11.11.11 is a day I have literally been waiting for my whole life.

To celebrate this day I wanted to write an extra special post. I thought long and hard about what I would write about but came back to my mantra. Dream Big, Run Long.

What it means to Dream Big. Dreaming Big means coming up with a dream that you think may be a bit crazy but you go after it anyways. Dreaming Big means having a goal and doing what it takes to make it happen. Dreaming Big is achieving your dream and then setting a new even bigger one. Dreaming Big means silencing your inner critic and achieving the life you only thought possible in your dreams.

Have you ever wanted to be proud about an accomplishment but not come across as bragging? Here is your chance.

Tell us – How did you Dream Big this week? This month? This year?

Did you run your first race? Did you go for your first run? Did you have a baby? Did you sign up for an ultra? Did you complete a marathon? Did you apply to college? Did you land your first job?

The only rules are you can not be SHY and only positivity allowed. The dream can be one you achieved or one you want to achieve.

My hope is that you will be encouraged by the comments others leave, that you will come back to this post time and time again adding new comments on how you dreamed big in your life. You never know when your Dream may inspire others to Dream. May your goals encourage others.

They are WHY I dream big
May you never stop DREAMING BIG.
Here is how I dreamed big[running wise] in 2011:
  • I set the goal to go under 3:20 in the marathon. I ran a personal marathon PR of 8 minutes with a time of 3:13 – 1 hour and 7 minutes faster than my first marathon in 2003. I did this 11 months  after my third baby was born.

Why I like the number 11 —
11 is my favorite number. I was born on 4/11 and am named after my great-grandmother who was born on 4/1 – April 11 is the 101st day of the year. I like numbers that are the same forward and backwards like 818 – flip it and it is 818. 11 is 11.

Comments

  1. I DREAMED BIG this year and submitted a book proposal with a colleague. It was accepted, we have a contract, and are less than a month away from submitting our manuscript (yikes!).

    I AM DREAMING BIG for next year with a PR in the half marathon.

  2. bananabuzzbomb says:

    :) love this. Always dreaming big. Current dream big is signing up for my first half Ironman distance race with Rev3 Tri for 2012. Excited for the challenge. Looking forward to seeing everyone's Dream Big goals….

  3. I decided to start running this year and have been since July. Then I signed up for a 5K.. something I never thought I'd do. Then I signed up for a half marathon (Princes Half in 2012). My inner critic says I can't. But I know I can. :)

    Next dream is run the NYC Marathon… if I get in.

  4. I dreamed big this year by taking up running and signing up for my first marathon in May 2012. I've only ever done one 5k, one 10k and one half-marathon so the next few months are going to require some hard work and self-belief. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  5. Mike Wells - Twitter @MikeW30 says:

    Hi Dorothy,

    I had a dream that started on 4th January this year – when I got on my scales and they said the highest number I'd ever seen, 15st 7lbs (UK money) or a scary 217lbs as you guys would say! As I'm only just over 5ft 9in – that was massively, dangerously, overweight.

    After many attempts to lose weight over the years, I decided this time would be different. I started using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track literally *every* calorie that I consumed (weighing all loose foods religiously) – and found that I was losing weight faster than ever.

    I also started exercising more and found that the more I exercised, the more MyFitnessPal told me I could eat (and as I love food, that was music to my ears). Then in April, I discovered RunKeeper – and started obsessively tracking all my exercise too. :)

    I've now been around 150lbs (my "ideal" weight) since mid-June, and although I'd never run more than 2 miles before this summer (and that was 20 years ago at school), this Sunday I'm running my first 10K race (XC) – and hoping to finish in under 50 mins.

    I love running and your blog is very inspiring – thanks!

    Mike (Twitter : @mikew30).

  6. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List says:

    I dreamed big and am now hosting a Blogger's Retreat with a couple of ladies whom I had only DREAMED of meeting one day, let alone be rubbing elbows with logistically.
    P.S. It's in Boulder, May 4-6th, for anyone who's interested. Contact me at Lindsay's List.

  7. I dreamed big this year – I ran my first half marathon, first marathon, and then did 3 more halfs, bringing my PR down by almost 30 minutes! I'm also jumping into a dream that I haven't been brave enough to share with anyone yet, but that my last race proved to me was possible…

    I WILL QUALIFY FOR BOSTON BEFORE I TURN 30.

    There. I said it. And now I have 3 years and 3 months to make it happen.

  8. runthelongroad.com says:

    I ran my 9th marathon on 9/11/11 and qualified for Boston! It has been my dream for 10 years. It was the second best day of my life (after my wedding!). AND, my time was fast enough for my registration to be accepted. Boston 2012, here I come!

  9. This year I DREAMED BIG! While I didn't hit my goal (off by 11 minutes) I did finish my first 70.3! I also set a goal of 3:15 at the Chicago Marathon. I thought it may have been a bit lofty, but I went out, ran even paces, and hit 3:14:50. If you don't set the bar high, you'll never get there!!!

    2012 is going to be a BIG year. I'm Dreaming BIG!!!

  10. Rachel @ Running Backwards in High Heels says:

    I dreamed big in the fact that I started running 2 years ago. I was NOT a runner. I just ran my third half with a respectable finish time of 2:31 and will be running my 4th half a week from Sunday. I would like to say that my goal is to finish, BUT my Dream BIG goal is to finish around the same time. This will also make me a member of the half fanatics club and I am PROUD to call myself a runner now– no guilt anymore! Runners guilt is almost as bad as mommy guilt!

  11. My big dream is to quit my office job and start my own running coaching business, maybe organize some races and just do what I love – running :)

  12. Allie @ The Constant Pursuit says:

    You're definitely motivating me to dream big. I think I'm learning with running that I am holding myself back – I *think* I am "only" a 2-hour half marathon runner and a 4:00 marathon would be a stretch. I have run a 1:55 half and a 4:10 marathon. I absolutely KNOW if I believe in myself, I can run a 1:50 half and a 3:55 marathon.

  13. Love this post and needed it this morning!!!

    I dreamt big this year by taking on a seemingly impossible fundraising goal to run my first marathon for Team World Vision – I described it as my "God sized goal." When I started the process, my doctors even told me I should find another "hobby" because of my Scoliosis. I ran the marathon last week, completed it (without back pain) and over-exceeded the fundraising goal. Looking forward to another God Sized Goal, because you're right – you gotta dream BIG to see big dreams come true!

  14. I dreamed BIG this year and finished my first Marathon..which was all on technical trail and finished my first 50k…a very tough hilly one to step into Ultra running! Dreaming bigger for next year!!

  15. I dreamed big during my half marathon last Sunday. It was hot and I wasn't feeling super great but I went out and dominated it. The entire time I couldn't believe what I was doing – it hurt but I did it and took over 10 minutes off my PR and broke 2 hours! 1:58:55! If I can do this, I can only imagine what else is in store. Dream big!

  16. I set a goal to make it through my first marathon…and despite being plagues with tendinitis in my knee and ITB troubles, I still believed…I finished my first marathon last month in 3:49 and couldn't be happier…DREAM BIG, RUN LONG :)

  17. I have made some big goals myself, as a former collegiate runner who fell on hard (ie, fat) times, I have been making a long slow recovery… sun 20 5ks and a boston qual marathon are in my future… notice I said "are" not hope….. Great post today!!!!

  18. Lindsay O'Donnell says:

    I dreamed big this year and did my first Sprint Triathlon! I'm doing another one in January… so dreaming big in 2012, too!

  19. For me, my DREAM BIG is a considering signing up for an RnR Half marathon next spring. I've only been running for a few months now but have completed (2)5K's, (1)10K, have my second 10K this sunday and signed up for a 15K in December. I'm not sure if I'm ready to tackle a half yet, but isn't that what DREAMING BIG is about? Putting yourself out there. I'll keep you posted…

  20. This year has been full of my BIG DREAMS coming true…my first half marathon, I started my own race timing & event planning business which included holding a kids tri & several 5ks, I got certified by the RRCA as a running coach, I'm working on my personal trainer certification…on top of working full time, being a mommy to 2 awesome boys & a wife to my thankfully very supportive hubby! Craziest part is I have even BIGGER dreams for 2012, including running awesome races! Believe in yourself, DREAM BIG & RUN LONG!! :)

  21. This week I Dreamed Big just by getting up off my butt and running again. This month I will Dream Big by honoring my brother's sacrifice, and keeping his memory alive. This year I will Dream Big in my quest to raise a respectable daughter, have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery; and continue to juggle motherhood with Army life and RUNNING. Most importantly, I want to become someone my family is proud of.

    Aside from the family aspect of Dreaming Big and the immediate time frame, I would LOVE to go back to school and finish my degree. Maybe major in Exercise science, I have yet to figure this out. Eventually I would like to have a running store, or work in the running-related field.

    Ok, seriously, that's the end of my novel!!

  22. Anna Crouch says:

    In January of 2011 I had a dream of going back to school and becoming a Registered Dietitian. In late January I applied for school, March I got accepted, and in May I quit my full time "career"! Instead I got a part time job at a local gym and started school in September. This has been a dream of mine for about 4 years but just this year I finally believed my dreams were possible!

  23. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas says:

    That is the CUTEST family picture ever.
    My dreaming big for 2012: 2 half marathons in 2 weeks. My first sprint triathlon. Excited!

  24. Carolina John says:

    I ran my first Ironman last saturday. Big dream there! Next up is breaking a 3:30 marathon. Have a great weekend Dorothy!

  25. This year I dreamed of qualifying for Boston for the 2nd year and I DID IT! I also dreamed of starting my own fitness business. It is slow going, but I did it. I am getting ready to start another session and will probably coach my 25th client of the year.

    Next year I want to run an ultra. It is just a matter of finding the right one and training for it.

    Thanks for such an inspiring post.

  26. I was always told as a child that to DREAM BIG was a mistake. That one should be practical and set goals that were pragmatic. (Better not to aim too high and be dissapointed.) Last year I decided to shed that thinking, and I found out that Yes- I CAN run through the freezing cold and hot summer. I CAN push through the self doubt at 8,10 & 12 miles. I CAN raise $1000 for charity. I CAN run 13.1 miles even at 180lbs and not finish anwhere close to last. And now I know for certain that I CAN train for and run my first marathon at age 40. The only one who can stop me, is me.

  27. I signed up for my first ultra (and a big one at that!) this week!!!! :)

  28. I ran my 1st marathon this year and also had a 4 minute 14 second half marathon PR! My dream for next year is nothing but BIG and oh so exciting to shoot for. Running my 2nd marathon in LA in March and then Eugene in April. Shooting for Boston – a 3:39 marathon! Dorothy, thanks for inspiring me and so many others to dream big! You are amazing!

  29. I love your mantra. I think a lot of people are afraid to dream big because then it means they might fail and disappoint. But this post is a great reminder that it doesn't matter if you don't get your dream on your first try — it's about picking yourself up and trying again and never giving up on your dreams.
    This year I dreamed big by going back to school in a field I never thought I'd be in. Letting go of all of my preconceived notions about social work and the stereotypes I had to follow my career goal was a big step for me. Running-wise, I dreamed big and totally fell down…but I can't let it keep me down.
    Thanks for this post! Needed to hear this message today.

  30. I dreamed big for this year and finished my first 1/2 M AND just in the past week did my ever first pull up!!!
    Next year I'm going for a 26 min PR to bring my 1/2 time under 2 hours! I've got a LOT of work to do but I believe I can do it!

  31. Melissa Cunningham says:

    i love this!!!
    i DREAMED BIG this year! i did my first ever sprint triathlon in april,7 months after my 3rd child was born,and then 2 weeks later i earned my 3rd Figure Pro card..the next week i turned around and qualified for the WORLD CUP (the biggest event for natrural figure and bodybuilders!!)this all happend within 8 months after giving birth…
    and then 12 days ago i competed at the World Cup….i didnt make top 5,but in my defense i was sick as a dog that day because i competed in a physique competition while 9 weeks pregnant with my 4th baby.(but shhh i havent posted that in my blog yet) who does that??? crazy head me,but i wasnt going to let morning sickness stop me from stepping on a stage i have been trying to get to for the past 4 years….and to be honest,i was the leanest, most conditioned pregnant lady on stage-i may have been the ONLY preggo gal on stage,but this was really one of the best i have ever looked…
    and now since i have to take a mandatory break from competing,i am going back to my first passion and signing myself up for my first ever full marahon for 2012-the marine core marathon in VA. i will only be 4 months post partum,but i know i can do it!! i am dreaming BIG!

  32. I dreamed big by applying to grad school! Still awaiting the response…

    Ps- Love that picture!!

  33. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says:

    In 2011 I Dreamed BIG by:

    1. I set a new 50k trail PR…not once but twice!
    2. Taking 50k to 50 miles…not once but in 7 more days (God willing) I'll do it again!
    3. I finally comitted to radically changing my family's lifestyle with a huge leap of faith in my marriage.

  34. Carly @ Rockthedogs says:

    In 2011 I dreamed BIG by:
    – losing 43 lbs (I'd like to lose 7 more but I'm happy right now!)
    – started running, ran 2 5k races and 1 8k race, 1 sprint duathlon, and signed up for half marathon training
    – got out of a bad job and into an AMAZING job where I have creative freedom and my ideas are respected. big leap but I'm so happy I did it.

    I fully believe in dreaming BIG and thinking POSITIVELY. Why have a glass that's half full or half empty when you can have one that's full all the time?

  35. @ultra_matt says:

    So many fantastic stories!

    In my second year of distance running, I dreamed BIG to run 7 marathons in 2011. I may only have run 5, but it was a red-letter year nonetheless. Mid-2011, I dreamed BIG to become a four-star Marathon Maniac, so I ran two of those five marathons on the same weekend. It was an experience I'll never forget -I even ran the second one faster than the first :) I never dreamed I'd break 4 hours, but this year I did it twice, with a 3:44 and 3:56. 2011 was also the first year I ran a trail (half) marathon.

    My next BIG dream is to get faster and qualify for Boston, currently a 3:10 for my age group. Also, sometime before I'm 40, I'd really like to run an ultra.

    Keep dreaming big and making those memories!

  36. When I was in my twenties I dreamed of running a marathon. I did not want to miss out on life so I ran some 5Ks, 10Ks and a triathlons. When in my twenties their were 40 and 50 years olds running faster than me. My goal was to be in shape when I reached that age. I started a family, so running took a back seat. Anyway, I started running again and now in my forties I am in shape and beating some of the twenty year olds. This weekend I will run my first marathon. I also signed up for a Rock and Roll marathon. Thanks for your posts. My goal is to qualify for Boston.

    Is is possible for you to share your training routine?

  37. You are so inspiring and uplifting! As you know, I have been thinking about the full 26.2. You have helped me see that I have the strength to DREAM BIG and run a full marathon. Everything is coming together for me… the Twin Cities Marathon is Oct 7, just days before my 30th birthday. I can Run to Remember in honor of my father, who passed away when I was 12, and raise money for the National Hospice Foundation. I went to grad school in Minneapolis and have friends and family there who would support me. I will DREAM BIG and go for it! By the way, 13 is MY lucky number (my birthday is the 13th). We hope to welcome a little bundle of joy to our family in 2013. DREAM BIG!

  38. In 2012 I'm dreaming big! Going to complete my first half IM and my first ultra 50K! I also dram to become a Turbo kick instructor and health and fitness coach!

  39. myhighonlife says:

    I love this and all the comments are AWESOME! I have big dreams for 2012. My first FULL marathon (RnR Nasvhille), possibly the Lakefront Marathon in October, many half marathons, and the RAGNER RELAY! So excited. I'll also be graduating in May and I am dreaming of finding a decent job :)

    Thanks for this post. Just the inspiration I needed this morning :)

  40. I dreamed big and am running 2011km in 2011 to raise money for people with MND/ALS. I only started running last year so it's been a pretty big challenge. It's inspired me to keep going though and I've already booked 2 half marathons and my first full marathon for the spring :)

  41. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says:

    I always have big running dreams, but my true dream big that scares me and excites me… I want to pursue my writing career. I am finally taking steps to make contacts, submit articles and hone my writing. I have loved watching my website grow over the years and hearing from people that what I say has affected them in some way.

  42. thethinksicanthink says:

    I set running goals that I never thought I would. I haven't achieved them yet, but I'm getting there.

  43. Chelsie Varga says:

    Last year my "dream big" goal was to run a half marathon. I had to give up that dream 2 weeks before the race because of an injury, but now I'm back at it and not only that my I now am dreaming about running the full marathon for the same race in may 2012. I have found a running method that works for me and my injury with a combination of running and walking and I absolutely love that it lets me get back outside and back to running. I will run that full marathon in May. I also started my own health coaching company and am loving learning more about how to incorporate that into my life. Thanks for encouraging us to dream big and share it. I loved reading all the comments so far.

  44. Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog says:

    11 is my second favorite number my first is 27. I was born 11-27 and I consider 11:27 to be a lucky time of day for me :) I am dreaming big next year and getting to do something I have never done, but really wanted to. I can't say yet but will be posting on my blog soon :)

  45. Happy 11-11-11 Dorothy! I'm still thinking about how I can dream big, too.

  46. This year I started walking just to improve my cardio endurance (work with preschoolers!). After several months, I added running to the mix…first time in 20+ years. I've done several 5k's and my big dream is the half marathon in my hometown next September. Because I'm still at the "getting into shape" part of running, my 5k times are still improving! Fun in my 40's!

  47. Jessica (Pace of Me) says:

    Ahhhh, I LOVE this. Everyone's comments are amazing and inspiring!

    I Dreamed Big this year and set PRs in every race distance (including 2 marathons – improving my PR by 54+ minutes). this was an especially big dream for me because Ihassle my third baby in February just 9 months ago. I really wanted to BQ and I fought as hard as I could to chase that dream coming in at 3:41:56 I was less than 2 minutes from my qualifying time. That only makes me feel more determined though! I know I will meet this dream in 2012 and then some!

    I'm also Dreaming Big by starting a pilates/run club and my dream is to inspire and encourage others to do things they never thought possible – to chase after their dreams and find all that strength that already resides within them.

    Love you, amazing friend!!! xxoo

  48. Megan @ On The Road Again says:

    Such a good post Dorothy! Your posts/Tweets always make me feel like anything is possible – not just in running, but in life. '

    How I Dreamed Big in 2011: I ran my second marathon in 4:28, set a new 5k PR of 24:34, and got pregnant with my first child. But while this year's been great, I can't wait to Dream Big in 2012 – seeing the little one born in January, running a half marathon in Seattle, and running my third full marathon in the fall despite so many people telling me that training and being a mom is nearly impossible. I say it's NOT!

  49. What a great post. I had alot of BIG dreams this year, they were my new years resolutions…
    – Lose weight – DONE, 125 pounds down and counting (50 of that was in 2010 though)
    – start running – DONE!
    – walk a half marathon – DONE, have actually run 3!
    – Run a 5k – DONE, at least one race a month all year so far!
    And, part way through the year I decided to add another big goal when I realized what I was capable of:
    – Sub 2:00 half-marathon – DONE, today I ran a 1:56.18 and I couldn't be more excited!

  50. I dreamed big and just ran 50 miles on Saturday. Now I'm dreaming big about not being sore one day in the future :)

  51. I love this post and all the comments. Thank you for generating all this inspiration. Here is how I dreamed big this weekend: I ran my fourth half-marathon and set out to get a PR, and feel good/have fun the whole time. And I nailed it! The exact course mileage is still being debated because it was likely short of 13.1 by a bit, but my average pace was 9:47 and I felt awesome.

  52. GoSisterGo says:

    Love this post and all the comments. You are all inspiring!

    I'm dreaming big this year for sure. I've applied to go back and finish college (yeah!) and plan on returning in the fall. This spring I will run my first marathon and am loving the training for that. These two things with two very young children. So add dreaming of being an amazing mom and wife to the list. :)

  53. This post is so inspiring! I often think about the amazing running community that's out there when I feel like I'm chugging alone with little to no energy. And then I remind myself – DREAM BIG. Every step, every mile, every road leads to something bigger in life, bigger than that exact moment where we feel we absolutely cannot go one single step further.

    Running has been on my mind a lot lately. It's really no surprise since it's ALWAYS on my mind but more so over the past few weeks. I am running my first marathon in March 2012 and I had a dream last night that not only did I complete 26.2 miles, but I finished ahead of time, wanting more and wondering, is that it? A little strange but if that's not dreaming big and running long, I don't know what is!

  54. I am dreaming big by not hiding behind goals I know I can accomplish, but instead putting a goal out there that I will probably fail at more than once. I am dreaming big by knowing it's okay to fall & pick yourself & try again, all in the name of an aspiration. I am dreaming big by not underestimating myself for once, and by putting some scary marathon-pace numbers out there for the world to see. :)

    DREAM BIG. Run long.

    http://diaryofanaveragerunner.blogspot.com/2011/11/dream-big-cim-goals.html

  55. First off, I can't begin to describe how glad I am to have come across this blog. I absolutely love reading the posts and the comments..it has quickly become a daily go-to source of inspiration!

    I made the decision last February to take a leap of faith into a new career, even though it meant going back to school for a period of time. After playing in orchestras professionally for eight years, and teaching music lessons on the side, I realized playing music for a paycheck (and the "gig rat race" that came with the territory) zapped much of the joy I once had for music making, and I LOVED my students, and teaching in general, much more than I ever expected I would. I just knew I was being led in a direction other than the one I had prepared for through college and grad school. If you had asked me ten years ago if I thought I'd want to become a school music/band teacher in my 30s, I would have laughed at you. Given the current economy and the general state of arts education in public schools, I know the timing may not be "appropriate", but I am determined. I know this is what I need to do!

    I'm also dreaming BIG about a Boston qualifying time before my 40th birthday! My current best marathon time (2008) is 5:40. However, I've been working really hard the past three years to increase my pace, and my initial goal was to not run another marathon until I get my half marathon race pace to a 10 minute mile. I was just shy of achieving this two months ago, when I ran my best half to date at 2:16:58. I kept dreaming and kept training steadily, and just yesterday shattered my half marathon PR with a 2:04:56 finish!! I was feeling a little daunted by my BQ goal, but I've got confidence now! I'm keeping on running and keeping on dreaming!

  56. Running Little Rock, Ark marathon this Sunday 3/4. I don’t know what to expect since this is my first marathon since knee surgery in August. I felt strong through mile 20 on my last long run but the knee was tender that next week. Now that it has had time to rebuild, I’ll see what my knee can do thru miles 22-23. After that, I don’t want to stress my knee so I may walk. I would be thrilled to finish under 5 hr but don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. I will push hard as long as my knee doesn’t hurt since I want to run many more marathons.

    My biggest running dream is to qualify for Boston and I will try that in 2014 just before I turn 60 in April of 2015.

    I will pray for you Dorothy all thru my marathon next Sunday. I would love to see 3:05 a reality on your blog. But whatever your time ends up being, I know you’ll have left nothing out there because you give it all you’ve got and you trust God to be your strength. Bless you! Enjoy your taper!

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Trackbacks

  1. […] WOW– talk about running inspiration! If that doesn’t make you lace up the sneakers and head out for your run this weekend, I don’t know what will! I read about Ben in a Runner’s World issue a couple of months ago, but I had yet to watch the video he put together. Typical of many Americans today, Ben was overweight and depressed about his physical condition. Instead of continuing down the path he was on, the then 22 year old decided to take up running to help lose weight and get himself back into shape. What followed was a dramatic transformation, both physically and mentally. Ben chose to dream big. […]

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