Registration for Marine Corps Marathon opened yesterday a couple of minutes before noon EST.  All morning long I went back and for on whether I should register or not.

Here’s my story:

Tuesday was a particularly rough day at the Beal Household.  I didn’t get to run in the morning as I had planned/hoped.  Chloe had the day off from school due to ice and my husband had to work super late, as in well past 11pm.  Baby C was extra cranky and didn’t nap for more than 30 minutes at a time.  I thought I was slowly loosing my mind and wasn’t sure if I was going to get it back any time soon. 

As if that wasn’t enough my coffee was tasting like cr*p due to the fact that I didn’t have the type of cream I wanted.  I tried soy milk, yuck.  I tried my coconut creamer that seemed yummy at the store, but also ended up being yuck. I was tired, needed caffeine and wanted desperately to run.  Running I told myself would fix the problem.  Why I didn’t say a prayer I don’t know because I’m sure that would have helped more rather than focusing on the fact that I wasn’t going to get to run.

Race Director Rick Nealis

The day got better when my sister and her boyfriend came over for an hour to say hi/play with the kids [They live 2 hours away and happened to be in town].  Actually that’s not true, the day got better a bit before that.  Hungry Mom on the Run texted me that she would bring me Starbucks, her treat, and what did I want.  Seriously sometimes I really do think I have the best friends in the world.  Starbucks on a day when I need it is one of the BEST things ever.  If you are a tired mom addicted to caffeine you know what I’m talking about. Amen.

She brought me my drink, I whined about my day to her.  Surprisingly as i whined to her, my day didn’t seem all that bad.  I mean sure I was going a little crazy and sure I didn’t get to run, but all things considered I was probably being over dramatic because I was so tired.  She told me that she was making me accountable – to get my butt on the treadmill once the kids went to bed. Ooooo accountability.  This is a new concept.  I run alone most days so if I skip a workout no one knows but me.  That night someone would know.

After my sister and her boyfriend left, the night passed quickly.  I was tired but kept the accountability idea in my head.  Put on my running clothes and walked around procrastinating telling myself how darn tired I was and how awful of a run I was going to have. 

I got on the treadmill.  It was awful.  I ran 2 miles.  I was happy.  Even an awful 2 miles is better than nothing and I was really happy that Hungry Mom had made me accountable.  I texted her the news that I had run.  I felt a sense of pride.  2 miles is more than a lot of people in this world can run. 2 miles felt like a marathon to me when I first started running.  When did I get too good for 2 miles?  I don’t know, but I’m not anymore.

Okay I digress.  Back to Marine Corps.  I love the race.  I’ve run it 5 times and the 10K twice.  It was my first marathon and it’s part of my whole being.  I really think of it not as the people’s race but as MY race.

The internal debate came for many reasons.  It takes allot to train for a marathon.  It takes allot of time away from your family.  It also takes away from running ‘shorter’ races when you have to do long runs every weekend.

I love racing.  It literally is one of my absolute favorite things to do in this world, and I feel like I don’t get to do it enough.  If I didn’t run a marathon then I could be a race rat and run races all summer long.

My running goals for this year and beyond are this:

Break 40 minutes in the 10K – I’m at 41:17
Break 1:10 in the 10 miler – I’m at 1:12:26
Break 1:30 in the 1/2 Marathon – I’m at 1:32:52
Break 3:20 in the Marathon – I’m at 3:21:05

I’m close, so close in all these distances, but I don’t feel that I can accomplish this all if I don’t pick a focus.  Either shorter or longer – I can’t do all 4 in a year.  Right?

Because my husband worked so late Tuesday he was home by lunch on Wednesday.  I signed up for Marine Corps and decided to decide later if I would actually run it.  I then went for a run.

Mile 1 – 8:38

Wow Dorothy that felt pretty easy – normally your first mile is always in the 9’s.

Mile 2 – 8:01

Geese what’s gotten into you today?  Guess you are happy to be running.

Mile 3 – 7:19

I got thinking.  I thought about my post about finding my cause, my purpose in life.  “God’s dreams for you are always bigger – and better – than your dreams for you.”  Well if God’s dreams are bigger than mine and my dreams are to PR in all 4 of those races distances and break through certain time barriers than why am I doubting myself.  Why can’t I PR in all 4?  Who’s stopping me?  During that mile I was so inspired by my thoughts of what God has in store for me regarding my running, that I felt like I could fly.  When I looked down and saw the mile split I thought – I am flying.

Mile 4 – 7:37

I thought about National Marathon.  I thought about what pace I should go out at.  What should my time goal be.  I thought about the fact that at that moment I was running what was my marathon pace for 26.2 miles last March.  It seems insanely fast to me now, will I get back to that speed and be able to break it?

With God everything is possible – Matthew 19:26 [I know you like that this is the 26th verse ;)]

Mile 5 – 7:24
Mile 6 – 7:05
Mile 6.5 – 6:51 avg
I promise you I did not intend to run this run fast.  I didn’t even feel like I was pushing myself.  I was swept away by my emotions, my thoughts and my dreams for the future.
I’m still undecided about Marine Corps, but at least I signed up and gave myself the option. 
**Dream Big and Run Long**

Did you sign up for MCM?!  Another fall marathon?  Tell us!


  1. I'll see you there!! Registration is at 90%, so be glad you signed up!

    I've had days like Tuesday, and they STINK. I'm sorry you had to deal with it, thankfully it's over.

    What an amazing run!! Great job. :)

  2. says:

    I love MCM! I've run it 3 times. Unfortunately I can't do it this year. I'll be signing up for the Philly marathon in the fall. A good one, but no MCM!

  3. Karen the "Hungry Mom" says:

    it just wouldnt be marine corp if dorothy wasnt running it!! its so true once you start saying your problems out loud, they start to sound not so much like the worst problems in the world, thats why having friends to vent to is essential! great run, have a great day!

  4. Melissa Cunningham says:

    doing the MCM 1/2!
    you keep up your good work!!!!

  5. stink. why am i crying? Because I'm a tired mom with defective coffee as well today? Because I have big dreams too? Because I know God wants more for me than I do? Because I love your thought process through your run? Probably all of the above! If a random blog reader has any pull…I say you run that thing! I cancelled my plans to run Portland this fall because of traveling to California the weekend before and overcoming some recent injuries but now I'm really thinking I WANT a marathon this year. have a great day!

  6. DREAM BIG! love it.

  7. Dorthy, thanks again for a great post! I am registered for MCM! I still cannot beleive I have committed to marathon #2 before I have run my first (the National).

  8. Rebecca Samson says:

    So you did sign up. I think it's a good decision so now you have options. Way to come through Karen :) Glad you got a nice speedy run it!

  9. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says:

    Great how you with a friend's help could see your day differently. Sometimes we need others to help us see ourselves a bit more clearly. Even at my age, I am still just learning to need others. I'm a work in progress.

    Your goals. I think it's more about your gifts. You have been given a gift for running. It's about using it they way you feel God is leading you to. What will glorify Him the most? 4 new PRs in a year? Maybe. It will be exciting to see what you are given to accomplish!

    Fall marathons. I am still looking to a busy March and April. My thoughts haven't made it to the fall yet. Probably because the races I'll want don't required early registration. Good thing for me!

  10. yay – happy you signed up so you have the option! i am signed up for it :o) xxxooo

  11. says:

    I signed up for MCM too! It will be my second MCM and second marathon. I'm kind of scared to pieces, I've let a lot of my running base (and by a lot I mean like ALL) go since I ran MCM two years ago. It's going to be a fun 8 months!

  12. I think there's a special place in our hearts for our first marathon. It's 26.2 miles of "am I going to be able to do it?" I return practically every year to the same race to experience it all over again. :)

    PS- Wow! You're fast! Can you share your speed with me?

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