MEMBER: Christine Foley
Name: Christine Foley
Hometown: Sweetwater, NJ
High School: Oakcrest HS in May’s Landing NJ
College: Drexel University (no teack team, did run club track where I started running half/full marathons... also played rugby)
Occupation: Physical Therapist
I have run 10 marathons and around 40 half marathons since 2007 when I started running distance (ran in HS but primarily the 800, 400H, and 4x400).
I had my son on January 14th 2019 and ran the Rothman 8k at 8 months pregnant.
By: Kevin Brandon (03/26/19)
Christine, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?
I came to Philly (from south Jersey to attend Drexel in 2006 and have been here since. In 2010 I met my husband, Joe, while running with Drexel’s running club. We had our first son, Liam, this January and he signed up to keep himself motivated to run... and here I am.
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
If you really want me to start from the beginning... I ran middle school cross country. I was one of our top runners, but usually took advantage of being out of sight from any spectators/coaches and walked. The one time I took a race seriously, I was in the lead for the first 1.25 miles of the “South Jersey Middle School Championship” 1.5 mile course, but then had to stop to throw up because I had McDonalds for breakfast on the way to the meet. I think I ended up in 7th place or something like that... and continued to throw up off the top of the bleachers when I was done. Flash forward to high school and I had been running to stay in shape for soccer, but joined the track team Sophomore year after I had to take some time off from contact sports due to a spinal fusion (due to a pretty severe case of scoliosis). I wasn’t able to do a fall sport that year, but in the winter joined indoor track. Come fall I made the softball team, but quit after tryouts because standing in the outfield I was watching the track team and thought that looked like more fun. In high school I started off running the 800 and 4x400 for sophomore and junior year. Coach tried to make me do the mile, but I admittedly didn’t try very hard bc I though anything over the 800 was too far. Senior year I was finally persuaded ed into trying the 400 hurtles (I was terrified my lanky uncoordinated self would end up in a mangled pile on the track) and actually went on to win counties in that and the 4x400. The next year I went onto Drexel for college and tried to find the club soccer team, but somehow ended up finding the rugby team instead. Despite my Dad’s best efforts to convince me to continue to find the soccer team, I played rugby for Drexel for 3 years (only a broken pinky finger to prove it) and during that time also started running with Drexel’s track club. My sophomore year I ran a half marathon and junior year moved up to the full (funny how in HS the mile was too far). Almost 40 half marathons and 10 marathons later, here I am. I also got a husband out of the deal ;)
What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
I ran the the Philly half at 22 weeks pregnant, the Rothman 8K at 8 months pregnant and Frostbite 5 mile at 5 weeks postpartum (I gave birth to my son, Liam, on January 14, 2019 and he’s my biggest accomplishment so far). Obviously none of these were fast times, but just being able to run at these times has made me appreciate my body and the ability to run so much more!
How about a not-so-great moment?
After running 1-2 marathons a year when I first started running distance, I haven’t run one since 2014. I have signed up for multiple, but ultimately have moved down to the half due to some injuries and just lack of desire to be doing 20 mile runs on a weekend. Also with my job (see question 8 below), I have realized that running so many miles a week or running a PR are not the most important things in my life (and after being a little too obsessed with this for a few years) just needed a break.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
Now that we have a kiddo, I have re-found my running desire. Never would have thought this would be the case, but getting a little “me time” to clear my head has helped with the transition to being a new mom. Plus, it feels like an major accomplishment when Joe and I can both get all our runs for the week in, feed/cloth the kiddo, and ourselves!
Preferred pre and post-race meals?
Nothing I swear by, but over the years I have learned to stick with something you know and not to eat too much too late the night before the race. See above story on why McDonalds right before a race is a bad choice. My second marathon I went out to eat late the night before and “carb loaded” with a HUGE plate of pasta... ended up in a porta potty at mile 5... but this was also my PR race so maybe I should do this again?!
Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?
I am a physical therapist for Penn’s inpatient rehab (in between hospital and home when a patient is initially not strong enough to go home). I work primarily with patients who have had medically complex hospital courses and have spent weeks to months in the hospital, as well as patients who have had spinal cord injuries.
What inspired you to pursue this field?
I mentioned before that I had a spinal fusion in high school, but strangely the only time I saw a physical therapist in the recovery process was initially in the hospital to get me up and moving (and I may have cursed her out and successfully avoided getting out of bed the first day... I blame the pain medication). I had wanted to do something in the medical field and this just appealed to me. After 6 years of school and 7 years in the field, the only thing I don’t like about my job is having to leave Liam when I return from maternity leave in two weeks. Everyday I am reminded of all the things in life that we shouldn’t take for granted and how quickly they can be taken away. But, seeing patients make huge successes and being part of the team to help them succeed is something I’ll never get tired of.
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?
I think I might have mentioned my awesome 10 week old, Liam, at least once. I have become “that mom”... I bought myself a “mom camera” when I found out I was pregnant and started taking a picture a day of him and today was day 70... at this rate the poor kid might be forced into this until he is 18.