A Simple Running Log

Running photo gallery

I post running pictures to race reports when I have them, but I’m also going to post some of them here from now on. They’re in chronological order.


My first running picture ever, from my second 5K, in Sept. 2008. I’m the second one in the frame, losing, looking like I’m about to die in my cotton T-shirt, cotton sweatshirt and cotton socks:

Everything would change in the next year!


This was the year I trained for and ran my first half marathon. I ran a couple of 5Ks leading up to it, but the Labor Day weekend half was my main focus.

Dave and me on the beach following the 2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon. I ran a 1:54 and thought I was going to die in the final three miles. Dave ran a 1:39 and looked like he’d barely broken a sweat.

At the end of that month, I ran the same 5K as the one from the 2008 picture, finishing more than 90 seconds faster while wearing actual running clothes. It was also the first time I was the overall female winner in a race.

Finishing the 2009 Hospice Remembrance Run/Walk 5K in 22:21.

In November, I ran my second half marathon in Rehoboth, lowering my PR to 1:49, and ran another 5K, my final races of the year.

Finishing the 2009 Run for the Rose 5K.

That winter, I decided to train for my first full marathon, the 2010 Shamrock Marathon.


This year started out promising. Right after New Year’s, Clark and I went to Southern California for a week for our honeymoon. I ran my first 15K in 1:13. Marathon training was going great. Then we went home, where we got record snowfalls in the beginning of February. I tried a trick to gain traction for running on snow and ice — I drilled sheetmetal screws in the soles of an old pair of running shoes:

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I wound up getting IT band syndrome really bad in both legs, tried to push through training, tried to run the race even though I knew I wasn’t anywhere close to healed and wound up getting a DNF when I dropped out at the halfway point.

The next couple of months really sucked. I didn’t run at all in April except for one 5K I had pre-registered for. In May, after six weeks of physical therapy and a lot of cross training, I finally got to start running again, but I had lost a lot of fitness. It was a long, often demoralizing road back. I ran a lot of short races that summer that helped me gauge my fitness gains.

Finishing the 2010 Jungle Jim’s 5K Splash in 24:05.

Approaching the final 400 meters of the 2010 Chad’s Run 5K, which I finished on a scorchingly hot day in 23:58.

Just barely making my sub-23 goal at the 2010 Dam Mill 5K, finishing in 22:59.

At the end of August, I ran the Annapolis 10-Mile Run as my final long training run before a half marathon.

Mile 3 of the 2010 Annapolis 10-Mile Run.

The following week, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon for the second time, finishing in 1:49.

I really liked running races in those green shorts in 2010, as you can see.

Later that month, I ran the Hospice 5K for the third consecutive year, running the winning female time once again:

Finishing the 2010 Caroline Hospice Remembrance Run/Walk 5K in 22:46.

In October, I finally finished my first marathon, the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon. I had a goal time of four hours. I needed 4:43 to finish!

Texting everyone I knew after my first marathon.

In November, I ran my first trail race, a 7-mile race in Frankford, Del. I won second in my age group:

A week later, we found my new running buddy on Craigslist. We brought Pepper home Nov. 19, 2010, and I immediately got to work training him to run on a leash with me. It was frustrating at times, but he caught on.

At the end of November, I ran a 5K and won a pumpkin pie for winning my age group:

It was the most delicious age group award ever!

In December, I won another 5K and got $75 in gift certificates for running gear to round out my racing year.


In 2011, I decided to give Shamrock another try. Before the marathon, I ran a few shorter races.

In February, Pepper and I ran our first race together, a 5K in Lewes, Del. He almost tripped a woman at the beginning, and we had to stop to gather ourselves, but we got going again and finished in 23:53.

Pepper and me approaching the finish.

In the last couple of weeks before the marathon, I ran the Tim Kennard 10-Mile River Run in 1:17, winning my age group:

And, a week later, ran my first sub-22 5K in the St. Patrick’s Day 5K, finishing in 21:57 and also winning my age group.

Finally, it was time for my second attempt at the Shamrock Marathon. I had stayed healthy through training and had a much better day, finishing in 4:02. I also met for the first time people from my online running group on Runner’s World’s website.

Approaching the finish of the 2011 Shamrock Marathon.

Hanging out with a few friends from Runner’s World:

Deirdre, Jen, Chris, Mary Jane, me and Elaine jumping after the 2011 Shamrock Marathon.

My next race was in April, and also happened to be my first mud run:

Me, Kari and Doug after finishing the first ever Downstate Delaware Dirty Dozen Mud Run.

In June, I ran the Dover Air Force Base Heritage Half Marathon in 1:45, winning second female overall and first in my age group:

Not one of my finer finish line shots!

That summer, I again ran a series of a 5-miler and five 5Ks.

Finishing the 2011 Beach Paper Firecracker 5K in 21:05, a PR at the time.

Accepting my first place age group award in the 2011 Run for J.J. 5K.

At the end of the summer, Clark and I went to Southern California again, and I ran a 25K trail race. I also got to meet another Runner’s World friend.

Me and Brad before the race.

About halfway through the race. “Trail race” means something a lot different in California than it does in Delaware.

In September, I ran the Caroline Hospice Remembrance Run/Walk 5K in 20:39, my first sub-21. I won overall female for the third year in a row, and missed winning the whole thing by a second.

Gunning it for the finish line.

The next day, I ran the Dogfish Dash 10K, winning first in my age group and getting my award from Sam Calagione, the founder and president.

Somewhere in the final mile of the race.

Sam presenting my age group award.

A couple of weeks later, I ran the Steamtown Marathon, turning in my first sub-4 performance.

Coming to the line in 3:42. Got sub-4 by a long shot!

My next big race was the Philly half marathon in November, but I ran a few more shorter races before that, including my first cross-country 5K, in which I won overall female by a second, and my second 5K with Pepper. He did much better, and we ran a 21:22, which was good for second overall and, in my case, first female.

Pepper and me with my overall female winner award for the Habitat Halloween 5K Dash.

Pepper and I ran the Tails on the Trail 5K at the beginning of November in 20:49. I was the overall female winner and he was second dog — he got beat by another weimaraner!

Pepper and me finishing the 2011 Tails on the Trail 5K.

In November, I ran the Philly half, turning in a huge PR of 1:37, which beat Dave’s half marathon time from the 2009 Virginia Beach half by two minutes. It was one of the best races I’ve ever run.

Coming to the line, Bangle pump flying.

Same Bangle pump, different angle.

I also got to meet even more Runner’s World friends:

A LOT more.

I finished off the racing year with two more PRs, a 20:38 in the 5K and a 43:20 in the 10K.

Just after finishing the Huff, Puff and Race for Pumpkin Pie 5K in Rehoboth Beach.

For Christmas, Pepper got a flashy new running jacket:

We thought he looked like a surfer, haha.


I signed up for the Shamrock Marathon yet again, this time with a sub-3:30 in mind. I also signed up to run the 8K the day before the marathon for the first time, known as the Whale Challenge. Unfortunately, I got injured a month and a half before the race again. Unlike 2010 though, I let my injury rest and my right foot healed in time for me to run the races. However, my speed and endurance were shot after several weeks of not running and then running only short, slow runs, so my goal time went out the window.

After living through the DNF experience in 2010, I was really happy just to be able to finish the marathon, not to mention the 8K the day before. Plus, I also got to hang out with more Runner’s World friends.

Finishing the 8K with my friends Chris and Erin in a triple Bangle pump.

Finishing the marathon in 4:07, with nary a twinge in my previously injured foot.

Deirdre, me, Erin and Chris. We ran the first half together, which helped me get over the mental hump of worrying about whether or not I was going to finish so I could just enjoy the race.

I took a few days off after the 8K/marathon weekend, but when I tried to run again, my right foot was protesting in a different place. So I took another two weeks or so off running, and finally, in the beginning of April, I started again for good.

My next races were a 5-miler in Lewes, in which I equaled my PR, which was encouraging, and a 10K in St. Michaels, where I decided I wasn’t in the mood to race but rather goof off for the race photographers:

Just one of many great shots from that race!

In June, I ran my first trail marathon. I was not in shape for a marathon as far as mileage went, but for some reason the fact it was on a trail made it sound easier. It was easily the hardest race I’d run to date. The trail was challenging enough on its own (plus it was, you know, 26+ miles) but it poured rain the day before the race, turning the flat, runable parts of the trail into a thick, gloppy mud pit. You can see the enjoyment level went down in the following pics from the race, but I finished it — in 5:51, by far my slowest marathon ever.

Less than two miles in. Trail running is fun!

Just after crossing the finish. MUD SUCKS.

The week after that mud marathon, I ran five 5Ks on five consecutive weekends, enough to qualify for the summer series for the third year.

Finishing the Blue-Gold All-Star 5K in 21:45.

Finishing the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K in 21:28.

Nearing the 3-mile marker of the Women’s Distance Festival 5K, which I ran in 21:25.

On Labor Day weekend, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon for the third year. I had been training with a sub-1:35 in mind, but race day was really hot and humid, so I backed off and ran a conservative 1:43. It was good enough to land in the top 10 of 1,125 runners in my age group, 60th of 6,217 women and 321st of 10,958 total finishers, by far the best I’d ever placed in a race that large.

Mile 7 or so in the race.

A month later, I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. My wish for a cool day was granted, and then some — it was 29 degrees at the start and had barely climbed into the 40s when I finished. I wore shorts, expecting to warm up as I ran, but I was cold the entire race. My frozen fingers also made it impossible to eat anything until after I’d finished, and I hit the wall hard around mile 20. I struggled home to a 3:44, two minutes off my PR and way off my sub-3:30 goal, but pretty respectable for a bonked race like that one.

Mile 23, and I’m still wearing my “throwaway” gloves and earband, and I haven’t adjusted my arm warmers. All I wanted was pants. And food.

A month later, I checked off a big goal for the year, finishing my first ultra, the Rosaryville Veterans Day 50K in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Thirty-one miles, done!

My final goal race of the year was the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon. I really wanted to PR in at least one previously-raced distance in 2012, and I felt like I was in shape to do it in Rehoboth, but it wasn’t meant to be. I had more digestive problems and finished just over a minute off my PR. A good effort, but kind of a bummer way to finish off what was overall a bummer year for racing.

My friend Erin and I near the 5-mile marker. We ran together until I had to stop in the woods, and she finished under my PR. D'oh!

My friend Erin and I near the 5-mile marker. We ran together until I had to stop in the woods, and she finished under my PR. D’oh!


Once again, I started the year with training for the Shamrock Marathon in March. Before I got to that though, Clark and I went out to Southern California in February, and we both ran the Surf City Half Marathon. Clark finished his first half marathon, and I started the year off right, finally getting a PR! It wasn’t a big one — only 30 seconds — but it was my first PR at a previously-raced distance in more than a year.

The race was the same morning as the Super Bowl, which the Ravens later won for the second time, so of course I had to wear a shirt to represent the team.

The race was the same morning as the Super Bowl, which the Ravens later won for the second time, so of course I had to wear a shirt to represent the team.

In March, I did the Whale Challenge at Shamrock for the second year. Mary Jane and I ran an easy 41:40 together in the 8K on Saturday:

We're that good -- almost completely synchronized, if I'd only dropped my arms a little lower.

And then, in Sunday’s marathon, I missed my goal time of 3:30 by a long shot, but I still ran a PR of 3:40, 27 minutes faster than the year before:

mile 23ish

Two months later, I participated in the second St. Michaels Running Festival, this time running the half marathon. I had a good race going until just before mile 10, when I had more digestive problems. I had to stop in the woods, again, and then I had some pretty bad stomach cramps all the way to the finish. I don’t look very happy in any of the pictures from that race, but somehow I still managed to get a good shot just after mile 12:

If you're going to blow your PR attempt, at least get a good picture out of it.

If you’re going to blow your PR attempt, at least get a good picture out of it.

After St. Michaels, I ran the Seashore Striders’ summer series again, starting with the Masser 5-Miler, where I ran a new PR:


Finishing in 34:11.

And then five 5Ks, including this one on a hot day in the middle of July:

Finishing the Race for the Ribbon 5K in Rehoboth.

Finishing the Race for the Ribbon 5K in Rehoboth in 22:09.

I also ran a 5K that wasn’t part of the summer series in August:


Mile 3 of the Race for the Paws 5K in Dewey Beach, which I ran in 21:06.

Up until this point, I’d been half-assing my training for the Indy Monumental Marathon in November, which was to be my fall marathon. My stupid right foot knocked me down to no-assing it when I aggravated yet another tendon at the beginning of September, right after I’d done 19- and 9.5-mile runs over the weekend. This time it was one connected to the big toe. It took long enough to heal I dropped to the half at Indy, and decided I would not be running a second full marathon in 2013.

Except for yet more digestive problems (a freaking half-mile from the finish!), the Indy Monumental Half Marathon went as well as I’d hoped. I finished in 1:45.

Right before the final turn before the finish line.

Right before the final turn before the finish line.

Buuut, my right foot didn’t feel right again the morning after the race, and I took yet another week or so off running to let it heal. I didn’t run again until Clark and I went to Nashville a couple of weeks later. By the time we got home, everything felt 100 percent normal and I was confident my troubles were behind me again.

I ran a couple of 5Ks at the end of November, and then I ran the Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon the first weekend of December again. More digestive problems around mile 10, blah blah blah. But no pain! I finished in 1:47.

JB took this artsy fartsy shot of me just after the start of the race.

JB took this artsy fartsy shot of me just after the start of the race.

I really felt like it was time to get into serious training for a 3:30 at the 2014 Shamrock Marathon. But, haha! My body had a different opinion. This time the treachery came from my left leg. The hell? It’d always been on my side. I’m still not sure what happened. It just felt weak on the inside of the shin. More rest, more skipped runs.


I dropped to the half at Shamrock in January. By the time the race rolled around in March, I felt pretty good. Slow, but uninjured, finally. I ran the Dolphin Challenge this time — 8K on Saturday, half marathon Sunday. Both races went well and I left Virginia Beach with no new aches or pains.

Finished the half in 1:48:43, though my chip screwed up and claimed I'd run 1:37. I wish!

Finished the half in 1:48:43, though my chip screwed up and claimed I’d run 1:37. I wish!

In April, I lead the 2:30 pace group in the Island 2 Island Half Marathon in Ocean City, my first pacing gig. In spite of a bathroom break around mile 11, I pretty much nailed the whole pacing thing, finishing in 2:29:51. The pace group organizer told me I was invited back to pace again next year.

Catching up with my runners after the bathroom break.

Catching up with my runners after the bathroom break.

My next race was in May, when I ran the St. Michaels half marathon for the second year. I still wasn’t anywhere close to PR shape, but I had a strong race and shaved off five minutes from Shamrock two months earlier, finishing in 1:43:59.

Jazz hands! Somewhere in the final mile.

Jazz hands! Somewhere in the final mile.

Over the summer, I once again participated in the Seashore Striders’ championship series, completing a 5-miler and five 5Ks. My times were a little slower than the year before, but I won my age group again.

2014 womens 5k mile 3

Nearing the end of the Women’s Distance Festival 5K.

2014 firecracker 5k finish

Finishing the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K in 21:15, my best 5K of the year.

That July, I also ran the Rosaryville 50K with Jen, my second 50K.

50K finish

Finishing in 6:42.

I screwed up something in my left foot during the 50K, I think when I kicked roots hard a couple of times in the first 10 miles, and I had to take some time off over the next few weeks. I wasn’t completely healed by the end of August, but I went out to Oregon anyway, and ran Hood to Coast, a 12-person, 200-mile relay from Mt. Hood to the beach town of Seaside. Over the 27 hours and 39 minutes it took for our team to finish, I ran three legs, totaling 19.6 miles.

First leg leaving resized

Leaving for my first leg just before sundown.

Beer willy resized

The whole team on the beach after the finish the next afternoon.

When I got home from the Pacific Northwest, my foot was STILL bothering me. So, for the third time in a row, I dropped to the half from the full marathon in the early November race I’d been training for.

In October, I ran another relay, this time with three friends at the Baltimore Marathon.

team after finish

Caitlin, me, Allison and Vanessa after finishing the marathon relay in 4:08.

Then I went to Huntington, W. Va., for the Marshall University Half Marathon. The race went better than I expected; I ran most of it with my friend Dave, who was running the full, and then finished it with my friend Lisa in 1:47, which was a PR for her.

lisa and i finish resized

Just after finishing.

A week later, I ran the inaugural 10K Across the Bay, which crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It was a lot of fun to run across the bridge, but kind of a hassle for a 10K. I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to catch a shuttle bus to the start.

2014 bridge 10K on bridge

Somewhere on the bridge.

I finished off 2014 with my fourth crack at Rehoboth’s half marathon course. I ran with Jen, trying to pace her to her first sub-2 finish, but we didn’t make it. We finished in 2:04 instead. Oh well.

jen and me finishing jb shot resized

Don’t we look thrilled to be there?


January and February were brutally cold. I had to wear two pairs of tights for the first time, and there was even one run where I had to turn around less than a half-mile into it because my face was so painfully cold I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t put in nearly as many miles in Shamrock Marathon training as I should have, but the lighter mileage had a bright side — I didn’t get injured! I made it to marathon weekend with nary an ache or pain for the first time in two years.

I ran the Whale Challenge again. They weren’t my fastest races, but I finally finished a damn marathon again!

8K homestretch

Finishing the 8K in 40:37.


And the MARATHON in 4:02!

The next weekend, Pepper and I ran the April Fools’ Day Challenge, which turned out to be a 3.5-mile run through Cape Henlopen State Park that finished with a leap over a ditch:

pepper and me after ditch jump

In April, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in Washington, D.C. This is another huge, iconic race I never wanted to do, but several of my running friends entered the lottery to be picked to register, so I did too. Lo and behold, I got picked. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom, which was beautiful, but I was elbow-to-elbow with other runners the entire way. The course also got cut short due to an accident involving a pedestrian right before the race started. Another “once was enough” race.


Coming to the finish.

In May, I paced the Island 2 Island Half Marathon, from Assateague to Ocean City, for the second year in a row. This time I was asked to do the 3:00 pace group at pretty much the last minute. I led my group home in 2:58:35, not quite as close to my pace group goal time as 2014, but good enough I was asked back to pace again in 2016. The organizer promised I’d get first pick of pace groups the next year for volunteering to take the 3:00 group.

mile 12

On the boardwalk about 1.5 miles from the end.

In May, I kicked off a very mediocre series of races for the rest of 2015. It all started at the St. Michaels Half Marathon. It was a hot day, and I ran a new personal worst half time, 1:57, and then spent the rest of the afternoon puking and going to the bathroom, presumably due to some kind of heat-related illness. It was miserable.

finish 1

I have never seen my face that red.

I ran the summer series again. I slacked on speed work and mileage, big time, and ran my slowest 5K times since 2010, two to three minutes slower than the summer before. It wasn’t much fun. I still won my age group again though.

2015 ssrs 5k finish

The low point: Finishing the Women’s Distance Festival 5K in 24:32, after stopping to WALK THREE TIMES IN THE LAST MILE.

last blast finish

At least I got a good shot at the end of the Last Blast Prediction 5K, though I was once again way too far off my predicted time to win an award.

In September, the Dogfish Dash and the Dover race were FINALLY on different weekends for the first time since 2011, so I got to run it again. This year, they went from a 5K/10K to an 8K. My time was 36:49, two minutes faster than the 5-miler I ran in May, so I was happy about that, even though I had to pay my brother’s registration fee when he beat me by a full three minutes and won our bet.

dogfish dash finish pro shot

Near the finish.

I was in fall marathon training again at this point, this time for the Outer Banks Marathon. When I signed up for it, I was pretty sure I was going to slack on the long runs again, like I had leading up to Shamrock earlier in the year. So, to make sure I got in at least one good long run before the goal marathon in November, I ran the Baltimore Marathon three weeks before it.

I’d run a leg of the marathon relay twice before, but this was my first time running the whole course myself. It was hilly but a LOT of fun, by far my favorite “big city” race I’ve ever done. I even had a really good run, up until digestive problems hit in the final 10K. I finished my training marathon in 4:10 with a big smile on my face.

Baltimore medal

Someone was NOT impressed with my run.

Three weeks later, I went to the Outer Banks. Like at Shamrock, there was an 8K and marathon challenge.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 1.54.24 PM

Mile 4ish in the 8K, which I ran in 39:47.

OBX marathon flight memorial vertical

Favorite picture from the marathon, “flying” in front of the Wright brothers memorial around mile 8.

pepper and me after marathon

First time I got to celebrate right after a marathon with Pepper.

The marathon didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. I wanted to break sub-4 but ran 4:01. D’oh! But hey, after not being able to run a marathon at all for two years, I’d just successfully finished three in one year!

In December, I ran the half marathon at Rehoboth for the fifth time. I’d been feeling under the weather all week before the race and really felt off during it, finishing in 1:56. I felt OK after I was done running, but then spent the entire evening puking. Ugh. Yet another disappointing race!

finish 2 resized

At the finish.

Two weeks later, I capped off 2015’s races with an ugly sweater 5K, with Pepper — who wore an ugly sweater of his own. It was a prediction run, and we didn’t finish close enough to my prediction to win, but we were 12th overall of 188 and first woman and first dog, in spite of starting last.

ugly sweater 5K on course

About a mile into the race.


The first race I ran in 2016 turned out to be one of my favorites ever: I ran the L.A. Marathon with Clark. On Valentine’s Day. Aww! He injured his foot two days after we signed up for it and barely got to run any training miles in preparation for his first marathon. It was also an unseasonably hot day in L.A. on race day. But he never stopped moving and we crossed the line together in 5:55.

clark and me jb shot

At the 40K (25 mile-ish) mark.

In March, I went to Virginia Beach for my seventh consecutive Shamrock weekend. I did the Whale Challenge again. In spite of the worst wind I’ve ever had to run against in a race, I ran my first sub-4 marathon in three years. I was pretty psyched!

8K finish line

Finishing the 8K on Saturday in 40:47.

marathon finish

And finishing the marathon Sunday in 3:54:44.

Next was the Island to Island Half Marathon at the end of April, which I was pacing for the third year in a row. Since I’d volunteered to take the 3:00 group at the last minute the year before, the pace group organizer gave me first pick this year, and I went with 1:55. It went great except for the bathroom break at mile 9! I thought I made up the time I lost there, but I found out I hadn’t when I crossed the line in 1:55:11. Derp.

In spite of that, I was still invited back to pace again in 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.26.50 PM

Hoping no one notices the sign I’m holding compared to the time on the race clock haha.

A few weeks later, I ran the St. Michaels Half Marathon. The year before, this was the race that was so hot I got sick after. We didn’t have that problem this time around. It was chilly and pouring rain through the whole race. I ran well, but my digestive system was really upset for some reason, and I had to stop to use the bathroom three times. I wound up finishing in 1:53 with all the stopping.

2016 st michaels mile 13 2 resized

Making the final turn to see the finish line ahead.

Then it was summer series time! The weather warmed up to more seasonable conditions just in time for it too. On Memorial Day weekend, I ran the Masser 5-Miler in 37:07:


Got my 5K time back down to 21:56 in the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K on Fourth of July weekend:


And capped off the series by running the Last Blast Prediction 5K on Labor Day weekend in a little rain from “Hurricane” Hermine:


I won my age group in all six races and won my age group for the series again.

At the end of September, I ran the Dogfish Dash 8K. I was a few seconds slower than the year before, finishing in 37:13, but I can blame a lot of that on my running buddy, who stopped to take a dump at mile 1.5 and had minor freak-outs every time he saw a mile marker, a traffic cone, a volunteer at a water stop or the inflatable arch at the finish line. I also had to apologize to about a dozen runners along the way, who Pepper nearly ran into.


Finishing the 2016 Dogfish Dash 8K with Pepper.

Next up was the Baltimore Marathon, which I again ran as a “training marathon” for a later goal race. Race day was perfect weather, and I ran a very enjoyable 3:54.


Around the halfway point.

The following week, I did another race in place of a training run, the Monster Mash Half Marathon in Dover. Kind of a nasty day for a run, but we got to do a lap around the race track to start, and I had a much better long run than I would’ve on my own at home, so it worked out.


Finishing in 1:50.

In November, I ran my goal race for the fall, the Philly Marathon. A cold front came through the night before, and race day was very windy and cold. I fell apart around mile 20 and limped home to a finish only a few seconds faster than in Baltimore, but it was my third sub-4 marathon of the year, so I wasn’t too upset.


Regretting my life choices a couple miles from the finish.

A week later, I ran my fastest 5K in a couple of years, finishing the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K in 21:39, and a week after that, we all converged on Rehoboth once again. As usual, I ran the half. I ran my best race in a couple of years at that distance too, finishing in 1:46.



This year began with the inaugural Algonquin 50K the first weekend of February in Pocomoke Forest State Park, my third race at the distance. It was a really well-run event and a great course. I have a feeling I will be running this one again.


Somewhere around mile 18.

I ran that one as a long training run for my eighth consecutive Shamrock Marathon in March. Again, I did the Whale Challenge.


Finishing the 8K on Saturday in 38:22.


Absolutely thrilled to finish the marathon Sunday in 3:46:46, after running through wind, rain (which turned snow or freezing rain for a bit around halfway) and barely above freezing temperatures.

My total time for the Whale Challenge was 4:25:08, third best of 100 women who ran both races, and 15th best of 198 total runners who did both.

I also bought the “I survived Shamrock” T-shirts they made after the fact, as most of the proceeds were set to go to the volunteer groups that stood out in that mess to put on that race.

In April, Clark and I did the King Crab Challenge at the YMCA of Dorchester’s Crab Run, a half marathon immediately followed by a 5K that started exactly two hours later. We both finished the half in plenty of time to start the 5K. That was a pretty tough 5K, let me tell you! It was a fun challenge though.


Clark (704) and me (703) trying to get our legs to agree to another 3.1 miles at the start of the 5K.

Three weeks later, the weather turned really hot for the first time all year, just in time for my fourth time pacing the Island to Island Half Marathon in Ocean City. Not only did I not come anywhere close to finishing at my assigned 1:55 pace group time, I ran my worst half marathon ever — 2:05. It was miserable! Luckily, all but two of my fellow pace group leaders had similar struggles in the heat, so the group organizer assured us we were all invited back next year.

2017 oc half mile 10

At mile 10, after I’d ditched the pace group sign at a water stop and removed the shirt so I could use it as a sweat rag.

Three weeks later, I ran the St. Michaels Half Marathon. It wasn’t anywhere close to my best, but it was almost 15 minutes faster than I’d run in Ocean City!

me final stretch

Near the finish, which I crossed in 1:51:34.

In June, I did something new — I rode a bike for the 56-mile bike leg for a relay team at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Cambridge. I had just gotten the bike, my first real road bike, in March, and by the time Eagleman came around, I’d taken a shine to it. I really enjoyed Eagleman, and finished the bike leg in 2:58.

me on bike back in town

Almost to the end.

Kara did the 1.2-mile swim in 36 minutes and Dave did the 13.1-mile run in 1:57, to bring home our team in a total time of 5:39:17. Clark finished his second Eagleman on his own in 6:38, shaving an hour off his 2016 time.

SBRS plus clark

The Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts and Clark.

I ran the Seashore Striders’ summer series for the eighth year too. As usual, I did the bare minimum to qualify, knocking out the 5-miler requirement at the Masser 5-Miler, held Memorial Day weekend, and then running five 5Ks in June and July.

2017 masser 5-miler finish

Finishing the Masser 5-Miler in a decent 37:21.

2017 firecracker 5k finish

Finishing the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K in 22:39.

My 5K times were nothing impressive, but I still won my age group again.

More exciting, to me anyway, was when we ran the Last Blast Prediction 5K to wrap up the series on Labor Day weekend, and I FINALLY predicted my time close enough to land in the top 20 closest and get a trophy! I was 3.56 seconds off, which was seventh closest.

2017 last blast prediction AWARD

I was VERY happy with that trophy!

Also, in August, I ran the inaugural (and perhaps only) Naylor Mill 7K, a bacon-themed 7K trail race through a surprisingly hilly park in Salisbury. It was disgustingly hot and humid and I was sucking wind the whole way, so I skipped the bacon at the mid-race aid station, but the post-race party bacon tasted pretty good!

melissa and me with bacon

Melissa and me with some hard-earned bacon.

In September, I ran the Dogfish Dash 8K again, this time with Dave. We ran the whole thing together. In the final stretch, he tried to push me to pass a woman we’d been closing on. I didn’t catch her and he wound up officially beating me too by a second haha.

2017 dogfish dash finish

Dave finishing in 37:24 while I’m finishing in 37:25.

In October, Clark and I rode our first century, the Sea Gull Century in Salisbury. It was fun but hard on the butt.

2017 sea gull century clark and me at finish

I will never sit on this thing again.

A week later, I ran the Baltimore Marathon again, as a training run for my goal marathon. We got an unusually hot day, on top of the cold that was working on me. The last eight miles were not fun at all, but I got another marathon finish under my belt, finishing in 4:06.

clarks and me after 2017 bmore marathon

With my father-in-law and Clark, who ran as part of a four-person relay team, after the race. I’d had a couple beers by this point and felt better about my day haha.

A week after that, I convinced Clark and Pepper to join me in dressing up to run the Seawitch 5K in Rehoboth. We were ketchup, mustard and a hot dog. The pouring rain wasn’t much fun to run through, but it was a good time anyway.

2017 seawitch 5k finish group

Took us just under 30 minutes to drag our increasingly-soggy hot dog around the course.

In November, I ran my goal marathon, the Anthem Richmond Marathon in Virginia. I was pretty pumped for it until a big cold front blew in just in time for the race. I hadn’t run in cold weather like that since the previous winter, and I spent a lot of time stressing about what to wear. Fortunately, the gear I picked turned out to be the right call once we got going, and I calmed down, enjoyed the awesome course and ran one of my best marathon times to date, finishing a few minutes off my PR.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 1.41.19 PM

Somewhere in the final few miles of the race.

Two weeks later, I ran my best 5K of the year, finishing the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K in 21:59.

2017 huffin for pumpkin pie 5k finish

A week after that was Rehoboth! Once again, I ran the half. I had one of my best races in a long time — I started out “too fast” but held on the pace anyway, other than the usual bathroom break in the woods around mile 8, and finished in 1:42:34.

2017 rehoboth half marathon mile 10

Mile 10.


My racing year started out a little shaky. I signed up for a 10K in Southern California while we were in San Diego over Super Bowl weekend, but I had to skip it when I came down with a bad stomach bug the day before.

But things got back on track with the second annual Algonquin 50K the following weekend. The course had been rerouted and shortened a little, but it was a lot muddier, and therefore a lot more difficult, than it had been the year before, so I was a bit slower, finishing in 6:02. It was a great training run though.

mile 19-2 (michael perry)

Pretending I still feel good around mile 19.

A month later, it was time for Shamrock again! As usual, I did the Whale Challenge. The 8K was fine. The first half of the marathon was also fine, but the second half, all the booze I’d drank the day before (St. Patrick’s Day) caught up with me and I sputtered out — I ran a 1:48 first half but a 2:00 second half.

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 9.50.40 AM

Mile 1 of the 8K.

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 9.49.54 AM

Mile 7 or so of the marathon.

I then ran a race every weekend in April.

2018 big oyster final turn

Making the final turn of the inaugural Big Oyster Brewery 4.24-Mile Run, which I finished in 32:47.

2018 crab run 5K finish line

One week later and about 40 degrees warmer, finishing the 5K portion of the King Crab Challenge at the Dorchester YMCA Crab Run.

2018 coastal delaware finish

Another week later, finishing the half marathon at the Coastal Delaware Running Festival in 1:53:08.

mile 14

Finally, the last weekend in April, I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge D.C. 50K with Chris, in 6:58:20.

In May, I ramped up the miles on the bike again in preparation for the Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts’ second crack at Eagleman.

I also ran the St. Michaels Half Marathon again:

mile 8

Around mile 8. I finished in 1:51:54.

And ran the Masser 5-Miler to kick off the summer series for the ninth year in a row.

2018 masser 5 miler finish

Finishing in 39:31, my second worst time in nine tries. It was an awful race!

Next up was Eagleman. I improved on my bike leg split from 2017 by five minutes, finishing the 56-mile course in 2:53, a 19.5 mph average.

2018 eagleman halfway

About halfway.

Kara and Dave also finished their legs faster, but our transitions were slower for a couple reasons, so our total team time was 5:34:27, only five minutes faster than 2017.

Clark crushed the swim and the bike, but got crushed by the run, and finished a few minutes slower than the year before. But his dad made all the cutoffs this time around, and got an official finishing time in 2018.

after eagleman 2018

Swim-Bike-Runny Schmidts, plus the two finisher Clarks, after the race.

I then ran the requisite five 5Ks to qualify for the summer series through June, July and August. They started out slow and got a little less slow by the end of the series. I was still quite a bit off my best times in those summer races. Fortunately, no one faster ran enough races to qualify for the series, so I won my age group again.

2018 race for the paws 5k start

On the far right, at the beginning of the final 5K of the series, the Run for the Paws 5K in Dewey Beach, which I finished in 22:56, my best time of the series.

On the Fourth of July, I ran the inaugural Great American Run Double, which wound up being five loops — 22.2 miles — on the trails at Pemberton Park in Salisbury on a VERY hot and humid day.

2018 great american run post race selfie

Post-race selfie.

In September, I ran the Bottle & Cork 10-Miler for the first time. It was a warm, humid day and it wasn’t much of a “race” for me. I finished in 1:26:45.

2018 bottle and cork 10 mile 3.1

Mile 3.

Then Clark signed me up for my first triathlon — the day before it happened. I did the Osprey Sprint Triathlon in Snow Hill. It was the same day as Ironman Maryland and a very popular 70.3 on the upper Eastern Shore, so there were only 77 entrants at my little sprint tri. Even though I was slow as molasses in the water, which I expected, I made up enough time on the bike and run that I finished in 1:32:49, good for first in my age group and third overall female.

me after my first tri

With all my medals, my bike and the tri suit Clark bought me the day before.

I think Clark was hoping this would inspire me to sign up to do the whole thing at Eagleman, but I still hated swimming after this. It was less than a half-mile and it felt like an eternity. Eagleman’s swim leg is 1.2 miles. I need to do a LOT of work if I’m ever going to do that.

The very next day was the Dogfish Dash 8K, one of my annual favorites. I redeemed myself after that horrible 5-mile race in May, finishing the 8K, which is just shy of 5 miles, in 37:23.

2018 dogfish dash 8K finish

Coming to the finish line.

In October, the only race I ran was the Baltimore Marathon, again as a training run for a goal marathon. I had a decent day and finished in 4:02.

2018 baltimore marathon mile 11.5

Somewhere between the two port-o-potty stops I had to make at miles 10 and 12.

Clark, a couple coworkers and his dad did the marathon relay in 4:13, and his brother, Chad, ran his first marathon in 3:51.

chad clark me and mr clark

Chad, Clark, me and my father-in-law after the race.

In November, I ran my goal marathon, the Richmond Marathon, for the second consecutive year. It wasn’t nearly as cold as 2017 had been, but I just felt off — I had to stop to use the bathroom twice — and finished in 3:51, seven minutes off my time from the year before.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.14.28 AM

Pretending I felt better than I did just before the finish line.

A couple weeks later, I ran the Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K in Rehoboth. As usual, it was my fastest 5K of the year, but only by a few seconds. I ran it in 22:52.

And then, two weeks after that, in December, was another of my annual favorites, the Rehoboth Half Marathon. My stomach was unsettled almost the whole way and I had to make two port-o-potty stops in the second half. A rather meh performance, but I still love that race.

2018 rehoboth beach half marathon finish

Finishing in 1:52:58.


This year started out with a new-to-me event, the PHUNT 25K/50K trail race in Elkton. I did the 25K and absolutely loved it. I signed up for 2020 the next day, even though I could barely stand up from the couch because my quads were the sorest they’d been in years — so many hills!

2019 phunt coming into first aid station zoom resized

Coming down to the first aid station at mile 3.7, right behind Melissa.

In February, I ran the Algonquin 50K for the third time.

me and the quesadilla 3 resized

It was my slowest of my three runs at that race — 6:13:50 — but I sure was happy about the quesadillas at the mile 19 aid station!

Those two trail races were part of the training plan for Shamrock, where I once again did the Whale Challenge. It was almost an exact repeat of the year before — good 8K, solid first half of the marathon, terrible second half due to severe stomach cramping.

8K finish

Finishing the 8K on Saturday in 41:25.

marathon coming to the finish

Limping home to the marathon finish in 3:49:21.

A week later, I did something I’d never done before — ran a marathon one week after the last one. Clark and I did the L.A. Marathon together again. I had an AWFUL run. I think I got mild food poisoning from lunch the day before the race. I felt dehydrated the whole race, but also like I’d puke if I drank any water. By mile 9, I wanted to drop. I only stuck it out because Clark stayed with me. It was a slow death march to the end, but we did manage to still finish 26 minutes faster than his first marathon in L.A. three years later.

finish line clark stopping watch

Finishing in 5:29:48.

Then it was April. I had an ambitious time goal to train for at the St. Michaels Half Marathon in May, so I ran a few races in place of training runs in April.

big gun run finish

Finishing the Big Gun Run 4.25-Miler (formerly the Big Oyster Brewing 4.25-Miler) in 32:11, a 30-second improvement over the year before.

final stretch

Coming to the line at the New Jersey Half Marathon in 1:54:38.

It got a little toasty for the St. Michaels Half Marathon. I only ran one mile — the first one — under goal pace. A long wait to use a port-o-potty at mile 10 was the death blow. I didn’t come anywhere close to my 1:45 goal.

2019 st michaels half finish

After finishing in 1:52:52

Then it was Seashore Striders summer series time! If St. Michaels was toasty, the Masser 5-Miler a week later was a freaking hell hole. It was like August out there, and I ran an even worse race than the year before.

2019 masser 5 miler finish

Finishing in 40:17 — couldn’t even hold an 8:00/mile pace!

As usual, I then ran five 5Ks, the bare minimum to qualify. They all landed in the 22- or 23- minute range.

2019 dam mill 5k finish

Finishing the Dam Mill 5K in 22:33, my best time of the series.

My final age group finish score was 7, good enough to win my age group for the series once again.

I trained through the summer for the Steamtown Marathon in early October. In September, I ran a few races.

bottle and cork 10-miler 3.1 mark

Mile 3 of the Bottle & Cork 10-Miler. It was a gorgeous day for a race and I comfortably ran an 8:08/mile average, even with a bathroom break, which was a good confidence boost for Steamtown, where I hoped to run an 8:15/mile average.

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 3.45.36 PM

Finishing the Dogfish Dash 8K in 37:11 with Melissa on a hot morning.

Two days before the Dogfish Dash, we put our house on the market, and a few days after it, Clark went out to California to start a new job in Carlsbad. I stayed in Delaware with Pepper until we sold the house.

A couple weeks later, I ran the Steamtown Marathon for the second time. My experience wasn’t quite as magical as when I ran it in 2011 — I got blisters on both feet and had to stop twice for the bathroom — but the weather was perfect and the course was even better than I remembered, and I ran 3:44, one of my top five fastest marathons to date.


Coming to the finish line.

About a week after Steamtown, we signed a contract to sell our house. Closing was Dec. 5, two days before the Rehoboth Half Marathon. I kept up with Hal Higdon’s advanced half marathon training plan through most of the packing process, even doing almost all of the twice-a-week speed workouts for the first time in a long time.

It fell apart a bit in the last week leading up to the race, as we scrambled to get everything ready for closing and then driving across the country to our new place in California, but I pulled off my best half marathon since the same race two years earlier, finishing in 1:43:55.

Image 12-26-19 at 11.34 AM (2)

Last finish line as a Delaware resident!

Two days later, we drove to California.


My first California race as a local was the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January, as a fitness test halfway through my training for Shamrock. It was hilly — by my standards, anyway — but I had a good run and finished in 1:45:17.

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 5.49.24 PM

At the finish.

In February, I flew back to the East Coast to run the Algonquin 50K for the fourth time. This time, I’d talked both Kelly and Susan into running it with me, their first ultras. The three of us stuck together through the whole thing and finished in 6:54.

alq 50k

After finishing with Susan and Kelly. Melissa had finished 90 minutes before us!

I went back to California and powered through the rest of Shamrock training. I ran all three 20-milers for the first time in years, did most of the speed work and the pace runs and even started strength training regularly again, after Clark and I joined a small gym that specialized in high-intensity interval workouts.

In other words, I was feeling pretty damn trained and like I was headed for a PR for sure.

And then, coronavirus happened.

In mid-March, the U.S. finally realized the novel coronavirus that had been spreading through much of the rest of the world was something to be taken seriously. Things started getting canceled and postponed left and right, non “essential” businesses closed and everyone else had to work from home.

Ten days before Shamrock, it got canceled. Well, it became a “virtual” race. The race organizers mailed us all the swag and we could run it on our own, or not. I really tried to do the Whale Challenge. The 8K on Saturday was easy enough, but I just couldn’t get through 26.2 miles for no apparent reason Sunday. I took the DNF at mile 16.9 and called Clark for a ride home.

The shutdown dragged on longer than any of us first anticipated. Every local race through the spring and summer I’d signed up for or considered signing up for got canceled, and it wasn’t even looking certain there’d be any fall races. With nothing to train for, my running took a nosedive. There were a few weeks there in April and May I could barely drag myself through a slow 3- to 5-miler.

In June, things started to look a little hopeful that smaller races might be able to go on as scheduled in the fall, so I signed up for the St. George Marathon in Utah in October and started training.


  1. Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this content together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving
    comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Comment by SoccerVista — July 8, 2017 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  2. Great recap on of a decade of running, and inspirational to a guys whose been running for only a couple years and blogging about it for only @ 6 months!

    Comment by lawyersgunsandrunning — August 21, 2018 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

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