Introducing Fennel!

Hello Salties!  I have been a loyal follower of Salty Running from its humble beginning, and I am so excited to be a part of the team!

I am a tried and true morning person who loves the silence before dawn and the returning from my miles to a warm cup of coffee. I balance the miles in my training log with strength training and my second love, indoor water rowing. I never miss a Sunday row class, unless I have a race, of course!

I’m a native Clevelander who wears many hats in one day, but my top three are wife, mom, and teacher. I am in the middle of my 19th year teaching eighth grade science in an urban district. As challenging as my job can be, I absolutely love what I do! I have five kids who range in age from ten, my only daughter, to two, the youngest of my four boys. A fun feature of my family, one that adds a little extra chaos to our household, are our twins stuck in the middle. My husband is a teacher too, so during the school year particularly, our days are never dull and usually crazy. However we have become a pretty solid team over our 12 years of marriage.

I haven’t always been the distance or endurance runner that I am now. I actually started running in high school as a sprinter on the track team. My college days involved more studying and party hopping than anything athletic. Like a lot of us, I picked up running after I graduated from college, where I started entering local 5k races. For a few years, that was the only distance I cared to participate in.

Then in 2001, I set a goal to run a marathon and cross it off my bucket list. I was overjoyed with my 4:33 time and figured with that one under my belt, I was done with the marathon. Eleven years later, in the spring of 2012, thanks to some peer pressure, and with a lot of motivation and encouragement, I qualified for my first Boston Marathon at my second marathon in the spring of 2012.

I had my best race experience at Boston in 2013, finishing before the bombing. Needless to say, my Boston did not end with the celebration I dreamt it would.

Since then I have run two more marathons with the goal of going back to Boston. I am now less than two months away from returning to the starting line in Hopkinton, and I cannot wait.

At 41, last year was my best year in my running life. I had three personal bests: ten mile, half marathon, and marathon. Never did I think I would be running the times that I have the past 18 months as a mother of five in her early 40’s. It’s crazy what motherhood can do for your strength and confidence as a runner.

I am at a point in my life where I am happy to not have big goals and just really complacent with feeling healthy, fit, and injury free. Gone are the days of pressure, having to hit a certain pace in a tempo run or log a fast 800 on the track. As any of you who have experienced a serious, potentially career ending running injury can relate, after I fractured my pelvis three years ago, I appreciate whatever my body gives me. I am a much better listener this time around.

I am lucky in that running throughout my life has served many purposes. It has helped me survive the death of my father, severe postpartum depression and anxiety, the loss of friendships and the gaining of others, and so much more. Most of all running has been like a compass that keeps me moving in the right direction through life and it fuels my passion and keeps joy in my heart. I am so excited to share my love of this sport with you!!

I am a mom of five kids ages 10 and under in her early 40's who is passionate about running and my job as a teacher. I am a dedicated morning person who balances my days with a lot of coffee, love, and wine. I am currently training for my second Boston Marathon.

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21 comments

  1. Ah! What a great story. Amazing that you came back to the marathon and BQ’d 11 years after your first one. That’s crazy. I love your outlook and can’t wait to read more from you!