Introducing Catnip!

I enjoyed a race every now and then during my pregnancy.

Hello Salty readers! I am crossing over from Salty fan to join the spice rack as Catnip. I am a 31-year old new mother from Ohio working as a speech-language pathologist. I’m married to a teacher/hockey coach. Oh, and we have a cat, naturally.

I have been a runner since I was 12, joining the junior high cross country team ’cause everyone was doing it. I continued to run cross country and track through high school, graduating with a 5k PR north of 22:00. At Kalamazoo College I improved steadily, finally breaking 20:00 on the roads as a senior before moving to France for a year and training with a French team (oh, and working as an English instructor).

It wasn’t until I drank the proverbial Kool-Aid of high mileage that my times really dropped. With the help of the coaches of the Columbus Running Company Elite team I’ve now notched PRs ranging from 16:56 for 5k to a 2:51 marathon.

My brand new family of 3.

I have a deep-seated passion for running and have been known to evangelize for the sport on occasion. Somehow my hockey-playing husband even wound up running two half marathons and coaching track this year. My favorite distance is the 5k, but I’ve got my eye on an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. While I am very competitive once the gun goes off, I treasure the relationships I’ve established with teammates and rivals over the years.

Since the birth of my son in February after a marathon 53 hour labor, I’ve been slowly getting back into running. Look for me to post about pregnancy and postpartum training, subelite racing, running buddies, and the elusive family-work-running balance.

I'm a 20-year veteran of competitive running, USATF certified coach, mom of a toddler -- and still trying to set PRs. I write about training from 5k to marathon, motherhood and competitive running, and the elite side of the sport. The 5k is my favorite race (16:56 PR) but I've got a score to settle with the marathon.

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  1. I look forward to following you!! I’m an “average” runner/competitor & I’m pregnant with my 5th (this one was a surprise blessing). So, I’m hoping to run through my pregnancy as long as I can:).

      1. I did with my first two, but only until 24 weeks. With my twins I only ran until 12 weeks. So, I’m hoping to be able to run past 24 weeks this time:).

  2. Enjoyed reading the article and very proud of you and your hockey coach/teacher husband. I know you will be able to balance all of this. It shows in your beautiful happy healthy son!

  3. Hi Catnip! I am a new Salty Running reader and was intrigued you went from over 22min in the 5k to under 17 as a “grownup”! I’m 32 and was similarly slower in high school/college and spent the last 10+ years as an Ironman triathlete but now trying to become a speedy runner. What kind of mileage do you consider the higher Koolaid mileage? Congrats on the baby!!

    1. Hi Jasmine! My high school & college programs were 30-40 miles per week during spring/summer/fall with some downtime in the winter. Late in college I became more consistent with winter training and after several months ~50mpw finally broke 20:00/5k. My first 17:xx took a few years averaging 60-80mpw (grad school got in the way at one point). Then I ran 16:56 after averaging 95+ mpw (peak of 111) for the first 4 months of 2013. I don’t consider myself particularly talented outside of being pretty durable and tolerant of boredom. 😉 I’m more than happy to give you more details if you want, but I’ll try not to write a novel right now!