The Usual Prospects: Kathy Kline
If you ask Kathy Kline, 44, how she found herself running the 2009 New York City Marathon, she’ll laugh and tell you that two glasses of wine will make you a little bit bold sometimes. Kathy started running again in 2008 (after running off and on in her post-college years) to lose some weight after having her second child. A friend told Kathy about NYRR’s 9+1 program. Kathy thought the idea of running a marathon was ridiculous but agreed to run nine races with her friend in an effort to keep motivated to continue to run. But, at some point in winter, Kathy found herself sitting at her computer when she received an email from NYRR detailing her guaranteed entry into the marathon for next year. Feeling emboldened by two glasses of wine, Kathy registered for the 2009 New York City Marathon.
Kathy is originally from Chicago. She moved to Brooklyn with her then boyfriend (and now husband) Pat Regnier in 1996. Kathy and Pat lived in Carroll Gardens until 1999 when they moved to London for two years for Pat’s job. Kathy and Pat returned stateside in 2002 to Fort Greene, where they continue to live with their daughter, Lucy, and son, Emile. Lucy, who just recently completed third grade, conquered a leg of PPTC's picnic relay in June. As Lucy completed her relay leg, she breathlessly told Kathy, "running's hard, but I ran the whole time!" We can't wait to see Lucy don the PPTC red singlet some day in the future!
Kathy followed through on her wine-emboldened marathon registration and ran the 2009 New York City Marathon. Unfortunately, Kathy struggled with the marathon distance in 2009 and again in 2010, but found her groove at the 2011 Suntrust National Marathon (now the Rock ‘n Roll DC Marathon), running full of awesome in 4:27:09. Kathy used her marathon training to set a then-PR at the Brooklyn Half two months later, running a 1:57:51. In the summer of 2011, just as she decided to join PPTC, Kathy began to experience pain in her hip. This pain would eventually require surgery for a femoral acetabular impingement (FAI, or more commonly known as the surgery that Alex Rodriguez had) and a labral tear.
Kathy worked very hard to recover from surgery and rehabilitate her hip. Kathy’s first race back after surgery was the 2012 Jingle Jog, and she cried tears of joy pinning her bib on her singlet. It’s clear that Kathy’s surgically repaired hip is doing well as Kathy set a PR at the recent Brooklyn Half, completing the course in 1:53:20. She’s hoping to go sub-1:50 at the Philly Half in November.
After undergoing surgery and being sidelined from running for six months, Kathy says she feels like a new runner. It was challenging to not be able to run, especially after running had become such a large part of her identity, but she accepted the challenge with grace and humility, cheering on friends in the 2011 New York City Marathon that she had been slated to run but was forced to defer because of her hip. Kathy now feels that she is more patient with herself. She runs by feel and makes sure the bulk of her miles are easy. Now, Kathy feels grateful to just be able to run and considers PRs secondary to the accomplishment of coming back from surgery.
Kathy offers some advice to new runners, especially those who may be a little older: “you can do this at any age – I started as an older runner, and I promise any run will get more pleasant after the first 30 minutes. Just keep going because you don’t know what you’ll find if you do.” And for those runners considering joining a running club, Kathy recommends group runs, particularly PPTC’s last ten miles of the marathon course, as a good way to familiarize yourself with PPTC.