I woke up this morning ready to start the week. I was in bed by 7:30 last night and turned out the lights before 9. I spent a great day yesterday with my little girl, who doesn’t seem so little anymore, and my childhood best friend[we have literally know each other since we were 5]. It was a fun rainy day, one of my favorites.

I woke up this morning and realized that it is less than 2 weeks till Columbus Marathon and less than 4 weeks till I run Marine Corps Marathon for the 6th time.

It has been no secret that I have BIG, HUGE goals for my marathons this fall. I won’t know till I show up to the starting line at Columbus how I feel. I won’t know till the finish line whether I hit my goal. This means I won’t know what my goal for Marine Corps is till the afternoon of 10/16.

I got asked recently at a group run ‘if I even follow a plan’ because I never seem to know what I will be running that day. I coach myself and certainly have a plan, but my plan is not the typical one. I have a general idea of what I want to do that week, what I need to do, but I long ago learned with 3 children that it’s better for me to wait and see how I feel that morning, what is planned for the day and how my children feel. For instance when I attempt a stroller distance PR, I don’t think about it the day before, I don’t plan it out – typically mid run I decide that I feel good and go for it.

I know that I never do 2 hard days in a row – hard because of distance or hard because of speed. I know I need to do 1 long run a week. I know I like to try to fit in a tempo run, timed mile, fartleks, or some type of speed work. I know that I like to do one weekly run that is in the double digits. This training cycle I chose to focus more on distance than on speed. I wanted to get my weekly mileage up, I wanted to run longer runs during the week, I wanted to run longer week day runs before my long runs to enter them on semi dead legs.

I feel they same way about the marathon as I do a weekly run. I plan to go for it that day, but will assess that morning. I have been let down a time or two after marathons. Goals and dreamed crushed. There was a time when I let it upset me, when I cried my eyes out about my fitness level and was sad because I felt like my body had failed. I don’t get that way anymore. I know I have put in the work and I have FAITH that whatever the outcome is supposed to be – it will be. There are many more years in my life for marathons. I hope to one day have a triple digit number of how many I have run.

 I want to defy the odds – stay injury free and combine quality with quantity.

I know my want is a realistic one, and I know that I RUN SMART. There is no doubt in my mind that I will not achieve quality and quantity.

For the next 4 weeks you will likely be bombarded with my thoughts, my plans and just general chatter about these two marathons.

Columbus I know nothing about personally. It will be my first.

Marine Corps is my first love. I know this marathon and it knows me. When people talk about it, it’s hard for me to not feel like they are talking about my best friend. It often takes inner strength to not interject into conversations about the race. I’m sure this is what the Ground Pounders feel like. I wish I was one of them.

One day many many years from now, I hope to be on a panel. Dorothy Beal, mother, runner, Marine Corps Marathoner 30 times.

Request: If you live near Reston, VA – I would LOVE your help this coming weekend. I am the Director of Volunteers for the Great Pumpkin 5K that benefits the YMCA of Reston. I still need people to man the water station, serve as course marshalls, and assist with awards and late registration. The event is held at Reston Town Center, and is followed by Oktoberfest. Consider making a day of it and come out to help! Here is the link where you can view and sign up for specific jobs. http://www.doitsports.com/volunteer2/jobs-by-date.tcl?event_id=200969

I will be working packet pick up as well as the race – I’d love to meet you! If you sign up be sure to email me or tweet me that you will be there.


  1. This is my first Columbus Marathon, but knowing so many people that have run it I can say it's fairly flat and the last 10k is downhill. After the half marathoners finish it can be a quiet, long stretch down High Street. They usually luck out with perfect weather… hoping it's the same this year! So excited you'll be there!

  2. Lesley @ racingitoff.com says:

    Oh, give an MCM overview!!! I'm gonna run it super easy though. I'm going to pace an old friend of the family. I think this will be his 32nd consecutive MCM. 😉

  3. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    kimi – Downhill the last 10K? Yay! I need to look at the course map. I have friends who have run it and loved it so I just took their word for it :) Normally I'm a research freak – but I'm trying to take a more relaxed approach this time! When are you going to the expo?

  4. Thank you for sharing your passions! I love that you are so "down to earth". You keep it real! Your love of the Lord definitely shines through everything you do!

  5. I really enjoyed this post – I like your way of training/coaching. I am excited to read about something that is not what-everyone-else-does so I will look forward to your future posts. I'm running CBUS (it's where I live)!! I hope you like the race. It is pretty flat and fast, I think, but I have only run the 1/2 course so far. Safe travels and hopefully run into you when you are in town! Best of luck too!! I want to run Marine Corps someday too!

  6. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Christy – thank you so much! Seriously such a compliment – I have a smile on my face. It's hard for me at times wondering if what I truly think and feel is expressed in my words, feels great that you understand them :)

  7. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Sara – I hope I run into you as well!! Are you on twitter? I'll be tweeting while I'm there but most likely not blogging. MCM is seriously one of my favs. I just love running around DC and seeing all the monuments. It feels so patriotic :)

  8. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Lesley – I will for sure do some posts on MCM!! Here is one I did before last year's race – http://www.mile-posts.com/2010/10/last-minute-marine-corps-marathon-tips.html

  9. thethinksicanthink says:

    I wish I lived near – I would try to help! Anyways, good luck in your races – its so inspiring that you have THREE kids and have big running goals. I'm in medical school so I also have to make my runs "quality" runs as increasing quantity is realistic for me after a certain point. I look forward to reading how you do it and how you rock both of those marathons!

%d bloggers like this: