The Run Down - The RunVermont Blog

Why I Run: Katrina Whyman

by jen on December 3, 2013 · 0 comments

in Why I Run

Mile 26 at the 2012 KBVCM

Mile 26 at the 2012 KBVCM

Meet 30 year old Katrina Whyman from Windsor, Vermont …. LOVE her picture!

At some point in my mid-20’s I started considering myself to be a runner. I had never participated in team sports while in high school, nor had I exercised on a regular basis for the first 20+ years of my life. Somewhere along the way, I began working out and discovered that I actually enjoyed running. At first, it was just a way to get into shape. Then, it became a lifestyle. I ran my first marathon at age 27 (the 2011 KVCM), and even though it was the most physically and mentally demanding experience of my life, I had been bit by the marathon bug. I wanted more. After finishing that first marathon, I set a goal of qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon by the time I turn thirty years old. This would be an enormous challenge, considering it took every iota of strength and determination to even complete that first marathon – and my finishing time was four hours and forty-seven minutes. I would have to cut an hour and twelve minutes off my marathon time to qualify for Boston.

            For the next six months I continued training; my speed and endurance improving at a steady rate. This lasted until mid-January when I went cross-country skiing and took an unfortunate fall, landing in a position that caused a medial meniscus tear in my right knee. By the time I had surgery to remove the injured portion of my meniscus, it was late February. I was registered to run the 2012 KVCM in three months. The surgery was successful, and I diligently worked at rehabilitating my knee – and the rest of my body which was quickly losing strength and form due to two months of very limited physical activity.

            Needless to say, I was unable to train properly for the upcoming marathon, but I didn’t back out. Marathon day arrived, and instead of having a goal time to finish in, I was right back to where I started a year ago – with the sole objective of just crossing the finish line. It was incredibly frustrating, and I had pretty well given up on any chance of qualifying for Boston in the coming eighteen months before I turn thirty. Around mile seventeen I hit a wall, and my knee was aching and swelling. I stopped and began walking, battling the decision to drop-out of the race.

            As runner by runner passed me on the course, I realized I was not alone. Every single person running the race was overcoming some sort of personal obstacle, and pushing forward. Talking myself out of defeat, I began running again. I had come nearly eighteen miles on this knee – what was eight more? Somehow I reached mile marker twenty-six. This was it – all that remained was running through the finishing chute and crossing the line. As I ran past the crowds of race spectators and volunteers, all the pain coursing through my body dissipated. I ran faster and harder than ever before, and a smile spread across my face as I neared the finish line. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the time clock – I had set a new personal record, finishing in four hours and thirty minutes – seventeen minutes faster than a year before.

            Since then, I have continued to train and work through the injuries that are par for the course when you are an endurance athlete. I have learned how the power of positive thinking can immensely influence physical determination and perseverance. Four months after finishing the second marathon, I ran a third and finished in three hours and fifty-two minutes – a whopping thirty-eight minutes faster. This year, I finished the VCM in 3:38:17 – missed qualifying for Boston by 3 minutes and 17 seconds! I improved on my 2011 KVCM finish time by 1 hour 10 minutes. One month before my 30th birthday I ran my 5th marathon in Hampton, NH! I am more confident than ever in achieving these lifetime goals.

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