When hubby asked him how many miles I planned on running this past Saturday morning I looked at him and said 11 of course. 11 miles for the last day in 2011.

I was not in the mood to be cold, so I had decided not to race and feel the burn in my lungs from cold air while trying to run fast, instead I decided I would run on the treadmill.

Hubby convinced me after his usual am trip to Starbucks that I would regret running on the treadmill because it was warm out. His idea of warm and my idea of warm are not usually the same.

So I begrudingly got dressed in my winter gear and headed out the door. By .4 I had already shed my gloves, by 1 mile my sleeves were pushed up, by mile 2 I wished I was wearing a t-shirt. It was indeed warm.

Instead of running endless loops around the cookie cutter houses that fill my town, I ran towards a neighboring town to head to some dirt and gravel roads.

I felt great.

I was running my long run pace and was surprised at how easy sub 8 minute pace felt.

As I ran on a muddy road I had never gone down before I reflected on how I like taking the road less traveled in life.

The road I was on ended too soon so I ran to find another road I hadn’t gone down before and hoped it was longer.

It was glorious – the run – the road – the day – 2011.

I wish I could have bottled that run up and shared it with you.

I ran past a pond, where geese were honking. The sun was shinning on me and steam rose from the ground from the warmer than normal morning. Birds were chirping away in the trees and chasing each other around in the air. Everything and I mean everything felt right in the world.

I thought about my husband. I thought about how hard it is raising three kids five and under. I thought about how thankful I was that he didn’t mind that I went running for 11 miles New Years Eve morning when he was home from work. I thought about how I wished he was running with me.

It is often in life that you don’t appreciate what you have until you don’t have it anymore. When Eric and I first met we would go running together. Shortly after we started dating through a random turn of events, me and two girlfriends moved into the same neighborhood he lived in – which made early morning running together perfect. We motivated each other to get out of bed.

We trained for Marine Corps Marathon together.

When we were training I would whine about getting up early before work and running….I just wanted to sleep in. I would die to be able to run in the mornings with him before he heads to work now.

What this does is not make me long for how it used to be, but remind me that what I might find hard now, like stroller running or treadmill running, I might one day wish I had been more grateful for. It reminds me to be in the present and appreciate what I have now, whether it is hard or not.

I am often asked how I went from a 3:59 marathoner pre-kids to a 3:13 marathoner post kids – it’s simple – my children showed me – I am stronger than I ever knew.

Once you have kids something happens. You don’t complain as much, or whine, or think you can’t do something – you just do it. Work on 2 hours of sleep – no problem. Poop every where at the mall with no change of clothes – no problem. 24+ hours of labor – no problem. You don’t have a choice not to do things anymore – you just literally do it. A marathon is a break for me. Time alone. A marathon is easier than being a mom to three kids.

My last run of 2010 – less than 2 months postpartum vs my last run of 2011 13 1/2 months post partum.

8:51, 8:42, 8:28, 8:16, 8:30, 8:23, 8:23, 8:25, 9:19, 9:19, 9:16, 9:16 – 12 Miles – 2010

8:30, 8:11, 7:54, 7:51, 7:43, 7:34, 7:42, 7:34, 7:59, 7:29, 7:18 – 11 Miles – 2011

To read my New Year’s Eve post – 2010 – CLICK HERE

This morning’s run was 10 miles on the treadmill – last mile was 6:31.

Dear marathon – I love you – so much I can’t even 

begin to count the ways……


  1. Wow!! You are so right becoming a mom makes you so much stronger!! I relate to 100% of this post, except your current mile pace, I’m closer to your 2010 times. :) I plan to be closer to your current times by the end of the year :) All things are possible and I’m dreaming BIG!!

  2. I just want to say … You are amazing. You inspire me more than I can even find the words to describe!

  3. Definitely agree….Moms’ just do it!

  4. I agree with everything you said, being a mom does make you stronger! Thank you for reminding me to appreciate all that I have. I know you’ll have a great 2012.

  5. Great post! One reason I love the trails (and roads less traveled) are the views. It’s also why I like running at night- the view of the moon or the stars or even the clouds in the night sky are amazing. Of course getting out at sunset with the farm fields is gorgeous as well. When running long, it truly is hard to not reflect on life! My kids are the reason why I run as well- I saw them starting at a young age with the horrible eating habits I had and sitting around all day not wanting to go outside. Now? Totally opposite!!

    Awesome last run, and you have bottled it up- it’s in your heart anytime you want to remember and be inspired to go for a run.

  6. I want to be just like you when I grow up! :) You have such a great perspective on life and running!

  7. Dorothy – this post is awesome! I loved reading every word of it, especially the last half and just made my husband read it too :) I posted something a couple of days ago about my 2012 goals and one of my biggest ones is to do exactly what you said above – to be in the present (I always tend to be thinking of other things, things in the past and future, and want to do better just focusing on what is in front of me)! This was a great read, thank you :)

  8. Seeing the faster times of yours in just one year is super motivating to me! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh. My. GOSH.

    Dorothy, THIS is why you’re so inspiring. Seriously. I love your post and the honesty of it.

    Isn’t it funny where life takes us, and how we adapt? Before kiddos, my husband and I would stroll out for a run after work or ‘whenever’, and be gone for ‘whatever’ amount of time. Now, everything is taken into consideration; there are naptimes, meals… not to mention just GETTING out there.

    I hope you and the hubby are able to run together again soon. Running with your spouse, uninterrupted, is totally underrated.

  10. “Once you have kids something happens. You don’t complain as much, or whine, or think you can’t do something – you just do it.” -DB
    So true!

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