Prior to Columbus Marathon I put it out there that I had BIG DREAMS of one day running a 3:10 marathon. When I decided on that DREAM I didn’t think I could or would even come close to it for a VERY LONG time – it seemed like a BIG DREAM [and a huge goal].

Then decided to go after my dream. Why settle for a PR when I could try to reach for the stars and achieve a dream?

So I trained for a 3:10 marathon.

I put down in my notebook three goals:

Marathon Goal: Sub 3:20

Realistic Goal: 3:13

Dream Big Goal: 3:10

One of my favorite Christmas presents. Dream Big, Run Long bracelets from my sister!

I ran 3:13 at Columbus.

When I looked back and saw my notes it literally freaked me out. This is how well I know my body – I knew what a realistic goal was and I knew that if everything was perfect I could get close to my big dream.

Marathons are imperfectly perfect. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

You never know what will happen – it’s the beauty and the heartbreak of them. It is what makes the distance so alluring. You train for months, sometimes years for one race and in the end you do not know what the day will give you. You could be in shape to run a 3:10 and end up with a 4:10. You must plan, train and take all the steps to make the race perfect, but then you must surrender yourself to the idea that NOTHING may go as planned.

For this reason it’s VERY hard for me to say if I am ready for marathon #19.

Can I complete the distance? Yes. I have been training for and running marathons since 2003. The only time I took breaks was when I was pregnant. I believe that on any given day of my life I can complete 26.2 miles.

Am I in shape? Yes. I am in the best shape of my life other than the fact that I have gained weight – which to some means I do not appear as *fit* as I used to. My weight is 10lbs higher than it was last time I ran B & A Marathon. This is not 10 lbs of fat. I have gained a ton of muscle and it’s making me stronger. I realized that even though I was eating 2,000+ calories a day it wasn’t enough to support the mileage I was running. I needed to eat more whole foods in order to not burn muscle. So I’m bigger – but bigger doesn’t always mean fatter or slower – in my case it means fitter, faster and stronger. I will be watching what I eat carefully this week. This is not the week for desserts, or for foods that don’t give back to me. I am eating whole foods, healthy foods, and making sure that my portions are under control.

Do I believe in myself? Yes. The doubt demons are in FULL effect. On a daily basis I question how I will be able to run 26.2 miles as fast as I want to run them. I know these demons come right before every single marathon and while I may believe them for a moment, deep down inside I know I am capable of big things [big things are unique to each individual - something big to me may be small to you and visa versa]. I also know that I have strength that comes from a well that NEVER runs dry. When I am feeling weak I will turn to God to calm me and help me through those last painful  miles.

What do the numbers say?

I trained for a 3:05 marathon – according to my trusty McMillan Calculator that means these paces:

Long Run: 7:34 – 8:34

Easy Run: 7:34 – 8:04

Recovery Run: 8:34 – 9:04

Tempo Run: 6:25 – 6:42

I hit these on almost every run, typically hitting the lower end.

 

So here are my goals [it's scary to me to put this out there but I'm all about confronting my fears lately]

Marathon Goal: sub 3:13 with a PR

Realistic Goal: 3:07

DREAM BIG GOAL: sub 3:05

 

So am I ready? Yes. I’m as ready as I will ever be.

Could I have trained harder? Yes. You can always do more.

Am I pleased with my training and the effort I was able to put in while training mostly on a treadmill during the winter while raising three kids? H*LL YES.

 

In 7 days I will be a marathoner x19.

DREAM BIG my friends. DREAM BIG.

 

Will you be running B & A Marathon or Half Marathon too? How do you know if you are ready for a marathon?

Comments

  1. Haha, I had a similar post for today, although mine was a little less positive and a little more scary. :) These few sentences were what I needed a reminder of today:
    “Do I believe in myself? Yes. The doubt demons are in FULL effect.”
    Here’s to positive thinking and overcoming that doubt!
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Marathon Week ConfessionsMy Profile

  2. Good luck- You are prepared and ready for a great race. I can’t wait to hear about it because I know that you will do amazing. I aspire to be as quick as you someday!
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..MIAMy Profile

  3. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    @ Heather @ Better With Veggies:
    Just read your post on your blog! You are going to do great :) just tell yourself that over and over so your mind believes it. You need IT to be strong in those last painful miles – so even if you are scared just convince your mind! GOOD LUCK

  4. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    @ Tasha @ Healthy Diva:
    Tasha! Thank you so much :)

    AND if you want to get faster then DREAM BIG!!! Honestly I would have never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be talking about running a marathon in the low 7’s – even the 8’s seemed insane to me at one point! You can do it :)

  5. Good luck!! You’ve got this!!!
    I hope the day goes perfectly and you reach those goals.
    Get after it.
    Missy recently posted..Ragnar part 1My Profile

  6. Can’t wait to find out how you do, lady!!! You got this!
    natalie recently posted..One Big Catch UpMy Profile

  7. I’ll be thinking of you as I run my first marathon on the same day! You’re truly an inspiraiton and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

    I have been continually doubting myself but I am trusting in my training and I feel like I’ve been ready to do this for a few weeks now. It’s strange, but in a way I want it to be over with so I can see what I am capable of at the end but on the other hand, I don’t want it to come to an end. It’s been such an amazing ride and I’ve learned so much about myself in these last few months. It continually fascinates me as to what our bodies (and most importantly, our minds) are capable of.

    Good luck on Sunday!

  8. I am so glad I read this post today! I am running in the Little Rock Marathon on Sunday (same day as your marathon!) and this week my head is going a million miles an hour! I like how you have broken your goal three ways. One thing that helped me in my last marathon (I ran in Houston last month) was to print out all my training from the past training cycle. On my plane flight to Houston I looked at it whenever I started to doubt what I was planning to do or the pace I was trying to hit. Looking at my months of hard work all typed up on one sheet of paper really helped me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and goals for your big #19. You’ve got this!! 6 MORE DAYS!! :-)
    Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..Tapering & TrainingMy Profile

  9. YES!! Dream Big, Dorothy! I am rooting for you & cannot wait to hear how it goes!!! Xoxo
    Alyssa recently posted..#WinningMy Profile

  10. D – you TOTALLY got this! so excited for you!!! xoxo

  11. D – you TOTALLY got this! so excited for you!!! xoxo

  12. Best of luck this weekend. It takes a lot of courage to make your goals “public” – especially when they are BIG goals. Run with confidence!!
    Jake recently posted..Saucony Mirage shoe reviewMy Profile

  13. I love reading your posts. I haven’t blogged in awhile because I am a little afraid to put it out there what my goals are. I am so afraid of failing at the marathon again. Your post today inspired me. Thank you so much. Wishing you the very best on your race.

    On a side note is there a chance you could do a post about eating during long runs and races or do you have suggestions for someone to do their own research.

  14. Thank you for saying that about weight. I think too many of my running friends are losing muscle & then wondering why it didn’t help them to run faster.

    This really pumped me up to get out the door after a lackluster first run today (I had to split it up for time reasons). So THANK YOU!

    Good luck & keep the pma going…

  15. Go Dorothy Go! I can’t wait to hear how you crushed it after #19. You own your training and you own your outcomes – making them rewards! <3
    Gwen recently posted..Hoarding for the Win!My Profile

  16. I am definitely in that same boat of race week anxiety, but just like any bad moments that may happen in the race, that too will pass, and it will all be over before you know it. Nothing left to do at this point but go through the motions to get there rested and ready to run on Sunday :)
    LesserisMore recently posted..Race Week JittersMy Profile

  17. You’re going to kill it!!! Good luck this weekend!
    Elizabeth Clor recently posted..Lazy SusanMy Profile

  18. I really wish I was in the same “place” as you! : ( I just had my 3rd baby in December and am struggling to get my body back. I’m over-tired, over-whelmed, and over-eating : ( So I’m 8 weeks post baby and my longest run has been only 6 miles (9:30 pace). I WANT to become a better runner but keep thinking to myself “who am I kidding?” I’m going to follow the Furman FIRST plan starting next week. I’ve never followed a plan before or even done speedwork. I hope to stick with it.

    You have come a long way and worked your butt off!! You’ve earned every bit of it! You are strong, dedicated, focused, and in control….that race is all you!! You own it!

    Can’t wait to hear how you do!

  19. Those numbers are so inspiring!
    Tanya recently posted..Lake Lowell Marathon & HalfMy Profile

  20. I see a sub 3:00 in someone’s future and her initials are DTB. Dreams really do come true xoxo

  21. YES, you are ready to crush this race! You are such a “dream big” inspiration to me as a running mom, and I hope you fulfill your goal. Good luck!
    Megan recently posted..The Internet Diet: Have You Tried It?My Profile

  22. Your going to kick some butt!! Wish I was there to see it :)

  23. Ah you are AMAZING! You are sooo ready for this one, I have a great feeling for you. I’ll be thinking of you when I do my first 18 mile run on Friday. DREAM BIG! :)
    Karla @ myhighonlife. recently posted..A Weekend to Go Down into the BooksMy Profile

  24. Good luck! I’m excited to see all of your hard work pay off!

    How do I know when I’m ready for a marathon? When I’m sick of the training and just want to run it!
    Meggie recently posted..Some Running ThinksMy Profile

    • Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

      HA Meggie – this made me laugh. I am sick of the training too until it’s time to taper and then I wish I was running more :) BUT that being said I’ll be pretty happy on Monday when it’s over with!! xoxo

  25. this post made me smile SO MUCH! I am honestly so excited for you!! You trained for it, you’ve got the passion, the fire… this race is YOURS! I also had to smile about the fact that we use the same calculator :) :)

    I didn’t know I was ready for Portland Marathon until rmaybe 20 minutes before the start. Our friend Ryan(who took 4th male overall) said to me, “did you train for this? that’s all you can do, train smart, make good choices && then trust your training” …. It was then that I knew. I trusted my coach && the training I had done 110%!

  26. YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. You will ROCK this race! Even if you don’t crush your big dream, which I believe you can, you are a ROCKSTAR!!!
    Lizzie recently posted..Home CookedMy Profile

  27. Amazing!!!! Good luck :)
    Christine recently posted..Let’s go for a run!My Profile

  28. Ooooooh! GREAT POST! Good luck, Dorothy! So excited to hear all about it!
    Allison recently posted..I’m Not DeadMy Profile

  29. Wow, Dorothy – I am so inspired by your commitment and your dedication. I cannot wait to follow and see how the race goes! Good luck – you have an incredible mental outlook!!!
    Maureen @ Go Iron Mo recently posted..Calamity MoMy Profile

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