There is something about a taper that just does not work for me. When I want a break from running, I take a break from running. When I want to run easy, I run easy. I do not like having a forced break and lots of easy running.

Why? My mind freaks out. I think I’m losing all my fitness [even though I know this is not true], I think I going to suddenly lose all my muscle – gain weight [this is absurd because any weight I gain right now from not running is likely water weight], and I pretty much just don’t feel like I should call myself a runner[yes I too struggle with this even after running 16 marathons].

Some people love the taper. I envy them.

I love running. I love marathons. I know the taper is a necessary evil. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It helps me run faster, but it makes me doubt.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about doubt.

I don’t claim to be the smartest person, and I certainly don’t have life figured out. I grew up in a Christian family, went to a private Christian school till I was in 8th grade and have always considered myself knowledgeable about the Bible and Christianity. There were years of my life when I was lost as I person and I feel like I lost God. I knew in my heart I was saved because I believed in God, but I didn’t really understand in depth what it meant to love God with all my heart. I didn’t understand why we sin and why it makes him sad, other than he said it was wrong.

I now get that the more I believe in Christ the more I am tempted and tested. Satan is a very real thing. I knew he was there but I never thought of him in the same way as Christ. He is literally around me. He lives and breathes doubt. He wants us to be miserable. He wants us to fail. He wants me to cross the finish line and cry tears of sadness instead of tears of joys. The closer I get to God, the more I realize that he is causing this doubt in my life, in my training, in my self worth.

Some of you may be laughing right now. I’m sure I have many friends who think I have gone off the deep end. [Heck if I was reading this a couple of years ago I would have thought I was going off the deep end] The Lord opens your heart and gives you understanding only when you are ready for it. I was not ready for it before. I’m ready for it now.

The devil makes me worry about whether or not I’ve gained a couple of pounds. He makes me wonder if my girlfriends notice that my butt is a little bigger or that my stomach is not completely flat. He makes me question anything and everything I do. He uses what he can to get to you individually.

You know that friend that always knows how to push your buttons. Well Satan is that person – he knows what buttons to push to bother me. He knows what friends will hurt me if we are fighting, he knows that my core hurts when I get in fights with my family, he knows that when I gain weight or don’t run I question my self worth, I question my fitness – I wonder if trying to inspire people is just a dumb goal. I wonder if people think I’m in to myself because I blog – I wonder I wonder I wonder. I’m not going to wonder anymore. The Lord knows my heart. Satan knows my heart. This is why he is testing me. God knows I will win.

Here’s my thought for today. I am taking a rest day, not because I want to, but because I won’t doubt today. I will believe in my training. I will believe God wants me to be happy. I will believe that fighting for my life and my happiness is something that I was born to do.

Here I come Columbus!


  1. Karen the "Hungry Mom" says:

    great post dorothy!

  2. Christina@WhoWearsShortShorts says:

    Thank you for sharing! It's refreshing and inspiring to read something so honest :)

  3. {lifeasa}RunningMom says:

    Awesome post. I first I thought you were going to teach me a way to avoid tapers but now, you have taught me to better embrace them and to have more confidence in myself. Many mahalos!

  4. Wow. Great post! Gives me a lot to think about. Thank you!

  5. My first marathon is in 12 days (not that Im counting) so this post means a lot to me. I am just going nuts. Who AM I if I dont run? What if I forget how/lose fitness/cant finish. Whats this ache/pain/sniffle? Its really been hard and all I want to do is run. So glad to know its not just me!

  6. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says:

    Such a perfect perspective Dorothy!!

  7. Jen @ Run for Anna says:

    Beautiful, inspiring post…thank you!

  8. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says:

    Wow did I need this today. I know these truths but I needed to read this, right now, today. It is always when I am reaching out to God that Satan allows doubt and temptations to become so abundant around me.
    I was struggling with something that was brought back to the for front of my mind recently. It is an issue Satan put in my life long ago. I had all but "forgotten" it's hold on my mind until I was talking with a friend and this issue came up. As I sit here today reading blogs, I was thinking about the issue and it dawned on me. I was about to allow what I had viewed as an opportunity to help the person I had talked with about the issue become not a positive thing (because I hope our talk has helped her) but a negative thing (because my mind was saying it was okay to slip back into this bad habit just alittle). Get away from me Satan! Thanks for the reminder that just as God is with me so is Satan. I need to remember that many "voices" fight for my "ears."

  9. Elizabeth says:

    This is a very timely post for me and I am not sure if you read my latest blog. The taper pretty much killed me and ruined my race. The anxiety, rather. My mother told me that I have demons that are attacking me, and those are demons of anxiety and self-doubt. This time, they got the better of me. It is very difficult to just "relax" and "enjoy" the taper. It's ironic when it's easier to be pushing yourself than it is to be just relaxing. I will be thinking of you as you progress through your taper. Remember that marathons and running is just PART of who you are as a person. No matter what happens at this race, it doesn't reflect on you as an amazing individual with wonderful gifts. I have confidence you will do well, and I know you have confidence too!

  10. seemommydo says:

    I needed this today Dorothy! I'm running Chicago on Sunday and am on bad terms with the taper! The process made me think of your 500th post and going back to your pre-runner self. I feel like that right now because I'm not exerting as much energy and taking in the same amount of calories. I feel huge when I know I shouldn't. Thank you for this post.

    I'm also buying into the numbers game! I have 4:13 tattooed on my wrist, and before I put my missal away at church last Sunday I peeked ahead at next week's readings, and it's Philippians 4:13, and there's a good chance I will run very close to that time!

    I can't begin to explain what your blog has done for my running and life!

  11. Preach it Sister!! Tell satan to "Get!!" and take his doubt with him. I also read this awesome quote that was on Sarah Hall's (Ryan Hall's wife) FB page. "Rest is not just the absence of activity. It is an internal state. It's possible to be extremely busy and completely at rest".-Chris Gore
    Rest in God's peace and grace and know that He gave you the gift of running and you will be able to accomplish all you set your hand to do because HE is with you!!
    1 John 5:4-For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
    James 4:7-So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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