The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-367 – Matt Dunlap – BQ

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4367.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends, and welcome to episode 4-367 th3e new summer, of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Here we are in June.  Today we are going to chat with Matt who qualified for Boston recently.  Not to be entirely self-promotional, but he used the Marathon BQ plan from my book, “Marathon BQ – how to qualify for Boston in 14 weeks with a full time job and a family” that recounts my own journey to a Boston qualifier. 

It fascinates me to listen to these folks who have run the plan and qualified.  It’s wonderful to me that it actually works for them.  When you write down something like that there is always the worry that it has nothing to do with the plan.  Somehow it is just you and your genetics or your work ethic or pure chance tipping those scales. 

So – congratulations to Matt for putting in the work and reaping the rewards.  Welcome to Boston. 

This book continues to have legs, especially in April for obvious reasons, in both the e-book and audio book form.  I’m thrilled to help people direct their energy and strength in a way that enables their goals.  It’s very fulfilling. 

I am going to look into spinning up a webinar course version of it where I would step through the chapters over 12 or 13 weeks in a live webinar.  If that’s something you’re interested in let me know.  I’ll try to put the registration up on – which I own shortly. 

Should be fun and I’ll learn something and help some folks.  I’m not a webinar rookie.  I do them for work many times.  If you’ve listened to this for a awhile you might have heard me talking about giving presentations, or presentation skills or such.  It’s one of the things I’ve worked on my entire career.  I think I’m up to a B+ level now. 

I gave a presentation this week in Boston this week at a startup conference. It was a room with maybe 100 souls in it.  It was a blast!  I had a 5-minute slot to give a pitch and demo.  It used to be that I would be flop sweating having to stand up in front of a room but I love it now.  If you prepare well and practice your craft you can turn that nervous energy into performance energy.

I met a bunch of cool startups too.  At least one I’m going to get on the podcast.  It’s a sensor garment that you wear and it tracks all your vitals and your haptic response.  I’m definitely going to wear test that thing. 

I’m 16 days into my 5 at 5 project.  This project is where I get up at 5 AM and run 5 miles every day.  I write a quick blog about it, daily, with a photo, if you want to follow along and see what’s rattling around in my brain.  It’s over at my RunRunLive website. 

It’s fun. I take Buddy the old wonder dog with me for the first 2 miles on the trails then I go back out for another loop to make up the 5.  He seems to be handling it well.  On the weekends I still get out but I freelance a bit, throwing in some longer runs with Ryan on Sunday. I’m doing as much trails as possible.

For Section one and section two today we are going to give you my Kettletown 50K race report.  It was, of course, close to 20 minutes long, so I spilt it into two pieces and bookended the interview with it.  Like a serial, right?  Build some tension and anticipation, right?


I read too much.  Really.  When you read too much the words start to seep out of your brain like coffee through the seams of a carboard cup.  They find their way out. 

On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to yet another Blue Apron or Hello Fresh ad.  As a matter of fact, stop being lazy and go shop for your own food.  We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio.

I’ll also remind you that I have started raising money for team Hoyt for my 2017 Boston Marathon.  I would appreciate any help you can give.   The fundraiser is on Crowdrise (so I don’t have to touch any of the money) it goes straight to the Hoyts and supports acquiring equipment and supporting others who want to participate like the Hoyts do.

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

Yes, we are still working on setting up the separate podcast feed for the member’s content.  Most recently I recorded and uploaded the first chapter of the zombie novel I’ve been writing for 30 years. 

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Section one – Kettletown 50K race report part one -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Matt Dunlap

Matt Dunlap
Age 44 from St. Peters, Missouri.  Husband and father of two.  I completed the marathonBQ plan while working full time for the Boeing Co. in St. Louis.  My background as an athlete:  Never did run in school.  I was a baseball kid.  Started running in my 30s to lose weight picked up over the years.  Started running long distance in 2016 and completed the BQ plan in May of 2017 (2nd marathon).  Looking forward to my first trip to Bean Town and running the Boston Marathon in 2018!


Here’s the first email I got from Matt when he crashed in his first Marathon try…

Just finished listening to your Marathon BQ book today.  I am SO motivated right now, and ready to start training, but unfortunately it's not time... yet...
A little more background about myself:
I'm 44 (as of yesterday)
I've been a casual runner for over ten years.
Ran my first race (10k) last 4th of July and been wanting "more" ever since...
Ran a couple more 10k's this year, then decided to "try" a marathon which took place 8 days ago.  My intention when I first committed to it was to just be able to say I did it.  I had been listening to your podcast all the while (for over a year).  I used a marathon plan that came with my runkeeper app.  I had no intention of qualifying for Boston; it was never on my radar.  But when I got several weeks into my training, and only had trouble hitting my workout goals when it was 90+ degrees out there, I started to think "maybe I could actually qualify for Boston?"  I worked my butt off, never missed a workout for the last 10 weeks of that plan (plan goal was a 3:30 marathon).  I knew that my gps was cutting a lot of my corners off as a ran my routes and wondered exactly how much better my "real" pace was than what I was reading on my phone (and/or watch).  I told myself on race day, I would just settle into a comfortable effort level and see what happens...
I am sending you three images that will basically tell you the story of the race.  When you see the pics, from mile three and from mile 25, I'm sure you'll get the big picture, along with the image that shows my split times.  In order for me to get a BQ, I had to finish in less than 3:15.  I had it in my grasp but it slipped away in the last 10k.  That's a bit of irony because for years I have always topped out at 6 miles or so on my workouts.  But this last 10k of the marathon kicked my ass (last 3 miles were 9+ min/mi).  Now I'm on a mission and I can't wait to get to the track!  I just need to decide if I'm going to try a spring or a fall race next year.
I love this book!
-matt dunlap in St. Peters, MO

Here is the facebook chatter on the MArathonBQ group from Matt.


Matt N Kim Dunlap BQ attempt down the drain. Race cancelled due to weather.

Finished 3:20:50 ish... more details to come. Everyone ran extra 4/10 mile because the first turn wasn't marked! Hopefully 4 minutes is enough to get into Boston.

Matt did you stick to the plan note for note? Referring specifically to the three weekly 5 mile recovery runs


Matt N Kim Dunlap Yes, I followed it almost exactly as written. I did improvise some workouts though during the extra four weeks after the first race was cancelled. I lost about 8 lbs during the process too.

Matt N Kim Dunlap When I got into the 20 plus mile runs, I started around 8 min miles for 5 or 6 miles then gradually increased to my goal pace of 7:2x. One day I felt really good and kept going to 26.2 and averaged 7:33. That was three weeks before the race

Section two – More Kettletown


Ok my beautiful, fit and fast friends.  Do you have the grit to get through a training plan, stay healthy and hit that staring line with gusto?  Maybe, maybe not, but you have hung in there through the end of episode 4-367 of the RunRunLive podcast.   Congratulations. 

Did you see that lady from Oklahoma who won Comrades?  Great article.  She says she has 2 craft beers during every race.  Not 3, not 1, 2.  That’s enough to get her head and body in the zone.  I wonder why that’s not considered doping? 

I tagged a brief audio at the end of the show from Duane who is looking for people to go run an eclipse run with him.  Once in a lifetime event.

Next week I’m going to have a chat with Julia who has a very interesting story of how life changed for her and she ended up finding herself in endurance running.

I also am in conversations with the anxiety guy, Tim, to do an interview about the interconnection between exercise and anxiety. 

I’m going to keep curating older episodes onto the members feed as well.

Avocados.  Do you like avocados?  Avocados are interesting.  They are native to the Americas.  They are actually considered a berry with a single seed botanically.  I like avocados.  I have one in my salad most days.  Healthy fat. 

A couple interesting things. First, avocados should not exist.  They evolved the way they are to be eaten whole by megafauna.  Wooly mammoths, giant sloths and wooly rhinos.  The megafauna would eat the avocado in one big gulp, swallow them and drop them with a bit of fertilizer some distance off.  That was the avocado survival strategy.   Doesn’t work well when all the megafauna are gone.

But along came humans and took a fancy to the poor avocado.  We cultivated them and developed them into the current smaller seed, lots of meat form they currently have. 

Did you know there is now an injury called ‘avocado hand’ that is so common among millennials that it is an official medical term?  It’s when you cut your hand trying to open an avocado with a knife. 

You can see how to open an avocado on YouTube.  I use a modified approach where I cut it into 4 sections, then separate, then the skin just peels off like a ripe banana. 

Avocados have a perfect ripeness you have to catch them at.  You want them to be ripe but not mushy.  When you buy them leave 1 or 2 out on the counter to ripen, leave the rest in the fridge. They ripen fast.  If it gets ripe and you’re not ready to use it, stick it in the fridge. 

Also, if you don’t want to eat the whole think you can put lemon juice on the exposed flesh of the leftovers to keep them from going brown in the fridge. 

That’s it.  From mammoths to you.  Everything is connected. 

I’ll see you out there.


MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4367.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT





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