My name is Melissa Perlman and I am a runner. I started running seriously at the start of my freshman year of high school. I guess you could say I always knew I would be a runner. My dad was a 400-meter specialist at Penn State University and my mom (as she always bragged) was faster than all the boys in her class! And prior to my start on the Spanish River High School Cross Country team, I had won local kids’ mile races and 100-yard dashes in elementary school on and off.
In High School, my talent developed pretty quickly thanks to my intensity, dedication to the sport, drive and of course amazing coaching from my mentor Coach Richard Rothman. I graduated in 2000 with two team Cross Country state championships and two individual Track state championships (in the 1600 meters and 3200 meters). While I still have some regrets – not winning an individual state title my senior year and especially that I never broke 5 minutes in the 1600 meters – I was pretty pleased with my high school career. I then went off to Brown University in Providence, RI, where I was recruited. I chose Brown over a number of other schools because of the success of the Cross Country team (they finished ninth at nationals the year prior to me joining), the uniqueness of the team members and students in general, and the flexibility of the academic requirements at the university. My experience at Brown was great, but my experience with running was not. I ran for two short years – which were primarily filled with frustration, injury and disappointment. At the end of indoor track my sophomore year, I admitted I had enough and quit the team for good. After that, I basically stopped running for nearly five years, with the occasional training for a 5K or Half-Marathon here and there. Nothing, however, was very serious. In late 2009 I joined a local running group – SouthFloridaRuns.com – and started to enjoy distance running and group runs again.
It was in August 2011 that I returned to my roots – literally. I joined with Coach Rothman to lead the Spanish River girls and boys cross country teams. The plan being: he as head coach; me as training partner and mentor (having gone through it all before). Then after Coach Rothman’s retirement in 2013, Coach Doug Horn stepped in and the two of us have led the Spanish River team together since.
The journey over the past four yeras has been amazing. I have returned to my old running form (maybe with a tad less speed) and started competitively running again in local 5Ks and half-marathons; I have (and continue to) traveled the world for running; I have gained new knowledge and tips that I am able to share with both my high school runners as well as adult running partners; I have had the great honor to be a mentor and friend to some amazing high school student-athletes; and most importantly I am loving it all.
Besides this blog and coaching the Spanish River Cross Country and Track teams, I do run my own business: BlueIvy Communications. It is a a South Florida-based PR and Communications agency that helps small and medium sized businesses get noticed in the media and with their key audiences. (Learn more at www.blueivy.co.) The flexibility and freedom of having my own company allows me to run, train and share my knowledge with others. My goal for this blog is to share information and tips and to hopefully provide motivation to those runners just starting out and/or those hoping to return to their glory days! Enjoy!
Running & Coaching Resume
- Spanish River High School Asst. Coach – Girls and Boys Cross Country and Track (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
- Brown University Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track Athlete (2000-2002)
- Individual State of FL High School Champion in 1600 and 3200 meter races (1999)
- High School State of FL Championship Cross Country team (1996 and 1999)
- Personal Records: 800m (2:17), 1600m (5:07), 3200m (11:02), 3-mile cross country (18:03), half-marathon (1:29)