10/01/00 is the date I ran my first race. It was a 10K and my average for the 6.2 miles was 10:44 per mile with a finish time of 1:06:42. That was giving it all I had.

I am not blessed with a natural running talent. I don’t consider myself athletic.

What I learned long ago is that running is one of those sports that if you work hard and apply the science you can see BIG DREAMS come true. It isn’t chance and it doesn’t have to be genetic talent.

I’ve also learned that the MAIN ingredient in almost all PR’s is HEART. You have to believe you can do something in order to do it.

Instead of running a long run this weekend I decided to race Potomac River Running’s Reston Perfect 10 Miler. My previous PR of 1:12 had made me believe that a sub 1:10 was possible with proper training. My legs were not tapered and they were not trained for the 10 mile distance but I believed in my HEART that going sub 1:10 was completely doable.

I arrived to the start line not in peak shape. I’ve fallen down when it comes to my weight. I worked VERY hard once the Women’s Running Magazine finalists were announced to get into tip top shape should I win. Push ups, crunches and high mileage weeks filled my mind. When I won and I felt that all my hard work had paid off. Truth is that after the photo shoot I was tired of not eating 2nd helpings or saying no to dessert when out to eat. I wanted to eat whatever I wanted. I run so why not – right? Well it doesn’t exactly work that way as many of us know and have learned the hard way.

I can eat in one day WELL more than I ever burn off. It started to add up slowly. I saw the numbers creeping up on the scale but wanted to convince myself it was water weight. I didn’t want to admit that I was slipping back to my old ways…..

I arrived to the start line of Sunday’s race heavier than I have been since before Colton was born. It wasn’t added muscle. I need to be realistic and honest with myself and say that it’s fat I’ve gained from over eating and too many sweets. Truth be told when getting ready for the race I was in near tears at home. I had wanted to wear shorts to the race but couldn’t sqeeze into them and so even though the temperature was slightly warmer than normal I had to wear capris.

I tried to tell myself that I RUN THIS BODY. Weight or not I was going to get my sub 1:10.

I wore a shirt even though I typically race in a sports bra because I feel faster. I ran into a couple of people I knew and they all remarked on how much I was wearing based on the temperatures. I ditched the shirt against my better judgement. I was embarrased by my body but decided that if I wanted to PR I had to let it go. I had to let go of the negative feelings about myself and I had to let go of the worries about what other people thought about me.

I RUN THIS BODY. I may not run my mind yet but I RUN THIS BODY.

I started out at a comfortable pace. The course was hilly but I knew when and where they were. I was ready. I just had to keep all of the miles sub 7 and I would PR.

Mile 4 ended up being 7 exactly and I started to panic. Was my weight gain going to destroy my PR. I felt as if I was lugging a backpack on my back.

I had to PR. I had to have something tangible in my mind that showed how hard I have been working. A time on the clock that made all the INSANELY early wake ups worth it.

Instead of letting my mind defeat me I took charge.

I pushed through the pain. I pushed when my mind told me to back off.

I pushed up hills. I pushed when I saw my family. I pushed.

I hit 1 hour exactly as my watch beeped 9 miles. I knew I had just run the fastest 9 miles of my life. My body wanted to stop. I saw a cone drop from the race pick up truck and my mind told me to stop and pick up the cone. Then I reasoned with myself that – THAT WAS LITERALLY INSANE. Why push for 9 miles and endure an hour of pain if I was going to quit a mile from the finish?

Hitting the 1 hour mark at 9 miles was JUST WHAT I NEEDED. I knew that the faster I ran this last mile the larger my PR would be. Run a 9 minute mile and your time is 1:09. Run a 6 minute mile and your time is 1:06.

The pain hurt in this last mile yet it didn’t. I felt HIGH on life. The endorphins were rushing through my body. I saw my family up ahead cheering for me and I couldn’t have been happier.




Three things I love all together.

I finished the race with the fastest sprint I’ve probably ever done.

1:06:38 for a 6 minute 10 mile PR and the fastest race mile I’ve ever run as the last mile of a 10 mile run – 5:57.

  • Mile 1: 6:43
  • Mile 2: 6:51
  • Mile 3: 6:49
  • Mile 4: 7:00
  • Mile 5: 6:34
  • Mile 6: 6:34
  • Mile 7: 6:52
  • Mile 8: 6:35
  • Mile 9: 6:21
  • Mile 10: 5:57
  • .06 of a mile extra [based on Garmin] 5:17 avg

Almost 12 years to the day from my first 10k I ran 10 miles faster than I ran 6.2 miles back then. I hope this inspires you to DREAM BIG. Make the IMPOSSIBLE – POSSIBLE.

Now I’m dreaming bigger.  I had thought my 1:10 goal for a 10 miler was one of those goals that was good for a lifetime. Now I’m dreaming of a realistic sub 1:05 10 miler and a DREAM BIG goal of one day going sub 1:00 in the 10 mile distance. I’ve decided to mix up my fall racing and marathon plan and have made some changes in races. I’m excited to see what is to come in the next couple of months.

Tuesday Morning - STILL blissed out from my PR

Why did I bring up my weight in this post – especially considering it is something I am upset about and don’t like talking about? I bring it up because WE ALL fall. No one is perfect. Don’t think for a second that I am some sort of super human who was blessed with awesome genes. I am just like everyone else. It comes down to the choices we make – good and bad.

Don’t let a little bit of a fall become a downward spiral when it comes to your weight loss or weight maintenance plan. For me I need to focus on not using food as a tool to cope with stress. Food is fuel and eating two donuts when you are already full is not going to make you feel better in the long run. For the next couple of weeks leading up to my marathon I am going to be focusing on how eating clean and making healthy choices is going to get me closer to my sub 3:10 marathon goal and my DREAM BIG goal of 3:00.

Are you an emotional eater? Do you get down on yourself about weight again? Did you run the Reston 10 Miler?



  • 7th overall female
  • 1st age group females 30 – 34
  • pr time of 1:06:38 [6:40 avg]


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  1. This is so inspiring. I have always thought that there was no way I’d ever run a sub 10 minute mile in a race, but this makes me think that I Can. I know I just have to get to that place in my mind to convince myself I can. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Lazy chick says:

    Very inspiring!!! I tried to go back to your old archive to see how you get from 10min mile to what you do now, but I don’t think you started blogging back then. Do you have any tips to offer? You are such an inspiration!! And your kids are super adorable!!! Congrats on the huge PR!

  3. your story is so inspirational! it came at a perfect time as well, i have a half marathon coming up next weekend and am wanting to PR, but the last couple weeks of training have been less than stellar performances and i am doubting that i will be able to run a PR. i have to remember what you keep telling yourself, “I RUN THIS BODY”
    p.s. CANNOT wait for you to start selling these shirts!!

  4. This is JUST what I needed to hear today. I’m a huge emotional/stress eater and have lost my focus these past few weeks and have paid for it. Thanks for the inspiration and pep talk! ALSO, way to KICK BUTT on your race!!! Go you! You can do the 1:05 easily!

  5. amanda abbott says:

    Thanks so much for your honesty as you write!! It is encouraging, even in the midst of my own discouragement. I have been running for a year, but fighting lots of injuries that go along with rheumatoid arthritits…and my Dream Big is to run a half marathon (with my husband). I experienced total failure on what was to be a 5 mile run the other day and cried as I walked home due to chronic shin splints..or something….But I will continue to work my butt off and do as my dr.’s tell me…because I RUN THIS BODY!!! and I have to Dream Big!!! So I thank you for your inspiration…even to us newbies and non-marathoner’s..it means a lot!!!! And..can’t wait to wear the shirt!!!

  6. WOW! You are awesome, Dorothy. And I know it is true about “believeing” you can do it. That’s what I keep telling myself about MCM this year. I know it’s physically possible to reach my goal…I just need to believe it now. I am going to keep this post in mind during the race. One of my favorites posts you’ve written :)

  7. This is so inspiring…I comfort eat ALL the time, it’s kind of nice to know you do too. I lack self control so often, it’s a constant battle. But your race was amazing, well done a million times!!

  8. You continue to inspire me!! I need to find my DREAM BIG goal. Thanks for the push! I think it is awesome that you ran 10 miles faster than you used to run 6.

    Congrats on a well-earned PR!!

  9. Congrats on your PR! This post is so inspiring, especially since I recently gained weight and stopped running for a while. I’m trying to get back into it.

  10. You know that I empathize with your feelings on weight gain and diet, so I have nothing more to add there. But congrats on pushing those thoughts aside to put forth an incredible race. What amazing mental strength you have to let your physical strength shine, too.

  11. Holy goodness you’re fast! Well done you!

  12. INSPIRATIONAL! I am attempting to qualify for Boston on Sunday and have had so many obstacles in the last 5 weeks of training. From a reoccurring injury, to a no sleep baby, to my husband traveling, to, like you, emotional eating. I have debated dropping out of the race all together or at least giving up my goal of a BQ, but you have just inspired me to stay strong, believe in myself and stick with my goal.

  13. wow, what an amazing time!!!! You are an inspiration!

  14. Wow, great inspiring story! Awesome job on the PR! I also ran this past Saturday, a 5k and got a PR that I still can’t believe! It’s amazing what you can do when you really put your heart into it!

  15. Jennifer S. says:

    Thank you for writing that! Sometimes it makes you feel so alone to struggle with weight issues while everyone around you does not. You inspire me! Rock on with your bad self!

  16. Such an inspiring post- thank you for being so real! I have a ten mile race coming up in 9 days… it won’t be sub-1:10, but I’m hoping for sub- 1:15 and am going to try to remember how you pushed through the discomfort. :) Awesome job!

  17. Thank you so much for this post. This is what I needed today. We all struggle with body image issues and self-confidence, but being honest and open with our struggles can help us over come them. Dorothy, you have such an inspirational story. Thank you for sharing your story.

  18. I am an emotional eater, but now that i have started eating entirely plant based, I am able to turn to more healthy food options as I want to eat. I generally don’t gain much because I do workout so much that I generally do burn off as much as I need.

  19. Congratulations on your PR Dorothy! Thanks also for sharing your stories :)

  20. Totally awesome, you worked it girl!!! I try to so hard to eat well, count the calories vs the amount I burn. I try so hard and I know how you feel. After having my 3 kids I was at my heaviest, now with my dedication, I am 15lbs away from my before children weight, but it’s so hard and there are times I want to give up but I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Congrats on a great race.

  21. Thank you so much for posting this and for your honesty. Runs have been slipping through the cracks because work has been stressful/all encompassing, and suddenly I felt bigger. Three weeks in a row, 5lbs heavier. Nope. Not water weight, a consistent number on the scale. Now I have a cold. JOY! No running (I’ll probably pass out if I do because I barely walk straight currently), and here I am. 1 month from NYC Marathon! You’ve given me hope and a positive, hopeful attitude.

  22. I ran a ten miler last weekend, too! My time was 1:17:08, but my goal was sub 1:20, so I was very happy! This race was giving a nice fleece pullover as a prize to any woman who could run the distance in 1:05 or man in under 1:00. Most of the fleece winners were in their 50’s – it was so inspiring to see that my running journey will only get better and faster once I leave the F30-34!

  23. I just love your honesty and how inspiring you always are. Whether it is a positive or negative thing in your life, you make it positive. Congrats on a great race!!!

  24. Soooo inspiring!!! I loved reading your post and following your blog. Earlier today I looked to see if you had posted something new and I said to myself that I miss your post when you’re not writing :-)

    So I’ll dream big and I’ll register for the 2 races I’ve been considering lately (only 5 Km) and I’ll aim for a PR… because if in my HEART I believe I can than I will :-))

    Congratulations and thank you so much for inspiring others and sharing a part of your life with us.

  25. Dorothy – I feel like you just wrote my story! (Well, except for the running fast part haha!) I will gain weight in an instant if I go off of my ‘diet’. Countless races, I’ve shown up in outfits I don’t want to wear but have to because they cover up rolls or muffin tops, etc. Sometimes I feel so alone in that – like all other runners have naturally perfect bodies! Now I don’t feel so alone.

  26. Amazing time Dorothy! That is a tough course! I ran it last year and those hills are no joke. You have and, always do inspire me; not just in running but, about opening yourself up to the world…being honest. I love how you write about sensitive subjects such as weight. You take chances in races and in blog posts. You have courage and strength. You go in fully aware that people could criticize you and you do it anyway. I have so much respect for those qualities; after all, you say what most are thinking and you don’t post “fluff” that puts people to sleep. Nice work D!

  27. I saw you and your cute family at the Reston 10 miler finish area. Actually – I saw you before the race started because you stuck out quite a bit – with those rock solid abs and awesome arm warmers! Just my opinion of course -we see ourselves differently than others see us – but I thought you were beautiful! Hope to look like you someday (especially after having kids). Good luck with you fall race season! xo

  28. That is absolutely amazing! I just this summer hit a 7:52 and then a 7:36 and was over the clouds on a natural high. But I can’t even imagine keeping that for 6 miles, 19, 13.1 and 26.2 but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enlarge my dreams, right? :-)

  29. LOVE this post! So inspiring to see where all of your hard work & dedication has led you :) Congrats on the PR!

  30. Denise C. says:

    PHENOMENAL Dorothy! I am on a racing hiatus until the Santa 5k in December. I got sidelined for tendentious. Hoping to get out tomorrow and do a walk/run program. My legs…heck my sanity is begging for me to run again! 😉

    Emotional eating. Where do I begin? I was a butterball as a child, mostly because I am a middle child and did not get a whole lot of attention from my parents. Middle child syndrome exists. Because I was lonely and bored, I ate. Food gave me comfort and was there for me, it didn’t matter what kind of food it was. I got made fun of…A LOT, including by various family members, which in turn made me feel horrible, so again I ate. It’s a vicious cycle. In my early 20’s I began “skipping meals” in order for me to “look good”, that backfired because I was always left hungry. I gave birth in 2006 to my son. I gained 53 lbs during pregnancy. 23 months later I gave birth to my daughter, I gained 25 lbs with her. There I was a mom of 2 munchkins almost 80 lbs over weight. In Feb 2010 I was fed up. I felt frumpy, ashamed. A friend told me to take up running. I thought she was kidding. I never, in my life ran, or worked out. Something clicked though and I went out. I ran in the dark morning where no one would see me wheezing and panting along. I cut out sugar (not all, just a bunch). I began eating ALL my meals on a salad sized plate. Portion control was huge. I still struggle with drinking water, though I am getting better. I’d get on the scale and see my weight…going DOWN! I did hit a point where I lost “too much” and my doctor told me where I wanted to be for my age/height. I shed all my pregnancy weight. I shed all my emotional eating weight. I am still a work in progress. I was sidelined for 10 weeks this past summer after having surgery (not running related). During those 10 weeks I was told not to run, not to workout, I could not even go walking. I won’t lie, I was a little worried, but quite determined not to eat out of depression/boredom.
    At the age of 34 I am finally liking my body. I don’t have kick-butt abs yet, but am getting there. I love running because it’s who I am. My husband and kids are super supportive, as is your blog. =)

    Happy Running.

  31. Congratulations! I am blown away by your time and your last mile. You are simply amazing! I also loved reading the beginning of your post about having HEART. I’m going to remember that as I head into this month’s Marine Corps Marathon. Are you still going to run it too?

  32. Laura Bryan says:

    You are definitely inspiring!! I love reading your posts and hearing you talk about battling your own mind in order to get where you want to be!! I’ve been overweight for –well, since I had my first son in 2004. I just started running a couple of months ago and am EXTREMELY slow. I just finished my last 5k in 41:47, which I would normally never admit, however, I’m slowly losing weight and I know 4 months ago I couldn’t run for 1 minute without needing a break!! Reading about your victories makes me think that it really is possible for me to reach my goals with weight and running!! Thanks for posting!!!

  33. such a WONDERFUL post and congrats on such a fabulous race. not just the race but the mentality that you took going into it and help throughout. racing weight is something we all deal with in addition to being just women who naturally get sensitive about weight issues. but you RAN that body of your’s and proved that tenacity is what matters most in a runner. thanks for sharing!

  34. Thank you Cait :) :)

  35. Hey Jesica :) Not sure on my racing plans! I decided that I run better when I don’t talk about what races I am running too much before I run them. Either way I plan on being at MCM to either run [I know I said I wasn’t going to – famous last words] or cheer :)

  36. Thank you Michele!! :) Hope you have a great weekend!

  37. Wow if you’re not a natural athlete then I need to step. it. up! I really hate when people tell me I’m just lucky and one of those naturally skinny people…I work so hard and am far from where I want to be. Way to go on the PR- that’s awesome! I need to find my mental capacity to push through pain.

  38. Crazy girl! Congrats on your PR and don’t let a little extra weight get you down…you’re human. Plus if you can PR by 6 mins it clearly isn’t slowing you down. Maybe the shorts shrunk. 😉

  39. Kim Thomasson says:

    Dorothy Beal…you rock my world; at least my day! This was exactly what I needed today. I’m right there with you, almost in tears as I struggle with a few pounds of creep. I’m so hard on myself, and it really is ridiculous. But it is the truth and my mind wanders to all the unhealthy ways to drop the pounds, but I know I and my running will suffer if I’m not smart about it. I’m grateful for your honesty. I’m grateful for your determination. I’m grateful that your PR’d like a Rock Star especially with all the weight issues on your mind and heart. And thank you for constantly inspiring me to Dream Big and Run Long! Way to Run Your Body!

  40. I did one of the races I was talking about this morning and guess what!!! I did PR :-) My personal best, I was so proud and happy, I kept on telling myself “You have to believe in your heart that you CAN do it!”

    Thank you so much for being such an inspiration Dorothy.

  41. Congratulations to you on this race!!! PR’ing is one of the most exciting things, and i am so happy for you!

    As for the weight issues- I am also struggling here right now. For some reason I think I am invincible to weight gain during marathon training, but that is simply not the case. I actually have gained weight during this cycle and am currently trying to shed those extra pounds before the NYC marathon.

    Can’t wait to see your upcoming race results!!!


  1. […] WEEDS during my 10 mile race about my weight – almost brought me down. It’s only when we take charge of our minds that we can truly […]

  2. […] at mile-posts.com had a near perfect performance at the aptly named Reston Perfect 10 Miler.  She set a 10-miler PR and ran 10 miles faster than she ran a 10k back in 2000.  Anyone else have a similar story of […]

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