Marathon Focus

My summer travels have now ended, and it is back to reality. I feel like I hardly spent any time in Anchorage this summer as I’ve been traveling on-and-off for the past 7 weeks. Cullen flew on 7 planes and logged more frequent flyer miles than most people do in a year. He was a great little traveler.


I first spent two weeks in Minnesota visiting my family so Grandpa and Grandma could see Cullen. We were then home for a week before we boarded a plan to Cordova, AK for six days where I learned about Copper River salmon during a blogger trip. After a week to unpack and repack again, the three of us were off to Oregon for two weeks for our family vacation.

While in Oregon my brother-in-law got married, we hiked in central Oregon, dined in Portland, visited friends, and I had my first experience running at altitude. Here’s a very quick recap on our time in Oregon.

Matt and Amanda had a beautiful outdoor wedding in Sumpter, OR–a tiny town of 200 people.


I think there were more mule deer than there were people. They were everywhere in the town and very docile.


We stayed at the Sumpter Bed and Breakfast, which used to be the hospital. The hospitality was second-to-none. The owners fed us when all of the other restaurants in town closed at 7 p.m., they did Cullen’s laundry, and went above and beyond to make our stay very enjoyable.


After the wedding, Craig, Cullen, and I headed to Central Oregon. We stopped at various places on our drive there including a U-pick farm. I was so excited to score three pounds of peaches, plums, and nectarines for a mere $2.50. Cullen had fun riding in the backpack while we picked fruit.


We stayed in Sisters, OR for three days and went on two hikes. The first one was along a river. We weren’t able to hike too long because Cullen got pretty fussy, but it was a beautiful summer day to be outside hiking.


The next day we hiked around this lake with the clearest, bluest water I have ever seen. You could see down into the lake so far! It looked so refreshing. The has to be one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. Cullen was good for the first half, but he started getting fussy after about 1.5 hours and the only way we was happy was if I carried him, so I ended up carrying him (facing out because it’s the only way he likes to be carried) for the last two miles of our 6.5 mile hike. (I think we may have over-committed ourselves with a baby.)


The last weekend of our trip we dined on all sorts of food in Portland: Salt and Straw, New Seasons, Waffle Window, and Cup and Saucer. Everything was so good, and we didn’t even make it to all of our favorite places. Cullen has really gotten into eating solid foods and loves everything we give him.


One morning I met a friend to run the trails of Forest Park in Portland. It was nice to change things up, but the stabilizer muscles in my hips were a little sore the next morning. Craig and Cullen went on their own hike while I ran.


I also saw this Ocean Beauty truck while in Portland. This is the fish processing plant I toured while in Cordova, Alaska learning about Copper River Salmon.


Be sure to follow me on Instagram. I shared a lot more photos from our trip there, so be sure to check them out.


With all of these adventures, I’ve hardly had time to think about the marathon I am running on SUNDAY! This week has been all about resting, relaxing, and visualizing a strong performance.

I am hoping for big things on Sunday. I’ve had a pretty phenomenal summer of racing–setting PRs in the 5 miler, 10K, 12K, and half-marathon. I did not, DID NOT expect to set PRs this summer at all! And some of these PRs were pretty big: 4 minutes in the 12K and 2.5 minutes in the half.

Right now my PR for the marathon currently stands at 3:17. I know I can beat this time on Sunday, but I am hoping for something much bigger. There’s a number in my head, a time goal that my coach says I can run. We’ve discussed what I am capable of, and while I am still scared, I believe in the training I’ve done and trust her opinon. She’s been spot on in predicting my finish time for my other races (And I’ve actually run a couple faster than what she predicted.), so I know she isn’t leading my astray.

Earlier this summer I admitted my ultimate running goal is a sub-3:00 marathon. It still seems unfathomable, but if this marathon on Sunday goes as well as I hope it does, I KNOW I can run a sub-3:00 marathon one day (hopefully next summer). I don’t expect to run a sub-3:00 marathon on Sunday, but I do plan to run my little heart out.


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