Today’s guest and I have shared a few thousand miles together over the years.
I know her as only running friends do and I look forward to seeing where today’s conversation goes.
Let’s get this conversation started as I share a few more miles with my friend Kate Morgan.
Kate Morgan has always liked the idea of being a runner.
While in high school she tried for a brief period but ultimately found it boring.
Occasionally Kate would join her dad and hop into a 10k untrained.
At the time she wondered why the race was so hard, but looking back it was clearly her lack of training.
Running didn’t enter her life at all again until after her first child was born.
When her son was around a year old a neighborhood friend was putting together a fundraising team to run a 5k.
Kate wanted to be a part of the team and prove to herself that she could not feel awful while completing the race.
After that 5k, running was in her life for good.
A Humbling Sport
Kate has always been an extremely active person.
Even throughout her pregnancies, she remained active for as long as possible.
In the early days of running, it blew her mind just how hard running on the road was.
She frequented the elliptical machine at the gym, but it didn’t seem to translate over to running.
The challenge running provided was enough to make her dig in and want to get better.
It didn’t take Kate long to realize that the longer she stuck with it, the more she enjoyed it.
As a new mom, she also enjoyed the time she got to herself while running.
Quitting Was Not An Option
Soon after completing her first 5k, Kate was asked by her same friend if she wanted to train for a half marathon with her.
The idea to run a half had never crossed her mind, but Kate never turned down a challenge.
Kate followed an online plan and the training had gone well.
As race day approached, her friend backed out of the race, but for Kate quitting wasn’t an option.
Crossing the finish line of her first half marathon was a moment that Kate will never forget.
From there, her running progression slowly built over time.
Kate prefers to be prepared when approaching her goals.
She did research, slowly built her mileage base, and went into races prepared to ensure she had a positive experience.
Life As A Mother Runner
Kate was content to stick with the half-marathon distance for a while.
She did love to race and did them frequently prior to having children.
Becoming a mother has undoubtedly changed the relationship Kate has with running.
Kate is a mother to 3 and each pregnancy has been different in regards to running.
She learned very quickly to listen to her body and do what felt good.
Kate chose to view postpartum running as a new starting point.
By only looking forward and not where she used to be, it helped her keep a positive mentality with running.
According to Kate, it wasn’t always easy and she failed at times, but she kept moving forward.
Leading By Example
As Kate was growing her family, she found that she had to get more creative with her running.
Her kids frequently joined her on runs either in a stroller or on bikes.
Running while pushing a stroller was incredibly hard, but Kate has fond memories of those days.
Her kids don’t remember a time when she wasn’t a runner.
They view running to get places as normal rather than always having to get in a car.
Kate believes in not forcing her kids to run, but just wanting them to see their mom and dad happy and active.
Going The Distance
Kate ran her first marathon in Miami when her second child was around 18 months old.
Per usual Kate fashion, she followed a plan with some adjustments and set a realistic time goal.
The marathon was her magic unicorn experience and went better than she could have imagined.
Kate had trained to run her second marathon, but 3 weeks prior to the race she found out she was pregnant.
Complications with her pregnancy required bedrest and she was forced to miss the race.
Following the birth of her third child, Kate completed her second marathon which she described as a trainwreck.
Her redemption marathon occurred just 6 months later where she also managed to run a Boston Qualifier (BQ).
When Kate ran her BQ it was 4 minutes under the standard required for her age and gender.
Ultimately she missed getting into Boston by less than a minute because it was the year that qualifying standards were tightened.
Kate was torn between never thinking Boston was attainable with being so close and not trying again.
That is when she made the decision to hire Denny as her coach in an effort to squeeze out the extra few minutes.
The process was long and often grueling.
There was more than one point at which Kate questioned the point.
Kate ran a marathon in January of 2022 which ultimately qualified her for Boston 2023.
In hindsight, she realized the BQ wouldn’t have meant as much if it had come easier.
Boston 2023 represented years of working towards one goal and not giving up.
Heading into the race, Kate chose to approach it as a celebration and not focus on her time.
Typically, she prefers smaller races and at times the sheer size and noise were overwhelming.
Kate chose to embrace the crowds because they are what really makes Boston special.
Per usual, Boston race day weather wasn’t ideal and poured around mile 16 as Kate was running.
She would love to go back eventually if given the opportunity, but she’s not in a rush either.
There are a lot of other places in the world that Kate would love to travel to and/or run at.
MS Run The US
Once Kate had run Boston, it was the closing of a chapter.
She was unsure of what her next goal would be but knew she was done chasing times for a bit.
Kate is an avid listener of the Diz Runs Podcast and had heard a lot about MS Run The US.
In her mind, she had always been a “selfish” runner, mainly setting goals for herself.
Kate knew she wanted to give back to running what running has done for her.
She went back and forth with whether or not to submit an application to the organization.
Life is always going to be busy and there would never be a perfect time to do it.
Kate got the push she needed and was offered a spot on the 2023 MS Run The US relay team.
The mileage required of Kate wasn’t the scariest part to her, it was the fundraising requirement.
Each runner must commit to raising a minimum of $10k.
Kate had no experience raising that amount of money, but she knew failing wasn’t an option.
The organization has plans and helps each runner find ways to meet their fundraising goal.
Kate chose to approach it by chipping away at it in small amounts rather than getting overwhelmed by the larger goal.
One of her most successful fundraisers was a parent’s night out for Valentine’s Day.
She opened her house the Saturday before Valentine’s Day to numerous children and had a suggested donation amount.
Kate found that leaning into what works for her helped her find success.
Heading Into The Unknown
Kate is mentally prepared heading into her relay segment with the mindset that failure is not an option.
The thing she is most excited and nervous about is being away from her kids for so long.
For the period of time, while she is running, she will only be responsible for herself.
The run will be what it will be and Kate will make the most of whatever happens.
Running and motherhood have taught Kate that life is not linear.
Plans frequently go out the window.
Running has reminded Kate that she is a person outside of being a wife and a mother.
She has reclaimed her sense of self through the act of running.
Mentioned In This Episode:
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