The Run Down - The RunVermont Blog

Kiersten Hallquist – KBVCM Rookie Applicant

by Jess Cover on January 27, 2014 · 16 comments

in This Rookie's Ramblings (2014)

I have torn the ACL and meniscus in both of my knees, separately. That means I’ve learned to walk twice, and spent 18 months in Physical Therapy – at least 18 months; I’ve definitely put added a few since I’ve taken up long-distance running.

Some people would argue that I have no business registering for a full marathon (especially my mom).

I casually dropped the idea of running a half during a PT session at ApplyTree Bay Physical Therapy a couple of years ago, and my physical therapist (Megan is incredible, and totally tolerant/accepting of stubborn asses like myself) said she could see me doing it with proper training and careful attention to the slightest aches and pains. Since that conversation, I’ve run three half marathons without serious injury. My first one was amazing – crisp, cool air – I ran it in 1:45 and didn’t even hobble the following day.

Dad walking me from finish line of my first half.

Dad walking me from finish line of my first half.

I’m not going to lie, Megan has held my hand for parts of the training – aggressively rubbing out injuries with these metal torture tools called Graston Technique instruments, zapping me with e-stim, playing with ice versus heat, and teaching me a hundred different strength building and stretching exercises. I’m sure some of these are all too familiar to other “broken folk.” When people ask why I’ve even considered registering for a full, I respond, “I have to do this before I fall apart completely.”

I can’t stop. I usually run without music because I love the time to self-reflect – to hear the consistent pounding of my feet on the pavement, stomping out the stress and craziness of the day. It’s a meditative practice; there’s no doubt about that. Running is the perfect gift to myself. I recently started exploring how to incorporate meditation into my runs; a number of Buddhist teachers have written countless pages on how running can be the perfect practice.

I know with proper guidance, support, and careful attention to the aches and pains, I can do this marathon. Up until my first half, I must admit, I thought I was destined for careful, drab, indoor exercise – ellipticals, stationary bikes, and rowing machines. I tested the waters with a handful of halves, and now I’ve set my sights on the full. I know it is going to be an uphill battle, with more than a handful of visits and friendly lectures from Megan, but I’m a stubborn, determined, Marathon Rookie.

Growing up, I remember Ben & Jerry’s and picnic blankets, as we waited for my dad to join us after crossing the Vermont City Marathon finish line. After injuring myself, we never would have thought I would be the one out of the three kids following in his tracks. I look forward to joining my family at the picnic blanket with a medal around my neck on May 25th.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Derek Hallquist January 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Go Sis! You inspire me. I hope I can do something like this someday!

2 Joey Kelley January 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm

I want to hear more! You can do it!

3 Audree Frey January 28, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Stubborn and determined are the perfect attributes to get you across that finish line – you go girl! :)

4 Bill Jeffries January 28, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Great blog – can’t wait to hear more!

5 Bert Johnson January 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Run run run! Congratulations on what you’ve already accomplished — the VCM will be added to the list soon, I’m sure!

6 Rachel Cronin January 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Woo! Run it out, Kiersten!!

7 Amy Hopkins January 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Can’t wait to train with you and watch you succeed in the VCM!

8 Jill H January 29, 2014 at 2:39 am

So proud, sister! Go get ‘em

9 M. Long January 29, 2014 at 7:16 am

Go get ‘em, Kiersten!

10 Barb B January 29, 2014 at 9:32 am

Nice job, Kiersten. You go, girl!

11 David Hallquist January 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm

You are an awesome runner! Veteran marathoners be scared!

12 Katherine Hackett January 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Do it for all the other torn ACLs out there!

13 Stirling peebles January 29, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Go Kiersten Hallquist

14 Kara Rule January 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Yeah girl!!!

15 Mary Val Palumbo January 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I remember you skidding across the basketball court on those knees. Glad they healed well and will carry you across the finish line!

16 Becky Savage February 1, 2014 at 9:12 am

Way to go Kiersten! We’ll be cheering you on at the finish line!

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