years. I know after 24 miles my next mile had to be a gamble means run it slow and try to preserve energy for a strong finish. This could have work against me it very hard for a non-elite runner to turn over his miles by almost a min this late in a race. Mile 26 would have to be run at least faster than 7:54 my last mile pace.
The last mile was run on inspiration from co-worker that died the week before and the energy I got from the green smoothies experiment. I say to my friend Ron let’s run home Ron let’s Run home Ron!!! I just push through the pain and the voice in my mind saying slow down to run my last mile 6:59. Everybody was shouting because it look like I was trying to win the race by my sprint at the end. I cross the line and look at my watch 3hrs 8min and pump my fist baby!!! Two guys gave me hi-five and I was pump after five full marathons Marcus has BQ! I told my friend Kevin you just got finish running the half I BQ baby!!! He say yeah!!!!! I could not wait to share this with all my facebook friends who have heard me talk about this for a long time.
This day I felt like a champion from FB likes to getting a free meal at Texas Roadhouse to getting a picture of me on the derby festival facebook page. Some people at one of my Jobs at university hospital say I saw you on that page. Wow baby!! I feel like a celebrity now. One hot nurse was at the race cheering on her boyfriend even took a picture of me and could not wait to tell me at work!
I felt so good and even forgot about my mother and dad being at mile 3 in the rain cheering me on! This was my day and my hard work payoff. Yes! If you put in the training believe in yourself and don’t give up dreams can come true. Most runners can only dream about running a BQ I did on April 29, 2017 – In Loving Memory Ronald “Big Rizz” Strokes.