Thursday, January 5, 2012


Note the date! This is when I first started the blog :)

My name is Melanee Berman. I am a wife to a Coast Guard pilot who has served for 15 years now. We have three boys, ages 13, 9 and 7. We live in NW Oregon not far from Portland (extremely running friendly town!). I am a nursing student. I love running.

My running "hobby" began a long time ago if we're going that far back. I always loved running and was often faster than even the boys in my class. On into highschool I was part of our 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams and ran the 100m and 300 m hurdle races. I never really ran much longer distances. Being a sprinter I worked hard, but always at shorter spurts of exertion. When my track coach would make us sprinters run 2 miles we would all die. I laugh at that now. I remember my senior year of high school I decided to give cross country a shot, while playing volleyball. It just looked fun and I wanted the extra patch for my letterman's jacket. I wasn't sure I could really do it, but my track coach Doug Pierce always used to say, "Anyone can be a long-distance runner." I didn't believe him then, but he was right.

Fast forward 5-8 years through marriage and three babies and I had changed a ton. I was no longer the "spring chicken" I was during track team. I still didn't like long-distance running so after my kids were born, I would go on long power-walks every morning and do a pilates dvd I had at home. It worked just fine for me and helped me get back into shape, albeit was MUCH harder with my third and I felt like I just couldn't tone my legs and I just couldn't lose the last 5 pounds. We passed his first birthday and I still felt like I had a ways to go. That was frustrating.

Then sometime during the end of 2006, as I was still struggling to stay in some sort of shape, my last baby had turned 2 and my oldest son was in school. My husband and I decided it was time for a better stroller, one that could also work as a bike trailer. We came across a company out of Canada called Chariot and purchased one online at a discount. (When I tell this story I always sound like I'm trying to sell these strollers but it is an honest part of my journey). It was the first expensive purchase we ever splurged on and it has been worth every penny! I loved my new, light, smooth, easy-to-push stroller and I walked and walked and walked with it. I loved it! My walking route included a few really good hills and one day I got tired of being drug downhill by my stroller as gravity pulled it down the hill. Instead I started jogging down the hills. And that, my friends was the day I became a runner :)

Not a month or two later, I heard of a friend of mine who was doing some running as well, and who was counting mileage. That was foreign to me. I remember her saying, "Yeah I ran 2 miles today..." or "I just can't get past 4 miles..." I counted minutes. So I mapped the route I had been walk/jogging and I started pushing myself to run just a little more, or to extend my route just a little longer, kind of like she was. Because hey, if she could do it, I knew I could.

Then I heard about these "fun runs" that happened in different areas of Mobile. Someone linked me up with the info about a run happening for St. Patty's Day. I knew there was a parade and festivities for the family later in the day as well. I don't know what motivated me honestly, I guess I just couldn't stand not knowing what I could potentially accomplish. So I got up early, left my sleeping family behind and I drove my solo self down town. I wore a festive green tank and a pair of navy Coast Guard shorts and put my hair in two french braids, a la St. Patty's Day fashion. I saw two ladies that I knew as acquaintences that welcomed me to my first race, all smiles to meet a newbie. It was pretty cold that morning and I froze to the start line. It was really low-key and we all just shuffled up to a line and some random person blew the gun. There were maybe 100 people there which felt like a lot at the time.

I remember a lot about that first race. I remember being nervous around every curve that I was going to take a wrong turn. I remember being so surprised at how old some of the racers were. I remember getting to about mile 2 and gasping for it to be over, unsure of how on God's green earth I would ever finish, but somehow continuing on, because everyone around me was and darn, I was going to finish and do my best! And I remember somewhere toward the end, some really old guy passed me, right before I passed some police officer that looked really fit. It was so funny! And then I made it, finishing strong! I honestly could not believe I actually did it. It was a small race, so no medal or anything but I got a t-shirt and still have my race bib.  I had finished in 26:51 (8:41 minute mile pace),  2nd in the 25-29 division, 58 seconds behind the first place runner. Oh man, this was gonna be a good hobby ;)

So that's how it all got started.

I have ran: 1 marathon, 5 Half Marathons, 3 10Ks, 5 5Ks and 1 Warrior Dash. Some have been slower than others, some have been more fun. But all in all, I am proud of every time I have stepped onto that finish line, no matter what time.

Marathon: 4:43:58
Half Marathon: 1:54:07 (2010)
10K: 51:11 (2010)
5K: 21:19 (2010)

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