I ran my 24th marathon 4 days ago. It went nothing as I had planned, in more ways than one, but it was a marathon finish and for that I’m proud. There are many emotions that go along with running. Emotions while training, emotions while thinking about running, emotions during the race, and emotions post race. I don’t feel the typical post marathon blues that I do after a race that has gone the way I wanted it to. I feel hungry for more…..

I’ve raced 3 races in 2013 and all of them I’ve raced while feeling sick. Our bodies are powerful, the mind strong, but there is only so much you can push through and I think this weekend I hit my max. So for now, instead of a race recap, which I’ll get to eventually, I’m sharing a post that I wrote for Map My Fitness on making time to train for races, as a parent……the post reminds me of my running journey.


Colton Mommy March 2013

If you only define yourself and your training cycle by the time on the race clock, you will often find yourself disappointed or disheartened.

The journey should be celebrated and enjoyed.

I enjoy the journey. I enjoy pushing my body to it’s limits, not just during a race but during training.

I also happen to believe, as cheesy as it sounds, that everything works out exactly the way it’s supposed to. I didn’t run a PR on Saturday, not even close, my body started to feel like it was failing me at mile 5, by 12 I wanted to walk off the course get into my car with my husband and head home. When I finished the race, I sat down, mad, defeated, and looked at my garmin to see what my overall finish time was. I didn’t see the finish. I saw that my average pace was an 8:18 [a number I see often – in one form or another]. I can’t make this stuff up. I couldn’t try to run an 8:18 average even if I wanted to. I had wanted my goal average to be a 7:07 so I assure you that I didn’t try to end up with this average. It only strengthened my belief that everything – good and bad – happens exactly how it should. I may sound like a crazy religious person sometimes. I’m not. I’ll admit that I rarely go to church and that my relationship with God is between me and him, no one else. I am not affected when people call me a Jesus freak, and I am not affected when people critizce bad choices I’ve made by saying it wasn’t Christian-like. This blog is not about preaching, it’s about running. Sometimes they intersect and it feels wrong of me not to say that I truly believe that running an 8:18 average was God’s way of telling me HIS plans are better than mine. Me sharing how I feel about my beliefs is in no way is judging yours….or asking you to believe mine. I am simply sharing how I feel and what I think……some of you will love it…..some of you will hate…..but share it I will.

818 marathon


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  1. I have definitely had those moments, when something spoke so clearly to me, and I got the message out of it, whether anyone else “gets it” or not. I’m glad you shared- I appreciate bloggers who also share the deeper piece of who they are/what they believe- not to convince others, simply to be genuine because it is who they are. As for the race, you have the best attitude… enjoying the journey. Thanks for this inspiration!

  2. Thanks for linking to the other post. The boys start baseball this week — on two different teams with two different practice times on two different days and OMG. I am panicking about my workout schedule. Time to get creative.

  3. Boston Joe says:

    Congrats on another marathon finish. Ultimately we all need to be humbled. My last race did that to me. I was high on qualifying for Boston and on hearing that I will have my story featured in the May issue of Runners World Magazine. I felt untouchable and like nothing could keep me from getting to the 2016 Olympic Trials. After blowing up at mile 5, similar to you, I was forced to jog in the rest of the race and really gained a new appreciation for the races that do go well and just a whole new appreciation for the process. Boston training has been a grind, and at times I have hated it because the workouts were so intense. I’m looking forward to post-Boston when I can get back to running for the same reason I started… To enjoy it. Best of luck in all your future races.

  4. Jessica Goodman says:

    Thank you! I really needed this. I am about to run my first half marathon in 19 days and I am no way ready for it but I am going to try anyways. I am so scared of epically failing at this race. That is all I have been thinking about. I am thinking about not even attempting at it. If I do attempt it I will celebrate the fact that I did try.

  5. Boston Joe says:

    You can do it Jessica! When I did my first marathon I had minimal training and was going out drinking and partying every night. My longest run ever was 15 miles. Decided to do the race anyway, ran the whole thing, and enjoyed every minute of it. It’s as much about preparing your mind as it is preparing your body. They say whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t… you’re right. Tear it up :0)

  6. So I have to say I love the fact that you share your belief in god. In todays world it seems taboo to say you believe in god and I’m not sure why.I too believe in a god who has a plan for us. Still jealous of your 3:37 time. I’m still working for that time. :)

  7. Why do you share all this stuff if you didn’t need to be validated all the time. Your husband is stupid for staying with a self absorbed nut. Count your lucky stars lady. My choice is not to read your blog.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A kinder choice would have been to not respond to this blog. So many unkind thoughts came to my own mind when I saw your bitterness and name-calling directed at someone who is simply sharing herself with others, but in honor of all that Dorthy gives to this blog (her insight, honestly, willingness to struggle and share that openly, along with her amazing success and drive), I’ll keep my own post simple: Shame on you, Sue.

  9. Great attitude, Dorothy. Sorry that the marathon didn’t go the way that you planned, but it’s nice to see how you’ve reframed it in a positive (and spiritual!) way. 2013 is still young! Onto the next race. 😉

  10. I’ve never run a good marathon, I’ve felt this way at every 26.2 I’ve ever done. I have a tremendous amount of empathy and I think you’re right on about His plan. I feel sad that you have to type that some people will think you a Jesus freak or hate this or that. You should write what’s in your heart and not have to justify anything. You had a tough day, it happens to everyone, it doesn’t mean your not champion, you will run another 26.2 and things will fall into place. So sorry it was such a off day for you. It’s does not define you. Big hug.

  11. Yikes! Haters gonna hate :) That’s what I get for reading the comments.

    As someone struggling with injury, I sometimes wish I had that deep sense of peace that comes along with believing everything happens as it is supposed. I have it a lot of the time :) But I’ve wrestled a bit more lately because of my inability to run & train as I would like.

    Keep being yourself. There is no one else to be.

  12. Jannette says:

    Thank you for sharing this seemingly oft-neglected side of running. Isn’t it amazing how God can use even the simple act of running to teach us so many life/faith lessons? What an encouragement to know that others feel the same way. Congratulations on your 24th marathon. You are an inspiration and I am in awe of your finishing time.

  13. Thanks for sharing! I dream of running an 8:18 mile pace…hopefully, one day soon. Also, I want that Garmin! Time to upgrade from the one I have. Too basic.

  14. Meredith says:

    Great post. I agree, to be a marathoner means enjoying the journey! so often “the day” disappoints. God is always good to show us something when we are looking for Him. Congrats on a strong finish! :)

  15. Sorry you didn’t get the time you wanted!!! And as for your blog, it is YOUR blog with YOUR thoughts about whatever YOU want. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and your strong connection with 8:18 shows that the big guy was in fact trying to tell you something.

  16. I’m sorry you didn’t have the race you wanted, but am so happy to hear you were blessed with a training cycle you enjoyed. I absolutely agree – the process is the wonderful part.

  17. Thank you for sharing your faith. I hope you continue to do so in you blog. I picked up running about a year ago and the encouragement and motivation from blogs like yours is amazing.

  18. Maybe it was God’s way of telling you that you need a newer Garmin!
    Kidding… Sorry about your outcome, I know how it can feel to fall so short of your goals.

  19. Sorry that you couldn’t run the race you wanted to on Saturday, but congrats on getting another marathon and another experience under your belt. Best wishes shaking clear of Saturday’s race, and moving forward in a positive way while training for your next one! As always, enjoyed your post.

  20. Thank you so much for the reminder of enjoying the journey. I got a bit overambitious and signed up for a race that I probably won’t be ready for–I just rewrote my training plan from a 13 week to a 7 week and I’m really behind. Anyway, congrats on getting through the race and I hope the next one is better!

  21. I love this post for every reason it seems you wrote it. Congratulations on a marathon finish. I can’t believe you ran that average pace- see you tweeting about 8:18 all the time, that is crazy. It’s certainly a good reality check that God has a plan and you can’t make your own. I’m excited to see when you do hit the 7:07 because the time will come, if your hungry and I know you are!

  22. I have to admit that I feel bitter sometimes about having to workout at some least desirable times and I hate to even admit it. Becoming a mother was a choice, the best choice I ever made and I wouldn’t be half the runner if I didn’t have their support. I get frustrated at times, especially when I let myself start the comparison, yikes! I feel as mothers and fathers we can’t compare our running journey as parents to those who do not have children. There is no comparison, we all have our ways of getting it done. I think getting creative and having better time management just makes us better runners overall. Thank you for linking to that post. Sometimes I forget that I chose to become a runner, I don’t have to train for anything so being bitter over something that I am in love with is ridiculous, thank you for that wake up call.

  23. Congratulations!
    How do you find the time!

  24. I really appreciate your perspective about the race. Not every race goes as planned and that is okay because we learn from it and use it as fuel moving forward. Congrats on another marathon finish and I know you will keep working hard and continue along your journey. Life is a continuation not a destination. Even once we reach those ‘goals’ the journey still continues and you have plenty of races and training ahead to look forward to.

  25. First, congratulations on your finish. That in itself speaks volumes. I too had an interesting race weekend (although it was only a half marathon-cindybarbour.com) and it landed me at the doctor’s office today. After 30+ years of racing, I had my first running ailment; pinched nerve. I used your mantra “I run this body” from mile 2-11. Thank you for your inspirational quote. I will rebound quickly and be back to it in a week. I am thrilled that you are not writing what others want to hear, but rather writing from your heart. Get it up….. :)

  26. cindy barbour says:

    autocorrect on my last sentence changed it…it is supposed to say, “KEEP IT UP”! So sorry!

  27. CONGRATS ON YOUR 24th MARATHON!!! :o) I love that you said that you should not be defined by the time on the clock. I am new to the world of half marathons. All the stress and training that I am doing is focused on me finishing my half marathon at the time that I have designated for myself. I need to keep reminding myself that it’s my first finish line and whether or not I finish in the time that I finished: I will be happier than heck that I finished. I love your faith in God. Keep on doing what you’re doing it’s clearly working for you!

  28. I don’t think people who are offering thoughtful criticism say that you are a “Jesus freak.” It’s just that the numbers and signs and 818s seem like a very very personal thing which a mass audience of people who do not know you personally probably will not be able to fully understand. It may be enough for readers to know that you believe God is guiding you without all the 818 evidence. I’m sure that a huge percentage of the amateur running community admire you as a runner and could get a lot out of your running experiences – the race recaps, mile by miles, training workouts, etc. But non-spiritual runners may feel that discussing your very personal 818s takes away from your more relatable training/racing stories. So that’s my 2 cents! Even if you aren’t the most naturally gifted runner ever, your training methods are effective and commendable. Other recreational runners get A LOT out of hearing about it!

  29. By far one of my favorite blogs of yours. I completely felt like I could relate–thanks for being you, open and honest! I admire all you do and to have run 24 marathons is phenomenal. I’m hoping for #1 in the next year or so.

  30. Jessica Grady says:

    @ Abby, I don’t mean to harp, but once again, if you can’t relate, stop reading. It is Dorthy’s blog and she can say what she likes. As far as the inferences regarding her only helping ameteur/recreational runners and the fact that she is not a “gifted runner?” I beg to differ. I have run many ultra’s, qualified for Boston, done many tri’s and a half ironman, and there are still things that I can pick up from Dorthy, as I am still slower than she is. You may, in fact, be faster, but about 90% of the female poulation is slower. Also, if you look at her progression of times and how long she has been running, I would say she qualifies as truly gifted. Have you ever won a marathon?

  31. What are you if not an amateur/recreational runner? A professional who races marathons for a career? Nice for you if you’ve made the jump from amateur to professional. Most have not. Running is recreational when it’s not your job. In my view, “truly gifted” runners are racing professionally. Dorothy is incredibly dedicated and smart about training, but she is not Shalane Flanagan. For most female runners, a sub-3 marathon is permanently out of reach or could take more than a decade of training. Elite runners “gifted” with mega talent would not find that relatable. However, as I said before, reading about Dorothy’s training and racing experiences can be (and surely have been) a wealth of valuable information for other amateur runners who train hard year after year for their personal bests while juggling life’s other obligations.

  32. Wonderful post. Congrats on number 24! I too am aiming for a sub 3:10 marathon, but I’m realizing it’s about the journey in life and God’s plan. I looked up the 8:18 reference because I’m unfamiliar with it. Romans 8:18? It is a very fitting verse. Thanks for sharing. I don’t attend church regularly anymore, but I try to glorify Him and remember Him as I run.

  33. Congrats on finishing the race even though it was a painful one! I love that you share the 8:18 significance. I just stumbled across your blog today and I find it very inspiring!

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