I am super-excited this month to bring you Dori Bean, aka Girl on Fire – Running With a Purpose. She turned a tragic event into fuel to strengthen herself and lift others up in the process. She is a total sweetheart (which is why she’s our February RR!) and I know you’re going to fall in love with her story just like I did:
How/why did you start running?
This is a bit of a long story but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, LOL. My husband started running on his own nearly 3 years ago, then a friend told us about a couch to 5k program that a local running club was running and we both joined that. A couple of weeks into the program, I discovered that I was pregnant and my doctor advised me not to run anymore but my husband continued. The day after Christmas in 2013, we found out the baby hadn’t made it, I was 2 days shy of full term. Once I was cleared to exercise, I was ready to honor my daughter by doing something to make her proud so I started running. I signed up for my first 5k while I was still recovering from my c-section, I did that 5k in 50:20 doing 1:1 intervals. Running is so much more than exercise for me, it is stress relief, a way to leave my worries, doubts, fears, and grief out on the pavement. Every step, every mile, every race is for her and I hope that I am making her proud.
What do you love about running – what keeps you coming back time after time?
I love the feeling that it gives me, the sense of pride at the end of a race, the “runners high,” we all have bad runs from time to time but the good runs are what keep me coming back for more.
How do you get yourself out the door on days when you’re just not ‘feeling it’?
I think of all those who can’t run and I run for them. I have a buddy through the I run 4 foundation and I run for him, my daughter, think of the next race I have to train for. There’s not many days I don’t feel it and if I am having that feeling, I usually need a break so I will cross train or rest, depending.
Do you have an inspirational running story to share with us?
I was doing a 5k on Labor Day and there was a girl running it with a prosthetic leg. After I crossed the finish line and was watching the rest of the runners come in, I saw that girl, hopping on one foot across the finish with her mom (or who I assume was her mom) and a friend helping her. Her mom was holding her prosthetic. That was so inspiring to me and tells me that I should never give up!
How has running changed your life?
Running has made me a completely different person, inside and out. Not only has it changed me physically by helping me with weight loss but I have a whole new zeal for life with running. The friends I’ve made through running (both in person and online,) and just the new life it has given me. Nothing beats the feeling of finishing a race and crossing that finish line with friends at the end waiting on you.
What words of wisdom do you have for brand new runners?
Start slow!! You will not run an 8 minute mile right away, it is OK to be slow and take it slow. There is less chance of injury that way. Start with a c25k app or program but do it the way you need to. Do some of the weeks over if you have to and don’t give up!! It does get easier the longer you do it.
What are your favorite inspirational blogs to follow?
Running With Curves!! I am not a huge blog reader, I follow more “pages” on Facebook than anything. I am a huge lover of memes. LOL
Have you ever been injured running, and how did you recover?
I had a couple injuries in the beginning, mainly because I tried to start out too fast. I had bursitis in my hip for awhile, I took a couple of weeks off from running and eased back into it. And the day before I was set to do the Color Run I pulled my glute muscle. That was from running on a sore muscle from lifting weights. I was out for 3 weeks or more after that, it was horrible!
What running gear do you think you can’t live without?
Shoes, most definitely!! And my Garmin, I’m a bit attached to that. Tech shirts, compression pants/capris, I could go on forever.
What is your favorite race distance?
So far all I’ve raced are 5ks but I have my first 15k this month ! On Valentines Day, I’m excited and nervous.
What was your favorite race?
So far I would have to say the women’s half marathon and 5k in Nashville this past September. I did the 5K, the medal is pretty sweet and it was a fun race. I mean, who doesn’t love mimosas at the end of a race?
How many races have you completed?
I love racing! Last year I did six 5ks and have many more planned for this year including two 15ks
What are your top 3 songs to listen to when you run?
I use an app called Rock My Run, I am horrible at putting play lists together but I love Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” and “Roar.” They are just empowering songs to run to.
Treadmill or outdoors?
Outdoors, always. I tried the treadmill in the past and it just hurt. Outdoors is so much better.
Anything else we need to know?
I love to run, I love to make friends and I love to inspire people. And I say the word love a lot. LOL
How can we find/follow you on social media?
I have a page that I use to post my runs and inspirational things. It’s Girl On Fire – Running With A Purpose, I hope some of you will find me there. Inspire to be inspired!
Thanks Dori for sharing your inspiring story with us! I urge all of my readers to visit Dori’s Facebook page to keep up with her progress – she’s pretty amazing and she never, ever gives up. If you want to really see what hard work and determination will get you, you need to follow Dori’s journey.
Check out other Rockstar Runners HERE.