Hanson/Brooks - Dot McMahan
Dot is the one person on the Hanson/Brooks squad that 5 years ago, you would think would never train and be competitive at the marathon distance. Throughout college, she was a competitive 800/1500 runner. After years of training and racing, Dot toed the line of the Chicago Marathon last year and qualified for the Olympic Trials marathon in her first attempt at the distance. Read on to find out about how Dot's training for the Boston Marathon has been going and to find out about what made her change her from the shorter track races to the longer road races.
RM: This is your second marathon. What have you changed up in your training for Boston that you didn't do before for your debut and why?
DM: I’ve put a few more miles in this time around and of course the workout paces are faster. With Chicago, Kevin and Keith were conservative with my race pace because the focus was to get an Olympic Trials qualifier. Having done that, I now have the luxury of pushing the pace and increasing the weekly mileage.
RM: What do you see as being the biggest hurdle with you having a great race at Boston? Why do you feel that way and how do you plan to overcome that hurdle?
DM: I think I have the same hurdle as most runners at Boston. You’ve got to keep the pace in check on those early downhills so the later uphills aren’t so physically demanding. Our coaches do a great job of preparing us for each marathon course. For Boston we’ve done quite a few downhill workouts and also workouts on more challenging versions of the Boston course.
RM: With all the different training that you have been doing for the Boston Marathon, what have you liked the most and what have you liked the least amount?
DM: My least favorite workouts were weather mishaps. Not much you can do but suck it up. My favorite workouts were on the track. Usually mile or 1k repeats. Speed is fun!!
RM: Being an 800/miler in college, did you ever see yourself running the Boston Marathon, let alone racing it? What made you change focus from running the 800/mile to running the marathons?
DM: I can honestly say that I didn’t have a desire to run the Boston marathon, or any other marathon, up until a few years ago. My perception had been that marathons were something “older” people did when they lost their speed. So I had thoughts of maybe doing a local marathon for my 40th birthday. But now I’m really glad I changed my tune. Distance running has become a new and much needed challenge for me. It seems that I became bored with middle distance running younger than I thought I would!
RM: What would have to happen for you to be able to walk away from the Boston Marathon satisfied?
DM: A couple things would make me extremely happy. Having my teammates Desi and Kelly get an OT qualifier is on the top of that list. It would be so remarkable to have our entire Hanson’s women's team qualified for the Olympic marathon trials. That would definitely be a stat we could be tremendously proud of. Secondly I’d love for Deena Kastor to win Boston. Obviously she’s the best American female distance runner right now. Her success would surely have a great impact on generations to come. As for me, I’d be satisfied with a PR.
Thanks for the great interview Dot! (Interview conducted by Nick Cordes)
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