One of the many things I hate and love about life is that it can change in an instant.

Thursday was just about one of the worst days of my life. Two sicks kids + tired mommy + hubby working late = misery. Friday since hubby had worked so late he decided he could/would take the day off to help out with the kids. I was happy to have his company.

In early January the weather in Virginia is not typically in the upper 50’s let alone the low 60’s but on Friday the Lord graced us with AWESOME weather.

Hubby suggested that I do my long run to get it out of the way.  I was tired but liked the idea of being warm and running in the sun instead of waiting till the next morning and being cold and running in the dark.

At 3:15 or so got in the car and drove 2 miles to a local school, parked the car, put on my ipod shuffle [hubby got me for Christmas] and took a deep breath.

YOU can do this Dorothy. YOU are strong. YOU are fit. YOU work hard. NO EXCUSES. NO QUITTING.

I needed this little pep talk because on a weekly basis I get down about my running. At times wondering why I even train for marathons. Thursday’s beyond slow, hard miles on the treadmill was one of those runs that made me doubt.

Running is not easy. There will be easy runs at times, but overall it’s not easy. It’s hard work. Work I love. Work I enjoy.

If you ask an elite athlete I am fairly certain they will tell you the same thing.

It’s why I tell you that YOUR fast is FAST. Just because I happen to be faster than someone else does not make running any less hard for me and just because someone else is faster than me doesn’t make it any less hard for them.

I rarely drive somewhere for my runs anymore, it is something I gave up once I became a mom of 3.

Friday I drove so I would be closer roads less traveled.

I live in a cookie cutter town. The houses are all similar. From where I sit now in my kitchen I can see 9 houses. The trees are small.

I’m grateful for what we have in life but at times I yearn to run on roads where I can experience life – feel my run – be closer to nature.

I went down a road I had never gone on before. Up and down hills, on twisty roads, past ponds, and rundown abandoned houses. The sun was hot on my face and I was happy I was a runner.

I knew I would remember this run for forever.

One of the reasons I run is to remember moments. Moments that make me happy on days like Thursday, when the going is tough.

The plan was to run 15 miles at the low end of my long run training pace and then drop down to race pace for mile 16, and 10 seconds below marathon race pace for the last two miles.

The fresh air, the horses, the cows, the hills, the views kept me running faster and faster. They made me happier and happier.

I wished at times someone was there to experience it with me – to see what I was seeing – to feel what I was feeling.

I finished my long run wearing capris and a t-shirt exhilarated.

I started dancing around the parking lot. Literally dancing. Then I got embarrassed. What if someone sees me? Then I decided I didn’t care.

I had run the fastest 18 miler I can ever remember. I hit all my paces dead on. I was happy. I would dance. I would lift my arms to the sky and enjoy this moment. For this moment – it was life – MY LIFE.

  • Mile 1: 8:03
  • Mile 2: 7:59
  • Mile 3: 7:50
  • Mile 4: 7:39
  • Mile 5: 7:54
  • Mile 6: 7:47
  • Mile 7: 7:51
  • Mile 8: 7:46
  • Mile 9: 7:08
  • Mile 10: 7:40
  • Mile 11: 7:32
  • Mile 12: 7:38
  • Mile 13: 7:52
  • Mile 14: 8:10
  • Mile 15: 7:54
  • Mile 16: 7:07
  • Mile 17: 6:59
  • Mile 18: 6:47

18 miles 2:17:48 – 7:39 average


Nominate Dorothy Beal  for a social media award in the Shorty Awards!Nominate Dorothy Beal for a social media award in the Shorty Awards


  1. Amazing times! Congrats for getting out there!

  2. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Thanks Kate! Happy Monday :)

  3. I love it! My hubby came home early on Friday too so I could escape for a quick run. I too was tired but could NOT pass up the offer to run outside…alone…in the warmth! It felt awesome!!! :)

  4. Way to go Dorothy! I’m on my way to run now and you give me that inspiration to push myself! Keep up the awesome work!

  5. Awesome run – you totally rock!! I love that you danced :) Dancing is AWESOME! xo

  6. Dance all you like! You deserve it! I hope kiddos are feeling better.

  7. What an AMAZING run, Dorothy!! On ‘those’ runs, I want so badly to have a little video camera floating along beside me so I can just capture the moment and share it with someone.

    I think you would love running out here. You could be in a big city, yet just spending a few minutes running you find yourself on pine tree lined paths, with the cool mist hitting you in the face. Its unreal. Yesterday I counted I don’t know how many bald eagles as I ran by the still lake we live by. Running is so magical.

    Hope the kids are feeling better :)

  8. Love how you really picked up the pace during the miles in the later half. You are so strong!!

  9. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Thanks Natalie – Kid #1 is all better and Kid #3 is over the worst of it :)

  10. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Thanks Mel :) I was just reading your blog this morning! So fun you are training with George’s group :)

  11. What a fantastic run! Thank you for sharing…I felt your joy as I was reading and those times are incredible!

  12. I love it when things come all together to make a fantastic run. It doesn’t always happen but it seems to me that after a really hard day with kids (4 girls), work, life, etc. that I am blessed with an amazing day. It’s not always the next day and sometimes it’s not even the one after that. But it comes and when it does, it’s glorious! Thanks for the inspiration today!

  13. Awesome splits! I understand what you mean by cookie cutter. I grew up in NoVa and my parents live in a “stepford wives” type neighborhood… I love running where I can chase the scenery! Good job lady!

  14. Great run, Dorothy. I like how you switched up your path…there is a lot of symbolic significance to that. This will be a better week for you.

  15. A-mazing! I am so glad you danced hehe because that is something I would normally be self-conscious doing. But after that long run you deserved a little victory dance :)

  16. Congrats on a fantastic run, Dorothy!! What you said is so true – I was just telling my gf a similar thing last week about training/running marathons. It’s NOT easy – not for those running 4+ marathons, fast runners like you, or the elite runners.
    Love that you were able to take a break from the rough few days you were having with your children being sick (hope they are all feeling better!) and do what you love to do – RUN. Running rejuvenates us just like a nap or a strong drink does to other people =)

  17. Congrats on the great run. I saw that your 9th mile also seemed to be at race pace. Is that true, and if so why did you do it? Typically my longer runs are a very uniform pace…either that or I start off on the slower end and pick it up on the back half. So if there’s an advantage to throwing in a faster mile in the middle of a very long run, I’d be curious as to what it is. Thanks,


  18. Congrats on a great run, Dorothy! I wish that last photo had been of you dancing in the parking lot :) I had a pretty awesome run this weekend too — 7 miles at 7000 feet in Santa Fe. Long for me, in the SUNSHINE, with the added complexity of elevation. Although it wasn’t fast (even by my standards), I felt AMAZING and amazingly blessed that I was able to be running at that moment in time. You can read about the run here:

  19. Sounds like the absolute perfect run. I love driving out of my neighborhood to run too because my neighborhood is much like what you described and sometimes I need a little nature and natural beauty. I’m so happy you were able to run so successfully! You are going to kill Boston and I’ll be there to cheer you on!

  20. Great run, Dorothy! Look how speedy you are now! You’re going to have that 3:10 in the bag :)
    I’m glad you posted about how you find running hard sometimes and get a bit disheartened – I find that often too. But whenever I question whether or not I should go for a run, I think “What would Dorothy do?” and then I head on out and even if it’s a slow slog, I feel better for going :)

  21. Awesome splits!! I love runs like this :)

  22. I love those kinds of runs. So glad to got to get out and run!

  23. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Hey Scott – I was actually running the first 15 on feel/effort so I actually didn’t know what my pace was – the only mile I actually ended up seeing was mile 9 and I freaked and saw it was too fast so I slowed it up the next mile and went back up to 7:40. Mile 14 was extra hilly so the effort was the same but the pace was slower. The last 3 miles are the only miles I really was focusing on hitting an exact pace :)

  24. Congrats on a great run Dorothy!! It seems like it was truly an amazing run. Dance indeed! The times are great, too!!

  25. Just love your blog and your honesty-not everyday is perfect and it’s nice to hear about other mommies’ time to time miserable days.

  26. Wow- what an awesome run. So happy for you! Good inspiration for me for the new year. :)

  27. What a great run! So glad you got out on such a beautiful day. Did you run out the unpaved section of Braddock? Reading your description reminds me of running in that area. It’s been a while since I’ve run there but I enjoy the peace and tranquility!

  28. Fantastic! Perfect weather, a fresh new route, great paces! This is just what you needed. So happy it went well for you!

  29. Made me smile! I love those kind of runs where you see new surroundings. I’ve explored my town and other cities more with my running than with my car. I love that! My 18 was 4 hrs last Sat. but I’m just grateful to be running after knee surgery in August. What a blessed run God gave you, after being an awesome nurse to your family. Keep on inspiring us!

  30. WOW!!! How awesome! And hope your kiddies are feeling better.

    I wish I could start training again! (still injured)…

  31. This is so encouraging to keep moving with the healthy living lifestyle! You’re doing great! Thank you

  32. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say
    fantastic blog!


  1. […] reading some inspiring blogs this week (Jessica and Dorothy) about paces on long runs (hitting MP or faster the last few miles), I decided I wanted to give […]

  2. […] A Run to Remember from Mile Posts […]

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