Mini Race Recap: Angela Ivory Memorial 50K ~ 1/20/18

Gosh I’ve been delinquent in finishing this race review—so sorry! The Angela Ivory Memorial 50K/50-Miler was held on Saturday, January 20, 2018. This was the second year that I attended—and the second year that I had to leave early to attend the Angry Toddler’s friend’s birthday party. I’m not complaining whatsoever, because the party was a blast, and I got to ice skate with the Angry Toddler for the first time! I just feel like I still have this challenge to conquer at some point in my life.

I woke up at 7 a.m. EST on Saturday morning literally bargaining with myself to get out of bed. I just felt so warm and cozy, but I knew I needed to get in the miles for my 1,000-mile challenge, and I adore running at Killens Pond State Park where the race was held. I got out of bed, crept quietly downstairs, got dressed, grabbed my gear, and was out the door by about 7:20.

Hubs and the Angry Toddler left me a sign, which I always love!


It took roughly 25 minutes to get there, and when I arrived, I was greeted by at least ten cars lined up waiting to enter the park. This happened last year as well. I didn’t mind, but I knew I only had from ~8–10 a.m. EST to run before I had to leave for the party, so I was itching to start ASAP.


Finally a ranger opened the gates, and we all followed each other into the park. We set up the “aid station” on a central picnic table that included a ton of goodies like clementines, Doritos, cookies, water, and so on. We all said hi to each other, commented on how cold it was (~32 degrees F), and I eavesdropped as some folks caught up with each other/reminisced about other area races.

The race director, Gene, wasn’t there at the start, so around 8:30 a.m., a friendly veteran named AJ decided to officially start the race. Since this is a fat-ass race (free, no official timing or aid stations), we all took a group photo before we headed off. Some expressed concerns that they’d get lost along the trail, so AJ offered to run the first ~3-mile lap slowly so that others could follow and get the lay of the land. Since this was a 50K/50-miler, the 50K group would run about ten times around the trail loop. My Nike+ Run Club app showed that the loop was definitely less than 3 miles, so I guess if I were to do the 50K distance, I’d probably run more than ten loops just to make sure I really went the distance?!


Slowly doesn’t describe AJ’s pace in the least. I think he must have misspoken and said speedy instead, because I was literally the last runner in the pack, and I struggled to keep up. Granted, I’m a road runner who has always been in the middle to back of the pack, but sheesh! These runners looked like gazelles, and I looked like the lone hippo.

I think I had waited around too long in the cold without proper layers before the race, so my body felt stiff and frigid. I felt like I had no turnover power in my legs and like I was huffing and puffing.

I was fine with being the last one, but I was nervous that I’d miss the yellow trail markers. Another woman and I made a wrong turn once about three-quarters of the way around the first loop, but a friendly soul steered us in the right direction, and we were off again. I remember her from last year, as we got off track at about the same area with each other. You’d think we would’ve remembered or learned!

Near-fall #1 came a little bit before I finished the first loop. I literally flew into the air but somehow managed to land on my feet. Gazelle status achieved!

Repeat that at least two more times.

Oh, then comes the actual fall. That was somewhere in my second loop. I caught myself on my palms, quickly glanced backward to see if anyone saw, turned a lovely shade of dark red, and continued on my merry way. I wasn’t hurt at all, except for my pride. At that point, I went into trash-self-talk mode where I chastised myself for pretending to be a trail runner and for not knowing what the heck I was doing. I broke several trail running rules by using headphones and by using road shoes.

I tried to get out of my head by looking at the scenery and listening to the We’re Alive podcast. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you must!

All in all though, I was able to get in my 7 planned miles. It was a gorgeous morning, and you can’t beat the scenery. I had to do an out-and-back portion to get up to 7 miles total, so at one point I was running against the flow so to speak. I felt like every time I ran into a runner, I had to explain why it looked like I was going the wrong way haha. (“Not going the wrong way—have to get back for a birthday party!” I’d mutter.)


Before my last little jaunt though, I talked to the Gene the RD who apparently flies out from the west coast to put on this event. That boggles my mind! He is super nice and sets up a wipe-off board for folks to track their loops and such. He has a daughter named Rebecca and a son named Clayton, so I felt like we had a special bond.

I didn’t partake in the food/beverages during the race, but everyone brought a great spread of options. I think if I do it next year, I’ll bring a hand-held water bottle, a gallon jug of water, nuun, Gus, and maybe some trail mix or something sweet/salty that wouldn’t sit in my stomach like a lead ball. I’m not sure how else you figure out what to eat during an ultra, aside from trial and error during training. Here I am afterward sporting my Race Advisors headband and my The Running Lifestyle Show shirt.


If you’re looking for a race with no frills, very friendly folks, and don’t mind zero crowd support, no official aid stations, and no official bathrooms along the route, then this race is definitely for you. I didn’t feel unsafe at all, and in fact, I kind of relished feeling alone in the woods. It was quiet and serene (well, aside from the zombie noises from the We’re Alive podcast).

Here we are ice skating at the party afterward!






You want me to do WHAT?

1000MilesWhen I thought about setting my 2018 goals, I knew I wanted to set the bar higher than last year. Thanks to my nuun Facebook family, I found a graphical way to track my goal of reaching 1,000 miles in 2018. I’m cowering just thinking about such a large goal, but I know it’s doable. I’m a very visual person, so this tracker looked wicked simple and engaging to use. (Read: I won’t stop using it two weeks into the new year because it’s too labor intensive). Kudos to the #nuunambassadors2018!

I sent this graphic to both my sweet #IRUN4Sibling Lucy and my Snowdrop Foundation pediatric cancer SURVIVOR Joh’Nya (go Team Miles for Smiles!) so that they can have fun tracking on their end.

I’m also excited to announce that I’m featured on The Running Lifestyle Show’s podcast episode this week about goal setting and attaining your goals. I talk about how to realistically fit running in while being a mom, wife, full-time project manager, freelance editor, and so on. It can be hilariously overwhelming at times, but running is so paramount to my mental health. I work from home, so I run either on my treadmill or outdoors during my lunch breaks. I schedule these breaks in my work Gmail calendar and also leave an away message on my work GChat that literally says, “RUNNING” so that my fab co-workers know what I’m doing.

In 2018, I’m also taking a different approach to running by incorporating strength training and cross training. We all know that runners should do both, but typically running wins priority wise. To tackle this issue, I’ve started doing arm-weight exercises (think five-pound weights to start) with hubs while we watch an hour of TV in the evenings. That’s our time together, and I’m so elated that he’s joining in to become healthier. It’s so much more enjoyable and long-lasting if we do it together as a team.

I’m off to a bit of a slow start this year in terms of mileage, but I know I’ll make up the miles as I go. I seem to be on an unintentional run streak, so we’ll see where that takes me! It seems like whenever I actually publicly announce that I’m doing a run streak, I inevitably break the streak a few days later. So this is probably a mind trick on my part, but hey, whatever works, right?! I also acknowledge that my mileage is lower on some days, because I do want to focus on strength training as well.

How do YOU fit it all in?

To keep me motivated, if you donate to Team Miles for Smiles, I’ll run the equivalent number of miles per dollar donated. We’re up to $846.20, and our team goal is to raise $1,000!

Speaking of motivation, I think my mantra this year is going to be, “I’m a kick-ass work in progress!” I get so tripped up on the overall picture that I think it’s a much better idea to focus on the here and now of each day and remember that every positive/healthful choice I make is a step in the right direction.

Here’s to an amazing 2018!

Keep on running,


750, Baby!

CaptureGuys, I just hit my goal of running 750 miles in 2017! I originally started out just wanting to surpass last year’s goal of 610 miles, and I never thought I’d blow that number out of the water.

And I couldn’t have achieved this accomplishment without the love and support of my family and friends. My husband, Tom, has had to endure countless early mornings, waiting for me to get back from long Saturday or Sunday runs, offering foot massages, and readying my trusty nuun water. Thank you for being my rock, my cheerleader, and my nurse.  I couldn’t have done this without you!


Disclaimer: Now and then, I feel guilty that my goal wasn’t 1,000 miles. What the what?! Seriously, (talking to myself now), 750 miles is an amazing accomplishment! I’m going to strive for a 1,000-mile goal in 2018, but I’m very proud of fitting in 750 miles in between work, freelancing, and family life.

Let’s celebrate one of YOUR accomplishments in 2017. What are you most proud of? Please share in the comments section!

Looking Ahead to 2018

killens-pondNow that the new year is almost upon us, and some runners have their race calendars planned out already, I thought it would be helpful to write up my race wish list for 2018.

  • nuun Year Dash (virtual) ~ January 12, 2018 (until January 21)
    • I love virtual races, especially in the winter, because it means I don’t have to drag the family along with me!
  • Angela Ivory Memorial 50K ~ January 20, 2018 (FREE!) Killen’s Pond State Park ~ Felton, DE
    • Course description: A 3.12 mile dirt loop, totally within Killen’s Pond State Park. Roots, rocks, but gentler than most trails. North trail is broad and mostly dirt. Southside trail is single track with some roots and rocks.
    • I ran 7 miles of this race last year before having to leave for a toddler’s birthday party. Here’s my mini race recap.
  • Chocolate 5K Run/Walk ~ February 10, 2018 Delaware Technical Community College ~ Dover, DE
    • My friend Lindsey often does this race, and it looks like so much fun!
    • Post-race festivities include food & beverage—everything chocolate!
  • atTAcK Addiction 5K – E-Racing the Stigma ~ March 3, 2018 New Castle, DE
    • I love this race, since it’s usually around my birthday! In 2018, it’s a day before my 36th birthday, plus it happens to be right around the corner from my in-laws’ house.
    • Proceeds from the event will benefit atTAcK addiction, a grassroots 501(c)(3) charitable foundation established to assist individuals and families impacted by addiction. The organization provides support for recovering addicts and their loved ones, advocates for policy changes, educates families about opiate addiction and treatment options, works to prevent drug use, and strives to end the stigma of the disease.
  • Blue Earl 5K/Shuffle ~ April 2018
    • The Smyrna Clayton Running Club sponsored the first-ever Blue Earl 5K/Shuffle in 2017, and I’d love to return in 2018!
    • It was a well organized race, had great post-race food and beer, and attendance was stellar!
    • Here’s my race recap.
  • Dover Air Force Base Heritage Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk ~ April 2018?
    • This is a tricky one, because I can never find correct/updated information online to register. TriSports Events should have it listed properly, but the entry is from 2015 and says that I am “not allowed to view this race.”
  • Delaware Marathon Running Festival ~ April 29, 2018 Wilmington, DE
    • I PRed this course last year on Mother’s Day. Here’s my race recap. I’m disappointed that they changed the date for 2018, as this is always a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day.
    • This was a tough course for me because it was so hilly. I may opt to run the Dover AFB half instead, since they’re both in April.
  • Monster Mash Half Marathon ~ October 20, 2018 Dover, DE
    • At the time, I didn’t like the course, but I think it was just my mindset that particular day. I think if I had a pair of sunglasses or a visor, I would’ve been much happier!
    • Here’s my race recap.
  • C & D Canal Half Marathon ~ November 4, 2018 New Castle, DE
    • I ran the first year of this race and loved it! Some think that the out-and-back course is boring, but I loved looking at the water and running in a new-to-me spot.
    • Here’s my race recap.
  • Rehoboth Beach Marathon ~ December 8, 2018 Rehoboth Beach, DE
    • This is my absolute favorite all-time race EVER. Race Director Mary Beth and the countless volunteers are simply outstanding! Here’s this year’s race recap.
    • I’m nervous, because the Angry Toddler’s birthday is December 7, so we may have to schedule her party for a Sunday next year to accommodate this race (sorry, hubs!).

I tend to not race in the summer months, simply because I dislike being hot, and I’m usually marathon training. Do you have any races on your list for 2018? I’d love to hear about them!

2018 Nuun Ambassador

NuunI’m wicked excited to announce that I’ve been chosen as one of the 2018 nuun ambassadors! I’ve used nuun for several years now, primarily during the summer months when hydration can be an issue. I’ve literally texted my husband mid-run to ask him to pretty-please prep a cold water bottle of nuun so that it would be ready when I got home!

My personal favorites so far of nuun Electrolytes are Cherry Limeade and Lemon + Lime (see a trend here?).

I’ve yet to try nuun Vitamins or nuun Performance, but you bet your bippy I will soon! You might be asking, “But Becky—what the heck is the difference? Isn’t nuun just nuun?!” Wrong-o! Here’s the breakdown:

  • nuun Electrolytes: When you exercise and sweat, you need to replace the electrolytes that you lose. Electrolytes are tiny electronically charged particles, and the four main electrolytes that play vital roles in hydration and exercise performance are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. nuun Electrolytes contain the following:
    • Sodium maintains fluids balance (360 mg).
    • Potassium prevents muscle cramps (100 mg).
    • Magnesium relaxes muscles (25 mg).
    • Calcium is required for normal muscle functions (13 mg).
  • nuun Vitamins: I don’t know about you, but I’m a slacker when it comes to taking vitamins. I remember to give the Angry Toddler hers, but that’s the extent of it. Each tablet is made from clean, plant-based ingredients and is gluten-free, vegan, soy/dairy free, and safe for clean sport, as well as low in sugar, portable, and convenient. Each tablet contains 11 vitamins and minerals, has only 10 calories, and delivers Vitamin A, folic acid, B6, and Vitamins C, E, and D for health and wellness.
  • nuun Performance: I’m a very visual person, so here comes a graphic! If you’re a middle-to-back-of the packer like myself, you’ll be out on a course for over 1.5 hours during a half marathon. nuun Performance uses the precise ratio and kinds of electrolytes and carbs (plus fluid) that are more fully absorbed during strenuous effort, like running a half or a full! The ingredients are in their purest forms to be more usable, and its powder form allows you to make exactly as much as you need each time.


Note: Everyone needs a minimum of 30 grams of carb per hour per the American College of Sports Medicine. Weight, gender, duration, and intensity all influence how much more, if any, is needed.

So there you have it! If you haven’t tried nuun yet, then it’s a must! I’m looking forward to exploring the different flavors and options!


I’m overjoyed to report that I completed the 2017 Rehoboth Beach Marathon on Saturday, December 2.

My amazing husband, Tom, drove an hour to pick up my race packet and goodie bag for me this year on Friday, since I had to work a full day. I didn’t want to grab my race packet the day of the race, since I’m always frazzled to begin with before race day.

I wrote a permission letter for Tom to pick up my bib in which I praised the race volunteers, and Linda Chi loved it so much that she read it out loud to the other volunteers, since I gave them HUGE kudos for all that they do. Linda even recognized my name from the Facebook group! If you’re thinking about running this race, don’t waste a second more—go join the Facebook group! It’s hilarious, informative, and includes some all-around, kick-ass folks.

The Angry Toddler had a sleepover with Tom’s aunt on Friday night so that we could relax and get to bed at a decent hour. This year, instead of Five Guys fries and Grotto Pizza, we elected for Mikimotos sushi. Mmmm. I got the California Dream, crab Rangoon, and an Oreo cheesecake dessert role.

I got to bed around 10:30 p.m. and actually had a decent night’s sleep! I wasn’t anxious before falling asleep, and I don’t recall waking up a lot during the night. Win-win!

We got up on Saturday morning at 5 a.m. with a plan to leave the house at 5:15 a.m. I quickly ran downstairs, smothered myself in Body Glide, got dressed, and shoved everything into the car. Normally I don’t eat before a race or long run, but I actually felt a little nauseous, so I grabbed a piece of bread and peanut butter, along with some coffee (thanks, hubs!).

Tom drove us the hour into Rehoboth, and even then, I really didn’t feel any pre-race nerves to speak of, which is very unusual for me. I should have felt ALL.THE.NERVES that morning, because my preparation/training cycle for this race was dismal. I ran two 10-milers, a half, and one 15-miler beforehand. That’s nowhere near how much I prepared for my 2015 full.

We found parking very easily fairly close to the start, and I even had time to use the actual restroom beforehand. The line was maybe ten women deep, but it went very quickly. While in line, I listened in to a 33-week-pregnant mom talk about how she was going to run the full. If I ever mention a feat such as this, slap the crazy out of me, please.

Here I am below in front of the starting line. It was chilly out but not horrendous (maybe close to 40 degrees?)


I had planned to meet up with folks from the Smyrna Clayton Running Club (SCRC) around 6:30 a.m. and the awesome Ms. Brady from PlowOn Gum around 6:45 a.m. I saw Greg from the SCRC, and Brady managed to find me in the crowd as well. I think I need to work on my selfie skills here.


Around 6:50 a.m. or so, I decided to try and find the 11-minute-per-mile sign and stake my claim. Lo and behold, I found another SCRC member (Candi) right next to me!

005bShe was running the half, so we chatted until they announced the start of the race, and off we went!

The course was the same as in 2015 from what I could tell, and I started off at a comfortable pace. This time, I didn’t run using my Nike+ Run Club app at all. I just wanted to run with a smile on my face, enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and try to stay consistent throughout. We started off in a residential area, as I weaved in and out of slower runners. It wasn’t all that congested, and I loved hearing the dull roar of runners at the start of a race. Folks were chatting with each other, getting situated with podcasts or music, and finding their flow. I, on the other hand, was fumbling with my bluetooth wireless headphones and wondering why I couldn’t hear my Another Mother Runner podcast episode loudly enough. Duh, Becky, it would be nice if you connected the darn device first. I had unknowingly been blasting the podcast for a minute or two, but thankfully the volume wasn’t up loud enough to distract other runners.

Tom texted me at the 5K and 10K marks to tell me that I was running at about a 10:30 pace, which was much faster than I had anticipated. His exact words were, “Slow down, killer.” In fact, from the 5K mark to the 10K mark, I actually increased my pace from 10:31 to 10:29 per mile. (Whaaaaaaaaaa?!) At the 10-mile mark, I was running at a pace of 10:38, versus back in 2015, when I was at an 11:14-minute pace. I’m not sure what I should contribute to my faster pace, except that for my first marathon, I think I was just trying to be more conservative, since I’d never run the distance before.

SplitsAt the half, I was at a 10:41-minute pace. Still not too shabby! At Mile 22, I was averaging a pace of 11:19, which is still really strong for me that far into a race—considering I slowed down to about that pace already at the 10-mile point in my 2015 full. Here I am toward the very beginning of the race:


The course delivered all that I had remembered—Gordons Pond Trail and Cape Henlopen State Park were nothing but majestic (except for the occasional runner in the woods peeing), and the surface of the bridge along Gordons Pond somehow felt easier to run on than in 2015. (I’m sure this was just my imagination.)

I remember telling runners on the Facebook page that you don’t run in sand at all during the full, but we in fact sort of did run in sand near the Lewes Beach parking lot! I think I muttered a curse word under my breath as I tried not to get sand in my shoes. I did, however, chuckle at the tiny cups of ice cream that the local Dairy Queen was giving out after you run around the parking lot!

I remembered in 2015 that I stopped at Mile 7 to use the porta-potty, so my goal this time was to get at least to the half-way point before I used one. I knew I wanted to get well out of Cape Henlopen State Park before I stopped for a break. I made it until after the 13.1-mile mark to make a quick pit stop at a porta-potty.

I think mentally, the worst part is the Junction and Breakwater Trail area for me personally. It’s this out-and-back section that seems to last FOREVER, even though it’s only Miles 21–24ish on the course.


Just before Mile 24, the 5-hour pacer approached me from behind and said some words of encouragement. At that point, I was walking, so I really appreciated her comment/kick-in-the-butt to get moving again. I told her that I was trying to get under 4 hours, 58 minutes, and I asked her how close to the 5-hour mark we were at that point. She said that if I picked up my pace and stayed ahead of her, I’d get in under 5 hours for sure.

After Mile 24, after trying to chew some Jelly Belly Sports Beans as quickly as humanly possible (and it’s not really possible), I decided to go for it all and kick my performance into high gear. I switched from a The Running Lifestyle Show podcast episode to my marathon playlist. This year, I only had a few songs in my arsenal, but all of them reminded me of my husband and the Angry Toddler.

  1. Beggin’ by Madcon
  2. Try Everything by Shakira
  3. Fight Song by Rachel Platten

And that’s it. Yep, three songs. But boy did I mouth the words feverishly to each song. Here I am singing in my head and gettin’ it done.


Lo and behold, I finished in 5 hours and 12 seconds. Either the 5-hour pacer was off, or I was, but guess what? I gave it my all. I ran with intention (for Shelby, Lucy, John’ya, and Seb). I ran with joy in my heart. And I did it—I completed my second full marathon! That’s a win in my book.



Top-10 Runners’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

I’ve been feeling very festive lately (don’t kill me, yes, I have started listening to Christmas music), so I wanted to share a few items that are on my runner’s holiday gift list. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Feetures Elite Ultra Light No-Show Tab women’s running socks:
    Feetures is definitely my go-to running sock. If for whatever reason your socks have holes or die on you, the company will replace them FOR FREE. I’ve personally done this myself, and it was a very quick process.
  2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16s: I’ve tried the 17s recently, and my outsole/midsole hurt like none other. I have heard that you may need to size up on the 17s, which I did not do; however, I’ve put more than 450 miles on the 16s, and they’re just now starting to wear down. I foresee another pair of 16s on my Christmas list this year! I find it comical that in last year’s holiday wish list, I talked about the 17s!
  3. Bart Yasso’s Runner’s World Race Everything: How to Conquer Any Race at Any Distance in Any Environment and Have Fun Doing It: I recently listening to a Marathon Training Academy (MTA) podcast episode where Bart Yasso talked about his new book. I used to be a voracious reader, but these days, if I want to finish a book, it needs to be an audio book that I listen to while I’m running (duh).
  4. Campfire S’mores Gu flavor: I’ve only tried this flavor once, but it was delicious! I never thought I was very picky when it came to running gel flavors, but after my mint chocolate debacle, I’ll be sticky to flavors that I know I love. Espresso Love Gu is still my first love.
  5. Generation UCan Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars: While I have no tried these yet, they are on my wish list! I hear Angie and Trevor talk about them on the MTA podcast, and they sound like a great alternative to gels on long runs.
  6. Generation UCan Fitness Trial Box: This item looks very cool as well. You get quite a lot for $20!
  7. RunnerBox or StrideBox: Both look equally awesome. I know that Meagan from The Runner Girls Podcast loves her StrideBox, and I’m always so intrigued to hear what she gets in hers. I’m not the kind of person that would be bummed out if I didn’t particularly love an item or two in each box.
  8. PlowOn Gum: C’mon now. You know that I cannot write my yearly Christmas list without Plow entering the mix! Plus it’s green—how much more “holiday” can you get?!
  9. Women’s Running Magazine: It’s no secret that if I could land an editorial dream job at any running magazine or publisher I’d be on Cloud 9. But since that can’t happen, I’d be just as happy reading this publication as part of my two-second Mommy downtime routine.
  10. Orange Mud Endurance Pack: My Walmart special won’t last much longer, and I apparently drink water like it’s going out of style on long runs. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Orange Mud; the front pockets look like they would fit my cell phone and nutrition very well!