My guest today is someone that recently finished running 166 miles as part of the MS Run the US 2021 relay team.
I am looking forward to learning a bit more about him, his running, and his MS Run the US experience.
Without further ado, let’s go a few easy miles with Chris Whitney today.
Chris Whitney is a self-described late bloomer regarding when he got into running.
He grew up playing baseball, basketball, and soccer.
His experience with running in high school was more participatory rather than taking it seriously.
Chris ran on both the track and cross country teams during his junior and senior years of high school.
Following high school, Chris experienced a lull with his running.
As an adult, he found that it was easy to find excuses not to run.
Finding His Stride
In the last one and a half years, Chris is finding his stride in running consistently and training well.
For many years, he actively avoided running for fear of failing.
At the time, Chris didn’t realize that he didn’t have to run hard all the time.
It was March of 2020 when Chris had no choice but to embrace the sport he had for so long avoided.
When the world shut down due to a pandemic, running was one of the few sports people could still do safely.
In his return to fitness, Chris embraced the mindset that bad days are inevitable.
As he gained fitness, he also gained confidence with his mindset and his training.
A Personal Cause
Chris was randomly scrolling through Instagram during the summer of 2020 when he came across MS Run the US.
His mother was diagnosed with MS in 1988 and therefore the cause was extremely personal.
Chris knew immediately that he had to be a part of the organization in whatever capacity that he was able.
At the time he applied to be on the relay team, the longest he had run was a half marathon.
Chris never questioned if he was capable of the challenge, he only questioned if he could find the time to train appropriately.
On day one of finding out he was officially accepted, he was ready to put in the work.
Committed To The Cause
Chris dove headfirst into training.
His 16-week program included 35 to 50-mile weeks with a lot of back-to-back long runs.
He also put a lot of emphasis on time on feet.
One month prior to the relay, Chris completed his first marathon.
The first marathon didn’t go exactly as planned, but it taught him that running can be unpredictable.
Chris learned that he would need to adjust to issues as they came up.
MS Run The US
Chris was excited to begin his portion of the relay but he also learned a few things along the way.
Day one began in Colorado and Chris found himself running faster than he should have.
It took Chris 3 to 4 days of running before he began to feel more dialed in.
The first few days included nauseousness and fatigue.
The challenge itself went as smoothly as Chris could have hoped for.
He completed his portion injury-free with a smile on his face.
As a member of the relay team, Chris was required to raise a certain amount of money for the organization.
Chris came from a background in media and therefore had numerous contacts to help share his story.
He felt fortunate to have that avenue to rely on while fundraising.
Chris found that with consistency he was easily able to raise the required amount.
He hopes to eventually run the relay again in the future, but in the meantime will continue to raise awareness for MS.
The running community and camaraderie are what keeps Chris returning to the sport.
“The hard is what makes it great.”
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