For every up there is a down, for every down there is an up.  For every hill I run down there is another yet to climb.  I will not be defeated by the valleys in my life.

Thank you Miles for letting me run!

Every morning I wake up between 5 am and 6 am to get myself and my 3 children ready to take my oldest to school.  We take off no later than 7:15 am and make it to school a tad before 8 am.  A quick walk inside and then the boys and return home in rush hour traffic. We usually arrive around 8:30 or a bit later.  To say I’m exhausted by 9 am rolls around is not an exaggeration. 

There is only so much caffeine one can drink in a day, before it starts to have no affect.  It’s only Tuesday but I feel like a life time has been crammed into the past two weeks.  I don’t get a full nights sleep ANY night.  I laugh/have irrational rage when people blog, tweet or facebook about wanting to sleep in….ahhh sleep….something I haven’t really had much of in the past 4+ years. 

After my Week 6 mileage high of 50 miles for the season, my mileage has done nothing but go down hill.  Week 7 I was able to fit in 36 miles, Week 8 of training of I was able to fit in 34 miles, Week 9 I got in 34.5 miles despite only being able to run 4 days.  It’s not near enough miles for me.  I want to be running more.  My body can handle more. 

I wish I had this drive when I was 22.

It’s easy for me to doubt my fitness, to feel sorry for myself as I run alone on my treadmill.  It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in how much easier to seems for everyone else to get in their runs and think I’m the only one struggling.  I’m not the only one.  It’s not always easier for everyone else.

Last Thursday I wanted to run.  I wanted to do a tempo.  The kids were all over the place – not napping, being very needy, etc.  Hubby worked late.  I got on the treadmill at night once the house was sleeping, despite wanting to crawl into my own warm bed.

After mile 1 I knew there was no way I could run a 5 miles at tempo pace.  Mile 2 I told myself I either had to run 5 miles at tempo pace or attempt a where-am-I-at-fitness-wise-mile.  Mile 3 I pumped myself up and slowly took the speed up to my goal pace of 5:56 per mile, a mere 2 seconds off my outdoor mile pr of 5:54.  Could I do it?

I did.  5:56 for a treadmill mile PR.
The great thing about running as fast as you can for 1 mile is that it’s over WAY faster than any other mile you run.  Less than 3 minutes per half mile.  I told myself you can do anything for 3 minutes, anything for 3 minutes.  I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, it was hard.  Surprisingly though, not as hard as my previous timed mile of 6:11.

It wasn’t the tempo I wanted but it did help me doubt my fitness a little less.

Saturday I ran my longest distance and time-wise long run.  22 miles in 3:14[not including stops, which I tried my best to keep at a minimum – but occasionally a girls got to use the bathroom – right?!]

Sunday I wanted to run more to get my mileage up for the week, but I knew they would be JUNK miles.  Junk miles do nothing for your fitness and they don’t help you recover.  I wouldn’t get sucked into running more miles just for the sake of running miles.  It wasn’t easy. I wanted to run.

Yesterday was a particularly rough day for me for a multitude of reasons.  I tried to run a thousand times and nothing was working.  When I would get Miles settled Colton would be awake.  When Colton fell asleep, Miles wanted to play.  Once I got Miles settled watching a movie Colton would again wake up.  I needed to run, not for my fitness or my training, I needed to run because I felt like I was loosing my mind. 

Finally I thought I had gotten it all together.  Got on the treadmill ready to do a tempo.  Ran 2 warm up miles and started my 3rd mile at a 7:03 pace.  Midway through the mile Colton woke up.  I finished the mile, got off the treadmill and gave up for the day.  It just wasn’t in the cards for me.

To say I ate my way through the day was an understatement.  As a former overweight girl I have at times had a problem with overeating.  I still occasionally do, but always know that I now have the ability to “run it off”  There was no running it off yesterday.  I was eating when I wasn’t even hungry, when I was actually stuffed.  I was eating because I wanted energy.  I knew the food wasn’t giving me any but I kept on eating and feeling sorry for myself anyways.

I cried before I got into bed.  Dear God, I am weak, so weak and so tired.  Please help me. Amen. It’s all I said.

I was determined to start today over. I would forget about yesterday and start fresh.

Every day is a new chance to start over and begin the REST of your life.  Who needs New Years?  Any day can be a new year.

This morning I prayed in the car on the way home.  Dear God please let me run today, please let Colton sleep, please let Miles watch a movie and be happy.  Please give me strength to complete a tempo.  Amen.

Got home, got dressed, and was ready to run.  Colton woke up.  Guess you don’t get everything you pray for all the time – right?

After a couple of hours playing with Colton and Miles, baby C fell asleep.  I seized the moment, said a quick prayer that he would indeed stay asleep, and began my run.  2 mile warm up followed by 5 miles at a tempo pace of 6:58, followed by 2 cool down miles.  34 minutes and 50 seconds of tempo running.  I felt strong. I had faith and felt I was rewarded with strength.

My run today was the longest and fastest tempo I have ever done.  Yes ever.  Not fastest since baby #3, fastest in my whole life.  I’m humbled but also proud.  My mom would say I’m *pleased as punch* even though I’m not sure what that means?!
For every down in my life there is an up.  I’m trying to focus on my fastest treadmill mile ever, followed by my fastest and longest tempo ever – instead of all the miles I wanted to run but didn’t get to.

Lastly, I would say my prayer was certainly answered but that God seriously has a sense of humor?! While on my last cool down mile Colton was snugged in his bouncy seat sleeping in front of me.  I happened to look outside and saw truck after truck pull onto my street. Then came other digging type trucks and lots of men.  What were they doing?  In an instant I realized.  They were working on the electrical boxes…..HOLY SH*T… way was the power going to get turned off and deter me from finishing this awesome run. I lowered the pace to a 6 minute mile and sprinted the last 1/2 mile of my cool down.  As I completed it I heard the door bell ring.  I rushed downstairs and was told ma’am we are turning your power off for 30 minutes or so – thanks.  Next time I’ll be sure to pray that Colton stays asleep and that no one turns the power off on me 😉

Exhaustion & Happiness
 TIP: When I do my tempo runs I do not stop.  Read my post on the difference between tempo intervals and tempo runs.


  1. Rebecca Samson says:

    Miles couldn't be any cuter! So glad you got your run in before the electricity went off. Who would have seen that one coming!

  2. says:

    Great post…I enjoyed reading it! Glad you were able to get your run in!

  3. racingtales says:

    Just as well you ran that tempo fast…never know when you're going to lose power! Way to look at the positives. I remember trying to squeeze in runs when the boys were little and didn't manage half the mileage you do…then again, I wasn't running marathons back then! I didn't have the drive I do now before I had kids, either.

  4. I don't know how you manage half of what you do! Awesome mile and tempo!

  5. Amanda@runninghood says:

    Well Done! Makes me want to go out there and nail my workouts this week! :) Gosh, I don't miss racing the mile in high school and college…thankful for being able to spread things out a little now. Great job on your best mile! I love that tired and exhausted but happy feeling. What a blessing to have your own treadmill and time to run during nap. Ahhh, I would save so much time!

  6. Hysterical! Congrats on your triumphant tempo run. Glad things all came together for you. Funny how things work out. :)

  7. Lisa Rini says:

    I completely know the feeling!!! Last week my mileage tanked..Trying to get back in the saddle this week. Great work, as always, Dorothy. Thank you for keeping us not only inspired, but, uplifted that every runner has their ups and downs. :)

  8. I'm running the National Marathon too! Keep fighting the good fight to get there. Maybe we'll pass each other along the way.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don't have children yet, so I can't compare my life to yours, but I know many woman runner's with children and also read many blogs of woman runner's with children… While I do often enjoy your tips on running and general posts, I often think to myself, "she has 3 beautiful children, a hard working husband", why does it sound like her life surrounds her running, not her family." Not saying that your family doesn't mean the world to you and are not priorities, it often sounds as though running comes first, while it doesn't always pan out that way, you getting your runs in, you work for that end goal. To see you crying at the end of the day because you didn't get in the run you wanted, or being upset over your mileage decreasing rather than increasing is disheartening and I feel for you. But, in the end… what is most important to you. It's often hard to read on this blog, which may be why you often comment on your lack of comments. Anyways, just my two sense. I think you are an amazing runner nonetheless and will have success throughout your life a runner. As you've said before, and I say to myself often, any kind of run is better than no run.

  10. what a great post. so many ups and downs that we can identify with one way or another!

  11. Jennifer says:

    To Anonymous: Without the intention of answering for the blogger, let me try to put what she does in perspective. Your correct that her family means everything to her….nothing comes before that, not even running. The reason she, and many of us at times end up frustrated or disappointed is because running is the one thing that is our alone. As a mom, you give all of yourself, happily I may add. So when you have something that is truly just for you, as we all should have, it is sad when you can't find even an hour in your day to devote to the one thing that gives you solace, stress relief, and makes you feel better physically and mentally. As you said, you don't have children yet, I hope this gives you a better idea of where we running moms are coming from. Best to you.

  12. David H. says:

    To anonymous: So you're grown up enough to degrade someone on their blog, then try to sugar coat it at the end, then not even put your name? Last I check this is a blog mostly about running, so where do you think the focus is? I'd like for you to leave a comment on my blog and tell me that I look like my main focus isn't on my son and that it looks like running comes first. Blogging is a small part of runners lives and an even small part of runners lives who are parents.

  13. I agree completely that every day brings a new opportunity!

    Keep up the great work, and keep telling us all about it regardless of what other people think!

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