I joined Portland Fit in 2013 with the goal of training to run my first marathon. I had walked the Portland Marathon twice before, with the help of a friend’s mom who was a marathon walker. I never thought I could run a marathon; I was more of a hiker and walker. But after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2011, I entered Portland a 3rd time, and ended up jogging about 23 miles of the course (with backpacking as my training), because walking on the pavement was hurting my legs. That made me believe and dream I could do it! I started running again January 1st, when my daughter was 4 months old. But I needed a structure to keep me on track, and some support. I was scared. I saw an email about PFit, and loved that it included all paces, walkers and runners. I followed the schedule to a T, doing my long runs alone on vacations, and track work at the local park. I got stronger throughout the season, and improved my marathon time by 47 minutes! Plus I made friends, and had a new healthy hobby. I started assistant coaching in 2015, and stepped up to head coach in 2017. I run road (half & full marathons), and trail (50k & 50-mile ultras). My favorite marathon has been Boston in 2017, despite needing to run slowly due to an injury. My fastest was Eugene in 2016 (3:49:52), when I “BQ’d” (Boston Qualified). I lead Tuesday hill & speed workouts during the PFit season. My goal for 2019 is run some trail 50k races, and work toward a 100-mile race in 2020.