Welcome!  I am Jen Rush – a native Mainer, runner, mom, lawyer, and now blogger.  I’m in my early 40’s, married to my biggest fan since 2000, and on a daily basis I find myself out of breath and reeling from trying to keep up with my girls, who are 10 and 12.  We are blessed to live kind of cushy life in a suburb outside of Maine’s largest city, Portland.  Our days are filled with balancing the demands of homework, soccer, basketball, softball, play rehearsals, piano, middle school dances, sleepovers, board meetings, family dinners, outside recreation, gatherings with our amazing friends, and never ending piles of laundry. 

Regardless of our specific blessings and challenges, we relate to every parent’s experience of paddling upstream against an undercurrent of anxiety.  Every day – several times a day – we ask ourselves whether we are doing it “right.”  As we all know, this is an unfair, arbitrary bar by which we judge ourselves because there is no “right” way to parent.  Personally, I place a lot of value in leading by example.  I want my girls to set goals, challenge themselves, and smash barriers.  I don’t want them to become complacent.  I want them to face their fears, struggle, hit a low, and then pull themselves up.  I don’t want them to ever give their whole selves over to anyone else.  And I want them to be exposed – they need to get out and explore our nation, learn our history, and see how people live outside of the bubble in which they live.

So a couple of years ago I decided that I would run a marathon in each state – with a goal of completing each marathon in four hours or less – by the time I am 50.  I aim to bring my family to as many of these marathons as possible.  They get to feel the anticipatory anxiety at the start; witness the desperation, pain, and triumphs of the runners; lend their energy and support to those who need it; and soak in the education and experiences that can only come with traveling to another part of the country. 

Since I started this journey, my dad has been pestering me to write it all down.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that every time I plan for a race, I always Google the race name with the words “blog” or “review” to see if anyone else has documented their experience.  I’ve learned a lot that way and am grateful to those who take their time to share their journey.  So I decided there was no reason why I couldn’t give back in this way too.  Plus, this has the added benefit of getting my dad off my back!  (Just kidding, Dad.)  I hope that you will find my reviews practical, helpful, and maybe mildly entertaining.

I’m so glad that you are here!  Please don’t be a stranger – I sincerely hope that you will reach out and share your marathon and travel experiences too!

Take good care,