To run or not to run.

First things first. I have not mentioned this to hubby. If and when he reads this it will pretty much be the first he hears of this. In my defence I did not want to ask him to watch the kids solo for a bazillion hours if I was not going to run. SO I decided to wait and wait and wait….and then I waited so long I just said nothing…not the best plan but I am not the smartest girl.

When is the race you ask? Oh just this Sunday.

I signed up for this race the day it opened. There is a 100 participant limit and it was free. Yes free. This confuses me – I didn’t have to pay a darn thing to sign up, which is pretty cool in my book.

Baby C turns one tomorrow which in a roundabout way is why I signed up.

Until you have a baby you don’t really understand what a birthday means to a mom. Sure it’s his birthday but its the day I GAVE BIRTH. It is a big deal for me. This time last year I was getting ready for some serious pain [anyone who tells you labor doesn’t hurt is either insane or lying to you]. In celebrating all that I have accomplished in the year since he was born and in the 6 years since I first found out I was pregnant with #1 – I wanted to do something that I never thought possible. I want to DREAM big. I want to run my first ultra in 2011.[11 is my favorite number so of course I would want to run an ultra during the month of November in 2011]

It’s ONLY a 50K. Which makes me laugh that I say only – since 30 miles is a LONG way to go. It is also on trails which means there is no sub 4 hour finish in my future. I’m guessing if I run it will take me somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 hours, but I am okay with that. I don’t care about my time – I want to finish. I want to push through my limits.

So now that I told you how much I want to run it let me tell you that up until today I thought I was going to back out of it. I just ran 2 marathons. I don’t want to get injured. I don’t want hubby to roll his eyes when I tell him about another crazy running adventure I want to go on [in fairness to him it’s sort of ridiculous that I’ve run 5 marathons this year – most people don’t run 5 marathons in a life time let alone in the first year post baby #3 – when I think about it it reminds me that he is a pretty awesome husband] I want to add ultra runner to my bio. Is this silly? I think not.

I started to write my race recap for Marine Corps Marathon and made it to where I was skipping to the start and it clicked. I REALLY want to run 30 miles this weekend. I know it will be hard. I know I may not actually do it. But I really want to.

What do you think? Run or rest? Thoughts? Advice? Have you done an ultra? If I run want to come run some with me? I REALLY don’t know what to do…..

I even ordered these awesome shoes for the race!


  1. Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says:

    You're awesome!!! I was already smiling when I was reading about how you didn't tell your hubby, but I laughed out loud when you confessed that the race is this weekend! Keep up the awesome work, it's such an inspiration :)

  2. I have to comment on this, because it's so something I would do. I sign up for things all the time and don't tell my husband until they are right around the corner. I don't know why I do it, but he's pretty used to it by now.

    I think you know what you're going to do (I mean you ordered shoes for it!), but since you asked, I say RUN! You ran two marathons back to back and killed them both! Run it and get your ultra in 2011!

  3. Do it! Dream big! There is not reason not to – challenge yourself and see what you are made of. I've got faith that you can do it :)

  4. I say GO FOR IT! If you need to walk for a while, DO IT! To be able to add an Ultra to your laundry list is just amazing!

  5. mickiruns says:

    You are insane, but in a very good and motivating way. I love this!!! You'll do great, and I know you've been wanting to do an ultra for awhile!! My heart is bursting with joy for you!!!!

  6. I think that's awesome Dorothy! Ultra Marathoner sounds great and I think a 50K is a great way to start. I also don't think it will be much of a challenge for you unless the terrain is super hilly! Good luck with the run and enjoy the Peregrines. I am a loyal Kinvara runner and the Peregrines are on my list. I had to cancel my 1st ultra in December due to injury, but there's always next year.

  7. fashionablemiles says:

    I say DREAM BIG and go for it, but with realistic expectations to keep yourself from getting injured. Besides, how often can you say you raced for free? :)

  8. Just having done my first Ultra a few weeks ago…I say go for it..and its free! Its only another 6miles :) Just make sure you are ready for what the trails bring! I have a pair of Peregrines. Haven't raced a lot in them as my runs have been on very rocky trail which needed a little more protection! Excited for you!

  9. Dorothy: A 50k on trails is actually easier on my body than a road marathon, so as long as you're not having any nagging overuse issues right now – I say GO FOR IT!

    Actually, I'd be more worried about the repercussions of running your first ultra. Because once you do a 50k, you're going to start thinking 50 MILE… and then 100 mile…. :) I, of course, fully endorse this.

  10. Running Moose says:

    RUN IT!! But I hope you've run some miles in the new shoes and that they work ok.

    I also agree with what Katie said: once you do a 50k, you'll want 50 miles next. I have yet to run a marathon, but I have 2 ultras under my belt. 35 miles in Sept and 50k in Oct. I'm now working on my racing schedule for next year. I'm hoping to do 2 50k's and a 50 miler. I'm also pacing a good friend in Leadville and am wondering how many more years it'll be before I go for a 100…I'm addicted and I'm not even sure if I ever want to do a marathon. Sometimes I think yes, other itmes I think it would be funny to say I went from racing 1/2s to Ultras and skipped over the marathon in between.

  11. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Katie!! Okay since you are an ultra pro what do you eat during a 50K?

  12. wow this is incredible! You definitely have the mileage for it, but ultimately it comes down to how your body feels physically…if you feel strong and fully recovered from the other two marathons, go for it!

  13. The Jesse says:

    I totally want to do an Ultra in the next year or two! I also say DREAM BIG and do it {as long as you are not having any injury issues from your back to back marathons}. If you do decide to GO FOR IT, I can't wait to read about it :)

  14. Jen @ Run for Anna says:

    Anybody else, I'd have my doubts. But, if anyone can do this, you can! Can't wait to hear what you decide. :)

  15. says:

    Do it! I know a 50K is nothing to sneeze at but it is only 30 miles! Just enjoy not racing for a bit. I think it will be fun. I can't wait to run an ultra!

  16. Anonymous says:

    You will LOVE it – and I LOVE the new color of the peregrines! Those are my trail shoes too:)
    oven proof (from work!)

  17. Kristin @ Everyday Is Run Day says:

    I'm going to be running my first 50k in January and I'm super siked! I agree with you about not going for time, but just doing it to see how far you can push your body. Maybe time will matter down the line. Love the Peregrines. Post a review if you can and let me know how they work out. I was also thinking of looking into them for the trails!

  18. As long as you are not striving for some sort of goal time, go for it! Don't know how technical it is, but that is another consideration!

  19. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List says:

    If you want to do it, DO IT! There's no stopping you!! PLUS, it's flippin' FREE!!

  20. Ok, I don't mean to be the downer here, but that's a lot of stress on your body. I know you're not like most runners and have the ability to recover very quickly. But can you imagine if you did become injured!! Ask yourself if being put out of running a couple of months would be ok with you. I definetely think it should be a future goal though! Please don't hate me :(

  21. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Carrie – I could never hate someone for being honest!! You raise a very good point. I just honestly don't know what to do. My body does recover very quickly which I realize is bizzarre. I truly consider myself lucky but don't want to get injured either. Trying to listen to my body but it's not giving me any answers 😉

  22. Jessica Karazsia (@irun26at8) says:

    I think it is awesome you want to try this. I am running the JFK 50 miler on 11/19 and it will most likely be my only Ultra ever. The training has been intense. Many Ultras are on single track trails which means you have to be prepared for rocky, rooty, uneven, terrain. I had never run on true trails before and was really surprised at how sore I was after even my first 5 mile run. But, I really fell in love with how beautiful a true trail run is. I did about 25% of my training runs on single tracks to prepare for the 15 miles I will encounter during my race. If you decide to do this, I urge you be cautious. Take it slow. It is so easy to turn your ankle especially when fatigue is starting to set in. Don't try to be super woman. Good luck!

  23. I agree with everyone who said that a trail 50k is different on your body than a road marathon. I think that if you are feeling good, it is doable. I wouldn't go out and do anything other than to appreciate the cool thing you're doing in the first event of that distance for yourself. I'm so glad you've recovered so well from your fast marathons!

    I did my first Ultras this year: A 44 miler, a 40 miler, a 50k, and a 100 miler. It is hard for me to ever tell someone NOT to do something, given that I only ran my first marathon last year. I think if you run smart, you will be fine, given your history with recovering quickly. Keep us updated!

  24. 50Ks are different from the pounding of a road marathon. You will like them! You will probably be more sore all-over than from road running, especially if there's climbing and alot of elevation change. I run a 50K a year (have done 9 total) and I LOVE them. They are more relaxed and easier than a marathon in my opinion. Check out my posts on Mountain Mist (our local 50K that is tough and awesome–sells out quickly each year!). Enjoy it!


    Here is my write up for last year's Mountain Mist 50K.

  26. YEIKS, I thought I was nuts, my potential marathon is nothing to your achievements. I have total faith you can do it xx

  27. You are crazy an not normal is such an amazing and inspiring way. You will run it, you've already DREMED BIG about it. Keep going on being amazing!

  28. I love how you signed up without telling him first and others do this too.. makes me feel not so bad as I do this all the time!

    After I ran 29 last weekend I decided I want to ad an ultra to my list and then a 50 miler, it just gets addicting 😉

    I know you are going to live doing this race I love trails it is easier sometimes than the pounding pavement of a road race. Plus its more laidback.
    I have no doubt you will do well and I cannot wait to read the recap :)

  29. merrymishaps/Lauren says:

    Well, you know I'll be there. So clearly I support your decision to run :)

    I'm sure I'll be way behind you… I'm not sure how tough these trails are but I did a difficult trail half marathon in Sept and learned the hard way that I should have been walking the hills. I went out way too fast and was tired only 3-4 miles in! So, slow and steady for me … Honestly, I'll be happy if I finish in 7 hours (4:22 marathon PR, though I was running 4:44-4:47 last month. Kinda saving myself for this 50K!)

  30. Megan F Heidt says:

    Awesome shoes! You can do it!

  31. Elizabeth says:

    Yeah, I do love the shoes. . . .

    I have no idea if you should do this or not. You seem to be superwoman with not getting injured! NO way in a million years would I do this or suggest that anyone else do it, but you know your body better than anyone else. Good luck to you if you do end up doing it.

    PS. 11-11-11 is my 33rd birthday! It's okay if you're jealous of those numbers. :-)

  32. {lifeasa}RunningMom says:

    I have complete faith in you. Go for it!

  33. Aimee Spencer says:

    You are trained, and Ultras are different. In my opinion, Ultra runners are different. Lots of them with no entry fee, no frills, just long haul runners. I'm always amazed when I do an Ultra the runners that have slept in their car the night before, or in a tent.

    When I Ultra, I'm not concerned or stressed. I've face planted, crawled on all fours, waded across streams, and stopped to turn around and look at God's beauty.

    But, when I marathon … I'd like cute performance gear and I may even put on diamond stud earrings. I'm concerned with pace, and I'd never stop to look at something.

    Ultras come in all sorts of technical difficulties. Just enjoy the beauty and forget the watch. Look for blessings all along the way!

  34. Dorothy: I pretty much do gels, Saltstick and water for about everything. (One time, I ate 57 gels in one day during a 100 miler. Gross, huh?) I only start working in proteins and fats when I'm out there for a really long time or when I'm going slower. At a 50k, you'll still be moving at a good clip unless there is a ton of elevation change. Of course, this is just what works for me – but you are quick, so I wouldn't see the need to vary from what you're already doing in the marathon. Just extend it a little:)

  35. Karen the "Hungry Mom" says:

    Welp Aimee Spencer sold me… I'd like to trade in my marathon shoes for ultra ones thanks!

  36. Mamarunsbarefoot says:

    Wow! I say GO FOR IT!!!!!!!

  37. Jennifer P says:

    I think it's great! And yes, the birthday should be about you (I get it, I've got 2 of my own!) I think that the 50K this weekend when you're still in great shape is better than waiting a few weeks. I ran back to back 1/2 marathons when I was 20 weeks preggo and they were the best runs of my life!

    Have fun!

  38. Jerilee E. says:

    woohoo! You are amazing! So excited to read all about it and to see how you like the Peregrines.
    My husband always finds out about races I've signed up for AFTER I'm already registered…I find it works better that way ;).

  39. Oh! I'm SO peeing! :) You can do it. You are going to do it. I can hardly wait to hear how this pans out!

  40. Jessica Morrison says:

    An ultra is on my Dream Big list too–but I have to run a marathon first! I think it's awesome that you are tackling one, can't wait to hear about it!

    P.S. Hope the hubs is okay with it 😉

  41. Dorothy your amazing!! And I think if your heart desire is to run an Ultra in 11 of 11, YOU SHOULD!! I don't think your crazy, in fact I think your BRAVE!! As long as your hubby doesn't get upset, I think you should GO ALL IN!!

  42. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says:

    First it's not ONLY 30. If it's an actual trail 50k it's more like 32 at least. Most ultra RDs like their courses long, not short. Of course if trail means pavement, road, or groomed than it's not really trail and won't be as tough after your 5 marathons. But if it is really a trail 50k, it will be tough.
    Of course you can probably put out there that you can do it in 5 hours. (I still haven't cracked 6. And I only did what 2 or 3 other 50ks and 1 50 miler this year.) But I have NO doubt that you can do a trail 50k regardless of your previous races! I think you should do it. Barring your hubbs hitting the brakes on the idea. Too bad it's not on Friday, 11.11.11! That would be a sign to go for it!
    Run strong and enjoy it!

  43. Anonymous says:

    I love to end marathon season with a 50k. It's a great way to celebrate your good health and being out in nature for one last long run before winter settles in. You will love the relaxed, friendly, and laid back feel of an ultra. Blessings on your and Colton's birthday!!

  44. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Shelly – Hope I did not come across as if I underestimated the race because it was only a 50K – I meant it in the sense that a 50K seems less crazy than attempting a 50 miler. I also just threw out the 5 hours – I have no idea how long it would actually take me nor do I care! If it took me 7/8/9 hours I'd be happy – again it's not about the time but just about finishing! Thanks for the advice – I know you are an ultra running pro 😉

  45. I say you should run it for sure! Did you see Scott Jurek's latest piece in Competitor Mag? He suggests taking a break at the end of every season, not running at all, and gaining a few pounds. (Easier for a man to say, of course, but still sage advice). So treat this 50k it like the end of your season, and then take a good, solid, REAL rest afterwards. Good luck!!

  46. I think you should run it! You can think of your two recent marathons as training runs for the ultra. :)

  47. thethinksicanthink says:

    I say let your heart and body be the guide. If you feel up to it, who s if you ever will again? I am so impressed that you can bounce back so quickly! Truly impressive with 3 kids, as well!

    Can't wait to hear how it goes if you run it!

  48. @Terrysrunning says:

    Run it for sure! And by run, I mean jog, and run, and walk…That's the beauty of trail running. Pace goes out the window unless you have a specific goal. Just go as fast as you're comfortable. And 50k on trails will leave you much less sore than the repetitive pounding of a road marathon, unless the trails are super technical or steep, which the one you're doing isn't(I'm enough of a geek for trail ultras that I know which it is). I'm originally from that area, I mean to do that one myself someday, so I expect a good write up to vicariously experience it :) Enjoy!

  49. Go for it!! A trail ultra is completely different than a road marathon. Wipe any ideas of times or goals out of your mind and just run for fun. Walk the uphills (its what EVERYONE does), take it slow, eat the fun food on the course, and chat with the other participants! You'll have so much fun, and because its your first, automatic PR!

  50. Awesome Dorothy! I was going to do my first 50K this fall but then our family weekend schedule became crazy busy. I will do one in 2012 though! I am excited to hear how it goes. :)

  51. Congrats on the new 10K PR! I just saw it on Twitter… :-) Did you decide to do a 10K this morning instead of the Ultra? Just curious. If so, what changed your mind?

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