I had planned this post out in my head last week. I imagined myself typing away in sheer exhaustion Sunday night. 30 miles on trails is after all, a long way to go. I imagined it would take hours to write about my first ultra.

I sit here tired but for a drastically different reason. I ran a 10K today.

There was no ultra and here’s why:

After reading all of your comments I was jazzed. I had posted about my intentions of running an ultra because part of me wanted YOU to convince me I could do it. I wanted to be held accountable.

Most of the comments told me to DREAM BIG. One person had the courage to tell me her real feelings[not that the others weren’t real but she could have told me to go for it when she was thinking I shouldn’t]. She didn’t think I should do it. I could do it, but I shouldn’t do it. Was possibly getting injured worth it to me? [this is also not to say all ultra runners get injured but that I was untrained for this specific race thus upping my chances of getting hurt] It got me thinking and thinking and thinking.

I prayed.

I still didn’t know the answer.

Then I had a marathoner write me. She had suffered a stress fracture during Marine Corps Marathon and is unable to run for the next 5 weeks. Her email had nothing to do with my plans to run an ultra but it got me thinking and thinking and thinking. I wrote her back. She wrote me back. She said she saw 8:18 on the clock.

In my heart I knew that God was trying to tell me something. I needed to look at the bigger picture.

One day I will become an ultra-marathoner – today was not that day. 

One of my many goals in life is to run till I die. I literally want to be that 85 year old grandmother finishing a turkey trot and winning my age group because I am the only one in my age group. I need to take care of my body now so it will still give me miles when I am older.

I asked a lot of my body this year. It gave me a beautiful son. It gave me 5 marathons. It gave me countless PR’s during races and on random training runs. I needed to listen to it and NOT push it 30 miles on trails I had not trained on.

It was hard for me to give up on this dream today.

I’ve told you that God talks to me in numbers. It doesn’t matter if you believe this – I know it to be true. I don’t just think he talks to me this way, He does talk to me this way.

I opened my abundant life Day Book on November 9th and immediately noticed a number. The page was 313. Wait? Did the pages correspond with what day of the year it was? They did. Colton was born on the 313th day of the year. I pr’ed this year with a 3:13, 11 [my favorite number] months after Colton was born. I felt God was telling me to be happy with the gift he had given me. 3:13 was a HUGE dream for me this year, no need to push my luck and my body to run 30 miles.

One day I’ll run 30 miles and maybe more, but today I gutted it out over 6.2 miles. It was just what I needed.

I dreamed big but in a different way and ran over 26 minutes faster than I did at my first 10K.

Post race happy as can be with my favorite little girl

Race recap coming soon…..


  1. Congratulations Dorothy! It sometimes takes more strength to NOT do something you want so bad, and you deserve credit for recognizing what you needed and being strong enough to make it happen. And obviously you were meant to run that 10k instead. Your 30 miler will happen :-)

  2. i love love love that you hear God speak in numbers. It is amazing the different ways we hear God speak. You are so awesome for being still enough to hear God speak, but even more awesome for putting that into action. Ultra or not, you are incredible. You did so awesome in your run and in your obedience. Enjoy the night with your family and you non-injured body

  3. I agree with Shelly. So glad you could spend the day with your children!

  4. Congratulations on your new PR! The beauty of your decision is how well thought through and prayed through it is. You are still dreaming big, and inspiring so many more of us to Dream Big along with you. To acknowledge the circumstances weren’t right and not throw caution to the wind probably took more courage than running it would have.

  5. I definitely think you made the right decision! I don’t have any personal experience with Ultras but I do have a friend who has done several and he does A LOT of specific training for them. I had a stress fracture 7 months ago and had to take 2 months off and it was AWFUL! It did teach me a very important lesson— our bodies can be only be pushed so far. We have to be smart to avoid injury. A 10K PR after months of MARATHON training is a great accomplishment. :-)

  6. Great post!!!!

  7. Great job! Glad that you did what you felt was right for you at the time. I love your vision of being an 85-year old woman winning her age group in the Turkey Trot. I think about that too sometimes and hope that will be me too!

  8. I always love your posts Dorothy! You are an amazing woman and mom!

  9. You are SOOO wise! You won’t regret holding back and your body will thank you. The biggest dream you can fulfill is to listen and obey the voice of God. Keep doing that girl and spreading the joy that you do in every post.
    I can relate tho, it’s killing me to run only the 1/2 for the R66 marathon this coming Sunday. This is my home town and we have a special medal for maniacs, this is the first time we’re doing this and I SO want that medal. http://route66marathon.com/2011-williams-route-66-marathon-finisher-medals/ But I am not fully recovered from knee surgery in August and my PT is shaking his head no on the full, sigh.

  10. I’m so glad you chose not to run it.

  11. You are so amazing and beautiful in so many ways! You inspire me and truly are a gift!!!! Thank you for sharing. You are one strong woman and I cant wait to watch you when you DO train for one. You will do all you dream … AND MORE! <3 !!!

  12. We were all pushing for you to do it because we believed in you…but you know your body better than we do – it takes more strength to hold back from doing something than to foolishly push yourself to your limit! Looking forward to when you do run one!

  13. Beautiful, well thought out post. I love that God speaks to you with numbers. He will let you know when the time is right.

  14. Well done Dorothy – a fantastic PR for the 10K and everything you’ve said about why you chose not to do the Ultra makes perfect sense. I was one of many who urged you to “Go for it” last week, to do the Ultra, but in hindsight the the decision to go for the 10K instead was definitely the right one. Well done again and thanks for another inspiring post!

  15. What an awesome day, beautiful and successful in a much calmer way. Well done :-)

  16. 26 minutes faster in a 10K?! You rock on sister!! Sometimes, all you need it one person to say out loud what your brain is thinking. 😉 You will get that ultra one day and you will rock it’s socks off!

  17. Non-athletes have no idea that it takes every bit as much courage to back away from an event…as it does to put your foot on the starting line. This is not what comes naturally to competitive people. It represents a complete break from the “always pushing forward” mentality…but it needs to be applauded just as loudly as the accomplishments. Smart athletes will remain exactly that…for a long, long time! All the best moving forward…

  18. you made the right decision. You could have made it through those trails, but you would have been very sore and slow, especially if you’re not used to trail running!
    I love trails, and I love running ultras, and I would love to give you more advice on both if ever you need it.
    (oven proof)

  19. Good for you for digging deep and really figuring out what was in your heart and what God wanted for you. I think that based on your 10K performance, you know you made the right choice!

  20. I think you listen to a wise advisor! No doubt you will go longer than a marathon one day AND be that 85 yr old grammy racking up those AG wins. You’ll know when it’s time to go for it.

    I think this year was pretty Ultra-awesome for you no matter what!

%d bloggers like this: