Saturday I woke up and knew I needed to run 20 miles – my last long run before Boston.

Twitter and facebook haunted me as countless runners posted pictures and comments of how great their final long run went.

It didn’t motivate me. It made me frustrated. I didn’t want to run long. I was tired. I am worn out.

I woke up Sunday morning and again didn’t want to run long. I reasoned with myself that I am just doing Boston for fun so it would be okay to skip this run.

I NEVER skip long runs. Ever.

I was ready to skip this one.

I always feel better after a long run – always – so I just needed to harness the feeling I get after to motivate me to get going.

I asked Chloe if she wanted to run with me. I told her that we would be running for 2+ hours.

The farthest I’ve pushed one of my children was 13.1 – if I could push Chloe for 16 miles that would be similar to running 20 miles.


Chloe was up for the challenge. We packed the car, stroller, snacks, kindle and headed to my favorite local trail.

The run was an out and back so I knew with every mile I went forward that was actually adding two miles on to the run. At 8 miles – only running 2 more miles to hit 10 didn’t seem so hard. When I turned around and realized I was going to take my stroller run PR from 13.1 to 20 in one day – I freaked a little.

20 miles later – I found my strong.

I’m glad I pushed through not wanting to run. I’m sore as can be today – in places I don’t normally get sore from during a long run – but it was totally worth it for the sense of accomplishment I feel.

If I can push a 5 year old for 20 miles – what can’t I do?

Mile 26

How did I keep Chloe entertained?

  • I made it a challenge – it wasn’t just me running 20 miles – it was US running 20 miles – she cheered me on.
  • We talked and talked and talked – some miles I looked down at my pace and knew I was on the slower end because of how many time I had to answer the question WHY? Chloe learned on this run that not all questions have answers. Sometimes the answer just IS – there is no why.
  • We brought the Kindle – she played games in the beginning till about mile 5 and then got sick of it. She said she preferred talking to me and looking out at the new route we were running on.
  • Snacks and a lollipop and the promise of ice cream or whatever yummy treat she wanted post run. [she didn’t finish the lollipop or the snacks]
  • I made it something special that just the girls were doing. Girls rule and boys drool was the theme of the run – we loved spending mommy-daughter time together. After the run we met up with the Saucony Sprinter Van that was at Reston Town Center visiting. Chloe loved it that they were cheering her on for running 20 miles and congratulating her rather than me.



I woke up today and wasn’t really sure how on earth I pushed her for 20 miles let alone with an 8:06 average – 2:42:02 of running. Looks like a stroller marathon is FOR SURE in my future.

Does that happen to you? You do something that you didn’t think possible and then after you still don’t think it was possible?

  • Mile 1: 8:33
  • Mile 2: 8:21
  • Mile 3: 8:25
  • Mile 4: 7:39
  • Mile 5: 7:44
  • Mile 6: 8:01
  • Mile 7: 7:54
  • Mile 8: 8:26
  • Mile 9: 8:13
  • Mile 10: 8:05
  • Mile 11: 7:33
  • Mile 12: 8:00
  • Mile 13: 8:03
  • Mile 14: 8:22
  • Mile 15: 8:22
  • Mile 16: 8:19
  • Mile 17: 8:33
  • Mile 18: 7:44
  • Mile 19: 7:48
  • Mile 20: 8:00


  1. I am in such awe of you!! Pushing a stroller at those splits…girl you are amazing!
    Anji Nussbaumer recently posted..Marathon of MudMy Profile

  2. You are my super hero!! My kids never lasted more than five miles.
    Kris recently posted..Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.My Profile

  3. You crazy, girl!!!!

    That said…I can’t wait to follow in your footsteps someday. ;)
    Rebekah recently posted..Let’s chew the fat: post-workout recovery eating.My Profile

  4. Love how u push yourself to limits you never thought possible! That’s really when we find out who we are and what we are made of! Congrats on a new PR, inspires me to push beyond my 10 mile stroller PR.

    Ps. A little jealous of your paved trail system! Wish we had one of those in NH!
    Sarah recently posted..I never wanted to be a "Stay-At-Home-Mom"My Profile

    • We have at least a few paved trails in NH that I have run on. The Derry Rail trail, the Windham Rail trail and I have ran the Manchester rail trail as well. I know of a couple up north too but for the life of e can’t remember which towns.

  5. That is uh-mazing!! Pretty sure there isn’t anything you CAN’T do if you pushed your little girl for 20 miles!! Wow! Way to go!
    LifeisaRun recently posted..All About the Ladies!My Profile

  6. Um. There are no words! You are such a machine!
    Mollyberries recently posted..At Peace With My RunMy Profile

  7. Wow! I am stunned and amazed. I can’t believe you ran 20 miles pushing a 5 y/o in a stroller. You ran 20 miles pushing a 5 y/o faster than some people run 20 miles without a stroller! So freaking cool.

    You are so strong and so confident- I love it!
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Wonky stride update and a shiny new PR!My Profile

  8. Craziness! That is a great training run, all the cross training involved… I’m so impressed with your daughter! Our limit is about 5 miles, and only with the promise of a playground. :)
    Laura recently posted..How not to run a 10kMy Profile

  9. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. You are the epitome of “no excuses”. Thanks for being such an inspiration!
    Jen recently posted..Things I Love Right Now (about running)My Profile

  11. Um, wow! That’s crazy and awesome all at the same time. You remind me that it is possible to be a mom and runner all at the same time…I love that!
    Whitney @LiveRunLoveYoga recently posted..The First 20 of the Boston Marathon and a Workout Recap!My Profile

  12. Holy smokes! Seriously – I’m so very impressed with you – I have a five year old myself & I can’t imagine doing a 5K with pushing him in a stroller.

    And, that feeling of pushing myself beyond the limits of what I think I can do? That’s what I love best about running!
    Running Girl recently posted..It’s feeling like springMy Profile

  13. Tracy Carson says:

    I honestly don’t know whether to love you or hate you! What you do just seems so impossible. I ran 7.5 with TWO kiddos in the stroller last week and I thought I was a super woman. Now I just don’t know what to think! Congratulations!

  14. You never cease to amaze me! 20 miles pushing a stroller is CRAZY AWESOME. Take a break today, you deserve it! Way to push through and find your strong :)
    Karla @ myhighonlife. recently posted..I promise I’m alive!My Profile

  15. Dorothy you continue to AMAZE me!! That is soooooo freaking COOL!! The most I have ran is 5 miles and that is pushing a 1 year old. I have NO EXCUSES now! If you can push your 5 year old 20 miles then I should be able to go further in my stroller runs. Thank you for the inspiration! Your pace is awesome too! WOW! Love this post!
    Kris recently posted..Week 3 of Half Marathon TrainingMy Profile

  16. Wow, awesome job! You continue to set a great example for me as a running mom.
    Megan recently posted..Best Body Bootcamp: Week 3My Profile

  17. Amazing and inspiring! Way to go Dorothy!
    Meredith recently posted..Dear 26.2My Profile

  18. Can I be you when I grow up?? So inspiring!! I want to do that with my future kids. I’m always in awe when I see mommies out there doing a marathon while pushing their children. The last woman I saw was pushing 3!! Incredible! Great job
    Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane recently posted..Hispanicize & Fitness and Health BloggersMy Profile

  19. WITH A jogger stroller! Gee woman, you are something else. :) So you’re not racing Boston? Just for fun? I’m assuming you write your own plans…forgive me for not knowing…you’ve probably written about this or have it all over your blog somewhere and I’ll feel like a goof asking. :) ?

  20. Michelle says:

    haha “what can’t we do?” LOVE IT!!!

  21. Seriously…you are a ROCKSTAR! That is awesome! Chloe is such a trooper, because that is a long time for a 5-year-old to be patient and sit in one place! Congrats on a great run!
    Corey recently posted..Workout Log: March 12 – 25My Profile

  22. Wow! I wonder what the world record is for high mileage with a jogging stroller. And with an older child, too. That’s awesome that she was so happy to go with you!
    Elizabeth Clor recently posted..1 + 1 = 3My Profile

  23. All I can say is you are absolutely amazing!
    {lifeasa}RunningMom recently posted..Wahine Half Marathon: 5 Days AwayMy Profile

  24. Way to go, girl!!!!! It’s funny you ask that question because I totally felt like giving up on my run last night. It was my first run since getting over being very sick and I went for 3 miles. It was tough and probably the worst run I ever had. But I am so glad I went because I am very glad with my accomplishment.
    Lauren recently posted..Crazy TrainMy Profile

  25. This is seriously AMAZING. How incredibly inspiring. Chloe is also an inspiration too that she wasn’t whining or bored! You are READY to dominate Boston!
    Ricole Runs recently posted..Seattle RnR Marathon Training Week #1My Profile

  26. @ Ricole Runs:
    Chloe is for sure the rockstar!! I have no idea how she was happy for so long but even when we were finished she didn’t complain once and kept giggling about running 20 miles! [i love her]
    Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal recently posted..I’ve Been Away FilmingMy Profile

  27. @ Elizabeth Clor:
    If there was a world record – I would try to break it :) but I don’t think there is – hehe. Let me know if you ever find otherwise.
    Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal recently posted..20 Miles With A Single Stroller: Boston Marathon 2012 TrainingMy Profile

  28. @ Amanda@Runninghood:
    Yep – Boston is just for fun :) I’ll see what the day gives me! Looking forward to meeting you!
    Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal recently posted..Ending Winter On A High Note: Triple Stroller RunMy Profile

  29. Ok, fess up. Where’s your cape? Can you also leap tall building in a single bound? :-)
    Great job!
    Missy recently posted..Green light! Go!My Profile

  30. @ Missy:
    Hilarious you should say that because during one of my miles in the 7’s – my mind was getting excited thinking about how fun it would be to make a superhero cape and run a marathon in it – geeky but true. I am however afraid of heights so no leaping tall buildings are in my future ;)
    Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal recently posted..I’m Back! Kinvara 3My Profile

  31. So I have recently started reading your blog and I have never felt so inspired. I have been a runner for 13 years and have 3 kids as well. I regularly read runners world etc., but to hear a story told by someone who isn’t super human like all the pros is so refreshing.

    I’m training for my third marathon and am pretty certain I can beat 4 hours. The other day I pushed myself more than usual- thanks to you- and ran 10 miles, averaged 8:34 pace. Then I ran a 5 mile run at 8:08 pace. It felt so much better than expected. Thanks for the inspiration! Now I think I can go faster!

  32. @ Amber D:
    Amber! So happy you like my blog but MORE happy about those awesome paces for your runs. You CERTAINLY have it in you to go sub 4 :) Just remember to BELIEVE in yourself and ALL things are possible. Hugs.
    Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal recently posted..26.2 Running QuotesMy Profile

  33. You are amazing!!! Seriously!!! I can’t even keep that pace for like 5 miles lol… let-alone 20 while pushing a 5 year old in a stroller!! You are hardcore! lol :)
    Zaneta recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: I’ve Been Branded!My Profile

  34. you sure you’re not a robot or a being from outerspace? :o) You are such an inspiration! I admire your “strong” and will quit whining and complaining when I run a mere 10 miles sans stroller and kid!

  35. I love this post! How special that you and your daughter got to spend this much time together. I am sure that she loved her Mommy time, and thinks you are quite the lady. And what a good role model you are for her :)

    Cant wait to see how Boston goes!

  36. You rock! And are one awesome mama! Hope I’m as cool (and fast) when I’m pushing a stroller :) xo
    melody recently posted..Boston Marathon Training {week 13}My Profile

  37. I don’t even know what to say, except for “WOW”. My husband has been reading your blog for a while and left it up on the computer for me to peek at last night. I went back to the beginning and how you got started and was totally sucked in. You are so honest and so real. I’m just blown away by everything you push through – the Gilbert’s syndrome (and being tired all the time), 3 kids, everything mentally you’ve struggled with, and now pushing a jogging stroller for 20 miles – and at such a good pace? For so long I’ve made excuses (have 4 kids 4 and under, being sick, etc) but I have no excuse. I am SO glad to have found your blog and am excited to catch up. I have a lot of reading to do!
    Cassi recently posted..Runs Gone WildMy Profile

  38. You are amazing! I just saw you on the cover of women’s running! You inspire me to never quit, and no excuses!
    Kat recently posted..In Honor of Fall, another Giveaway!My Profile

  39. I can’t imagine pushing my 30 pound 2 year old for my long run of 10 miles when I was training for my half let alone 20 miles while training for a marathon! You are amazing. I am waiting for our new jogging stroller to get here so I can run while my little one takes his nap. What are some tips to keep your pace up while running with a jogging stroller? I’ve always found I go slower when I push my little one.

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