Dorothy Beal is a runner, writer and a body positive activist who believes that runners come in all shapes and sizes and that if you run, you have a runner’s body. Founder of the I Run This Body® brand and the creator of the #ihavearunnersbody and #irunthisbody digital communities, she is passionate about running and self love.
Known online as MilePosts she shares her journey as a single mother, runner and self-love advocate. She lives in Northern Virginia where she can be found running and cycling on her beloved W&OD Trail or spending time with her three children, Chloe (14), Miles (12) and Colton (10).
Dorothy did not grow up an athlete, much less a runner. She attended a small religious school, that placed little emphasis on physical activity, from K – 8th grade. Instead of playing sports she spent her free time sewing, crafting and reading copious amounts of books.
For her first two years of high school she attended a school that required students to complete six seasons of sports in order to graduate. The summer before her freshman year an upperclassman from the soccer team called and asked if she had any interest in trying out for the soccer team. She was hesitant to say yes, knowing full well she could barely run a lap around a soccer field, much less play soccer, but the girl assured her that no matter what she would make a team because they didn’t cut anyone. When it came time to run laps around the field during soccer practice, she would often pretend to hyperventilate to get out of running.
At the age of 13 Dorothy felt that it was too late for her to become an athlete, often giving up on herself before even trying. If she could go back in time and talk to her younger self, she would first give her old self a hug and then explain how young 13 really is!
In 1999 she graduated high school and started college in New Jersey. Social anxiety and low self esteem led Dorothy to self medicate with food and alcohol. When she was drinking she felt fearless, till she didn’t. A never ending cycle of eating poorly, not sleeping enough, and drinking away her worries led to Dorothy gaining a significant amount of weight. Unable to pull herself out of what felt like rock bottom, her parents suggested that she should try running. At the the time she thought if she lost the physical weight, life would magically improve. Years later, after much self reflection, she realized that it wasn’t physical weight that was weighing her down, it was emotional.
Enjoying the way it made her feel when she was finished, Dorothy kept running. Like many runners however, she hated it till she finally loved it.
The summer before her senior year she started working at the local run specialty store, Footsteps of Reston. This is where she first started to fall in love with running and what ultimately helped her land a job with Brooks as a Field Marketing Representative in the Northeast Region.
On October 26th, 2003 Dorothy ran her first marathon and was forever changed the moment she crossed the finish line. Now a marathoner, she had a new perspective on life.
In 2005 she moved on from her position at Brooks and started a job at Moving Comfort as an Account Manager in their Sales Department. While Dorothy enjoyed helping accounts grow their sales, she felt a pull toward the apparel side of the business. She was promoted to Product Line Manager of Run/Fitness and worked closely alongside one of the founders, Elizabeth Goeke.
As fate would have it, Moving Comfort was sold and relocated to Seattle, Washington, to be managed by Brooks. As a new mom, Dorothy wasn’t in a position to move across the country, so she went to work for her father as his online sales manager. This is where Dorothy first learned the ins and outs of online marketing.
Working with her father was a formative experience, but Dorothy’s true passion was running. Determined to stay in the running industry, in 2007 she decided to take the plunge and work for herself, while being a stay at home mom. In 2008, she welcomed her second child, Miles. Earning an income from home while simultaneously raising two kids wasn’t easy, but she did it. In 2009 she started her blog Mile Posts. In 2010 her third child, Colton, joined her crew, and life has been a wild ride ever since.
Since then, she has been on the cover of Competitor Magazine, Posh Seven Magazine, as well as on the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon race program.
As a 46 time marathon finisher, Dorothy believes that movement has the power to transform your life; and that one of the biggest barriers that can hold us back is our own mind. She aims to encourage as many people as possible to get and stay active through the digital communities she has created.
Her writing can be found on Women’s Health, Active, Well + Good, Women’s Running, Podium Runner as well as on her blog.