By Ann Leach

There’s a common saying that goes, “What we resist, persists.” If you don’t believe it, talk with Dora Eastin.

Eastin found herself running her first marathon in 2010, though she admits she knew nothing about preparing for the sport and never had a goal to run one. But a notice about the Mother Road Marathon caught her attention and she thought it would be neat to say she had run through three states. 

“I have to say, I hated every minute of it. I didn’t fuel my body, I didn’t train or hydrate correctly. I didn’t know what or how to give my body what it needed during the race,” she says. “To be honest, I didn’t even know I was supposed to. I remember being halfway through the race and ready to quit, but I refused to stop. I had a goal to finish, and I did just that.”

The result of the experience? A decision to never run again. Until seven years later.

Eastin explained her change of heart with a quote from Arthur Blank: “I run because it is so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” She adds, “Life comes with a lot of responsibilities and stress, and running has a way of helping me not lose my mind. In my life, running isn’t just for exercise or enjoyment, it has a way of helping me escape from all the craziness. I can be completely alone and out of my head. In those moments, running is the only thing that matters.”

It’s not that Eastin was totally new to running; she ran cross country in high school and participated in track and field all four years and ran in college, too.

“I didn’t really start to love running until the summer before my freshman year of college,” she says. “I was in a toxic relationship and got to the lowest point of my life. I learned how to use running as a coping mechanism. I love what running does for me even on the days I have to fight to find motivation to get out and run. I am grateful to have a wonderful coach who challenges me in my running regularly.” 

Eastin ran two marathon races last year and dropped 19 minutes from her time between those races. Her intention is to now drop eight more minutes. “I have a goal to make it to the Olympic trials,” she says. “To be able to make it to the trials and run with them would be such an honor.”

To help herself realize that dream, Eastin is continually working on her mindset. 

“I always try to set goals and run for something, and have a purpose,” she says. “I want the proud moment at the finish line, and that always gives me satisfaction.” 

She reminds herself how hard she has worked and recalls struggles she has moved through in the past. “I definitely couldn’t have made it as far as I have without the support that I have, Eastin says. “I am surrounded by so many wonderful people who have believed in me and helped motivate me along the way.”