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.
Fastest time of 2019: Run, White and Blue 5K — 27:22
Faster than 2018? No
Fastest time of 2019: Veterans Day 10K — 57:07
Faster than 2018? Yes
Fastest time of 2019: Tim Kennard River Run — 1:34:12
Faster than 2018? Yes
Half Marathon Races
Fastest time of 2019: Pemberton Half Marathon — 2:18:40
Faster than 2018? No
Half Marathon Races – Pacer
Fastest time of 2019: Salisbury Marathon — 4:50:41
Faster than 2018? Yes
Products I Tested
I often get to test cool products through BibRave. Here’s what I tested in 2019:
- Food Groove Mission Superfood Bites
- Turtle Gloves TURTLe-FLIP Running Mittens
- Handful’s The Closer Bra
- Knockaround Fast Lanes Sunglasses
- Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro
- Endure Strong Training
- Shady Rays Allure Sunglasses
- AfterShokz Aeropex
- Sawyer SPF 30 Stay Put Sunscreen Lotion
- OOFOS OOahh Sport Project Pink Recovery Sandals
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.
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.
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 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):
- George Mason grad qualifies for second Olympic Trials
- World Military Games marathon nets Lindsay Carrick an Olympic Trials qualifier
- Four from D.C. area represent U.S. at 24-Hour World Championships in France
- Jessica McGuire maximized her ability and earned an OTQ
- Urge to improve drives Caitlyn Tateishi
- Pull the plug? How do you make a decision on marathon a month out
- Terps coach makes time for her own marathon training
- U.S. All-Marine Running Team represents Marine Corps at home and abroad
- Friends run 270 miles in “DIY” White House to LightHouse Relay
- Michael Lynch serves as an ‘amazing asset in the running community’
- Washington girl, 12, first U.S. child to hit 100 parkruns
- wear blue: run to remember honors fallen service members this Memorial Day — and year-round
- Despite challenges, Chantilly woman getting faster with age
- Masters runner Jackie Gruendel working toward a PR at Boston
- Want to be a track official? Montgomery County is among those recruiting
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!