I hit all my non-time-based running goals in 2019, and other highlights from the year

Instagram Best Nine - Collage of nine popular photos from 2019, mostly from races.
My Instagram Best Nine featured two photos from the Salisbury Marathon, three photos relating to the Marine Corps Marathon, two from pacing the Coastal Delaware Running Festival and one each from the Baltimore 10 Miler and Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach.

The bad news: I’m running more miles, but my times have somewhat stagnated. The good news: I did hit all of the non-time goals I set for myself in 2019.

As I look back on 2019, I’d like to focus on the successes. I had my highest-ever mileage year, I had plenty of fun and I participated in some awesome races.

Here’s my running year in review, following the same format as my 2018 recap

Goals: Looking Back

I already mentioned that I didn’t hit my two time goals, which were to run a marathon in under 4:45 — something I haven’t done since 2014 — and run a sub-50-minute 10K. That’s something I’ve never done, and it’s been a goal that’s hung around since 2014. I feel like I can’t take it off my goals list until I complete it.

I did accomplish the other three goals. These were to:

  • Run a race on my birthday. Check! I ran the Marine Corps Marathon the day I turned 29. What a crazy-weather day for this experience! However, as I mentioned in my recap post, some of the servicemembers featured along the Blue Mile of the race didn’t even make it to their 29th birthday. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Read the recap here.
  • Run in a new-to-me place each month. Check! It was a fun challenge to run in at least one new-to-me place each month of 2019. I love exploring places through running, and I enjoyed changing up the scenery and seeing new places as I ran.
    Read my blog post with links to the places I ran in 2019 here.
  • Run the entire NCR Trail. Check! I ran 20 miles one-way on this Baltimore County trail.
    Read my recap on this experience here.

I also set some goals for my blog. I was able to surpass my goals of 12,000 blog views and 850 likes on my blog’s Facebook page. I didn’t get to 400 WordPress/email followers, and I currently have 337 (but if you don’t already follow via WordPress or email, you certainly can now!).


As I mentioned last year and earlier in this post, time isn’t everything. I can have fun without being as fast as I used to be. But for me, races are a good opportunity to push myself and see what I can do. Here, I look back on a year of races and see whether I improved over my fastest times in 2018.

I do a lot of the same races year after year, so an asterisk indicates that a race was new-to-me in 2019.

I ran 20 races in 2019, and I think it’s interesting that I ran three of various types of races: three each of 10Ks, 10-milers, half marathons (racing) and half marathons (pacing). I enjoy a little of everything.


Vanessa Junkin poses after the Run, White and Blue 5K
Run, White and Blue 5K

eRace the Stigma 5K

Run, White and Blue 5K

Fastest time of 2019: Run, White and Blue 5K — 27:22
Faster than 2018? No


Vanessa Junkin poses with medal in front of RunWashington Timing truck.
Veterans Day 10K

Mike Sterling 10K

Veterans Day 10K*

Norfolk Harbor 10K*

Fastest time of 2019: Veterans Day 10K — 57:07
Faster than 2018? Yes


Vanessa Junkin poses with a bowl of food after the Tim Kennard River Run.

Maryland-District of Columbia RRCA 10 Mile Club Challenge

Tim Kennard River Run 10 Miler

Baltimore 10 Miler

Fastest time of 2019: Tim Kennard River Run — 1:34:12
Faster than 2018? Yes

Half Marathon Races

Vanessa Junkin runs slightly behind Kate James on a foggy day.
Pemberton Half Marathon

St. Michaels Running Festival Half Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

Pemberton Half Marathon (unofficial)

Fastest time of 2019: Pemberton Half Marathon — 2:18:40
Faster than 2018? No

Half Marathon Races – Pacer

Vanessa Junkin is shown in pacer shirt and with 3:00 sign on a foggy day.
Coastal Delaware Running Festival Half Marathon

Coastal Delaware Running Festival (3:00 half marathon pacer)

OCMD Island to Island Half Marathon (2:30 half marathon pacer)

Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon (2:30 half marathon pacer)


Vanessa Junkin puts her hands up as she finishes the Salisbury Marathon.

Salisbury Marathon*

Marine Corps Marathon*

Fastest time of 2019: Salisbury Marathon — 4:50:41
Faster than 2018? Yes

Other Distances

Vanessa Junkin poses in front of her tent at the Pemberton 24.
Pemberton 24

Naylor Mill 7K

Chase the Chicken 3K Fun Run/Walk

Pemberton 24*

Dogfish Dash 8K

Products I Tested

I often get to test cool products through BibRave. Here’s what I tested in 2019:

Other 2019 Highlights – In No Specific Order

I got to run in a ton of cool places. Last year, I highlighted these in my end-of-year recap, but since I’ve been doing that all year, you can just check them out here: 2019 Running Travels.

Runners gather during the ESRC Holiday Party.

I didn’t set a mileage goal for 2019, but I ran my highest-mileage ever: 1,484 miles. I also ran two of my highest-ever mileage months (in February, and then again in September). My current record for a month is that September number: 167.74 miles.

The Eastern Shore Running Club, of which I’m secretary, had another amazing year. We far surpassed our highest number of members, with 160, and we had a bunch of successful group runs and social events. We also got some cool new swag: singlets and hoodies.

I served as the coach for the Salisbury Marathon and Half Marathon, writing training plans, providing tips and checking in with the runners on Facebook. (See the Coach Vanessa page here.)

I got to promote the inaugural Pemberton 24 – Festival of 5Ks for my job with Wicomico County Recreation & Parks, and then I also ran in the event. I also got to promote the Run to Remember 5K and the Turkey Trek 5K.

I ran in connection with both conferences I attended in 2019. There was a group run that was a part of the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference, and I ran with a fellow attendee after the MATPRA Media Marketplace.

Public relations professionals run through Philadelphia during the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference.

I was a guest on two podcasts: The Sports Refuge Podcast and the Run With Purpose Podcast.

I got to meet up with my fellow BibRave Pro East Region Captains in New Jersey, which was a lot of fun!

I participated in fellow BibRave Pro Angie’s 100 Miles in November challenge, which provided some much-needed inspiration at a good time of year.

I was a Girls on the Run coach for two seasons.

RunWashington Articles

RunWashington articles fall into neither my own running nor blogging, but since writing for RunWashington is something I really enjoyed throughout 2019, here are the links to my articles from the past year (in order with the most recent at the top):

You can also visit a Monumental Runner-style bio and link to all of my articles here.

Let’s see what 2020 will bring when it comes to running! I already know next month is going to be amazing — because I’m heading to Atlanta for the Olympic Trials (as a spectator, if that wasn’t made obvious by my times above). The day after the Trials, I’m running the Atlanta Marathon!

3 thoughts on “I hit all my non-time-based running goals in 2019, and other highlights from the year

  1. Even without meeting your time goals -it looks like you’ve had a great running year.
    What is your current 10km time? Maybe you need to break that sub 50 into a smaller goal first:)


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