Dorothy Beal: Everyone Has a Favorite, Right?

Views like this is one reason why every run is Dorothy Beal's favorite. Photo: Dorothy Beal

A favorite color. A favorite place. A favorite season.

A favorite food. A favorite movie. A favorite book.

Once I became a parent, I realized favorites as a singular were becoming a thing of my past. I have three children—I love them all equally yet differently. They each have something extra special about them that makes me love them in a unique way, but ask me what child out of the three is my favorite and I can’t answer. I love them all—they are all my favorites.

I feel this way about running. There are years in my life when I may like a particular workout more, or a certain race better, but really when it comes down to it—I love them all.

I love long runs and short runs, slow runs and fast runs, good runs and bad runs—they are all runs—and each and every one of them cumulatively have molded me as a person and as a runner.

Currently (and by currently I mean this month) I really am enjoying the mid-range double digit mid-week run. I like going throughout my day knowing that I have conquered a solo double digit run. The run gives me the perfect amount of energy while also giving me the perfect amount of exhaustion. I feel accomplished and strong, yet tired and worn out—a wining combination in my eyes. The crisp fall weather and the beautiful sights on my runs have been making me enjoy these runs even more than in past years.

This weekend, I will be running my “favorite marathon,” but really it just holds a very special place in my heart, a place in my heart that also holds amazing memories of other marathons as well. While I may say when pressed the Marine Corps Marathon is my favorite, really I have loved all of the 27 marathons I have run, just in different ways. It’s hard to nail down a favorite anymore.

I challenge you to stop picking favorites when it comes to workouts and races, and find the good or great in all of them! When you do this, the workouts that you may like a little less than others become more bearable because you aren’t focusing on how much you dislike them and how much you enjoy others.

I whisper into my children’s ears daily—YOU are my favorite. I’m not lying or sugar coating it—they are all my favorite—just like my runs.

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

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