Are you a female who has never run a marathon before and wants to? Is 26.2 your DREAM distance and 2014 is the year that you are going to tackle it?

Saucony and Competitor Magazine are putting together a 2014 Team for their 26Strong Program. The team will be comprised of 13 coaches {I’m one of them!!} and 13 cadets who will be training to run their first marathon. There are some pretty cool coaches in the program ahem Sarah and Dimity from Another Mother Runner, and some really fun cadets – hello NYC Running Mama’s sister!! I’ve been without internet access for a wee bit so I am the LAST coach in the group who still NEEDS A CADET to train!!

I want a picture just like this just only with you BY MY SIDE!!! Sound like fun?

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Here are the details:

  • You need to be a first-time marathoner. You need to be female.
  • You do not need to live in the Northern Virginia area but you must live in the lower 48 states to be considered.
  • You have to be A-OK with me oversharing our journey on Mile Posts and all the social media outlets that come along with this blog! ie twitter, instagram, the tree tops….
  • Likewise our journey together and your journey alone will be shared on a specific 26Strong website – you need to be okay with your real name being used and all the details being shared. If you aren’t ok with this then this might not be a fit for you.
  • You have to have completed a half marathon prior to this – I’m all for training smart and the marathon distance is a BIG distance – so I need you to have run a 13.1 mile race before.
  • You have to be relatively injury free – I want both of us to be at the finish line this fall together.
  • We will pick a marathon together that works for both our schedules and agree upon it before you start your training. {I’m a big fan of Rock N Roll races #justsaying}
  • I will be there with you all 26.2 miles on race day.
  • You will get to run a Rock N Roll or Women’s Running series half marathon tune up race for free.
  • The majority of your expenses (entry fee(s), travel, gear from Saucony) will be covered. Anything not covered will be your responsibility.

 

If this sounds like you and you would like to spend your summer training virtually or in person with yours truly please leave your story below. Please be sure to include where you live and a little bit about your running history.

I will be recruiting some friends to help me pick one of you by Friday April 18th. Please leave your story below in 262 words or less {NO EMAILS PLEASE} and tell me why you want to run your first marathon with me and the 26Strong program.

I will announce the lucky winner via my blog on Saturday April 19th. The individual will need to confirm with me this weekend they can participate so please only comment below if you are SURE this sounds like something you not only want to do but CAN do.

Questions? Leave them in the comments and I will try to respond as quickly as possible.

Picture: Running my first race ever with my mom.

Running……MORE fun when someone you like is by your side!!!

First Race DTB

 

You can find me yammering away on social media here:

Comments

  1. This is such a great opportunity I hope you find someone spectacular! If there is anything similar for shorter distances (half marathon?!?!?) I’m going to jump at the chance!
    Can’t wait to follow along

  2. I wish I was first time marathoner and could do this! – I am on marathon 2 and want to run a faster pace!

  3. Hi Dorothy!! Not sure I can be considered since I have run a 50k (twice) but never a marathon. For some marathons scare me more. Time chips… people watching.. can’t walk up the hills, etc. BUT it would be an amazing experience to train with such an inspirational runner for a marathon. I usually just run never caring about time just want to finish. However, to goal a race like this with you would be heaven. I run because I am grateful I can. A car accident in ’99 made me think running was not in the cards for me but thru consistent yoga I am pretty darn healthy. Hope to be running with you soon, either way!

  4. I absolutely love Saucony, the 26Strong program (I followed it in 2013), and MilesPost! I even titled my blog http://www.findingmystrong.me :) I finished 2 half marathon in 2013 the Woodrow Wilson Half and the Rock and Roll Half am a beginner runner…but I love running! I know I would slow you down on race day Dorothy, but I would be so proud to be coached by you and to run with you on race day. I live in Washington, DC but am in Northern Virginia often and my family lives there. I do not have any “injuries” but am type 2 diabetic and dedicated much of my blogging to “reversing” it and getting off medicine. I do not let it affect my running besides using it as a big of extra motivation!

    I’ve given a lot of thought to running a marathon this year now that I have finished 2 half marathons in the past 12 months. I’ve been thinking and praying about it…and then you announced a partnership with the 26Strong project and I am taking it as a sign to sign up and give it a shot!
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    • You wouldn’t be slowing me down – I will HAPPILY run whatever pace my cadet is running – unless of course I can’t keep up!!! :)

    • Christina says:

      It was my goal to train and complete a marathon in my 40th year. That was last year, the most difficult year of my life. I discovered my husband was living a double life which resulted in the resolution of my marriage leaving me with a single stay-at-home mother with three small children (ages 3, 5 and 7). I am embarking on a whole new me in my 41st year by training and completing that marathon goal!
      I started running in my mid twenties, training with a former Olympian marathoner and eventually assisting her in coaching high school girls cross country and Team In Training. I have run off and on over the last 15 years, training and completing short races and a few half marathons. I took time off for my high risk pregnancies and since the explosion of the last year, have been struggling to own my recovery through my running. The trails are calling me and my body is begging me to take on this challenge and find the strength to be the best single mother I can be by owning my training again! I would love to do that with you! I live in Great Falls, VA… not too far from Leesburg and five minutes from Reston! Fingers crossed ;-)

  5. Wow, what a cool opportunity!! I’m not there yet (first half in September, I think!), but I can’t wait to hear all about your cadet and her journey to the race. Do it again next year, okay? =)

  6. Lisa Ardanowski says:

    Hi Dorothy,
    I am signed up to run my first marathon this year in Detroit on October 19th. I have just completed my 6th half marathon last weekend with the Gazelle Girl in Grand Rapids MI. I would love to have you by my side for my first marathon and have considered looking into a coach this summer. I began running about 4 years ago to lose weight and have lost about 55 lbs in the process. Over that time I found out I had breast cancer, had two surgeries and 8 weeks of radiation. Running during my radiation helped me stay positive and look toward the future. I am now 3 years cancer free and have completed 56 races. I feel that I am ready this year mentally and physically to challenge myself with a full marathon. Thank you for doing this and for your consideration.

    Lisa Ardanowski

  7. This sounds so amazing!! A little bit about myself…. I am senior in college from upstate New York. In high school I played field hockey and was a sprinter on my track team. A 5K seemed like a marathon to me at that point. I remember senior year doing a father’s day 5K and being extremely grumpy and in pain the whole time. Two years later I decided to take a leap and run a half marathon. I didn’t train much and it was pouring rain for the entire race but I finished it. At this point I was hooked. I then decided to join my college’s cross country team (D3) as a junior and ended up being a scorer for the team both years I was on it. In one year I shaved twenty minutes off my half marathon time and just ran my fourth this weekend and PR’ed again. I love that running gives me the satisfaction of constantly getting better and I can push myself to be my best. Now that I am graduating from college I am ready for the challenge and commitment that comes with a marathon. I’d love the advice and support from you, I love your blog and am constantly inspired by you. I can’t wait to continue growing as a runner and person!

  8. Missy Braune says:

    My name is Missy Braune and I think finding this article was fate! I have run two half marathons, countless 5 and 10ks, and a tough mudder, and I’m 24 years old. Inspired by the Biggest Loser Dani, I want to run 26.2 miles before I turn 26. I started running in 2011 with my sister, and through our newfound passion for it, our family soon caught on. Thanks to catching the running bug, both my sisters were able to kick smoking and focus on healthier habits and running PRs. My two sisters, mother, and I just took a girls weekend to New Orleans to get away and run our first race together, and it just so happened to be the Rock n Roll series! We had a blast and rocked matching leggings. I’d love to tackle this marathon milestone with a coach and even more so to share the ups and downs with the world so we can inspire others to get running. I have been fortunate to stay relatively injury-free, but I am also a firm believer in running “while I can.” I can’t take my health for granted, but I can take advantage of this time in my life and accomplish a huge feat.

  9. I am fairly new to running. I started in June 2012 to help train for a mud race with hubby and friends, I was also about halfway through my weight loss journey (from 221 pounds to 119 pounds- though at a happy 123 right now!) Once I ran that first 5K (obstacles and all) I was hooked on running. It gave me some much needed “alone” time, being a stay at home mom of 3 that’s hard to come by!
    I signed up for more 5K’s, I was comfortable with that distance. I found a like-minded group of mommy runners in Moms Run This Town (Woodbridge/Manassas, VA). They encouraged me to try longer distances. I did a couple of 8K’s, a 4 miler and then I tackled a 10 miler. After that I realized I wanted to try for a half marathon. So in training for my first half I did a 10K and then finally finished the half in December 2013 (in snow, sleet and cold weather!). I’ve since run one other half (not a good as my first one, but I did finish!) another 10K, and the Cherry Blossom 10 miler just recently. I have a 10K, 2 halves and another 5K (the day before one of the halves) on my schedule for the year so far.
    I think I’ve finally wrapped my mind around doing my first full marathon. I want to show my girls that you can do anything you set your mind too, and that you’re always stronger than you think!

  10. I have run 6 half marathons (and am registered for numbers 7, 8, and 9 already) but am terrified to ‘bite the bullet’ to register for a full. I had hoped to run MCM in 2013 (right before my 26 birthday – 26.2 for 26!) but I needed surgery in spring 2013 and could not have adequately trained. I would love to stuff run a marathon while I am 26 (only until November…!) and this seems like the perfect opportunity to do so! I know that I am physically capable of the distance but could really use some extra support on the mental end :)

  11. Kathleen says:

    I would love to run my first marathon with you. I have run 5 half marathons and was going to train for the Marine Corps Marathon last summer to run in October but I ended up getting pretty sick. I deferred and now am planning to run MCM in the fall. Why would I love to train with you? I live in Alexandria (so close) and know you have experience with MCM. My sickness last summer ended up being food allergies very similar to your recent story. Grains, dairy, legumes, the list goes on. Since figuring out what bothers me, I have been healthy and excited to start training.

  12. Last November I broke my elbow and had to have surgery less than a week before my first marathon. I was devastated. On my way to the emergency room I was crying not because of the pain but because I knew I would miss my race. I was training with a friend (using “Train Like a Mother”‘s ‘own it’ training plan) for the Richmond marathon. I had put in all the hard work and lost out on my victory lap. I have run 7 half marathons and live in southeastern Virginia. I started running to give myself an outlet away from my 3 kids. Before I started running I was never athletic. I could never run. I want to run a marathon to show my kids that you can work hard for a goal and achieve it. I’ll be honest after my surgery (my elbow is healed and I have started running again) I am scared to try again. It would mean so much to me to be selected. I want to prove to myself that I can bounce back. I can do hard things.

  13. This would be so amazing! I played sports all growing up but was never really a ‘runner’. After a particularly awful breakup (dated 3.5 years, was dumped online) I began running first as a way to just fill all the extra time. The first couple months I didn’t fill my time productively, but I got to a point that I realizing that I was worth saving and I need to be healthy and happy. I found that it was so helpful to my mental state to have uninterrupted me time. I completed my first half marathon about a year later and have run in 4 more since.. I’m hooked! Running has huge life parallels for me with learning patience, persistence, self-reliance, and distance. These are lessons I need to constantly learn and re-learn. I’m originally from Reston actually, then spent 4.5 years in Houston for grad school and now I’m in Nashville. Living far from home and moving cities alone twice is mentally a little rough, but running has been my constant, and my way to explore a new city. I’ve wanted to conquer 26.2 for so long but have psyched myself out so much. I want to do this distance for the reason that I started running: to show myself I’m capable, and I’m worth it to invest that time in myself. Fingers crossed to run with you, but I am excited to follow this no matter who gets it!

  14. Emily Christianson says:

    I ran my first half 3 years ago with Team in Training. I wasn’t sure after that I would ever run another distance race again. I loved TNT, but was not in the right mindset to do such and event. When my family moved to NOVA in August I met a great running group of moms that not only welcomed me to my new town with open arms, but motivated me in every way. My running improved and after a few months I eagerly signed up for another half in Virginia Beach and I rocked it. Even before Virginia Beach, I had already committed to another half for the end of May. I always said I couldn’t do a full, not because I don’t think I can’t do it physically, but because I’m not sure I can do it mentally. I am my own worst enemy and once I get in my own head, it’s all over from there. I have to get passed the mental. I have a great base, but am worried about training over the summer with the heat. I am a nut and won’t feel as though I have “Done a marathon” if I don’t run the whole way. I want this!

  15. For the past 6 years, I’ve struggled with an eating disorder. My weight fluctuated a lot, starting in middle school and continuing until my freshman year of college. Headed into college, my goal was to get healthy. After cleaning up my diet and exercising every day, I managed to lose 30 pounds. I started seeing results and became obsessed with losing more. I drastically cut calories and overly exercised. By my sophomore year, I would go through phases of binging and purging, then starvation. I got down to 123 pounds and knew I couldn’t keep this cycle up any longer.

    When I was 19, I decided to run my first half marathon, in my hometown of Philadelphia. I entered therapy for my obsessive habits and realized that my body is a gift. Running is no longer a way to punish my body for calorie consumption. It’s a way to make me feel connected with my body. I can run far and fast. I can run for those people who can’t. This past November, I ran my 5th half, PR-ing at 1:54:47. I shared my struggles on my blog and want to help other girls who are struggling too. I found my strong and now I want to make it stronger…26.2 stronger.

  16. Michelle Goodwin says:

    Me, me, me!!! I would love to run with you Dorothy! I’m already in for MCM. My goal is to actually make it to the start line, finish, and finish STRONG!

  17. I am a newish runner–2 years now–and have run 3 half marathons. What surprised me most about running wasn’t the physical changes, it was the mental changes. The way it made me a stronger person, in my emotions, in my career, in my life in general. The turning point for me as a runner came the anniversary of my mother’s death. Every year, I’d sit in my room and close off the world. This past October, I decided to run 1 mile for every year she was gone (8). It was the furthest I ever ran at that point and it was a raining, muggy day, but I did it. Whenever running gets tough, I think of that day and how proud she’d be that I di something proactive instead of grieving. I would love to do a marathon and have toyed with the idea a dozen times, but feel daunted by breaking off such a big chunk. I’m still new enough at this that I don’t know what I’m doing all the time, LOL, and yet also new enough that every race and every distance is a cause for celebration and a “go me!” moment. BTW, I use I Run This Body in my head all the time!
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  18. Libby Syzdek says:

    I would love to run a marathon with you but it won’t be my first so I am out. This is an awesome project!!!!!

  19. May Higginson says:

    This sounds so exciting! I’m running my first marathon at MCM. I’m new to the DC area after my husband was reassigned here (military). When he was deployed, I started running again to keep sane, but found a huge community of runners through Moms Run This Town and was soon hooked on running. My first 1/2 marathon was only this last December, so MCM is going to be less than a year from my first 1/2. But my goal right now is just to get to the finish line before the van picks me up =P.

  20. My obsession with running started after a break-up. I have always struggled with anxiety and the break-up brought out the worst in me. I was turning into a person I did not like. I was broke, unhappy and needed to find myself and make a change. So, I ran. I started the Couch to 5k program probably a dozen times before quitting because I wasn’t seeing progress. Eventually, I committed in 2010 and haven’t turned back since. I have run countless 5k’s and 10k’s, thinking I would never be able to go further. But I challenged and pushed myself and ran 3 half marathons in 2013. Even after my last half marathon in October, I said, “I’ll never run a marathon. That’s crazy.” Then, I caught the “crazy” bug when I realized that a runner’s high is a real thing. I’m happier than I have been in years, and so much of that has come from running. I just received the fantastic email getting into the Chicago Marathon in October. Running with your help would be an incredible experience and help me become not only a better runner, but a better person for committing to it and pushing myself to finish strong.

  21. I have a four mile walking route around the little town I live in Eatonville, WA. I would get up at 5 am and walk it every day. Every once in a while I would jog a portion of it, then I would jog more and more one day I ran the whole thing, at and 11ish mile per min. pace! Wow did that feel good! I had some girlfriends that ran races and so I decided to give it a try. My first race was the Hot Chocolate 5k in Seattle in 2013 and I really thought 3.1 was the hardest thing I have ever done! Then I crossed the finish line and signed up for my next race….a 10k, 5k, 8k, 15k, and 12k later, I will be running my first half in June! The Rock-n-Roll Seattle! I am hooked!
    I also decided I no longer wanted to be a chubby mommy and if I put my health first my daughters might follow in my foot steps. A year ago I would have thought a marathon was impossible for me, but now that I am at my half distance in training, I think why not? I want my girls to know that goal setting never ends in life. I want my husband to see that all the time, money (in clothing, shoes, and race entry fees :) is worth it!
    Thanks for this chance!
    Lacey Meadows
    Eatonville, WA

  22. I vividly remember turning 25. I felt fat, old and unhappy (except for being newly married to the most wonderful man in the world). Little did I know that I was just entering a series of 5 very difficult years of struggle with infertility and other difficult things. Basically my whole life became consumed with wanting to get pregnant and failing, over and over again.

    I did finally have children and after my second child was born I realized that I had totally lost myself. I started running and basically met myself again on the roads (and treadmill, more than a few times!). I turned 37 a few weeks ago and I can honestly say that I am fitter, fiercer, stronger, happier and younger-feeling than I was 12 years ago.

    I have run a couple of half marathons and I enjoy that distance. The idea of a marathon has been hanging out there for some time but I’ve always been too nervous to step up, probably because I don’t have any close running friends to challenge that distance with me. I’d love to go there with you.

    • Really quick Kristin – where are you located? I love that – I met myself on the roads :) I think I’ve done the same thing a time or two!

      • I’m in Eastern Oregon! Sorry, forgot to mention that!

        • Ok I am a bit of a Dorothy MEGA FAN, freak, follower, wannabe:) whatever you want to call it and the fact that your name is Kristin and you live where I live ( in Oregon) and are also a Dorothy fan, I would love to follow your journey to 26.2!

  23. Hello, I am a stay at home mom to 10 year old triplets and one 7 year old. I’m 41 and live on Long Island, New York. I’ve completed several half marathons but have yet to participate in a full but I desperately want to. I have tried to enter the lottery for the NYC marathon but have been denied for the last 3 years. I started running 4 years ago–I needed to lose weight and lower my blood pressure and cholesterol. I had a treadmill and could not afford a gym membership so that’s how I started. I need to stay healthy for my kids and like to set a positive example for them to be healthy. Would love this opportunity to be coach by you!

  24. I am a mama of three in California. I was in hopes to run LA Marathon this year but unfortunately I couldn’t. My dream has been to conquer my first full marathon. I ran my first half marathon 2013 and since then I have been hooked finishing my 11th half at Hollywood Half. I began running to find myself again after having my last baby. I wasn’t nursing anymore and I had put on 50+lbs. Running has become salvation especially when things in life doesn’t seem to go in the direction I want it to.

    Honestly I am so nervous trying to conquer 26.2. This is an awesome program and no matter who you choose it will be a fabulous experience for everyone to watch and cheer.

  25. I just started running this year after tracking my brother as he ran his 4 NYC marathon. He’s 12 years older and when he finished i thought to myself I can do that too! I’m younger, I’m in great shape (I have a toddler I chase around) and I have plenty of road to train. Well after I ran my first 5k not taking it very seriously I realized I wasn’t in shape and so I started going to the gym, changed my diet and signed up for a bunch of NYRR races.

    I ran my first race of 2014 with my brother and it was torture he jogged and I cursed him and his happy disposition. I was miserable and my knees hurt. I wasn’t selected for the NYC Half bit I registered and ran for a charity Team R4V and trained my butt off I dropped the remaining baby weight and finished my first Half Marathon in under 2.5 hours my goal was 2 hours but I was just elated to finish.

    I didn’t make the 2014 NYC Marathon lottery but I’m half way to my goal to qualify for both the NYC half and NYC Marathon in 2015. I realized during the NYC Half that I was at peace all 200 miles I’d put in during my training. It was so worth it and I was overwhelmed when my son told me he was proud of me and ran away with my medal. I was happy to have finished with everything stacked against me (fused l5, “weak glutes” and bad knees).

    Thanks for the consideration
    Mari
    NYC

  26. Hi Dorothy! My name is Savannah Greene. I am 28 years old, born and raised on the south coast of Mississippi. I am single with no children, well except a little furry one. I am a huge fan and follower of yours and would be more than honored to be coached by and run my first marathon with you! Wow!

    I started running in September 2012 with one gigantic 12:30 min mile. My heart immediately went pitter patter. Love or over exertion? Who knows but I was hooked!

    I’ve since completed 8-5ks, an 8k, 2-10ks (one of which I won my first race medal for 3rd in age group) and my first half marathon this past November.

    Training for a half marathon was a huge deal for me. I found a deep love for the sport of running. I found so much passion and love for life that I never experienced before. I also grew so much spiritually as I had to pray my way through a lot of miles, haha! I knew from the moment I crossed the finish line after 2 hours and 14 minutes of running that I wanted to keep going. That certainly can’t be normal, can it?! Lol!

    I have since been considering different races to complete my first marathon. I have been looking at but not yet registered for the RnR in Savannah in November. I have never visited Savannah or done a rock n roll, so it just seems the perfect combination. When I told my mom what I was thinking about doing, her response was, “Your name is all over that, literally!” Haha!

    One of my favorite things about running is sharing the journey with my friends and family through social media. I love to inspire others and then see the accomplish and surpass their goals!

    This would be an opportunity of a lifetime for me and seems like a perfect fit! I could only imagine what it would be like to be trained by someone so wise and experienced as yourself and then to run my first marathon with one of my greatest inspirations! I’ve never had any sort of coach or formal training and know that you could help me unlock and reach my full potential!

    Thank you for your time and consideration! God Bless! Oh and in the words of donkey on shrek, “Pick me! Pick me!” :-)

  27. Nikki Rooney says:

    Hey Dorothy, I would absolutely love to train for my first marathon (really at all, and totally with you…. I keep debating contacting you anyways about it but then get all awkward and self conscious ) . I signed up to do what was SUPPOSED to be my first full marathon this past January but found out I was pregnant (a big but happy surprise) and had to bail. I love that you’ve managed to fit in running with being a mom because that has been my biggest struggle, I ran my first half after my older son was born because I wanted to show him (and myself) that I could do something big like that. I ended up picturing him at the finish line for most of my training just to get through the misery of some of those long runs down the W&OD trail. I’m not sure I even qualify for what you need since my second son will be here at the beginning of June but I signed up for a half marathon 12 weeks after he arrives because I don’t want to let myself off the hook. (But have a ton of questions about how to manage running with a newborn, I honestly have told myself a few times, well Dorothy ran a full while nursing so SOMEONE has to know how to do it!) I want to be healthy and strong to be able to chase after two boys as they get older. (P.s. I love numbers too so I made my comment exactly 262 words. :) )

  28. Hi Dorothy,

    Monique here; big-time fan of Mile Posts and Saucony’s 26Strong program! I’m a 24-year-old avid runner living outside of Philadelphia who averages approximately 20 miles a week, does occasional 5k races and ran the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon and Broad Street Run (wearing my “I run this body shirt”) in 2013. I picked up my passionate love for the sport from my dad, who ran every day, rain/snow/shine, since his early 20s until a knee injury permanently sidelined him to his bike and the elliptical machine. I run for both of us now that he can no longer and appreciate the hours we spend together on the Delaware Canal towpath, with me running while he bikes. Whenever I’m having a tough run, I find my strong thinking about him.

    I would sincerely enjoy the opportunity to train with and learn from a seasoned runner like you, Dorothy. This partnership sounds like a fantastic chance to make training fun and social and keep my first-timer, cadet self motivated to cross that finish line with you! I’ve spent a good chunk of time daydreaming about finishing 26.2 miles and wrote about where I’d like to hit the pavement one day over on my magazine company’s website: http://www.globaltravelerusa.com/blog/running-international-marathons/.

    I hope to make my dream to successfully run 26.2 miles a reality with you and Saucony at a marathon somewhere along the East Coast this fall, and then continue to focus on the training techniques I glean from you and run another marathon (and another and another…) in the future!

    Thanks for reading and inspiring!
    Monique

  29. I’ve ran (I say that loosely) 5 half marathons with my possibly 6th this Saturday. I’ve struggled. I’m 42 years old & age & slow metabolism is getting to me, but I am trying to make my 6th half marathon to show myself things are still possible. I have to do the run/walk method so I don’t know if that disqualifies me.. but I’m doing all I can to fight the 40′s. A full marathon is something that seems impossible to me, but I love proving the impossible wrong :)
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  30. Jill Tyler says:

    I live in Washington, DC and I ran my first half marathon this year in DC (The Rock & Roll) after starting running in earnest about a year and half ago. I finished in 1:51:04. I had hoped to break 1:50, but I know there will be another race and a new goal. It was my first race longer than 10 miles and I loved it.

    I think it would be amazing to set a new goal and work with you! I love this blog. I love running. I love challenging myself. I also started my running journey by lacing up a pair of Saucony Triumph 10s so this seems especially fitting.

    I would love to get speedier. I can do sub 7:30 5K’s and that was by training towards a goal. I hope over the next year to challenge myself by combining speed work and distance runs. I would like to get to a sub 7:45 for my next half and a sub 8:10 for a full. Lofty goals, but got to dream big to inspire my daily runs. I think this could be an amazing way to challenge myself in a new way! I hope we can be running buddies!

  31. My dad was a track star in high school and always wanted one of his kids to run. I never ran in high school but started running casually after my first baby was born. It was an inexpensive form of exercise and my baby could come along in the jogging stroller. I loved running right away- fresh air, free mind, and an endorphin boost during one of the most emotionally challenging times of my life. I never ran more than 5 miles until after my second baby was born. My best friend suggested we run a half-marathon together. I enjoyed every mile of training for the half and looked forward to long runs. I ran a shorter race in town during my training and my dad was beaming with pride when I crossed the finish line. The picture of me with my half-marathon medal is still the wallpaper on his phone. After the half, I decided that I will run Boston one day and my dad will watch me cross the finish line. I originally planned to a full marathon last fall but ended up pregnant again last spring. I ran through my pregnancy, albeit much slower and shorter distances. Now I am working on getting back to where I was pre-pregnancy and am determined to run a full marathon this fall. I love your blog and love Saucony. I would be thrilled to have your help across the finish line of my first marathon!

  32. Hi Dorothy! When I read your post and I pictured myself training with you I felt a wave of excitement and fear. These two emotions are what brought me to start running in the first place and what have kept me going all along. Running to me has always been an adventure, a way to better know myself, my limits and my strengths. I’ve run 2 half marathons, one in January 2013 and one last weekend, finished them both in 2 hours (the second one was the More and Fitness Women’s Magazine Half in Central Park… boy, those hills killed me!). I know I can do much better if I train properly. I have also run 3 overnight relay races (GCI relay in 2013 and 2014, Capital to Coast relay in 2013) and they have probably been the most wonderful experiences of my life. I’ve run a considerable amount of 5Ks, last year I committed to run at least one a month because having a goal is the best way to motivate myself to train hard.
    I was born and raised in the beautiful Italy, moved to the US (Houston, TX) 5 years ago to study and, more importantly, to confront myself with a new challenge, get a new prospective on the world, new chances to learn, grow and improve. I now live in New York City, I am a science researcher at NYU. I love my life here, living in the City is amazing. I train along the East River, it’s so beautiful that I usually end up logging more miles than I had planned because I am distracted by what it’s around me.
    I’d love to work with you, I am sure it would be a fantastic adventure and I am 100% up for the challenge.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VAnAQf52vLs/T3en5DYPEeI/AAAAAAAAAaw/okbIWylXXB4/s1600/where-the-magic-happens.jpg

  33. Hi Dorothy! I’m Jody from Syracuse NY. I’m a relatively new runner (about 14 months) who has completely fallen in love with the sport. I started running as a sort of solidarity with my students…. I’m a high school special education teacher and always strive to inspire my students to persevere through disappointing days and bask in good ones… I realized I was talking this talk all day every day but not really walking the walk. My students love to hear about my successes and disappointments and I’d like to think it comforts them. My two half marathon bibs are proudly on display in my classroom. I’m also Mom to 3 kiddos ages 5, 7, and 9 and picturing their proud faces and the finish line has keep me going through the rough patches. Thanks for considering me!!

  34. Dear Mile Posts,

    My name is Sara and I’m from Boston, MA! I have been following your blog for a really long time and am jumping at the opportunity to be virtually trained as a first time marathoner! I started running 4-5 years ago after graduating college as a way to stay fit and manage stress. Since then, I have completed 6 half marathons (my favorite is the B.A.A. Half Marathon in Boston, which I’ve done 3 times). The marathon for me has always been an unattainable dream. It is literally the only item on my bucket list and I’m almost tearing up just thinking about what it would mean to me to accomplish my ultimate goal. My boyfriend will be running Boston on Monday, and while I will be extremely excited to watch as a spectator as I’ve done for the past 10 years, I will also be longing for the day when I can complete a marathon myself. I feel that now is the perfect time to start working towards my dream, and that I’m finally ready to tackle the physical and mental challenges of training for the marathon. I’ve been running all winter (in the ice and snow) to keep my fitness up because I was planning to sign up for a fall marathon. Training and running with you would be so special to me and totally awesome!

  35. Susan Hulsey says:

    Yes, please over share, keep me accountable! Tell the world my ambitions, my trials and hopefully my success at something that has always seemed a bit daunting. I’ve flirted with running a marathon for years. I’ve even started several training plans, but then I have a bad week and miss a few runs and end up saying “I’ll do it next year.” Well I should have done it before I became a mom, or while my husband was home to join me on long runs, but I didn’t. So here I am the mom of a toddler, the spouse of a deployed Marine and a gal who misses the long runs that used to clear my head and keep in shape.

    I would love the coaching, whether or not I’m part of the 26Strong program I need to be training this summer – we’re suppose to go backpacking when my husband gets back to North Carolina this fall! My last half was in 2011, since then I’ve run a bunch of 5 & 10Ks but I’ve not focused on a goal and my running shows it. I’ve been a runner for the last 10 years, but I’m still not as fast as I want to be nor have I completed all the distances I dream of. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. It usually motivates (sometimes shames) me into going for a run. I can only imagine what actually working with you would do. The 26Strong program sounds brilliant! I would love to be a part of it!

  36. Tanya Hammrich says:

    What an amazing opportunity! I would love a chance to run my very first marathon this year with such an inspiring team. I am a wife and mother of two young girls, and have been running for three years. Picking up running in my early thirties wasn’t the easiest, but it has enriched my life in so many ways. Some of them are even hard to put into words. I have found my strong, I have found a peace, I have become a better person inside and out. It’s not always easy, but every time I finish a run or cross the finish line of a half marathon, I feel as though this is what I am suppose to be doing at this point in my life. I love to be running outside and one of my favorite things each time I step out the front door is seeing the sunrise over the mountains. That is such a priveledge to me as I hear my feet hitting the ground every morning. I have found a new way to be thankful, and have found so many more things to be thankful for through running. I am ready, physically and mentally, to tackle the 26.2 challenge and would love the opprotunity. I live in Clovis, California. You have been a true inspiration in my running journey and I have always been able to connect with your experiences. Thanks for considering me!

  37. I’m 31, and I’ve run 5 half marathons before but I’ve never made the jump to 26.2…It’s partly fear and partly lack of time. I’m a working student studying to be a registered dietitian, I ran my first race, a leg of the Baltimore Relay, in 2009, and I’ve completed half marathons in 2010, 2011, 2012 (with Team in Training and I set my PR of 2:15!!), and two in 2013, but this past winter and grueling school semester have really taken a toll on my time to run. I want to run a full marathon because I feel like it’s an experience I’ve been missing and 2014 is my 6 year anniversary of starting my weight loss journey in 2008. I hit my 100lb loss goal in 2010 and have maintained that ever since. I think this may be the year to take the leap and go the distance.

  38. Oh man, I would love to be coached by “the” Dorothy Beal. Seriously, I might hyperventilate. A little about me…I live in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains in Utah, just south of Salt Lake City. I am a 38 year old mother of 4 beautiful girls (13, 11, 6 & 4) and I want to teach them to find their strong. I have never been an athlete really but running stole my heart 3 years ago when I wanted to lose the weight gained during 4 pregnancies. I started walking with 2 littlest ones in the stroller and worked towards being able to run a mile without stopping. Once I got to that point, I started making longer and longer running goals. I have run 7 half marathons but have been waiting for the “perfect” time to train for a full marathon. I now have a babysitter I can rely on for all the training that a marathon requires (the beautiful 13 year old mentioned above. ;) I am no stranger to hard work; I worked toward and earned a degree in Civil Engineering back in the day when women were scarce in engineering programs. I think I have been blessed with a beautiful girls so I can help them see all that they could be and achieve amazing things. Every time I push myself to do something hard and scary, they see that and actions speak so much louder than words. PS – I already have 3 “I Run This Body” t-shirts (I wore the purple one on today’s run) so I am all ready to go!

  39. I had to stop reading previous comments because I feel like you already have so many amazing women to choose from that I was beginning to doubt my worthiness as a prospective cadet. But we’re all worthy in some way, so here is a little about me… My name is Carole, I currently live outside Savannah, GA. I am 33 years old, an Army spouse, stay-at-home-mom of two little boys (ages 1 & 3). I am also a veteran of the US Army, which is where I found my heart for running, while deployed in Iraq 2009. I was lucky during that deployment to have the time, and most importantly, a friend to inspire me.

    Since then, I have completed many 5Ks and 10Ks. I did two half-marathons in 2009-2010, and I even signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2011, with my mind set on 26.2! But weeks after registration, I found out I was pregnant. I know many women run through pregnancy, but I was not able to keep up the miles, so needless to say, my marathon goal was put on hold. After adjusting to life at home with two kids, I finally got back into running last year, and in Nov 2013, I completed my first half-marathon since becoming a mom. It felt great!

    I have never had any injuries that have prevented me from running/ working out. (Praise God!) Honestly, my biggest struggle is staying motivated when I do not have a friend or coach to encourage me and/or run with me. I would be honored to complete my first marathon with you! Good luck to you in your selection process- I would hate to have to choose! Thanks to you & 26Strong!!

  40. I have been running for over a decade and it has been my therapy, my best friend, my worst enemy…you get it. My daughter turns 1 year old this week. I hope some day she looks up to her mommy as someone who never gives up no matter how hard. As much running as I do (4 days a week 50 miles a week) I have always shied away from a marathon for fear of failing. After reading about this opportunity it finally clicked, if I don’t do it now I never will. I’m going to start training regardless! Marathon here I come!

  41. Anne Brown says:

    I am Anne Brown. I live in Sunriver, Oregon. I am 33 years old, a wife and mother of 3 daughters. This is my 4th year as a Runner.

    When I began my Run-Journey, I was desperate to have “something” just for me. I started with a C25K program, running on the treadmill while my 12 week old baby slept peacefully in her Moses basket. As I ‘grew’ in my self-confidence, I took to running on our neighborhood roads while my littlest happily napped in the BOB. Along the way, I discovered myself and have continued running – inside, outside, along rivers, up mountains, with my little girls, with my Sole Sisters, and solo.

    In 2011, I crossed my first ever 5k and 10K finish lines. In 2012, I crossed my first ever 13.1 road *AND* 13.1 trail finish lines. In 2013, I crossed 3x 13.1 finish lines. And so, on January 1st, 2014, I moved ‘Marathon’ up to the top of my bucket-list, penciled in my training calendar, scheduled Saturdays as my long-run days, and started running towards my first ever 26.2 finish line.

    Running, which I think of as the practice of putting one foot in front of the other, has led me to back to my ‘self’. Only I’d never dreamed I could or would be the person I *am*. This year, I am determined to “Wander Off and Believe in My Unknown”.

    I am ready, willing, and *will be* 26STRONG!

  42. I am a 32 year old mother of 3 (one 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old twins) from rural Decatur, MI. To say running is my sanity is an understatement. It is what keeps me from becoming the mean mom I don’t want to be, and it keeps me from losing myself in the crazy routine of diaper changes and chicken nuggets! I started running after my first was born to lose the baby weight plus some. I continued running because of the feeling that running gives me. Over the last year since my twins were born, I have found I am so much stronger than I thought. I continue to get stronger, faster, and more confident with each week of training I put in. I have knocked 20 minutes off of my half marathon time during this one training cycle, and it’s not even race day yet! Three years ago, a marathon wasn’t even on my radar. Now the possibility of qualifying for Boston is very real and extremely exciting.

    Why do I want to train and run with you? Two reasons … (1) I know you are someone who could push me towards the huge goal of qualifying for Boston on my first marathon. (2) I feel a certain kinship with you as I also have a triple jogging stroller and know you could help me get through the summer training months dealing with that extra obstacle!

  43. What a wonderful opportunity for whoever gets chosen!! I’m 34 and did my first run (1.5 miles), in roughly 13 years, a week after the Boston Marathon last year. I had a yearning to start running again but didn’t know how to get started. What happened last year was the push I needed. Two months later I signed up for what was going to be my first half marathon in Oct 2013. Unfortunately, I injured myself (achilles tendon) in July and wasn’t able to complete training. Since healing I have done a handful of 5ks (painfully consistent times and no improvement) and am set to run my first half marathon next month (which I guess puts me out of the running for this contest! :) ) I now wish I had signed up for an earlier half so I could be considered. I have no doubt that I will be able to complete the half next month and plan on training for a marathon for the fall or next year. I hope whoever gets chosen knows what a great honor it is to have you coach them! I for one would pick your brain about how to train for a marathon while juggling kids and family life. Where on earth do you find the time?!

  44. Hi Dorothy~

    I am so excited to see this opportunity today…I feel like it’s fate! I read about this opportunity last year, and so badly wanted to do it.

    I’m a stay at home mom in Virginia Beach, VA, and besides my beautiful babies, running is my passion!! Although I’ve been running for over a decade, it wasn’t until the last few years that running really became something that I can’t imagine my life without. It has become so much of who I am, and I am grateful every day for the miles that I am able to do.

    Over the years, I’ve done almost every distance except for a full but it’s not for lack of trying. Twice I have started training for a full (although I wasn’t really following any plans nor did I have a coach!) and injured myself. The first time, I was only two weeks from my race and it was heartbreaking. Since the second injury, I keep telling myself that maybe I’m only meant to do smaller races. So I keep trying to set faster pace goals in these smaller races to avoid that nagging feeling inside me. And for the most part, it’s worked pretty well.

    BUT…the nagging has been full force over the last few days. I just turned 39 on Monday (and ran two half marathons this past weekend to celebrate it!) and I can’t stop thinking that I need to attempt to do a full before my 40th birthday. Third time would be a charm, right? I am just so completely terrified of trying this distance again (especially without a coach!) I know that my body could probably handle it if I’m properly trained but it’s my mind that needs to “Find Your Strong” at this point! I associate marathon training with getting injured, and it’s a huge scary yet exciting hurdle that I need to get over (especially since the clock is ticking, and there are only 363 days until my next birthday!)

    I would love the chance to achieve this dream with you as my coach and finish my first full with you by my side! And more importantly, prove to myself that #irunthisbody!

    Plus, it would be a really cool belated birthday gift :)
    Lesleyanne Mulkey recently posted..New Races, Old Faces & Adjusting My PacesMy Profile

  45. What an opportunity! My name is Thea, I live in the smallest state there is, Rhode Island. I have been running for over ten years, but not consistently until the past three. Running to me is peace, determination, and strength all in one. Since running is purely for me, I do my best to minimize the impact on my family, so it means getting out of bed at 4:45 or 5AM to head out for a run, and be back in time to get myself ready for work as well as my three year old and ten month old (I get help from my awesome husband with that though!). this creates the very best start for the day, especially on those days you just don’t want to, but you do it anyway.

    I had really wanted to run a marathon in 2013, and was even planning on the Disney Marathon that January when I found out we were pregnant with our second. Since it was to be my first marathon, I thought it not to be the BEST of ideas and dropped down to the half. 2014 IS MY YEAR. I have been working on upping my weekly mileage and trying to get faster so I can not just take on the 26.2, but crush it.

    Peace, determination, and strength all in one. (PS, PICK ME!)
    Thea Cerio recently posted..Mile repeats that turned into a tempo run, and just about the best salad EVERMy Profile

  46. Hi Dorothy!

    What an amazing opportunity! I just completed my 5th half marathon last month (NYC Half) and have been rolling the thought of running a full this fall around. I am no speed demon but I feel like I am in a place where I can set my sights on 26.2. I am a mom and paramedic which both keep me on my toes and running is how I stay grounded and keep my head clear. Right now I am focusing on improving my speed and form, running some 5 & 10k’s and staying fresh for the fall. I have some half’s on my list but nothing on the books because I’ve wanted to keep the window open for a full. I have been a little reluctant and felt that I would need a good (great) coach to help me reach this goal and viola! I came across your tweet!

    So if you’d like to coach a 41 year old ex college soccer player who wants to run a full marathon for the first time- I’m your girl. Beware- I am full of slightly off color hospital humor and have no problem drowning my sorrows in a bottle of red wine when needed.

    I kind of had Detroit in the back of my head because it falls on my 42nd birthday but I’m down with anywhere. I have not run a RnR event yet but they look like fun!
    Tricia Wesolek recently posted..5 & 10k Time!My Profile

  47. Krystin C. says:

    So so so very cool, can’t wait to follow along!

  48. Me Me Me! 26.2 is my absolute goal distance for this year. I was supposed to run the nashville rnr marathon next weekend but I had to drop down to the half because winter in Atlanta was terrible and prevented me from training. So I’m not going to be training to run the Atlanta marathon in October. I’d love to have an actual coach. I’m slow and what they call a “non runner” ie – someone who was never meant to run but does it anyway because they’re stubborn. I’ve never run a sub 30 minute 5k and actually just blogged about needing a coach. Here’s to hoping!!
    Shauna recently posted..NutriBullet Day 3 and a Kick in the ButtMy Profile

  49. I just read your post and I have to say that I’m 115% in!! (If you pick me of course…). This is clearly an amazing opportunity and one that I would LOVE to be a part of. A marathon has been on my bucket list, but it’s a goal that I have not yet undertaken out of fear of not understanding how to properly train for 26.2 miles and also being fearful of potential injury. Having access to coaching would help me overcome these hurdles!

    My running story began in 2008 when I signed up for a couple 5Ks that I walked and ran to complete. Running started as a way for me to lose a little weight and stay in shape. In 2009, my friend talked me into signing up for a sprint triathlon which I ended up successfully completing after my friend was relocated for her job, leaving me alone to sort out how to tackle not only running but biking and swimming as well! That sprint tri was the first time I ran a 5K without walking and when I really caught the bug for running! Shortly after the tri, I ran my first 13.1 race, however I became injured in the process and really hated the whole experience. Since that time, I have completed a number of races, and I am now going to complete my second 13.1 race in June and a half ironman as well. I would LOVE to finally add a 26.2 race to the calendar this Fall so I can learn how to push the limits, tackle my goal and succeed!
    Amie recently posted..Success by way of Crazy.My Profile

  50. Hi Dorothy & Friends-

    My name is Tina and I am 34 years old (35 in July) and have always had it on my bucket list of life to run in the Boston Marathon. Well, I have recently been giving it more thought that I am not getting any younger and really need to start chasing after this dream. I’ve always been a runner in my heart going through streaks of fully being “with it” & just “not there”. Sadly according to your list of “criteria” you would like us to have run a half marathon before perusing this adventure with you. I also have to make you aware that I do where an ACL brace on my right knee due to tearing it while in High School. This does not seem to give me any trouble being that it has been many years ago. I just have to fully be aware of limits for the moment. You sound like you are an amazing trainer and one I can fully look up to a learn from as to what it takes to be a runner of these sorts for marathon length. I think what has been holding me back for so long is that I’m scared of not knowing what to do right or wrong and how to pursue this dream. I’m looking for this kind of advice and guidance to do this the right and healthy way. I live about 2 hours from Chicago and have even been looking into joining a charity team for the Chicago Marathon just to feel that group setting or guidance from others. However, Rock N Roll Races sounds right up my alley too being is I consider myself a “Rocker Girl” by heart as well. I’m in a position in life if you say how to train & be somewhere for race day I can find a way to make it happen. I’ve always had a passion for running being it’s one of those things that for one moment in time it takes everything away, reality isn’t there and everything seems comfortable & easy. I would really like to be a part of your amazing adventure not only for you but for the knowledge of what it takes to be marathoner so I can continue this love for years to come and eventually reach my life long dream of running and finishing the Boston Marathon.

    Sincerely Yours
    Tina Boop

  51. Melissa T says:

    Hi Dorothy! I am a wannabe marathoner from NH who feels a rush of adrenaline just typing that phrase and identifying myself as a wannabe! My days are spent as a homeschool mom to 3 girls, fitting running in between lessons. I’m still learning how to juggle this because I’ve only been a runner for about 5 years now…at age 39 I decided it was time to do something to become stronger so that I could enjoy time with my family more and be able to keep up with them. I did not want to turn 40 in a sluggish state and so I researched a plan and trained to run my first 5K before the big birthday. Since then, I have run a few 5K’s, added a couple miles to my weekly distance, and am currently training to run my first ever half marathon on May 4th! In the process I have gained a lot of strength and lost a lot of weight (about 47 lbs so far). I am not one of those who has always wanted to run a marathon…perhaps because I spent a lot of years thinking running at any distance was impossible and crazy! In 2012 I was at the Boston Marathon finish line to cheer on a friend and I saw people of all ages, shapes, and sizes coming across that line and I thought, “Why can’t I do that too? Maybe it’s crazy but it sure isn’t impossible!” That thought has stuck with me and I finally decided to challenge myself to run a half this year. Every new mileage on the long runs during this brutal winter has been an exciting and sometimes emotional moment for me and I feel for the first time in my life that running 26.2 is actually a possibility…even for this 44 year old. :) If you would have me, I would be honored to train with you and though I’m not speedy by any measure, I am committed to pushing myself to discover a new definition of strong! Thanks for considering me!

  52. This would be an amazing opportunity to learn, grow and inspire! I live in southern New Hampshire and I only started running one year ago, but have completed two half marathons (most recently the MORE/Fitness Women’s Half in NYC). I started running after being approached by family to run a St. Patrick’s Day 5K in honor of my son who has epilepsy. Over the last year, my son has had nearly seizure-ending surgery, I have completed two half’s and inspired my aunt and two cousins to run their own first half marathons and just yesterday my husband registered to run his first half with me in July! :) I didn’t think I’d be able to do a marathon myself, but this seems like a great first step toward a lofty goal that I’d love to accomplish and be the inspiration for others who don’t know its possible!
    I would love to be considered to be part of the 26Strong Program with you and share the journey with people across the country!

  53. Hi Dorothy!
    I am MaryBeth, I am 31 years old and from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I live there with my sweet husband of 6 years and 3 sons ages 4, 2.5 and 9 months old. I am a stay at home mom.

    I have dabbled in running over the last few years but got more serious in 2012 after the birth of my second son. I ran until 12 weeks pregnant with my third son. I was running 15-20 miles a week and ran my first half marathon in October of 2012.

    I had my third son last July and began running again 6 weeks postpartum. I run 10-15 miles a week and I am also breastfeeding. I hope to continue to breastfeed and run until my baby turns at least 1 years old. It has been a passion of mine to take care of my body in the right way to support running and breast feeding. I like the phrase, “I don’t diet and exercise. I eat and train.”

    My husband is also a runner. He finished the TC Marathon last October, it was his first. I am so proud. We are both extremely supportive of each others running endeavors. There are so many nights when he gets home from work and I run out. He hangs out with the kids while I run and when I get home, he runs out! I couldn’t be more blessed to have such a great partner in running and in life.

    I am a very hard working, loyal, passionate and happy person. Running has given me so much physically but I appreciate more what it has done for me mentally. I am a better person since I have been running. The woman I am when I am running says, “I can do it. I am beautiful. I am strong.” This determined woman was the woman I wanted to be all the time. I am so proud to be who I am now.

    This opportunity to be your cadet could not come at a better time. I am happy with my three children, the relationship I have with my husband and I have the time to train for a marathon.

    I also love social media! You can find me blogging from time to time at Occupation Housewife, Instagraming (http://followgram.me/occuphousewife) my play dates, and posting updates to my Facebook wall. I have fun sharing my life with others! I have been subscribed to your blog for at least a year now. While I don’t know you, I feel like I have some idea of what I am getting myself into as your cadet!

    Thank you for your consideration and happy running!
    MaryBeth

  54. I wish the army had not moved us to Alaska – this would be awesome as I loved seeing you make the magazine cover last year and then brag that I knew you….dang ‘ol Army….
    Molly Ritterbeck recently posted..Busy Fitness MomMy Profile

  55. Oh my gosh, I would love to runny first marathon with you!!i live in NOVA too! I was a runner when I was younger but never considered running a half or full marathon. After a series of pregnancies I found myself a mother of a baby girl who was only a couple of months old and pregnant with twins, one of whom wasn’t going to survive. I felt lost and didn’t know who this person was that I had become. I was overweight and had bad postpartum depression. I began running again and slowly found myself. It truly is my happy place. I also found I had much more patience and a desire to keep going farther and farther distances. I felt on top of the world! Since then I have run two 1/2 marathons and have had running a marathon on my mind for a while. I am part of a local branch of Mom’s Run This Town and have made such good friends. Some of them have run marathons this year and it has simply strengthened my desire to run one. Please pick me!!! :)

  56. Hi Dorothy and 26Strong Program!
    WOW what a great opportunity! I live in Columbus OH! Started running 5 years ago never thought I would cross the finish line of a 5k. Swore I would never run a half marathon and now have ran 5, one being a International one!! Turning 50 this Friday :) and 26.2 is on my goal list! Strong is what I want to be! Would love to be considered for this!
    Thanks!
    Kris Olsen
    http://www.facebook.com/NoLimitsRunning

  57. Hi Dorothy!

    I’m not one of the runners that can honestly say I love it beyond words. I absolutely love pushing myself to achieve goals I never dreamed of being able to. I started running a little over a year ago and now have 3 half marathons under my belt. I’ve trained hard and pushed myself to improve with each one successfully.

    I’ve learned so much about myself since I started and apply my training and race mindset to life in general.

    My husband is a marathoner and our entire family has cheered him on with each one. The distance is very intimidating to me and I’ve said it would take something truly special to give me the guts to do it. Your post was it. I’ve used your I Run This Body mantra since I began running, I’ve watched your Saucony Find Your Strong video multiple times for inspiration. I would be honored to run as your cadet and would give you everything I have.
    I’m a mother of 2, currently living in Orange County, CA but relocating to the Columbus, Ohio area this summer. I turned 40 this year and I’m unstoppable. I can do this.

    Thanks for considering me!
    Nicole
    Nicole Cook recently posted..Seal Beach 10k Race RecapMy Profile

  58. AAH so tempting. Not sure I’m quite there yet. It would be so amazing to run with you!
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted..Wednesday WonderfulMy Profile

  59. Kimberlee Falero says:

    Hello Dorothy,
    This sounds like an AMAZING opportunity!! My name is Kimberlee. I live in Canoga Park, CA. My story is I used to weigh 220 pounds and was unhappy with how unhealthy I allowed myself to become. I felt like I was stuck in a rut so I was talking to one of my friends who is vegan and she told me to give it a shot for 30 days and see what happens. Well, 3 and a half years later, 80 pounds lighter, and 9 half marathons (with #10 on May 4th, #11 on August 31st, #12 on October 12th, and #13 on November 16th), a 10 miler and a few 10ks and 5ks I’m the most happy I have ever been in my life. Running has become a passion and I have even managed to bring a few friends along on my running journey. My goal is to run a full marathon and I actually bit the bullet and registered for Napa on March 1st. Does that effect my eligibility? Thank you for your consideration and congrats to whoever the lucky winner!

  60. Hello Dorothy,
    This sounds like an AMAZING opportunity!! My name is Kimberlee. I live in Canoga Park, CA. My story is I used to weigh 220 pounds and was unhappy with how unhealthy I allowed myself to become. I felt like I was stuck in a rut so I was talking to one of my friends who is vegan and she told me to give it a shot for 30 days and see what happens. Well, 3 and a half years later, 80 pounds lighter, and 9 half marathons (with #10 on May 4th, #11 on August 31st, #12 on October 12th, and #13 on November 16th), a 10 miler and a few 10ks and 5ks I’m the most happy I have ever been in my life. Running has become a passion and I have even managed to bring a few friends along on my running journey. My goal is to run a full marathon and I actually bit the bullet and registered for Napa on March 1st. Does that effect my eligibility? Thank you for your consideration and congrats to whoever the lucky winner!
    FYI. I don’t have a website and it won’t let me leave it blank so I inserted my Instagram.

  61. Laurie Beeman says:

    Hi Dorothy
    I have signed up for the Bellingham Bay Marathon, it will be my first and at age 61. I have run the Bellingham Bay Half four times and decided I needed to up my game. I started running in 2009 at age 55. I had always wanted to be a runner and tried through out my life to become one but for one reason or another never carried through. . I found USAFit in 2009. Since then I have joined every running group, seminar and workout in the area. Now, I am the oldest runner in my group. They tell me I am an inspiration and I am trying to be hard to be that kind of person. I’m all right with all your stipulations and look forward to following you whether you choose me or not.
    Laurie

  62. Danielle says:

    Hey Dorothy!! Obviously I have been following you and your blog for a while and when I read this post, I had to put my name in the hat! I have completed 6 half marathons and have never taken the marathon plunge! I’ve been wanting to for a while, but manage to come up with 100 excuses why I don’t have time to train. Having a 5 year old is tough, but seeing what you do with 3 kids is amazing and I know it’s time. I just got engaged last weekend and finally feel like I have the support I need to complete 26.2! I love the Rock n Roll races and wouldn’t mind going to Vegas…maybe I could squeeze the wedding in at the same time ;) Either way, I can’t wait to follow the journey on the blog!
    Danielle

  63. HH2Runner says:

    Dorothy thank you for this amazing opportunity! I have been wanting to run a marathon and will be completing my first 1/2 the end of this month. I am most motivated with a fellow runner by my side. I live in the No. Va area and am injury free! I discovered running late in life as a coping mechanism during the time my spouse was diagnosed with cancer. Running saved me…I wanted to be healthy for my family and I, and in the process welcomed the mental challenge that came with every step and mile I accomplished. Cancer didn’t have to control my life and I found with each step I took running that I gained a piece of my life and sanity back, I became hooked. Through running I have lost weight, become healthier and made so many amazing new friends. I welcome the opportunity to train properly and conquer a marathon together! Bring on 26.2!!!

  64. Hey Dorothy! Thank you for this incredible opportunity! I would love to be your running partner and here are a few reasons why: I’ve always known I would run a marathon but never committed to the distance. Last summer my mom encouraged me to go for it, paid for my race entry (that was the kicker!) and said she’d come visit from the states (I’m in Canada now) to be a part of my first marathon experience. In June we had what they call a “two hundred year flood” and besides the devestation to the area around Calgary and southern Alberta, the highway on the way to Banff was washed out and the marathon was cancelled. After 2 car accidents (one before the news but that weekend and the other after it; both thankfully not our fault) and feeling down about her visit and the news, my husband, mom and I decided to do our own. We drove to Waterton National Park and they biked while I ran! It was anticlimactic but beautiful and memorable, but we’re not sure of the total distance because many of the trails we had mapped out were so muddy once on them that the bikes could not pass. It was a first marathon to match the flood – chaotic and unexpected! As incredible as it was (and unofficially a marathon; it came up short at the end of the day), I would love to run a second shot and frist “real” marathon experience – one that has a finish line, people cheering and the momentum of others accomplishing a goal. Training and racing with you would be incredible! Thanks for considering!
    Bonnie recently posted..Midweek MojoMy Profile

  65. Last year, I learned my life is limitless. With the help of running, I reached the 100-lb. mark in my weight loss journey, I crossed the finish line of my first 5k AND my first half marathon (next week is No. 2!), and I unlocked an amazing new outlook on life. My newfound confidence helped me take the leap into a new (amazing) career, and it’s helped me change my family’s lifestyle to one that’s active and healthy.

    Recently, I started flirting with the idea of running 26.2 – then promptly chickened out. “Be happy with your progress,” I told myself. “Just maintain what you’ve achieved.” But darn it all, the marathon just keeps calling to me. After all, the idea of “limitless” is what got me this far, so why stop now?

    I’m the mother of a wonderful (and stubborn), almost 3-year-old girl, and I’ve got a husband who believes in me (even when he thinks I’m a little bit crazy). I live in the one-stoplight village of Edon, Ohio (hey, no traffic to fight with!), and I commute an hour every day to Fort Wayne, Ind., whose excellent trails I love to explore. I’m ready to be 26Strong – so let’s do this, TOGETHER!

    P.S. I love to write and share! You can find me @tamibrigle on Twitter and Instagram or read my blog at talesoftami.blogspot.com

  66. Keena Loftiss says:

    Hi Dorothy!

    I always wanted to be a runner, but never thought I actually could be! I would see women out on jogs and they looked so strong and graceful, and made it look so effortless! In 2010, a nearby city (where I was teaching at the time) was hosting a 1st annual 5k. I decided I wanted to run it, (even though I had never run a day in my life)! My husband is athletic, and I told him of my goal. He said he would run alongside me if I wanted to train. Initially, I would only make it a few blocks, huffing and puffing the whole way and have to stop. Everyday, I would look down the road and find a further spot and make it there! I just added a little bit at a time. On race day, I was so nervous, but I did it! My time wasn’t anything special, but I wanted to keep running and get better. My first race was in the books and there were more to follow (several 5ks, 10ks, one half).

    In late 2011, I decided I wanted to do my first half-marathon. I wanted to do the Oklahoma City Memorial Half in April of ’12. I am originally from Oklahoma City and when I was in 5th grade, I heard and felt the bomb go off. I knew the pain, but resilience my city had shown. I only lost one person I knew personally (my 5th grade DARE officer), but I knew countless others who had lost someone too. My husband, the athletic one, decided to bow out gracefully. He didn’t think he could run 13.1 miles. I decided that drove me even more. I had never been “the athletic one” at anything. But my legs are strong and I was going to push myself. I googled and found a training plan online and began putting in the miles. I was adding a mile every Sunday. When race day came, I was so excited, but so nervous, even though I had been running that far at home! Could I do it under pressure with a chip on my shoe, knowing my friends and family could check their phones and watch my progress? I will never forget the feeling I got at mile 8. The hugest smile crossed my face. I had been running strong and still felt strong! I knew I was going to make it to the finish line, running every step of the way!

    In September of 2013, I became pregnant and continued running 5k distance fairly regularly. I still felt strong! At my 20 week ultrasound, I was diagnosed with a placenta previa. My doctor said I could no longer run or even walk long distances. I spent the next few months of my pregnancy having to sit a lot, with the looming threat of “bed rest if there are any complications” on my mind. I was very lucky and the placenta resolved itself late in the pregnancy as my belly grew outward!! But my doctor said she still didn’t want me to start running again, since I had taken a few months off (against my will)!

    My baby girl is now 10 months old. I am a nursing stay at home mommy now! I take out the jogging stroller and run with her sometimes, or I will go out and run in the evenings when my husband is home. I will be the big 3-0 in August. It is looming. Ahhh! :) I would absolutely love to knock 26.2 off of my bucket list before I hit 31. Having someone by my side to push me and encourage me would bring me so much motivation and joy. Please consider me.

    Sincerely,
    Keena

  67. Hi,
    I live in the Knoxville, Tn area. I found your blog, twitter and Facebook when I first started running. You have been an inspiration to me!
    I have always loved to exercise. But I always thought of running just as something necessary to do well in the sports I played. I never ran more than I had to.
    My mother passed away in February 2012 after an 8 year battle with 3 different types of cancer. I watched a woman who had always been so strong have to depend on us to do everyday physical things for her. I found myself depending more and more on exercise to escape mentally from my moms sickness. It was difficult watching her in so much pain the last months of her life. Even when her body failed her physically she stayed true to her self and her character.
    Eight months after my mom died a couple of my friends told me about their plan to run a 1/2 marathon in the spring of 2013. At this point I hadn’t even ran a 5K race. They had asked me several times but I always declined. Imagine their surprise when I asked them if I could train with them and run the same 1/2. You see my moms fight with cancer and her last days changed something in me. I had a new respect for life and I wanted to be the healthiest me I could be!
    We started training in November of 2012. We trained a long time. The 1/2 was in April 2013. I discovered a lot about myself in those training miles. I am stronger than I thought! Running became like therapy for me. I made a lot of peace concerning my moms death. I had lost a lot of faith in 2012 but mile by mile I started gaining faith back.
    I had a goal of 2 hrs for that April 2013 half. Which was my first race ever. I finished with a time of 2:00:56.
    In May of 2013 I turned 40 and competed in my first sprint triathlon. Then in July 2013 I competed in my 2nd sprint. In September I ran my first 5K race and finished 2nd in my age. The 5K was called Hold on be Strong. That is my motto now.
    As I mentioned before running helped me find my faith again. I am a fill in Sunday school teacher. When I am scheduled to teach the lessons always come to while running. Several of my lessons have running themes. One was titled Find Your Strong!
    I completed my 2nd 1/2 Marathon this past March. It was the same one I did in 2013. I knew I could get better than 2 hours. Ten days before race day I became very sick. I had strep and broncitis. I was very sick and devastated that I may not be able to run. The Saturday before the race a short walk exhausted me. I had no energy! The day of the race I was determined to find my strong. I ran the 13.1 miles. I felt every step. It was mind over body. I didn’t beat the 2 hours. I was 3min 31secs slower than the year before. I was disappointed but realized it was a victory to just cross the finish line.
    26.2 miles scares me! I have several friends that want me to do the Chattanooga 7 bridges Marathon with them. How great would it be if you joined us because you chose me as your cadet??!!!!

  68. Alice G. says:

    OH OH Pick me! I am a female runner who has never ran 26.2 miles but having turned 40 this year THAT is on my bucket list! I LOVE reading your blog and find so much inspiration from you and your journey. You are always honest and genuine and don’t sugar coat anything – so knowing I am not the only one who has bad runs/training or set backs reminds me I am human and to roll with the punches.

    I started running over six years ago really out of the pure fascination that “I wanted to be a runner”. I was never athletic growing up – though four brothers does keep you jumping and never thought I could be but the owner of the all girls gym I had joined was a runner and she encouraged me to just give it a try. Well I did and I love it! I am not fast, 10-12 minute mile, and sometimes my training lacks (life, I tell you what) and I found that I CAN do anything and all it takes it that one courageous step! Running has helped me cope with many of life’s challenges – my son (14 years old) is on the Autism spectrum, my daughter (almost 19, what? where does the time go?) is currently completing her freshman year at college three hours away and my husband was unemployed for three years-leaving me the sole bread winner. Even today if my family sees I am having a stressful day they hand me my running shoes – even if it is just a mile. I am one of the crazy ones who does tell everyone how much I love running and what it means to me – sure I get strange looks but hey who cares?. :)

    I have ran two half marathons, several 5k’s, one 10k and completed the Warrior Dash (loved it!). I have never been injured (knock on wood) and my current biggest challenge is the fact that I work 12 hour shifts, at night, that change each month. I would love to check “Running a Marathon” this year off my bucket list and seeing my journey posted, with you, so that other moms, wives, sisters, aunts, cousins and friends become inspired to take that one courageous step and just run!

    Thank you for a wonderful opportunity (fingers crossed – crazy teenage girl squeal) and who every you choose I look forward to following their journey.

  69. When I was eleven (I’m now twenty) I began running. I was known as that crazy girl who actually liked running. At eighteen I ran my first half and from that point forward I knew endurance running was my TRUE passion. I love to whip out 5k’s, but long distance is where my heart is at.

    After graduating from high school running, I moved on to a collegiate team, but no longer had the opportunity after transferring. From that point I ran for me. It was weird training on my own, but liberating. In October 2013, I signed up for my first marathon, but then I got ill. The day my marathon training was supposed to begin I was writing an e-mail to withdraw from that marathon. It crushed me through and through. I was running for the National Children’s Cancer Society. Despite my withdrawal, I raised the money and pretended not to care. Who was I kidding, it I felt defeated. I can’t even put into words how much I want that “26.2” bumper sticker, to cross that finish line, to throw my tired arms in the air, to be in Boston one day.

    Recently, I have been researching marathons and scoring the internet like an insane person. I want to do one this fall. I have to. It’s a huge goal of mine. It’s a huge passion. It’s an incredible journey and I would love more than anything to be able to finish that amazing journey with a role model like you by my side (or several minutes ahead).

  70. For the first 33 years of my life, I was many things but “runner” never made the list. Four years ago I witnessed something I never had any intention of doing and something I thought was impossible for someone like me.

    I watched my best friend (and many others) complete her first marathon in Philadelphia. Since the 2010 race, I’ve metamorphosed into a runner. To say that watching others complete 26.2 miles inspired me to run is completely valid. Previously I’d tried, and failed, to run. At the risk of sounding cheesy, the spirit of the marathon completely moved me. It took hold of my being and it made me say, “I CAN AND I WILL” and since then “I COULD AND I DID.”

    I’ve completed seven half marathons (8 and 9 are on the horizon) and numerous smaller races. The Philadelphia Marathon lures me back each year; I’ve volunteered, cheered and supported friends, but never actually participating in the race.

    UNTIL NOW.

    All signs pointed me toward registration on April 1st (my birthday! HARK – a sign!). My kids will both be in full day school come September (so I’ll do a happy dance during my training runs – super cute, I assure you). Mostly though, I feel ready. Whereas before, I feared the 26.2 distance, now I’m ready to embrace it. Having you as a coach, for the Philly Marathon or even one happening sooner, would truly make me feel more confident, assured and READY to rock and roll!

    Meridith Daniel
    New Jersey

  71. Heather Jones says:

    What a great opportuntiy this would be!! After having a PR in my last half, November 2013, I decided that 2014 would be my year to run a full! Of course turning 40 may have had something to do with signing up!
    The winter months in Richmond, VA were a little colder than in the past, so getting out the door at 5:30 became a struggle, so I hit the gym and the treadmill. I have never been a fan of the ‘mill, but decided to embrace it and train with intervals and different levels. I recently ran my fastest 5K and two days later ran another (for fun) and beat that time! Every race, whether a 5K, 10K or half, I push myself to beat my last time. I’m my biggest competitor :)
    We all have this gift, to get up and run and I’m thankful everyday that I can do just that. I want someone to hold me accountalbe and look forward to this journey – with whomever you select!

  72. My name is Nadia Zomorodian and I am 23 years old and have never run a marathon before. I have done 5ks and that’s it. I would love to run this race to show the kids with my syndrome you can do anything you set your mind to it. I have a syndrome called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome . I got diagnosed at 2 years old but when I was a week old I had heart surgery then after the heart surgery I had pallet surgery . I have had 5 surgeries my whole life. I had phenmounia 12 times when I was 2 years old but now I am perfectly fine. I want to run this marathon because when the doctor diagnosed me , they told my parents I would never graduate school,get a job and be able to live a normal life. I am proud to say k graduated high school and college last may with a degree in photography and I have a great job I have been at for 4 year. I want to do this race because I shouldn’t even be alive right now. I had sinus surgery last year and it was a surgery gone bad. I lost 1/4 of my blood and was in icu for 4 days. Ever since that day, I have been doing everything I can because you never know what the future holds .. I hope I can run with you :)

  73. Hi Dorothy! Wow. What an amazing opportunity and experience this would be! I remember following these stories with this program last summer and feeling so inspired by it all. Running a marathon has been on my life goals list as long as I can remember. In fact, the words Boston Marathon were always written. As I struggled to get pregnant with my now 16 month old son, I turned to running to save me from heartache and the frustration of it all. Running was the only reminder I had that my body could still perform. Before I finally got pregnant via IVF I decided my post-baby running goal would be a half marathon. The training was difficult as a new and nursing mama but I did complete my first half in October 2013! Once I finished that race I knew I needed to run another one. I’m currently training with Team in Training for a half in DC and the. The idea of running a marathon has never left my mind and I actually registered for one, but have no idea how I’ll get there without the help of a wonderful coach. I have had an amazing coach through TNT that has helped me see how strong I am and what I’m capable of. You inspire me daily and I’d be honored to run along side you. Nicolasa from New Hampshire
    Nicolasa recently posted..My Boston Marathon Inspired School Project UpdateMy Profile

  74. Megan MacDonald says:

    Pick me, Pick me!! Oh man this would be absolutely amazing!! I had a crazy idea of being able to run my first marathon 6 weeks post baby(my first), the marine corps last year, yeah I was delusional and instead of just differing my entry I transferred to a friend from the great social media team #furtherfasterforever. I am about to run my third half marathon on April 27th the Nike Women’s half in DC, I am luckily enough to be able to run it once again, I ran it last year 5months pregnant and can’t wait to do it again for my daughter. I have always loved running and am most consistent when I have something to train for recently even having something to train for recently I have found it hard to get back out there to get back in shape after baby. Postpartum depression has played a factor in it as well, something I want to heal from and show my daughter you can fight back and be strong for your loved ones. This opportunity would be absolutely a dream come true, thank you for consideration!!!

  75. Dorothy,
    I can’t lie and say I don’t think I could do 26.2 without a coach. I know I could. I’ve found my strong since taking up running. But I’ve been strong all my life. Running didn’t save my life- I saved my own life by deciding to find a purpose and a goal in life, by discovering my own determination, by lacing up my running shoes.
    I started running after I put my dog to sleep. He was my wild one. I even have a tattoo by my heart now that says “run free, wild thing.” He had a neurological disorder stemming from inbreeding in a puppy mill that made him unpredictably aggressive. As wild and “unfixable” as he was, he and I had a bond that broke every piece of my heart when I had to put him down. I started running because my apartment was lonely without him. I cried on my runs and talked to him through my huffs and puffs.
    I’ve come a long way since. I don’t run for my dog anymore. I don’t run as an escape anymore. I don’t run for a cause, to clear my thoughts, stamp out my aggression, or for joy. I run for all those reasons.
    I want to run Marine Corps Marathon as my first 26.2. Not only is my Pop Pop a retired Marine, but the words “Semper Fi” mean the world to me. I am not one to one behind. I am loyal, and loyalty takes strength.
    I’ve found my strong. I always want to get stronger.
    Nevie recently posted..Nights at the track.My Profile

  76. Bri Jennissen says:

    Hi Dorothy,

    My name is Bri, I’m a 24 year old student in Minnesota, finishing up my Master’s degree. Running became a passion for me in 2010 when my dad asked me to do a half marathon with him, and I’ve hit the road running ever since. I’ve ran 6 half marathons in 3 years, and 2 10-mile races (what a lovely distance). I’ve been very sheepish about running a full marathon simply because I’m pretty intimidated and I don’t have any devoted running partners. A full marathon is such a dream of mine, and I am happy to see an opportunity available like you’re providing. I’ve started a twitter feed @happyhealthyrun to share advice and tips with other runners or aspiring runners. I’ve been loving blogging about my running adventures and have really learn to love a lifestyle of running. How cool would it be to share with my followers this experience! Please consider me for this opportunity. I’m determined and eager to learn. Check out my twitter feed at @happyhealthyrun

  77. This would be an AMAZING opportunity! I am the daughter of a man who ran many races and marathons. As a child, I grew up going to races and cheering him on. In the course of a 10 year period in the 1990′s, he logged over 10,000 miles!

    Sadly, 10 years ago this June, he passed away unexpectedly while out running due to heart issues. I would be honored to do this run in his memory, but for me. I want to push myself and do this! I know how proud he would be if he was still here.

    About me, I didn’t start running until about 2 years ago, as I went to a race to support a friend who wanted to do a 5K. Well, I got hooked! I started training last year for a 10K. Once I finished that training, I continued to train for a half-marathon. I never in my life thought I could do it, but I did it on January 19th! I was running that race to prove to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I also did it in my father’s memory. I felt his presence the entire race! All of the training I did was alone using an App on my I-Phone! I have never been more proud than when I crossed that finish line!

    I have been thinking about running a marathon, but know I would need a training partner or group to do it with. Please consider me for this opportunity. It would mean the world to me. I know I can do it and I am an open book. I would love to share my journey from training to the finish line! I live in sunny, Naples, FL, so it’s the perfect year-round spot to train! Thank you!!!

  78. Kimberly Lorton says:

    Dorothy,
    I was talking about running a marathon ages ago when we met while running for the Nuun Hood To Coast Relay. I was SO inspired by everything you were/are doing while maintaining your sense of self and family, but I still haven’t had the guts to commit to the full 26.2 miles. Frankly, I am simply scared of the distance. I have never really identified or seen myself as a ‘real’ runner as I definitely have never had the size or shape of a runner. I have done enough running to ‘survive’ quite a few triathlons and races, but that’s about it. I’ve always felt like more of a self-conscious tourist in the running world but always had the wistful aspiration to become a ‘full time resident’ of the running nation. ;) I am finally logging miles consistently again since the birth of my daughter- much of the time with a stroller; again, an area where you have been much needed inspiration. I would absolutely love to crush those 26.2 fears and self-doubts in order to complete the fabled marathon distance with you if you’ll have me. I have done a handful of ½ Marathons and had planned on participating in another relay this summer. I think I am finally ready and would love to have your counsel and coaching as well as the amazing support of Saucony along the way. I am prepared for some humble pie as everyone always talks about reaching deep to accomplish the 26.2 distance but hopefully I can surprise myself, and maybe even you… coach?

  79. I teared up when I saw this post. I thought this can’t be real! But I am intimidated by all the entries..but why not enter huh?! I ran my first half-marathon last October. I’m training to get a sub 2 next! I live in Arizona. I got into running as a way to escape (I think a lot of people do…therapy running lol) that I had just miscarried. And the fact that my digestive diseases could have caused it and prevent me from having children. I started with just a couple miles and then fell in love and just started running longer. I am encapsulated by anything running…it’s why I have a running blog!! But I have never ran a full marathon and it is my dream too…ask my Husband. lol I love being an athlete even if I’m not a professional….I workout…I’m an athlete. My personality is very driven..so when I start something I always finish it! I work a full time job, but besides that I run and have my blog. I have been researching running groups and coaches, so it’s awesome that you are doing this!! I would love the opportunity to do this and to also blog about it if we are allowed!! Thank you!!

  80. Cara Camp says:

    Two years ago I reached the heaviest I’d ever been and decided I had to make a change. I have a great friend that’s been a runner for many years and when she would talk, I just couldn’t understand the passion she had for it until I started running with her. When I do things I go big so I signed up for a 10k with only three months to go from beginner runner to someone who could run 6 miles. I loved my first race experience so I signed up for a half marathon. I accomplished 5 half marathons in 10 months and cut a total of 41 minutes off my time. I also dropped 30 pounds! I am now ready to go longer and harder after all if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you! I would the chance to be a marathoner!

  81. Lindsay C says:

    My story….it’s not that exciting, or interesting probably but running changed my life. I was an incredibly shy kid, on top of being pretty awkward, I went through high school without any friends. I spent a lot of time sitting on the bleachers by myself enviously watching the athletic kids who were much cooler than me. My parents didn’t believe sports were for girls so I was never given a chance to even try. After I graduated I tried running a few times but gave up since I was out of shape and it wasn’t fun, I’d spent most of my life never finishing things I’d started so running wasn’t any different. I desperately wanted to be good at it but firmly believed I just wasn’t cut out for running. After getting married and having two babies I decided enough was enough and signed up for a 5k, then downloaded the couch 2 5k training plan. Every day I counted down the hours till I could get outside, I distinctly remember the day I was supposed to run for 20 minutes straight without stopping, I told my husband there was no way that was even possible, this was me, the most un athletic person alive. But I did it, and effortlessly, and when I finished I sat on the curb and cried, I’d never felt more alive and never been more proud of myself, in that moment I knew I could do anything I wanted to. A few months later I signed up for a half marathon, every one of my friends told me I was crazy for jumping to that distance so quickly, but I knew I could do it, and I did. A marathon has always been my goal but that 26.2 intimidates me, two different times now I’ve gone to sign up for one then chickened out, I know I can do it, but I also know how much work it’ll take, and a part of me keeps saying I’m not ready. This is the year though. Winning this would be more than a dream, it would be everything.

    • Amie Rossi says:

      Go Lindsay!!! You can do it!! I loved reading your story!!! If you’re near RI- I’ll sign up with you!!! I’m not a coach, but love seeing people succeed and find comfort and security through running! Good luck in all you do!!!

    • Lindsay YOU CAN DO IT! I related to your post so much, the fear, the doubt… but also the desire to conquer something just for yourself :) go Lindsay and conquer…we got you.

  82. I began running last Nov (2013) as I was overcoming a 15+ year battle with an eating disorder that I had been told by numerous drs would kill me. Running has aided in my recovery, given me an outlet. I ran my 1st half marathon in Feb this year and will run my 3rd next week. I am learning I am stronger than I ever thought possible. Every day, every run I am given the gift of strength and life that I almost lost. I have 2 little girls, age 4 & 9 that need me to be a healthy momma and want to be just like me. I want more badly than anything to be a positive role model for them and for them to see that I am healthy and happy. Running has saved my life and my next goal is to cross the line of a marathon and prove to everyone that overcoming is possible, healing is possible, and that despite what drs told me….I am alive and HEALTHY! :) Running is AMAZING and the greatest gift I have found!
    Jackie Klayman recently posted..Sometimes we have to change our expectationsMy Profile

  83. ME! At 37 y.o., I started “wogging” (walking/jogging!) to get my weight under control, having no appreciation for the world it would open to me. As a wife and mother of one (amazing 4 y.o!), it became my outlet…MY arena to embrace my growth and gain confidence in myself, some of which I had (have?) very little. My efforts have even inspired a few of my friends to start their own running journeys! I ran my only 1/2 at the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon last fall and felt like I could fly after! I never dreamed of getting that far, let alone an opportunity to accomplish 26.2 (STRONG!) while training with you and inspiring even more they can do the same (especially my daughter!). I would love, and am committed to, sharing our story; the good, the bad and the not-so-pretty aspects of training. I’m perfect for you to mold from the beginning, with few bad habits, no injuries and enough determination to carry us both through! THANK YOU FOR THIS! (< 262 ;) )

  84. Kristen C says:

    Hi Dorothy,
    A very close friend of mine participated in this last year as a coach and encouraged me to put my name in the hat for this wonderful opportunity. I am 34 years old I traveled for a living all while being a Mom to the most terrific 2 year old. It was making me old, chunky and unmotivated. My daughter needs more, she needs me as a healthy mom and as a positive influence. Of course like many others I would be lying if I didn’t say I also started running (exactly a year ago) to keep my sanity and a sense of normalcy for myself! My first goal was a 5k on Mother Day, I was 60 pounds heavier and ran it in an hour. I am so proud of that darn hour (why?…) because it changed my life. From that point on I set 3 more race for the coming months to keep me on track and honest. I did my first half in Oct, Second in Nov and in Feb a 10 k and Half back to back. I have dramatically improved my race time, my health, my happiness and I want more!! I just really need the guidance on how to do it right! I was on the road weekly city to city and I have ran the majority of them, not skipping a beat while on the road so I have the drive! In fact, I am typing this on an airplane. Please consider me, Thank you you so much!

  85. My running story is one of great friendship. In 2010, my best friend Lindsey challenged me to sign up for the DC Triathlon. She is a self professed health nut and phenomenal runner. I was a lazy, overweight mom of 1, and I needed her to motivate me to regain my physical health. I survived that triathlon, holding hands with her across the finish. In 2012, she begged me to sign up for a half. I reluctantly agreed, but then got pregnant with my son mid training. I ran/walked 13.1 very hilly miles. She finished the race, turned around, and again we crossed the finish line holding hands. I had my son. I looked like an Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. When I was feeling low, I saw a post on the South Riding yard sale site for a running club (MRTT). I reached out, thinking subconsciously that it would be a fad. I was wrong. I met local moms who challenge me to stay. I loved chatting with them so much, that I forgot we were running. I began to enjoy running and feeling grumpy when I couldn’t. With 4 fellow MRTT mamas, we ran the Richmond half. During this year of finding my inner BAMR, Lindsey lost her son Asher. Emotionally it’s taken a toll on us, but it’s great having a cheerleader in Heaven. On April 26, Lindsey and I will run the Nashville Half in honor of Asher. I can do anything with my family, a little motivation from a friendly coach, and my Asher angel.

  86. Hi Dorothy!!
    Whew. Well first of all, I’m scared and excited to leave this blog post comment. I’ve always told people who ask, “I’m going to need a good reason to run a marathon,” and well, YOU are it! I’ve run 5 half marathons and love that distance… but the marathon distance is like a carrot dangling in front me – tempting me! I’m a mother runner to two boys: 25 months and 4 months old – and I’ll need a little swift kick of motivation in my rear to get myself on a regular running routine again (between all the nursing, pumping, sleep deprived days! – You know how it goes!)

    I just moved on Monday to Ashburn, VA – so we could even do some training in person together! This would be an amazing opportunity for me and I thank you for your consideration.

    Ohhh and PS. Last April I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Saucony shoes… setting a new PR… while pregnant. TA DA!
    Katie Heddleston recently posted..Whew! We made it to Virginia!My Profile

  87. Jacqueline says:

    Hey!! Besides the fact that I’m obsesse with your blog and running, here’s my running background:
    I live in Brooklyn, New York and does summers on the jersey shore. I started running when I was 14, just for fun and to stay fit. My father was a decent runner back in his day and my mom still runs (I always aspire to be her age and still run consistently like she does- my number one role model). I didn’t start racing until I was 18 and a community charity asked me to raise them money and participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I was nervous but committed to it. I trained my hardest, in the rain, snow and hail. I had no time goal, just to finish in one piece (and before some of the boys who I knew were also participating in this event). Needless to say I fell even more in love with running after that race. I never took the smile off my face in every race picture and couldn’t wait to do it again. More recently I joined a running group with a coach to focus on time goals and eventually tackle the marathon. It’s crazy that when I tell people I’ve been running for almost 9 years they’re shocked I haven’t done a full marathon yet. I was not mentally ready for a full until recently and now I can’t wait!! I was sidelined this year with a small injury in my adductor, which I’m dealing with now and have a guarantee from my doc that I’ll be fully recovered very soon! I would love the opportunity to work with you and share this special journey! Running is a major part of my life at the moment and helping me tackle the marathon will get me one step closer to the bigger goal in running- I’m sure you can guess what that is!!

  88. This would be amazing!!! Although I’ve always worked out consistently, I just started entering races about 2 1/2 years ago. I was in the midst of a deep depression as a result of my long term relationship ending and I felt like I had to do something drastic, to have some crazy goal to pull myself out of it. I decided to run a 1/2 marathon! I started running regularly longer and longer distances in the summer of 2011 as a form of therapy. I designed my own training program, and on a Thanksgiving Day in 2011 I ran my first ever half marathon on the streets of Atlanta. Nothing will ever top the feeling of crossing that finish line! I’ve run 3 more halfs since then and the desire to run a full is becoming more and more palpable. I’m still not even sure I could do it, I mean it’s TWO half marathons! But I would love to find out! I live in Baltimore MD, not far from you, and I blog at http://livingloverun.blogspot.com. Thanks for your consideration and for volunteering to take someone under your wings like this! You are truly an inspiration.
    Jill recently posted..Sole of the City 10K RecapMy Profile

  89. Jessica Segesdi says:

    Hello! My name is Jess. I’m 27 and live in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Growing up, I never thought I could run. I was overweight and would always get out of breath. I even had to walk the mile test in gym class in High School. After college, with diet and exercise I lost 71 pounds and started living a more active life. I did not start running until this time last year. My step mom who is 53 and a complete inspiration tried to run her first marathon last year, Boston. She did not finish. We were about a half a block away from the bombings when they occured. The thing I take from that day was how inspiring and amazing the running community could be. Once I had time to comprehend everything that happened, I thought, I need to be part of this. I started running a couple of weeks later. I worked my way up. I ran a 5K in July, a 10K in October, and my first half marathon in February. I set the goal in January that I would run a marathon in 2014. Unfortunately, my first attempt at that goal took a hit when I did not get into the NYC marathon and I have to admit I was a little bummed, but I won’t let that thwart my dedication to that goal.
    I would very much love the opportunity to learn from you and complete my journey from Boston Strong to 26strong and finish my first marathon in 2014. Thanks for reading!

  90. Mindy Phillips says:

    1 year ago= I couldn’t run around the block or support my own weight on this new re-constructed leg. I pushed block by block.
    5 months later= I entered a 5k for the university I worked at to push myself to a new goal and inspire students – i made it without stopping, IT HURT & I WAS PROUD! After that I signed up for 2 more.
    Then I volunteered at the wineglass marathon and said I’m doing a half I can do this… My goal was under 3 hours. I entered the CCC Red Baron first week of November, 6 weeks after my first 5k, 17 months after my first hobble around the block and it was all hills! It was hard, mile 8 hit me hard and I picked back up and sailed to mile 11. My bones felt like they were popping my foot out, and I pushed on with a finish of 2:57. Four months later I began training for Ragnar,which I run next month. My dream, a marathon. A marathon that conquers this break, this jigsaw ankle, this belief nothing ends you if dont allow it. I’ve been wheelchair bound, in a walker, on crutches, unable to work… I’m healed and now I RUN! This is my body, this is my leg and my new strength.

    • Mindy Phillips says:

      I forgot to mention that I am from CORNING NY – home of Corning Ware and the WINEGLASS MARATHON which was ranked # 5 of the 15 best fall marathons in the U.S. and a Boston Qualifier event.
      I became so excited to enter I did not mention it.

  91. Heidi Danner says:

    Hello,

    My name is Heidi Danner and I would love to be coached by you as part if the 26strong program!!

    I live in Kemah, TX and am the wife to a triathlete who is naturally gifted at endurance sports and mother to a very active 3 year old little boy.

    I have completed 3 half marathons and would really like to complete the Rock and Roll San Antonio Marathon this year. I have two reasons for wanting to tackle the full distance marathon. The first is that I don’t want my son to grow up with a mom that stands on the side lines. I want to be an inspiration to him and show him that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. The second reason is I completed a half marathon on Sunday (first in 2 years) I had an amazing race and set a new PR by 30 minutes, but just before I crossed the finish line a woman collapsed at the finish and ended up losing her life. We were the same age and seeing that tragic event lit a fire in me to want to push my boundaries and live my life to its fullest. I want to complete my first full distance marathon this year and believe I have what it takes I just need some guidance on this journey!

    Thanks,
    Heidi
    26strong hopeful

  92. Katie Williamson says:

    I am not a blogger but I have been a reader of yours for the last couple of years. I have loved following your journey and your posts never fail to inspire me. My name is Katie and I am an (almost) 30 year old living in Dallas, TX. I have never been super athletic but I challenged myself to start running races back in 2011 and quickly became addicted! I have ran a bunch of 5 and 10K’s and just ran my 7th half marathon, Rock n Roll Dallas. I have a love/hate relationship with distance running but one of my life goals is to complete a full marathon and I feel like there is no better time than now! I made it a goal of mine to be in the best shape of my life before my 30th birthday which is April 28th. I have dedicated the last few months to that and I have honestly never felt stronger or happier and I am more than ready to tackle the big 26.2!

    • Katie Williamson says:

      I accidently hit the Post Comment button before I was finished so I apologize for the grammar errors! It looks like you have a TON of great entries to choose from so I honestly wasn’t even sure if I was going to publish that. (Glad I did though!) After passing my 30th birthday milestone in a couple of weeks, I will be ready to give 110 percent to my goal of accomplishing a full marathon. I would truly be honored to have you as my coach and mentor during this process. I am confident that our mutual positivity and determination would make us a great team!

  93. Jillian Quilty says:

    My name is Jillian and I live in New Jersey, but spend most of my time working in New York City. I have two brothers that are amazing runners. I am the competitive middle child that will never stop trying to outdo my siblings. If our family does a 5K together, they come in 1st and 2nd place and I usually find myself somewhere about 20 minutes behind them. I may not be the fastest runner, but I would say I am the most entertaining. I have joggled 3 half-marathons. What is joggling you ask? Jogging + Running = Joggling. It is actually a thing…I swear! Google it!

    Juggling while running doesn’t seem like it makes sense, but it is something about the rhythm that just works. It is also a great distraction. I have always wanted to conquer 26.2 miles and now is the perfect time. I am finishing grad school in the next few weeks and will finally have the time to get back into a better running routine. I think this could be a cool way to run my first marathon.

  94. Amy Skelton says:

    Hello there! I would LOVE to run a marathon with you! Here’s my story: I am 38, an allergy nurse, and pretty healthy and active. I have never been into running since it was too “hard” until recently. I had been a gym rat, trying desperately to put on some muscle on my 5’2″ 110 lb frame. Then, on a whim, I signed up for the Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest half marathon. This race was in 2012. I had 8 weeks (yes! 8 weeks!) to train for it. Remember, I had never really run before! Well…….I forced myself to follow my training plan that I got off the internet and I FELL IN LOVE WITH RUNNING!! I was a slow runner, maybe even a jogger, and yes- it was still HARD! But I really loved it and I loved the feeling of accomplishment it gave me after each run. I finished the 1/2 marathon and then……. I stopped running. Well, I recently started training for another half that is this October- I am only on week 2 or 3.
    I’m your girl- sign me up!!

  95. I was so excited that I forgot to put where I live- West Palm Beach ( about 40 entries up) !
    Tricia Wesolek recently posted..Rest WeekMy Profile

  96. Hi Dorothy, Your blog is awesome! I am 55 years old and have been running for over 36 years but have not ran a marathon yet. I have run several half marathons and was supposed to run my first marathon last August but tore my calf muscle on mile 4 of a half marathon last year. I did not want to stop and ran 9.1 miles in tremendous pain. I finished the race but due to the damage was not able to run for nearly 4 months so I had to miss the marathon. I hope to run a full marathon this year and have been building up my training to try again this year. I would love to run a marathon with you but would probably be like a turtle in peanut butter in comparison. LOL! I live in Helena, Montana. Running has been a long time passion for me and I love sharing that passion with others. Blessings! Debbie

  97. Hey Dorothy,

    I can’t compete with some of these awesome stories I’ve read in your comments, but I also can’t pass up this opportunity. My name is Kate, recently turned 30, and I started running….I guess around 2009. At first it was my attempt to lose weight…then I realized that running 3 miles 5 times a week doesn’t burn off all that many calories. I ran because it was an efficient way to burn calories, and I didn’t totally hate it. competed in quite a few local 5ks over the years with my husband and dad and then I got a wild hair that I wanted to do a half marathon. I recruited some family and we actually did it. In 2011 I finished my first half marathon, making my goal pace, feeling awesome. Later that year I did another half, didn’t train, and didn’t feel awesome. The next year I got pregnant and running was off the table (too much ligament pain). That’s when I found your blog. After my son was born I wanted to run with him and I found your posts about stroller running and let me tell you, they got me through some super hot, humid, and ridiculously hard stroller runs this summer. And stroller running? It also made me a stronger, FASTER, runner. I’ve run miles faster than I ever thought I could. I even did a 10k with the stoller (and my son of course!) just to prove I could do it. I’ll be running my third half marathon April 26th. I’ve been asked (by my brother and his wife) when I’d do a full marathon and the answer was always…non existent. I’ve been too afraid to commit to it because I don’t have a training buddy. I would LOVE to finish a full marathon, and what a cool opportunity to be able to do so with a runner like yourself? Even if you don’t choose me, I want you to know, your phrase, “I GET to run” instead of “I HAVE to run” has gotten me through several of my hardest runs. With or without the stroller. I picture you pushing your triple stroller and I think, if she can do it, I can too! :) I started running because of the health benefits, I’ve kept running because of the mental health benefits. It’s my “me” time. It’s refreshing. I feel strong when I run, like I can…do things I never thought I could do before, and I prove it to myself each time I run.

    Oh, I’m currently located in Mid-Missouri, but could be relocating (still in the Midwest region), won’t know for another month or so.
    Kate recently posted..Week 3 – Move Nourish Believe ChallengeMy Profile

  98. This year I need a change. I need to believe in myself and find MY strong- I know it is there and I just need the courage to accept the woman that I have been created to be! About a year ago, I moved to Louisiana to pursue graduate school and a career in health/fitness, but have really been struggling to find MY purpose and what I am meant to do here. So many people tell me that I have the power to impact lives, but I think my insecurities hold me back from all that I could accomplish. Running for me has been an outlet and a safe place in my times of confusion. Running makes me feel strong, if only for a little while, but it is during runs where I actually feel like the beautiful, determined woman I was destined to be. However, my fears have held me back from truly pushing myself to my full potential. Just like you have talked about in previous posts, I at times feel that being a “runner” means having a certain body type, speed, and distance. Reading over your posts about the girl you were in your twenties, I felt that tug on my heart as I SO relate to those feelings of inadequacy and not feeling like a true “runner.” Even after completing two half marathons and a 25K, I somehow still doubt that I am strong enough to complete a full marathon. I am confident that with the help of such a strong and beautiful woman, I could definitely succeed!

  99. Posted at 11:11…coincidence? :)
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  100. I am a stay at home mom of 4 (1, 2, 3 and 7) and have been following your blog for a couple years now. Your strength and stamina have encouraged me to become a faster runner. I ran my first half marathon in November and am currently training for my first sprint triathlon next week because my hubby wanted us to train and do it together. Unfortunately, I do not like the biking. I am a runner. It’s wear my heart is at. I had decided last week that I would like to do a marathon for my mother. Two years ago she was diagnosed with pulimonary fibrosis and is currently on the lung transplant list. I have watched her lungs capacity drop before my eyes. A normally healthy active women who taught me the power of exercise is now on 10 liters of oxygen and struggling to breathe however, she still goes to rehab 3 times weekly to workout her body so she will be ready for a transplant one day. My body is perfectly healthy and I would love to run my body for her. So often we say we can’t do certsin tasks but when pushed out bodies can and will preform. So I would love the help and encouragement to train with you. And I would also love the awareness brought to some of pulmonary fibrosis but more importantly the importance of organ donation. And to add a little humor to this I’m currently hiding in the bathroom typing this but I guess I won’t be able to proof read because my kids need to get in. Oh, how I love the peace of running. It’s my true alone time. Have a blessed day!!

  101. Susan Fritz says:

    I have not run a marathon before but have run 7 half marathons from October 2010 through today with a PR of 1:53 in Oct, 2013. I live in McKinney, TX North of Dallas and I have 3 kids ages 17, and 12 year old twins. I was a software/database architect/programmer and quit when pregnant with my twins. I’ve run since high school cross country but have found more motivation to achieve as an adult than I ever did as a kid. I am looking to get back into work part time, and I turn 50 June of this year, and I think it would be cool to run my first marathon this year. I have targeted 4 in the Fall but have not signed up for anything yet. I want to work around my 8th graders’ cross country schedule and my 12th grader’s marching band schedule. My kids mean everything to me, and I don’t want to miss a single competition, so I have 2 races November 8/9 weekend and 2 December 2/3 weekend I’ve been looking at. That will also let me do my peak training when it’s (hopefully) starting to cool off after the hot summer in Texas. I’ve been having some leg pain since October and going to a chiropractor and I think I’ve got it figured out… I think it’s a back issue, and has been better after spinal decompression, so I got an inversion table to hopefully keep things loose and feeling good. I always run alone, and I think it would be cool to have you as a virtual training partner. I run at least one 10 mile run every month and have done this for several years, so I’m always in good enough shape I can hop in a half marathon last minute. So I think I have a great base to start training for a full. I also have run lots of shorter races, and I enjoy every distance. I just haven’t had the time or motivation to tackle a full. But with my 50th in 2 months, I feel like it would be a fun thing to go for. I’m more intimidated of the training than I am of the 26.2! Pick me and you can help me make my 50th year one to remember!

    • I could possibly be talked into an August marathon in a cooler area, but I’ll hate you during the long training runs in Texas heat. Lol. What I think would be AWESOME is if we registered as St. Jude Heroes for the Memphis marathon. Great cause and sounds like a great event, too. I also want to add that running has gotten me through some pretty rough times in my life. I <3 running.

  102. Jessica Murray says:

    I’m not sure my previous comment actually posted :( So sorry if this is #2!

    I began running 7 years ago voluntarily, the 3 years before that my soccer coach twisted my arm into joining track. I did not enjoy running, I just enjoyed soccer. I began 7 years ago for two reasons. 1.) Someone said I couldn’t do it 2.) I have been looking for a way to get my strength back after a major surgery 1-2 years before (from which I lost 30# I was so sick ). and okay three reasons.: 3.) I wanted a workout that was more than just “I’m gonna look good this summer”. I wanted something to work towards that didn’t involve daily mirror critique.

    The first few months were awful. I was miserable. I started with 2 miles but I couldnt’ finish without taking breaks, and as an athlete this really frustrated me. This was before Nike Plus and GPS watches. So I had nothing to keep me motivated. I DID have an iPod though. Gone were the days of carrying my CD player like so many of those runs my soccer coach had forced me on. So that was one less excuse I suppose.

    I finally made it to 2 miles comfortably. Slow. But comfortably. Then I began quickly adding mileage and the sense of accomplishment was addictive and still is. Now I’ve ran 4 half marathons, one sub-2 hour. And a full marathon has always been on my bucket list.

    Today, I’m married to an active duty soldier who is serving his 2nd tour in Afghanistan for most of this year. And I always look for a new challenge to tackle while he’s gone. It’s my way of giving a deployment a silver lining. We’re celebrating our 5 years anniversary this August and I would love to make a marathon my gift to myself :)

  103. What am amazing opportunity! I’m sure there are plenty of ladies that need this a lot more than me but 26.2 is so daunting to me. A little help would go a long way and a lot of help would mean the world. I have been running for three years and just completed my first half last December. I trained to the best of my ability and finished with great results. I also made a lot of mistakes that resulted in training error and injury. Having you coach me through a full marathon would be the experience of a lifetime. I wish the recipient of your coaching all the luck in the world and can’t wait to read her journey!
    Jenna recently posted..Rainy Day SpinMy Profile

  104. Aleece Peters says:

    I live in Rochester, NY. I started running in 2011 once I joined a running group. I had always wanted to be a runner. I was diagnosed with two pulmonary embolisms in the fall of 2012. One of my first thoughts was at least it was after my 1st half. While I was recovering and taking it easy – I realized how much I missed running. I couldn’t wait to get back at it. I have completed 6 half marathons (one trail ½). I have participated in sprint triathlons, relay races, and night trail races. I was training for my 1st full last summer – but was an unable to make it to the start line. This summer I will be training again to fulfill my dream of becoming a marathoner! I would love to go through this process with a coach by my side.

  105. Hi Dorothy,

    This is Hoda. I live in Reston, VA. I’d love to train with you for my first marathon. I ran the DC rock’n roll half marathon in March 2013. I also ran Marine Corps 17.75 last week (April 12th, 2014) which granted me access to run the MC marathon in 2014 (in 32 weeks), exciting!). I’m 32 years old and started running 3 years ago. I lost 100 lbs. in the past and I’m proud of that. I believe that’s my biggest achievement in life to overcome emotional eating and having an active lifestyle. Like you, I was recently diagnosed with Gilbert’s syndrome. I see so many enthusiastic and amazing women here applying to train with you. It won’t be an easy pick 

    Good luck,
    Hoda

  106. Thanks for offering such a fantastic opportunity to your readers! I has planned on running a marathon this fall but, after having my second child in January, I’m a little intimidated about having enough time and energy! I ran my first Half, the 2012 Air Force Navy Half, nine months after having my first child. It was a great motivator and I really enjoyed long runs with my training group. Since then, I’ve run the Nike Women’s Half and the Mad Half in Waitsville, Vermont. Running has become the perfect “Mommy Time” not only because of the physical and mental benefits but because of the friendships I’ve developed with other runners including my older brothers! It’s a community that I am proud to be a member of. To train with you and be able to share that journey with the community would be a great privilege!

  107. Rachel Page says:

    Hi fellow runner! I would love the chance to be coached by you and get the opportunity to run with someone who is encouraging. I have run 2 half marathons and my husband and I got married at the end of our second half marathon finish line! There’s something about running that sets you “free” of everything. I was so nervous to do those runs and thought I would never want to do a full marathon. That’s crazy! Well, here I am wanting more of this sport! I currently run alone due to the schedules in the family needing to watch the little kiddos. To be able to run with someone who can push me and laugh with me and to get to that finish line..opens a whole new door in life. I want to show my kids I can put my mind to it and finish! I was so excited when my daughter asked if she could join track! Just from watching me and going along on my morning runs I love how I can inspire her. To be able to show my family that anything is possible would be the greatest gift I can give. Thanks!

  108. Memphis Miracle Mom of two boys under two. Mission: Complete a full marathon.

    My running journey started when my husband and I wanted to start a family. After several failed fertility treatment attempts, I needed an outlet.

    I decided to start with the Couch to 5K program. Once completed, I went on to run in several 5Ks, 10Ks, three half marathons and other various races and series.

    Five days after my second half marathon, our first son was born through adoption. Running had been my outlet as we waited for a child. I was devastated that my own body had not let me carry a child to term, but amazed that it could carry me 13.1 miles.

    After my third half marathon, I decided to run the 2013 Chicago Marathon with several of my sorority sisters. I was registered and had started training when I found out I was pregnant.

    I ran some during my first trimester, but then I was placed on bed rest for three weeks and advised to take it easy. After a long nine months, running was still something I was looking forward to after giving birth.

    Nine weeks postpartum, I decided to start running again. I enlisted the help of a friend, who is also a running coach, to help set me up with a plan to get back into distance running.

    I am now thirteen weeks postpartum and I am already up to six miles. I want to finish what I started. I want to be a marathoner.

    Thank you for your consideration. Let’s run!

  109. Heyruthie says:

    I’m 36 years old. I live in Northern Virginia (Fairfax) and decided to start running again after my husband moved out 2+ years ago. As a mom of 4 young kids–including some adopted kids with special needs–I felt like I was losing my mind. After my marriage fell apart, enveloped in depression, I really packed on the pounds–my weight skyrocketing by nearly 30%. But I quickly realized that this wasn’t the road I wanted to go down. Having run when I was college-age, and completing one half-marathon at that time, I knew that running could become my friend again. What started as a weight-loss journey has become a journey to regain my self. I’ve lost all the weight (thanks to running *and* better nutrition!) but now I run because of pure enjoyment. I haven’t run many road races, because money is very tight, and racing isn’t cheap. So, most of my running has been in the neighborhoods or even on the treadmill at the gym. I got a pit bull to run with me on the trails (wonderful running partner!) Last fall, I decided that 2014 would be the year I run a marathon, and I’ve been saving up to register for Richmond. I recently visited my orthopedist to get cleared to train for it, and he gave me the thumbs-up and told me I “look great.” So, the timing is perfect! Running as a single mom presents it’s challenges, in terms of money, childcare and even energy. But I’ve made the decision that I’m worth it. I’d love to have the help from you to go from “wannabe” to “finisher.” The last 2 years have shown me that I have what it takes.

  110. Lesley Schooler says:

    Hi Dorothy! It would be an honor to be coached by you and have you run with me on my first marathon! I started running two years ago after never believing I could run. My first race was in March 2013 a half marathon. In 2013 I ran 7 races (two halves) and I decided 2014 is the year to find my strong and run a marathon! Part of me still doubts whether I truly am a runner and the thought of running 26.2 mikes scares the crap out of me but I know I need to believe in myself and just get out there and do it. I’m hoping through the training process I will come to believe in myself and not be afraid to say that, yes, I am a runner.

  111. I AM ALL IN! I have gotten a lot of inspiration from you and your story. I ran track in high school as a long distance runner. I did well but for some reason did not continue beyond high school. Flash forward about 12 years later, married and having just rescued a super high energy dog…walking him daily just wasn’t enough. I decided to try running with him and it became the magic fix…not only for my dog, but for me. Prior to this I was going through a period in my life where I was feeling very anxious. I had low self-esteem and wasn’t sleeping well or motivated to do much of anything. Running not only pulled me out of all this, but formed an incredible bond between me and my dog. I am so thankful for my dog for re-awakening my love of running (who rescued who?!). My life has changed in more positive ways than I can count. I am happier, healthier, I have more confidence, and I feel STRONGER than ever! It has been an amazing journey! I ran my first half marathon in June 2013 and my second in October 2013 and improved my time by 18 minutes. It was incredibly rewarding to feel the sense of pride I felt that day, but what’s even more rewarding is looking back to see how far I’ve come. Running truly never takes more than it gives back! It is with this enthusiasm that I aspire to run my first marathon! I would love the opportunity to train with you!

  112. Anonymous says:

    This is such an amazing opportunity, one I deeply wish I could be a part of. However, with me living in Canada, I do not qualify. I am excited to read about your journey with whomever you pick to be your cadet. I’m sure I will learn a lot from the experience you will share with us, and apply it to completing my first marathon( hopefully this year). I love your blog. You are a real inspiration.

  113. What an amazing opportunity! I started running for fitness in college, and trained for and ran my first half marathon with my aunt my senior year, in the fall of 2007. Grad school got the best of me and I stopped running for a few years. I started running again in 2011 when I decided to train for a half marathon with a friend. Since then I have run half marathons 3-6, achieving a huge PR on my most recent race, the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo, OH, near where I live. Running has become a sort of therapy for me. I work a very demanding job, and sometimes my daily run is the only thing keeping me sane. Running a full marathon has been on my bucket list for a while now. I am getting married this summer, and I know that my life will only get busier in marriage, so would love the opportunity to train and run with you! I have been a devoted follower of your blog for a few years, and even had a picture of me wearing my I Run This Body shirt featured on your Facebook page last April! Whether I am selected or not, I am excited to follow this journey on your blog!

  114. Hi Dorothy,
    I read your post last night about searching for a cadet for 26Strong, well here I am and ready to report for duty ! I am a soon to be 47 y.o. who lives just outside of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I ran my first half last year and truly enjoyed it. I began my running journey 3 years ago when I decided to restructure my life/health. I have focused on proper nutrition, exercise, and finding the positive. I have ran some various local races with the half marathon being my furthest to date. My race day goals are very simple, start and finish. While I won’t be your fastest cadet, I will be dedicated, focused, funny, and committed. What do you say, want to share this chapter of our lives ?
    Pam recently posted..26Strong: Searching For A Female Wannabe Marathoner!!!My Profile

  115. Amie Rossi says:

    I believe every runner has a reason! This year mine is healing! I lost my absolute best friend last year to depression and for her I run. I run because running is how we met. Running brought us close! Running was our release! She was absolutely beautiful inside and out. Instead of drinking, feeling bad for myself, allowing guilt to creep in- I took to the streets faster and longer than ever before. I ran the Martha’s Vineyard 20 miler in Feb of this year. I wore a pin on my pants to remind me of her! To run for her and to know- no matter what life brought she was still there with me. I signed up for the marathon in Oct 2014 in our home town (http://www.wineglassmarathon.com/). I will be running this with friends and family in memory of her! I want people to know that there are ways of dealing/ coping with depression! Running IS one of them! I want people to see the support a running community can offer- on and off the road! I want people to know that feeling of stepping up to a start line (no matter the distance) and feel the excitement and fear that builds up- then boom its gone! You’re off! That rush of adrenaline when you see the finish line and the roar of the crowd and you gallop past them (no matter how fast or how slow). The love and embraces you receive from people you never even knew. That feeling of “if I can do this- I can do anything”!! Running offers healing- inside and out- for so many! I want to share it! We need to share that!

    • Amie Rossi says:

      ooops- I live in Providence, RI and have been back to running for 3+years. I compete in various obstacle course races and enjoy the longer road races (20 miles is the longest I’ve run).

  116. Kirsten Ladera says:

    Hi! My name is Kirsten (some people call me ‘K’) and I want to run my very first marathon. Here are some interesting factoids about me:

    - I am a 41 year old asthmatic, who decided about 9 months ago to start running and, more importantly, who decided only a year prior to that to make fitness a priority in my life.

    - I was never athletically inclined as a child. I was always the roly-poly kid who was picked last for every PE or lunch time game of kickball, tetherball, soccer, you-name-it. While I tried dozen of athletic endeavors, much to my parents’ chagrin, I never stuck with any of them.

    - I was never athletically inclined as a young adult. If it weren’t for college, I likely would have made it to 41 years old never having exercised at all! Due to the encouragement from college friends, I tried Tae Kwon Do and ballroom dancing. I stuck with TKD for a couple of years and even earned my purple belt, but eventually lost the drive to continue my training. Ballroom dancing was different. I fell in love with the sport and in fact, even my husband. I haven’t stopped dancing since (nearly 23 years), and while I no longer compete on the amateur circuit, my husband and I are still highly involved in coaching a college team and teaching youth at the local dance studio. As much as I adore dancing, it wasn’t always a piece of cake. It was always a struggle and constant battle with my body to maintain the level of athleticism required from the sport.

    - I am now an avid fitness enthusiast…who still kinda hates exercising. (Shh! Don’t tell!) Almost 18 months ago, something changed. I’m not sure exactly what it was—most people tease that it was related to “mid-life”. I believe that I finally got sick and tired of allowing the “it’s hard” mentality to be a roadblock. So I set my sights on getting fit and making it a priority in my life. And because I can’t ever seem to do things in small increments, I dove head first into exercise. I am very active with Camp Gladiator. I work-out at boot-camp 3 times a week, run the other 3 days and do yoga on my “off day”. I’m not the strongest. I’m definitely not the fastest (My nickname is Turtle). But I am the most determined. And I am proud of how far I’ve come.

    - I will run a marathon. I will, I WILL. Those that know me weren’t surprised when I announced that I was going to add running to my exercise repertoire. (Did I mention I don’t do “small”?) The last year has been grueling to say the least. While in the best shape of my life so far, running requires an entirely different level of athleticism. It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s so hard that some days, I don’t know why I do it. But I am dedicated to proving to myself, and only myself, that I am stronger than I think and that I CAN do this. —My running resume to-date includes the following:
    - Completing my first 5k at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot this past November 2013
    - Completing my first 10k at the end of January 2014.
    - Completing my first 15k in mid-February
    - Ran my first half-marathon (Rock n’ Roll Dallas) at the end of March 2014
    (Nothing like hammering out all my firsts in less than 6 months. Is it obvious yet that I struggle to take things in moderation?)

    - I’m still in search of the elusive and much boasted about “runner’s high”. More than completing a marathon (yes, I’m determined to add this to my above list) is finding that state of nirvana that so many runners talk about. I still haven’t found it. I’m almost starting to believe that it does not exist for runners like me—runners whose bodies find moving and breathing at the same time a difficult task. But I’ve come too far along my journey to give up without a fight. (But seriously folks! Does it really exist?)

    - I will be a marathon runner in October 2014 with your help. On a whim, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery and was selected! (Gulp!) And now I need your help. What you’ll get if you select me is:
    A whole lot of laughs.
    A whole lot of dedication.
    A whole lot of stubbornness and good stories to write about (I hate to admit it, but it’s true!)
    And an awesome sense of pride when you see me, a totally nonathletic 41-year-old, cross the finish line in her first ever marathon in October.

    I hope you pick me!

    Sincerely,
    The Girl At The Back Of The Pack (Who stills believes the tortoise can beat the hare.)

  117. Allison Brown says:

    Hi my name is Allison Brown!
    I ran my first half marathon last October- and through training I’ve fallen in love with running! I’m running my second half marathon May 3rd and I’m very excited. I’m so excited that I’ve been able to follow training and run further and faster than I ever thought possible! I have never even considered a full marathon- until now. I’m 20 years old and in my running prime, but I’m honestly afraid of the training for a full and I know I need guidance. I already signed up for another half marathon this fall- because I think I’ve found my comfort distance to run, but I’m ready to commit to something more!!! I’m up for the challenge:)
    -Allison

  118. My name is Andrea. I live in New York Mills, MN. I am 26 years old, married and have 4 children, ages 5, 3.5, 20 months, and 4 weeks. I was in middle and high school cross country and track and ran on and off during college. Quit for a few years after college. During that time I got married and had my first 2 kids, then I ran again after that doing a few 5k races. Quit while pregnant with number 3 and then did a few more 5k races and my first 1/2 marathon last summer before getting pregnant with number 4. I plan to start running again next week and have been planning on signing up for several 5k races and another 1/2 marathon this summer with the hopes of doing a full marathon this year or next. Running has always been my stress release and has helped prevent post-partum depression. Running a marathon has been a dream of mine since middle school! I’d love to have a coach to help me fulfill my dream!

  119. Kimberly Quick says:

    Hi Dorothy!

    My name is Kimberly Quick. I’m 28 years old and live near Annapolis, Maryland. I started running in 2011 when I did the Hot Chocolate Race with my sister-in-law, her boyfriend and my husband’s cousin. Running for me is not just about my own personal goals but also about being with family. Almost everyone on my husband’s side of the family runs as well as my younger brother. I’ve done 4 half marathons, a few 5k, 8k and 10ks and at every one of them I have someone to greet me at the finish line. For 3 years now, I have gone down to Virginia Beach to visit my brother for the Shamrock runs and the Wicked 10k. It has now become a tradition.

    Running a marathon has always been a goal of mine. However, the distance seems daunting and just out of reach. I believe having a professional guide me will help me get through the long distance run without major injuries (as I’ve recently recovered from a minor back injury). I also want to be able to inspire others to run and reach their goals.

    I have already signed up for the Richmond Marathon in November because a lot of my husband’s family is down there and they will be running the other races (8k and half) at that time. It means a lot that they will be there at the finish line for my first marathon.

    Kimberly Quick

  120. Hello! I’m Amy, 26, and a resident of sunny San Diego, thanks to my husband who is a Marine! Going to keep this short and sweet! :)

    I have always been athletic and played sports growing up, but running wasn’t my thing. In March of 2011, I lost my dad to cancer and in December 2011 I was diagnosed with Lupus. Those two events have shifted my life. I was depressed and on lots of medication that didn’t help the situation. Finally, in January 2013 I started working out regularly again and my husband signed up for his first half marathon. I started running {slowly, but surely} and knew one day I would run one. Fast forward to March 2014 – just completed my first half marathon, I am off all Lupus medication, and I feel better than ever. I am a true believer in the power of food and exercise and have found a love for running. I detailed my journey through a blog and would love the opportunity to reach more people… if I can do it, they can too! I want to run the FULL at the Rock-N-Roll Las Vegas this November, and I would LOVE to share the journey with others. Thanks for the opportunity!

  121. Jamie Seifert says:

    Hi Dorothy, my name is Jamie. One of your fellow coaches shared your article on FB. Ever since I finished the half in Reston on March, the idea of running a full marathon has been bouncing around in my head. Specifically, Richmond, although I’d be up for anything. I’ve run 2 halves and, despite the horrible weather for the Reston race, managed to shave 2 minutes off my time for a PR. And I love the fact that my PR came running through my neighborhood trails and streets, practically through my backyard and even past my son’s elementary school.

    I’m not a fast runner and I’m not sure how much “faster” I actually want to be but I definitely want to become a stronger runner and truly feel strong while I’m running. I ran track and x-country through high school and the first 2 years of college, then took a 15ish year break. I picked up running again 2 years ago when my second son was about 10 months old. I definitely don’t run as fast as I used to but I’m running longer distances and loving. It’s my “me time” and helps keep me healthy and sane(er) when it comes to chasing after my 2 very active boys.

    And I do have to be honest, I’ve overcome 2 injuries since I started running again. But I’m past both of them and injury free right now. I’d love to have the opportunity to work one-on-one with you and finish a marathon with a friend rather than cross the finish line by myself.

  122. I used to think running was only for spandex-clad skinny-minnies who could pound out double-digit miles in less time than I could scarf down a three course meal. But over the last two years, I’ve learned that you’re a runner if you simply run. Whether it’s an 18-minute 5k or a 3-hour half, when you run, you become part of something special. The feelings of an early morning race, your sneaks kissing the pavement, and the precious medal hanging from your neck as you power across the finish line are priceless.

    My favorite part about races include the witty, glittery signs held by dedicated onlookers, high-fiving the kiddos alongside the road cheering for you, and the way a bagel tastes from the post-race snack line after you’ve left it all out on the course. I’ve completed two half marathons, but I hear the snacks, crowds, and camaraderie are nothing short of heavenly for the full 26.2.

    I train hard, eat hard, laugh hard, and run with an overwhelming thankfulness that I’ve found a hobby that’s given me great legs.

    I’d be honored to run by your spandexed side.
    Erin Welsh recently posted..Tonight’s dinner:

    Crockpot chicken with carrots, onion,…My Profile

  123. Julie Day says:

    Last weekend I finished my 16th HALF marathon. THAT is why I need to run with you!! It’s time for me to tackle my fears and move on to the full!
    I’m a 43 year old mother of 2 who discovered running about 4 years ago. I caught the marathon bug back in November when I ran RNR Savannah. I loved that race and couldn’t stop thinking about running a full there. In December I joined a running group, but before that I have always trained on my own and never really knew what the heck I was doing! In late January I started running with some amazing ladies from the group who have all run at least 1 full marathon. They have all shared their marathon stories w/ me and I always walk away feeling so inspired and excited to run a full, but at the same time scared to death! But, the scary is what makes a journey so exciting! Those ladies are doing the Richmond Marathon in November, so I’m torn between running that one or going back to Savannah where I first had the dream of crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles! Either way, I WILL run my first full marathon this fall! (It would just be so awesome to do it w/ you!!)
    Julie Day-Summerfield, NC

  124. Hi Dorothy!
    My name is Ashley and I am 31 years old from a super small town in Louisiana. I am a wife and mother to 3 children. I have been a long time follower of yours and have often bragged about you to my friends and family as the girl that runs super fast pushing a triple stroller! I started running a little over 2 years ago and have completed 6 half marathons during that time. My ultimate goal since I first starting running was to complete a marathon. I aimed to run in 3 different marathons and each time didn’t put forth the right amount of training and had to back out. I know that I can run a full marathon; I just have to make training my priority! On a whim I decided to put my name in the drawing for the NYC Marathon 2014 and to my surprise I was picked!! So I WILL BE RUNNING NYC 2014!! I am super pumped and dedicated to training harder than I ever have before. I share my fitness/running journey on FB and through my blog and lately I have felt kind of in a slump and I even thought about taking a break from running, but when I was picked to run NYC I truly felt this was God’s way of telling me that I need to do this. I need to show other people that it can be done and with God nothing is impossible! I plan to blog and share my journey throughout this training with my followers and encourage them to dream big, set big goals and not be afraid to go after them! The opportunity to work with you would be amazing and I know that it is something that I need. My followers and I would love to see this opportunity added on to my dream journey to NYC!! Thanks for the consideration :)
    Ashley Courvelle recently posted..Summer Slimdown ChallengeMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] marathon (26.2 Miles).  But then I saw Amanda’s blog post HERE and Dorothy’s blog post HERE – advertising that Saucony, and 26 marathon “vets” are searching for first-time […]

  2. […] Today is the last day to submit your entry to train with me and Saucony’s 26Strong program for your first marathon — you can enter here —–> http://www.mile-posts.com/2014/04/26strong-searching-for-a-female-wannabe-marathoner.html […]

  3. […] Did you miss my post yesterday? I’m looking for a wannabe marathoner to run 26.2 miles with me in the Saucony 26Strong program this fall!! If this sounds like something you would want to do – check out the post here — http://www.mile-posts.com/2014/04/26strong-searching-for-a-female-wannabe-marathoner.html […]

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