Today we are hosted by Dr. Eileen Gallagher who is joined by Vicki Hunter.
Vicki grew up on the East Coast, displaying a competitive spirit from an early age. Tetherball and other sports were not merely sources of enjoyment, but opportunities for her to strive for victory. Throughout her schooling, Vicki engaged in various athletic pursuits, including tennis, basketball, softball, and lacrosse. After completing her education, Vicki sought a competitive outlet and ventured into short-distance triathlons. However, her deepest affinity lay with running, leading her to focus on running races and eventually transitioning to the demanding marathon distance.
In 1985, Vicki's move to Boulder, Colorado for graduate school exposed her to the world of elite running. Fortuitously, she crossed paths with numerous professional runners who graciously mentored her. Until then, Vicki had been oblivious to the existence of the Olympic Trials. Nevertheless, she resolved to qualify for the marathon trials, undeterred by the fact that her best marathon time was 3:50, over an hour slower than the qualifying mark. Through dedication, countless miles, and eighteen months of unwavering commitment, Vicki accomplished her goal in September 1987. At the Twin Cities Marathon, she clocked an impressive time of 2:49:24, securing her spot in the 1988 Olympic Trials Marathon. This qualification was a remarkable feat, but it also initiated a journey of relentless ambition and competitiveness that yielded unforeseen repercussions.
In 1997, Vicki married and became pregnant. Tragically, at fourteen weeks into her pregnancy, she was involved in a single-car accident on September 11.
The accident inflicted severe injuries upon her, including ten broken ribs, a broken sacrum, a broken pubic symphysis, a collapsed lung, a punctured liver, and three skull fractures resulting in a brain injury. The critical first forty-eight hours after the accident determined their survival, and the medical professionals acknowledged that Vicki's physical fitness played a pivotal role. She spent six weeks in the hospital and eventually returned home, albeit confined to a wheelchair. The ensuing five months were dedicated to regaining her strength, driven by the desire to ensure a healthy delivery for her baby. Vicki approached her due date as she would a race, constructing a recovery plan that encompassed endurance and strength training.
On March 12, 1998, Jade was born, precisely on her due date.
Vicki has since devoted her life to discovering the most effective recovery methods, and one of her true passions lies in sharing these insights with as many individuals as possible. She upholds a principle of personal experience, never recommending anything to her clients that she has not undertaken herself.
Vicki holds her Ph.D. in Political Science and is now retired from The University of Colorado where she taught for 23 years. She is a certified Foundation Training Instructor, Level I and II as well as a Certified Lydiard Running Coach, Level II. Her book, “Running and Returning: Seeking Balance in an Imperfect World,” was published in 2022 and recounts her journey in an effort to help others learn from her experiences.