I repeated this over and over to myself on my run yesterday.

I had been dreading my long run. 5 weeks out from B & A Trail Marathon I knew that I wanted to do my longest and slowest long run of this training cycle. The only other person who typically runs my pace and also runs long is racing today – which meant this run would be alone.

I looped around my neighborhood for 2 miles – debating where to run. I knew where I wanted to go but I knew that even if I was running slow it would be a hard run filled with hills, gravel, and winding roads.

The moment my mind tries to find an out – to take the easy route – there is something inside of me that tells me I MUST GO WHERE I AM AFRAID TO GO.

Every long run I go on has a purpose.

The purpose of this run was:

  • Run my longest long run before B & A Marathon
  • Run my slowest pace before B & A Marathon
  • Use as little fuel as possible to teach my body to burn fat in the absence of fuel
  • To see how bad I want to PR this spring
  • To not stop – no water refill – no bathroom break – no stops period

6 miles in to my run I decided to take another ROAD LESS TRAVELED and in doing this found Bull Run Mountain.

I looked at the mountain and the winding road heading up and thought – I do not want to run up a mountain on my longest long run – what are you Dorothy? Crazy?

Then that little innner voice spoke again. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? Are you willing to climb mountains to reach your goals?

I ran up.

I was not alone.

It was me, God, my Kinvaras and the mountain. I felt alive. I was FINDING MY STRONG.

On runs like this I SOOOOOO wish I could bottle up this experience. Give it to someone who has never run before. Show them why I am addicted. Why I do this week after week, month after month, year after year.

Mile 11 was the hardest climbing wise. I looked down at my watch and was running a 12:30 pace. I would not stop.

When I turned around to run down the hard climb. I was scared. I am never scared on runs. I knew my thighs would hurt today. The pounding down from me breaking my stride was going to hurt.

NOTE TO SELF: Return to this mountain for runs before Boston Marathon.

I thought and thought.

I asked for forgiveness from God from any wrongs I had committed. I thanked him for being faithful and giving me a strong mind and body even when I didn’t feel strong. I thanked him for my three children that bring me immense joy each day. I thanked him for Eric. I thanked him for the concept of forgiveness and prayed that he would give me more of it.

My body grew more and more tired.

I felt the effects of no breakfast and only 2 shot bloks.

I wanted energy, but knew I must find it from within. This is what it feels like at the end of a marathon. It is hard. The last miles can break you and if you are not physically and mentally strong then you will die a little.

I thought – I must get home – this is too much.

I looked down at my watch 18.18 Miles. I smiled looked up to the sky – said thank you and blew a kiss.

I had been given energy so I pressed on.

The wind felt brutal and I wished I was on a treadmill. I wished I could power up hills with a spring in my step.

It was a couple more miles before I again felt — I must get home – this is too much.

I looked down at my watch – 3:13 [my marathon PR]. I smiled looked up to the sky – said thank you and blew a kiss.

I thought about how insane it was that I see these numbers. So insane that I can’t even make this stuff up.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)

I thought that I needed to add another purpose to this run – to find my inner bad a$$.

I pushed till had I nothing left and stopped to walk once my garmin hit 24.

When I came inside hubby said if I had been gone for 30 more minutes he was coming to look for me. Bless his heart. Worry = Love.

When I am tired at mile 25 come March 4th – I will remember that I climbed a mountain to get there and not even a mountain could break me – I will press on to finish the race.


  • Run my longest long run before B & A Marathon – DONE – 24 miles in 3:22:28
  • Run my slowest pace before B & A Marathon – DONE – 8:26 avg
  • Use as little fuel as possible to teach my body to burn fat in the absence of fuel – DONE – 2 shot bloks
  • To see how bad I want to PR this spring – DONE – bad
  • To not stop – no water refill – no bathroom break – no stops period – DONE – didn’t stop once
  • To find my inner bad a$$ – DONE – I didn’t give up and pushed through physical and mental limits

Mile Splits:

  • Mile 1: 7:59
  • Mile 2: 7:53
  • Mile 3: 7:58
  • Mile 4: 7:46
  • Mile 5: 8:04
  • Mile 6: 7:47
  • Mile 7: 7:48
  • Mile 8: 8:11
  • Mile 9: 8:24
  • Mile 10: 8:26
  • Mile 11: 9:22
  • Mile 12: 8:07
  • Mile 13: 7:55
  • Mile 14: 8:01
  • Mile 15: 8:45
  • Mile 16: 8:19
  • Mile 17: 8:57
  • Mile 18: 8:26
  • Mile 19: 8:36
  • Mile 20: 8:40
  • Mile 21: 8:59
  • Mile 22: 9:16
  • Mile 23: 9:12
  • Mile 24: 9:24

How bad do I want it? I want it REAL bad.

How bad do you want it?


  1. Nice job! You’ve got to tell me how you got there! I think I have an idea. Must have been such a beautiful run! Way to stick with it and get it done :)

  2. Wow, I could just feel you on this run. :) The other day I went to the gym to run 3 miles…and the treadmill part was not open due to carpet being put in. So….I could either go home and run the next day (and maybe that part would be open) or run around the gym. So for 30 boring minutes, I counted laps. That was tough mentally, but I’m finding most of my treadmill runs are mentally tougher than exerting.

  3. Wow! What a great run! You are really fast! I run hills for training but usually my average is a lot slower than yours! You rocked it!

  4. great run Dorothy! you got the PR – you’ve worked really hard for it! xo

  5. I’ve so enjoyed following your blog. I think I found you featured on Another Mother Runner?? You are quite an inspiration to me!! It’s fun getting to know you a little bit

  6. AMAZING job well done, lady!!! Posts like this make me itch to get back out there, breezing through mileage. i can’t believe you didn’t stop once. That’s definitely something I’ll have to work on once I get back out there. :)

    Friend, I hope you have an amazing Sunday filled with love and smiles. :)

  7. Well done you bad a$$ you:-) If you want it with all your being, it will be yours.

  8. I’m coming off an injury and praying I can still complete my marathon in two weeks and a 50K three weeks after that. I want it BAD! I’m not much of a time person. I just want to finish it. LOVE running no matter how fast or slow I get to go. God gave us these bodies and by golly I’m going to use it!!!

    Read Job 39:19-25
    “…it paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray…”

    CHARGE into the fray, Dorothy!

  9. I’ve been reading you for a while and love your blog. This has been my favorite post so far. So incredibly inspiring. You definitely have an inner bad a$$!! Haha. Thanks for being an inspiration. :)

  10. Wow!! You rock Dorothy!! I love how God always lifts us up when we have nothing left to give, He is our strength!! Great Post and Great Accomplishments!

    Philippians 4:13 (NASB)
    I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

  11. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Kris – I repeat that Bible verse to myself on EVERY hard run :) and other times that I feel like I am weak. xoxo

  12. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Thank you Annie!! I love when people comment – it helps me find new blogs to check out!! Happy Monday :)

  13. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    ooooo – love that. If you want it with all your being, it will be yours.

  14. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Before babies I would stop on every single run – my pace was too fast. After Chloe I decide to slow the pace a tad but to NEVER stop. Even on my stroller runs I don’t stop :) I really think it helps you get faster. You are going to be back out there in no time!

  15. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    I was thinking – you should run Potomac River Run with me :) xoxo

  16. This is one of the best posts ever! I got teary eyed. I too feel like its God and me when I run. He is the one who gives us the strength,the talent, and the health to do it. I want every step I take to be with him. We will win every race with him. I pray that as u run the Marathon u feel the awesome love of Jesus. U r gonna rock! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Did u know Ryan Hall has been running faster than ever since he quit having a coach and now just runs with Jesus?…pretty cool! :)

  17. This by far has been my favorite post from you. So inspiring. You have grit and guts. You are on course for a PR!

    Prior to my last marathon I had a bout with plantar fasciitis. During the race I kept repeating the lyrics to a worship song we used to sing in church: “He will renew you with his love, he will rejoice over you.” I felt like God was there renewing my body, rejoicing over me as I did the thing I love most: run. I went on to PR, I think because this was my mantra the whole race.

    It’s like in Chariots of Fire, when Liddel says “When I run I feel his pleasure.” I truly believe when we fully enjoy the talents God has put in us, he fully enjoys us.

    Dorothy, He will renew you with his love, He will rejoice over you!

  18. You are impressive and SUCH an inspiration to me! I only hope that I can run my spring marathon as good as you ran Columbus in. I love reading your blog because you truly inspire me to push myself just a touch more and give it 110% every time I lace up my shoes.

  19. You continue to amaze me. I can’t believe you did that!!! This is awesome training, both mental and physical. I love your attitude.

  20. Love love love this post. Thank you for sharing this. Good luck on your marathon!

  21. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon


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