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Why I Run: Dorothy Beal

Dorothy, all sparkly and sunshine, starts her second leg of the 2011 Hood to Coast.

 Today, we are kicking off a two-week stretch of another series of Why I Run; the first installment this summer was so popular, we couldn't resist. We put out a call on Twitter for submissions, and our water bottles runnethed over. If we missed you, we'll definitely do this again; please know we've got nothing but time and space on the Internet.

Kicking us off today is one seriously badass mother runner: Dorothy Beal. In Train Like a Mother, we included a short story from her about how she ran 13 miles pushing a triple jogger at a pace I'm not going to even print because I can't run that fast even when I don't have 80 pounds of cargo. Takes all types, right? I would be intimidated, but I know she's got a great heart to go with her fast legs. You can catch up with her at Mile Posts and on twitter @mileposts.

26.2 Reasons Why I Run:

1. I am an endorphin addict.

2. I want to be a strong, fit example to my three children.

3. I run to feel life deeper. To experience it one breath at a time.

4. I want to be faster today than I was yesterday.

5. I am a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend after I run.

6. I enjoy going on 20 mile runs with friends much more than driving 20 miles to a bar.

7. I run to find my strong.

Like mother, like daughter.

8. When someone talks about marathons, I want to be the person in the room who has run the most. (I am training for #19 Marathon right now: Boston 2012, which I will be running with my mom who also qualified.)

9. I’m slightly obsessed with shoes. Running gives me an excuse to buy multiple colors in the Saucony Kinvara each year. It’s not my fault running shoes only last 500 miles.

10. One day I want the number of marathons I’ve run to be in the triple digits.

11. I like the shocked look on childhood friends faces when they find out that this completely un-athletic, shy girl they knew could now kick their butt in a marathon.

12. I love the pure joy of moving through the air with nothing powering me but my own two feet.

13. Running teaches me things about myself I never knew.

14. I love crying at the start of a marathon and fighting off tears after the finish.

15. I want to be healthy enough to see my grandkids and be able to chase them around.

16. I want my daughter to grow up and think that I’m cool and she would pick me as a friend if I weren’t her mother. (I hope my sons think this, too.)

17. I like thinking of an outfit that I want to wear and fitting into it when I put it on in the morning.

Dorothy's legs--and a few other parts of her body--looking quite strong.

18. I like having strong legs vs. stick thin legs.

19. I love making new friends through a common shared love of the sport.

20. I feel like a super hero when I push my kids in my triple running stroller. Nothing else makes me feel this way.

21. I run because I want others to.

22. I run because, after 3 kids, I have the body I wanted in high school.

23. I run because I am in love with tempos, track workouts, fartleks, long runs, slow runs, easy runs, and hard runs.

24. I run to feel closer to God.

25. I run to quiet the voices in my head that tell me I am not enough or that I am not worth it. I am enough. I am worth it.

26. It makes me happy, plain and simple. I’ve never regretted a run. Ever.

26.2 I run because I cannot imagine my life any other way. I am a runner.

Got your own reason to add? Or a favorite of Dorothy's? (I--Dimity--love I run to find my strong.)

51 responses to “Why I Run: Dorothy Beal

  1. Thank you Dorothy! I love #22 because after three kids myself I wonder where all this energy and this body came from 🙂 I echo a lot of the other reasons too. I hope my daughters follow my footsteps or even better run ahead of me.

  2. Love this, it made me teary eyed. Thank you!

    Funny, I was reading it and my 4 year old son climbed on my lap and said “that looks like you mommy, but she’s not fast like you right?”. Ha! If only he knew. How I wish I was as skinny and fast! It made me happy though that to my son I am fast and powerful like you.

  3. Just woke up and checked all the comments! [I’m not a running geek or anything ;)] – You guys rock – seriously! Thank you for inspiring me to get my butt on the treadmill this morning before my kiddos wake up and for all your kind words – Dream Big & Run Long running friends xoxo

  4. Wow! By sharing your thoughts Dorothy you have inspired me for all those reasons that you run! That’s the great thing about this community. Always encouragement, always inspiration and always laughs!

  5. Hey, she copied off my paper. HA! No, I am not fast and I don’t look like that! (I will pray about that on my next run.) But, I sure love this list. I think I will have to print this off and post it for when I feel like I am dragging myself to run.

  6. Awesome! I love it! Dorothy, I love your pink and black outfit.! What a great example and motivator for other runners. Now, I’m planning to make a 26.2 reasons I run for the New Year. My favs: 13, 19, 24. I’m going to start following your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Dorothy is a wonderful running mother. She is a wonderful example for her kiddos and her readers!

    I run because it fills a place inside me that is essential not optional.

  8. I love that you love it when you cry when the marathon starts and fight off tears when you finish. What a personal testimony! I had lost my mojo recently and needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing your light and inspiration 🙂 wishing you many more runs and many years of joy with your family. God bless!

  9. This post is very motivating! It brings me to tears knowing my body can bounce back. I’m 8 weeks post partum with my second child and not where I want to be… I keep reading the RLAM chapter to remind myself to be realistic but I’ve barely been able to get out of the house for 3 miles once a week. I also run to be a better person, it gives me peace, confidence and personal and/or girl time. All those things I need in abundance these days and so I crave running! I have made a a commitment and arrangements with my family, after Christmas I get at least 3 runs a week minimum! :). I’m excited!

  10. I run because for just a little bit of time, I feel like I am an athlete…something this chubby little girl in grade school never, ever was! And feeling like I am an athlete empowers me.

  11. LOVE this post. I run to be closer to God, because it makes me happy, plain and simple, and because I cannot imagine my life any other way! So true.

  12. Yeah Dorothy is awesome!! I follow her blog and she inspires me 🙂
    My favorite is “I run to feel closer to God”
    Mine to add is ” I run because I’m a fighter!”

  13. I truly believe that Dorothy was with me in Eugene this year when I qualified for Boston. Her phrase, “Dream Big” played over and over in my mind and got me to the finish line STRONG! She is a bad ass mother runner!

  14. 22.2 – I run because I want the body Dorothy wanted in high school. Nice list, and it reminds me why I need to get out the door.

  15. I run because it gives me confidence. Driving around town I can look down allk he roads and say “I’ve run there before!”.

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