Corinne Guimont: Managing asthma through running takes patience and persistence


Corinne Guimont has always been active – spin classes, weight lifting, yoga – and she’s also had to manage moderate to severe asthma her entire life.

For a long time, that persistent asthma made running hard and frustrating.

“Running has always triggered my asthma the most and every time I went for a run I struggled,” she said. “I tried programs like Couch to 5K, but couldn’t progress at the rate the program suggested and felt like I was failing or something. Finally, I gave up on specific plans and learned to just listen to my body.”

Good plan. Corinne ran her first half marathon this fall at Blacksburg’s Hokie Half – exceeding her own expectations, but she didn’t stop there.

“Even after I started running, I didn’t think I’d be able to complete a half marathon and when I did sign up for it, my goal was 2:30. After running the Hokie Half in 2:19, I set an ambitious goal of 2:10 for the Richmond Half Marathon [Nov. 10]. Even at the starting line, I wasn’t confident that I could do it, but around mile 11, I realized I was going to make it, and I think I ran the last couple of miles with a ridiculous smile.”

At races, she sports a bracelet that reads: “Just Breathe.”

“I like to wear it to remind myself of how far I’ve come,” she said.

Hometown: Currently, Blacksburg, but I grew up in Milford, Michigan.

Age: 27

Job:Librarian (Digital Publishing Specialist) at Virginia Tech

When and why did you start running? I started with walk/run intervals on the treadmill at the gym about 3.5 years ago to get in shape after grad school. About 3 years ago, I began running more consistently after I got talked into running a Tough Mudder. Over time, I found that running was helping me gain more control over my breathing, which motivated to keep pushing.

Who inspires and/or motivates you? Everyone in Blacksburg is so active. I always see people out running, walking, or biking all the time and it really motivates me to get outside. Also, everyone I run with and hearing about their background, training, accomplishments, and future goals.

Advice for new runners? Just keep running and listen to your body. It’s really easy to compare yourself to others, but it’s important to remember that everyone is different and has their own story for how they’ve gotten to where they are now.

Favorite running routes near Blacksburg? Pretty much any route at Pandapas that takes me down Snake Root. I also like to do hill repeats on the trail at Nellies Cave Park, since it’s practically in my back yard.

Favorite races? I really enjoyed Brush Mountain Breakdown. I also like Tough Mudder and Spartan races.

Music or no music? It depends on my mood. Sometimes I listen to music or podcasts and sometimes I prefer the quiet.

Trails or roads? A mix of both, but if I go too long without trails, I get antsy.

Running goals for 2019? Detroit Marathon!

Corrine was all smiles at the end of the Richmond Half Marathon.

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