Year in Review: I didn’t hit any of my goals in 2020. But… it was 2020.

Top Nine photo showing nine different running-related photos in a square.
Here are my most-liked Instagram photos of 2020. Top Row: TEAM 360 Reindeer Run, a run at Algonquin capping a 29-mile weekend and the Shameless in Senita 5K. Middle Row: Reaching for the high jump record at the America’s Marathon Weekend expo, my flat runner for the Publix Atlanta Marathon and posing with my patch after the Pemberton 24. Bottom Row: My fastest mile of the year, posing with my reindeer route and posing with my award from the Run for the Animals Half Marathon.

When I started the year training for the Publix Atlanta Marathon, none of us had any idea what was in store for 2020. Thankfully, in late February, I was able to travel to Atlanta, where I watched and wrote about the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and ran the marathon I’d been training for. But after that, things started to get crazy because of COVID-19.

Last year, I also took a look at my most-read posts. I’m not going to write up an entirely separate post for that, because so many of my most-read posts in 2020 were actually published in prior years (yay for SEO!). My most popular post in 2020 that I published that year was my recap of the PHUNT 25K.

Here’s my running year in review, following the same format as my 2019 recap

Goals: Looking Back

Well, if I’d have known there was going to be a pandemic, I definitely would have chosen different goals. But here are the goals I published on Jan. 12, 2020, and how I fared.

Run a marathon in under 4:45. I did run one marathon in 2020, the Publix Atlanta Marathon, and it was far from sub-4:45. My time was 5:29:15, which I was pleased with for a hilly course. I’d been hoping to run the sub-4:45 at the Philadelphia Marathon, which was scheduled for November and canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Run a 10K in under 50 minutes. In this goal’s seventh year on my goals list, I was further from this goal than ever before. In this odd year, though, I’m not going to beat myself up about that. I’ll always have this as a goal until I hit it, but I don’t see a reason to put this on my 2021 goals list.

A view from my run at Rachel Carson Conservation Park.

Run in six new-to-me places in the D.C. area. This should have been an easy one, but since I have not really been traveling too far from home because of COVID-19, I only got to two new-to-me areas in the D.C. region: The WB&A Trail and Rachel Carson Conservation Park. Normally, I would combine a run with a visit to see my family, and because of COVID-19, I feel like I was hardly able to see them because we continue to be cautious. We were also under a stay-at-home order for a little while, and during that time, I only did runs that started and ended at my house.

Go to the gym four times a month. I only did OK with this one before COVID-19 anyway, but then, because of COVID-19, I wasn’t able to make up for lost time or continue this goal. Gyms were closed for a few months, and I have been opting to exercise outside rather than inside.

As far as my blog goals, I didn’t hit those either. I didn’t increase my page views by 20 percent for the year and had a slight decrease in views, but I also published far fewer posts (as there were less races, less travel, etc.). I also didn’t get to 1,000 likes on my blog Facebook page, but you can help me get closer to that goal by liking my page here.

Races

Well, this was an odd year for races. Despite COVID-19 affecting races across the world, I was lucky to run some in-person races in the fall. I also ran more virtual races than I ever would have planned to run otherwise.

I ran 11 virtual races, four of which were races that had turned virtual (including the two Shamrock races). I ran eight in-person races — three that were pre-COVID and five that were held with precautions during the pandemic.

Like last year, I’ll take a look at how many races I ran for each distance and what my times were. There will be plenty of room for improvement in 2021!

5Ks

Virtual Zoo Stampede 5K Self Challenge

5K for Front Lines – Part 1 (virtual)

5K for Front Lines – Part 2 (virtual)

Virtual Zoo Stampede 5K Self Challenge

Run, White and Blue 5K (virtual)

Turkey Trek 5K

Fastest time of 2020: Virtual Zoo Stampede 5K Self Challenge — 29:10
Faster than 2019? No


10Ks

Reindeer Run 10K

Mike Sterling 10K

Reindeer Run 10K (virtual)

Fastest time of 2020: Reindeer Run 10K (virtual) — 1:09:15
Faster than 2019? No


Maryland-District of Columbia RRCA 10 Mile Club Challenge

10-Milers

Maryland-District of Columbia RRCA 10 Mile Club Challenge

Only time of 2020: 1:45:10
Faster than 2019? No


Run For The Animals Half Marathon

Half Marathons

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend Half Marathon (virtual)

Salisbury Half Marathon (virtual)

St. Michaels Half Marathon (virtual)

Run For The Animals Half Marathon

Fastest time of 2020: Run For The Animals Half Marathon — 2:28:54
Faster than 2019? No


Publix Atlanta Marathon

Marathons

Publix Atlanta Marathon

Only time of 2020: 5:29:15
Faster than 2019? No


Other Distances

PHUNT Trail Race 25K

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon 8K (virtual)

Global 24 Hour Relay (virtual)

Tour de Salisbury (virtual)

Naylor Mill 7K

Pemberton 24


Products I Tested

Here are the products I was able to test as a BibRave Pro in 2020:

I also got a pair of Knockaround Fast Lanes to wear during an Earth Day campaign.

Other 2020 Highlights – In No Specific Order

My media badge from the Olympic Marathon Trials

Of course, being able to attend the Olympic Marathon Trials was an amazing experience. I enjoyed writing about D.C.-area participants ahead of time and then seeing it all happen in person. Read all about it here.

I loved being part of the Eastern Shore Running Club for another year. We had to adapt, but we still had a great year, even adding two morning runs (I even made it to a small amount of those). We were featured in this Runner’s World article for our selfie collages that helped keep us together while we couldn’t run together. I continued in my role as secretary during 2020.

I didn’t set a mileage goal for 2020, but I ran 1,350 miles — my second-highest total ever.

I again participated in fellow BibRave Pro Angie’s 100 Miles in November challenge, which had some additional fun challenges included this year.

I attempted running one mile for speed several times during the year, both as part of Run Farther & Faster challenges and 100 Miles in November, and my fastest was 8:18.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to pace any races in 2020 (understandable, as no larger races with pacers happened by me).

Here I am with my complete bib upon finishing the Tour de Salisbury.

I ran in some cool places, including plenty of new streets in Salisbury as I try to cover as many of the city’s roads as I can (read more here). I also ran at the following places:

… And all the places I ran during the Tour de Salisbury, which was certainly a highlight and something I’m looking forward to doing again this year.

RunWashington Articles

In 2019, I recapped the articles I wrote for RunWashington, so I will do that again for 2020. I hope to share more runners’ stories in 2021.

I contributed to the following articles about the Olympic Marathon Trials:

So, although it was definitely an unconventional year and a sad one because so many lives were lost, I felt like it wasn’t a terrible year for me personally. We will see what 2021 brings — after a car crash, if you read my last post. It can only get better, right?