Race Name: Mother’s Day 4 Miler

Mothers Day 4 Miler 2013 4

Race Location: Reston, VA

Race Date: 5.12.13

Potomac River Running Race Website: http://prracing.racebx.com/events/

Results: http://prracing.racebx.com/files/results/4d9205ce-7a0c-46c1-8929-4f56c0a86522/50bd6e7c-6de0-4a16-b533-523ac0a86524/2013%20Devotion%20Overall.htm

Parking: Plenty of parking located at Browns Chapel Park, short walk to race start. Stroller recommended if you have small children.

Photos: Free photos {this is an awesome perk of all PR Race Series races}


Mother’s Day was fantastic from start to finish. I’m fairly certain that any day that starts with a race is a good day. My husband and kids came out to watch me for this local 4 miler run on mostly main streets in Reston, Virginia.


The first three races I ran in 2013 were all miserable. The first one I ran was the Leesburg Rotary Resolution 10K – I was getting over the flu that had just had me in bed for a week. My average for the 6.2 miserable miles was 8:10. I can assure you this was my top speed on that day. Happy to have just finished that race I set my eyes on the Reston 10 Miler. I was again sick, didn’t feel like myself, and had sinusitis. Needless to say the race was miserable and I ended up taking on 6 more miles to make it my long run for the day that I should have ran instead of pushing my body in a race. My average for the race was a 7:17 per mile, which isn’t terrible, but it was a far cry from what I had wanted to run. Next up was B & A Marathon where I had the hopes of winning for a 3rd time. VERY soon in to the race I realized it wasn’t my day. By mile 12 I felt like I couldn’t breathe and wanted to quit. I was in first place for the first 20 milers of the race but couldn’t even manage to do anything other than r/walk the last 4.2 miles – I ran a 3:37 and finished 1st in my age group which again isn’t terrible, but no where near where I wanted to be on that day.


Having run three terrible races I started to feel discouraged about racing in general. I think there comes a time in the life of every runner where they ask themselves why am I doing this? For me, I know why I run, but sometimes I have to remind myself why I race. When you know you can complete the distance it becomes about time, and when you don’t see results from the work you are putting in, it can be very frustrating. I took some time off to try to figure out what was going on with some health issues I was having and started doing more spin and less running. Three weeks ago Eric and I decided last minute to sign up for a local race. I had done 90+  minutes of spin two days before the race, so my legs were in no shape to race, but that race ignited a small fire inside me. It reminded me that I LOVE racing. YES I love PR’s and running a personal record at a race is absolutely MORE fun than not running a PR, BUT running a race in general is still really FUN – PR or not.

When my sister asked me the following weekend if I wanted to run a 5K with her I said yes, even though I had run 13 miles that morning with a friend. Again, my legs were in no shape to run, but I had an amazing time and don’t regret running that morning, or signing up and running the 5K on dead legs.

This past weekend I was excited to finally run a race on legs that weren’t completely dead. My goal was to negative split and not go out too fast. Patience is one of the hardest elements of racing.


At the start line I felt out of place. I didn’t feel very speedy but at the same time I wanted to do well. I positioned myself at the front near my speedy friend Meghan even though I knew my finish time would be light years behind her. Right before the race took off I saw my friend Jeff {the local Saucony tech rep}. Seeing him reminded me that even though I wanted to run fast – this race was about having a good time on Mother’s Day and hanging out with friends and family. Always focusing on my time and getting caught up in self imposed pressure takes away from the fun of racing.



Mile 1: 6:54

In the first mile I set my eyes on three girls head of me I wanted to try and beat. The first girl I passed I usually see at every local race I run, she is always far ahead of me in the first mile or two but I always pass her {I think she goes out too fast IMO :)}. I was fairly confident I could pass her today. The other two girls I used to help pull me along. I didn’t need to sprint pass them, I just told myself to slowly get closer. Racing for me doesn’t begin in the first mile of a race. Races are typically determined in the last miles. It’s like in the marathon, it doesn’t matter what position you are in at mile 22. It matters where you are at mile 26. A lot can happen in those four miles that determine a good time from a time you aren’t happy with or where you place among the field.

I passed both girls by mile 2 and tried to drop down my speed with each subsequent mile.

Mile 2: 6:44

Mile 3: 6:37

Mile 4: 6:22

The course wasn’t easy. The first .2 or so of the first mile is downhill, then the course immediately goes uphill for the remainder of the first mile. The 2nd and 3rd miles are rolling hills, nothing too terrible but nothing that helps your speed. The last mile is uphill, then downhill, and then back uphill for the finish. Whatever you gain on the downhills makes up for what you lost on the uphills.

Mothers Day 4 Miler 2013

Overall I liked the race. I’m pretty sure it was my first 4 miler so my 26:48 was a PR. I would run this race again next year. It was extremely family friendly. Face painting, balloon creations, and donuts for the kids. If you wanted to you could run with a stroller and there was even a fun run that took off after the 4 mile race. There was a small playground right by the start finish line that kept many a little kid busy and the port-o-pottys were plentiful and close by {always an important factor IMO}.


I finished in 6th place for females and 1st in my age group – winning a $20 gift certificate to Potomac River Running Store.

Mothers Day 4 Miler 2013 6

I really had a fantastic time at the race and can’t wait for the next one {this coming weekend}.


Are you a mother runner who wants to run Ragnar Relay? Check out the contest on Another Mother Runner’s website to win a spot on their team — http://anothermotherrunner.com/2013/03/31/ragnar-relay-contest-team-dimity-vs-team-sarah-in-the-ultimate-mother-runner-showdown/


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  1. Jen Floyd says:

    Awesome race and awesome jacket!!!!! Where is it from, I want one :). I am so glad you had a good race. I don’t do a lot of races but I can imagine it can get discouraging to have several not go as planned in a row.

  2. Thanks Jen!! It’s Saucony :) From a couple of years ago! You may be able to find it online at a discount. I can’t remember the name of it though :(

  3. Jen Floyd says:

    THANKS!!!! I am so glad you had a great Mothers Day! A great mom deserves a great day! A gift card to a local running store is an awesome prize!

  4. I am just thrilled to read this! I know it’s been a struggle for you the past few months and I am so happy to see you have such a fantastic race. Your comment about racing doesn’t begin in the first mile makes me think of a comment I overhead a little kid say once at a Turkey Trot: “Last year, I was in first place for the first 10 seconds!” LOL. Their goal is to see how long they can be in first place. :-)

  5. You have great race pics! I always look way more comical than hardcore, regardless of how I felt when the shot was taken. :) Love what you said about races being determined at the end; I made it a priority not to go out too fast during my last half marathon and I finished strong. I don’t race to compete with others, but certainly to see improvement in myself. Thanks for sharing with such sincerity and authenticity. I appreciate your posts!

  6. Love the jacket too!!

    And you look so happy :) Glad you had a good race!

  7. Well done, my sister does runs all the time and I admire her so much for it. Wish I had the stamina for this, :(

  8. Great meeting you, Dorothy, and congrats on a great race! Hope to see you out there again soon!!

  9. You are so inspiring Dorothy! Everytime I read your mile splits I’m blown away and want to work on mine that much more!! I love that you said winning a race wasn’t determined by the first miles- I think I struggle with that a lot! It’s tough not to go out too fast!

  10. This is definitely attention-grabbing, You’re incredibly expert blog writer. I’ve truly joined your give and check in front for you to seeking the rest of the great post. Also, I have embraced your website at my web sites


  1. […] to teach myself to not start out so fast, and to save plenty for the last mile. I read a post on Dorothy Beal’s blog yesterday where she mentioned something along the lines of how races aren’t just determined […]

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