Dorothy Beal: A Quick Intro

"I was forever changed the day I crossed that finish line," says Dorothy Beal.

Runner.

A six letter word that I never imagined would become one of the best words—after “mother”—to describe me.

In 2003 I graduated from college and felt lost as to who I was and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. A couple years earlier my mom had convinced me that the way to lose the unwanted college weight and to really find myself was to start running. It had worked to a certain extent on both levels. I knew in my post-collegiate confusion that the answers I was looking for in life might be found out on the roads and during miles with my running shoes.

The marathon seemed like the perfect way to test my limits and spend quality time getting to know myself in a positive way. I took a leap of faith and signed up for the Marathon Corps Marathon 2003 and as I continually say—possibly preach—I was forever changed the day I crossed that finish line.

Over the years I have fallen deeply in love with running and the entire sport and industry that surrounds it. That passion has taken me through various jobs related to running—a field marketing rep for a popular running shoe company, a product line manager for a women’s only running company, Director of Volunteers for a major marathon, a writer for a local running magazine  and most recently as a running blogger and RRCA and USATF Level 1 Certified running coach. I’ve completed 27 marathons and countless other races of shorter distances.

I’m excited that I get to share my love of running and my passion for marathons with Danielle, my cadet in the 26 Strong program. Danielle lives in Florida currently but we share the same high school! Danielle and I connected through my blog and she shares a love of my running mantra I Run This Body.

Instead of coming up with a new plan for Danielle we are going to use coach Mario Fraioli’s book on marathon training. She will use the beginner program and I will use a variation of his advanced program to train for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, as well as Honolulu, which we will run together.

We are both excited that we share not only a love of running, but the same hometown and many other fun connections that will help us bond over this marathon journey. We will be training together virtually and currently stay connected via email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Danielle already considers herself a runner but my hope is that at the end of the journey she, too, will say the day she crossed the finish line of her first marathon was the day she was forever changed!

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

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