Guys! Think Qualifying for Boston is Easier As A Woman? Try It!

Hey, runner man! The new Boston Marathon qualifying standards are out, and yep, the little ladies still have to run way less fast than you do in order to get in. Are you sick and tired of women always having it easier? Have you joked about running a marathon in drag just to qualify for Boston the easy way?

Cool. You do you! (Just make your disguise really good, ok? Otherwise the online vigilantes may be onto you.)

Now before you can plan your BQ party extravaganza, hang on a sec. Because if you truly want to BQ like a woman, you can’t get away with just slapping on a wig and some makeup. There are substances that you might have an inkling exist in women’s bodies, substances that majorly affect our running as we cruise to that oh-so-easy BQ. Thatโ€™s right: hormones.

Hormones from hell.

Yep, join us for a quick trip back to sixth-grade health class as we learn how you can really, truly qualify for Boston like a girl.

Remember how they talked about where babies come from? Every 4 weeks or so, an egg will ripely wait in a Fallopian tube for your macho little swimmers to fertilize it (at least, that’s how it’s supposed to go; it doesn’t always quite work out, but you get my drift.) If the egg does not get fertilized, the woman’s body gets rid of it together with a lot of blood and other debris that was waiting around for baby-making purposes. That’s when we get our periods, go on the rag, bleed out of our whatevers. If it sounds like that kinda sucks for running, well, you’re not wrong. But if you’re truly committed to BQ-ing like a girl, it’s all part of the gig!

There’s no way we can give you the sheer joyful fun of five to seven days of bleeding down below (including abdominal cramping and backaches! All while maintaining a totally normal/professional demeanor!), but you can certainly experience the other joys of the monthly cycle caused by the hormones from hell. I’m talking about PMS: premenstrual syndrome. It makes running a different experience than the other weeks of the month. We get bloated, we get tired, our emotions and our digestive tracts can go haywire. Let’s not even talk about what it does to your skin.

I know I’m really selling it and you guys can’t wait to get started, so here are the main ways men can use PMS on their journey to BQ-ing like a girl. Remember, this is for at least one week a month, or 25% of your life! But we’re sure that will be no problem for a big, strong man like you.

  1. Get bloated. Got intervals on the plan for today? Not so fast, bud. First strap a waterbed to your chest. A twin-sized waterbed should do the trick, but a double, queen or king-sized waterbed will be more authentic. Is it kinda painful when it jiggles? Do none of your tops fit right? Will there be chafing in new and exciting places as a result? Excellent.
  2. Get sluggish. Yeah, that waterbed is heavy to lug around, but that’s not all. You need dead legs, as well. A couple of 5-lb ankle weights should do the trick.
  3. Get sad. How are you feeling? I mean, in your head? Sure, the waterbed and the ankle weights are a little annoying, but are you basically pretty happy? Yeah, you’re doing it wrong. Think of the saddest thing you can possibly think of (the state of the world? A world without beer? Bambi? It’s ok, I’ll wait.) Did you find something? Are you tearing up? Awesome.
  4. Get mad. Quick! Now think of something that will make you really, really angry! Then think about Bambi! Now get angry again! Bambi! Angry! Bambi! Angry! Spend a couple of hours like this and you’ll almost be in the right mental space for your run.
  5. Get pooping. Finally, contract a gastrointestinal bug or eat something you know you canโ€™t digest. Are you at the diarrhea stage yet? Gut’s screaming at you? For the full PMS experience you’ll need to do this for at least three days in a row. If you’re not pooping at least six times in a single morning, go back to the drawing board until you get it right!

Once you’re bloated, sluggish, emotionally labile and intestinally insecure, it’s time to get out for that run! Make it a long run with marathon and threshold pace to get the full experience. Afterwards, “refuel” with an entire bag of chips (the salt is a bonus bloat enhancer!) and revel in your constant, insatiable hunger and stellar mood for the rest of the day.

What do you say, guys? Can we sign you up to BQ like a girl? Ladies, did we forget anything?

I'm a 41-year-old living in Berlin, Germany. I run because I can't not run. I write about training, mental training, momming, and the odd rant.

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8 comments

    1. Yes!! This post started out as a PMS rant and then sort of evolved to encompass a BQ rant, but menopause definitely affects running as well. Can you believe men never have to deal with this crap?

  1. Bambi. Angry! Bambi! Angry! Thanks for the laugh girl. I’d say the raging hunger I get- I used to eat double the norm in the few days leading up to my period (salt. chocolate. more salt. oooh, and lots and lots o’ carbs)…maybe that’s what caused the tummy troubles?

  2. I ran Boston in 2016, then turned my attention to starting a family. My baby is now 9 months old and I am pretty lucky to feel like I might have a chance at qualifying again before his first birthday. But for what? I could register in the fall of 2019, run in the spring of 2020, and hope to make him a big brother by early 2021 at best. To me, the relatively soft qualifying standards for women donโ€™t even begin to make up for the strictness of not having the option to defer due to pregnancy. Some people can apparently run a marathon while pregnant, but you canโ€™t count on it. Some people bounce back quickly, but you canโ€™t count on it.