Follow Kate Murphy on Twitter.
She’s the most positive person you’ll come across who’s dealt with injuries that have limited her from doing the thing she’s loved for the past two years.
Two years ago, the Lake Braddock (VA) High School runner was one of the most sought after recruits in the country. She was a three-time NXN qualifier and a four-time state champion in Virginia whose 3K best of 9:10.51 at the USA Junior Championships in 2016 ranked third all-time in the event–at the time–and earned her a spot on Team USA at the IAAF World U20 Championships. Her 4:07.21 in the 1500m that same year won her a title at the adidas Boost Boston Games.
But injuries, and more specifically popliteal artery entrapment syndrome, began to hold Murphy back in her senior outdoor season in high school, and then followed even after she enrolled at the University of Oregon. She had surgery to “remove the popliteus muscles in both of her knees, along with a section of her right calf muscle” last September.
“I don’t think I was pain-free for almost any of the year,” Murphy told Johanna Gretschel for a Q & A on MileSplit. “I got to a point that I was so used to it. That was a big issue with me because I love running and I feel like it makes me feel good, so if I’m in pain, I’m ignoring it.”
It’s been a hard road to battle through so much turmoil, but Murphy often came out positive. Just check her Twitter. Her posts are equal parts thoughtful, uplifting and inspiring.
In August, she told Gretschel that she thought she would get her chance in an Oregon singlet.
Murphy had to come to a decision, though. And on Tuesday, in an emotional and powerful message, she revealed she had to come to a very hard decision recently.
What’s tougher is that Murphy never got to compete for Oregon.
But as noted in her message on Facebook, while her collegiate racing career might be over, her career isn’t.
Murphy knows there will come a time when she’ll be running again.
Back in August, when the Oregon sophomore completed the Q & A for MileSplit, she had this tip for anyone dealing with a similar circumstance.
“A tip for anybody coming back from injury is–in high school, it’s a little bit different. I would always get annoyed at my coaches for holding me back from doing too much. In college, it’s more important–if you’re really ambitious–it’s important to hold yourself back.
“It’s really easy to get injured when you’re coming back from a prior injury and I feel like most people know that, but I got to the point where I was like, ‘I really don’t care, I want to run again.’
“So it’s important to be patient,” she said.