Today April 21st I’d like to share the story behind Dream Big Run Long with you…..

9 years ago today the world lost Liz Duncan. She wasn’t someone I had met before or even knew about till her passing. She worked for Brooks Running and happened to be friends with many of my friends.

One friend in particular who was deeply affected by her loss shared the news of her passing with me. Maybe it was because Liz shared the same birthday with my son, maybe it was because she had worked for the same company I worked for, maybe it was her brown hair and her love of running, or maybe it was just that her life was meant to touch mine….I don’t know….but what I do know is that every year around this time Liz pops in my mind and I am reminded to never ever take any day for granted.

Little did I know that the day that Liz lost her life would become one that I would remember as the last day my father in law spent on this earth.

Last year I spoke to him the Sunday before he passed on the phone. If only I had known that was the last time I would hear his voice. I would have told him I loved him – something that I had never said to him {if you knew him this would make sense – he believed in tough love and showing his love rather than saying it}.

As the anniversary of his death inches closer I find myself more and more consumed with emotion. Unlike many other days, I’m not crying. I’m determined. I refuse to let his life and the loss of the lives of others to not affect me. I want to live an intentional life where I am intentional in my thankfulness for this time on earth.

Gary’s neighbor noticed how beautiful the sky was over my father-in-laws house the night he left us. She snapped this picture as the sun set on his last day.

Gary Last Full Night



Life is a VERY precious gift. For years I was consumed with the time on the clock and how fast my runs were, now I know that every run no matter the pace is a gift. EVERY SINGLE RUN. Why? Because every single day is a gift. Running is lovely, but it isn’t everything.

Liz had a bumper stick on her computer monitor, it said Life is Short. Run Long.

Life is short

Life IS short. I decided that it was important for me not to life my life as someone who was afraid. I had to take chances – dream big if you will – in order to make my life on this earth matter. We don’t know what day will be our last. We don’t know what day will be the last for someone you may love. Say sorry, forgive others, help those in need and make every day one that you would be proud of if it were your last.

Tomorrow will be tough BUT the Beal family is tougher. This how Gary would have wanted us to feel.

Dream Big Run Long

xoxo Dorothy


  1. Thank you, this is a great post and so true. Each day is a gift and stop concerning ourselves with the “fluff” and like you’ve said “live with intention”. Your blog is great I can relate with so many if your articles. Keep it up you’ve got a new fan!


  1. […] I felt grateful that God gave me a body that was healthy to run. […]

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