As I type this – I’m dancing at my desk. Some Nights is playing in the background.

I’m embracing fear.

I said I was smart – maybe I am – maybe I’m not. What I ultimately decided was that I didn’t know why I was giving up a race I loved for one that I was only half as excited to run? I’m listening to my body but I’m also listening to my HEART.

9 years ago I crossed the finish line at Marine Corps Marathon and I was forever changed.

Marine Corps Marathon was my first marathon.

Marine Corps Marathon was the first marathon I ran under 4 hours.

Marine Corps Marathon was the first race I ran a BQ at – taking 24 minutes off my marathon PR 6 months after my 2nd child was born.

To say I love this race is an understatement.

While talking to THIS GIRL before last years race I said it might be my last Marine Corps Marathon for awhile. While standing at the start – I said who am I kidding? I love this race. I’ll be back next year. I only wish that she was going to be at the start with me and that #teamwatermelon was running the streets of DC & VA together.


So here I am. Ready as I will ever be for my favorite marathon – Marine Corps Marathon. I feel strong after running my longest long training run 3 weeks ago – 25 miles with a smile on my face in an average pace of 7:52.

Elizabeth’s comment on my Army Ten Miler Recap made me realize that I need to come up with goals that are ones that I can control. I met Elizabeth through my blog and over the years she has helped me work through countless emotions and thoughts. I am grateful for the time she spends writing out thoughtful comments or emailing me her thoughts.


The marathon as I’ve said time and time again is a perfectly imperfect race. You do not know what the day will bring you. Part of being a marathoner is accepting that there are many variables, that can change your time negatively, that you can’t control. What happens that day is meant to be…..

My non time related goals for Sunday:

  • Finish with a smile on my face
  • Find strength when I feel weak and know that I am indeed the strongest when I am the weakest – 2 Corinthians 12:10
  • Trust in God’s plan for me and know that everything works together for good – Romans 8:28
  • Remember that the finish line is not my only destination in life
  • To run the entire race and not once think about the size of my thighs in relation to other women I see running
  • To DARE to be ME. To not be embarrased about my thoughts, feelings and to embrace who I am – the good, the bad, the ugly
  • To feel confident in my change of race plans and not doubt my decision
  • Make my family proud
  • To FEEL as happy as I did in this picture

photo by Cheryl Young

Are you running Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday? Are you excited?!

What is one goal you can set for this race that does not relate to the time on the clock?


3 more days I just can’t wait 3 MORE DAYS!!

Mile Posts Blog is on:

A special shout out and GOOD LUCK to my speedy friend who helped me become a morning runner and forever changed my life! You are truly amazing and don’t even know it.


  1. I am not running the Marine Corps Marathon but it is definitely on my bucket list for one day! Good luck … can’t wait to hear about how you killed it :)

  2. I had to defer my entry to next year due to a stress fracture. Good luck!!

  3. Katie @ msfitrunner says:

    Good for you!!:) so glad you are following your heart. I was supposed to run mcm this year, but didn’t realize how fast it filled up! Maybe next year? It is definitely on my list of marathons to run! I am SO excited for you, and all of your non time related goals, because in the end, I think those are really the ones that matter the most!

  4. My goal is to enjoy every part of the city. It’s my 7th marathon, first Marine Corp. I’m so excited!! See you there.

    Good luck and enjoy every moment.

  5. Good luck! Weather is supposed to be crappy on Sunday but all the more reason to make this a memorable race. I’m only up to 1/2 marathons and haven’t gotten the nerve to run a marathon yet but MCM will definitely be my choice if I were to run one. I’ll cheer the runners after I finish the MCM10K. OOOORAH!

  6. MCM was also my first marathon/. It was a great race. Your speed, ability and determination is amazing. I have no doubt that you will achieve all of your goals (except maybe the thighs – it’s so hard not to compare). That said, you should acknowledge that as much as you might wish you had “their” thighs, I wish I had your fast feet. Good luck and have fun!

  7. Enjoy!! MCM was my 1st, 2nd and 3rd marathon! It’s the only one I’ve done so far and it’s so special! Have a great time and hope to see you out on the course. I will be spectating!!

  8. Those are some fantastic goals! I’m so happy to hear that my comment on your last post inspired them. You’ll find you will be much more satisfied when you set goals based on things you can control. :-) Doesn’t mean you have to throw time out the window– it’s just a matter of where your focus is. I remember spectating last year and you looked great! Enjoy!!!

  9. I’m so excited for Sunday and although the hurricane is a bit scary, I realized that I LOVE running in the rain and I’m not so nervous anymore :) I am so ready to PR.

    Do you have rec’s for running marathons in the rain? I’ve only done 2 marathons in near perfect conditions, so I’m curious to see if you have any tips.

  10. TRASH BAGS!!! Bring a trashbag to sit on at the start [in your corall] I also would wear one over your clothes at the start if it is raining to keep yourself dry for as long as possible. Wear a hat to keep the rain out of your eyes and sunglass if possible – even though it won’t be sunny – it will help with the rain in your eyes.

    I’ve only run 1 marathon in the rain – I was mad for the first couple of miles because it was POURING – then once I realized how beautiful it was and how if I chose NOT to focus on my wet feet then I was happy. Whatever you do don’t dwell on what is wrong/bothing you or it will make for a miserable 26.2. I happen to LOVE running in the rain – so even though it’s not ideal – I’m excited!

    Also – BODY GLIDE – even if you don’t normally chafe you might because of the rain and wet clothes.

    Good luck!! Let me know if you have other questions!!

  11. It’s my third MCM and I’m excited! I love this race, too. I just PR’d big last month at Wineglass, so I’m not terribly concerned about time, but I am running with a friend doing her first marathon. We trained together, and while it’s her first and my seventh, I just hope I can keep up and help her finish strong. She’s a speedster when it comes to races!

  12. Someday I will run MCM…someday! :-)

  13. I am running MCM as my very FIRST marathon on Sunday!!

  14. So glad to hear you are running it and that you love it so much!! Since this is my first marathon and I’m three months post partum with baby number six (and wasn’t even a runner until baby number four was 18 months old-heck, I was a Powerlifter during my years at the Naval Academy, about the farthest thing you can be from a runner!) my only goal related to the clock is to have a “4” in front of my number. So all my other goals are not related to my time. :). In no particular order: 1-run the race with a smile on my face, being thankful for so many things (that I’m not still running pregnant but instead delivered a healthy baby boy, that I have an awesome supportive husband and six sweet children, that I am ABLE to run), 2-keep my shipmates on the forefront of my mind-those who died on 9/11, those who have died since the “war” started or have been injured for life, those who can no longer run, and mos especially, the families some of them left behind (two of my friends died at the Pentagon on 9/11, and one has since died in an F-18 crash; I am running to honor them with Run to Honor from the Naval Academy) and 3 – run a smart race, without comparisons to other people, listening to my body (and doing well with post-race recovery considering I’m nursing). I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS WEEKEND. I signed up hours after the signups opened last March, setting my alarm since I was in England living there at the time. I was pregnant due in July and unsure of when I’d deliver and whether or not I’d be able to run through the whole pregnancy and then train afterwards. I didn’t even know where we would be living in October, but I was at least hoping for the East Coast! We leave from charleston this afternoon and will be visiting Annapolis tomorrow and only quickly doing the expo for packet pickup on Saturday morning, planning to sit (lots of driving!) most of Thursday and Friday and hopeful most of Saturday afternoon and evening!! If you’ve read this far and have time to answer another question-any thoughts on the weather? I hear its supposed to be windy and rainy and wanted to know if your clothing choices have changed. :) I have read other people recommending body glide for your feet and whole body in the rain. The jury is out on raingear-would love to hear your opinion! Maybe you will see some of my group on Sunday-look for a big “N*” on the back of the shirts as you pass them! (Although one of my male Naval Academy classmates won the marathon a few years back, so maybe you won’t pass ALL of us!)

  15. Kerry Mulcahy says:

    I will be there too!!! I cannot wait! I have been so emotional this week and am so looking forward to my first marathon. You go girl!! I hope to bump into there. You have been an inspiration to me!

  16. I look forward to seeing you out on the course again this year!! Go get ’em!

  17. So excited for you that you’re running the Marine Corps Marathon!! I have been over-the-moon excited all week to run the MCM this weekend. After months of training, it’s hard to believe that the race is finally here. I am struggling with disappointment about the weather forecast, though. I have a few non-time related race goals: enjoy the race (rain or shine!) – the course, the people, the experience; run strong – pushing through disappointment, pain, and feeling tired by remembering all the training & hard work I’ve put into this race; and to know that my value isn’t based on the time on the clock. Good luck this weekend!

  18. MCM was my #1 and #2 marathon (1996 & 1997), and now it will be my 8th.

    I’ll be embracing the madness of the large field and crowd, hoping the wacky weather will give us a few hours of grace, being grateful for the volunteers, and trying to hang with my pace group.

    Mostly, I’m envisioning myself with a smile on my face as the medal goes over my head.

  19. Good luck Dorothy, I will be sending you lots of happy vibes on that day, you are going to kill it.

  20. Good luck Dorothy!!! I hope you have an amazing race!!

  21. I’m running! My goal was to finish sub 4:00 hrs, but even if that doesn’t happen I just want to finish strong and feel healthy while running.

  22. Run strong at MCM. I know you will be loving it. I think the weather will make things interesting for all the racers this weekend. I’ll be farther north running a trail 50k, probably covered in mud.

  23. Good luck on your race!!!!!

  24. Wow! How exciting! I was just thinking of you today as I ran on the W & OD trail through Ashburn and Leesburg :)

  25. I haven’t commented in the past, but have been following your blog for quite some time and love reading your thoughts on running. I’m running MCM as my first marathon this year, and am thrilled to hear that you’ve decided to run it after all! Downright giddy describes how I feel perfectly – I feel ready and excited to run with all my heart on Sunday, and I think my goal for this first marathon is just to finish knowing I’ve given it everything I’ve got, nothing less.

    Thanks for all the MCM posts, btw! They’ve been a wonderful resource as I’ve been getting myself mentally prepared for this race. :) GOOD LUCK ON SUNDAY!

  26. First time commenter here too! This will be my 4th MCM and I am equal parts excited and nervous. Getting more anxious lately because it’s been a long time since I’ve run in the rain, and all my past long races were in dry weather. Also, I’ve never used Bodyglide on my feet, but now I’m considering it.. Will I notice it, if I’ve never used it on my feet before? I know that’s a silly question. I’ve got some time goals, but non-time-wise I am hoping to just enjoy the day, particularly despite the weather. Good luck to you!

  27. One of my goals in the NYC marathon was to not leave little kids hanging with willing high five hands! Also, I try to go to the water station volunteers toward the back of the tables; they’re often ignored and less tired, therefore cheerful and peppy!

  28. Awesome run! So glad to see that you’re back! I’m not running MCM (wrong country!) but I do have a 10k on that day. I hate saying my goals online though! :)

  29. Going to NYC next weekend with two of the dearest friends I have ever known. I love the non-time goals and would add that mine would be to appreciate the fellowship of two wonderful women who build me up spiritually every time we run. Have a great MCM!!

  30. Hey dorothy, way to kick ass today. running a marathon in weather like this isnt easy at all, and you did WELL. it might not have been your time goal, but i hope you crossed the finish line smiling of how well you did and how many people you passed in your sparkly red skirt!


  31. Why to hide, anonymous! Take your comments elsewhere.

  32. I just stumbled across this post and had a smile on my face while reading it! I’ve run ten MCM’s, and it was my first marathon and my first Boston qualifier, too! Hope you had a fabulous adventure!

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