Running

I have been running for more than half of my life. I competed in high school and college, and I am still trying to run faster.

HERE is the story about why I started running.

My first few years of high school went really well. I made the varsity team as a freshman in both XC and track. Then, I ran fairly consistently sophomore through senior years. I was able to get my XC 5K time down around 19:30 my junior year, which was my best year in high school. When XC ended my senior year I was struggling with injuries and general life stress because I was going to graduate. That particular track season is one I try not to remember.

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Doing mile repeats junior year of high school
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Racing XC senior year of high school

Running in college was a mess of emotions and ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade any of those memories or experiences. Initially, I was so defeated by the way my senior year ended that I didn’t want to run ever again. I quit running and didn’t run all summer until a few weeks before I was about to start college. (You can read more about that here.) To this day I can’t explain why I decided to join the XC team in college. I guess I just missed running.

I started at a community college and our team was really close. I loved my team and we had a lot of fun together. When I talk about running at my community college that is what I highlight because I didn’t run as well as I should have. Unfortunately, my times were minutes slower than they were in high school. I think this can be attributed to the fact that I didn’t run over the summer and that I was experiencing a very difficult time in my life. By the time track season came around I was running significantly better.

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Racing XC sophomore year of college (I’m wearing blue)

My sophomore year went much better in both XC and track but I was still really unsatisfied with my performance. In 2006 my XC team won NJCAA DIII Nationals, which made every bad race I had run completely worth it. This is still the coolest thing I have ever been a part of.

When I transferred my junior year I had a difficult time adjusting to a new team and a new coach. XC was rough but during indoor track I had a breakthrough race and finally broke 20 minutes in the 5k, something I hadn’t done since high school. Things went pretty well until I found out I had mono my senior year during XC. I ran through it as best as I could (poorly) and then recovered after the season ended. Outdoor track didn’t go as well as I would have liked because of having mono, but I did run a PR in my last race. What better way to end your collegiate running career, right?

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Racing XC junior year of college (2008)

I ran a few road races shortly after graduating and then I ran my first half marathon that following September (2009). After that I took about 2 years off from racing, only occasionally participating in a road race for fun and barely breaking 24 minutes in a 5k. During this time I only ran for enjoyment. This was due to a lot of different things. I was burnt out, I wasn’t used to working full time, I was in graduate school, I got married, I moved, ect. Basically, I was transitioning from being a college student to being an adult and I had to accept that I would no longer have a set time to run. Finally, I slowly started doing workouts and racing again. In the spring of 2012 I broke 19 minutes in the 5k for the first time ever by running 18:57. That was something I had been trying to do since 2002, when I was 15 and I had come super close by running a 19:08. It took me 10 years to accomplish this goal but I did it.

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Racing in 2012
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Here I am with every pair of running shoes I ever wore up until the fall of 2012. After I took this picture I donated them all to a shoe drive and stopped keeping old worn out running shoes.
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A race in 2013
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After I ran my 5k PR. October 2013 (18:20)
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Running up Red Rock Canyon in Nevada (2013)
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4th of July 2014

In 2013 I started competing more regularly and I managed to run lots of great races until the fall of 2014 when I went back to school to work toward a second masters degree. Even though I had a lot less time I kept competing and training as well as I could for the situation that I put myself in. Because of work and school, my training suffered severely and the quality of my races diminished. As a result, I fell into a rut in 2015. I needed a way to dig myself out of it so I haphazardly decided to sign up for a marathon while working at a race expo. I figured this would motivate me to find more time to train. Prior to this moment I was adamant that I would NEVER run a marathon. After I survived the Philadelphia Marathon in 2015 I wasn’t sure if I would ever run another marathon, but I eventually decided that I could probably run faster. I ran the Philadelphia Marathon for the second time in 2016 and the 2017 Boston Marathon.

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Running the Philadelphia Marathon (2015)
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Running the Philadelphia Marathon (2016)

Current PRs

5k 18:20

10k 38:33

13.1 1:27:38

26.2 3:29:04

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Races I have blogged about: 

(2014)

Jimmy D 5K

Newport Liberty Half Marathon 

Race down Broadstreet 5k 

USATFNJ XC 8K (This post has gross photos of my feet yet it is one of the most viewed posts on my blog)

Ben Franklin Bridge 10k

Rothman 8k

(2015)

First race of 2015

Sue Cardamone 5k 

SPARC 5K 

NO Frills Just Thrills Summer Series 3.65 mile race 

Run 4 Ricky 5k 

The first time I EVER ran negative splits in a 5K 

Freedom 4miler

My Birthday Race around the river 

Royal Fitness Community Heroes 5k: TheRoadLessRun, FueledbyLOLZ & NovelRunner dominate local 5K

Washington Crossing 15K

Run the Vineyards-Grapes and Peaches 10K

Ben Franklin Bridge Run

Philadelphia Marathon (3:29:04)

(2016)

Adrenaline 5k (20:12)

RRCW mile

Track 10K (41:08)

SPARC 5K

Stop Childhood Pain 5k (20:26)

Freedom 4 Miler

USATFNJXC 5K

Ben Franklin Bridge Run 

Philadelphia Marathon (3:30:24)

(2017)

The Grand River Gallop (20:41)

The Boston Marathon (3:33:00) Part 1 & Part 2

Ragnar Zion

Hogback Hustle 5K (21:23)

2 thoughts on “Running

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