8 miles in 66:07 on the treadmill – easing back into it after a couple days off for a family road trip

8 weeks today until my travel day for the Dopey Challenge in January at Disney World. It is time to refocus and get pushing again!

It is safe to say that for a good chunk of October I was coasting and a bit burnt out. The darned near 50 miler at the Lemming Loop sandwiched between 2 half marathons left me drained but happy. Since then I have had a rough time when I try to get motivated for each run – basically my brain is telling me “Don’t worry! We’re ready. We’ll do fine” and it has been a hard fight to push past that little voice.

So my wife Heather and I took the kids on a bit of road trip for a couple days – no running at all, just some splashing around in a pool and some walking (well a lot really) while doing some shopping. Just a mental recharge and reset so that I can dig in and push hard for the final approx 50 days of hard training before the taper. I have several 18-20 milers on the schedule and they are going to have to be done in the snow – so getting the mind reset was crucial to making sure those runs happen.

With all that in mind I was very tempted to blow off a run tonight after our kids’ karate and music lessons (separate lessons but karate music lessons sounds like a cool concept) but I did force myself to get going in the end.

Didn’t really do any speed work though as we are still waiting on the parts to fix my main treadmill and our old backup doesn’t really like the pounding when I try to run faster. In the end though it was a respectable 8 miles in 66:07 that felt nice and easy. I’ll take that as a confidence booster as I try to kick my butt back into gear.

Alrighty – good start – let’s keep it moving!


  1. Bill says:

    8 weeks! “Next year” still seems further away than that. In your training plan, how many back-to-back long runs do you schedule? And are you planning a mock Dopey just before taper time? I have a 5k/10k/13/20 scheduled for Christmas week but I’m not sure if that’s a good plan or not. Figured I’d check with the veteran.

    • Ted says:

      Yeah – Dopey is sneaking up quick!

      For most of my marathons or Goofy Challenges I have followed Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II plan which has a build up where you end up with 2 long runs (an 18 and a 20) on back to back weeks but then backs off to a lighter week with a long run of around a half marathon distance before doing another 20 mile long run the next week – then that cycle is repeated again. So he generally only has 1 point in his programs where you do very high mileage runs (in my mind anything over 15 miles) 2 weeks in a row.

      My current plan has me repeating a similar 18 / 20 / 13.1 cycle a few times instead. It is probably overly ambitious but I knew with everything I was doing I was going to be ready in October for the Dopey and if I did long week / short week cycles up until January to maintain I would get bored and probably not improve. So the current plan should build more endurance while challenging me to keep pushing even though I am tired. That being said I will need to really watch for exhaustion so that I don’t make too many mistakes and get hurt or sick.

      I will essentially be trying mock Dopeys with every one of my long run weeks – with 5 miles / 5 miles / 10 miles / 18-20 miles on back to back days. I haven’t planned for it specifically but I suspect at least one of my long weeks will see me pushing the 2nd 5 miler to 6.2 and the 10 to 13.1 to get a better assessment of where I am at. But I don’t think the 13 is strictly necessary – most of the plans I have seen (by way more knowledgeable people than me) tend to keep that run at 10 miles. I think this would be for similar reasons that most training plans for marathons max out with a 20 mile training run – you get the benefits but don’t have to destroy yourself to get them. Again though, logic be damned, I will most likely do a 13.1 before a 20 mile long run for my peace of mind and confidence.

      The reason why I do the 5 mile / 5 mile days instead of 5k/10k like you have is really more to do with how much time I have on what days – these runs need to occur on Thursday and Friday nights for me and I have more time on Thursdays so I move a few miles that way.

      Hope that helps Bill!

      • Bill Culver says:

        This helps because it gives me an idea that training for back to back long days doesn’t necessarily mean running back to back regularly. This is one of the things that I have been focusing on. As I built my long run up from 13 I tried doing 6-10 the next day, both runs at slower paces of course. I wonder if I’ve been doing too much.

        • Ted says:

          I definitely try to have a rest day after my long run days – recovery is important. I know some people can do run streaks where they run every day but the last time I tried I felt pretty awful after just a couple weeks.

          I try to decide if I am doing too much by feel and by watching how my runs are going. Do runs that should be easy feel unusually hard? Is my speed dropping compared to other runs recently at or near the same distance? Those are the kinds of things I watch for.

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