I ran a marathon on Sunday.

I was smart and to quote Frederik Van Lierde “it worked out”

Sometimes you are in shape to run a 3:05 marathon and you run a 3:17 other times you are in shape for a 3:20 marathon and run a 3:13.

The marathon isn’t just about fitness – it’s a mental game and it’s a tactical race.

Normally post race I think of all the things I could have done differently during the race. What if’s abound?

I honestly can’t think of one single thing I should have done to improve on that day. I ran smart. I ran within my current fitness level and I didn’t doubt myself when the going got tough.

I ran each and every mile in the mile I was in. No mental math. No worrying about my finish time. I just ran and smiled and ran and smiled.


I messed up my Timex in the first mile {total user error on my part – it’s not easy to mess this watch up}. I was futzing with my music and hit the stop button. I realized this half way through the first mile, so I turned it on. I had a momentary freak out then I laughed…..I said to myself – you said you didn’t care about your time today – so here is to really not caring about your time and just running.

I wanted to make sure I wasn’t starting out too fast because I did not want to hit the wall in any way shape or form. The wall messes with your mind and makes you think all sorts of negative stuff {it does to me anyways} and I wanted to be positive.

I hit lap at the 2 mile marker thinking it would lap the next mile and I would be okay. Then it beeped for the actual next mile and said I was running a 5 something pace. So I cleared out the entire run and got the watch ready to hit start at mile 3 only to realize that I didn’t have satellite connection. I waited to get that and then got ready to hit the start button at mile 4. From there on out – I looked at my pace every time it beeped but I didn’t do any mental math. I couldn’t. I had no idea what I had run in those first 4 miles. I had started a bit farther back than normal so I didn’t know how long it had taken me to cross the finish line and to be honest I just didn’t care to spend 26.2 miles thinking about numbers.

Instead of worrying about saving my breath or not getting winded – I cheered for others. I high fived people. I pointed a signs I loved and waved to people on the sidelines. There is absolutely no reason in my mind that I can’t combine running faster {for me – remember it’s all relative} with being happy and having fun. What is the point of running marathons year after year if I am not having fun?

MCM was extra special because my family was all running.

My mom at age 51 ran a 3:31 – a 7 minute PR.

My sister finished her first marathon in under 6 hours right beside my cousin Ginny.

My husband ran a 3:45 for a 15+ minute PR.

And last but not least my uncle also ran a 3:45.

6 family members all running the same race. Fairly certain that may never ever happen again, though I seriously am on a mission to convince my sister to run another marathon.

I had the privilege of running my husband in to the finish and then running back to mile 25.5 and waiting for my sister and her girlfriends. My mom and I ran them in to the finish and we all crossed holding hands. There were some tears about my cousin we lost and lots of hugs – I love you’s and smiles for what they had accomplished that day and in the months leading up to the race.

For those of you who care about my split break down – here it is. This is one of the few marathons I’ve run where I felt amazing at mile 20 and was literally able to race a 10K at the end of the marathon. It may not have been a super fast 10K but I promise you I was racing in those last miles when I realized that I felt better that I have in any marathon before.

  • Mile 1: ?
  • Mile 2: ?
  • Mile 3: ?
  • Mile 4: ?
  • Mile 5: 7:16
  • Mile 6: 7:23
  • Mile 7: 7:17
  • Mile 8: 7:18
  • Mile 9: 7:12
  • Mile 10: 7:23
  • Mile 11: 7:45
  • Mile 12: 7:30
  • Mile 13: 7:17
  • Mile 14: 7:14
  • Mile 15: 7:24
  • Mile 16: 7:09
  • Mile 17: 7:07
  • Mile 18: 7:07
  • Mile 19: 7:15
  • Mile 20: 7:11
  • Mile 21: 7:14
  • Mile 22: 7:12
  • Mile 23: 7:07
  • Mile 24: 7:38
  • Mile 25: 7:20
  • Mile 26: 7:31
  • Mile 26.26 1:51

Total time 3:13:28 {MCM Results}

Marine Corps 2013 1

Who else ran?! How did you do?


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  1. Congrats on such an awesome race!! Sounds like you and your fam had a great day!

    I had a pretty bad day out there Sunday, but I still love that race so much! And there will certainly be another marathon for me to give it another go someday – think I’ll stick to the shorter races for a bit though before tackling marathon #11!

  2. I ran MCM and it was my first marathon. I am proud that I finished and ready to tackle my next marathon.

  3. Congratulations to you!!!!!! Sounds like an awesome day. And what fun to have family there with you. I raced this past weekend but not MCM. I raced Allstate 13.1 Dallas. It was a great race and I highly recommend the series if they are all run like the one here in Dallas :)

  4. I am totally convinced that our best performances come when we let go of the outcome and focus on the moment….which I’ve done a few times and other times not so much. Great race Dorothy!

  5. MCM was my first marathon, and it went so much better than I expected! I never really hit the wall, and I loved running it. Somehow I’ve come out on the other side even more in love with running that ever before!

  6. You looked amazing on Sunday! Some of my Annapolis Strider friends were a head of you at Mile 19 and you beat them across the finish line :)


  7. Congratulations on such a great race!

    I LOVED this race! I wouldn’t change a think about my day either – the weather was perfect, the Marine support was amazing and I managed to eat and keep down a munchkin at Mile 24! I really hope I get the chance to do MCM again in the future!

  8. My husband ran the marathon hoping to PR (Just 2 weeks after Chicago) He ran a 2:34, no PR but came in 16th overall so I was one proud wife!! I wish I could have been there running, but due to injury I spectated and still had a blast!

  9. What an amazing race! I love how you are the only woman in that crowd of men. Your whole family did awesome! I love this!

  10. Great race! I haven’t run the MCM before, but I believe I will one day. What’s more special, though, is the fact that so many family members participated. Your mom’s finish time is amazing for 51 years old. Congratulations to you and the family!

  11. I was waiting for this post!! So happy your day turned out better than you could have imagined!!!:) you’re such an inspiration girl!

  12. Such an amazing day. It was really emotional at the end when it hit me that all the months of training to run in Christopher’s memory had led to this moment. I couldn’t have asked for a more meaningful finish and i just hope je saw it up there. Love you!!

  13. Congrat’s on a great race! Your hard work and good habits PAID OFF! 😀 I love when that happens!

    On a side note, where did you get that hat…I LOVE it!

  14. i was there! also slowed down at mile 24… why was crystal city lacking in spirit?!! awesome race!

  15. That sounds like an amazing race. I ran my second marathon three weeks ago at the St. George marathon, PRed by 12 minutes, and had a great time. I did what you did: high fived every one, read all the signs, even sang as I ran, and just enjoyed the experience. It’s amazing how much attitude affects your run. Congrats again!

  16. So glad your race went well, and how cool that your family ran as well! One day I’d love to convince my sisters to run!!

  17. Can we just talk about that photo for a second? You chicking a sea of dudes. Goodness gracious, I love you so.

  18. Amazing! You are amazing! Congratulations! and what a speedy family you have!!! Congratulations to them as well!

  19. Lisa Johnston says:

    Awesome! I forgot my watch, but that turned out to be a good thing, cause I probably would have quit if I would have seen my slow times haha. OK maybe not quit, but the mental anxiety would have been bad. Nice work, so inspirational to see another mom getting faster and faster, gives me hope. Dreams can come true :)

  20. Sounds like a great race for you and your family! It’s so inspiring!

    I had some watch trouble in my last race too, but I ended up having a really fun race after I decided to let go of the numbers :)

  21. I ran MCM, it was my second marathon, time 4:15:54 :(. Running went great until mile 24, then some weird side stich took me down. I finished 1 min 33 sec behind my first marathon pace, but was distressed because I would have PR’ed. BUT I finished, I’m not injured, and the race was AMAZING. So emotional, fun & just a great experience. Looking forward to training (properly this time) & my next race/marathon!

  22. Ran my first marathon! In looking at your splits, I’m surprised that the extra distance in mile 7-8 didn’t mess up your split time. I measured mile 8 to be 0.2ish miles longer.

    I did pretty well–bummed I missed my 4:30 goal by 33 seconds :( but given my longest run was back in mid-September and only 19 miles due to a knee sprain that I has to nurse after–I can’t complain. I also can’t complain that I made it 21.5 miles without walking. I also can’t complain with my time since I cramped up bad a hundred feet from mile 25 marker (didn’t get to run down the off-ramp), which resulted in me walking for 7 minutes until after the final water station. And I really can’t complain that I was really only in pain on Sunday. There was some muscle soreness on Monday, but it wasn’t enough to bother me after walking for more than a minute. I ran a shake out mile yesterday and felt great. And I have no muscle pain today.

    So all in all, an amazing experience–and I’m considering additional marathons!

  23. Congratulations on an amazing day! I wish I was able to see you. I actually saw the 3:05 pace group go by in Crystal City and kept my eyes peeled in case you were around somewhere…not that you could’ve stopped to chat or anything. 😉 After I ran with my bff from mile 22-24, I saw a group of 3 wearing shirts supporting your cousin on my way back to the metro. :)

  24. I can relate to lot’s of things you’ve written about the MCM! I wouldn’t change a thing! The start was great! My morning started great with friends putting signs in my yard! What’s the purpose of running if I’m not enjoying it! So my km’s (I’m from the Netherlands counting in kilometers :)) were comfortable and good! Did some math and was getting excited! Wanted to run sub 4 and I was heading for a great PR! I didn’t hit the wall but got cramp a couple of times! At moments like that, mental kicks in! I laugh at photographers, high five people and enjoy while I can! Nearby the capitol I saw my husband and I told him “let’s have fun together and smile, make the pics count, make this race count! After we smiled to all the photographers I told him to run and let me be! I always say “finishing is most important, time is second”! At mile 23 I think I was doing the math and went straight forward heading to that sub4! Soaking up the emotions, the spectators, the amazing marines I ran 3:56:54! Happy ! My hubby ran 3:50 (12 minutes less than last year) all because he’s finally on my nutrition plan and most important ‘he enjoyed this race’! Congrats to your family! Awesomeness! Your sister will run another! My sister is running her third next year (and she said ‘I can’t run) so I made her believe differently! Thank you Dorothy for your everlasting positive attitude and tips! You’re my hero xoxo

  25. It is definitely a mental game and tactical race. I so often forget this until race day. Well done on a great time, and so lovely that so many of your family were also running.

  26. Congratulations on a great race! I love that there were so many family members running the same race. Rare! You totally ran right through “the wall” :) Nothing in your mile splits changed at all during that time of your run! Thanks for the motivation!

  27. You are amazing! Mere minutes off your PR, and it sounds like you truly enjoyed the race 110%. =)
    Congrats to your sister and the rest of your family as well!

  28. The feeling is mutual my dear friend. Come visit me xoxo

  29. The last 2 miles of the race always seem so brutal – so many little hills and minimal people cheering…..oh and it always seems windy to me!! Congrats on your race :) :) Let me know if you ever want to come out to the burbs and meet up for a run!

  30. I’m so proud of you!! I think we need a celebration run from my house and breakfast afterward! xo

  31. great idea! we should do it

  32. Congrats on an incredible race, Looks like playing smart and not focusing so much on end time worked really well for you! I really need to work on focusing on the mile that I am in and not overall!

  33. What a FANTASTIC time!! And it sounds like you had so much fun which is what it’s all about :)

    Always inspiring!!

  34. I am totally blog catching up…great job on an awesome race! Sometimes I think when we don’t do too much mental math and just run it goes better. I ran my first race since I started my blog recently and my training went better than it ever has and I think I psyched myself out…I bombed it…10 minutes slower than my current PR! I ran another one 2 weeks later that I refused to get psyched up about and ran it 15 minutes faster!Your time rocks BTW!

  35. Thanks Jen!!


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    Marine Corps Marathon 2013 #25

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