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The Injured Athletes Club

May 9, 2019

Running coach Julie Sapper, half of the duo behind Maryland-based Run Farther and Faster, has finished the Boston Marathon 10 times. Three and a half weeks before this April’s race, she felt a strange pop in her knee during an easy run. Though the pain wasn’t severe, she knew it was something serious.

The next morning, she called the orthopedic specialist. A few days later, she had an MRI. The results confirmed her suspicions: She’d torn her meniscus. Instead of toeing the starting line in Hopkinton, she scheduled surgery for May 1. “I've made the tough decision to look at my body as a lot more important than a marathon,” she said.

Julie joined us today to discuss:

  • How she took time to feel her sadness and disappointment—then jumped into action
  • Why crying on her podcast (also called Run Farther and Faster) was a critical part of processing her emotions
  • Why she feels embarrassed, as a coach, when she gets injured—but how she works through that, and allows the role to ultimately uplift her
  • The thinking behind her decision to go to Boston anyway, and what spectating meant to her
  • What happened when a doctor told her she should stop running marathons
  • The advice she gives other runners about navigating the medical process: “I think we all need to take control of our own destiny”
  • What a previous serious injury—an Achilles tear—taught her about managing this one
  • The introspection and reflection she went through in the wake of the news
  • How she’s aiming for a PR in recovery, and what she’s doing to use the time she’s not spending training wisely
  • What she hopes to teach her children by persevering through injury and other challenges


Resources/links we mention:

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