It’s taper time.

Taper essentially means I go a little crazy in my head.

Crazy from not running the way I want to be running.

Crazy from worrying that any little twinge I feel will turn into something more.

This time I’ve been extra crazy because I have a sinus infection.

Friday I went to the Dr. and asked as nicely as I could for medicine. I don’t normally take medicine I pleaded, but just this once I REALLY need it. I’m not against taking stuff – I just have this thing that if your body is in pain it’s trying to tell you something. My body tells me a lot and in order to feel normal I have to listen.


I’ve raced twice this year. Both times I was sick. A 10K on the first of the year was honestly harder than my first 10K 12 years ago. The flu does not mess around. I watched as woman after woman passed me. I watched as the miles seemed to crawl by. I was frustrated with my body even though I knew I was sick. I like to be super human. I want my body to do all I want it to do, when I want to do it.  When I can’t – it frustrates me – no  matter how irrational my want is.

I don’t want to be sick on my 3rd race of the year. I want to feel good. I want to feel strong.

What I am doing this week is controlling what I can control.

I can control what I eat and drink.
I can control how much I sleep.

I can try to control my thoughts and not let them run away with doubts.

Reston 10 Miler - Dorothy Beal 2

Race #2 – The Reston 10 Miler taught me a couple of lessons.

  • If you give yourself a way out and say that you aren’t feeling great so you are just going to run easy, but in your head dream about racing, you will only be able to run easy. I believe that your mind controls your body. I said multiple times I didn’t feel good and was just going to see what my body had. I gave myself an out and was defeated before I even started.
  • I can’t race when I am listening to music. There was no racing going on in my body at the 10 miler. I let person after person go past me and didn’t really mind at all. I didn’t try to hang with them, I didn’t wonder what pace they were running. I just kept hitting repeat on a favorite song. On Saturday I will not be listening to music. I need to go to that place in my head that embraces pain, that enjoys the inevitable struggles that will happen. I need to be present in the moment, feeling every step. I am not out for a fun run, I am there to race. Racing means that I am a competitor at this race. I’m not running a time trial mile, I am running a marathon and trying to place.
  • I am not going to talk about my plans for this race. I know them in my head. I know them in my heart. I believe them. I don’t want to say oh well my training was this – so I think I can run that OR I’ve been sick so I am just going to show up and see how I do. I don’t want to talk about it. So I’m not going to talk about it…..I need to keep my head in the mental game and stop those inner voices that always tell me I am not enough.


I RUN THIS BODY was born at B & A Trail Marathon. It was in those cold, lonely painful miles that I said to myself over and over – I RUN THIS BODY – I RUN THIS BODY. Who runs? Who pushes when there is nothing left? Who fights for their dreams? Who doesn’t give up when the going gets tough? Who doesn’t listen to those who want me to fail? Who pushes out the negative and allows the positive to grow and flourish? I DO. I RUN THIS BODY.

I RUN THIS BODY - Reston 10 Miler

Are you running a marathon this weekend? Rock N Roll USA? Shamrock Marathon? B & A Trail Marathon? What are you doing this week to prepare?


I’d love to connect!!! Follow Mile Posts on……

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  1. Good luck in your marathon – hope it’s everything you want it to be! I’ve never done a trail race of any distance – would love to try one sometime.

  2. You got this girl! How do you train when you’re sick? I’m training for Big Sur right now but am having terrible sinus issues.

  3. My blog didn’t come through on the last :)

  4. While I am only running the half marathon in DC this weekend I can relate to your thoughts. I get nervous for every race no matter the distance and I let me thoughts get the best of me. Good luck this weekend. You will do awesome!!

  5. Good luck this weekend! Sending healing thoughts and good running vibes your way! Dig deep, D! xo

  6. I’m running the Shamrock marathon this weekend–my first marathon! And I am definitely worried about every twinge I’m feeling right now. Part of me is starting to freak out, the other part of me wants it to just be here NOW!

  7. Thank you for posting this – I’m currently training for a half, and I have a 15K this Saturday. I’ve had a sinus infection for 3 weeks that has destroyed my training. I’m going to the dr today in hopes I’ll feel better by Saturday, but I am SO nervous about the 9.3 miles! You are a great inspiration!

  8. This is your marathon, I know how much you love this race. It will be tough, the pain will come, it doesn’t get easier, you just get faster, but you have more experience, more wisdom than ever before. You have mental strength and courage that you did not have in the past, you have that edge that can get you across that finish line with the time you so desire, and even better. You’ve done the work physically, and now for the next few days you can fine tune your thoughts. I’m wishing you the very best that day. I will be here thinking of you and visualizing the very best outcome. It’s go time Dorothy, go out there and leave nothing behind, if anyone can do this, it’s YOU! Huge hug! xoxo

  9. Running sick is the worst but the best thing is that you know exactly what you want and expect. You are such an inspriation to me and so many other runners out there Dorothy! Can’t wait to see how it goes. Get healthy this week, get lots of rest and do the best you can :)

  10. Great post – I will be repeating the “I run this body” mantra this weekend as well at the Shamrock Marathon. I’m with you on the music thing. 90% of the time I don’t use music when I race- but my last 14 mile progression run I went without music and my breathing and heavy footsteps were driving me crazy so I’ve contemplated bringing along the ipod for this one. After reading your post though, I’m gonna going with you. I’m not at the race for a fun run, I’m there to race and I need to focus. No music. Focusing on the mile I’m in, focusing on the joys I will at the finish line.

    Best of luck this weekend, I hope you start feeling better and all sickness is out of your body come race day!

  11. You can do this!! I hope its everything you want it to be and that darn sinus infection goes away!!

  12. I had a sinus infection at the beginning of the year and it was no joke. 10 days of antibiotics was just what I needed.

    I am running RnR USA half this weekend with Team In Training. It’s my first race for this year. I am pretty excited and hoping to get that sub 2 PR.

  13. I’m running RnR and I know I will have horrible monthly cramps that morning and I am scared to death because they tend to banish me to the fetal position on a couch. I’m trying to shatter my 5-hour ceiling, I have a goal of 4:45, and this is going to be my 3rd marathon (the second was the Goofy Challenge/Disney Marathon so I let that be a fun run and didn’t try for a PR) so I am READY for that :4:45. I’ve been training hard, I’ve been through a lot personally lately with being unemployed and starting a long-distance relationship, and I had to give up the Des Moines Marathon in October because of an injury that required months of PT. I’ve never been so afraid of my body before and I share your frustration about not being able to control it. Thank you for your mantra– I Run This Body– because I know it’s going to get me through RnR despite whatever pain I’m in that morning and also through this week that is making me want to give myself an out and “just” finish.

  14. I’m running my first marathon this weekend – Shamrock! This week I am getting healthy too. I’ve been plagued by the nasty virus that has been going around lately. I’m convinced I’ll be healthy on Sunday, and I will run down my “dream big” goal. Thank you for this post. It was such a good mental reminder that I am in charge of my mental health!

  15. Those mental games are so tough…. I always imagine an injury and doubt myself as well. You’re right- there is so much power in positive thinking! Wishing you the best this weekend!

  16. Thank you! I just returned from what was supposed to be a 5 miler, and feel incredibly defeated. I have my first half this weekend- shamrock- and tapering is messing with my mind. I went out the door wondering how I would finish, and my body reacted. Positive thoughts, mental strength…I need those now. Thanks for the reminder <3

  17. I’m 2 weeks out from a half marathon and I’m just coming off of a cold. It’s sucked being sick but I’m grateful it happened now instead of next week. Hopefully by the race I’ll be the picture of health. Feel better

  18. Sending positive healing thoughts your way! Good luck this weekend!

  19. Kick A$$! I’m not running this weekend, but I’ll be volunteering at the B&A and can’t wait to finally meet you!

  20. I LOVE that you wrote about controlling what you can control. That’s a great reminder.

  21. Good luck this weekend. I loved reading about how focused you are in a race. I could do with a bit more focus like that. You got this!

  22. No marathon for me this weekend. I’m planning on running a local St. Patrick’s Day 5k though. I remember last year at this time, following your prep for the B&A. You were an inspiration then and still are a full year later! I was so excited to read your blog post with your marathon results. Whether you run faster, slower, or the same, you are still an inspiration. I love following your running journey. Good luck this weekend Dorothy!! P.S…if you aren’t planning to run the Boston Marathon-you should consider the B.A.A. 5k the day before-I’m running it! It would be awesome to see you in Boston again!

  23. I hope you feel great for your marathon!

    No races for me this weekend. I’m cramming my normal training into the work week so I can have the weekend off as we’ll be away. Oof!

    I’m excited to wear my #irunthisbody shirt while running though. YAY!

  24. I am running the R&R Half in DC this weekend!! It will be my 4th half marathon and the first one that I have actually “trained” for, so I am really hoping to PR. I had to start my taper early because I was sick towards the end of last week and this weekend, so now that I’m better, I am really antsy!

  25. I’m so glad to have found your blog! I am in fact racing this weekend, but for me it’s not about placing. It’s my first full marathon, the LA Marathon, and I’m in it to have fun and run with my dad who ran the same race exactly 20 years ago. He hasn’t run a full since, but has always wanted to. It will be a big day for both of us!

  26. I don’t have any races scheduled until May. I think a shamrock race would be fun though!

  27. The Chosen 1 says:

    Good luck this weekend. I had a half marathon last weekend and next race is Boston on 4/15.

    Some things I learned the hard way (again) last weekend at the half… Be honest with yourself on what is realistic, don’t go out too fast, run your race not someone elses, you can not ‘bank time’ early, don’t forget to take ibuprofin before the race, take an energy gel because its not a 5k no matter how fast you think it will be over, do not worry about things you can’t control (like rain or 30 mph head wind), don’t be an idiot on the first half of the race, don’t be a wimp on the second half, remember to enjoy it, and last but not least… your family is your biggest fans, they do not care about your finish time, they just want you to be happy when the race is over so they can enjoy the rest of the day with you.

  28. I’m running the B & A marathon too! I’ve been following you for a while now – ever since I found out about you (via your magazine cover) – and I draw a lot of inspiration and motivation from you. B & A will be my 5th marathon and I’m aiming to qualify for Boston. I grew up in Severna Park
    so I’m excited to run on familiar ground and hopefully get a chance to see you in action!!! I hope you feel better and conquer your sinus infection before Saturday! Happy tapering :)

    (melonade100 on instagram)

  29. Good luck this weekend!
    I have a Saucony question for you (totally off topic). I need new shoes but I live on an Australian island 500 miles from a shoe store so I have to purchase over the internet without trying them on. After much googling I’ve decided to give the Kinvaras a go.. What is the difference between the regular and wide widths? I’ve never worn a wide running shoe but I always get blisters (and blood blisters) on the side of the ball of my foot. I do have wide feet – I can’t wear ballet flats because my feet are too wide for them. Should I get the wide version?
    Thanks in advance!

  30. Dorothy,
    You are an inspiration and we know you’ll be giving it your all this weekend.
    Might not be there in person, but am definitely cheering you on :)
    Wishing you all the best, every step of the 26.2 way!!!

  31. So glad that you aren’t listening to music! That is a big pet-peeve of mine when racing actually. I think it really distracts people and can be quite dangerous too. Volunteering at the Reston 10 miler the other weekend, it was extremely frustrating that the runners wearing headphones couldn’t hear my directions nor my warning of a big bump in the road. A lot of them almost fell, their own fault.
    Good for you and I hope it stays that way! I love natural running- being in tune with your body and really experiencing the race, the crowd, your breathe, etc. etc. :)

  32. This was very inspiring. I am just beginning my running journey. I run my first 5k in 9 days! I am so excited! You will be great!

  33. Good luck this weekend!!!

  34. Have a great race! Hope you get to feeling better.

    I’m not running a marathon this weekend (although I AM running my first marathon in November), but I am running a 10K race. I’ve run numerous half marathons, 10 milers, etc. but not a 10K, so it will be my first. Guaranteed PR!

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