Friday Thrive

Friday Thrive

Happy Friday! As with every week, Friday Thrive is a place where I like to discuss all things running, food, and life related each week. This week is focused on running – it is, after all, the week that the BAA released acceptance and rejection notices for the Boston Marathon! 


Boston Marathon registration for 2018 cut off at 3 minutes and 23 seconds – the largest cut-off in the past few years since they changed the standards.. I ran a 3:31:23 at CIM – which means I would have squeaked in by only 14 seconds if I had applied, despite running 3 minutes and 37 seconds faster than the qualifying time. (I did not apply to run Boston in 2018 for several reasons.) I could not imagine how disappointed and upset the ~5000 runners who qualified and applied but were not accepted. 

At this point, I think the BAA needs to change the Boston Qualifying standards again. Based on the trends of the past few years, soon only qualifiers with 5 minutes will be able to run the marathon. I would rather have to work harder to run a sub-3:30 than spend months wondering if 3:31 was good enough. What do you think?

Friday Thrive


Fall is a busy time of year – the start of school, busy weekends, and peak race training for most runners. My most recent post on Runkeeper’s blog shares some of my top tis for training on a busy schedule – including emphasizing quality over quantity. A hard 30-45 minute run can be just as good of a workout as a 60-minute run! 


Speaking of effective 30-minute running workouts, my newest weekly workout for Runkeeper provides exactly that – a hard run in 30 minutes. The Faster as You Go Fartlek begins at 10K pace, progresses to 5K pace, and finishes at mile pace. If you want a longer run, extend the warm-up and cool down or add one extra interval at each pace range.

Friday Thrive


I mentioned the Kirkland Oktoberfest in Monday’s post, but let me say again just how wonderful it is to have a drink by the water with my husband/best friend. September has been a go-go-go month, not just with birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries, but also in terms of training and work. Neither of us is a night owl or heavy drinker (we ended up giving away a good portion of our beer tickets) – the highlight was time on our weekend to just be present and unwind. And what better place to do so than on the shores of Lake Washington?

Friday Thrive


I approach many types of supplements with a mild skepticism, but beet juice (and tart cherry juice, but that’s tangential) is one that enough peer-reviewed studies affirm as a performance enhancer. And now, research is indicating that beet juice is not just good for the body – it is good for the mind. The most recent article in the Sweat Science column,  “Beet Juice Keeps Your Brain Young” examines recent studies that suggest the nitric oxide found in beet juice (and beets) improves connectivity of motor regions of the brain, particularly when combined with exercise. Whether you drink beet juice or eat whole beets, there is now even more of a good reason to add them into your diet! 

Friday Thrive


Do you think Boston should change their qualifying standards?
Do you like beets?

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12 Responses

  1. I was thinking that if I try to BQ (whenever I run a marathon again) I would aim for a 3:30. However, I turn 35 next year so I guess I could still aim for the 3:35. It almost makes the cutoffs seem arbitrary when you need to run so much faster than the qualifying time!

  2. I have mixed thoughts about BAA changing the qualifying standards. I think it is an “If you build it, they will come” issues–change the standards, and people will just run faster, and we will have the same issue again in a few years time, then the times will have to be adjusted again. I think it depends on how truly exclusive they want to make it, and also just WHAT they want the time to be a reflection of: is it a reflection of fitness? speediness? Just what exactly?
    But I think you are right in that they should update something to keep up with the times and the growing drive for running these races.

    1. I think there’s a point where not as many people will not run faster – we don’t see the same thing happening with NYCM’s qualifying standards (although they do have a lottery). I do also wonder about the gender equality – it honestly seems like a lot more women qualify than men, at least in the younger age groups. But 5000 runners is practically a marathon in itself!

  3. I have known quite a few friends who have missed the cut off for Boston over the years. Last year I had a friend miss it by 3 seconds. 3 SECONDS!!!!! It’s just crazy and I think no matter what it will always be crazy no matter what the qualification times are.

  4. I think BAA is hesitant to change the standards because fewer people would apply and they would risk not filling their field. And I’m sure they want to keep their field the same size ($$$$$). Maybe the standards have become a little too easy, but if they change them I think they’ll just run into the same problem soon enough, like Suz said. While it is frustratingly arbitrary, I’m not sure of a better way they could do it – as long as demand for this race is so much higher than capacity, there are going to be people who get turned away. And there’s just no way anyone can know in advance where the cutoff for those people is going to be.

    Maybe more emphasis needs to be placed on the fact that a BQ time guarantees you the *chance to apply*, not automatic entry into the race. At the end of the day it’s their race, and if people don’t like the way they run it, there are plenty of other marathons out there.

    1. I think it does need to be an emphasis that a BQ qualifies you to apply, not to run. It’s almost as if the BQ were the ACT/SAT and Boston was an Ivy League or something. Although I do think with their popularity, they do not have to worry about not filling their field! The race has been growing in the past few years, at the same time that the cutoff standards have been increasing.

  5. I’ve seen those little beet shots at Whole Food and always wanted to try one. I might pick one up this weekend and see how it is.

    I had a good friend get rejected from Boston. He really thought his 3 minute under time would get him in, and I don’t blame him. At this point if I ran a marathon I would shoot for 3:30 even if the actual qualifying time is 3:35 because we all know the margin grows every year. I feel like the big increase this year has brought up so many questions, people asking if downhill marathons are “fair”, stuff about all the cheaters that Marathon Investigation catches, etc.

    I feel bad for those who didn’t get in, but in the end, a BQ itself is a huge accomplishment. As someone who gets injured a lot, just being able to survive marathon training, make it to the start, and FINISH is something I have not been able to do.

    1. Last year I read there were 15 cheaters caught the week of the Boston Marathon – and who knows how many other ones caught earlier or never caught. The downhill question is a really interesting one – the Boston Marathon itself cannot count for world records because of its elevation loss, even though it is a hard course with plenty of elevation gain. The rise of downhill marathons (especially ones that are downhill the entire time and lose 2000-4000 feet) does coincide with more and more people qualifying for Boston. I think if that were to be examined, it could open up a can of worms: Would Boston be a Boston Qualifier? CIM? Or would only those extreme drop races not count?

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